Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, and Trevor Hoffman. Those are the four names that were announced last night as the class of 2018 for the baseball hall of fame. Four very worthy and deserving names I might add. But with names like Clemens, Bonds, Mcguire, and Sosa, continuing to be left out, should we really take this voting seriously anymore?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking anything away from those guys who got in, they are some of the best to ever do it. Quite frankly, it would have been a travesty if they did not get in. But what is a travesty is the fact that guys like Bonds and Clemens continue to be punished by the self-righteous baseball writers who cast these votes every year.
Steriods or not, Bonds had one of the greatest swings in the history of the game. Couple that with his incredible eye for the ball and it makes sense why he had the numbers he did. People also forget that Bonds is one of a handful of players to have at least 500 stolen bases and 500 homers in his career. I’m sorry, but steroids ain’t helping you see the ball better or giving you more skill to your swing. Did it help in building his physical strength? Absolutely. Did it help him hit more home runs? Possibly. But you can’t tell me that he wasn’t already a great player before the steroid era.
The same goes for Clemens. This guy is arguably the greatest starting pitcher of all time. What part of his game can we really prove that was so vastly improved by steroid use?
Everyone who is currently enshrined in the HOF belongs there. No doubt. But so do these guys who are only being left out because of some misguided sense of morality. They did what they did and took what they took. But we will never really know how it altered their game, good or bad. What we do know is the accomplishments they achieved. And that’s what we should be looking at. Not shunning.