No eligible player received the requisite 75% of the vote from the members of the Baseball Writer’s Association necessary for induction into Cooperstown. It’s not the first time this has happened, but it is the first time that two universally acknowledged, all-time greats were so snubbed. Sadly, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are the faces of the Steroid Era. The writers have made a statement with this vote, but this is a messy issue with many culpable parties.
This is from my article from New York Sports World:
“But, my purely unscientific observations are that PED’s make good players like Sosa, McGwire, and Rafael Palmeiro great, and propel great players like Bonds and Roger Clemens to the precipice of history. Yes, they cheated and that is a character issue, and the writers are asked to consider character while making their Hall of Fame selections.
But, silence is also a character issue. Players like Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell are being indicted by whispers while column after column appears from voting members of the Baseball Writer’s Association detailing their personal struggles in voting for this scandalous ballot. They want to be of service to history and to the players they perceive as clean before and during The Steroid Era. But, according to Tom Verducci’s book, The Yankees Years, Rangers pitcher Rick Helling brought up concerns about steroid use at union meetings as early as 1999. And, when slugger Frank Thomas was contacted by George Mitchell’s commission, he was happy to cooperate.
If an elite player like Thomas knew about PED use on the teams he played on, is it out of the realm of possibility to believe that Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Ken Griffey, Jr., and the many other great players we identify as clean also knew? Isn’t it the job of a team captain to police his clubhouse? It would have taken great character and courage for a group of untainted All-Stars to band together and go public about a problem they thought was ruining their sport, but no one had the guts to do so. In that sense, no one is clean.”