Baseball’s writers got it wrong. And, now, maybe it’s time to bench them, as well.
We just learned that baseball’s 2013 Hall of Fame Class will include….no one. (Except for three members posthumously elected by the “Who-Were-These-Guys?” Veterans’ Committee)
For the first time in 16 years, none of the eligible players were named on 75 percent of ballots submitted by voters from the esteemed Baseball Writers Association of America (BWAA), the Hall’s sole gatekeepers.
Among the 37 players in the mix, were at least eight of whom I believe should be posing with their busts at the July 28 induction event: Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Craig Biggio, Jack Morris, Curt Schilling and perhaps even Jeff Bagwell.
And many (if not all) of them eventually will.
That’s what makes this vote so absurd.
Of course we knew this would happen. Many of the 600 or so voters have long since held their noses at this class – especially the first-time eligibles, whom they say are tainted by the use, or alleged use, of performance enhancing drugs.
How sanctimonious of them.
And maybe hypocritical, since many of them were as blind to the pervasive use of PEDs during that era as the game’s executives and, yes, fans.
We all were. And it’s time we face up to the fact that the era, as is said, was what it was.
Thanks to the Mitchell Report, we now know that from about 1990 through, oh, maybe the arrival of the Bryce Harper Era, Major League Baseball was a juice-lovin’ laboratory of rats trying to hit baseballs where no men had hit them before.
We don’t know all the Who’s-&-How’s, but we have suspicions. And when it comes to many of the players who were shunned today, that’s pretty much all we have.
It’s been mentioned by many – and I think it’s spot on – that, perhaps, the Hall should create a separate wing for those inductees from the Steroid Era that are ultimately admitted. At minimum, it should be acknowledged on their plaques.
But to exclude them is ludicrous.
The writers typically vote for players based on two primary factors: how they stack against the greatest players ever; and whether they dominated their eras.
By those measures, there should be several Baseball Hall of Fame inductees.
Instead, there are none, because too many baseball writers decided to be judge and jury–hard, irrefutable evidence be damned! And it seems the most stubborn among them will continue to do so until the ballot is pulled from their cold dead fingers.
Maybe we shouldn’t wait that long. Maybe inclusion into baseball’s Hall should not be left to the writers doing.
It’s time for former players (especially HOFers), managers and executives to be included in the voting, as well. Their presence might balance some of the obvious prejudices held by some of the current voters.
Or it might not.
There is no perfect system. And perhaps the outcome of today’s voting would be the same – even if the voting pool were different.
But this pool is now tainted, and it needs to be drained.