On a day many Major League Baseball fans await for besides Opening Day of the coming season turned out to be one many wish never came. On January 9th, 2013 the Baseball Writers of America’s results for the 2013 Hall of Fame class were announced. Many believed with the most well known class and high talented class in years put on the ballot for the first time that we could see one or more added to baseball’s glory of a museum. Even with the “steroid” and “PED” name tagged all over this class fans believed at least one would get in. In the end we saw NONE! Not ONE! Not even ONE! And for this passionate and die-hard fan of America’s past time since I was born I feel let down by the game and the people who write about this sport in which I love.
When I woke up on this day filled with anticipation and joy of seeing the newest addition to Cooperstown I started to think of at least one name on the ballot that would get in. I know it is hard just to pick one from this years class of stars like: Craig Biggio, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Jack Morris, Rafael Palmeiro, and more. There had to be one name on that list that the “steroids” or “PEDs” era could not taint or force a man out in 2013. Well the BBWAA thought no one should get in and I for one am angry to be a fan of the game today. I feel as if the Hall of Fame ballot process and the writers who vote for this prestigious place in baseball history failed us as fans, the game of baseball, and the players though more importantly its fans. The writers especially failed the fans of those who grew up during the “steroid” era of baseball like myself.
As the results came in over my television I stared in shock to hear that earlier that day maybe one man would get in. That man being, Craig Biggio from the Houston Astros, could be the only one elected in. The results came in and Craig Biggio was 39 votes short. As if to say to Mr. Biggio, his fans, the game, and fans of baseball that 39 people were not sure if he was using some kind of “PED” as well. I find it outrageous that out the men on the list that the BBWAA could not find one to go in. Which I say to the writer’s……….YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?!!!!!!!
I can understand that many are upset about the “steroid” and “PED” era of the late 1980s until about 2008, but this is a joke to this passionate Major League Baseball fan. Two of the greatest players to have ever played the game in both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens did not even receive 40% of the vote and eight more voters voted for Clemens than Bonds. If you are going to vote for Clemens then wouldn’t you vote for Bonds? Both men were put on trial and we saw the facts. Bonds told “not knowingly he took performance enhancing drugs from his trainer” and was not found guilty of “PEDs”, but of obstruction of justice. Are these old men and women of the BBWAA angry with Clemens and Bonds for something no one frowned upon while praising their play during the 90s and 2000s? How dare they be hypocritical of these men on this ballot of 2013 for Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame vote.
If you look at the voting totals for each player on the ballot and then look at the BBWAA writers who published their ballots to the public you will find that many seem to want to punish anyone during the era of “PEDs” even if you took them or not. Just being associated with a team and an era seems to be enough for the greatest hitting catcher in Mike Piazza and one of the greatest utility men of the game Craig Biggio to be victims of this idea. I am not going to bore you with statistics by these players, but if you don’t believe me go look them up on baseball-reference.com and tell me these two at least in this years ballots didn’t deserve to enter into Cooperstown this year.
Okay. Now for my main reason for writing this article today. When you think of Cooperstown the place that is home to the MLB Hall of Fame you think of its museum. Remember folks the Hall of Fame is a museum, which holds the history of the game within it. Many are enshrined in this place and many are not. Though this class of 2013 is held to a higher standard of “character” when remember we are talking about men who play a game and are inducted into the Hall of Fame based on what they did on the field and not off of it.
Here is what it says on the Baseball Writer’s Association of America on voting for the Hall of Fame:
“Voting — Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”
As you read that statement on voting for the Hall of Fame. Can anyone remember a time when nobody was cheating in a game of any kind? I am going to list many who had a bad judgment of character or cheated in MLB history that most know, but you know “PEDs” or “steroids” is worse than what these men did:
- -Ty Cobb (Detroit Tiger)- Once ran into the stands of a game to beat up a disabled fan for heckling him
- -Mickey Mantle (NY Yankees)- Admitted that at times during his career he would be to drunk to perform at the highest level
- -Pete Rose (Cincinnati Reds)- Bet on baseball while managing the team and has been banned from the game itself (NOT IN HALL OF FAME, BUT SHOULD BE!)
- -Kirby Puckett (Minnesota Twins)- Physically abusing his wife
- -Gaylord Perry (San Francisco Giants)- Admitted to cheating by using a spit ball and scuffing up the baseball during his playing days
There are many more names you could add to this list including managers and owners, but I did not want to keep listing Hall of Famers who have a record. Now here is a question to you the reader and baseball writers as well if the era known as the “steroids” and “PED” era is so terrible and you want to mark that in history by either not letting any of them in or making a special place in Cooperstown for this era. Why can’t we make a special wing or asterisk for the statistics and players who did not play when African Americans could not? Seems logical right? I mean isn’t that a poor judge of character by Major League Baseball’s history all together?
The idea that you can vote on liking someone’s “character” as a baseball writer truly makes me angry. All it takes for one of these writers to not vote for someone is not get an interview from the man or be ignored from over a dumb question. The Hall of Fame is a place where people come to worship the game of baseball not to look at a plaque and say, “jeez he was such a nice man”. NO! Many of these players are not so great in person, but many are. I don’t care what they did to their bodies or how they acted to me. They made me love and watch baseball every day. If it wasn’t for men like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa doing what they did in 1998 baseball might not have been able to recover after the 1994 strike that stopped the season from concluding. The game would still be in an even worse fight with the National Football League than it is now over superiority in America. And for these baseball writers who basically owe their careers to these men during this twenty year period to say that none of them deserve to be in the Hall of Fame because they “cheated” is insulting. How about you BBWAA look at yourself for not saying something during the time in your articles? If you say you did show because I never once read anything coming out. How about commissioner Bud Selig saying something? He did nothing. They all sat by while this time came and gone. Now the BBWAA want to control who goes in and stays out of the Hall of Fame is a joke to me.
In 2013 the Baseball Writer’s Association of America watched as strike three went right down the heart of the plate. Failing to induct at least one new member and telling to the faces of the fans, players, and the game if you aren’t like by us then your not getting in is an insult. Now they are telling us that Barry Bonds might never get in and maybe Clemens near the end of his fifteen-year period you are on the ballot for as long as you get 5% of the vote. The voting system is not broken, but it needs mending. It needs the help of maybe adding scouts or owners or executives of some kind added into the voting mix besides the BBWAA. The old men and women who control this vote are easily angered and manipulated. It has to change. Also, the fact that when the living Hall of Famers met at their annual meeting before the results come in telling the world that if any “PED” users got in that there would be trouble is insulting as well. These men who were voted into the Hall of Fame should have no say on who gets in as well. You were voted in and now you represent the game for good or bad. And some of those men cheated while playing and some had truly even worse “character” problems then the men who use “PEDs” anyone remember when players used corked bats and amphetamines? I do!
In the end though being a fan of this great past time I have no control on who makes it into the Hall of Fame at all. Though I feel that I should. I have the better judgment in this case than the men and women who write for professional papers or blogs or teams over this great country of ours. If the system is not fixed next year and with the even more abundance of great players being added over the next couple years still from the “steroids” and “PEDs” era of baseball history then something must be done. If Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are not inducted into the Hall of Fame next year or in 2015 then the voting process for baseball holy land of Cooperstown is a joke!
Oh! Before I forget we can thank one man causing this issue and bringing it up ruining Major League Baseball for us and the players that are now on the Hall of Fame ballot and that man’s name is……..Jose Canseco.
Major League Baseball Hall of Fame is a museum of baseball history not of baseball player’s character history and BBWAA must remember that in 2014. Barry Bonds, Mike Piazza, Roger Clemens, Jack Morris, and Craig Biggio should enter into the Hall of Fame in 2014 along with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.
If you agree with some of the writers saying no “PED” user or “steroid” user should ever join the Hall of Fame. Go look at the history of cheating in baseball. Some way and somehow someone has found a way to cheat in his favor. If you still say no then why not put Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame. All he did was bet on the game. Not make his game play any better than anyone else’s.
2013 Hall of Fame vote to me……….a JOKE! I don’t care if it has happened before, but it should never happen again. Steroids happened people and you need to get over it. Records were meant to be broken and some will still never be touched with “PEDs” being used. Suck it up BBWAA and put the men in the hall!
Thank you for reading.
*Credit for voting defintion to bbwaa.com949462