SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 11: Former San Francisco Giants player Barry Bonds speaks at a ceremony to retire his #25 jersey at AT&T Park on August 11, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
By Bob Cooney:
When it comes to sports, there are few who want rules to be implemented and followed more than me. Always have been like that, and always will be, I imagine.
That’s why I feel a bit hypocritical about what I’m going to say, but hypocrisy in this sport pretty much rules the day.
The sports writers who vote for those to be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame, for the most part, have decided that those who have admitted and those who have been accused of steroid use are not worthy of their day in the Sun and lifelong enshrinement in Cooperstown.
Having been a sportswriter in my past life for more than a few years, I am not here to bash those who have the baseball HOF decisions at the tip of their fingers. Baseball has entrusted those members to decide whether a players baseball resume has done enough to raise them to the hierarchy of legend.
And this is where the process becomes cloudy.
Trusting someone’s eye who watches the games from up close and sees the daily talents that a player exhibits – I’m okay with. Putting that same trust in those writers to have judgement and cast votes regarding the moral issues of players is where I have issue.
I want to make the argument that Curt Schilling’s 216 career wins are not enough to get in the HOF, not that his often asinine comments are what is keeping baseball writers from acknowledging him as one of the best pitchers of all time.
I’m sure there are players who didn’t do steroids during the era of when it was popular. I know a few who swear to me they didn’t. But I’d bet my life that there were a huge amount of players that were. And Bonds and Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez were probably the norm in that respect. Where they weren’t the norm was in their ability to play the game. And because of that, they belong in Cooperstown.