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What does the indictment do for Clemens' Hall of Fame case?

Aug 19, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

I only pose this question because someone will ask it, and I’ll be damned if I don’t have to have all the answers.  Short version: this shouldn’t matter a lick.

As we recently discussed when A-Rod hit his 600th home run, there are some Hall of Fame voters who will never, ever vote for a PED-associated player no matter what.  For them, Clemens’ name was already mud. They weren’t any more waiting for a court to convict him to make up their minds than they were trying to determine how much of a boost A-Rod got from a couple year’s of PEDs. Brian McNamee could recant tomorrow, and a great number of these voters would still not vote for Clemens based on his infidelities or his association with known PED dealers or what have you. The die has been cast.

Those voters who don’t take such an approach, however, aren’t likely to be deterred by the indictment. They — like Buster Olney — are able to appreciate that (a) lots and lots of players used PEDs in their career; and (b) still only a few, like Clemens, were elite players.  It doesn’t take a super genius to appreciate that Clemens (like Bonds and A-Rod) were a different brand of ballplayer than more borderline players like Rafael Palmiero or even Mark McGwire who, quite possibly, might not have gotten into the Hall of Fame conversation without PEDs.

My guess is that even some of the more open minded voters will change their tune if Clemens is ultimately convicted of perjury. Not because of the PEDs, but because of their belief that that the character considerations that are supposed to enter into Hall of Fame voting preclude convicted criminals (even if there are several convicted criminals in the Hall of Fame). I don’t think there are enough of these doubters to ultimately keep Clemens out, however.

My guess: while Clemens won’t be a first-ballot unanimous Hall of Famer like he should be based on his baseball accomplishments, he will eventually make the Hall of Fame.  As he should.

  1. Trevor B - Aug 19, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    I’m sure it’ll just postpone his HOF ticket much like McGuire. There is no doubt A-Rod, McGuire, Clemens, Bonds will get into the HOF, it’ll just take longer for the mud to wash off.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 19, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    I’m not so sure about McGwire. There are people out there who will tell you that McGwire’s #’s aren’t good enough for the Hall of Fame. I disagree, but there are some actual guys…I don’t know if it is Keith Law, Buster Olney or somebody like that…who say that McGwire is borderline, but not a Hall of Famer.

  3. Philip P - Aug 19, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    Still not convinced McGuire ever gets in as his HofF case is the weakest of those listed; all the others should be given due consideration and eventual induction but I could McGuire end up on the outside looking in because outside of home runs his stats are not all that impressive.

  4. geoknows - Aug 19, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    A lot of people will disagree with you, Craig, for one large reason above and beyond usage of PEDs: Perjury is a felony. PED usage is not.

  5. Simon DelMonte - Aug 19, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    Um, it’s not? Steroid use remains as illegal as perjury. And if the Feds could find a way to prosecute Clemens (and Bonds) for steroid use, I think they would.

  6. Enrgy2Burn - Aug 19, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    he’ll get into the HOF on the same day Pete Rose does.

  7. geoknows - Aug 19, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    Thought it was a misdemeanor, unless selling. I stand corrected.

  8. GP - Aug 19, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    “Perjury is a felony. PED usage is not.”
    This point of view is shared by a lot of people and it just kills me. Steroids are a federally controlled substance and as such are ILLEGAL without a prescription. It cracks me up every time I hear “but steroids weren’t illegal in baseball at the time”.
    Maybe I’m the one that’s wet behind the ears, but if it’s illegal for the whole country, how is it not also/still illegal if one’s job happens to be playing baseball?

  9. AdamK - Aug 19, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Clemens is done. Worse than a cheater is a lying cheater and that’s what Clemens is. If he had swallowed his pride, made a public apology and just come out with it, this would have all been avoided and he would be in a much better place. What a shame.

  10. Omega - Aug 19, 2010 at 6:26 PM

    I feel the writers who will vote Clemens into the HoF haven’t been born yet, just a gut feeling. That goes for Mac and Bonds and ARod too. Eventhough this is incredibly unfair.

  11. John_Michael - Aug 19, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    That’s the problem with players charging the mound. They keep having to do time to serve their sentences for those assult convictions.

  12. walk - Aug 19, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    Actually i believe a lot of the steroids named were of the designer type. I am a little confused, while they were definetly banned by baseball i am not sure if the roids like balco produced were illegal as such. Spirit of the law all designer drugs are illegal, letter of the law, well thats where good lawyers make their money.

  13. Tornadoes28 - Aug 20, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    Wow, I’ve seen a lot of clueless opinions but this one takes the cake. You think this fraud will make the Hall? You truly are clueless. Clemens, Bonds, MacGuire, and Sosa will NEVER make the Hall.

  14. Tornadoes28 - Aug 20, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    Wow, I’ve seen a lot of clueless opinions but this one takes the cake. You think this fraud will make the Hall? You truly are clueless. Clemens, Bonds, MacGuire, and Sosa will NEVER make the Hall.

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