FanSided site experts elect two Red Sox legends in mock Hall of Fame

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 23: Former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz #34 reacts during his jersey retirement ceremony before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Fenway Park on June 23, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 23: Former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz #34 reacts during his jersey retirement ceremony before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Fenway Park on June 23, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

Our mock Hall of Fame ballot reveals two Red Sox stars get elected

FanSided held their annual tradition of inviting site experts from their MLB division to participate in a mock Hall of Fame ballot. We each cast votes under the same rules and regulations that the BBWAA follows to cast their ballots which determine the players who will be enshrined in Cooperstown. While the actual results that will be revealed this week won’t necessarily match ours, it was encouraging to see our fellow site experts inducted two former Boston Red Sox stars.

Induction into the Hall of Fame requires players to receive 75 percent of the votes. When FanSided ran this exercise last year, we didn’t elect anyone. Derek Jeter was the only one we elected in the Class of 2020. This year, our site experts voted in three players.

Barry Bonds led the way with 83% of the vote, followed by David Ortiz (80%) and Roger Clemens (77%).

Ortiz should be the obvious choice and he’s the most likely candidate to be inducted by the BBWAA this year based on the public ballots that have been tracked so far by Ryan Thibodaux.

Ortiz was a 10-time All-Star, seven-time Silver Slugger, and three-time World Series champion. He smashed 541 home runs and owns a 141 OPS+ for his career. He defined the word “clutch” on the October stage and is arguably the most dominant postseason hitter in MLB history.

The bias against the designated hitter faded when Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines were inducted. Voters can’t use that excuse to exclude Ortiz from their ballots. Last I checked, DH is still considered a position, one that will soon be adapted universally across the sport, and Ortiz was the best to ever fill that role.

The only reason some voters refuse to put Ortiz on their ballots is based on sketchy circumstantial evidence that ties him to performance-enhancing drugs. Ortiz was among those whose name was leaked from a supposedly anonymous survey in 2003 that listed players who tested positive for PEDs. Except nobody knows what he allegedly took and the commissioner of Major League Baseball has gone on record to admit that the list included several false positives that they never bothered to re-test since they already had the evidence they needed to implement testing.

We’ll never know if Ortiz was one of those false positives but here’s what we do know – Ortiz spent the vast majority of his career after strict policies were put in place and he never failed a test.

The evidence against Clemens and Bonds is more damning and there are few who actually believe they were clean. Still, we’re talking about arguably the greatest pitcher and hitter in MLB history. The PED dilemma is a debate for another time, but my quick take is that the Hall of Fame is a museum dedicated to baseball history. Whether we like it or not, the dark stain of the PED era is a part of that history that cannot be ignored. Making them sit on the ballot for a decade is punishment enough but both of these controversial figures should get inducted.

Part of the argument in favor of these alleged cheaters is that they had Hall of Fame worthy careers prior to any suspicion of using PEDs. Clemens won three Cy Young awards and an MVP during his tenure with the Red Sox and there’s zero evidence that he was using until after he left Boston.

If any voter wants to pretend they are part of the morality police by excluding these players, fine. I understand that viewpoint. Full disclosure, I participated in the FanSided mock ballot and voted for Ortiz, Clemens and Bonds.

What boggles my mind is that there are some who voted for Bonds but not Clemens. In our mock, Bonds received 29 votes but Clemens squeaked by with 27. There can’t possibly be anyone who thinks Clemens isn’t worthy based on his production so PEDs is the only conceivable reason not to vote for him. How is Bonds not in the same basket? How could you possibly vote for one but not the other? There’s some serious bias by some haters who cast those ballots.

Sadly, that bias is shared by some members of the BBWAA since Bonds is currently trending slightly higher (77.7%) than Clemens (76.6%). It would be a travesty if one of these players gets in while the other doesn’t. Either we’re breaking the PED barrier on their 10th and final year on the ballot or we’re holding firm against letting the obvious offenders into the Hall of Fame.

The BBWAA will announce the results of its 2022 Hall of Fame vote live from Cooperstown on MLB Network tomorrow, January 25. We’ll find out soon enough if they agreed with the FanSided crew.

Next. 4 AL East trade targets. dark