Every baseball fan has an opinion on this. So here's mine.
Probably the most controversial Hall of Fame balloting in history will be announced tomorrow, with the first time Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa will be eligible for Cooperstown.
I belong to the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, and they sent all of us the same ballot that was sent to the baseball writers who vote in the actual election.
You can vote for a maximum of ten players for the Hall in any given year. I voted for eight.
And they are (in no particular order):
No, I did not vote for Bonds, Clemens or Sosa. Or Mark McGwire or Rafael Palmeiro. Or Jack Morris.
I'm not going to bore you with statistics. Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, McGwire and Palmeiro are cheaters, plain and simple. I don't care if they were "already on their way to the Hall of Fame" when they went on the juice. Keep them out. I always thought Morris was rather overrated.
Biggio, Bagwell and Piazza are slam-dunks in my opinion. Martinez is arguably the best DH in history. And yes, DHs do belong in the Hall. It's been the law of the land in the AL for four decades now. It's time to acknowledge them.
For a long time, I thought Murphy was already in, but on this his last time eligible, I would vote him in. I'm betting Schilling doesn't get in this year, as he's made plenty of enemies with his career with his big mouth and opinions. But Smith and Raines have been overlooked in recent years, especially Smith. He was the dominant closer of the mid-to-late 1980s, and merits inclusion.
Only one player would have been elected through the Baseball Bloggers Alliance election, and that was Bagwell, with 76%. Biggio and Piazza were tied for second at 69%. Here is the complete vote from the BBA.
Tomorrow should be a fascinating day with Hall of Fame voted officially announced at 2 PM. As far as Bonds, Clemens and Sosa go, I am more interested to see what percentage of the vote they get the first time around. Will they ever get elected? It's possible, as attitudes change over time. But I'm betting none of them get even 50%.
Steroids were a black eye for baseball. And tomorrow, all the dodging the players union and MLB did back in the late 1990s will be back on display for all to see.