Siberian Baseball

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So, this is how it begins

After warming up last year, the Major League Baseball Writers' Association is being forced further into the deep end of the Steroid Era as suspected and admitted PED users are becoming eligible for the Hall of Fame.

Among those on the list this year, Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro are eligible this year and kicking up a new cloud of dust as the old guard continues to hold firm against those caught up in the steroid era. This is not really a major shake up in the baseball world (Mark McGwire received a tepid 23.7% of the vote last year) but it does lead us deeper into the grey areas.

Gonzalez was implicated in Jose Canseco's tell-all book, but so far no hard evidence has been produced. Palmeiro famously tested positive after he testified before Congress (remember him pointing his finger and getting agitated at the very whisper of PED use?) and was suspended by MLB at the end of the summer. There was talk even then of how this would impact his Hall credentials, despite his career hit count and now it's playing out in real time.

On the other side of the spectrum are Bert "The Bridesmaid" Blyleven and Robby Alomar, who are moderately famous now for getting as close to induction to the Hall as possible, without actually being inducted into the Hall.

Needing 75% of the vote to get in (and 15% yearly just to stay on the ballot) Blyleven received 74.2% of the votes last year and Alomar racked up the best total of any first-year player who wasn't actually inducted on the first try with 73.7%.

I'm betting that both make it in this year, if for no other reason than to finally put the Blyleven thing to rest. I have to admit, though. It's still pretty strange that the guy with the best shot at making the Hall this year appears to be the one who has an entire section of his Wikipedia page to "The Spitting Incident." While Alomar had an impressive career on the whole, unfortunately he's best known for that one outburst.

Regarding that, Alomar reportedly said, "But I think people who know me, people who have had the chance to be with me on the same team, know what kind of person I am. Anything I ever did wrong, I would confront it and now it is OK."

Admit your mistakes when assaulting an ump? No worries. Admit them regarding PED's? Wait til next year.

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