(crunch) HELP! HELP!! Jeff Bagwell won’t fit completely under the bus because of his “cartoonish forearms”!* (*re-recrunched from last year)
Now, thanks to the taint of the steroid era, the arrival of the ballot brings dread instead of anticipation, suspicion instead of admiration.
For the second straight year, I look at Jeff Bagwell’s name and wonder if he beat the system while he was also pounding baseballs out of ballparks all across the country. I’d love to vote for him, because he was always a class act whenever I had to interview him and his numbers scream Hall of Famer.
...I’ve listened to the argument that Bagwell should be a Hall of Famer because there is no proof he used the same performance-enhancing drugs that inflated the heads, bodies and resumes of some of his peers. I suspect, however, that there are a lot of players who cheated and never were caught. We’re going to see many of those names on the Hall of Fame ballot in the near future.
Next year, for example, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio are going to be among the first-time candidates. Based solely on their bodies of work, they all deserve to be first-ballot inductees. That fact alone says something about the steroid era because there have never been more than three first-ballot inductees in the same year, and that happened only once.
...For at least one more year I took on the task anyway.
Here are the guys who got my vote: McGriff, Barry Larkin, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell.
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