My pal Rusty Hardin said this yesterday right after the verdict:
"I hope those in the public who made up their minds before there was a trial will now back up and entertain the possibility of what he has always said – using steroids and HGH is cheating and it was totally contrary to his entire career.”
Rusty wasn’t talking to me and he wasn’t talking to you. He was addressing the voting members of the Baseball Writers of America (BBWA), The Rocket’s next jury. This December the members of the BBWA will decide if The Rocket, Barry, Barry, Sammy Sosa, B-G-O, and others make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame. If The Rocket doesn’t get the minimum 75% of the BBWA vote it will be because enough BBWA voters think he was on ‘roids.
Here is a sampling of sorts of BBWA voters from stories today from my pal Jose de Jesus Ortiz and the AP:
“Roger Clemens is one of the greatest right-handers in baseball history,” said USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale, who is credited with being the first writer to address the steroid problem in baseball. “He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. And I believe today’s verdict will get him to Cooperstown on the first ballot.” “I will vote him to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot; the same with Barry Bonds; the same with Sammy Sosa,” Nightengale said. “The trouble is that it was almost a level playing field during the steroid era. If Clemens was pitching on steroids, he was facing hitters on steroids.
“Both Clemens and Bonds perplex me,” said former New York Times baseball columnist Claire Smith, who has voted for the Hall of Fame since 1993. “Have always considered them HOFers prior to the madness. But HOFers have asked, ‘How do I know which numbers are clean and which are tainted?’ “Truth be told, I don’t. No one but those two know. Such a dilemma. Don’t know yet what I will do.”
“I’m not so sure this makes him a shoo-in on my ballot, but I haven’t ruled him out,” said Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. “But a guilty verdict would have sealed his fate for me. I still have time to digest this.”
Former BBWAA president Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer didn’t need a jury to help him with his decision. “I wasn’t going to vote for him anyway, so this won’t affect it,” said Hoynes, who is in his 30th year covering the majors. “I just think he’s guilty. I don’t care what the court said. I think he did it. I think he knew he was cheating, and I’m not voting for him.”
"I think everybody believes he was guilty in some form or fashion," said John Harper of the New York Daily News, who doesn’t plan to vote for Clemens. "I think that’s the real issue as far as voters go. I know that’s an issue for me."
ESPN reporter/analyst Tim Kurkjian, a Hall voter for more than two decades, said: "It doesn’t change how I view him. I think he did something and they just couldn’t prove it. I think most rational people look at it that way. I was going to vote for him anyway."
"To me, Roger Clemens was a Hall of Famer from the moment he retired, just like Barry Bonds," San Francisco Chronicle columnist Bruce Jenkins said. "I don’t much care for them as people, but that’s irrelevant, and I’ve never believed in the Hall of Fame’s ‘character’ clause. It never seemed to apply to a number of shady characters who made the Hall of Fame over the years, so I simply ignore it. I base my vote on the best players during their time. Cheating has been part of the game since its inception, whether it was gambling, doctored balls or pre-steroid drugs. It’s as essential to the game’s fabric as the sacrifice fly."
That’s 3 for, 2 against, and 2 undecided. So that gives him 43% – not enough.
Yesterday’s jury kept him out of jail and tomorrow’s jury will decide his Hall of Fame status.
The BBWA for the most part doesn’t give a rat’s arse about yesterday’s jury verdict or what Rusty has to say. The will talk to each other and/or their sources like players, managers, coaches, former players, and front office folks before they make up their minds if they haven’t already.
Here is the other matter they will probably consider. How does it look if they vote The Rocket in and don’t give Barry, Barry a hall pass? Now that would certainly spark a lively discussion about race in baseball that the Commissioner and BBWA don’t want on their plates.
How many times did The Rocket win 20 or more games in a season?
This is why some folks are turned off by politics. Check this from the Chron:
An advocacy group formed by Houston-area real estate developers threatened Monday to seek help from the Legislature if the transit agency asks voters to cap the payments that help Harris County and area cities improve roads and bridges.
If voters approve a referendum that caps general mobility payments, Houstonians for Responsible Growth will lobby state lawmakers to get the city of Houston’s money back, (Joshua) Sander said.
Here is the entire story.
So if we have a campaign and Joshua’s side loses fair and square, his group is going to the legislature to ask the legislature to overturn the results – right? I wonder if Joshua understands how silly he sounds. And so goes the GMPs debate.
My good buddy Kyle’s mug was seen throughout the game last night on the tube thanks to his third row seats behind the plate.
The Rocket won 20 games or more six different seasons during his career: 1986 (24), 1987 (20), 1990 (21), 1997 (21), 1998 (20), and 2001 (20).
It looks like The Yard is receiving a makeover of sorts in left center field.
I don’t care how ugly the win was last night. A win is a win.
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