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Why Barry Bonds Belongs in the Hall-of-Fame



This week, MLB voters elected David Ortiz into the Hall-of-Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Ortiz was an integral part of three World Series winning Boston Red Sox teams. Ortiz also logged ten All-Star appearances and collected seven Silver Sluggers. He owns a .947 postseason OPS along with the 2013 World Series MVP award.

Make no mistake, Ortiz belongs in Cooperstown.

So does Barry Bonds. 

In previous elections, HOF voters drew a line in the sand. No player with strong ties to the steroid era is worthy of election to Cooperstown. That rule seemed to bend with the inclusion of Ortiz and the exclusion of Bonds.

Seemingly, Ortiz’s popularity and relationships with the media paved his road to Cooperstown. To reiterate, he should be there, but one can’t ignore an obvious double standard.

Ortiz was, and still is, adored by the baseball media. Bonds is reviled.

It was Bonds’ final year of regular eligibility and now, the slugger, whether you like him or not, can only be appointed to the HOF by the veteran committee. Based upon voting history, it’s not likely to happen.

Simply put, Bonds is an integral part of baseball history. He owns the career home run record and a record seven league MVPs. Bonds was the most feared hitter in baseball for more than a decade.

Put him in with an asterisk. Put him in as a Pittsburgh Pirate. This isn’t brushing aside his PED use. It’s including one of the seminal figures of the last 40 years of baseball into baseball’s greatest museum.

If voters are okay with enshrining Ortiz, who also has a questionable past with PEDs, then the holy guardians of baseball lore should also bring Bonds into the fold.

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26 Comments

  1. GOOD POINTS on both side of the fence….The same thought process that overlooked Big Pappi’s Ped leaked, so it didn’t happen….should be use on

    Pete Rose…he bet as a Mgr, not a player and now gambling is Legal….

    Or Shoeless JOe, yeah he took the money, but then was the MVP of the world series ( as far as stats go)

    Put them all in since we are counting their records, but also not on their plaques what they were accused of….

    Then go back and note Mclain was a Ganster, Cobb a raciest….Mike Schmidth took greenies,etc etc

  2. I’m conflicted. On the one hand, how is it a HOF without the all-time hits and HRs leaders. But on the other, Bonds destroyed the most hallowed record in major league sports by cheating for his own selfish reasons. 500 career HRs used to mean something; now it’s just a number and that’s a shame.

  3. IMO, Ortiz should not have been a first ballot HOF’er. Yes, he had excellent offensive numbers, but IMO he should have been penalized for not playing defense, after all that is 1/2 the game. If you are into the newer metrics, his WAR and JAWS are not super impressive, especially when compared to many players not in the HOF. Then there is the controversial PED test, that he apparently failed. He is linked to the same trainer/supplier ARod used. I note that Ortiz’s numbers exploded after the failed test, which is similar to many PED users.The present commissioner, Rob Manfred, decided to come to Ortiz’s defense saying the test he failed was not reliable. BTW: that is the same test Sammy Sosa failed, yet Manfred did not come to his aid! That being said, I do not believe Ortiz is the first juicer allowed in the HOF. Now that Ortiz is in, I say open the flood gates. Bonds,Clemens, Sosa, McGwire, Palmiero, Sheffield, ARod, Ramierez etc… they should all be in. Might as well put Pete Rose & Shoeless Joe Jackson in as well and the political prisoner Schilling, put them all in!

  4. You’ll probably get slammed by the Righteous Indignants, but Bonds and Clemens and even Pete Rose (the player not the manager) should be in the Hall of Fame. We’ve argued about this too much and too many pundits have split too many hairs too many times trying to justify their votes either way. The only truly unassailable solution would be to not allow any players in who played between – say – 1995 and 2005. And no one is arguing for that. Going forward, if we want to keep out anyone who officially tests positive, that’s one thing. But treating something like the MItchell report as gospel was always dicey. Either someone officially tests positive or they don’t. Anything else is just speculation.

  5. Bonds doesn’t belong in the HoF any more than you do. He forfeited any right to that honor when he knowingly and willingly used PED’s and continued to lie about it. You may make the argument that there may be others in the Hall who also used ped’s, but that wasn’t public knowledge at the time of their election. Knowing that he cheated the game, the fans, and himself and trying to elect him anyway delegitimizes the contributions and achievements of everyone who has played the game and is enshrined in Cooperstown.

  6. Not a chance in my opinion for him and those like him.Sorry a stand has to be held.I would have Pete Rose before he passes away some day rather than the Steroid abusers.Even the IOC cracks down on this.

  7. no way he cheated broke records he never would have had without drugs. Super unfriendly guy ask Joc Pederson when he asked him for autograph when Bonds was Hitting coach for Mami.

  8. My personal preference is to have all players who would have been Hall of Fame without steroids voted in.All those close to borderline left out. I vote for Bonds, Clemens, Rodriguez and Ramirez. I would keep out McGuire, Sosa and Palmero. I respect the opinion of those who vote for none of them.