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David Ortiz reacts to Barry Bonds getting denied by HOF voters

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David Ortiz seems just as surprised as Giants fans that Barry Bonds got shut out in his 10th and final year of eligibility.

Ortiz, the only player in the Class of 2022 elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America, spoke with national baseball media after his official Hall call.

“Not having (Bonds and Roger Clemens) join me at this time is something that’s hard to believe, to be honest with you,” Ortiz told reporters. “Those guys did it all. It is what it is, and there’s nothing I personally can do about it.”

Bonds and Ortiz will forever be connected in the eyes of many fans after Tuesday’s election results. Ortiz reportedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during anonymous testing in 2003, though commissioner Rob Manfred later cast doubt over the validity of those results. Ortiz then had his greatest seasons while MLB’s testing program was in effect.

Bonds, meanwhile, was linked to PEDs with the BALCO investigation and a multitude of other reports. He was never suspended by MLB for cheating.

BBWAA voters treated their cases differently.

Bonds received 66% of votes, 36 shy of induction. Ortiz received 77.9%, earning a bronze plaque in his first year of eligibility.

“I know there are a lot of things going on, but to me, the guy was a Hall of Famer way before everything, all the talk, all the things,” Ortiz said. “This is a guy who played the game at a whole different level. Same with Roger, the Rocket…When I see these guys, I don’t even compare myself to them because I saw so many times those guys performing, and they were something that was very special.”

Ortiz, one of the most clutch hitters of all time who slugged 541 career home runs, said he idolized the home run king ever since his time in the Seattle Mariners minor league system in the mid-1990s.

“I remember watching his batting practice,” Ortiz said. “I don’t think there’s ever going to be a human being capable of doing what he did when he played. He was special. Barry Bonds, to me, separated himself from the game at the highest level.”

Bonds congratulated Ortiz on his induction on Instagram.

Although he can’t get in the traditional way anymore, Bonds still has a chance for induction via the Today’s Game era committee; he’s reportedly expected to be nominated for consideration in December.

Bonds will need 12 of the 16 committee members to view him similarly as Ortiz does.

 

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