The history of baseball cannot be told without Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, it’s the sad, ugly and unfortunate truth. The Baseball Hall of Fame is supposed to tell us the story with the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s an honor to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the pinnacle of the sport, the ultimate goal for anyone who has ever played between the lines and Bonds and Clemens don’t deserve that honor.
Call it the silent induction.
These guys shouldn’t be allowed to soak up the cheers or jeers one last time on a beautiful summer day in July, in Cooperstown. That’s what they want. It’s the sole reason why they chose to take the route they took during their careers. Bonds and Clemens wanted to be at the forefront of any conversation to do with baseball. To this day, its common knowledge that Bonds decided to take steroids because his ego couldn’t handle all the attention Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire received in 1998 during their infamous home run race. On the other hand, Clemens, who was mentioned repeatedly in the Mitchell report in 2007 found himself pitching into his 40’s and winning a suspicious 18 games in 2004 with the Houston Astros as a 41-year-old right hander. An athlete’s worst nightmare is to be forgotten. So we ignorantly cheered and revered them through it all, as they were rewriting history by shattering scared records that we once worshiped, all while the only numbers that really mattered to them were the millions in their bank accounts.
They won the battle but not the war.
It’s possible that Bonds and Clemens don’t mind being off in the corner room of the museum and that’s exactly where they belong. They could even name the room something clever like “Mitchell’s Room” or have a balcony setup and call it “BALCO” and before entering there’s a five-to-ten minute video about the steroid era in baseball. They don’t belong in any room that dawns the names Aaron, Ruth, Mantle, Koufax, Feller, Johnson or anyone else that came before them for that matter. The silent induction also keeps them off the same stage as the living hall of famers who return back to Cooperstown each year for induction weekend.
Bonds and Clemens should be in the Hall of Fame already, and that’s only because these egotistical a-holes are still garnering all of the attention every time they don’t get elected. On Wednesday, Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman received phone calls that they’re getting inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018. However, all anyone could talk about was the percentage of votes Bonds and Clemens got this year and when and if they’ll ever make it. The conversation needs to be put to bed once and for all. It’s possible one of the main reasons the voters are reluctant to vote these guys in is because of the guilt they’ll face as their being honored, the silent induction is the easy fix.
Bonds and Clemens belong in the Hall of Fame but they are not Hall of Famers, on some cold winter day in December in Cooperstown their plaques can be hung up in that room in the corner of the museum, yeah, the same room that should have Commissioner Bud Selig’s plague on the door.