Sports columnist Drew Bonifant must be a subscriber of the president’s denial of the 2020 election if he believes that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens did not use performance enhancing drugs later in their baseball careers (“With this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, voters can make things right,” column, Dec. 19).

In a windy, over-written, hero-worshipping column, Bonifant glossed over the facts on why Bonds and Clemens don’t belong in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Bonds and Clemens used steroids and human growth hormones to continue playing at a high level. Blame their egos.

A 20-month independent investigation, an FBI investigation and the Mitchell Report specifically name Bonds and Clemens for drug use. Clemens alone was named 82 times in the Mitchell Report.

Bonds averaged 25 home runs with the Pittsburgh Pirates over seven years, and then averaged 39 home runs in 15 years with the San Francisco Giants. When Bonds came into the league he weighed 175 pounds. In the end, when not one team was willing to sign him to a free-agent contract, Bonds’ weight had ballooned to 245 pounds and his hat and shoe size had increased two sizes. Bonds was ultimately convicted of perjury.

Clemens had a combined 20-18 record with the Boston Red Sox in the 1995-1996 seasons. He signed a free-agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, gained 25 pounds in the offseason, posted a two-year 41-13 record and won two Cy Young awards at 35 years old.

From there, Clemens pitched for the Yankees, Astros and then the Yankees again, finishing his career at 45 years old in 2007. Clemens was not a finesse pitcher, he was a power pitcher. Power pitchers decline with age; they do not get bigger and stronger and throw harder.

Respect for the great players of the past who did not cheat is why Bonds and Clemens don’t belong in the Hall of Fame.

 

Jerry Lauzon

Winthrop

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