It’s that time again when hypocrites take over.
It’s my first time writing something about the Hall Of Fame. And I can’t help but think that this museum is a woderful concept as I celebrates the history of the game and helps people, who were too young to watch certain players play, to gain an understanding of that history. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything like this in European football. It would be interesting to follow the arguments on who should be inducted.
Anyway, the baseball Hall Of Fame for the past few years has the problem of dealing with a group of players who were/are linked to performance enhancing drugs. Well, not the Hall Of Fame, but the Baseball Writers Association of America. And those BBWAA people now discuss whether they should vote for players who used PED or at least are connected to them. Or not. And then they come up with excuses. That the so called character clause also applies to the alcoholics, racists, gamblers, rascals who came before the steroid area. And they end up writing articles like this one. Or this one. To be fair, there’s also reasonable suggestions like this one.
What I find frustrating about reading all those articles by writers who argue that those misdeeds are all the same is that they simply don’t want to admit that drinking alcohol or being a racist doesn’t make you a better player. It doesn’t help you hit more home runs. It doesn’t help you make great catches in the outfield. It doesn’t help you striking people out. Performance enhancing drugs do that.
Sure, players like Bonds or Clemens might have been Hall Of Fame caliber athletes before they started experimenting with needles and stuff. Sure, their opponents most likely did the same drugs as those two, setting up a level playing field. But you know what? They cheated? Plain and simple. They didn’t play by the rules. And now you want to award those cheats? So you have no problem giving all those Tour de France victories back to Lance Armstrong, huh? Or Olympic medals to Marion Jones? Cause those two are no different from Bonds and Clemens and Palmeiro and Sosa and McGwire.
Using doping goes against everything that sportsmanship stands for. MLB has been slow to realize this and now has to cope with the mess. And handing out suspensions for 50 or 100 games doesn’t help either.
Here’s a modest proposal: take all the players who have been found guilty of using PED and put them in the Hall Of Fame. Without a vote. And name that room the Hall Of Shame. Display their careers, show their biographies, do whatever you like. But show to the visitors that those players cheated in a big way. Not by doctoring the ball. Not by using amphetamines to stand the wear and tear of a long baseball season. But by altering their bodies by using whatever was available to become superhumans.
On a side note, here’s who I’d like to get in this year and why:
- Greg Maddux (simply because he’s the best player on this year’s ballot. Period. And because of things like these.)
- Tom Glavine (b/c 300+.)
- Curt Schilling (b/c of his postseason heroics)
- Frank Thomas (not only for his numbers but also for taking a stand against PED)
- Mike Mussina (b/c of an outstanding career in the AL East)
- Jack Morris (I like happy endings)
- Hideo Nomo (pioneers deserve credit)