Roger Clemens spent his career dominating batters of every shape and size. As with Barry Bonds, his off the field actions are the one thing keeping him out of the Hall of Fame.
The case for Clemens as a Hall of Famer
The mirroring of Bonds is fairly uncanny here except the fact that Clemens was a pitcher. He was named to eleven All Star squads, had seven Cy Young, including the double-double year of 1986 when he also won the MVP. He had six top ten finishes for MVP and twelve top ten voting results for the Cy Young.
Clemens is third all-time in bWAR for pitchers at 139.4 and eighth for all players. While his career ERA number 3.12 is way down the list at 215th, that is due to the fact many on that list pitched in the early twentieth century in the Dead Ball era. Clemens actually lead the league in ERA seven different times. Using the adjusted ERA+ measurement instead, Clemens is eleventh overall at 143. He led the league in ERA+ eight times.
Even using FIP, he is even better, leading the league 9 times, including six of seven years from 1986 to 1992. Also Clemens, has a career fWAR of 139.5, tops in history, even ahead of Cy Young himself.
Clemens finished his career with a 354-184 records, good enough for a .658 winning percentage, 118 complete games and 46 shutouts. While wins may be overrated as a stat, he did finish ninth all-time, led the league four times and cracked 20 wins in a season six different times. The winning percentage is also good enough for nineteenth all-time.
Again like Bonds, all of the Hall of Fame monitoring systems have him as a shoe-in for election, with JAWS ranking him as the third best starting pitcher of all-time. So there is really nothing statistically leaving Clemens from the hallowed Hall.
The case against Clemens as a Hall of Famer
Whereas Bonds had Balco, Clemens has Brian McNamee and the Mitchell report. While the writers have a clear disdain for Bonds, the public outcry against Clemens was even louder as he went through trials of perjury for his alleged PED use.
My two cents
Based on my Bonds position, I have to agree that Clemens deserves enshrinement as well. But somehow, I have so much less passion in fighting for Clemens. Maybe that is because I didn't see him play as much as I did Bonds. Or maybe it is his years as a Yankee that really painted him as a flat punk (the bat throwing incident at Mike Piazza comes to mind).
Or maybe it was his flat out dominance over the Tribe during his career that subconsciously makes me detest him even more. He was 27-8 in 49 starts and a 3.13 ERA. He also had seven shutouts against the Indians, more than against any other team.
While I don't hold Clemens as high in the pantheon of pitchers in MLB history, he definitely has the Hall of Fame credentials. He should be in the Hall of Fame, just don't ask me to be the one campaigning for him.