Hall of Famers happy to see Bonds, Clemens denied

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 10, 2013 at 11:38 am •  Published: January 10, 2013
Advertisement
;

"I don't know how great some of these players up for election would've been without drugs. But to me, it's cheating," he added. "Numbers are important, but so is integrity and character. Some of these guys might get in someday. But for a year or two, I'm glad they didn't."

Gossage, noting that cyclist Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles following allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs, believes baseball should go just as far. He thinks the record book should be overhauled, taking away the accomplishments of players like Bonds, Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire — who has admitted using steroids and human growth hormone during his playing days.

McGwire, 10th on the career home run chart, received 16.9 percent of the vote on his seventh Hall try, down from 19.5 last year.

"I don't know if baseball knows how to deal with this at all," Gossage said. "Why don't they strip these guys of all these numbers? You've got to suffer the consequences. You get caught cheating on a test, you get expelled from school."

Juan Marichal is one Hall of Famer who doesn't see it that way. The former pitcher believes Bonds, Clemens and Sosa belong in Cooperstown.

"I think that they have been unfair to guys who were never found guilty of anything," Marichal said. "Their stats define them as immortals. That's the reality and that cannot be denied."

The BBWAA election rules say "voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played."

While much of the focus this year was on Bonds, Clemens and Sosa, every other player with Cooperstown credentials was denied, too.

Craig Biggio, 20th on the career list with 3,060 hits, came the closest. He was chosen on 68.2 percent of the 569 ballots, 39 shy of election. Among other first-year eligibles, Mike Piazza received 57.8 percent and Curt Schilling 38.8. Jack Morris topped holdovers with 67.7 percent.

None of those players have been publicly linked to PED use, so it's difficult to determine whether they fell short due to suspicion, their stats — or the overall stench of the era they played in.

"What we're witnessing here is innocent people paying for the sinners," Marichal said.

Hall of Fame slugger Mike Schmidt said that comes with the territory.

"It's not news that Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Palmeiro, and McGwire didn't get in, but that they received hardly any consideration at all. The real news is that Biggio and Piazza were well under the 75 percent needed," Schmidt wrote in an email to the AP.

"Curt Schilling made a good point. Everyone was guilty. Either you used PEDs, or you did nothing to stop their use. This generation got rich. Seems there was a price to pay."

At ceremonies in Cooperstown on July 28, the only inductees will be three men who died more than 70 years ago: Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, umpire Hank O'Day and barehanded catcher Deacon White. They were chosen last month by the 16-member panel considering individuals from the era before integration in 1947.

___

AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker, AP Sports Writers Ronald Blum and Dan Gelston, and AP freelance writer Dionisio Soldevila contributed to this report.

| |

Advertisement


Trending Now



AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Conservative Activist Claims Women Paid The Same As Men Won't Find Husbands
  2. 2
    Report: Thunder to open playoffs on Saturday
  3. 3
    Former Sonics guard Gary Payton: Durant, Westbrook 'the new era'
  4. 4
    GOP consulting firm employee starts 'Boats 'N Hoes PAC'
  5. 5
    Why One Man Traveled Almost 3,000 Miles To Take On The Federal Government At A Ranch In Nevada
+ show more