Thursday, December 13, 2007


As I stated in my last post - the names listed there were rumored to be in the Mitchell report. Many of those did not appear in the report - such as Trot Nixon and Jason Varitek. This, however, should not be seen as absolving players that are not on the list.

To the contrary, Mitchell even alludes to the fact that it is not a complete list. It is merely a compilation of the names that came up in the course of his investigation.

There is no relief today in major league baseball.

Some will say this only opens up Pandora's Box, and that the sins that afflict baseball can never be put back in that box. They are wrong.

As much as it pains me to say it - Jose Canseco opened the box. George Mitchell just started digging into the box's dark and fetid corners. The crud he came up with has presented the fans and the Baseball Writer's Association of America with ways to rationalize away putting their favorite player into the Hall of Fame.

Bonds had Hall of Fame numbers before he started doing it.

Clemens had three Cy Young's before 1996.

Everybody else was doing it, so it remained a level playing field.

Me? As much as I have enjoyed watching many of these players, I think as a journalist and a fan, we need to take a stand. No one from this era gets in. Going forward, no one gets in who is unwilling to submit to regular blood and urine testing.

Remember, the Hall is a private organization and it's by-laws have nothing to do with MLB. And one of the most important dictates how voting is supposed to work states, "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 are three of the key terms here.

Don't tell me that these players didn't know that it was illegal. Why else did they inject in the shadows? Why else do they avoid owning up to it? They keep it secret because they know it was wrong, that it lacked character, integrity, or sportsmanship.

Let's not rationalize away this by just calling it the Steroid Era, and putting in the best players from this era. Yes, a lot of players juiced, but not all of them did. It might even have been most of them. But the assumption has to be made that this created an uneven playing field.

Keep Bonds out. Keep McGwire out. Keep Clemens out. Keep Palmiero out.

Sure, record their records for posterity's sake. Record their numbers because they are, for better or worse, part of history. But don't enshrine them.

They haven't lived up to the standard dictated by the Hall. And it would be an insult to those who did.

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