If you’re a holier-than-thou baseball writer, this message is for you.
Craig Biggio is not a hall of famer. Never was. Never will be. And if you voted for him, you’re turning the National Baseball Hall of Fame into the Singles Hitters Hall of Fame.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are hall of famers. They were first-ballot players before steroids were known to infiltrate the game, and they were hall of famers after it was discovered many, many players used performance-enhancing drugs.
But, thanks to voters who’ve adopted themselves as the collective conscious of the sport, we’ll likely never see Barry Bonds – easily the best player of the past 30 years – enter the hall while he’s young enough to remember. Instead, we’re told Craig Biggio is one of the game’s all-time greats.
Total bullshit if you ask me.
First let’s examine Biggio’s numbers.
20 seasons. 3,060 hits. That’s a whopping average of 153 per season. (Wow!) Only four times did Biggio bat .300 or better, with the first of those seasons coming in 1994, right around the start of the steroid era. He hit 291 home runs (pretty good for a catcher/second baseman) but only topped 20 home runs once before the steroid era and seven times after.
What am I getting at?
Well, I’m saying we’ll never really know if players like Biggio used PEDs. Just because he didn’t turn into a hulking human like Bonds doesn’t mean he didn’t.
Jason Kendall hit 44 of his 75 career home runs from 1998-2001, right around the time he starting hanging out with Brian Giles in the Pirates locker room.
How about the year Jack Wilson “put on 10 pounds of muscle” during the offseason and it resulted in his best year – 201 hits (50 more than he had in any other season) in 2004.
See what I’m getting at?
Taking steroids does not guarantee the user will evolve into the Ultimate Warrior, but it seems like the only players being punished in hall of fame voting are the ones who did get big, like Bonds and Clemens, who both deserve to be enshrined.
And to that point, how do we know players from the 1970s and 1980s, all-time greats like Mike Schmidt or Eddie Murray, weren’t guilty of PED use. In Western Pennsylvania, we know steroid use in sports has been prevalent for decades. Many members of the Super Steelers used steroids. PEDs have been available since at least the 1940s.
For voters, the solution should be simple: either don’t vote any player in from the steroid era or vote all those deserving in. Stop acting like you’re holding yourself to some high standard of ethics. No one’s impressed.