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Elections are such fickle things.
In 2004, George W. Bush earned better than 50 percent of the vote to be re-elected as president. About a year later, Bush’s approval ratings sat around 30 percent. That means in 12 months at least 20 percent of the people who voted for him to be president thought he was doing a lousy job as president.
So I can’t say I'm surprised that Wednesday’s announcement that, for the first time since 1996, no one had made the Baseball Hall of Fame this year.
There were some big names on this year’s ballot. Bonds. Clemens. Sosa. Those names, of course, were also tainted.
Bonds, Clemens and Sosa have been branded as Performance Enhancing Drug users. Many of the Baseball Writers Association of America, which does the Hall of Fame voting, feel that no one involved with PED use should ever get into the Hall of Fame.
That’s a perfectly fair sentiment and something that these men should’ve known was a likely consequence of their actions, particularly Bonds and Clemens, who were certain to be first-ballot Hall-of-Famers for their careers preceding their alleged use of PEDs – Sosa’s success may have come largely because of those drugs.
Those Twitter and comment-leaver sports pundits out there feel, from some of the websites I’ve visited today seem to feel that a horrible injustice was done (few bother to say specifically what injustice) and that the whole system of having baseball writers vote on the Hall of Fame ought to be scrapped.
Again, fair enough. Please, then, Mister Twitter, tell me who should do the voting? The fans? The players? The Veterans Committee?
Generally, I feel the BBWAA has done a good job. Most of the men who have been voted in deserved it. Most who haven’t, didn’t.
This year, had I been on the committee, I would’ve given serious consideration to Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza. I also would’ve voted Lee Smith in, as he has been a deserving carry-over and, if it were up to me, would’ve put him in some time ago.
Piazza and Biggio are both certainly deserving and have no connection to PEDs. However, I don’t know that either name screams out “first-ballot Hall-of-Famer,” but they will both, no doubt, be voted in at some time in the near future.
I have mixed feelings about the PED scandal. I generally feel that those associated with PEDs should not be in the Hall, but Major League Baseball itself gets no free pass on this issue, either, as during the height of PED usage, MLB’s policy was more “see no evil, hear no evil” than an active pursuit to clean up the game.
Only about 10 years ago when Congress got involved, galloping in, flag-waving and guns blazing as Congressional grandstanders are wont to do, got involved, did the MLB pretend to care about what was happening to the integrity of the game or the health and well-being of its players. Potential revenue loss, of course, was MLB’s only pressing issue.
It would then be the utmost hypocrisy to allow Bud Selig to enter the Hall – the Veterans Committee selects baseball executives for inclusion – the commissioner who let baseball’s PED problems fester for as long as they did and not let in the users.
We’ll see what happens when Bud’s name gets on that committee’s ballot.