Roy Halladay Doesn’t Want Bonds, Clemens in the Hall of Fame
Ahead of Wednesday’s Hall of Fame balloting results being announced, former Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay tweeted his thoughts on the controversy surrounding Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and their candidacy: he’s against both being allowed in.
When you use PEDs you admit your not good enough to compete fairly! Our nations past time should have higher standards! No Clemens no Bonds!
— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) January 6, 2016
Clemens shot back, saying that Halladay’s “strength coach” (likely Brian McNamee) accused him of using amphetamines.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 7, 2016
Halladay was brief in response:
I'll let my reputation speak for itself
— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) January 7, 2016
Legally speaking, there is no evidence that Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens has never failed a drug test and he was found not guilty on all six counts of lying to Congress. There’s more evidence that Bonds used steroids, but no positive tests. He did test positive for amphetamines, but if Halladay wants to ban players for having used amphetamines, he would need to broaden his crusade to remove Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Mike Schmidt from the Hall of Fame as well.
Halladay’s comment is irksome because he played with PED users during his career. Ostensibly, at one point or another, he was aware of this and did nothing about it. He was teammates with Antonio Bastardo in 2013, when the lefty reliever was named for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. He was given a 50-game suspension as a result. Furthermore, Halladay’s favorite catcher Carlos Ruiz was suspended 25 games in 2012 for using a prohibited stimulant (Adderall) without medical clearance.
Knowing this, it’s hard to take Halladay’s comments seriously. It’d be one thing if he were consistent with all players, but he has been selectively applying his moral criteria. PED use isn’t just an issue when it comes time to get elected for the Hall of Fame; it’s an issue when your team is regularly reaching the post-season as well.
As an aside, this was hilarious:
@RoyHalladay Your comment on Clemens and Bonds further convinces me to never change my NO stance on them when filling out my HOF ballot.
— Randy Miller (@RandyJMiller) January 7, 2016
Halladay’s comment was simply a statement of opinion. It contained no facts or arguments. Somehow, that impacted the zeal with which Miller believes players suspected of using PEDs should be kept out of the Hall of Fame. Nevermind statistics or legal evidence; if an athlete you liked while covering the team says something, that’s what you believe.
Miller’s tweet is a great example why baseball is struggling with young people. According to The Wall Street Journal in October 2013, the average age of a baseball television viewer increased by about 4.5 years from 2009 to 2013. Kids six years old to 17 made up only 4.3 percent of the national audience. Then you have old guys like Miller tearing down the stars that people around my age — late 20’s — watched and there’s very little reason to keep an interest in baseball. Major League Baseball has been glacially slow in adapting to technology — it still sends lawyers after people for posting Vines and .gifs of highlights — then adds a moral crusade that only middle-aged men care about to create a negative, Luddite feel to the sport. In a way, both Halladay and Miller are culpable in continuing to make this sport less and less palatable to the upcoming generation. In other words: they’re hurting the sport big time.