Here on BoSox Injection we have stated the case before as to why Roger Clemens belongs in Cooperstown, so now is not the time to rehash all the reasons why his lofty accomplishments outweigh his reputation that has been tainted by the steroid scandal. We don’t need to remind you that The Rocket compiled a Hall of Fame worthy resume during his 13 years in Boston, before the dark cloud of performance-enhancing drugs hovered over him.
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Instead let’s examine the progress that Clemens made in this year’s results, jumping from 37 percent last season to just over 45 percent. Fellow poster boy for the steroid era, Barry Bonds, saw a similar jump to over 44 percent. While they each remain far short of the 75 percent that is required to be selected, they are certainly trending in the right direction.
What does this mean? It could be that a significant number of voters are starting to change their minds about excluding players connected to PEDs from their ballots. We have heard from prominent voices in the sports writing community, such as Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, stating their cases for why they finally decided to include Clemens and Bonds on their ballots. There may also be a portion of those writers that once took a hard line against PED users that didn’t vote this year. In 2015 there were 549 ballots cast, but that figure dropped to 440 this year. Since induction is based on a percentage rather than total votes it would stand to favor players connected to PEDs if a significant number of those hardliners were among the 100+ writers that are no longer casting a ballot.
If the stance on PEDs is beginning to shift then perhaps we’ll see another leap for Clemens next year, which is noteworthy for Boston fans considering he’s likely to wear a Red Sox cap if inducted. It also helps pave the way for other former players with a tainted past, such as Manny Ramirez.
Next: Curt Schilling