Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gwen Knapp: Baseball is in an intriguing period of PED amnesty

Well, so much for Antonio Alfonseca getting in on the first ballot…from the person that threw a HOF vote to Ken Caminiti.

One has to wonder whether people within the game would embrace McGwire as a Hall of Famer. We can’t know because the vote belongs to baseball writers. In a few weeks, they will each receive the Class of 2013 ballot, the first to carry the names of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. I am supposed to get one. I don’t want it. I gave up voting a long time ago. I’d rather that the entire task, and especially the doping question, go to a committee of enshrined players.

Their verdict would mean more. If the writers leave out Clemens or Bonds, the most accomplished pitcher and hitter of the last generation, large portions of the public will simply disregard the message. After all, the media have already had their say on the topic of PEDs. This vote won’t reveal anything new. But it’s never been clear what former players think, if there is anything resembling consensus. Only a few speak up loudly. Most duck the issue. It’s too much for them. They fear sounding like blowhards, or worse, bitter old men jealous of the buff studs who replaced them and make much higher salaries.

But placed in a room for a long weekend, knowing they must debate their peers and arrive at a decision, they will take the responsibility seriously. The game would benefit from creating the forum for such a conversation, even if we never hear details of it. Instead of giving random interviews on the topic, players like Goose Gossage, who is ardently anti-doping, and Mike Schmidt, who has said he understands the temptation, could express themselves with a purpose.

Everyone in the room would have something precious at stake. Henry Aaron had no way to defend his home-run record; he was discouraged every time he tried to express reservations about Bonds’ late-career power surge. Given the ballot, he could defend the meaning of the Hall of Fame, whether that means barring Bonds or saying that 762 home runs count as an unimpeachable qualification.

This voting method would also greatly reduce the risks of rejecting certain suspects while admitting a player who doped but didn’t get caught. If that player gets in, he will know that the Hall is not a fortress of purity. When he becomes a voter, he is more likely to take a permissive view toward dopers on the ballot and try to rectify the imbalance he represents. There’s no guarantee of that, but it’s an absolute certainty that writers cannot gain the same insight.

Repoz Posted: November 10, 2012 at 08:02 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, hof

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
1k5v3L
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogESPN's top 50 players
(22 - 7:49am, Apr 22)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogOTP 2018 Apr 16: Beto strikes out but is a hit at baseball fundraiser
(1220 - 7:11am, Apr 22)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (April - June 2018)
(34 - 7:00am, Apr 22)
Last: PreservedFish

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1942 Ballot
(2 - 6:49am, Apr 22)
Last: John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy

NewsblogWhite Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar in critical condition after suffering ruptured aneurysm
(8 - 3:45am, Apr 22)
Last: ptodd

NewsblogOT - 2017-18 NBA thread (All-Star Weekend to End of Time edition)
(2365 - 2:09am, Apr 22)
Last: f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135

NewsblogLook at the size of this WEEKEND OMNICHATTER!, for April 21-22, 2018
(125 - 1:42am, Apr 22)
Last: Perry

NewsblogNYTimes: Now Batting in Class AA: Biggio, Bichette and Guerrero
(6 - 12:11am, Apr 22)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogBryan Price dismissed as Reds manager | MLB.com
(97 - 10:02pm, Apr 21)
Last: Panic

NewsblogWhy the drop in home runs in 2018? Major League Baseball had better hope it’s the weather.
(12 - 9:43pm, Apr 21)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network)

NewsblogCallaway says Harvey might not make his next start after performance in 12-4 loss to Braves
(5 - 9:22pm, Apr 21)
Last: Adam Starblind

NewsblogAngell: Night Moves
(3 - 8:12pm, Apr 21)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

Sox TherapyAre The Angels A Real Team?
(18 - 7:57pm, Apr 21)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine

Hall of Merit2019 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(106 - 6:31pm, Apr 21)
Last: Kiko Sakata

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(1542 - 6:13pm, Apr 21)
Last: AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther

Page rendered in 0.1130 seconds
45 querie(s) executed