The results of the 2022 Baseball Hall-of-Fame election were announced last week. It was a momentous occasion, but for the wrong reasons. Boston Red Sox icon David Ortiz was the only player elected to the Hall. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens failed to make the cut in their final year of regular legibility.
ESPN’s Buster Olney provided his perspective on what seems to be the current logic of the Hall-of-Famer votes, the BBWAA.
“I’ve laughed over the last seven years of the logic pretzel the writers go into. ‘Well, I’m voting for this guy, but I’m not voting for Sammy Sosa because of this.’ Can you please stop?”
To Olney’s point, many baseball fans, players, and analysts were incensed that Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, and other sluggers from the Steroid Era have repeatedly failed to get elected to the Hall-of-Fame, while Ortiz made it in his first year of eligibility. Those fans point to the New York Times Mitchell Report that stated that Ortiz tested positive for PEDs in 2003.
Clemens never failed a drug test and can’t get in to the HOF, but Big papi can fail a drug test and that’s perfectly ok. Moral of the story is it doesn’t matter if you did steroids or not, it only matters if the writers like you. They’re a morals and ethics committee nowadays ?
— Justin Bruihl (@Jbruihl24) January 26, 2022
From their perspective, if Ortiz was worthy, so are the aforementioned sluggers others.
Olney doesn’t entirely blame the voters. He noted that the Hall-of-Fame has given them zero support in an unprecedented situation.
“Here’s the other thing too that drives me crazy. I used the term, ‘the writers have been deputized as the retroactive morality police’. The baseball writers went to the hall of fame years ago and asked for guidance when it came to the Steroid Era candidates. The Hall-of-Fame response was, ‘Nah, we’re not going to give you guys any guidance. You guys take care of it.’”
It’s important to note that Buster Olney, along with his co-worker Jeff Passan, no longer vote for the Hall-of-Fame.
Like many, Olney believes there needs to be wholesale changes to the voters’ thought process when it comes to Steroid Era candidates.
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