EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

December 24, 2012

Unpopular vote for Baseball Hall of Fame

I’ve always felt that major leaguers who used steroids were like NBA stars playing on a nine-foot basket — the game isn’t supposed to be that easy. Or, imagine their cheating through another prism:

Two race cars line up, one uses regular fuel, the other loads up with an illegal, supercharged potion. Guess which one wins? Not only does the law breaker finish first, it sets a world record. Who would call that a legitimate feat?

That’s the easiest way to frame the steroids debate. Now comes the more complicated task of punishing those who (we think) juiced — specifically, keeping them out of the Hall of Fame. Any discerning fan would put Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens on that list. They’re the tip of the spear of a generation of players who tried to pull a fast one on what Americans used to call The Beautiful Game.

But while it’s easy to assume Bonds and Clemens were part of the brotherhood of the syringe, proving it is another matter. That’s what makes this ballot problematic, deciding the guilt or innocence of two men who were exonerated by the legal system.

The government spent millions trying to convict Bonds, who testified his use of steroids was unintentional. According to the Wall Street Journal, 11 of the 12 jurors didn’t believe Bonds but, ultimately, the feds were unable to prove Bonds was lying. They settled for one count of obstruction of justice, which meant he won. The same is true of Clemens, who, despite the $2.3 million the government spent in court, was acquitted on the six charges against him.

Do I suspect Bonds and Clemens were all in? Of course. But both men are entitled to due process of the law. Without physical proof of their crimes — and with a jury of their peers backing them up — I have no idea when Bonds and Clemens started injecting, or to what degree the chemicals impacted their career totals. Since MLB wasn’t screening for steroids at the time, Clemens and Bonds never tested positive. Those are those handcuffs I wear in filling out the ballot.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Tiger Woods: 1 on 1 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season
Boston Sports
Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Pedroia on Lester: ‘It would be tough to see him in another uniform’ Farrell announces Workman will start in place of Lester Gasper vs Tanguay: Is Lester to blame for current situation? Mike Carp speaks out on wanting to leave the Red Sox Shaughnessy: Sox fans deserve to be mad if Sox trade Lester Ty Law: Revis may get Pats ‘over hump’ Ortiz fires back at Tampa Bay Ray’s Chris Archer Curran Camp Observations: Pats Veteran Defensive players excited to be back together 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp