In years past, we have come to know these names very well. But it hasn’t been for their accomplishments. Instead, they’re reputations were destroyed by what some are calling steroids.
I call them errors.
All five of these men were on the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot earlier this year, and all five didn’t get elected into that aforementioned hall. In fact, no one on the ballot this year was elected because of the many errors players decided to take upon themselves.
Other players like former Yankee great Bernie Williams, Mets catcher Mike Piazza and even Boston’s pride Curt Schilling were on the ballot but didn’t get voted in because they were in a sea of syringes and drugs that tarnished the sport of baseball. Astro legend Craig Biggio, who was the closest with 68% of the vote into making an appearance at Cooperstown, didn’t get elected, even though he himself has never claimed to take steroids.
With Bonds holding the homerun record at 762, and Clemens having seven Cy Young awards under his belt, it is unfortunate to see such tremendous skill and accomplishments go unnoticed. But it is in the wake of these steroid issues that these two former greats probably won’t ever get voted into the HOF. Rich “Goose” Gossage, a Hall of Famer himself, has gone on record saying that Bonds and Clemens received too many votes, but “at least they didn’t get in.” Five voters turned in a clean ballot, not even making a mark on their sheets, making a blank statement that they didn’t want these players in the HOF. As much of a present effect this event has in baseball, the first time no one got voted in since 1996, the effects it might have on the sport and other players might end up leaving a long-term impression.
Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees has now admittedly taken steroids. Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers hasn’t admittedly taken steroids, but in 2011, a urine sample found an extremely elevated amount of testosterone in his system. Even Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants, who was having a mediocre career until 2012 when his numbers skyrocketed, tested positive for an increased level in testosterone. He now plays for the Toronto Blue Jays. All of these players’ legacies are now in jeopardy because of the errors they made in their lives. And who really knows about the huge power hitters of our time like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton of the Angels of Anaheim. For all we know, they might be taking steroids as well, they just haven’t gotten caught.
And that’s the reality of this all. We don’t really know anymore who is taking steroids and who is not. The players won’t admit it until the cards are stacked against them. And if they don’t admit it, they’ll get caught. With a new agreement in place for the 2013 season for random, in-season HGH and testosterone testing, it is only a matter of time that these errors get fixed and players can get recognized for their accomplishments rather then get questioned for them.
Alex Rivera is the Sports Editor for the UVU Review. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his Twitter account @HashtagginAlex