As this blog is being posted, the collective population of Cooperstown, New York, is growing by the dozens. After all, it’s this weekend, EVERY YEAR, when baseball is celebrated and the game’s class of immortals grows.
This year, only one player will receive the distinction known as “Hall Of Famer” …..
Of course, as soon as Andre Dawson completes his induction speech and as the festivities begin to draw toward a close, the Baseball Writers of America will officially be on the clock ….
For the first time EVER, those with the discriminative ability to vote YES for enshrining a player among the very greatest of the sport will have a true dilemma. For the past decade, we’ve discussed steroids and HGH to the point of exhaustion. We’re all tired of it.
Yet, for the Hall Of Fame’s voters, their most daunting task is just beginning …..
As they consider the nominees for the CLASS OF 2011, they’ll be presented with name of the first “worthy” candidate with a noted, distinguishable tie to Performance Enhancing Drugs. And, no, don’t invoke the Mark McGwire inclusion. Regardless of what he might’ve injested, McGwire did not achieve a Hall Of Fame resume’.
But, Rafael Palmeiro did reach the threshhold. In fact, he surpassed it.
3020 hits & 569 homeruns
End of discussion, right? I sure wish that was the case, but it’s not. Whether Palmeiro cracks 75% of the vote is very questionable. It’s really an unknown, at this point.
Whether he used ONCE, TWICE or SEVERAL times, Rafael Palmeiro is about to become a very vital part of baseball history. He’s the guinea pig for an assembled cast of beefed-up players who were great throughout a substantial portion of their careers.
Trust me, we have another six months before finding out, but Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez will be watching for the results. I’ll suggest it’s fair to assume they’ll need to witness Palmeiro’s acceptance, prior to reasonably hoping they, too, will join Ruth, Mantle, Cobb and Williams.
For my money, I think Rafael Palmeiro is a Hall Of Famer. But, I’ve got a sobering suspicion he’ll be excluded, next year. Why? Heck, I don’t know.
There simply seems to be alot of contempt for him. And, much of it is attributed to the media members covering the game. We’re more than five years removed from Palmeiro’s darkest days. Yet, many still hold his failed drug test as the determining factor in his destiny.
If the writers decline his entry, I’ll understand. But, they better be consistent and fair about their convictions. All of them make it or none of them do. Anything short of a balanced process will be as damaging as the revelavtion of drug usage, itself.
We shall see …..