MLB insider tries to justify his controversial HOF ballot

MLB insider tries to justify his controversial HOF ballot
Bonds is in and Clemens is out for Jon Heyman. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

Monday on MLB Network, Jon Heyman shared his Hall of Fame ballot that had one head-scratching omission, Roger Clemens. While it's not that surprising that Clemens would be left off the ballot due to his alleged use of steroids, it is however curious that Heyman voted for Barry Bonds, who has also been linked to the same PED accusations as Clemens. In the video below, Heyman lays out why he voted for Bonds and not Clemens, and MLB Network's Brian Kenny jumps in to press Heyman on why one alleged "steroid guy" gets in, and the other doesn't.

Heyman's main reason for voting Bonds in over Clemens stems from his assessment that Bonds was already a Hall of Famer before he started using PEDs, which Heyman believes started in 2001. Clemens on the other hand, had his career rebirth posting Cy Young seasons with the Blue Jays in 1997 and 1998. This is when Heyman believes he started using, and Clemens wasn't Hall of Fame worthy before 1997, according to Heyman. Looking at the numbers, Clemens pitched 11 seasons that Heyman believes were fueled by PEDs. So if Heyman doesn't count those seasons as part of Clemens' HOF resume, an argument could be made.

Personally, I would vote both Clemens and Bonds in the HOF without a second thought. Whichever way this goes, we'll have our answer on Tuesday night. This is the last year both players are eligible to get in, so it's now or never.

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Following Houston's 6-4 road trip, the Astros returned home to finish the first "half" of the season before the All Star break hosting Florida and Texas. Houston's road trip was filled with clutch performances in New York, dominance in taking 3 of 4 in Toronto, and a dose of close calls and tough realities with a short-handed team against Minnesota.

Now the Astros hope to take care of business against the lowly Marlins and division rival Rangers. The Texas series, in particular gives Houston the opportunity to reassert their hold on the #2 spot ahead of the Rangers who have won their last 5 games in a row (as of the time this was published). Both teams have won 7 of their last 10 games and hope to catch a free-falling Seattle team to overtake the division lead.

Dana Brown told the media last week he expects both Justin Verlander and Kyle Tucker to be reactivated following the All-Star break but Tucker's updates continue to be more promising than Verlander's and MUCH more promising than Lance McCullers. Astros manager informed the media this week that McCullers has been shut down from throwing after his arm did not respond well to his recent bullpen sessions and the team is formulating the plan for what's next for the embattled pitcher. McCullers hasn't pitched since the 2022 postseason and underwent season-ending flexor tendon surgery last June. McCullers is under contract with Houston until 2026.

An eventual return for Kyle Tucker would spur a juggling act from Joe Espada to find a proper balance of time for all his outfielders, none of which have separated themselves offensively. Chas McCormick had a great month of June recording an .804 OPS but that run looks more like an anomaly as his scuffles have continued over the past 2.5 weeks, recording just 4 hits over his last 32 plate appearances.

While Jake Meyers has wowed fans and teammates with his glove this season, his offense has hit a skid, hitting just .184 with a .565 OPS over the past month. After rookie Joey Loperfido's torrid debut, he too has struggled with the bat, hitting just .216 with .599 OPS over the same time period.

An unexpected bright spot has been the recent play of first baseman Jon Singleton. Over the last 4 weeks, "Big Jon" is batting .302 with an .802 OPS. It's worth mentioning that Singleton's season numbers are better than Florida's Josh Bell, who drew interest from Astros fans over the past several seasons as a potential answer at first base. Bell has 135 more ABs this season so its not quite an apples-to-apples comparison but there's no doubt Singleton's contributions were sorely needed following the release of Jose Abreu.

To watch part 1 of this week's episode of Stone Cold StrosStone Cold Stros, just click the video above or to listen to the entire episode on podcast, search "Stone Cold Stros" in your favorite podcast app or click one of the following links.

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