January 16, 2014

A steroid wing in #Cooperstown to satisfy 'Big Hall' nuts?

Jean Jacques Taylor, whom I've never considered that in-depth as a sports writer or columnist, seemingly (note that word) surprises me with this one: proposing a roiders' wing at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Here's his rationale:
Unless a new voting system is put in place, or society softens its stance on PEDs, or baseball gets some leadership with a different vision on how to deal with the issue, a group of players who dominated the game's annals will be unaccounted for in the Hall of Fame.
That's true enough.

JJT then mentions some the players who would benefit, and I'll give the obvious list: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Garry Sheffield and a few others.

At first, I thought this might be a way around an impasse, especially if tied with my desire to see some sort of apology plus explanation from players.

However, I saw the problems almost right away.

First, the BBWAA has to agree to this. I mean, this would itself require a change in voting system. I mean, you'd have to get voters who agree with Ken Rosenthal's "authenticity" to allow, well, to allow an asterisk to be put on ballots or something.

So, JJT fails Logic 101. See my opening paragraph.

Second, the museum as currently constituted does not have a "Negro League wing." Satchel Paige is in the same room as other folks, despite entry for his Negro League days. Nor does it have a "Veterans Committee wing," much as some BBWAA members might wish.

So, another JJT fail. That said, he's not alone on this one. Former commish Fay Vincent touted it last year. Darren Rovell did the same the year before that. Just because an idea develops steam doesn't mean its a good one.

Third, what about the likes of writers who claim everybody who played later than Jack Morris was a roider, or who spread the taint of guilt by nuttery about the likes of Jeff Bagwell? Are they going to asterisk 9 of 10 ballot votes?

Fourth, what if that gets Bagwell, whom I am confident didn't roid, based on things like his career arc following a normal rise and decline, among other things, elected?

Is he going to accept induction that comes with an asterisk?

Hell no.

Fifth, because of Nos. 1-4, and especially the last, it wouldn't satisfy big Hall types anyway. They want us to falsely believe steroids were no different than amphetamines, stop being purity prima donnas, pretend that those first two issues are the only reasons we don't want roiders in, and just vote them in without an asterisk.

Sixth, by officially designating a steroids wing, and having the BBWAA ballot reflect that, wouldn't voters possibly be committing libel? And I mean that in its legal sense, not its casual usage sense. Albert Pujols suing Jack Clark for comments he made last year on talk radio say that yes, indeed, that's a possibility.

That would include you, too, Bob Nightengale, for suggesting putting asterisks on certain plaques
The trouble with being judge and juror as a Hall of Fame voter is that we don't know who was clean and who was dirty. Are you going to keep Bonds out but let Clemens in because Clemens was exonerated in court while Bonds fights his conviction on obstruction of justice? Are you going to let Piazza in and keep out Sosa while both deny taking steroids? 
But, you still want to asterisk certain plaques? Really? Which ones?

Boy, career sports writers, did some of you not take a libel law class in journalism school, if you went there?

All this idea does is prove that former commissioners of baseball can be idiots.

See Bud Selig, including All-Star games deciding World Series home field advantage. 

See Bowie Kuhn and "laundry list."

So, JJT? Go back to your drawing board and blow it up. Then go back to joining 6 million other people in the Metroplex in knowing exactly what's wrong with the Cowboys. And, your seeming surprise? Not.

And, why the hell is he writing this anyway? He NEVER does baseball at the Big Red Satan. Didn't for his last few years at the Dallas Morning Snooze, either, and didn't extremely impress me when he did. (Corrected to note that I forgot he did some baseball stuff at the Snooze.) Did ESPN's big Hall fluffers that pass for baseball analysts put him up to this?

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