An induction to the Hall of Fame is one of baseball’s most sacred achievement. A milestone. A place where only the greatest to ever play the game belong. Every year a new ballot comes out, filled with some of the top players that the league has ever witnessed. However, only few will be inducted. What does it take? For years, that has been the question of many fans, players, coaches, and even outsiders.
This year's Hall of Fame ballot was definitely one for the history books. The Steroid Ballot. Consisting of 5 players that have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, 3 of them on their last shot at the HOF. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa. But we also can't forget the legend of the "bloody sock", Curt Schilling, who also is trying to convince writer's to overlook his past troubles.
Thoughts on the HOF Induction
I'm sure most of us all watched, but the baseball writer's stood their ground and David Ortiz was the only player inducted from the 2022 ballot. So here is where all the controversy comes in....
Since Wednesday night, all I've seen is absolute chaos over the voting results. A good majority of this having to do with the MLB's "Home Run King", Barry Bonds. Look I get it, we've seen this guy's stats in Pittsburg and San Francisco... we've heard all the sayings, "well look at this before he did roids" and "but everyone was using". Stop. No.
The man cheated! That's as lightly as I can put it. I've had this argument with the rest of the boys from the podcast and you can't convince me otherwise. Sure, I'll give it to him. Barry Bonds was a great hitter! Sure, he saw the ball well, hit for above average, stole bases, he did it all! But you're gonna try and tell me that he hit those 762 home runs and the needle had NOTHING to do with it? Yea, no. Let's start with some simple stats from his days before the juice.
Pittsburg (7 yrs)- career .503 slugging average; 176 HR's
Not bad at all! Man could still hit the ball. So now let's go to his San Francisco years starting in 1993. Remember he is now 28 years old.
San Francisco (15 yrs)- career .666 slugging average; 586 HR's
Yikes! He sure hammered it then didn't he? So now we'll move into stats from 2000-2004... what people think were his so called "steroid years" (which really started in 1998). Oh and by the way, he is now 35 years old.
2000- SLG .688/ 49 HR's
*2001- SLG .863/ 73 HR's
2002- SLG .799/ 46 HR's
2003- SLG .749/ 45 HR's
2004- SLG .812/ 45 HR's
Now if those aren't video game numbers I don't know what is. But oh wait! "Steroids don't make you hit better". Right. I forgot. They only make the balls you do hit, go 472 ft further. I bet that'll help you never fall south of 45 moonshots a year.
Respect for the Game
Look, I've thought of this controversy from both sides. I even caught myself feeling two-sided about this whole deal. But at the end of the day, Barry Bonds, like many others, cheated the game of baseball. You can't tell me it didn't help him...shoot go look at the man in his Pittsburg days compared to his Giants days. Now if thats all natural, by god sign me up! I'd love to look like Hercules in my mid 30's! But it's the fact that he broke records that have never been broken. Records that may never be broken! Even some of our greatest players in baseball now like Trout, Soto, and Acuna... sadly, may never beat that record! Maybe another Hank Aaron will come around but until then, steroids own that record.
Many question why David Ortiz was selected over his steroid accusations. It was a failed survey drug test from '03, yet nobody knows what he tested positive for. Never released to the public. But I'm not here to get into that. And because it's "Big Papi"... sorry not sorry. But I think we can all agree the whole HOF process is a mess. We got baseball writers controlling the destiny of these players, a stupid 5% rule, oh and also a terrible commissioner.
My whole life I have never believed that cheaters belong in the game of baseball. As a kid, I always saw professional baseball players as role models, like many kids do today. Never did cheating or steroid use cross my mind. That was until Barry Bonds. Ever since that day, I lost any respect that I had before. If we continue to let steroid users into the hall of fame, is that setting the right example? Are we telling our young viewers and athletes that it's okay to take shortcuts in order to be great? Love me, hate me. I thought it was time to spill it. Cheaters don't belong in the Hall of Fame. I'm one of the biggest San Francisco Giants fans you will ever meet, yet my fandom began in 2008. So I can bash Barry Bonds if I want. But yes, my love for the Giants is because of Tim Lincecum. Oh, and yea, thanks to the 5 % rule and ignorant baseball writers, his shot at the HOF is over. But that's for another day.