Many character issues
Juan C. Rodriguez
It won't happen soon.
Clemens' acquittal probably sways some voters on the fence about his candidacy. It won't put a big enough dent into the broader cross-section of writers who aren't prepared to induct anyone with strong links, circumstantial or otherwise, to the steroid era.
The government did not fail to prove Clemens took steroids or human growth hormone. It failed to prove he perjured himself in front of Congress. That enough evidence existed to prosecute guys like Clemens and Barry Bonds raises character questions, and character is part of the Hall of Fame criteria. Top steroid era performers may get in eventually as voters gain fresh perspective on the period. For now, the waters remain too murky to punch Clemens' ticket.
Just give it time
Los Angeles Times
Hall of Fame voters don't need to adhere to the federal jury's standard of beyond a reasonable doubt, and those who've observed the lives of enough pitching careers certainly remain skeptical of the dominance Clemens reverted to in his later years.
So my guess is he won't make it for a few years into his candidacy, but ultimately will as a deeper review of his original dominance and the forgiveness that resides in each of us — even sports writers — shines.
Clemens has come across as a bully and rude, full of ego even when called before Congress, but the big Texan could pitch like few others, accomplishing rare performances and victories that are unmistakably Hall-worthy.
And he was found not guilty.
Not until rules change
Roger Clemens has been acquitted of perjury charges, not forgiven for taking shortcuts to re-establish his greatness once his career declined.
The seven-time Cy Young winner can be thankful to be a free man and not the second coming of Martha Stewart, but he shouldn't get greedy. He's not going to be elected to the Hall of Fame next winter, nor any of the following winters until the Hall's board of directors tells voters that they should not hold PED use against players, at least not if it came during an era of mixed signals, when baseball wasn't testing.
Clemens should do better than Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire have done, but I'll be surprised if he gets 50 percent of the vote, let alone 75.
Baseball writers still split
Baltimore Orioles Insider
Roger Clemens may have been acquitted by a jury in federal court, but the court of public opinion always has a far less rigid burden of proof.
This verdict gives him a better chance of making the Hall of Fame than Mark McGwire (who admitted steroid use) and Rafael Palmeiro (who failed a drug test), but neither of those guys has been even close to getting voted in.
I think four out of five fans polled would still say they think Clemens cheated. Baseball writers may be closer to 50-50 on whether he should be enshrined, but it takes 75 percent of the vote to get in.
The splitter became Clemens' out pitch for many years, but in this case a split jury won't do.