So apparently if Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Craig Biggio and anyone else on the 2013 ballot want to get into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this year, they're going to need to buy a general admission ticket.
For the first time since 1996 and only the eighth time in its history, the Hall will not have a new class. There are so many debates as to whether this is right or not, I'm still trying to decide if I agree 100 percent.
In the days leading up to Wednesday's announcement, I was going over statistics and other information trying to figure out how the voting was going to go. I thought Biggio would get in if nothing else.
The former Astro accumulated 3,000-plus hits, played three different positions and was a seven-time All-Star. He received 68.2 percent of the voting, followed by Jack Morris (67.7), who won three World Series titles with the Twins, Tigers and Blue Jays. Those two should make the necessary climb to the required 75 percent of all votes to be inducted next year along with former Braves greats Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and possibly ex-White Sox star Frank Thomas and Mike Mussina, who pitched 10 years in Baltimore before finishing is career with the Yankees.
The voters got it right by not electing Bonds, Clemens and Sammy Sosa. The Baseball Writers' Association of America have been steadfast on its stance of not electing players who were suspected of using performance enhancing drugs. If Mark McGwire and his 583 homers and Rafael Palmerio and his 3,020 hits aren't in, to name a few, they shouldn't be in either.
Currently there are over 100 ballots listed on the BBWAA Web site and half of them have Bonds and Clemens listed on them. The argument of "well they were Hall of Famers before PEDs" has been used. Sure Bonds was an explosive baserunner in his prime as well as being a very good contact hitter. And yes Clemens won Cy Young awards before 1999. But they cheated. And yes I am sure other players that are in the Hall of Fame cheated in some form or another but where do we draw the line?
So now the question is, how do we fix the voting process? Or does it need to? Should we have players' fates decided by the people who covered them and looked the other way when things smelled funky? Or should the Golden Era Committe (formerly the Veterans' Committee) be in charge of all voting?
I will fully admit that growing up and watching the sport in the late 80s and 90s, I was naive and thought these guys playing a game and every one was on a level playing field. If a player was better, it was because he worked harder for his results. Doubt surrounds the game now and there's no escaping it.