At some point integrity matters: my Hall of Fame ballot

Yes, it’s that time of year when the BWAA submits their Hall of Fame ballots.  It is a very crowded ballot with many deserving candidates this year.  Despite that, with the writers unable to elect anybody to the Hal in 2013l, there is considerable consternation that only one or none of those on the ballot will be chosen, creating a tremendous backlog for the years ahead.  That’s important if you (like me) are rooting for those on the fringe like Edgar Martinez, hoping to at least keep him on the ballot until the voters come around to his deserving election.

There continues to be considerable discussion in the blogosphere about including PED users.  I’m still a definite no on this.  Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Raphael Palmeiro don’t get my vote.  I do not believe that someone who broke the law to fundamentally change the way the game was played for half a generation should be voted into the Hall.  On Lookout Landing yesterday, Neil Weinman suggested there was some moral equivalence between PEDs users and DUI recipients.  Yeah.  Like there is some moral equivalence between those who jaywalk and commit murder or war crimes.  Context is everything.  Let’s not muddle this with unrelated comparisons to create some moral equivalence .  Users broke the law to fundamentally change the game of baseball.  Those who argue Major League Baseball is also responsible for the steroids era are right on.  Bud Selig turned a blind eye to steroid use for a decade, and despite his contributions to the game, which are considerable, he should be out too.  Donald Fehr of the MLBPA defended the players rights to continue using, he’s out too. These players knew that what they were doing was wrong,  against the rules, and they did it anyway.  They were fabulously well-paid.  Their records remain on the books.  They don’t deserve election to the Hall. At the very least not during their lifetime.  Vote ’em in when they’re dead, but no celebrations, no speeches, no Hall of Fame weekend.  Nail their plaques up in solemnity and silence.

Tons of deserving candidates for the Hall this year.  Here is my list:

1. Greg Maddux

2. Tom Glavine

3. Frank Thomas

4. Jeff Bagwell

5. Craig Biggio

6. Tim Raines

7. Mike Piazza

8. Alan Trammell

9.  Edgar Martinez

10. Mike Mussina

There are other players definitely worthy of consideration who could well fall of the ballot this year because it is so clogged with candidates.  Larry Walker, Curt Schilling, Edgar, Trammell, Jeff Kent, and others.  It just depends on how the votes get spread around, and how many voters choose the PEDs users, and how many send it ballots with less than ten choices, though I have a hard time seeing fewer than ten deserving choices.

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