This is a little premature but I think we can all agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However in the case of the Baseball Writers Association of America, an opportunity is given for them to “vote” on something that some of them have never actually had any experience doing in their life: playing baseball!!!! So my take in regard to steroids (which were not tested for most of the 90′s during the “money ball” era of free agency), is that why not use them? Don’t forget that as these players careers went on and they were getting the largest contracts in the history of baseball that they were also given the best nutritionist and best personal trainers available to build them up the right workout program to perform that much better year in and year out. Guys that had careers of 10 years had these people by their side daily making sure they were better than the day before, with or without the use of steroids. If you told me that my job depended on my performance in the last year of a contract and that hitting another 10-12 home runs would make me not have to worry about money for the rest of the lifetime of my family then why wouldn’t I take the vitamin or extra stimulant, especially if your not gonna test me one way or another. In the case though of Roger Clemens, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Brett Boone, and many many others who will be up for election in the Hall of Fame vote this year and in the coming years I must say that some of these guys just had “it” already. Guy’s like Eric Byrne, Jacoby Ellsbury, Marco Scutaro and even Craig Biggio all made themselves great with hustle, hard work and had the luck of peaking in front of the right scouts and further being in the right place at the right time for the right team. On the other hand there were the guys with “it” caliber of talent already, you know these guys by the name of Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Nolan Ryan, and Ken Griffey Jr, all of whom had a niche of a talent with or without the use of PED’s (performance enhancing drugs).
My take is that these guys who are soon to be criticized and left off a particular ballot are just as victimized as Pete Rose has been since he was given a lifetime ban from the Hall of Fame. I feel that even guys such as Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle who were habitual drunkards were equally benefited by the use of performance enhancing drugs, even if the drug they took wasn’t a drug at all but as a pain killer such as alcohol or some kind of snake oil that was consumed for “special recovery”. Either way the times the athletes live in dictate what is “approved” by these writers of the big papers whom are given an entitlement to vote based on their career position and exemplary writing skills. My opinion is the voting needs to be updated to the “fans” of the game who should be given the biggest consideration anyhow because it was them who was there for the duration of that athletes career and witnessed first hand history being made. The fact that only particular athletes are eligible for the Hall of Fame after they retire there is only a select number of elite few that even have the opportunity for election anyhow. However just as in the presidential election it would be nice to see some kind of electoral number of votes from fans in different states that can vote impartially who are just “baseball fans” whom have played and know a little bit more about the game than just the numbers.
Baseball is America’s game therefore I don’t feel that biased writers should have the privilege to restrict greatness from being rightfully elected. In the time when Pete Rose the all time hits leader is still banned from the game, I don’t think there will be many adjustments made based on the opinions of an exclusive few. Greatness will remain great with or without special election into a fraternity in a remote region, the fan’s who witnessed the greatness will proof of that.