Baseball Writers: Clueless
Apparently, the Baseball Writers Association of America stood up for all that is decent and well in this Country by deeming nobody worthy of entrance into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Apparently, they were not watching baseball for the past 20 years. It is unclear how anyone could conclude that Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, and Curt Schilling, were not worthy of entrance into the Hall of Fame. These individuals did more than enough for baseball to justify enshrinement. We all saw it. But not the writers. They want their Hall of Fame clean. No, they want OUR Hall of Fame clean to THEIR standards.
To be sure, nobody is naive enough to not notice the smell around Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa. Of course, Clemens was not found guilty of doing anything. The Confidential does not particularly care for Clemens, but what else could he have done? And Bonds has never been found guilty of anything either. Federal funds were expended to bring these players down. And yet those efforts failed.
More importantly, we saw these guys on the field. Skinny Barry Bonds was worthy of a Hall of Fame ballot long before the steroid era. Clemens may well have been too. Sure, if both of these guys took steroids, and it is hard to debate that they did not, they unfairly extended their careers. But, at the same time, both guys were doing what they could to help their team too. Frankly, if steroids was as rampant as claimed, taking steroids was necessary to remain competitive. That’s not the fault of Bonds and Clemens. That’s baseball’s fault for allowing so many lesser talents to improve their careers with performance enhancing drugs. Bonds and Clemens just looked around and decided to join the culture.
But even if they were evil people, taking steroids for evil reasons, why keep them out of the Hall of Fame? Fame can be positive and negative. Bonds and Clemens have amazing statistical histories, but will always be dogged by the steroid issue. Forcing that to take place outside the Hall of Fame, rather than inside, benefits nobody. These guys should not be ignored, they should be given an asterisk. And then we can all debate whether that asterisk means anything.
And what about Biggio, Schilling, and Piazza. Biggio is everything that a Hall of Famer should be. No accusations of steroids (if that is so important). Longevity. Played the game the right way. Piazza was less rumor-free, but he was as good an offensive catcher as their ever was. And Schilling’s exploits against the Yankees in the World Series, regardless of how genuine, deserve to be memorialized for all baseball fans. Tell the story of how generations of Red Sox fans did not see a World Series win, at least until a gimpy Schilling put them on his back and carried them to the prize.
In 2013, none of these guys will enter the Hall of Fame. That is a shame. Credit the clueless Baseball Writers Association of America.