Never one to shy away from controversy, Pedro Martinez is once again making headlines.
The outspoken pitcher was in Boston Thursday to watch his former team beat up on the Houston Astros, get inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame and, naturally, answer some questions about his fellow inductee Roger Clemens.
“With all due respect to everybody that votes, I’ll have to say Roger and Barry Bonds are two guys that I think had enough numbers before anything came out to actually earn a spot in the Hall of Fame,” Martinez said. “It wasn’t just the individual performances. [It was] how they dominated the time that they came up and stayed in the big leagues until those things happened. I believe they have a legit chance, and I think, with time, the voters will take into consideration what they did previously.”
So far, neither Clemens nor Bonds has been able to get out from underneath the cloud of scrutiny as to whether they used performance enhancing drugs or not. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, received 37.6% of the vote in 2013 and 35.45 a year later. Bonds hasn’t fared much better in the eyes of the BBWAA. Baseball’s home run king tabulated 36.2% and 34.7% those same years. And with the new voting rules, they’ll have five fewer years to change some minds.
And in case you were wondering…Martinez will get his first crack at Cooperstown this winter when he joins Clemens and Bonds on an already overcrowded ballot that includes Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell alongsde fellow first-timers Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Gary Sheffield.