For only the second time in 40 years, the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame failed to enshrine a player when sportswriters split the tally. As a result I think in the process they robbed Craig Biggio and Jack Morris. Biggio not only had an outstanding career but played at an All-Star level at multiple positions while Jack Morris was one of the finest and consistent pitchers of his era while winning 254 games.
Still, there is no escaping that most of those entrusted with keeping the hallowed halls hallowed have decided that a line in the sand had to be drawn when it comes to those players most associated with the infamous Steroid Era. And while I think that that was the correct thing to do, I still have to question why some sportswriters gave away votes to the disgraced?
As for the honorable sportswriters, well I guess they must have felt that there should be a certain reverence for the phrase "Mom, Apple Pie and Baseball" and I applaud them. After all, "Mom, Apple Pie and Baseball" symbolize something we are taught from a young age which is to work hard and to do it with a sense of fair play. As such, the tainted players should never be enshrined because what they did not only tainted that belief, but stripped it away from the youth who hold professional athletes up as their role models.
Besides, bulking up just to hit the ball farther or throw it harder can only be perceived as a means of cheating. Now, I realize that there are those who will say that the juicing didn't make a hitter's hand-eye coordination any better and that they still had to hit the ball out of the park. Okay I'll give them that. Still, when players that rarely hit more than a few homers a year are able to put up double digit numbers one has to believe that there was a heck of a net benefit to their new found strength.
You know, baseball has always been something of an outlet for me. I have always enjoyed the game and the strategy (and yes there is plenty of it) as well as the many "unwritten rules of the game." However, I don't think that "cheating" is the same as a purpose pitch or making a rookie carry a pink bag around or having them do some other absurd initiation ritual. Baseball has its quirks but I had always thought they were harmless until the steroids issue shattered that.
Certain lines just cannot be crossed.
I am saddened that the sportswriters charged with selecting a player could not unanimously enshrine Craig Biggio or Jack Morris. Sure they didn't have super-duper numbers but if you look at their impact on the game, they still deserved the recognition. Personally I think the sportswriters erred here. Just as they did for all those years in denying Chicago Cub Great Ron Santo while he was still alive. His induction is still bittersweet to me.
As for this years' vote - well if the sportswriters were that conflicted whether or not a Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens or Sammy Sosa should or shouldn't make the Hall, well Shame On Them! Their collective numbers for induction should have been Z-E-R-O instead of the 36.2%, 37.6% and 12.5% they respectively received.
Sure there are some players already in the Hall of Fame that could be viewed as "unsuitable," but I don't ever recall any of them being dragged in front of a Congressional Hearing or being Indicted. But that's what the the Steroid Era Players did and gave the game. In the process it only brought great shame to the American Pastime.
And my suggestion to the younger players out there? Well - Just Stay True!
Tags: Barry Bonds, Cooperstown, Cooperstown National Hall of Fame, Craig Biggio, Jack Morris, Jose Canseco, Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, Mark McGwire, MLB, News and Opinion, No One Added To Class of 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Sports, Sportswriters of America