Today, January 9th, the 2013 MLB Hall of Fame class will be revealed at 2 p.m. on the MLB Network. It has been the most anticipated ballot in the history of baseball, as it is the first year for many baseball legends who have been suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, and Jeff Bagwell have been accused of using steroids throughout their careers. As far as the guys on their second to fifteenth year on the ballot, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro are the PED users denied admission into the hall. Will any of the suspected steroid users be going into the Hall of Fame? Is this finally Jack Morris’ year? I grouped the guys who will be out and the guys who will hear their name called today at two.
Barry Bonds. One of the posters of steroid use, Barry Bonds will be denied admission to baseball’s Hall of Fame his entire life. There is no way that Barry will ever get the 75% of the vote necessary for election, because he’s a cheater and a bad person. Everyone knows he used steroids whether he is willing to admit it or not. With the aid of that use, Barry broke the career home-run record the clean Hank Aaron deserves, and along with Mark McGwire, broke the single-season homer record Roger Maris deserves. He is the biggest liar in baseball history, was a complete jerk to the media he is relying on to vote him in, and deceived everyone for 20 years. We will never see Bonds in Cooperstown, and I don’t think anyone will be shedding tears over that.
- Roger Clemens. The Rocket won’t make the Hall this year either because of alleged steroid use. He may make it someday if there continues to be a lack of concrete evidence against him, but I believe Roger Clemens used steroids. As he got older, he only got better, despite nagging injuries and the fact that every other pitcher of his era was declining. Some naive people may say that was because of a great training regimen, but it’s not like Roger was in top shape unless he had something to prove to someone. What do ballplayers do to prove people wrong after a bad season? They take steroids. His roid-rage incident against Mike Piazza in the 2000 World Series only adds to this belief. We were deceived by Roger more than anyone, believing he was the most dominant pitcher ever as he racked up 354 wins, a record seven Cy Young Awards and one MVP. Key word: deceived.
- Sammy Sosa. Sosa’s alleged steroid use was followed by the ill-fated Congress visit by MLB players where he suddenly forgot how to speak English out of the blue. Sosa was just another guy in the line of deceit, which is a shame because he was one of the most exciting players to watch in baseball all of those years. Looks like he’ll be doing his trademark jump- out of Hall consideration.
- Jeff Bagwell. Let me preface this by saying I do not think Bagwell took steroids. He was an honest guy his whole career and is a great man. However, guilt by association is what will keep him off of the first ballot. I know we’ll see him in Cooperstown someday, it just won’t be this year. Once again, it’s a shame, but this time it’s a shame he did not bring upon himself whatsoever.
- Craig Biggio. Bagwell’s partner all those years in Houston is not going to be denied entry to the Hall because of playing in the steroid era. He’s not going to be elected because of Roberto Alomar. Alomar had to wait a year to get in despite being being one of the greatest second basemen of all time. They have been constantly compared to each other, and I think Alomar was slightly better. Therefore, even though it’s ridiculous, Biggio will have to wait for the second ballot.
- Curt Schilling. I love Schilling, and I did through this whole career. Almost no one was a better big-game pitcher. This is just not his year. First, he has a personality that makes him easy to dislike, always chiming in on political and social issues. He was never the best with the press, and that is a huge factor here. Plus, he never won a Cy Young and he only won 216 games, a low amount considering he had 569 career appearances. Curt will have to wait.
- Second-ballot or longer, all out: Mark McGwire, Tim Raines, Kenny Lofton, Don Mattingly, David Wells, Julio Franco, Rafael Palmeiro, Jack Morris, Fred McGriff, Bernie Williams, Edgar Martinez, Dale Murphy, Allan Trammell, Larry Walker, Lee Smith
The ONE Who Will Be In
Mike Piazza. Piazza is the greatest offensive catcher of all time with 427 career homers, a .545 career slugging percentage and a .922 career OPS. You could make the argument with his defense as well. Spending most of his career with the Mets, he was the man in Shea Stadium for years. Piazza will dodge the steroid guilt-by-association theory, get 78% of the vote, and be in a class of all his own in July.
Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment or tweet @chuckiemaggio!