by: Dan Howard
Whew, that was close! Thanks to the BBWAA, there will be no cheaters elected this year to Baseball’s Hall of Fame. You sure showed them who is boss. We don’t want any player who has stained the game, to be elected to the hallowed Hall. We only want players of exemplary quality, impeccable integrity; good to their mothers, Sunday school teachers, and/or deacons to be elected into baseball’s exclusive fraternity. No foul-mouthed ruffians, or boorish hooligans, or steroid cheaters, ever, period. See Ty Cobb.
My opinion about steroids consists of two words: Lyle Alzado. Alzado was the former defensive star of the Oakland Raiders who died of brain cancer stemming from his abuse of steroids. What I don’t understand is how the writers could exclude Craig Biggio and Jack Morris from induction.
Consistency, a word that is generally overused, but in the case of Craig Biggio, the word fits perfectly. Over 3000 hits, seven time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner, five Silver Slugger awards -- if those aren’t Hall worthy numbers, what is? In an age of free agency, Biggio stayed with the Astros, through thick and thin, World Series and last place, all with Houston. That’s consistency.
The lasting image of Jack Morris was his gritty performance for the Minnesota Twins in game 7 of the 1991 World Series. Ten innings of shutout pitching, something we’ll likely never see again in a deciding World Series game. Morris won Series MVP solely on that performance. For what it’s worth, how many Hall of Famers won four World Series rings? Did I mention he pitched a no hitter for Detroit on April 7, 1984 against the Chicago White Sox? On NBC’s Game of the Week!
Did you know that current Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Leo Durocher were once banned from baseball? Durocher was banned, for one year, in 1947 by “Happy” Chandler for his “association with known gamblers”. Mays and Mantle were banned in 1983 after being hired as greeters and autograph signers at Atlantic City N.J. casinos. Then commissioner Bowie Kuhn stated that a casino was no place for a baseball hero and a Hall of Famer. Both were reinstated in 1985 by Kuhn’s successor Peter Uberroth.
Tim Raines was named on 52.2 percent of the ballots, more than any accused steroid user, yet Raines testified in 1985 at the infamous Pittsburgh Drug Trial that he slid headfirst into the bases, so he wouldn’t break the vial of cocaine he carried in his uniform pocket. Ah, the power of redemption. Don’t misunderstand me, I firmly believe in second chances, and I thank God that Tim Raines is out of that nightmare.
Yes, the writers have spoken, and their silence is deafening. As a baseball fan, I’m simply outraged about this. Biggio and Morris are being excluded due to collusion; remember that word from the ‘80s? Baseball owners secretly joined forces to purposely not select free agents, otherwise binding the player to the team he played for the previous season. The owners eventually paid 280 million dollars to the players as a result of this. The baseball writers colluded to exclude two very deserving players from the Hall of Fame; it is my sincere hope that both Craig Biggio and Jack Morris gains entry into baseball immortality. They richly deserve it.