Baseball Writers Accurate or Agenda Driven?

December 3, 2012

This is the time that a lot of baseball fans and critics have been waiting on. For so long, people have talked and speculated on how the “steroid era” would be perceived in the hall of fame voting.

On this year’s ballot, there are 3 important caricatures of that era in sports on the ballot. Home run king, Barry Bonds; 7-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens; and Sammy Sosa with his 609 career home runs are all on the list. A list that will be talked about for quite some time.

A recent espn article read that a poll of the writers who are voters added up to Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa would not be voted in during this ballot. Not a major surprise, given the way McGwire was informed by voters that his actions were not at all appreciated.

However, there are some differences within the 3 and McGwire. McGwire admitted to using steroids, which none of these 3 have exactly done. In the situations of Bonds and Clemens, they were both tried and neither could be proven guilty of any perjury charges. Are the writers bigger than the law?

I understand that suspicion can carry some weight. However, if the federal government conducts what was years of an investigation in the case of Bonds and Clemens and could not convict either. That has to speak for something or are the agendas of the writers just a tad more important than due process?

The way its gone, essentially any suspicion warrants the highest level of negativity. Negativity that does not seem to be diminishable. The whole thing has essentially been a witch hunt and the voters may not be going about it completely correct.

Especially in the case of one Sammy Sosa. I’m still trying to find his name in the vaunted Mitchell report. After all of the stuff we heard/hear about Sosa, I cannot recall seeing his name listed by any of those aforementioned mediocre players. Not saying Sosa is or was clean, but at least give me a little piece of proof before just neglecting to vote him in.

Personally, I don’t think steroids make anybody great. There are plenty of mediocre players who juiced and were still mediocre. Not condoning roids but we have to take it all into perspective.

With those aforementioned mediocre players, there is no secret that the “steroid era” was just that. It was a whole era of people trying to get ahead. Unless athletes like Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa took some different “alleged” roids, they still stood out and were still better than the rest.

Also, Bonds didn’t just hit home runs. He stole bases and played great defense for a long time in Left Field. Just saying “Bonds took roids” and leaving it at that is not an accurate way to conduct any type of voting, and especially one of this magnitude.

In the end, voters will more than likely keep any players with any suspicion out based on suspicion alone. I like the way the testing is now and any player caught up in that (manny, melky) should probably be kept out. Especially with Manny being caught twice.

However, exceptional players are exceptional players and I think they would be that way without roids or PEDs. This ballot will not be a reflection of my opinion and may be just a peek into a dim future for the greatest stars of my generation.

What I’d like to see is exactly who gets in from this era. Exactly how do you distinguish who was great without roids or PEDs? And if there is such that player that didn’t take them, does that enhance their greatness since they were not involved in the scandals?

These types of questions won’t be answered because writers would rather focus on all of the negative aspects of the situation and abuse their ability to use their own agendas. At this point, it should be a vote on those players that were exceptional. In the case of these 3 guys, there is no question that they were at least that. Sometimes, they were a whole lot more. Whether they eventually get in or not, I will always think of them as Hall of Famers and 3 of the top 10 from that era and thats not for PEDs but for everything else.

About Terrance Smith

University of Mississippi graduate in Broadcast Journalism. Huge lover of sports with a bigger love for people.

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