Vaughn: Baseball HOF voters send loud message -

Vaughn: Baseball HOF voters send loud message

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By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks

(BaseballSTL) -- The Hall of Fame voters sent another loud message to players of the steroids era.

First-year eligible players Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza and Sammy Sosa were all denied entrance into Cooperstown by voters from the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Players must get at least 75 percent of the vote to get in.  Bonds got just 32.6 perce, Clemens 37.6 percent, Sosa 12.5 percent and Piazza 57.8 percent. The stats those players put up indicate they are among the very elite players in the history of the game. But the writers aren’t buying it. Even if there is no proof of having taken steroids, players in that era are still being denied. 

The voting process is flawed. When the Hall of Fame first opened it made sense for the writers to be doing the voting. They were the only people covering all the games. This was before games were televised or broadcast on the radio. The writers were the best judge of Hall of Fame worthiness at the time. Not so anymore. Too many of them want to become the story themselves with their vote, refusing to vote for certain players for reasons sometimes other than what happened on the field. The writers seem to enjoy being the moral compass of baseball.  Bob Costas, Vin Scully, Joe Buck, Tim McCarver... none of them get to vote for the Hall of Fame. That makes no sense.

I would have voted in favor of the top players of the steroids era. As miserable a person as Bonds was in his playing days, he was still among the best ever. Same with Clemens. And Piazza and Sosa. I would have voted for all them. I believe the Hall of Fame should group players from the steroids era together, with an asterisk explaining that the numbers these players achieved occurred at a time when many, if not most, major league players were using performance enhancing drugs. Through-out the history of baseball players have tried to gain an unfair advantage with spit balls, thumb tacks in pitcher’s gloves, corked bats, greenies, etc. 

Steroids helped players cheat. No doubt about that. But cheating, unfortunately, has been a part of the game forever. I believe they should vote in the steroids players whose numbers are Hall of Fame worthy, and let baseball fans decide for themselves just how “immortal” these players are.

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