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MLB Hall of Fame Ballot Controversy
- Updated: December 10, 2011
The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for next year is so controversial that the conversations discussing whether two key names should be voted on has overshadowed this year’s entire class. If you didn’t guess already, the two players that will be eligible for entry are Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. They are two poster boys of baseball’s steroid era that have yet to come clean about using.
Here are my first thoughts about what it would take for Bonds and Clemens to get voted in after all of the negative publicity and legal battles that have taken place were pretty extreme.
Remember the good times?
They both would need their publicists and marketing teams to create an intense email marketing campaign designed to target all of the Hall of Fame voters starting as soon as possible. They need to send out stats, records and highlights from their careers that focus only on their skills on the field and none of the off-the-field issues. The voters and fans need to remember the milestones these guys were able to reach for them to have any shot at being voted in. The steroid scandal and their reactions have marred their legacies almost to the point of no return and people need to have fresh thoughts about them.
Other players (Alex Rodriguez, JasonGiambi and Andy Pettitte) were able to recover from their steroid controversy by coming out and admitting to using steroids at one point and apologizing. They went through a tough period of questioning and being bashed my players, fans and the media but both of them were able to continue on with their careers. If Bonds and Clemens had come clean and worked on apologizing and salvaging their reputations initially instead of going through these ugly court cases and denials, things would look much different for this upcoming Hall of Fame ballot.
Let’s be honest here, the Mitchell Report named 89 players who took steroids or human growth hormones (HGH) but there is no way that only 89 players have taken steroids. These are just the ones who were caught. There are athletes in the Hall of Fame right now who took steroids at one point or maybe even throughout their entire careers. You may say there’s no proof but people know it’s true. From the media to employees in the front office, people understand that there was a period of time in professional baseball when steroid usage was taking place at an alarming rate. Those players won’t come out and admit it now but Bonds and Clemens are taking the fall that many other players avoided.
I’m not saying they should get a pass for taking steroids. They have been punished and they will continue to suffer the consequences of their actions but they have dedicated their lives to the game of baseball and they did work hard. Taking steroids doesn’t guarantee you to be a good hitter or locate spots with your pitches. You have to have natural skill and talent. The voters should consider that when it’s time to vote.
Until then, let the debates begin.