*Note: This is a guest article from my friend Andy C.
I’ll spare the ranting and kvetching about this or that. To me, the perfect response to all of those who presume to be the harbingers of baseball morals and must protect the ‘sanctity’ of the Hall of Fame at all costs, the bottom line is summed up perfectly by the St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Bernie Miklasz, with whom I rarely agree but I think he hit this one head-on. I’m using his words the rest of the way because he said it better than I could:
“(You say) We cannot have cheaters in the Baseball Hall of Fame — well, except the amphetamine-popping, drug-dealing, baseball-doctoring, bat-corking scamps who already have been inducted. (Oops.)
“We can’t have immoral men soiling the hallowed hall. You know — other than the criminals, adulterers, wife beaters, drug smugglers, drunkards and game fixers who were voted into Cooperstown a long time ago. Check out Ty Cobb’s rap sheet and his personal history of racism and violence.
“We cannot validate bogus, artificially inflated statistics that were produced like bottles from a pharmaceutical factory during a disgraceful era in the game’s history.
“The playing field wasn’t level, and it isn’t fair to reward those who used a rigged-up advantage to set records while excluding innocent players from having a fair-play chance at competing.
“You mean, kind of like the prolific statistics that were accumulated during 60, 70 years of institutional racism that barred African-Americans from playing major-league baseball before Jackie Robinson broke the color line in 1947 to end baseball’s shameful policy of segregation?
“Bob Costas, Bill James, Vin Scully, Tim McCarver, Roger Angell, John Dewan, John Thorn, Pete Palmer, Joe Sheehan, Rob Neyer, Christina Kahrl, Jay Jaffe, Jonah Keri, Gerald Early and Ken Burns can’t vote. Team broadcasters who have covered this sport for decades can’t vote.
“Makes sense. Great system.
“Here’s my personal policy: If Commissioner Bud Selig and the Baseball Hall of Fame recognizes the steroids-era statistics as valid entries in the official record book, then I see no reason to throw out the numbers and pass summary judgment on the suspects.
“If Selig and the people who run Cooperstown show some guts and invalidate the stats, then I’ll scratch the names from my list.”