Well, the Hall of Fame vote has come and gone, and the child-savers have made their point:
…. By mimicking Congress on the deficit debate and kicking the steroid needles down the road for another year, the Baseball Writers Association of America made a powerful statement Wednesday that it does take the integrity/sportsmanship clause in the Hall of Fame ballot seriously and that the writers plan to look long and hard at all the proven and suspected cheats before awarding them a plaque in Cooperstown.
Only someone blinded by power and self-aggrandizing moralizing could fail to see the irony of being proud to mimic Congress, at a time when our government has an all-time low approval rating. Oh, and of course, Madden voted for Jack Morris, perhaps the most poorly qualified candidate of the last ten years. His argument for Morris is as flawed as his arguments against Bonds and Clemens, or, for that matter, Piazza.
…. Voting for a known steroid user is endorsing steroid use. (um…. no it isn't) Having spent too much of the past two decades or so covering baseball on the subject of steroids — what they do, how the game was subverted by them, and how those who stayed away from them were disadvantaged — I cannot endorse it.
Based on past statements, such a dismissal is also obvious to many former players, including Hank Aaron, who has said no steroid users should go into the Hall (“The game has no place for cheaters”), Andre Dawson (“Individuals have chosen the wrong road, and they're choosing that as their legacy”), Goose Gossage (“Cheaters should absolutely not be in the Hall of Fame”), Todd Zeile (“Why doesn't anybody see that it's cheating and it's wrong?”), David Wells (“To me, if you've cheated as a player, that's as bad as being a scab”) and Dale Murphy (“Everyone understood that it was against the law . . . It was also against the spirit of the game. That's why everybody did it in secret. I have a hard time endorsing that, because there were a lot of guys who decided, 'I'm not going to do that.'”)
Where are all the former players arguing for known steroid users to be in the Hall? Anybody?
The former players who are speaking out against steroid users are conveniently ignoring the fact that they all used amphetamines throughout their careers, as did virtually every player who played baseball up until the
steroid hysteria led to the new drug testing system. The ones who won't come out and support the alleged steroid users are afraid they'll have to be asked about their own use of illegal drugs to gain an advantage. Verducci comes across as especially hypocritical when he characterizes “greenies” as diet pills. Right.
Also in his completely bullshit op-ed piece is his admission that he has decided that he knows who has used PED's and who didn't. It's always exciting when you get to write about what people have done in their lives while ignoring facts, or their lack. More tragically, know-nothing, soap box pontificators like Verducci get to decide whether a player who has worked his ass off for thirty years gets to be acknowledged for their sacrifice and career accomplishments.
But, that's what happens when people with literally NO TRAINING WHATSOEVER in the use and results of performance enhancing drugs are given the power to decide who warrants inclusion and who is shut out.
The good news is that it is all but certain the Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Biggio, Bagwell, Piazza, Palmeiro and the dozens of other superstars of the last 15 years will eventually gain entry to the Hall of Fame. And then, the old-timers –who were as guilty as sin of using the steroids of their era– can puff their chests out and whine about how these guys are the bad guys. Not them. Oh no, they