Earlier this year the BBWAA voted on the 2011 Hall of Fame candidates. For the fifth year Mark McGwire failed to garner much support for election as his vote total fell to under 20 %. In his five eligible years he has yet to gather even one third of the required 75% of the vote necessary for election. This year he was joined by two new additions to the PED and Hall discussion. Rafael Palmerio with 569 HRs, over 3,000 hits and 1,800 RBIs was supported by the voters to the tune of 11%. Palmerio will be remembered by his “I have never used steroids, period” denial driven home by a finger pointed at the chairman of the congressional committee investigating steroid use in baseball in 2005. Several months later he tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanzolol. Also joining Palmerio was Juan Gonzalez with 434 HRs, 1400 RBIs, and 2 MVPs. Gonzalez was cited by Jose Canseco as a steroid user and was also mentioned in the Mitchell Report. Gonzalez escaped being a one and done candidate by 4 votes with 5.2% of the vote. Without the shadow of PEDs anyone of these three would have been first ballet Hall of Famers, so what is wrong with this picture? In my mind nothing, the voters have gotten it right.
Next year three new first time candidates will appear on the ballet Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa. The first two could possibly hear the news delivered by a guard and delivered through steel bars at a federal penitentiary. Sosa will need to have the HOF vote translated since we learned at that 2005 congressional hearing that Sosa doesn’t speak much English. I ask whether you believe that the BBWAA are getting it right or should performance enhancing drugs be a non factor in the Hall of Fame vote. I am posting this blog entry on all MLB message boards, for those interested I will follow up with the poll results.