He (Bagwell), Mike Piazza (a horrible catcher but with Hall of Fame numbers for any position and no connection to Mitchell Report despite rumors) and Craig Biggio (only player in baseball history with at least 3,000 hits, 600 doubles, 400 stolen bases and 250 home runs) are the only players I am voting for on this ballot and this is why: I never have done this before in my 15 years voting for the Hall of Fame and I hate to do it but I feel obligated to baseball fans everywhere — and my sons — to use my vote to make some sort of statement to players on this ballot roundly suspected and criticized for using some sort of performance-enhancing drug to compete in a game I so much love and respect.
In short I would say to them: You brought this upon yourself and you shamed the game so you don’t deserve to be given the honor and privilege of being a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee. Those votes are special, one-of-a-kind, slam-dunk, no-brainer votes and, though your statistics and awards leave no doubt that you belong in the Hall of Fame, there is too much angst about how you achieved them and that troubles me and the people who revere baseball. Those strong accusations and your arrogance are too great to ignore.
I might change my mind someday. I have before. Time has a way of revealing the truth and shedding light on right and wrong and the reasons between the two.
But ultimately I want to cast my vote with some conviction, not suspicion. This is not easy. Getting to Cooperstown is a coronation, a celebration of a job well done. Bonds is the greatest player I’ve ever seen and Clemens is the best pitcher I’ve watched in my generation. And perhaps they belong in the Hall of Fame.
Not this year.
Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:03 PM | 24 comment(s)
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