By continuing to keep him out, the Baseball Hall of Fame has actually caused Barry Bonds to be celebrated more.
If the goal was to not honor him and Roger Clemens, it’s actually had the opposite effect. Because if they had gotten in there would’ve been some reaction and then it would’ve been over with. But by still keeping two titans of the game out while enshrining the likes of David Ortiz, who does have a reported PED link, the writers have ensured that this conversation will continue.
And as a result, it has led to what amounts to an annual acknowledgement of how awesome Bonds was in particular, as all baseball fans of a certain era are quick to share the stats that show no player has ever been better.
For instance, if all the 762 career home runs he hit were out, Bonds would still have a higher on base percentage than Ortiz, who deserved to get in.
Bonds has seven MVPs! And while he clearly cheated, the way I’ve always put it is that Bonds before the juice was better than Ken Griffey Jr., while after the juice he was better than Babe Ruth. This isn’t a case of someone being a creation of PEDs.
By the way, I don’t want to reward cheating either. However, given MLB looked the other way until it was no longer convenient and the overwhelming amount of use that makes it nearly impossible to parse through each individual instance, the argument to deny Bonds a plaque collapses.
Which means the denial of his entry has led to Barry Bonds being the first name many think of when they hear Baseball Hall of Fame.
More Baseball Hall of Fame Coverage:
• Integrity Still Matters for the Hall of Fame
• Tom Verducci’s 2022 Hall of Fame Ballot
• Hall of Fame Tracker Is Improving the Cooperstown Conversation
• Revealing My Hypothetical Hall of Fame Ballot
• Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Sosa Have Two Cracks at HOF in 2022