Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, two of the greatest players in baseball history, came up (well) short yet again in the latest round of the Hall of Fame balloting. Specifically, Bonds checked in at 34.7 percent, while Clemens was barely better off at 35.4 percent.
Despite such a widespread lack of support among BBWAA voters, one of baseball's most respected observers, Bob Costas, has a different view. During a recent appearance on John Feinstein's show on CBS Sports Radio, Costas said the following:
"If I were a Hall of Fame voter, I would vote for Roger Clemens and for Barry Bonds...I make a distinction. I can't be sure that Mark McGwire would be a Hall of Famer without PEDs - it's possible...but we don't know that for sure."
Vote tallies notwithstanding, that's not an uncommon stance -- the "was he a Hall of Famer minus PED use" line of thinking, that is. Costas went on to argue for Pete Rose's place in Cooperstown, saying that if PED users have a place there (which they no doubt already do and will again in the future), then why not the all-time hits leader? Mostly, though, it's surprising to hear the man who is widely thought of as "baseball's conscience" take such a stance. It's a stance that many on the outside agree with.