Thursday, January 10, 2013

Swing and a miss

By now I'm sure you've heard everyone else's opinions and formed your own, concerning the MLB Hall of Fame pitching a shutout on potential nominees.

So here's one more person's take.

I understand what the baseball writers' looked to do by not voting in anyone in this 2013 class, which included steroid-tainted stars such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa. I, too, believe anybody who cheats the game does not belong in the Hall.

What I disagree with is the notion of making a stand against legitimate Hall of Fame candidates, like Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza. I'm sure both will soon, maybe as early as next year, have their Hall of Fame tickets punched, but in reality this should have been their year.

Biggio is a member of the 3,000-hit club, long considered a benchmark for making the Hall. In fact, of the 28 players in MLB history to have 3,000 hits, only four are not in the Hall. Pete Rose (banned from baseball for life for admitting to betting on baseball), Rafael Palmeiro (another steroid-tainted star), Derek Jeter (still an active player) and Biggio.

Biggio deserves to be taken off that last list.

Piazza is considered one of the top hitting catchers, if not the greatest hitting catcher, of all-time. Considered an average defensive catcher at best, his lifetime marks of a .308 batting average, 427 home runs and 1,335 RBI would be good enough in most years to warrant a Hall selection. In Piazza's case, there have been whispers (I repeat WHISPERS) of possible steroid use, but that's all they are at this point — whispers.

Innocent until proven guilty, I say.

The Baseball Hall of Fame should be for the best of the best and by not allowing two truly great players in, the baseball writers did an injustice to the Hall no matter how noble their intentions might have been.