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John Smoltz, Gaylord Perry, and Kevin Millar discuss MLB Hall of Fame vote involving steroid users

John Smoltz (MLB.com)

John Smoltz (MLB.com)

Prior to this year’s Diamond Resort Invitational, a phone conference was held, including National Baseball Hall of Fame members Gaylord Perry, John Smoltz and sports analyst Kevin Millar.

The focus of the conference was based on the upcoming Cooperstown Hall of Fame election which includes Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Trevor Hoffman, Curt Schilling, Ivan Rodriguez, Mike Mussina and Billy Wagner.

Smoltz is fairly new to the whole Hall of fame process. The former Atlanta Braves pitcher was inducted into Cooperstown just two summers ago. Many players do not get inducted the first time around. In Smoltz’s opinion, “it doesn’t matter what year you get inducted, once you’re in, you’re in.” Smoltz said he had to wait his turn to be inducted, but it did not affect him personally. Smoltz was even prepared not to be inducted.

Gaylord Perry was inducted into Cooperstown in 1991. Gaylord pitched for eight different teams throughout his career. He retired in 1983 and had to wait longer than the five-year eligibility period to be inducted.

Both players, along with Kevin Millar, believe that there is much more to be considered about a candidate than just statistics. Yes, statistics are a significant factor, but it also comes down to character.

There are times that a discovery is made regarding a baseball player using steroids. Steroids are a performance-enhancing drug and have been part of baseball’s banned substance list since 1991.

There is an argument to whether or not players who have been caught using steroids should be allowed to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Of course, there are cases in which a player may not have been caught using the illegal substance, or was under suspicion when he was not using any. It is because of this, writers are supposed to do the best they can with the utmost seriousness in this situation.

Players, such as Pete Rose, have also gotten into trouble with betting on games and were forced to pay the price. Due to his scandals, Rose was ineligible for the Cooperstown Hall of Fame.

Curt Schilling was a former pitcher whose supporters withdrew their votes for him for a year, after he sent out a ‘sarcastic’ tweet. The tweet included a picture of a man wearing a shirt with the words “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.” Schilling captioned this picture with the word “awesome.” The voters saw his tweet as reckless and irresponsible.

Smoltz does not know Schilling personally and stays away from social media. He did not have any comment on whether or not Schilling should still be considered for the Hall of Fame. Gaylord knows Schilling and says that he is a great pitcher, but does tend to rub people the wrong way.

When it comes down to it, Kevin Millar says “there will always be an asterisk” when considering rules for who should or should not be eligible for the Hall of Fame.

Aside from the Hall of Fame, the three men also said how excited they were to be participating in this year’s Diamond Reserve Invitational.

PGA Champions Tour Players and LPGA Players & Celebrities will be participating in the tournament.

The tournament is set for January 13-15 Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resorts Orlando and can be watched on the Golf Channel.

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