The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

January 11, 2013

Hall of Famers happy to see Bonds, Clemens denied

(Continued)

"Wow! Baseball writers make a statement," Eckersley wrote on Twitter. "Feels right."

The results keep the sport's career home run leader (Bonds) and most decorated pitcher (Clemens) out of Cooperstown — for now. Bonds, Clemens and Sosa have up to 14 more years on the writers' ballot to gain baseball's highest honor.

"Even having just been considered for the first time is already great honor, and there's always a next time," Sosa said in a statement. "Baseball has been extremely good for me! Kiss to the heaven! It was an honor just to have been nominated. I'm happy about that."

Bonds, baseball's only seven-time MVP, hit 762 home runs — including a record 73 in 2001. He has denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs and was convicted of one count of obstruction of justice for giving an evasive answer in 2003 to a grand jury investigating PEDs.

Clemens, the game's lone seven-time Cy Young Award winner, is third in career strikeouts (4,672) and ninth in wins (354). He was acquitted of perjury charges stemming from congressional testimony during which he denied using PEDs.

"If you don't think Roger Clemens cheated, you're burying your head in the sand," Gossage said.

Sosa, who finished with 609 home runs, was among those who tested positive in MLB's 2003 anonymous survey, The New York Times reported in 2009. He told a congressional committee in 2005 that he never took illegal performance-enhancing drugs. He also was caught using a corked bat during his career.

"What really gets me is seeing how some of these players associated with drugs have jumped over many of the greats in our game," Kaline said. "Numbers mean a lot in baseball, maybe more so than in any other sport. And going back to Babe Ruth, and players like Harmon Killebrew and Frank Robinson and Willie Mays, seeing people jump over them with 600, 700 home runs, I don't like to see that.

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