Baseball Hall of Fame voting was announced today, and much to my surprise, not a single player was elected. Not the all time home run leader. Not a player with seven Cy Young Awards. Not a player with 3,000 hits. Not the greatest hitting catcher of all time. Not the player with more 60 home run seasons than anyone else. And why? Because the baseball writers of America wanted to send a message. And what message is that exactly? That they are the final judges of who cheated the game? Well, who gives them the right to decide that?!
Jayson Stark wrote an article on ESPN that says what I want to say probably a lot better than I can say it, but what stood out the most about what he said was that we can't ignore that the steroid era happened because it DID happen. These Hall of Fame voters want to pretend that if they ignore the players from that era and not let them in to the Hall that it would be the akin to wiping out the memories of that era. Well, it won't. We all watched it happen. We all sat by and let it happen. We all cheered along while it happened. And nobody said anything about it. Not the players. Not the owners. Not the fans. And certainly not the writers. So why now is everyone up in arms about this? And without definitive proof over who did and who didn't use, how can we judge individual players as being worthy or not? The answer is we can't. There are players who still transcended the game, still dominated on the field, and belong in the Hall of Fame because of that.
I don't understand why players like Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell are being penalized simply for playing in this era. They have never tested positive for anything nor even been accused of anything. Except playing alongside players like McGwire and Palmeiro. And don't even get me started about Craig Biggio. Not only does he have 3,000 hits, but he is the only player in history with a 50 double, 50 stolen base year. He also reached base more than Ty Cobb, and has been hit by a pitch more than any other player in history. I just don't understand the reasoning behind the voting.
I could write all night long about the injustice and hypocrisy that went on today. But I'm going to end my rant here by saying that I feel a change needs to be made as far as Hall of Fame induction process is concerned. This is not a black and white issue and it needs to be interpreted, not judged. If you'd like to read a more eloquent response on the issue, here is Stark's article: http://espn.go.com/mlb/hof13/story/_/id/8826383/what-mlb-hall-fame-be