Hall of Fame Votes "No" on Steroids
Charles E. Sutton | 1/15/2013, 11:31 a.m.
Not a single player was elected on this year's National Hall of Fame ballot. The class of 2013 was shut out from Cooperstown. This is truly a case of "no" means "no".
Some players were penalized by their peers who decided to bolster their wallets, their statistics and their performance.
Mike Piazza was the greatest offensive catcher in Major League Baseball, with a career .308 batting average, 427 home runs, and 1,335 RBI. Craig Biggio was the only player in league history with at least 3,000 hits, 600 doubles, 250 home runs and 400 stolen bases.
Yet neither of them was elected into the Hall of Fame partly because of the suspicions of the steroid era. This is why the argument that you can't keep cheaters out of the Hall because you don't know who was cheating is such a cop out.
Here's a fact: Barry Bonds used steroids. He admitted it in BALCO grand jury testimony. He asserted he didn't know exactly what he was taking. There are some people who might have contrary beliefs.
According to a New York Times report that has yet to be refuted, Sammy Sosa's name was on the 2003 list of players who tested positive for steroid use.
The Mitchell Report named Roger Clemens as a user of performance-enhancing drugs. Last year, in federal court, he was acquitted of perjury. Do you believe the credibility of former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, who negotiated a peace agreement in Northern Ireland, and the former top federal prosecutor who led the investigation team for the Mitchell Report? Or do you believe Clemens?
Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for steroids. Mark McGwire admitted to using steroids. Suspicions alone separate Piazza and Jeff Bagwell from those documented and admitted users.
Of the six criteria for election into Cooperstown, three of them are integrity, character and sportsmanship. Players like Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, McGwire and Palmeiro fall short on these three criteria, and thus, should be denied admission into the Hall.
For those who say Cooperstown already has cheaters and players of questionable integrity, well, I believe they too, should have been denied admission.
Next year's ballot will contain the names of Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux. It'll be interesting to see if the steroid users also bring them down. I certainly hope not.