Indians: Manny Ramirez’s tough road to the Hall of Fame

Former Indians great Manny Ramirez has the credentials to make the Hall of Fame, but still has a negative cloud hanging over his career.

Cleveland Indians fans were interested in the 2020 Hall of Fame announcement to see how close Omar Vizquel came to enshrinement.

But there was another former Indians great on the ballot. That individual is Manny Ramirez, who spent the first eight years of his career in Cleveland. 2020 was his fourth year on the ballot and even with his 555 career home runs, he couldn’t muster many votes.

The obvious reason for Ramirez’s low vote total is the fact he was linked to PED use during his career. That taints his entire body of work in the eyes of many voters.

He is a 12-time All-Star, nine-time Silver Slugger,has 2,574 career hits and the aforementioned 555 home runs. The fact he received so many accolades during his career makes it a bit hypocritical to now hold him out of the Hall of Fame.

But we all know the Hall of Fame voting process is extremely flawed.

The good news for Ramirez is that guys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have seen an increase in votes since joining the ballot. For some reason, voters tend to shift their minds as the 10th and final year on the ballot approaches.

A whole era of superstars will potentially be held out of the Hall of Fame due to PED use. The only way that will change is if Bonds and Clemens make it in. Then guys like Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez could eventually earn enshrinement.

Ramirez’s home run total should be enough to get him into Cooperstown. Unfortunately, the PED use overshadows everything for most voters.

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We will have to revisit this debate in about three years to see if Ramirez makes any progress. Plenty of things could change between now and then if Bonds and Clemens break the barrier and make it in.