Thursday, January 10, 2013

Baseball writers wrong with Hall of Fame votes

"Hi, can I come in?" "NO!"
The Baseball Writers Association of America created quite a stir Wednesday when we found out they weren't electing anybody to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013. The reason, of course, being that previously assumed-to-be first ballot HOFers used performance-enhancing drugs during their careers.

For guys like Roger Clemons, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa the writing has been on the wall for a while now. Nobody really expected them to make it in this year, and none of them were close. Unfortunately, the guys who weren't publicly suspected of using and possibly put up great numbers while clean against players wielding superhuman strength weren't let in either (see: Biggio, Craig).

"None shall pass"
When the news initially broke I wanted to use this space to voice my opinion. However, I waited a day because my opinion at the time was basically a stream of vulgar insults of the BBWAA that wasn't fit to be read by children (this is a family space) or adults for that matter. I've reflected for a day and I still think that the BBWAA is completely and utterly wrong on several fronts, but I can more address them more coherently now.

My first, and biggest, question is what gives these writers the right to stand at the gates of Cooperstown like the Black Knight from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail?" It's been said ad nauseum that these are the same people who turned a blind eye to the rampant drug use in the sport. It's a legit issue.

I remember being in sixth/seventh grade when Mark McGwire and Sosa were racing to topple Roger Maris' single season home run record. I remember a friend writing a paper on the chase, and how both of them were using some kind of performance-enhancing substance. I argued it was just creatine and androstenedione (whatever those were) and nothing illegal, but he told me I was wrong. If a seventh grader at Stockbridge Valley can do more to expose drug use in professional sports than the BBWAA.... Well, maybe the Hall of Fame vote should be put in someone else's hands.

The 'stache deserves its own plaque.
Just as long as it isn't the enshrined Hall of Famers. Several applauded the BBWAA for keeping those despicable cheats out of Cooperstown's hallowed grounds. For some reason, Dennis Eckersley is the one that really ticks me off. Maybe it's mustache envy, but more than likely it's the fact that he's more hypocritical than the writers. Eckersley's plaque features (in addition to the 'stache, of course) an Oakland A's cap. You'll remember Eck was a part of those Bash-Brother A's teams from the late 80s. You know, the kind of Patient 0, if you will, of the PED outbreak. It's easy for Eckersley to get on his high horse now, but he wasn't saying much when McGwire and Jose Conseco helped power him to a World Series ring. Actually, if guys like Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell are lumped in with the known users shouldn't Eckersley be as well? To protect the "integrity" of the game maybe we need to start booting guys out. Think that would change his tune?

If you think that Bonds, McGwire, Sosa and Clemens don't belong in the Hall because they cheated that's fine. I'm not disagreeing with you. But to have the writers and players who watched it happen be the people keeping them out is a bit like letting the nuts take over the nut house.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home