There was never any doubt that this year’s ballot for the Hall of Fame was the most controversial ballot ever. Players like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens – who have been linked to PEDs – were on the ballot for the first time in addition to great players such as Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio. Despite all of the controversy surrounding the new names on this year’s list, the BBWAA made the wrong decisions.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with how a player is inducted into the Hall, allow me to enlighten you a bit. Every year, members of the Baseball Writers Association of America – the BBWAA – are handed out ballots that contain the names of the eligible players. They then have eight votes that they can give to eight of the players. They can vote for fewer than eight players, but not more. In order for a player to have the honor of being inducted, they must gain 75% of the votes.
How and why this year’s induction class has nobody on it is beyond me.
Let’s take a look at the “PED users” first. On this year’s ballot, Bonds, Clemens and Sammy Sosa were among the most controversial names. Take Sosa – who tested positive for steroids – out of the equation and you are left with Bonds and Clemens.
Despite whatever evidence may be there, these two players were never truly found to have knowingly taken steroids. In Clemens’ case, he went through the United States legal system, and was still found to have never taken anything.
The phrase “innocent until proven guilty” comes into play here.
The writers who cast their ballots could look at whatever evidence they wanted to, but the fact of the matter is that until the players are proven guilty of taking steroids – the writers are just making assumptions.
That’s just wrong.
But we can talk about the PED users all day if we wanted to. Let’s take a look at the other formidable names that were on the ballot – Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, Jack Morris, Curt Schilling, Lee Smith and Jeff Bagwell.
Not a single player from those six listed were elected.
The two names that stand out to me the most are Biggio and Piazza. Craig Biggio accumulated more than 3,000 hits in his career and Mike Piazza was the best offensive catcher of all time.
I have absolutely no explanation as to why not one single person was elected to the Hall this year. Especially among the non- “PED-users,” was there really that much of a discrepancy between the voters?
The BBWAA got this year’s vote wrong, and it is so painfully obvious. It may be time for a change in the voting system.