Hall's door shut again to those suspected of steroid use

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Randy Johnson Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame



NEW YORK (AP) -- Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire's chances to enter the Hall of Fame are dwindling.

Baseball writers so far overwhelmingly have decided the outsized statistics of the Steroids Era stars are tarnished by their connection to performance-enhancing drugs use.

Once again Tuesday, Cooperstown's doors remained shut.

"I did it the only way I knew how, and I wanted to do it clean," Pedro Martinez said Tuesday after he was elected along with Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio. "And the integrity of the way I did is probably the reason of me going to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot."

For emphasis during a news conference at Boston's Fenway Park, the Dominican right-hander held open his navy blazer to show off his wiry frame, a stark contrast to the bulked-up bodies that personified the years offense reigned.

Clemens, the only seven-time Cy Young Award winner, and Bonds the home run king and only seven-time MVP, failed in their third turns on the ballot.

Smoltz voiced approval of drug testing in 2000, two years before players and owners reached a joint drug agreement for the first time since 1985.

"This great game and the game that I personally love has found a way to for the time being, to make it sure that it again has back the integrity and the legitimacy that it needs so that fans, the great fans of baseball, do not sit there and wonder what they're watching, is it legitimate or not?" Smoltz said.

Clemens received support on 37.5 percent of the ballots and Bonds 36.8 percent. The situations of McGwire and Sosa are more dire.

The duo, who electrified the nation with a dizzying home run chase in the summer of 1998, are on the verge of dropping out of contention altogether. Because of a rules change last summer that limits a player's years of eligibility from 15 to 10, McGwire has one more chance at receiving the necessary 75 percent vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America. This year he received his lowest vote total yet, 10 percent, and he never was named on more than 23.7 percent of the ballots since he's been eligible in 2007.

Sosa survived being swept off the ballot by nine votes, receiving recognition by just 36 of 549 voters (6.6 percent) after just three years. A 5 percent threshold is needed to remain on the ballot.

Gary Sheffield received little attention in his first year on the ballot, getting 11.7 percent. He hit 509 home runs and says he only accidentally took a PED.

Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell, two players who have fallen under suspicion of use but were never caught up in any investigation, fell short, too, though Piazza could gain admittance next year. He received 69.9 percent in his third year, a steady rise. Bagwell is up to 55.7 percent.

"I realize the cloud has covered a multitude of so many different people and I realize that the media and people have a hard time distinguishing and determining, and in time maybe it will become clearer for all parties involved," Smoltz said.

The future for players who've fallen under suspicion might be a bit brighter, though. The ballot could expand next year to 12 votes for each writer. Ken Griffey Jr. appears to be the only sure thing among a newcomer group that also includes Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner.

"It's actually sad, to be honest. It's sad," Martinez said. "People I admired are not going in with me."

If you missed it, check out the best sports shots of the week in the gallery below:

24 PHOTOS
Sports PotW 1/5
See Gallery
Hall's door shut again to those suspected of steroid use
Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions fumbles the ball after being sacked by defensive end Demarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter during a NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 4, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Stanford forward Kailee Johnson, right, reacts after being called for a foul on Colorado forward Jen Reese (34) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. Stanford won 62-55. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Sunderland's Connor Wickham, right, vies for the ball with Leeds United's captain Liam Cooper, left, during their English FA Cup third round soccer match between Sunderland and Leeds United at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Boise State running back Jay Ajayi dives for the touchdown as Arizona cornerback Jarvis McCall Jr. defends during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Andrew Shaw #65 of the Chicago Blackhawks is sprayed with water prior to the NHL game against the Dallas Stars at the United Center on January 4, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
Jermaine Edmondson #39 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates a 42-41 win against the Baylor Bears during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium on January 1, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns' Eric Bledsoe lunges for a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Akira Yaegashi of Japan, right, lands left to Pedro Guevara of Mexico during their bout for the vacant WBC Light Flyweight title in Tokyo, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
In this handout image provided by the Volvo Ocean Race, Misty Start of Leg 3 from Abu Dhabi to Sanya on January 03, 2015 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 is the 12th running of this ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain on October 04, 2014, the route, spanning some 39,379 nautical miles, visits 11 ports in eleven countries (Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, France, The Netherlands and Sweden) over nine months. The Volvo Ocean Race is the world's premier ocean yacht race for professional racing crews. (Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race via Getty Images)
Roger Federer takes part in the Pat Rafter Arena Spectacular during day one of the 2015 Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena on January 4, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Oussama Assaidi of Stoke City battles for the ball with Rob Evans of Wrexham during the FA Cup Third Round match between Stoke City and Wrexham at Britannia Stadium on January 4, 2015 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan goes up for a reverse dunk during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 99-78. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Germone Hopper #5 of the Clemson Tigers attempts a reception against Jordan Thomas #7 of the Oklahoma Sooners during the Russell Athletic Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl on December 29, 2014 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Max Domi #16 of Team Canada scores an empty net goal to secure Team Canada's win over Team United States in a preliminary round game during the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships at the Bell Centre on December 31, 2014 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Spectators watch a competitor jump during Day One of the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup HS 106 Team Competition on January 3, 2015 in Schonach, Germany. (Photo by Michael Kienzler/Bongarts/Getty Images)
The Washington Capitals swarm goalie Braden Holtby (70) after their 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in the Winter Classic at Nationals Park on January 1, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Jack Nowell of Exeter Chiefs dives over for his side's first try during the Aviva Premiership match between Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester Rugby at Sandy Park on January 3, 2015 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
#301 Nasser Al Attiyah of Qatar and Mathieu Baumel of France for the ALL4 Racing Mini Qatar Rally Team compete during day 1 of the Dakar Rallly on January 4, 2015 between Buenos Aires and Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Emily Sweeney of the United States competes in the 1st run of the Women's FIL Luge World Cup Koenigssee at Deutsche Post Eisarena on January 3, 2015 in Koenigssee, Germany. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic serves in the mixed doubles match against Eugenie Bouchard and Vasek Pospisil of Canada during day one of the 2015 Hopman Cup at Perth Arena on January 4, 2015 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)
Severin Freund of Germany during the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Vierschanzentournee (Four Hills Tournament) on January 04, 2015 in Innsbruck, Austria. (Photo by Stanko Gruden/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by the Volvo Ocean Race, onboard Team Alvimedica. Sunrise in the Straits of Hormuz after a busy night of sailing north along the UAE coastline. Dave Swete gets a hand from Seb Marsset while he repairs a rip in the A3 sail January 4, 2015 during Leg 3 between Abu Dhabi, UAE and Sanya, China. The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 is the 12th running of this ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain on October 11, 2014, the route, spanning some 39,379 nautical miles, visits 11 ports in 11 countries (Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and Sweden) over nine months. The Volvo Ocean Race is the world's premier ocean race for professional racing crews. (Photo by Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica/Volvo Ocean Race via Getty Images)
Adrian Colunga of Brighton celebrates scoring the first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion at Craven Cottage on December 29, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Read Full Story

People are Reading