Schmidt: No problem with Clemens or Bonds in HOF

Schmidt: No problem with Clemens or Bonds in HOF
February 21, 2013, 11:00 am
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CLEARWATER, Fla. – Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt is not surprised that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens won’t be joining him in Cooperstown this summer.

But he’d have no qualms if they got there someday.

“I would not have a problem with Bonds or Clemens,” Schmidt said at Phillies camp. “Here we are convicting them of PED use and we don’t know anything more than we read.”

Schmidt said he’d need to see “a legitimate failed test” to bar a player from election to the Hall of Fame.

“I don’t think anyone that failed a legitimate test should be in,” Schmidt said. “But I’d need to see a legitimate test to know if what we’re talking about was actual fact.”

Bonds and Clemens were on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this winter. Players need 75 percent of the vote from voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America to be elected. Clemens received 37.6 percent, Bonds 36.2 percent. Both have been connected to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, Bonds through a Federal investigation and Clemens through the Mitchell Report.

Schmidt said he was surprised that Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio, also first-timers on the ballot, were not elected. Biggio received 68 percent of the vote, Piazza 57.8 percent.

“I really feel uneasy about linking players of that era to PEDs who may not have been involved, players where there may be suspicion of involvement,” Schmidt said.  “I think it’s totally wrong that that whole generation is being linked to PEDs. If you had a friend that used them you’re linked to them. It seems now if you’re a Hall of Fame-caliber player that you’re going to have a really tough time getting in the Hall of Fame. It’s really too bad. It’s a problem we have in our sport right now, but time will cure it.”

In talking generally about baseball’s steroid era and the Hall of Fame, Schmidt said: “I believe those are moral issues that men have to deal with themselves internally. They’re decisions men make for whatever reason, caught up in the world in which they play, the big-money environment in which they play. They’re all being penalized tremendously for the association. You can’t penalize these guys much more than they are.”

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