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Hall of Fame II

A Facebook friend of mine who played in the Majors during the PED era posted this tonight. Speaks more powerfully than anything I can utter …

2 replies on “Hall of Fame II”

I don’t feel empathy for players like this. None of them spoke out publicly. None of them did anything to stop their players union from doing everything in its power to keep drug testing out of baseball so that steroid use could flourish. They are all complicit in “The Steroid Era”. The risk/responsbility taken by players like Bonds was in potentially damaging their own health. For me, the Hall of Fame should be a museum that showcases the best players in baseball history. I don’t understand why so many writers draw such a distinction between PED use and earlier forms of “cheating the game” like amphetamine use, conspiring to keep “colored” players out of baseball, etc. If this Hall of Fame insists on judging players morality and deciding which sins are worse than others (and guessing as to which players committed sins), than i hope that museum continues to struggle drawing fan interest, and the writers can all pat themselves on the back for being the guardians of “baseball’s integrity”. How many football HOF’ers used steroids – nobody knows, nobody cares, but because “sacred” records were broken in baseball there must be punishment! 755 and 61 must be avenged!

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Jeff,

We discussed this a bit in the comments last year around this time regarding players like Bagwell. You’ve made it clear that in your career, with your opportunities for off-the-record conversations and access, that you believe certain players, such as Bagwell and Biggio, used PED’s. I get that.

The issue I feel strongly about is that there needs to be some burden of proof when it comes to players like these. They’ve never been accused formally – not in failed tests like Palmeiro, not in court cases like Bonds, not in Congress like Clemens. They never appeared in the Mitchell Report, and none of their teammates have accused them on 60 Minutes. Is this proof that they DIDN’T use? No, but when the only evidence against them is the claims of unnamed sources, you can understand why the fans are skeptical.

Without evidence, I feel that the writers should vote based only on what happened on the field. They use the “morality” clause not to support players like Edgar Martinez or Dale Murphy (whom you did support, so kudos), but to tear down clear-cut cases. Who knows? If the internet and today’s instant information culture was there, maybe it would be Raines torn apart for his cocaine issues, or maybe you would be tearing down Murphy’s sudden collapse in the early 90’s as “suspicious” and “laughable”.

Anyways – not really a point to this – I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are cheaters out there, and if it could be proved they cheated, then I’d be alongside you in arguing against rewards. However, when the proof is shrouded in anonymity and heresay, I prefer the burden of proof in a jury trial (innocent until PROVEN guilty) over a tyranny.

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