Why inducting no one was the Worst Option Available
By Jim Piascik
January 10, 2013
The Hall of Fame balloting this year was a joke. And I really do not think I am being extreme by saying that.
As I am sure you know by now, the BBWAA did not elect anyone to the Hall of Fame this year. With the steroid issue still hanging over baseball, the writers were unable to find enough common ground to let anyone into Cooperstown this summer.
I am perfectly fine if someone thinks that known steroid users should not be allowed into Cooperstown. That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. I think that what happened in baseball happened and you cannot revise history to cut out certain unseemly facts, but both are valid viewpoints.
I am less fine if someone wants to keep players out of the Hall of Fame because "I saw his bacne in the locker room" or "his teammate used and he had big muscles." The burden of proof is on the accuser to prove such a claim, not the accused to fend off wild accusations being thrown his way.
But all of that is besides the point. If you are a true baseball fan, among Craig Biggio, Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Edgar Martinez, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Mark McGwire, Don Mattingly, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro, there is at least one Hall of Famer. These are some of the best who played the game.
Yet, no one got in. For me, I see around 12 players who should be in Cooperstown. Admittedly, I favor a bigger Hall of Fame, but there is no way to argue that none of those players deserved induction.
Plus, the problem only gets worse next year. Writers are only permitted to vote for 10 players a year, yet deserving candidates like Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina, and Frank Thomas are being added to the list. There was not enough room on the ballots this year, let alone in 2014.
I am not going to pretend that any idea I have could magically fix the problem. It is clear, however, that something should happen. Letting no one into the Hall of Fame because some people cheated is ludicrous.
Cheating has always been a part of baseball. Stealing signs is very well accepted. If you can crack the other team's code, you never go over and tell the opposing manager that he needs to mix up his signs.
The 1951 New York Giants' method of stealing signs from the stands in center field was not ethical or legal, but it got them in position for the one of the greatest moments in baseball history. The Shot Heard 'Round The World is still a huge part of baseball lore, despite not being pure.
Gaylord Perry regularly doctored baseballs, something that became part of his mystique. Check that. Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry was absolutely caught cheating, yet he is not a persona non grata in Cooperstown.
Steroids happened. So did amphetamines. And so did numerous other versions of cheating in the long history of baseball. It may not be pleasant, but it is the truth.
So to keep two of the best players of all-time out of the Hall of Fame -- Bonds and Clemens -- really makes no sense.
To keep very deserving players like Biggio, Bagwell, and Piazza out of the Hall of Fame -- with no proof of steroid use other than the era they played in -- is even more absurd.
That is why the voting this year is a joke. There were plenty of difficult choices for the BBWAA to choose between, but with the number of worthy candidates on the ballot, electing no one was the least defensible option.
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So I'm just fine with the juicers not getting in. Some of the others - I'm not sure. I think somewhere along the line we got away from the "best of the best" and went to the really good. I do think Maddux and Glavine are worthy and will get in next year.
Maybe we need 2 wings there - one for the best of the best , one for the really good. Something needs to be adjusted, listen to guys on TV talk about it everyone is a Hall of Famer to them.
Voting for HOF membership has always been a sham. How can baseball writers who have never played the game, only written about it (some poorly), be the judge of a players contributions. I believe only the Veterans Committee has members who actually played in or were involved in the game.
To pass judgement on the players by writers because of what they hear or think (or worse yet, believe some of what they write) doesn't seem right. In essence, they are playing God. And I thought only doctors thought they were God. This whole system needs re-vamping but I don't see it happening. Not in my lifetime, but I am old too.
I'm a pre-pt student and in about three of my classes my
teachers discussed the stupidity and risk of death from taking
steroids. Arnold Schwarzenegger had bypass surgery from
steroids. Oh and also when you take artificial testosterone for too long your body stops recognizing natural test and only can use artificial. So basically once you stop your test levels drop making your estrogen levels raise because they were trying to compensate for the extra test so you'll start growing more feminine features and lose the ability to reproduce.
But to me the far more alarming issue here is some of these posters complete ignornance in regards to steriod use/abuse...
Steriods specially anabolic steriods are used commonly as medicine. They are not "drugs" in the same way crack,herion meth etc. are. No one dies from steriod use - or the results of steriod use.. Do some simple research people. No one dies from steriod overdose/abuse. Studies conflict over the supposed "roid rage" condition but other then a womans voice changing when a steriod user stops using the juice they almost always suffer no permanent impaiment..
Watch Bigger, Faster Stronger for a simple lesson in steriod use/opinion in modern America
"You have to understand how much steroids changed the game. In the rush to dismiss them, people have thrown out awkward analogies about petroleum jelly, sandpaper, cork, tacks, diet pills from the '70s, etc. under the catchall category of "cheating." Stop it. You know what steroids are like? Steroids. Nothing else rises to the level of steroids when it comes to anabolically changing the body so that it can do far more than it ever could do without them. Steroids took hold because they take a player well beyond his natural ability. Caminiti said he felt like "Superman" with steroids; they even improved his speed."
The fact that these sportswriters act holier is BS too - they knew what was going on as much as the players and filed to blow the horn.
It is a total mess top to bottom, but in no way shape or form should these cheaters be in the hall.
What kind of take is that? So, one year they aren't good enough, and the next they are? Many voters are adhering to a similar policy with many of the players that have admitted or alleged to have taken them...impose a one or three or five year ban on voting for them. Sorry, you are either good enough to get in, or not....and the fact that writers change their votes from year to year is laughable. Rare is the year when there are more than five worthy...so the # generally won't be an excuse.
The problem is subjectivity, and in an era of polarized opinion...baseball has joined the likes of Congress in indecision.