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This could be a big Hall class, even without the tainted trio

By November 29, 2012

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The Hall of Fame ballot that's probably the most controversial ever is out, and it's going to mask the debate that actually matters -- who is really going to get into Cooperstown this year.

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa have the statistics, but all three are indelibly connected to performance-enhancing drugs, which will keep most of the baseball writers from casting their ballots on them. How many votes they get will be interesting, but it's not expected that any of the three will make it.

Said voter Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, to the New York Times: "I know it isn't the Hall of Choirboys. I know the stories about Ty Cobb and others who at times were miscreants. But I also know that the Steroid Era was one of the most shameful chapters in the game's history. It made a mockery out of the record book. It pushed retired legends into the shadows when they should have remained in the spotlight, and it put the spotlight on others who never should have been there."

Sure, Bonds and Clemens were probably Hall of Famers before they were even connected to steroids, but it's highly unlikely any of the voters will use that as their rationale, especially on their first ballot and with other good options on the ballot this year.

There are two other players in their first year on the ballot who should make it, however: Mike Piazza -- the greatest offensive catcher ever, or at least since Yogi Berra -- and Craig Biggio, who had 3,000 career hits.

And there's also Curt Schilling, who was also considered a clean player but might not have the career numbers, at least not on the first ballot.

And there are the holdovers, too -- Jack Morris and Jeff Bagwell are approaching that 75 percent threshold as well, Morris especially.

The Astros -- a franchise eager for a Hall of Famer who played a majority of his career in Houston -- held a news conference for Biggio on Monday. They could have a double celebration if Bagwell gets the votes, too. He had 56 percent of the vote last season.

"Hopefully, the writers feel strongly that they liked what they saw, and we'll see what happens," Biggio said to the Houston Chronicle.

The results of the voting will be announced Jan. 9.

Comments

November 29, 2012 at 10:53 am
(1) The fan says:

Here is 4 step plan to handle the PED era:
1. Build a new wing in the HoF- the “PED era wing”
2. HoF vote on PED era players based only on their accomplishments
3. For those players that get elected to HoF, have a second vote to place them in the correct part of the PED wing. Players with little taint of PED would go in at the first part of the wing and players more heavily tainted would go in down at the darker end of the wing. (All players from this era are tainted for not doing more to stop PED usage.)
4. If any HOF-elected player objects to his location in the wing, he can remove himself from the HoF. “Can’t have his cake and eat it too.”

Should also include the DH era in similar fashion since the DH has distorted baseball more than PEDs.

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