Don’t Embarrass Cooperstown: My Letter to the BBWAA
One thing you hear a lot about at the start of every year is who will be heading to Cooperstown; to join baseball’s elite in the hallowed halls of the Hall of Fame. For years a lot of the talk has centered around those men that started the conversation about stats in baseball. Fact of the matter is there was a time when names like Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, Roger Clemens, Mark Mcgwire, and others would be surefire Hall of Famers based on their career numbers, but when it came out that a number of these “surefire” Hall of Famer’s had used banned substances to get a competitive edge over their fellow players that all changed. In my opinion knowing that very talented players chose to cheat instead of playing the game honestly and to the best of their ability like everyone else in the past and present it is an insult to the integrity of the game and needs to be addressed.
Overall I have heard a lot about how the newer writers are more open to the idea of allowing Bonds and Clemens specifically in and discounting their past with PED’s. Also seeing the public ballots that have been released ahead of Tuesday’s official announcement it would be an embarrassment if Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were elected into the Hall of Fame. In my opinion they lost all credibility when like Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Manny, & McGwire they were given the name cheaters. I have believed for the longest time that Bonds should’ve lost all his records as should Clemens because if you cheated to get there you don’t deserve to have it doesn’t matter if you didn’t use from the start it matters that you didn’t do it the right way.
Now I know that names Andy Pettitte & Mark McGwire have apologized for their decision to use PED’s during their playing careers and I applaud them for that, but that doesn’t change the fact that they did it and don’t deserve to be included in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. The last seven years has seen a distraction on the ballot which has prevented extremely deserving players like Jeff Kent, Omar Vizquel, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker and various from getting the consideration they deserve. Looking at the tracker which tabulates all the ballots that have been public so far it is crazy to me to see names like Todd Helton, Billy Wagner, Gary Sheffield with such low percentages and cheaters with such high percentages. I know that some fans might disagree with me and that’s fine, because that’s your opinion but to convince that a player who cheated during his active career to inflate his stats is deserving of a Hall of Fame inclusion is crazy to me. I think that at this point names like Sosa, Bonds, and Clemens should’ve fallen off the ballot years ago as they crowding the ballot as they are preventing those who actually deserve consideration from getting in.
In closing if I could ask one thing of the Baseball Writers when they make their votes think about who actually deserves to be included in the Hall of Fame. The baseball Hall of Fame is a very special place where only the absolute best belong and letting people in who are cheaters will damage the reputation and integrity of such a respected building. Think about that when you cast your vote it’s not about stats if they didn’t get there the right way.
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