Your 2014 baseball Hall of Fame inductees have been announced, and while impressive and well-deserved, it still leaves a lot to be desired.
Players have to be named on 75% of the Baseball Writers Association of America’s ballots in order to be inducted. Maddux garnered a whopping 97.2% of the votes, Glavine had 91.9% and Thomas had 83.7%. Poor Craig Biggio just missed the HOF after getting 74.8% of the votes, which further forces one to ask how the process got so skewed along the years?
Of all the sports Hall of Fames there was always something about Cooperstown which stood out among the rest. Baseball is nothing without its rich history, and the Hall of Fame is a living testament to that history, by paying homage to the many greats which molded it. Now, like the game itself, things have gotten terribly muddled and disturbed. The voting process has become as much political as it is about on the field merits.
The steroids issue hangs over MLB like a black cloud which simply won’t go away. The game got tarnished, and now the price is being paid largely in the ballots. How can one explain why arguably the game’s greatest hitting catchers in Mike Piazza, only managed to 62% of the votes? Is the process flawed? Can it be fixed? When will it be ok to bring up the proverbial ‘pink elephant in the room’ on a large scale?
At some point the BBWAA is going to have to convene and decide just how to tackle the steroids issue, right? Or will the cast of doubt blemish any player who even dares knock on the doors of Cooperstown–the ‘punish them all’ approach is only going to further intensify the steroids issue, not cure it.
As things stand now, the system has lost its way. BBWAA member(s) have now resorted to giving their votes away to the public in attempt to lampoon the voting process. Like the sport itself, it can’t rely on the way things were, the process must evolve and adapt with the times.
There’s still many years left for players like Bonds, Piazza and even Sammy Sosa to make the HOF, but the change in tackling the flaws in the system have to start today. As the process continues to erode, things will only become that much more difficult–and as failed drug test after failed drug test piles up, who will we be able to trust? Anyone?
It’s high-time Baseball tackle this issue, for the HOF’s sake and the sake of the sport.