No Hall, no surprise
On Wednesday, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) sent a shot across the bow of players that have been found to have abused performance-enhancing drugs.
For only the second time in four decades, the group of voters — who elect members to the Baseball Hall of Fame — failed to put any players up for the Hall.
Players like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens all received well-short of the 75 percent of votes required to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
And, for that statement, we say a resounding "thanks" to the voting members of the BBWAA.
In the voting, Bonds — baseball's career home run leader — received just 36.2 percent of the vote and Clemens — one of the game's best pitchers — garnered just 37.6 percent. Sosa, who is eighth on the career home run list, was well short getting just 12.5 percent.
Mike Schmidt, a Hall of Famer and former player with the Philadelphia Phillies, said it best:
"... everyone was guilty. Either you used PEDs, or you did nothing to stop their use," Schmidt said in an email to The Associated Press. "This generation got rich. Seems there was a price to pay."
Of course, to no one's surprise, those that were not elected on their first ballot, were clearly surprised by the fact they did not receive overwhelming support because of their on-field accomplishments.
"It is unimaginable that the best player to ever play the game would not be a unanimous first-ballot selection," said Jeff Borris of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, Bonds' longtime agent, to the AP.
But, we have to remember the fact that those on-the-field accomplishments were tainted after it was discovered that they all had used some form of performance-enhancing drugs.
Don't be mistaken, the purpose of the voting is not to ensure that there is someone enshrined each and every year. The point is clearly to make sure that those people being considered are deserving of the honor.
That is what it all comes down to. Is that person worthy of sharing the same place as players like Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby — both of whom will receive a special honor during this year's induction — and other icons of the game of baseball?
Clearly, the baseball writers said 'no,' and we applaud them for that stance.
Especially when it comes to the iconic nature that professional athletes tend to draw from our children.
This vote should send a clear message to those children that says cheating is not acceptable and will garner you no fame whatsoever.
That is the most important message and the BBWAA sent that clearly and with conviction.
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark