Ah, today has the potential to be a colossal mess for sports fans and those in the media as the National Baseball Hall of Fame announces their inductees for 2013. From what I’ve read and heard, there’s a extremely good chance no one is getting in.
Obviously, as an online blogger, I will never be one of the roughly 600 writers and journalists who have a vote; however, I’m going to opine and chime in on this whole debate.
As we all know, this year’s vote could perhaps be the most controversial in memory due to the whole steroid/PED debate.
Honestly, I do not know where to begin with all of this. Personally, can anyone seriously answer this – what is the Hall of Fame supposed to be?
It is a museum, like the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.?
Is it a hallowed place that is supposed to convey history and honor the best players of their respective generation?
Is it a place meant to be a money-making machine?
Or is it like a church? Well, like a place of serenity or worship? Should it convey morality?
I personally view the Hall of Fame as this: a place where history intersects with baseball immortality.
It is a place where the best of best in baseball are honored for their achievements on the field, whether they were good, surly or just simply bad guys.
Considering baseball’s place in the context of American History and in sports’ fans hearts, I can see why the writers are having such a hard time with this year’s decision.
Most people in the United States America likes to heap praise on a winner, they don’t like deception, or wide scale cheating. Well, fans I know believe in the spirit of fair competition and a level playing field.
They believe as long as you what did in life honestly, did not cut corners and put in a hard day’s work, you should be rewarded.
That theory above sometimes does not mesh with other professional fields (think politics or the financial market); however, most people do not have a problem with success.
The problem comes when you cheat. PED/steroid use fits in that category.
Therefore, I believe that anyone proven to be connected with PED/steroid use should be not elected into the Hall of Fame – at least for now.
However, I do think that the Hall of Fame should have an exhibit about the so-called Steroid Era.
I’ve heard many people talk about how the game was ruined, tainted and how unfairly records seemingly were obliterated, the fact of the matter is this: a whole lot of people made money off of steroid/PED use, and those who knew turned a blind eye to it.
Whether players linked to steroid/PED use via circumstantial evidence like Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens, or through whispers like Jeff Bagwell or Mike Piazza ever get in, who knows?
However, I hope the era that they played does not get whitewashed because many are uncomfortable with it.
As well, seemingly deserving players like Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling and Fred McGriff should not be penalized by the Steroid Era by the voters.
Plus, I also do hope that men like Jack Morris, Tim Raines and Alan Trammel do get a fair look. Now, whether they deserve induction to into Cooperstown – or not – is a another issue.
Then again, at the end of the day, the Steroid Era did happen happened and is an indelible part of not only baseball history, but sports.
Therefore, it is the obligation of the Hall of Fame to exhibit that fact.