Let's discuss the Baseball Hall of Fame
By Michael Brooks
Every year I get more and more angry at the Baseball Hall of Fame voters.
This year Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer, and Todd Helton were elected, and Billy Wagner missed it by only five votes. But Gary Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, and several others did not make it because of ties to, or outright admittances of, using performance-enhancing drugs.
Let’s say any of those PED users did get in. How would you justify keeping Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens out?
The Hall of Fame voters seriously screwed up when they didn’t elect either of them. Bonds was the most feared hitter ever (and no doubt, the best player I have ever seen) and Clemens was one of the best pitchers of all time but PED’s locked them out of the Hall, and after their 10 years on the ballot, they weren’t elected.
Does anyone seriously believe there are NO steroid users already in the Hall of Fame?
Pudge Rodriguez? David Ortiz? Mike Piazza? Rodriguez, Ortiz, and Piazza were all highly suspected of using. Ortiz even failed a test but was somehow able to convince people it was a tainted test. Maybe even Nolan Ryan used a PED. Sacrilegious to say, right? Well, he pitched into his late forties and we’ve seen how steroids make you perform better than you should when you get older. And he did play alongside Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti. (Not that I’m saying he did use, I’m just playing devil’s advocate).
The voters created a serious problem for themselves. Many people think steroid users should never be enshrined because they cheated. The problem is, there are cheaters already in the Hall of Fame. Suspected PED users but also others who admitted cheating, or using illegal substances.
There are four Hall of Famers who thrived on throwing the spitball. The spitball was banned from use but three of the four were “grandfathered in” and allowed to continue using it until they retired. And then there is Gaylord Perry, a pitcher who knowingly used the spitball after it was no longer allowed in the league.
Many early baseball players were known gamblers and several were accused of betting on baseball while playing, most notably, Hall of Famers Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb. Did they actually do this? It is unknown, but Bonds never failed a PED test, and neither did several others who have been held out because of suspicions. It is a double standard, and it is unfair.
I’ve been a baseball fan since I was about five years old, and other than the Rangers winning the World Series this year, I have never seen a more exciting time in baseball than the “Steroid Era.” MLB turned a blind eye to it when they were raking in the big dollars, but now the players are being punished. Most of the league was using some kind of PED’s at the time. Do you really think Brady Anderson jumped from 21 homers to 50 in one season because he changed his workout routine? He never hit more than 27 at any other time in his career.
If you want to make a separate wing that denotes Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa breaking Roger Maris’ single season home run record during the Steroid Era, I completely understand. But that wing of the Hall NEEDS to exist, and until Bonds, Clemens, and many other are enshrined, the Baseball Hall of Fame is a joke.