No, I’m not ready to vote for confirmed steroid users or even certain alleged users for the Hall of Fame. But I’m so torn, I’m closer to saying, “yes,” than ever before.
Doesn’t mean I will next year. Doesn’t mean I will in five years. It just means that my own internal debate continues, and if I sound indecisive, so be it. This is not an easy question to decide.
This year, I did not vote for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens or any of the other first-time candidates. I generally do not for any player from this era on the first ballot, though I have made exceptions before and probably will again.
As I’ve written previously, this is my way of distinguishing, say, Bonds from Hank Aaron, players from a dubious period from the greats of the past. To those who ask, “What about players thought to be clean?” my response is, “They all were part of a union that had the power to implement change.”
Obviously, my stand could lead to a major problem — if every voter followed suit, first-time candidates would not get the necessary five percent of the vote to remain on the ballot. But to my knowledge, no other voter takes the same approach. So, I’m comfortable proceeding in this fashion.
The real question for me will be how to vote on Bonds, Clemens and others linked to performance-enhancing drugs in the future, knowing that each will be eligible for 15 years and that 75 percent of the vote is required for induction.
Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:51 PM | 39 comment(s)
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