Joe Morgan’s Wrong That Cheaters Don’t Belong In The Hall Of Fame

Joe Morgan’s letter to the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), asks voters to keep players accused of using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) out of the hall.

I don’t claim to be a baseball purist, but I do claim to be a long-time fan of the game. And while I agree players accused of using PEDs should be treated differently, I don’t agree they should be kept out of the hall.

As Joe himself said in his letter, “Times change.” Often, as a parent, I wish times hadn’t changed. I still wish other neighborhood kids would play outside in the street until the street lights come on and I wish we all didn’t walk around looking down at cell phones. But yes, Joe, times change.

It’s funny in a way, the players who helped baseball get through a different time, the post-strike era of the 90’s, are now all ostracized by a game they helped save. Some of the names: Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro.

Yes, the BBWAA, the player’s union, the commissioner’s office, front offices, managers, players and yes, even fans, are complicit. We, as fans, all cheered those very players; writers wrote about them and interviewed them; coaches closed their eyes to it; as front offices signed them; and commissioner and owners made money.

This whole process, in my mind, rings of NCAA sanctions. If we are going to hold these players accountable, should we not also evacuate the wins, championships and everything else that goes along with the numbers they put up? Or is the limit of punishment just on the players?

Even Joe Morgan, who was in the booth during many of these games, got excited about these players, heralded these players and encouraged us to do the same.

It’s unconscionable to me that now, years later, from players to fans to writers, we find the activities that led to our happiness in the 90’s so abhorrent, that we even consider following the written word of an athlete, who now, wants to be judge and jury.

Judges and jury have reasonable doubt issues to deal with, and now the voters for OUR hall of fame do too. I don’t know who used, or who didn’t, and as a Dodger fan, I have no ire for a player more than Barry Bonds, but yes, he should be in. So should Clemens. So, should Palmeiro. They should all be eligible and those who have met the standards of greatness, should be in.

Morgan writes. “players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid abuse, … should not get in.”

While it’s a simple solution, it’s not right.

So, Joe is OK with players who used, but who have not been identified, with being in the Hall? He says the Hall is “the most sacred pace in baseball.” Actually, Joe, having been there a couple of times, I agree, it’s sacred. But it’s not the most sacred place in baseball. The most sacred place in baseball is on the field or on our televisions, where fans are cheering and supporting their favorite teams and players.

We love our players and we love our teams. And we love baseball history. By not allowing these players into the hall does not remove them from our history, it hides them.

I read on twitter this morning that anyone who used/uses contact lenses should not be allowed in. It’s a funny point, but, contacts could be considered “performance enhancing.” I guess my problem is, where do we draw the line and exactly who was using and who wasn’t. If someone used, served a suspension, and then played again, didn’t they serve the punishment? I’m not much on double jeopardy, and I certainly don’t think we should change the rules years later.

We changed them for Pete Rose, who broke the rules as a manager, not a player, and he still isn’t in. There was no greater player than Rose. He should be in. So should they all.

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