Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 8/7/12
The 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame voting process will be the most interesting we've ever seen. If you ask Barry Bonds, he deserves to be inducted. "Oh, without a doubt. There's no doubt in my mind," Bonds responded when asked by MLB.com's Barry Bloom if he feels he belongs in the Hall of Fame. Bonds, who's long been linked to performance-enhancing drugs, joins the likes of Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling and Craig Biggio as first-timers on the ballot, which will truly show off the philosophies of many baseball writers. Bonds clearly has Hall-worthy numbers, but many writers could opt to look at his reputation and therefore keep him out. If that's the case, MLB's all-time home run king won't care too much. "You have to vote on baseball the way baseball needs to be voted on," Bonds told MLB.com. "If you vote on your assumptions or what you believe or what you think might have been going on there, that's your problem. You're at fault. It has nothing to do with what your opinion is. Period. If that's the case, you better go way, way back and start thinking about your opinions. If that's how you feel life should be run, I would say then you run your Hall of Fame the way you want to run your Hall of Fame. That's what I think. That's my personal opinion. If you want to do the Hall of Fame the way the Hall of Fame is supposed to be done, then you make the right decision on that. If you don't, that's on you. To stamp something on your assumptions, it doesn't work for me." Bonds expressed an appreciation for his 22 years in the game, although he wishes his career didn't end the way it did. The outfielder said he wanted to play one more year before eventually calling it quits. Bonds also wishes that people would leave Roger Clemens alone. Clemens, of course, was just acquitted of all charges in his perjury trial, and Bonds feels that should be enough for fans to get off his back. "They accused [Clemens]. They accuse whoever. Who cares? He was acquitted," Bonds said. "He deserves the same rights everyone else does. And he deserves the same respect he's always had. I love him. He was one of the greatest pitchers I've ever faced. He's always been a good friend of mine. I will go to the end of the earth for that man." Bonds, who just turned 48 at the end of July, hopes to assume a coaching role with the Giants in the near future, expressing a desire to share his knowledge of hitting. And love him or hate him, there's no denying the guy could hit.
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