Will Baseball Hall of Fame (2017) Voting Open Floodgates to PED Inductees, Further Erode Attendance?

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 Baeball Attendance Leveled Off During PED Era

Will Baseball Hall of Fame (2017) Voting Open Floodgates to Widespread PED Inductees? [San Francisco]

Sunday’s (Jan. 22, 2017) columns by Scott Ostler and John Shea(SFChronicle.com) signal  that the floodgates to the Baseball Hall of Fame may be opening soon for past PED  users – if they haven’t already, based on the latest Hall induction results. [San Francisco]

 

Ostler couches his tongue-in-cheek comments, not really letting on to his personal beliefs but suggests its time to stop fooling around and just delete  a few key words in the Hall of Fame voting rules-namely ‘sportsmanship, integrity, character’–  that would allow PED users and likely users to easily make it in to the Hall.

 

He compares it voting for President of the United States where he believes we’re not so likely to abide by such character rules, so why not in baseball?   He ends short article by saying that that if the private ‘family’ that controls Hall voting doesn’t budge, he’ll open his own ‘integrity free’  Hall of Fame which would include a juice bar.  I think we get your drift, Scott. Hope you don’t have to do it, though it might just end up more popular than the real so-called REAL Hall of Fame (United States] [California] [San Francisco] [94111]

 

Shea is much more specific in his thoughts, which describe a very non-specific way in which he sees the Hall of Fame voting.  Non-scientific or non-empirical is more like it.

 

Shea  questions how players like Ivan Rodriguez and Jeff Bagwell could be voted into the Hall of Fame (2017)  or a Mike Piazza (2016) while others with better numbers like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa have not . Though Rodriguez and Bagwell  were never indicted for Peds there have been rampant rumors based on  weight and production fluctuation. Then you have ‘Big Papi’ David Ortiz , the darling of baseball during his farewell year of 2017 despite his 2003 positive test for PEDs and unlikely .300 batting average and home run production at age 40, who will surely make the Hall of Fame. McGwire even did a mia culpa, coming clean from an earlier time when some steroids weren’t even illegal.  Yet   McGwire and Sosa barely flirt with double digits in voting . Shea implies that there’s no consistency to the voting, from one votee to another.   United StatesNew YorkNorth White Plains10603

 

Then you have Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens , who never did really ‘come clean,’ quickly approaching the 75%threshold -over 50%  overf voters selected them –  necessary to make the Hall. Shea and others believe that they’ll both be voted in within another five years , while they’re still eligible in regular voting.

 

Shea calls Hall of Fame voting ‘a big mess’  today with some voters not even voting for players under suspicion while others will vote for anyone with requisite production, regardless of PED use or suspiciion.  Shea feels that there’s a good chance that within the five years they’re eligible, Bonds and Clemens will probably get in the hall (editor’s note: especially with more younger voters more accepting of PEDs and less older ones).  He expects even those under suspicion will make it, those such as more recent players like Andy Petite, Jason Giambi  and Ortiz, who all come up for eligibility.

 

 

baseball-attendance-update

This chart shows how baseball attendance has fallen off during the steroid era, based on potentially  filled seats.

This chart shows how baseball attendance has fallen off during the steroid era, based on potentially  filled seats.

 

Editor’s Opinion:  With already four recent Hall of Fame inductees likely past PED users and many more imminent PED (known and suspected)users,  we’re gradually seeing an erosion of the main tenants -sportsmanship, integrity, character-  for the Hall of Fame which will also weaken the  rules of baseball, making for a  lesser game. We’ll continue to see a growing number of lesser talents say, for example ,   Andres Torres , who had one career year while  in his mid-thirties after  he admitted to taking Adderall.  Then  you have the illegal users, such as Bonds, who turned baseball on it’s  collective ear, insulting the likes of  Henry Aaron and , yes, Roger Maris and Babe Ruth, spinning in their graves. Of the new four mentioned players inducted, surely at least half of them were users and many more on their way, including KNOWN users like Ortiz, Bonds and Clemens. Once Bonds and Clemens get in – and they will – you’ll probably see many more lesser talents get in, too and, likely, a resurgence of PEDs in baseball, perhaps more than the estimate ‘up to 50%’ figure as quoted by PED guru Victor Conte as he described the heyday of  PEDs, circa 2002-2016. More

       

 

Will Baseball Hall of Fame (2017) Voting Open Floodgates to Widespread PED Inductees?