Baseball Hall Of Fame Vote Leaves A Certain Class Of Player On The Outs

Sports News With The Baseball Hall Of Fame On election day, we focus on the worthy candidates who were voted in to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Good...

Sports News With The Baseball Hall Of Fame

On election day, we focus on the worthy candidates who were voted in to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Good fellas. Good, or great, players. Mariano Rivera. Mike Mussina. Roy Halladay. But this is still a Hall of Fame missing Pete Rose, Barry Bonds and Roger Clements, among others.

All-time leader in hits. All-time leader in home runs. All-time leader in, uh, something (perhaps those 7 Cy Young awards should mean something). He won a lo – 354 games over 24 years.

Many of the members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America who vote – and some newspapers do not allow their employees to participate – will never get past the allegations of baseball’s era of steroids and performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). They are solid “no” votes. Never mind that Bud Selig, the commissioner during that sordid era, rests comfortably in Cooperstown, New York, among the game’s actual greats.

How is it a hall of the famous without its greatest performers? Rose is the game’s all-time leader in hits, but allegations about his gambling on the sport – a cardinal sin – keep him from consideration. Bonds and Clements are tainted by their connections to PEDs and fell short again this year among BBWA votes in their bids for enshrinement.

Consider: In 1998, with baseball seeking an escape from its doldrums, Mark McGwire hit a record-breaking 70 home runs and Sammy Sosa hit 56 to energize a flagging sport. Roger Maris and his 61 HRs were erased more corruptly than former baseball commissioner Ford Frick could ever have imagined.

Neither McGwire nor Sosa in in the Hall of Fame, primarily because of reports they used PEDs. But Harold Baines, who played 22 seasons and did not reach 3,000 hits, joins the immortals this summer.

Baseball – or at least the body electing Hall of Famers – needs to decide whether conduct off the field, or ingestion of products not yet banned, or general unlikability (Bonds) should be a factor in keeping performance-worthy scuzzballs out.

Me? Well, you have a nasty collection of racists, cheats and scoundrels already in the Hall of Fame, dating to its earliest days. A few more would not really sully the grounds.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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