Maybe I’m the only one, but I’m glad no one got in the baseball Hall of Fame in ’13

January 10, 2013 | Drew Forrester

Maybe I’m the only one, but I’m glad no one got in the baseball Hall of Fame in ’13

What happened on Wednesday – when no one was selected to the 2013 class of the baseball Hall of Fame – is most certainly not the fault of those who did the voting.

I didn’t have a vote, but I follow baseball every single day from April through October and have been a diehard fan of the game for roughly the last 45 years.

I wouldn’t have voted for anyone in this year’s class.  If you want to make it the Hall of Very Good, go ahead and vote for Jack Morris or Tim Raines or Fred McGriff. They were VERY good players.  Hall of Famers?  Think about it — were those three baseball Hall of Famers?  Nah. Not to me, anyway.

The blame for what happened on Wednesday goes on the players, the owners, the executives and the league itself.

It’s about time someone finally stood up and started demanding excellence again and that, to me, was the message that was sent on Wednesday when the announcement came down that no players would enter Cooperstown’s hallowed museum this August.

The pink elephant in the room, obviously, is steroids.  Prior to this year, the discussion was always about “greatness” and milestones reached and dominating-his-era.  Those were the voting benchmarks that were used to determine if someone was worthy of Hall of Fame status.

Steroids is now the number one benchmark.

It’s a wildly complicated situation because, for starters, baseball didn’t even test for steroids until 2005. The initial “survey testing” that took place in 2003 yielded 103 positive results, including certain Hall of Famers Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa and possible HOF’er David Ortiz.  The Mitchell Report followed in 2007 and offered an in-depth look at not only who was using, but how they got the steroids through trainers and clubhouse employees.

We also know this, because we’re smart enough to know it:  There were gobs of guys who weren’t fingered, accused or saw their name on the Mitchell Report that DID use steroids. They just somehow avoided the spotlight.

Here’s the other dumb argument people use: “They didn’t even test for it until 2005.  Anything before that was legal.”

Wrong.

Please note, though, despite not testing for steroids until 2005, that it was AGAINST THE RULES to use steroids prior to that.  There seems to be this common misconception that because baseball didn’t test for steroids it was somehow “OK” to use them prior to the testing phase.  Umm…not quite.  Does your place of employment test you for alcohol every morning when you go into work?  Why wouldn’t you just show up drunk when you feel like doing so, then?  Right…because you know – even though your company doesn’t make you submit to a test to reveal your blood alcohol level – that you can’t show up to work four beers into a morning six pack.

Prior to testing, it was against the rules to use steroids in major league baseball.  People seem to conveniently forget that.

Back to the Cooperstown argument…

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5 Comments For This Post

  1. Marty Says:

    Drew don’t always a agree with you, but well said. I’m glad none of these cheaters made it to the hall. These guys kill me when they say they injected something in themselves but had no idea what it was. How stupid is it for anyone to inject anything into their body without not knowing what it is. And then they get mad when called “dumb” jocks. I think Roger Maris should be put back in the record books as the all time single season home run king, as well as Hank Aaron. I must say I’m surprised that the baseball writers had the “balls” (forgive my pun) to not vote anyone in.

  2. Unitastoberry Says:

    All those guys looked over are laughing.They have more money combined than some countries .They used roids to become ubu rich and no ones coming after all that cash . They won !

  3. Chris Says:

    I agree with some of this but disagree on the fact that writers kept biggio out. He had 3000 hits and I don’t think there was any suspicion he ever did anything unethical. The only other one I go back and forth on is Bonds. He had over 500 homers long before it was noted that he cheated. So I think he made it based on that but I understand the counter argument.

    What I love (he says sarcastically) is the fact that the writers get on their high horse but yet said nothing about it while it was happening. Tom Verducci is the only one who has a leg to stand on since he reported the caminiti interview LONG before canseco came out with his book. Everyone else saying how terrible it is now, but yet said nothing in the moment are nothing but hypocrites and phonies.

  4. Rich Says:

    Maybe I need to read all of the rules of eligibility or the mission statement of the Hall of Fame, but in my understanding (or maybe lack thereof) the “Hall of Fame” and the “museum” are two mutually exclusive things. That’s why the BUILDING is named “The National Baseball Hall of Fame AND Museum”. I’ve been there several times. The plaques are displayed in a room and represent a visual collection of the inductees. The rest of the “museum” documents a history of the game that includes inductees and NON inductees. Next, the word “fame” (to me) implies “famous” or “very well known” as a result of the player/manager/executive/umpire performance during their involvement in baseball. Great players were “famous” and so were not great players (like Uecker). Where does it say that you had to be great “statistically” to be “famous” and be enshrined or not? I’m not totally naieve here, but tell me, was Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance “great” or just “famous?” How “great” was Jim Bunning? Phil Rizzuto? Catfish Hunter? Many others? How “famous” was Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Pete Rose, Vida Blue, many others? A lot here to sort through, but continues to distort the meaning of what the Hall of Fame stands for.

  5. Mike in Towson Says:

    Drew
    I totally disagree with you. I always appreciate how well thought out, well written, and well informed your viewpoint reflects in your blogs. I am one of the few in this country who still think that watching a full 9 innings of the Great American Pastime is fun, and would prefer that to lunch with Jeffrey Dahmer (yes I need a life). This whole issue comes down to one word: GREED. The same disease that has plagued the sport for a century +.
    “Chickens come home to roost”, this is an appropriate description to what the game under Bud Selig’s leadership is now confronting.
    Selig was the “acting commish” through an unprecedented labor dispute in 1994 (including no playoffs & World series) that resulted in massive brand deterioration and revenue loss for MLB. It’s a hypothesis, but someone needs to tell me how as he watched fans fill the stadiums during the 1997/1998 renaissance, accelerated by Sosa/McGwire HR race, that MLB did not know that the root cause of the offensive explosion resulting in the games resurrection was driven through players using PED’s??? They turned their back and allowed it, I would even go as far as to say they encouraged it. I think your position on page 1 is naive regarding “testing”, nobody cared.
    I don’t want to excuse the players in question but let’s not be too quick to think that the 240 existing members (including 35 Negro league) would have taken the moral high-ground in their day if it game them an edge.
    MY SOLUTION – Having been to the HOF… create a section that deals with post-strike (1994) baseball and all its effects. This would allow them to talk about all the issues that the game faces from PED, revenue sharing, inter-league play, WBC Classic etc. I would put them in but make that distinction with a new section based on the strike year and tell the whole story including PED’s and all the good/bad under Selig. Somebody needs to “check” these cats who are already in the HOF. Tight fraternity or not, these guys didn’t shit ice cream over the course of their lives. “What If” Mickey Mantle had access after he ripped up his knee in 1951?? Could he/would he turn to PED’s?? He most likely would have refused it but…you never know. I can go on and on here but I’m already too long in my response.
    These writers need to understand that if they are going to question the players of this era, than they need to also question the executives & managers of this era whose hands are equally as bloody. They also need to understand that “doing nothing” is horseshit. Not doing anything for an extended amount of time…is equivalent to avoiding accountability & not doing their job. This is where the guys who aren’t good enough to play, but good enough to write about it, need to do better. Peace, have a glass of Joel Gott this weekend and enjoy the Ravens.

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