MLB

Your Call: Is it time for Bonds and Clemens to get the call?

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Ken Rodney, TSN.ca
1/8/2014 2:15:47 PM
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Baseball's class of 2014 has been announced for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and for the second year, two of the greatest players ever to compete in the game - Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds - have been denied entry to Cooperstown. 

Do you think it's time for both men to be elected to the Hall?

In their first years of eligibility, Bonds and Clemens fell well short of the 75 per cent of votes needed to be enshrined. Clemens got 37.6 per cent of the ballots cast, while Bonds trailed slightly behind with 36.2 per cent. Both dipped slightly this year - Clemens to 35.4 per cent and Bonds to 34.7 per cent.

While their on-field credentials are never in doubt, how they allegedly arrived at them over the course of their careers has been subject to much debate and speculation.

Bonds is the all-time home run king with 762 over the course of his storied 22-year career. He also holds the single season home run record of 73 which he set back in 2001.

He has also been named National League MVP seven times - far and away the most of any player in the history of the game and was a runner-up for the honour twice. Bonds also led the National League in walks 12 times, including his final season in 2007 (at the age of 42) and is the all-time leader in that category with 2,558.

Not to mention 14 All-Star teams and eight Gold Gloves.

Clemens, meanwhile, won American League MVP honours in 1986, is a seven-time Cy Young award winner and has earned more individual awards than any other pitcher in baseball history.

He finished his 24-year career with an impressive 354-184 record, a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts (the third most all-time).

Clemens also led the league in wins four times, was a seven-time ERA leader and five-time strikeout champion.

However, it's impossible to ignore the shadow that the alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs has cast on both of their careers.

Both men have denied using PEDs and have both been acquitted in federal court of lying to a grand jury and congressional committee, respectively. Bonds, however, was later convicted of an obstruction charge while rumours and speculation continue to run rampant around both former stars.

While Bonds and Clemens are the two highest-profile names, other Hall-eligible players who have been painted with similar brushes are also having trouble garnering votes. Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell are also still on the outside.

So the question remains - should Bonds, Clemens or any other player allegedly connected to PED use be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame?

As always, It's Your! Call.

Estalella and Bonds in 2002 (Photo: MIKE FIALA/AFP/Getty Images)

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(Photo: MIKE FIALA/AFP/Getty Images)
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