Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

July 24, 2012

Our Opinion: Hall voters will have tough decisions to make


— The Baseball Hall of Fame’s annual Induction Weekend is by far the biggest event in Cooperstown each year. This weekend, Cincinnati shortstop Barry Larkin and Cubs third baseman, the late Ron Santo, will join the elite fraternity.

The ceremonies are generally grand occasions, a celebration of the sport, with the only real controversy surfacing when Pete Rose comes to town to sign autographs. Enjoy it, because that’s about to change.

This winter, the Hall’s selection committee, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, will be faced with an enormous decision. What to do about baseball’s Steroids Era? Names such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza will be on the eligibility list for consideration.

The voters have spoken and they’ve shown us that they  will not approve any player who has been found to have used performance-enhancing drugs. They also have issues with players who are suspected of using performanceenhancing drugs.

Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire, known performanceenhancers,

didn’t even get 20 percent of the writers' vote (75 percent is needed to be inducted). Jeff Bagwell only got 41.7 percent of the vote, with some of the “no’s” clearly attributed to suspicion of using PEDs, though no evidence has ever come forward.

Good for the voters. They should stick to their standards. Many editorial writers are saying the voters need to get a new attitude or suggest that the museum add a Steroid-Era wing because if these players are not inducted somehow it will be “bad for business.” CNBC writer Darren Rovell even goes as far as suggesting a more drastic measure taking away the vote from the writers. He calls the Baseball Hall of Fame a business and says it’s good business to induct performance- enhancers or suspected performance-enhancers.

It may be good business, if the Hall of Fame were collecting from each ticket holder. But the ceremony itself is free and it is supposed to be a great honor to be enshrined.

Character is part of the criteria for election, so unless that is taken out, it should not be taken lightly. Also, the Hall of Fame is a nonprofit. Is the main goal to make money or to honor the game?

People will always be tempted to cheat in pro sports by using performance enhancers. The money and fame are too tempting to ignore for many athletes. However, the Baseball Hall of Fame should not promote steroid use, gambling on the game or cheating. It has used others as examples Pete Rose is a prime example.

All baseball players who played in the Steroid Era should not be discounted from the Hall of Fame due to possibly being juiced. It is too hard to really know who for sure is cheating, but those who do test positive for sure should be left out

Those eligible next year include Bonds, Clemens, Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling, Sosa, Piazza, Kenny Lofton, David Wells, Julio Franco, Shawn Green, Steve Finley, Roberto Hernandez, Jeff Cirillo, Jose Valentin, Reggie Sanders, Jeff Conine, Jose Mesa, Royce Clayton, Bob Wickman, Ryan Klesko, Aaron Sele, Woody Williams, Rondell White, Mike Lieberthal, Tony Batista, Mike Stanton, Sandy Alomar Jr., Damian Miller and Todd Walker. There is plenty of time for steroid debate. For now, we want to honor the pair of players getting their due in Cooperstown.