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.”
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…
(Please see next page)