Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Maybe getting a room for Hall of Fame
induction weekend in Cooperstown won't be that hard after all.
The Baseball Writers Association of America, aka the most powerful and self
indulgent group in the world, declared that steroid users are no good, and
they won't be electing anyone into the Hall of Fame this year.
Of course, that means Barry Bonds, the seven-time MVP and all-time home run
leader, as well as Roger Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner and
arguably the best right-handed pitcher of all-time are deemed not good enough
for the BBWAA because they allegedly took performance-enhancing drugs.
Forget the fact that the whole era is marred by PEDs and that those two were
the best of that time sort of the way Babe Ruth was the best of his time when
blacks were not allowed to play.
Bonds and Clemens "cheated," though, so they are out.
The same group who chose to give Aaron Sele and Steve Finley Hall of Fame
votes are the ones who decided to keep Bonds and Clemens out. Makes perfect
By the way, we don't really know who was using and who wasn't. Sure some of
them we know, but we don't know everyone. Houston's Craig Biggio came awfully
close this year, as he fell 39 votes short of the 427 he needed, but are we
completely sold that he was clean?
Is there anyone who thinks Bonds and Clemens won't get in at some point? What
point are these writers actually trying to make? They can't get in until the
BBWAA deems them fit. This is the writers' time to grandstand, just like it is
when they vote for the individual end-of-season awards. It's a joke.
And by the way, what exactly are they keeping so sacred?
The Hall of Fame features a guy like Ty Cobb, someone who may have been a
better racist than he was a ballplayer. And that's saying something. But Cobb
is nowhere near the only bad guy in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
That's the point.
For some reason, though, steroids are the hill BBWAA will die on. Well, that's
all and good, but the Mitchell Report flat out started that as far back as
1973 performance enhancing drug use in baseball was "alarming." Anyone want to
wager a bet that there are already some players in Cooperstown who may have
dabbled with performance-enhancing drugs?
Gasping. Say it's not so! And what about all those players in the 1980s who
regularly took amphetamines, or as people call them, greenies?
And you know what those players who did had nowhere near the credentials of
Bonds and Clemens. You want to know how I can guarantee that? Because there is
nobody in the history of baseball who has done what those two did.
You want to keep Mark McGwire out. Fine. I've stated in the past that he is
not a Hall of Famer in my opinion. He was a one-trick pony. And the reason he
was so good at that one trick was because of steroids.
But keeping Bonds and Clemens out is ridiculous. It's probably hypocritical,
but those two should be viewed differently than Sammy Sosa or Rafael Palmeiro
or even McGwire. And they were on the ballot, as Clemens and Bonds received
37.6 (221) and 36.2 (206) percent of the vote, respectively, while Sosa and
Palmeiro both received less than 13 percent.
The player who seems to have gotten hit with the biggest steroid shrapnel
without any real proof is Mike Piazza, or the guy commonly referred to as the
greatest hitting catcher of all-time.
While Piazza has never tested positive, nor named in the Mitchell Report, he's
being lumped in with the guys who we pretty much no for sure used. But, Piazza
may not be so innocent, either. There is certainly some smoke around that
Former Sports Illustrated writer Jeff Pearlman stated in his biography of
Roger Clemens back in 2010 that Piazza confided to some reporters that he used
performance-enhancing substances. Pearlman also quoted two former major league
players saying that Piazza's steroid use was suspected throughout baseball.
Add that to the fact that he became the greatest hitting catcher of all-time
after being picked in the 62nd round in the draft by family friend Tommy
Lasorda. Sure, it could be just a great rags-to-riches story, but the fact
that his success came right in the heart of the steroid era taints it whether
that's right or wrong.
Unfortunately, nobody is above suspicion.
There's also this: Piazza has an autobiography set to come out soon.
the release was pushed back to February, a month after the Hall of Fame class
was announced. Let's wait and see what is in the book before we all start
feeling sorry for Piazza.
People will whine about Biggio or Jack Morris not getting in. Biggio has
3,000 hits and will get in eventually. Remember Roberto Alomar and Ryne
Sandberg weren't first ballot Hall of Famers, either. Neither was Joe DiMaggio
for that matter.
Morris may have a tougher time. He only gained three votes this year and
dropped in percentage. Next year, you figure Bonds and Clemens will go up and
first-timers include Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas, three of whom
figure to be automatic elections.
This vote, though, won't be remembered as Biggio or Morris being snubbed. It
will be the one remembered for the all powerful BBWAA getting up on their high
horse and letting the world know that they are the ones who judge the game's
most extraordinary individual honor.
As much as you want to say the steroid era tarnished the game, the Hall of
now loses a little luster every year Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens get passed
The Sports Network