Yesterday, the Baseball Writers Association of America released 2013 Hall of Fame ballot. Barry Bonds. Roger Clemens. Sammy Sosa. Jeff Bagwell. Craig Biggio. Mike Piazza. You can find the full slate here. If you’re reading this, then you know much, if not most, of the discussion around this Hall of Fame class will involve so-called PEDs — who allegedly took PEDs, whether PEDs really matter to a player’s performance, whether such players should be banned from the Hall under the character clause or some other moral basis, etc.
Here’s my view. Many players likely took PEDs. We don’t know who. We don’t know for how long. We don’t know how it affected their bodies, their strength, their flexibility, their instincts, their performance. We don’t know how it affected baseball records. We simply don’t know. It’s a part of baseball history and voting to keep out players suspected of using PEDs doesn’t change the history or whitewash it. Players should be voted into the Hall based on their accomplishments on the baseball field. Period.
Many BBWAA voters don’t share my view. Many will vote to keep out any player whom they suspect of PED use. I strongly disagree with this approach.
But the tide is turning, slowly.
My goal over the next few months is to highlight those BBWAA voters — and other baseball writers — who write sensible, supportable stories on PEDs and the Hall of Fame. Sure, most of the writers I discuss here will be those who agree with my view. But others may come up with arguments I haven’t thought about, and present them in a way that makes sense, even if I don’t agree.
I call these writers My Hall of Fame Heroes. Here’s the current list:
Pete Abraham, Boston Globe: Erasing a Line in the Sand
Ray Ratto, CSN Bay Area: The Hall of Fame is not a Church
Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Spare Us From Baseball Writers’ Sermon
Jay Jaffe, Sports Illustrated: New Hall of Fame Ballot Weighty in Talent and Controversey
Craig Calcaterra, Hardball Talk: It’s lunacy to keep Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens out of the Hall of Fame
Joe Posnanski, Joe Blog: The Three PED Arguments
Buster Olney, ESPN.com: The writers’ Hall of Fame condundrum
I’ll be updating the list periodically. Please send suggestions for other Hall of Fame Heroes.