After Tuesday night’s voting results, it seems unlikely that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will ever be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
When the names were being announced last night, fans and writers had two names in the back of their minds. Of course, those two names were Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. When neither of those names were said, it heavily suggested they will never get in.
For years, those two players have been the center of debate and the back-and-forth arguments have centered around one question: Should these two players, or any suspected PED user, be enshrined into the Hall of Fame?
While the fire within the debate is still firmly lit, it seemed as though those two decorated players would have had an increase in votes from the past few seasons. However, they didn’t.
Yes, both Bonds and Clemens made positive gains. But they only saw a marginal jump. In 2018, Bonds received 56.4 percent and Clemens got 57.3. Tuesday’s balloting only saw Bonds jump up from 56.4 to 59.1, and Clemens went from 57.3 to 59.5.
The minimal increase was surprising. From 2015 to 2017, Bonds and Clemens saw their percentage of votes increase mightily. Bonds went from 36.8 in 2015, to 53.8 in 2017, while Clemens leaped from 37.5 in 2015 to 54.1 in 2017. That increase prompted many to think they were on their way to Cooperstown.
That increase cannot be overlooked, because it makes Tuesday night’s results that much more significant. The slugging outfielder and lights out pitcher seemed to be on a trajectory that would land them in the Hall because they gained a high percentage of votes with the latter half of their life on the ballot left.
However, those chances look bleak now as both Bonds and Clemens will be entering their eighth years on the ballot. The chances look like a long shot because both need more than 35 percent of the votes in the next three years to get the call. Seeing a jump like that will be an uphill climb, especially after they barely gained any more voters this year.
According to Ryan Thibodaux and his famous Hall of Fame tracker, Clemens and Bonds still have a fair amount ballot members who aren’t voting for them. This doesn’t seem to bode well for either of them because they aren’t being overlooked due to a packed ballot.
Rather, it’s indicated that Bonds and Clemens are seeing how detrimental that steroid stigma attached to their resumes is. Also, with first-ballot locks like Derek Jeter coming up, and overdue names like Larry Walker still on the ballot, voters will be in no rush to prioritize Clemens and Bonds.
With only three years remaining on the ballot, it looks as though the Baseball Hall of Fame will forever be without its All-Time home run king, and one of its most decorated pitchers.