Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Joe Morgan Petitions Baseball HOF Voters to Keep Steroid Users Out

MLB great Joe Morgan urges voters not to elect steroid users to Baseball HOF MLB great Joe Morgan urges voters not to elect steroid users to Baseball HOF
Lucia Summers | 22 November, 2017, 15:20

I've had both on my ballot since they first appeared in 2013, and will again this year, regardless of Morgan's fears.

The Hall of Fame, which has always been silent about performance-enhancing drugs and allowed voters to dictate the conversation, took its first uncertain steps into the debate with Morgan's 997-word letter in which the former Reds second baseman, who was inducted in 1990, implored voters to keep the Hall of Fame clean.

In a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers' Association of America, the 74-year-old Morgan wrote: "Steroid users don't belong here".

I'm a big fan of Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan the player.

"Many of us have come to think that silence will be considered complicity", Morgan wrote. After that, there aren't a lot of guys who are seriously in the Hall of Fame discussion with credible PED claims against them.

We hope the day never comes when known steroid users are voted into the Hall of Fame. I was violating clear principles that were laid down within the rules. The last couple of years, Clemens and Bonds have been steadily gaining in the voting. Both were at 54 percent previous year. It's also quite naive to assume that players who took PEDs haven't already been enshrined at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Clemens and Bonds, who started at 37.6 percent and 36.2 respectively, still have five more years to get their plaques, with the momentum of younger, more progressive-minded BBWAA voters behind them.

The Hall of Fame, I believe, is on the record now. Steroid users knew they were taking a drug that physically improved how they played.

I think the Hall of Fame is special.

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And that's why I, and other Hall of Famers, feel so strongly about this. All three entities share responsibility for the unenviable spot they're in now, and that's waiting for the next generation of BBWAA voters to usher in the greatest players of the Steroid Era.

Pretty gangsta, we know, but nothing compared to the most potent bar from the salvo. we like to call it "The Ultimatum".

In it, Morgan wrote that times change, "and a day we all knew was coming has now arrived". What once was accepted no longer is.

I certainly respect his opinion, but stumping to exclude members from his same Major League Baseball fraternity - and some who were never punished during their playing days - is not a good look for Morgan or the Hall of Fame, which has started to tighten its grip on the process in recent years and may feel compelled to intervene again.

Hall voters have always been wary of electing suspected PED users.

The thing to understand here is that by going public, something dramatic has changed. A day earlier, the official ballot had been revealed, which contains many names who have been associated with PEDs, such as Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. This - and the fact that Manny Ramirez, despite two steroids suspensions received 105 votes and 23.8% in his first year of eligibility - is what set the alarm bells off with the Hall-of-Famers.

"Our role at the Hall of Fame was to support our players who feel strongly enough about this issue that they chose to speak out", Shestakofsky said in an email.

Some vote for players who may have looked like they juiced, but never got busted if they did.

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