Voters of the baseball Hall of Fame woke up to their worst nightmare Wednesday morning.
The prime suspects of the steroids era in baseball were listed on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot. The first-timers listed on the 37-player ballot is headlined by Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa.
Bonds sits atop the all-time home runs list with 762 and won a record seven MVP awards. Clemens set the record for pitchers with seven Cy Young awards and Sosa rounds out the list with 609 home runs, which has him as eighth on the all-time list.
Over the next month, a panel of more than 600 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will cast their vote in the most controversial election in baseball history. Candidates need 75 percent of the vote to be inducted, and history shows these players do not have the voters on their side.
Mark McGwire ranks 10th on the all-time home run list with 583, but has never came close to being inducted into the Hall of Fame. In fact, McGwire has never received up to 24 percent in six tries on the ballot. The former Bash Bro. has admitted to using anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.
Rafael Palmeiro is in a class of only four to total over 500 home runs and 3,000 hits in his career, but in two tries his high is only 12.6 percent on the ballot. Pointing a finger at a grand jury and saying he has never taken steroids, and then being caught shortly after probably has not helped his case.
Voters have sent a clear message to players that they will not let players in the prestigious Hall of Fame. Character is part of the criteria in voting for players in the induction process and voters are taking this to heart.
Now, in the most controversial Hall of Fame elections ever, the time to change how we look at the voting process is here.
Yes, cheating is in fact wrong and has no place in baseball. However during the steroid era, cheating had a huge part in baseball.
Cheating was not with one group of super stars, but unfortunately hundreds of players were taking some form of PED to play at their highest level.
If given the chance, which obviously I will not have, I would vote for Bonds, Clemens and Sosa.
The reality is that steroids were a big part of the game. These players just happened to be the best players during that era.
Keeping every player that ever cheated in baseball out of the Hall of Fame is a wonderful idea, but also impossible. Voters have to put the best players of this generation in the Hall of Fame.
These three players — specifically Bonds and Clemens — had Hall of Fame numbers before the steroid era. Bonds was already in the 400 home runs/400 steals club before being mentioned with the steroid era in Game of Shadows. Clemens won three Cy Young’s and an MVP before being mentioned in the Mitchell Report.
Character is still part of the criteria on the ballots, but there are plenty of players with character flaws in the Hall of Fame.
There is no denying Ty Cobb is one of the greatest players of all-time, but he is also one of the dirtiest and most racist. Babe Ruth changed the game forever and may be the greatest player of all-time, but he was also a drunk and a womanizer. Why don’t we get rid of every player before segregation in baseball?
Cheating is against the game of baseball and I know that, but you cannot look past the steroid era and the stars that it produced. Jeff Bagwell was never linked to steroids, but his muscular build scared voters last year and he only received 56 percent of votes.
The game’s best players need to be in the Hall of Fame. The people in charge of Cooperstown can decide how to recognize these controversial stars.