The Sunday Read: Breaking down how I voted for the Hall of Fame
(Rangers Today/Jeff Wilson)
The time has arrived once again for me to submit my Hall of Fame ballot, and, in the spirit of transparency, offer an explanation for why I voted the way I did.
This is my fifth ballot. A maximum of 10 players made my ballot this year after only eight last year. A player must be on 75% of all ballots to be enshrined.
Here’s the big one, the one that compels some people to hop on Twitter or respond in the comments section with their displeasure over my ballot: Some players linked to performance-enhancing drugs made the cut and some who are linked to PEDs did not.
And here’s the explanation: Baseball was complicit in the rise of performance-enhancing drugs by not pushing sooner, and the players union is complicit because it didn’t do anything to stop its members for using.
They finally did, after a public outcry that ultimately involved Congress and made not having drug testing too bad for business. So, in 2004, the sides came to an agreement on a joint drug policy that started to punish players who tested positive for PEDs.
And that’s one of my two lines: Anyone who failed a test after 2004 will not get my vote. They broke an explicit rule. Those who likely would have failed a test before 2004 get my vote because they weren’t doing anything that they weren’t allowed to do.
They didn’t break a rule.
The other line: There is no erasing history. The proliferation of PEDs is the mess baseball and the union allowed to happen, and this is the bed they have to sleep in.
I wish it was different. No one from the Hall of Fame has mandated that those suspected of or guilty of using PEDs are not eligible for enshrinement. There are players suspected of using PEDs already in the Hall of Fame, including Texas Rangers great Ivan Rodriguez.
He never flunked a test.
Now, here’s my ballot.