Clemens Not Guilty, But Hall of Fame Worthy?

Baseball writers sound off
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2012 11:24 AM CDT
Clemens Not Guilty, But Hall of Fame Worthy?
In this Aug. 24, 2007, file photo, New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens throws against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Duane Burleson, File)

A jury has legally acquitted Roger Clemens; will the Baseball Writers of America do the same? That's the question everyone is asking today. This winter Clemens will be on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time, and though his numbers are obviously unimpeachable, voters have so far given suspected juicers the cold shoulder. Here's what people are saying:

  • "I just can't vote for him," columnist Richard Justice tells Bloomberg. "He was unbelievable as a teammate and a competitor when I was around him, but I have this naïve notion of the Hall of Fame. Does he deserve to stand up there with Frank Robinson and Hank Aaron?"
  • "Nothing changes," Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports writes. If you believed Clemens used steroids before, you probably still do now, and "the Hall does not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt." Still, he may vote for him—just not on the first ballot.
  • "To be honest, I don't know what to think," Chicago Tribune columnist Phil Rogers tells USA Today. "It certainly helps the Rocket's chances for the Hall, but it doesn't discredit the Mitchell Report."
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has a verdict of his own: "Hall of Famer beyond a reasonable doubt." Sure, Clemens probably took steroids, but "he certainly wasn't alone in taking those enhancements, and obviously, so many players got away with it with their names never sullied."
  • "He's the greatest pitcher I have ever seen," Tim Kurkjian of ESPN tells the New York Daily News. "I was leaning towards voting for him even if he had been found guilty."
(More Roger Clemens stories.)

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