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Steroids Message – Loud And Clear: Voters Shut Out Baseball Hall of Fame Candidates

No one got the Hall call in 2013. The Baseball Writers Association of America shut out Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and the rest of the candidates eligible for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013.

With Bonds, Clemens and Sosa up for election for the first time in 2013, this vote by the BBWAA was viewed by many as a referendum on the entire “Steroid Era.” The voters have spoken.

According to the BBWAA, Craig Biggio garnered the most support among the 569 ballots cast, with 68.2% of the vote. The threshold for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. is appearing on 75% of the ballots. The next highest tally by a player in his first year of eligibility was Mike Piazza, who appeared on 57.8% of the ballot. No other player in his first year appeared on more than 50% of the ballots, with Clemens (37.6), Bonds (36.2) and Sosa (12.5) all far from the requirement for qualification despite having some of the most staggering statistics in the history of the game.

Before the 2013 voting results were revealed, several high-profile BBWAA voters made it clear that they would not be voting for any player who abused steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs during his career. Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated explained his rationale in a passionate column published on the eve of the results announcement.

“When I vote for a player I am upholding him for the highest individual honor possible. My vote is an endorsement of a career, not part of it, and how it was achieved. Voting for a known steroid user is endorsing steroid use. Having spent too much of the past two decades or so covering baseball on the subject of steroids — what they do, how the game was subverted by them, and how those who stayed away from them were disadvantaged — I cannot endorse it.

While Verducci’s sentiment seem to be held by many of his BBWAA peers, the debate still rages on about the fates of these players. During an appearance on HuffPost Live, ESPN baseball columnist Buster Olney spoke on behalf of those who don’t believe that steroid use should be held against Bonds, Clemens and their peers.

“I’m in a very small minority of of writers who are going to vote for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens just as I’ve always voted for Mark McGwire,” Olney said. “My own feeling is I think the writers have lost their minds on this issue. It’s our job to reflect history with our votes and not to try and dictate legacy. And it’s pretty clear that the writers are the bottleneck in this because as far as Major League Baseball is concerned, Roger Clemens is a member of good standing and so is Barry Bonds.”

After learning the results of the 2013 vote, Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson did not express any regret that he would not be welcoming any players to Cooperstown this year.

“The standards for earning election to the Hall of Fame have been very high ever since the rules were created in 1936. We realize the challenges voters are faced with in this era,” said Idelson, via the BBWAA website. “The Hall of Fame has always entrusted the exclusive voting privilege to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. We remain pleased with their role in evaluating candidates based on the criteria we provide.”

Source: Huffington Post

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Posted by on January 9, 2013. Filed under Health / Sports,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.