by Sean Thornton
In just two days we will find out who will be part of the 2013 class of inductees to the baseball Hall of Fame. Normally, I would go over who I think should be inducted, and why I would leave anyone off. But voting for this prestige honor is no longer about what happens on the field. What should be an easy task has become a pain to a lot of the voters of the BBWAA. No, what was once a fun honor for many a writer has now become an arduous task of deciding how to look at the ďSteroid EraĒ. It shouldnít be this difficult to decide who was and wasnít the best of the best throughout the history of the game. Unfortunately, the rules in the voting for Cooperstown leave a lot of leeway when it comes to personal judgment, which has never been much of an issue before this recent era of the game. Well, besides the voters who think no one should get in unanimously. That is just ridiculous. Letís call a spade a spade; steroids were allowed in the late 90ís-early 2000ís. The hierarchy of baseball turned a blind eye to what was going on. They knew that players were getting bigger, homerun numbers were larger, and most pitchers looked like they were throwing batting practice. The game had suffered from the strike of 1994, and needed a literal shot in the arm to elevate them back to where they had once proudly stood in the fanís eyes. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosaís chase of Roger Marisí single season homerun record did just that in 1998, bringing the fans back to the ballpark. Baseball management saw the bigger dollar signs and rode that cash cow as far as they could. So no testing was done for PED use back then. In fact, nothing really was put into place until congress stepped in, telling baseball if they didnít police the game, they would. After all that, baseball now wants to act disgusted that players took illegal substances. Some writers have even decided to become judge, jury and executioner. Apparently you donít even to have a link to PED use. If you look the part, that is good enough for some writers. There are also writers who donít even cover baseball anymore receiving ballots in the mail, while others have flat out said they didnít vote this year because of the mess it has become. No matter where you stand on this topic, the real issue is that the Hall of Fame has not adjusted the rules to voting. What needs to be done is to decide how they feel about the subject, and let the writers vote accordingly. We are already at a point where the writersí limit of ten votes is sometimes not enough. If someone doesnít step up and take the reigns soon, voting will become even more of a numbers crunch than it is now. You canít just ignore that era and act like it didnít happen, especially when you donít know who did what. Both Pete Rose and the 1919 Black Sox are acknowledged in Cooperstown. If they are, there is no reason the ďSteroid EraĒ isnít recognized as well. Iím Sean Thornton in the On Deck Circle.††††† †††††††††††††
Sean Thornton is 14 KVOEís evening on-air personality
and host of Saturdayís Morning Show. Sean also compiles the KVOE Auto Race Update.
Listen to ďThe On Deck CircleĒ at 10:06 am on the Monday Morning Quarterback on 14 KVOE. Also catch Seanís baseball musings on mudshvlst.wordpress.com.
Reach Sean at email@example.com.