The MLB Hall of Fame has inducted another group of athletes into its hallowed halls, which means it’s time to talk about who the next group of inductees will be. In the past, there have been some pretty obvious choices, but right now the number of amazing retired ballplayers out there who aren’t already in the Hall of Fame is pretty limited. With so few worthy candidates, people are debating if Roger Clemens will ever be inducted into the Hall of Fame or if the Character Clause will keep him out.
Why Roger Clemens should get into the Hall of Fame
Based purely on his stats as a professional baseball player, Roger Clemens should be a shoo-in for a place in the Hall of Fame. He’s one of the greatest pitchers the world has ever seen.
During his career, Clemens won the Cy Young award a record-breaking seven times. As a member of the New York Yankees, he won the World Series in 1999. His worst season was 2007 when he only threw 68 strikes in 17 games, a number that most baseball players would be jealous of. If the only thing the Hall of Fame induction committee looked as was his playing, Clemens would already be a Hall of Famer.
By the time Clemens walked away from baseball, he’d pitched 4,672 career strikeouts and helped his teams win 354 times. He played for 24 seasons on multiple teams and was always a fan favorite. Unfortunately, Clemens’ career and his chances of getting into the Hall of Fame are marred by bad choices.
Why Roger Clemens isn’t already in the Hall of Fame
Roger Clemens’s career came to an end and so did his reputation in 2007 when he was accused of using performance-enhancing drugs. As far as public perception is concerned, that was bad enough.
What really turned the public against Clemens was how he handled the accusation. Many believe that he would have been better off if he’d simply ignored the rumors, but he didn’t. Instead, Clemens decided to accuse his trainer, the person who allegedly injected Clemens with the steroids of lying and blackmail.
Eventually, the case was dismissed and Clemens was found not guilty of six different charges. The verdict had a polarizing impact on baseball fans, with many saying that Clemens was falsely accused and others holding tight to the belief that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Could he still make it into the Hall of Fame
A new rule that was created in 2015 states that a player only has 10 years following his retirement from baseball to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. If he’s not in after that time, he never will be.
Strictly speaking, Clemens is out of time. His last game was in 2007, but the fact that he never officially retired from baseball complicates the timeline, making it unclear how long he’s eligible for Hall of Fame consideration.
Even though his stats make him a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, stats aren’t the only thing considered. A baseball player will only be inducted if they also have a solid moral character and that’s another complicated issue with Clemens.
He handled nothing well during the trial. His lousy behavior is enough to make many people, including a New Times reporter, Michael O’ Keefe, feel that he doesn’t deserve to be even considered for a place in the Hall of Fame.
Many people, including a reporter from the New York Times feel that even though Clemens was found not guilty the way he behaved and the strong possibility that he used performance-enhancing drugs will always inspire the Hall of Fame committee to vote against him each time his name appears on the ballot. A truly sad ending for an otherwise legendary career.