In what world is Manny more deserving than Bonds? Even if youre anti bonds due to peds how can you possibly support Manny then? And I would love to hear how you think Cuddyr is a HOFer? Seriously you want Cuddyer in at all over Bonds? Bonds one of the most dominant hitters the game has ever seen?
But Bonds is obviously the only player who ever took steroids in that era and was also a jackass.
I don't like a lot of those guys either, and actually if I had to pick between Bonds and Clemens I'm taking Bonds all day because Clemens was a repulsive piece of shit.
Phooey, I forgot to get my ballot in. Regardless, had I voted, here are my six inductees and the reasoning behind each selection. These are all previous candidates for induction, as I nominated no first-timers on the 2021 ballot.
- Barry Bonds: You want to put it on his plaque that he was a PED guy? Be my guest. Babe Ruth didn't have to play against players of color. Hank Aaron hit his 755 home runs in an era when amphetamines were passed around like chewable vitamins. If you look hard enough, I'm sure you could find something to accuse every baseball player ever. But don't ignore the 494 home runs, 471 stolen bases, three MVP awards and nine All-Star appearances that he achieved before his alleged steroid use began. Also, he's baseball's all-time home run king. In an era when almost everybody was cheating, he was still the most feared hitter in the game.
- Roger Clemens: Like Bonds, he was a Hall of Famer before the alleged PED use, and like Bonds he deserves enshrinement. One of the most dominant power pitchers ever, plain and simple. And like Bonds, if you want to slap an asterisk on his plaque, feel free.
- Todd Helton: He may have had the benefit of the Mile High air of Coors Field for the duration of his career, but Helton raked wherever he played. He hit .300 or better 12 times in his 17-year career, including a .372 season in 2000 when it seemed entirely plausible that he’d flirt with .400. Even though he had the thin air of Denver to his advantage, he wasn’t just a power hitter, hitting 30 or more home runs six times. He could seemingly put the ball anywhere on the field at a whim, making it look effortless at times. While he never won an MVP award and was largely overshadowed in the National League by the likes of Barry Bonds and Albert Pujols, he has five All-Stars and three Gold Gloves on his resume.
- Andruw Jones: He probably won’t ever get into Cooperstown, but man does he deserve it. Probably the best defensive centerfielder of his era right alongside Jim Edmonds, Jones won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves patrolling center for the Braves. Jones, like Omar Vizquel, deserves recognition for his defensive acumen alone, but it’s his bat that puts him over the top as a first-ballot inductee for me. His 434 home runs are eye-popping numbers for a guy best regarded for his defense.
- Manny Ramirez: An admittedly biased pick given my allegiances, but Manny Ramirez's credentials are impossibly to deny. He was a weapon in the batter's box, making hitting look effortless. A career .312 hitter with 555 home runs, he will face the wrath of voters because of his links to performance-enhancers but you could tell with his beautiful, natural swing that he was just made for baseball. He would have been a .300 hitter even if he didn't juice, as he and Albert Pujols were nos. 1 and 1a as the best right-handed hitters of their era.
- Curt Schilling: My 2014 and 2015 ballots did not include Schilling, but I've warmed to his candidacy over the past few years. He doesn't have longevity on his side, having been an ace pitcher for about a decade and he never won a Cy Young Award, but he was a bulldog on the mound and was the kind of guy you could hand the ball to in October and know he'd get the job done. 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 19 postseason starts, Schilling was a driving force on three World Series champions and four World Series finalists spread over 14 years. While his starts in the 2004 postseason were memorable for how he gutted out an ankle injury, his performance in the 2001 World Series is one of the single most dominant playoff pitching performances ever.