Originally Posted by steig
There is a similar thread in the ORG and I wanted to add my opinion.
If you look at Clemens career stats, three out of his last four years with the red sox were very poor in terms of ERA and wins between 1992 and 1996. However, if his stats drastically increased when he went to Toronto and allegedly started using steroids and/or HGH to enhance his performance. He became a 20 game winner in Toronto compared to a 10 game winner previously and his ERA dropped 2 points. The rest is rather well known then about his 7 Cy Youngs and time with the Yankees and Astros. Before Clemens went to Toronto he had 192 wins over 13 seasons, average of 14.7. If Clemens had only averaged 10 wins over the next 10 years he would have only ended up with 292 wins through 2006, assuming he could have lasted that long without being chemically engineered.
Would you put a pitcher into the HOF that averaged 10 wins a season during the last half of his career. In my opinion the answer is no. But would Clemens have been a HOF pitcher had he retired in 1996 and my answer is yes. He had a series of 7 consecutive seasons that could be considered nothing short of dominant from 1986 through 1992, especially 1990 season which ranks right up there with Doc Gooden's 1985 season. While his career totals pre-steroids may not have added up to typical HOF stats I think you have to look at series of dominant performance and I consider a series of 6 or more seasons of dominant play to justify serious consideration for the HOF.
I would vote to put Clemens into the HOF based on the first half of his career. Since you can't avoid mentioning the stats of the chemically engineered Clemens there should be an asterik or notation indicating that his later achievements are under suspicion for performance enhancers.
If we refuse to put players into the HOF who are believed to be steroid users then the only HOFer for the next 20 years may only be Griffey.
Uh, Maddux? Pedro? Johnson? Arod? Piazza? Come on.