Time for Bud Selig to “Man Up” on Hall of Fame & Steroid Era
The visits I have taken to Baseball’s Hall of Fame are very memorable. Still cherish getting Jackie Robinson’s autograph on my first trip to Cooperstown as a kid.
And the players enshrined in the Hall are my heroes. Especially Sandy Koufax.
But this year’s voting is bringing me down and tarnishing my view of the Hall of Fame.
Others say they did not vote for anyone tainted with steroids. Still others are giving up voting because they don’t feel qualified to judge a player’s fitness any longer.
And worse: some players – like Jeff Bagwell – get smeared with silent campaigns because they look like they took steroids.
It’s time for Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to exercise some leadership and take steps to get voting guidelines established. In particular, what does the so-called character clause mean – and how does it apply to HOF voting?
How about the commissioner bring together one representative each from the American League, National League, Hall of Fame, Baseball Writers Association of America and Players Union, and have them hash out a framework for voting – so everyone is working from the same perspective. Guidelines – that provide direction but still have room for individual views.
Let’s get this resolved – so we don’t relive this nonsense every year for the next few years.
And if the decision is to let players demonstrated to have used performance enhancing drugs (PED) into the Hall of Fame – but with statement indicating PED usage on their plaques, please be sure to extend that rule to baseball management as well.
For example, when Commissioner Selig is inducted into the Hall, his plaque would include something like: presided during the so-called Steroid Era.
Baseball management was just as culpable as players for the Steroid Era.
While They are At It
While this group is working on how to handle HOF voting, the same people can examine how PED-tainted statistics should be handled in the record books.
Let’s take steps where a player like Melky Cabrera, who is suspended for PEDs, cannot win an individual performance crown – like a Silver Slugger or Cy Young Award.
And how about striking all statistics gained during a year when the player is suspended from his career statistics – for purposes like the all-time home run record?
How do you think players explicitly involved with PEDs should be judged in Hall of Fame voting and in their career stats?