Before I go any further talking about the voting that took place yesterday in which no one was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame, let me say I couldn’t say what I want to say any better than my friend Jayson Stark from ESPN said it in his column today. If you are a baseball fan, please to to espn.com and read it.
While doing my Sportscene sports talk show yesterday, I said on air that I believed no one would get in to the Hall of Fame this year. I understand why no one got in, but I do not totally agree with the voters.
The guy who should have gotten in is Mike Piazza; his numbers screamed for him to be in as a first ballot guy, especially numbers put up while he was a catcher. In my view, the only reason he did not get in was because of rumor, whispers and maybes; there was never any proof he was using anything illegal during his playing days but he was guilty by association with some of the other guys who were on the ballot with him and that is ashame.
Craig Biggio NEVER was linked to any of the steroids business and even though he got the most votes (68.2 percent, you need 75 percent) I believe a lot of voters just could not make him a FIRST BALLOT guy…I think he gets in next year.
But now we come to the heart of the matter. A majority of voters saw fit to not have guys like Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa even come within whiffing distance of election.
I get it, I do. I would not have voted for them either. But if you read Jayson Stark’s column, he brings up perhaps the most important question in all of this…what kind of a Hall of Fame do you want, one that shows the HISTORY of the sport, with warts and all, or some sort of cathedral where you deny the existence of players like Bonds or Clemens who have the honor of being the home run king of baseball and the receiver of the most Cy Young Awards ever given to a pitcher, respectively.
It is a fascinating subject and one that really transcends society. Many believe you do not reward those who cheated, but the Hall already has a guy in who admittedly cheated in pitcher Gaylord Perry and who knows how many illegal spitballs some of those old time pitchers threw; if the pitch was illegal and they used it, that is cheating too.
It is my belief that Bonds, Clemens, Sosa and all of that group will someday be elected because their numbers demand they be elected. But moving forward, voters should really take Jayson Stark’s advice and examine what kind of Hall of Fame they want to have and it could be one where some of the game’s greatest players (Pete Rose anyone?) would be excluded.
Oh, and next year, guys like Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine are on the ballot too..it will indeed be fascinating to watch this voting process unfold.
And I’m sure we’ll have the same type of discussion next year.