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No surprises for HOF ballot PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, November 29, 2012 1:18 PM

We know for sure who is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the Class of 2013 at Cooperstown.

No real surprise that Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens are on the ballot — all seriously suspected of using steroids and other performance-enhancers during their careers but also denying such use.

They have some serious numbers but I have written in the past about what I think about these guys. Because of the system as it was then — no drug testing, etc. — they got away with it, in my most humble — but correct! — opinion.

Or else these guys found the Fountain of Youth to do what they did even at ages when almost every other major-leaguer throughout baseball’s illustrious history was declining! At least one voter publicly — and I imagine others privately — agrees with me on that.

When even a guy like Mark McGwire, who has been eligible for a while but can’t get a quarter of the voters to pick him, can now admit to using PEDs and still be on the ballot — that’s all the proof I need that he is guilty and knew what he was doing was against the rules — is troubling to me but he may not get in because he was a 1-trick pony — all he could do was bomb home runs.

Bonds is such a quandary especially because he had Cooperstown-caliber numbers before PEDs seemingly started to really take over. Sosa could do more than hit for power even before and Clemens recovered from early-career arm woes to win a record 7 Cy Youngs.

I understand that Clemens was recently acquitted for lying to and obstructing Congress — and you know what I feel about THAT whole fiasco! — but I think the standard of proof is far more stringent there, as it should be; he could have gone to jail.

I like the attitude of one of the BBWAA writers, Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News. Basically, he has written that for now, he will not vote for any of them until the facts become clearer and he can get a better handle on what really went on during their time on the field.
Some voters will go in with a “never” attitude and others will go in with a “see-no-evil” one.

My guess is that all three of the newbies will eventually get in when the Steroids Era starts to fade from memory.
It took this fiasco to get the powers-that-be in Baseball to address this issue and now, even more stringent — and wide-ranging — tests are being considered.

Better late than never. The court of public opinion won out in the long run.

Unfortunately, there are guys that maybe will get elected this year or down the road that will be overshadowed by all this.

Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling are also among the 24 newbies, along with Bernie Williams, Alan Trammell, Kenny Lofton, Don Mattingly, etc. Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines are the top holdovers.

I think a legit case can be made for all of them — and the ones I didn’t mention — getting voted in but Raines even had a cocaine problem early in his career.

Every time this comes up, my mind goes back to Pete Rose ...

Oh well, get ready for Baseball’s version of the Silly Season as the votes come in!


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