Larkin one of the last non-controversial inductees?

Cincinnati shortstop Barry Larkin could be one of the last non-controversial Hall of Fame inductees. With 85 percent of the vote, he entered without the shadow of PEDs. For the near future, those on the ballot will have been linked to PEDs, or might have their induction chances enhanced because they will be going up against the scorned.

Larkin had a stellar career, one without suspicion. He was deserving in every sense.

In Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, we have our test cases for those linked to steroids for the Hall voters, of which I am one. If a player tests positive for steroids or other PEDs, or has been linked to the drugs, he won’t get my vote.

My thinking for guys under suspicion is to withhold my vote until there is more information. Is it fair? No, but I’d rather hold the vote and give it to the player later because once the vote is cast and he’s inducted it can’t be rescinded.

Next year’s ballot is disturbingly loaded with those accused of steroid use or suspected. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza among them.

For Bonds, Clemens and Piazza, it is argued they compiled Hall of Fame numbers before being linked to steroids. For Sosa, it is suggested the stretch of his career where his noteworthy stats were compiled was all steroid related. In addition, not only did Sosa cheat with drugs, but also used a corked bat.

The simple take on steroids is it enables a hitter to hit the ball further. In reality, the issue isn’t whether PEDs add an additional 50 feet to a fly ball, but the extra five that enables it to clear the wall.

Steroids enable the user to continue training during the long, hot days of summer when he otherwise might not. This continued training didn’t make the hitter stronger as much as it increases his bat speed, and this is what generates the power.

Some argue the player still has to hit the ball, which is true, but increased bat speed can turn a normal fly ball into one that barely clears the wall. It is an unfair advantage. It is cheating.

Some apologists for the steroid user claim baseball didn’t have a defined anti-drug policy until recently. While this is true, use without a doctor’s prescription is against the law. It doesn’t matter MLB didn’t have a policy in place at the time Bonds was torching National League pitching.

With the holdovers from this year’s ballot, coupled with those next year who are clean, the pickings are slim, both in terms of PEDs and career numbers, of those qualified who’ll get in as did Larkin.

I have not, and will not vote for a player connected to PEDs. It is cheating and I don’t believe that should be rewarded. Fans should watch games confident in the knowledge what they are seeing to real, but that isn’t the case with drugs.

Not only won’t they get my vote, but I believe their statistics should come with an asterisk they were compiled under suspicion of PED use. This should also be noted on their plaque if they get the necessary votes.

Under the present voting guidelines, I can’t see it any other way.





4 thoughts on “Larkin one of the last non-controversial inductees?

  1. No for all those listed for next year.

    It is not just the extra power and strength, but also fatigue and other health issues. If you are tired and banged up your reactions are slower.

    None of them should get in. They were cheating. They lied about it and they only got caught once Congress got involved and forced MLB to start testing. Before that they were not testing so the argument that they weren’t doing it before is wrong.

    They got caught after everyone knew there was testing and they were told when the test was. To me this means they were so arrogant about cheating that they thought they could continue when people were watching. Do you believe they were not doing it before?

  2. But in a few years you will get Maddux and Glavine. Not to mention Frank Thomas, who was one of the few to speak openly for testing and spoke to the Mitchell commission.

  3. David Love – yeah, I thought the same thing. Murray Chass on his blog (after he left the NY Times) who wrote something about acne. And there were whispers by opponents of course. Unlike others, Piazza never failed a test.
    Now, people have said “well, he was drafted so low and became so good, how does that happen?”
    Simple, he worked hard, and was a late bloomer. There have been lots of low drafted guys who have gone on to have great careers, just like there are lots of high draft picks who were busts.
    Draft position does not equal future greatness.