The addled minds are those of some of the members of the BBWAA who will be deciding who will or will not be inducted into Cooperstown this summer. It is only a few more days before the outcome of the voting is shared with the public and this has to be the most controversial new group of candidates ever. But this not about whom they will or will not vote for nor is it about my opinion about who is or is not qualified, it is about the reason that they give for why.
I cannot give you every voter’s name, but where I have it I will. My first are two voters who offer the same rational yet very opposite ballots. They both object to being put in a position of being judge, jury, and executioner of the candidates. It is understood that the candidates in question are Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa as well as Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, and Jeff Bagwell. All of these former players have been suspected of using PEDs. The level of suspicion is less developed with the latter three. One of our voters is not going to vote at all while the other will vote for Clemens and Bonds.
The criteria given to the electorate by the Hall of Fame is as follows.
The players record
Contribution to the team
Our third voter has only one name on his ballot because the only player that fits his definition of character and integrity is Dale Murphy.
Richard Justice is a MLB insider who covers the Astros, so he does have Bagwell and Biggio on his ballot. He also has 8 more including Bonds, Sosa, Clemens, and Rafael Palmerio. Mr. Justice also doesn’t want to judge and is concerned if he doesn’t include the highly suspected (although in concedes that they used PEDs) and yes even those who have passed from suspected to ‘got ya’ he will feel badly if at sometime he finds out that someone he voted for is revealed as a PEDs user and he excluded the Bonds, Clemens etc. of the world. Mr. Justice also regrets having only 10 spaces on the ballot and needed 5 more spaces.
My final name is Rod Rapaport who is now retired as an active writer in Philadelphia. Mr. Rapaport will also be voting for Bonds, Clemens etc. despite also feeling that they are guilty of using PEDs. Mr. Rapaport’s reasoning is that he is doing it for the Hall of Fame so that those who saved baseball after the strike of 1994 are not excluded. He credits the home run battle between Sosa and McGwire, the eclipsing of Hank Aaron’s mark and the 4 CYAs of Clemens after his departure from the Red Sox as acts that saved the game and created record revenues, new stadiums and increased the value of the league. Although he acknowledges the use of steroids, it was the player’s performance and not the steroids that accomplished this.
I will edit and add more as it becomes known and please comment with your examples of addled minded thinking.