My Take on the 2013 Hall of Fame Voting

This is the year we've been waiting for, who will we forgive and will we forgive.  Every baseball fan knows this is the year Bonds, Clemens and Sosa are on the ballot for the first time.  As are Schilling, Biggio and Piazza.  We can add lesser players to the list in the likes of Lofton, Finley and Wells.  In any other baseball era, this year would be rated as one of the best classes.  But that is not the case, as we all know.  The steroid  abuse era is coming to haunt baseball once again in the face of hall of fame elections.

My take on the players known to have used and abused is to not let them in the hall.  I have gone softer on some players who I feel handled the situation with some class.  See, for years I was bitter for them not allowing Pete Rose in.  His crime was betting on baseball games.  It had nothing to do with how he played the game, which in my opinion, was better than anyone in history.  I'm not bitter anymore.  For Rose has not handled this situation with any class or dignity.  All during his playing career, I loved watching Rose play, but always heard he was a bit of a jerk off the field.  He has proven that rumor to be true.  If Pete had handled this with some class or dignity or honesty, he might have been allowed in.

So let's go through the list one by one and if you disagree with me, let me know.  I love arguing baseball as my 2 associates OCP and Mac will tell you.

First up is Barry Bonds.  There haven't been many other players with more talent and ability then Mr. Bonds.  He could do it all, and do it well.  He was having a hall of fame career, but that wasn't enough for him.  We're told he didn't like all the attention being given McGwire and Sosa during the 1998 season.  That was when he allegedly started using PED's.  He wanted to hold the all-time HR record along with the single season record.  He couldn't do either without cheating.  See, he was 35 years old, when most players are starting to decline, past their prime.  Barry all of a sudden could hit more home runs then he had in his prime, but also hit for a higher average.  Guilty!  So how do we handle this?  Since, like Rose, he has handled it like the jerk he is, I don't vote him in.  At all!  Ever!!  Remember, character is supposed to be part of the selection process.

Next is Roger Clemens.  Almost a similar story with Roger.  His first 13 years in baseball, all with the Red Sox, were pretty great.  Towards the end, his last 3 years, he started to lose zip on his pitches.  Injuries had some to do with this as did his getting up in years.  The Sox thought he was nearing the end and let him go to the Blue Jays.  In the beginning of his first year there, he was struggling.  In fact, he started out 6-6.  Then something happened, all of a sudden he couldn't be beat, going 15-1 the rest of the year.  It was at that time that his trainer says he started with PED's.  Roger of course denies all this, but the record and numbers don't back his claim.  He also has made a big deal about his innocence to the point of embarrassment.  Again, I don't vote him in, ever.

Now Sammy Sosa.  I believe Sosa was just a marginal player and would have stayed a marginal player if not for steroid use.  Like Palmeiro, we would not be debating his qualifications if not for abuse.  He never gets in.

At bat now is Mike Piazza.  There have been rumors of his use of PED's.  I believe he was on the Mitchell report.  Piazza is a different story.  He was always a class act as a player and has been a class act since his retirement.  Because of this, I vote him in, eventually.  Not for the first 10 years of eligibility.

Curt Schilling is on the mound now.  If not for injuries, he would have put up much better numbers for his career.  He was not a cheat and never accused of juicing.  His numbers are comparable to Don Drysdale's and Catfish Hunter's.  And has there been a better post season pitcher the last 25 years?  He has the best all-time winning percentage in the postseason.  He went 4-1 in 7 WS starts and 11-2 and 19 post season starts all together.  He is not a first ballot, but will get in soon.

Craig Biggio.  The only one who has a chance of being voted in on first ballot.  Good player, good character.  He wasn't a superstar or an MVP, so that might keep him from getting in the first time, but he will get in.  3,000 hits and a doubles machine.

Lofton, Finley and Wells are not HOFer's.  Good players, not great.  Let's not water down the hall anymore.

So that's my take on the subject.  Feel free to disagree.  You won't change my mine, but everyone has a different opinion on this subject.  I feel as the years pass and younger and newer voters come about, they might vote these guys in.  This was their time that they grew up with.  But remember, it didn't happen for Pete Rose.

1 comment:

  1. With regards to those we know who cheated, my stance has always been in to leave it up to the VC... let these guys get old and see their names fall from the ballots before they are ever enshrined and leave it up to baseball folks. Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod and Piazza deserve to be in because of their significant contributions to the game (much later, of course)... Palmeiro doesn't get in because he was accused, lied and later found guilty of cheating. That pattern doesn't sit well with me.

    Our stance is really only slightly different. The only one that I disagree with you on is Mike Piazza who openly admitted to using andro. Speculation among baseball folks is that he took PED's. I'm also wary because I've heard stories about his personal character that suggest he'd do anything for personal gain.


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