With Randy Johnson winning his 300th and Sammy Sosa recently making headlines with his announcement that he will announce his retirement, a lot has been discussed about the Hall of Fame and who should be considered for induction and who should not.
People are talking about what stats should be considered or discredited. Should anyone who used a PED (or is speculated to have used) be admitted or not.
Let me first give a few facts to consider about what the Hall of Fame is.
According to their site
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an independent, non-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of baseball and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our national pastime.
It is a museum. It is not associated with MLB directly; it is a third party museum. A museum that is about stats and numbers.
The Hall of Fame is not about who was the most ethical or morally kind player. It is not a museum to enshrine nice guys. It is a museum to highlight stats. If it was about nice guys, Reggie Jackson would not be in, and Mickey Morandini would be.
I would be willing to bet my testis, that there are players, currently in the museum who used greenies, the spitball, Vaseline, were abusive drunks, and known to have anger issues. These players made it in because of their accomplishments, the stats that they put up. These players were difference makers, clean or not, and they are in the Hall of Fame based on that alone.
Now this brings us to the current crop of players who should be in and are not, such as Andre Dawson, Lee Smith, Ron Santo, Tim Raines, and Dale Murphy (just to name a small sample). Were these guys difference makers in the games that they played and did they put up the needed stats? In my opinion yes. Each of them did. To deny them, is unjust. Especially when players of equal or lesser value are in.
Now the second crop of players, those coming eligible (or currently are) whom are under speculation (or confirmed caught using PED’s), such as (not limited to) Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens. Do they deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. Well, there are two things I will ask you about that
- If the Hall of Fame (for example) requested the bat used for HR#500, 600, 700, a glove of jersey worn during the 300th win or 3000th strike out, and so on from a players under question, why would they say he is not worthy but his equipment is?
- If you do not allow a currently eligible player based on his using or the possibility of using, how can you justify the enshrinement of those who are in but also were cheats (such as greenies)?
To me you cannot justify either of the above. I don’t see how you can. Question number two above, could you imagine if there were blogs and international attention at the click of a button during the "greenies" era, how many in would have been denied entry based on public perception? Times have changed, information is easier to gain and locate, and due to that the rules seem to be changed for the new, and overlooked for the old. Make sense?
Now, how do you justify putting Roger Clemens (for example) into the Hall of Fame, after he has been busted for PED’s? Some will say use an asterisk, or mark him on the plaque as being busted for using PED’s. Well, that is not the right answer in my opinion. To mark one player, you need to mark all players to be fair to the history and accuracy portrayed to the public. The Hall of Fame Museum now need to go thru the history of each player in the Hall of Fame and mark each one who used greenies, Vaseline, etc to ensure that it is 100% correctly documented. To me, that is a waste of time, energy, and not needed. Leave them all unmarked since this should be a celebration of baseball, and let the fans enjoy the history, instead of giving the entire sport a black eye.
How does a player get into the Hall of Fame. Well, there are two ways. One is the Baseball Writers (yes, the same media who will bash a player for missing a plane) get to vote you in or not. The other is the veterans committee votes once the writers have denied you enough times. This is a big flaw in my opinion. The same writers who will love a player for great quotes, and then calls him a traitor for signing with a rival, can vote against you (which is how a player ends up with one vote. Does anyone really think that the one writer voting for that person is being serious?) to block your entrance, and continue to do so until you are no longer eligible. This is worse than the All Star Game voting by fans.
Now I say, PED’s or not, those who put up the numbers should be in. I know many will disagree, but I have explained why above by answering questions comparing past players to today’s. Anyone who says no, should never visit the Al Capone Museum (for example) since that is a museum celebrating something worse than stats produced from PED's. In 20 years, no one will care about PED's that are used today, there will be a new method of cheating, and it will continue til the end of time.
I know some of you will disagree heavily with me, and that is fine. Instead of bashing this post and my opinion, give me some reasons, and try to convince me otherwise.