Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens on upward path, but do they have time?

The results of the 2016 BBWAA Hall of Fame vote were revealed Wednesday and one of the items of particular intrigue for many was where polarizing MVPs Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens would fall. This year was of particular intrigue because -- for the first time in decades -- the Hall purged voters who haven't covered the sport in the past 10 years.

In fact, there were 109 fewer votes cast this year (440) than last year (549).

My thought going in was this was a very good thing for Bonds and Clemens, as I anecdotally believed it was the so-called "old guard" that was more likely to be a group of hard-liners on the PED issue. Further, BBWAA members become eligible to vote for the Hall for the first time after 10 active years, meaning there are new voters every year as well. If my theory is correct, Bonds and Clemens will gain steam each year with the purge/new voters.

I turned out to be correct, though not to the extent I thought.

Here's what we've seen so far:

Player
2013
2014
2015
2016
Remaining chances
Barry Bonds
36.2%
34.7%
36.8%
44.3%
6
Roger Clemens
37.6%
35.4%
37.5%
45.2%
6

They stagnated before this election but now have seen a notable bump. That's a big deal because we know the difference in this induction was at least some combination of the changes to the voting bloc and clearing some of the huge thought-to-be-clean names from the past several ballots.

As I've noted in other places, the ballot is a lot less crowded next season while we could see more old-school voters purged and some new-school voters added.

I don't expect either one of these guys to gain enshrinement to the Hall next year, but it's going to be perhaps their biggest vote in terms of seeing 1) if this momentum can be maintained and 2) if these two ever have a shot at getting into the Hall of Fame via the BBWAA vote.

If we see a jump into the mid-50s for these two next year, there might be a realistic shot at the Hall of Fame for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have some momentum.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have some momentum. (Getty Images)
CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered the last five World Series beginning with the epic 2011 Fall Classic. The former Indiana University... Full Bio

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