Eternal Recognition

This year’s Baseball Hall of Fame election was announced yesterday.  No one was voted in.  It is a private organization, so the outcome is their business.  Let’s move on.

Wait.

The news about yesterday was really a larger comment.  The announcement did say that Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds did not make the 75% cut.  Their baseball records in comparison to other contemporaries would lead anyone to believe they were well qualified.  The sports writers saw it otherwise.

The wrap is these three have been connected with the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs.  Changes in their body appearance would tend to support this claim although Bonds and Clemens deny ever knowingly using PED. 

No one wants to support cheating.  Using PED while your competitors do not seems like cheating to me.  But is that the right perspective?  Did their consumption of PED turn them from a poor player into a great one?  Why did their alleged use of PED not be discovered during their playing careers? 

If you look back on Barry Bonds entire career, he was an outstanding player.  Even if PEDs helped him hit a few more home runs, Bonds would have hit a lot without any PED help.  Clemens was a great pitcher with a tireless work ethic.  He might not have won as many games or struck out as many batters, but it seems reasonable that he would have still be seen as Hall of Fame material with lesser numbers.

Still baseball purists insist that the game is to be played on an even field and without the use of PEDs.  The logic is inescapable once you account for there having been no proof yet about Clemens (allegations yes, proof no).  So for purists, Bonds and maybe Clemens do not deserve to be recognized.

But what about Pete Rose?  Rose admitted having bet on baseball games but says he never bet on his own team.  Rose was banned from baseball, and the game lost its best modern day example of a real 150% player.  Rose gave it all when he was on the field.  Those who saw him play have already made their decision.  Rose is as good as any Hall  of Fame member.  Unfortunately, Rose has not been voted in either.

It may be that Bonds, Clemens, and Rose will have to wait until they die before the public demands sports writers admit these outstanding athletes.   Then, they will gain their “eternal recognition”.   

 

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