Pedro Martinez will be voted into the Hall of Fame next year, assuming every single voter does not simultaneously decide they'll be the odd man out to avoid having a unanimous first-ballot selection (the Ruth Rule). And if he has his way, he'll be joined by at least two others: Barry Bonds, and former Red Sox ace Roger Clemens.
"I think Roger, with all Due Respect to everybody that votes, I'll have to say Roger and Barry Bonds are two guys that I think had enough numbers before anything came out to actually earn a spot in the Hall of Fame," Martinez said. "I'm not quite sure 100 percent how close they will be before all the things came out, but in my heart, if you asked me before any of that, I would've said, 'Yes, 100 percent' without looking back.
Martinez and Clemens never pitched alongside one another, with Pedro stepping into Clemens' shoes one year after his departure. For all that they filled the same role with the team, however, the two have very different reputations in the city they used to call home. Pedro is golden, beloved as much for his superlative seasons in Boston's losing years as for his lesser (but still impressive) contribution to their 2004 championship run. He's always making appearances in Fort Myers and Fenway Park, and Red Sox fans are always happy to see him.
Clemens...not so much. Between his prominent steroid scandal and his time in New York, no small portion of the fanbase feels no small amount of animosity for the Rocket. There are those who can look past all that in favor of his 13 years with the Red Sox, and he was just inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame, but there's certainly no consensus love for Clemens in Boston.
Of course, the question at hand for Clemens (and Bonds, for that matter) isn't a matter of team loyalty. It's about statistics vs. asterisks. Do the former outweigh the latter? Can they? Does the time they played in excuse their transgressions?
All this has been played out with so many words and so much ink that there's really no need to rehash it here. It's worth noting, though, that Pedro isn't excusing anything. His argument is that they were good enough before the steroids. Whether the voters will ever see things his way remains to be seen.
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