Time for the BBWA to be consistent
Since baseball writers did not elect a single player into the hall of fame this year (also likely to be zero next year), I have a few suggestions to make things a bit more consistent.
First of all, I condemn cheating, ped’s, etc. I think most rational people do. However, the HOF is a museum. It exists for fans to remember the game and the players who played it at a high level. I’m also the guy that will tell you it’s stupid when the NCAA vacates wins, titles, and trophies too, just so you know how I think.
What has happened, has already happened. You can’t change it now, but you definitely can highlight the negatives around said situations. MLB already screwed up royally with the culture they allowed and fostered during the PED era. Don’t act like they didn’t love all those home runs after the 94 strike nearly killed the league.
For many BBWA members, the HOF is just as much about this requirement listed in the BBWA Hall of Fame Election Rules: “Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”
Integrity, sportsmanship, and character. Those three items are why there were zero players were voted in this year.
So while we’re using subjective measures on hall of fame candidacy, why stop the morale posturing there? If the BBWA is really sincere, maybe they’ll go ahead and vote to remove these individuals as well.
Roger Hornsby was probably in the KKK.
Ty Cobb was a dirty player, probably a racist, and reported to have bet on baseball games (sorry Pete).
Bud Selig oversaw the disastrous 1994 strike that saw baseball's popularity nosedive. He also oversaw the exciting home run competition between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998, credited with re-sparking fans' love of the game and rehabilitating its image. Of course, we could just highlight his overseeing of the PED era in general.
Cap Anson, he’s pretty much the anti-Jackie Robinson.
Whitey Ford, openly admitted to cheating. Throw in Gaylord Perry for that matter as well.
Charles Comiskey, just the worst type of owner. Probably caused the Black Sox scandal due to the treatment of players and their compensation.
I’m sure there are a plethora of others. My point is, just look at where we’re at. We have a generation of players, some who never failed a drug test, some who did, some who probably cheated but were never proven to. Some might be in the HOF now, some probably never will be.
Do they deserve it? Probably not, but the fans do. I watched Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens play and were some of the most imposing players of any sport I’ve ever seen. Much like with Pete Rose, keep them the hell away from baseball, but put them in Cooperstown. They don’t even need a ceremony, but MLB does owe it to the fans and future fans to showcase what took place on the field; good, bad, and ugly.
Harold Baines is in the Hall of Fame, but Barry Bonds is not. That statement in itself is something I’ll never be able to accept.