Major League Baseball finished off the unofficial halfway point of the season on Tuesday with the All-Star Game. The National League edged out the American League 3-2. It seems around this time of the year similar discussions are brought up to the point that they will live in infamy.
On July 1st, the discussion always goes to how Bobby Bonilla collects on the most famous retirement check in sports history…
Then the discussion turns to two of the greatest offensive players in the game of baseball in Pete Rose and Barry Bonds, who have been officially (Pete Rose) or unofficially (Barry Bonds) banned from the Hall of Fame, despite holding two of baseball’s most hallowed records. Records that could possibly never be broken.
With Pete Rose, the question about his chances were immediately squashed by MLB Commissioner, Rob Manfred who stated that despite the game’s acceptance of legal sports gambling (wrapped in between a potential move to Las Vegas by the Oakland A’s), the all-time hits king won’t be a Hall of Famer any time soon, if ever, due to his gambling discretions and banishment from the game in 1989.
“I think people think we make more money off gambling than we actually do,” Manfred said Tuesday before the All-Star game. “But I think for us, we’ve always approached the issue of gambling from the proposition that players and other people who are in position to influence the outcome of the game are going to be subject to a different set of rules than everyone else. Pete Rose violated what is rule 1 of baseball and the consequences of that are clear in the rules.”
While Pete Rose is not on the ballot, Barry Bonds, based on the votes he receives on his HOF ballot, has just as feeble a chance of making the Hall as his blacklisted counterpart.
MLBbro.com did an in-depth feature on the MLBbro Home Run King sitting on a throne outside of a kingdom he thrived in.
Is Barry Bonds Perception Starting To Change?
Maybe the perception of Barry Bonds is starting to change. Over the All-Star break, Barry Bonds made a strong statement to MLB and the HOF Committee that he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame particularly after being “vindicated” of lying to the Grand Jury in 2003 about using performance enhancing drugs on the “Hollywood Swingin” podcast.
— Jerry Hairston, Jr. (@TheRealJHair) July 10, 2023
While the charges are much more discussed than the not guilty verdict, as Tom Goldman of NPR reported when the verdict became official, Bonds’ minor vindication should play some role in him gaining more leniency from the old-time BBWAA writers who refuse to vote the all-time home run king into Cooperstown.
“Baseball slugger Barry Bonds has been guilty of obstruction of justice. The jury failed to reach a verdict on three other counts that the home run king lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he specifically denied that he knowingly used steroids and human growth hormone.”
The MLBbro Icon has faced a massive challenge to resurrect his reputation to HOF status.
- Bonds’ first chance at eligibility in 2013 ended disastrously with 36.2 percent of the vote which is far short of the 75 percent needed to make Cooperstown.
- In 2022, Bonds maxed out at 66 percent on his last ballot before the vote transfers to the Contemporary Era Committee.
- In the first vote from the new 16-person committee, Bonds fell short yet again not getting the 12 votes needed for HOF status.
- His next chance for entry into the hall will be in the year 2026.
MLBbro.com Founder Rob Parker has been adamant in the defense of Barry Bonds being blackballed from the Hall of Fame particularly when fellow MLBbro, Aaron Judge brought the home run back to the national spotlight last season. Our fearless leader would not allow the narrative of Judge’s accomplishments to eliminate Barry Bonds’ greatness and dominance of the record books.
"NO WAY, NO HOW…I'm not going to rewrite the baseball record books. When I look at the records, Barry Bonds has the record for a single season, 73. And that's what I'm going by…There were more players using juice than just Barry Bonds."
— FOX Sports Radio (@FoxSportsRadio) September 1, 2022
The Question Remains
Is a connection to performance-enhancing drugs without an actual failed test enough to permanently (unofficially) ban a seven-time MVP, 14-time All-Star, eight-time Gold Glove Award winner with an MLB record 762 home runs, 2,935 hits and 514 stolen bases from the Hall of Fame?
Even though Bonds did not mention names, he did bring up the fact that players who were suspended by MLB for breaking rules are in the Hall of Fame. Something that frustrates him greatly…
“I appealed that charge, and I won. I’m not under federal, I’m not a criminal of any kind, I’m not anything,” Bonds told Bishop and Hairston. “[My] Major League Baseball records are still there, and I try to tell everybody this … I don’t care if they want to judge athletes on performance enhancing drugs or not, it doesn’t matter. Major League Baseball, and let’s get this clearly and straight, had a rule and has rules, OK?”
“Whether they were broken or not broken, there were rules, some rules. My era, there was no rules.
The court of public opinion for Barry Bonds’ Hall of Fame induction reconvenes in 2026.