With the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot set to be officially released this afternoon, the whole steroids era controversy and how the BBWAA continues to view players from that era, will come to to light once again.
Have their sentiments softened or are they still standing their ground?
For Mets fans, all eyes will be on Mike Piazza who is just one among a strong class expected to make their debut on the ballot today. The other big names include: Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling and Sammy Sosa.
Scanning those names you see three players that were more than just implicated in steroids use, Bonds, Clemens and Sosa were among those who blew the whole scandal wide open. And while each of them escaped or will escape any legal entanglements, an indelible stain on their careers will always remain, at least in the eyes of a majority of fans, but more importantly those who cast the deciding votes. Many BBWAA members have publicly stated that they will never vote for players suspected of using PEDs because they were cheaters.
I’ll be talking more about this with our own BBWAA voter, John Delcos, a senior staff writer here at Mets Merized Online. I’m certain John will be weighing in with his own views on this matter in the days to follow. We’ll also be sharing his ballot once he makes his final decisions.
Piazza, Bonds, Clemens and Sosa, each have the numbers to be a lock for first-ballot winners, but fate can be fickle sometimes, especially when fans and voters have long memories.
A candidate must appear on 75 percent of submitted ballots in order to gain election. Will Clemens (354 wins), Sosa (609 home runs) and Bonds (762 home runs, 7 MVP awards) eclipse that threshold? I doubt it.
Piazza is a different case entirely, the power hitting catcher was never really implicated like those other three, and despite rumors of steroid usage, no evidence of wrongdoing exists or ever surfaced. Based on his record setting achievement for 427 home runs by a catcher, seven top ten finishes in MVP voting, and a career slash of .308/.377/.5454/.922, he along with second baseman Craig Biggio would seem like no-brainers when the HOF Class of 2013 is announced in January.
I would love to hear and read your thoughts on this continuing steroids cloud that hangs over Cooperstown, and if you believe players who tested positive should be banned.
Tell us if you think Mike Piazza will get in on the first ballot, and who else might be joining him.