In what appeared to be a not-so-veiled shot to the Class of 2017, Hall of Famer Frank Thomas said it may be time for Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame to open its door to suspected users of performance-enhancing drugs.
Thomas told the Chicago Sun-Times that he was "not happy at all" to see first baseman Jeff Bagwell and catcher Ivan Rodriguez voted into the Hall of Fame along with Tim Raines less than two weeks ago. His remarks came during a Chicago White Sox fan fest on Sunday.
Bagwell and Rodriguez were linked to PED use in their careers, although both players denied those allegations upon their selection to Cooperstown on Jan 18. Thomas had no issue with Raines, calling his selection long overdue.
"They've let a few people in already we all know," Thomas said. "It's uncomfortable at this point. I'm sure this year's going to be uncomfortable because we've got two great players going in, but they know. It's no secret. If they didn't do it, they would be stomping and kicking and in interviews saying 'I didn't do it.'"
Thomas had a pristine reputation during his career, culminating with his induction into the Hall of Fame in 2014 after receiving an 84 percent of the votes by the Baseball Writers Association of America in in his first time on the ballot.
Conversely, Bagwell finally got into the Hall of Fame on his seventh attempt. Rodriguez ended his playing career in 2011. He was accused of steroid use by Jose Canseco in his book "Juiced."
Thomas mentioned that if players suspected of PED use were inducted into the Hall of Fame, some of the game's all-time greats such as home run leader Barry Bonds and seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens also should be voted in.
"They should be in now, as far as I'm concerned," said Thomas, who also lent support for the inclusion of Pete Rose, baseball's all-time hits leader who is serving a lifetime ban for betting on baseball.
"Everybody deserves a second chance," Thomas said of Rose. "If you're gonna let the PED guys in, he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame."