Musings On the 2011 Hall of Fame Class

Roberto Alomar is now a Major League Baseball Hall of Famer

The only thing that was stopping one of the greatest second basemen to ever play the game from being inducted to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame was a single incident. A lapse in judgement, in the heat of the moment when Roberto Alomar, then with the Baltimore Orioles, spit in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck.

Last year, a no doubt first ballot Hall of Famer was snubbed because of an incident that reflected poorly on his character. Many voters decided to make a point to Roberto last year, but not this time.

Roberto Alomar with his 12 gold gloves, 10 all-star appearances, career .300 average and 2724 hits was inducted into the Hall of Fame yesterday with a decisive 90% of the vote (75% is needed for induction).

The Hall of Fame is not also meant to be the moral Hall of Fame and the fact that Roberto Alomar had one major blemish during his playing career should not lead to a snub from Cooperstown.

Obviously it didn’t.

This year, a major distinction that Hall of Fame voters have made is the difference between character/personal transgressions and cheating. They are finally getting this right.

However, Andrew Stoeton, a very good writer for the website Drunk Jays Fans, points out that this is a flaw in the logic of the Hall of Fame voters.

Really?

He also seems to think that Roberto Alomar’s personal indiscretions that are not widely reported to be a certain double standard in the minds of reporters.

Most of the time the guys on Drunk Jays Fans point out to us readers the amount of stupidity that is all around us but we’re going to turn the tables on them.

Honestly, something must not be connecting in your brain if you want to excuse these players of cheating the fans and more importantly the game of baseball. Just because PED’s were known and commonly accepted during that era does not mean it was right for the players to use them. I’ve mentioned it before but I want to reiterate that the inflated numbers caused by the use of steroids does not create an equal comparison of players who have legitimately made the Hall without performance enhancing drugs.

Jeff Bagwell was not a first ballot inductee as he received a bit over 40% of votes largely due to the speculation that he was steroid user during his career. 449 home runs to go along with a .297 ain’t too shabby, which make Bagwell’s power numbers a major reason pertaining to the argument that he is deserving of a Hall of Fame spot.

Mark McGwire admitted he had the juice

Although, doesn’t it seem more than a little odd that his home run total in his minor league career prior to his call-up to the big leagues does not even reach double digits? Granted that does consist only of 274 games according to baseball-reference.com but if a key part of Bagwell’s consideration to the Hall of Fame is due to the amount of home runs he hit how it is fair that that those numbers may be skewed to a great degree? Oh yeah, same to you Big Mac, who saw his percentage of votes dip despite his admission of guilt with regards to his use of steroids.

Players in the past who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame set a precedent by which voters make their decisions on future inductees. However, with likely steroid users the precedent is thrown out the window as there is no way by which we can evaluate those players in relative terms to current Hall of Famers.

On the other hand, character issues and personal transgressions play no part in statistics. There is no doubt that players who face character questions, yet have no connection to performance enhancing devices, have put up numbers that are 100 percent legitimate.

Steroids deal directly with the game of baseball where as personal indiscretions do not. It’s as simple as that and if you can’t distinguish between the two then I feel sorry for you.

The same goes for the spit balling, belt cutting pitchers that are currently in the Hall of Fame. That was something that was also common and well-known at the time but again, it still doesn’t make it okay.

In any sport the Hall of Fame is meant to recognize players who have excelled in playing their respective game.

If we ever do accept cheating we compromise the integrity of the game and will just be cheating a different way. We will be cheating the guys who made it into the Hall the right way, the real way, the hard way.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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