ESPN has a feature article up currently that purports to establish what Barry Bonds’ and Roger Clemens’ career totals would have been minus PEDs. The authors acknowledge some limitations, such as playing against other players who also used PEDs. Other limitations include not truly knowing when either started using PEDs—assumptions are made/other people’s words are taken as gospel, nor when they stopped—the assumption is they didn’t. It’s likewise an assumption that their health would have been worse off the medications.
Without continuing to detail variables that really cannot be accounted for in this hypothetical, the ultimate stats they project are less than what actually happened. Duh. Water is wet, too. The stats also happen to still be HoF worthy. Again, duh. Their stats were HoF worthy before their assumed PED use start dates.
So, what’s the point of this exercise? The authors themselves admit that voters won’t use their numbers to vote for/not vote for them. The voters who have voted for them in the past, and will this year in their final time on the HoF ballot, do so based on their actual career numbers; and speculating lesser but still excellent career stats won’t cause them to say ”only 551 homers, pffft! that’s a no from me now!” Meanwhile, the voters who do not circle their names do not omit them on the basis of stats. They do so because they feel the two crossed an unforgivable line in taking PEDs, formal rules in place or not.
In short, my opinion is that it was a pointless exercise.
The original article can be found here: