The Hall-of-Fame candidates are questionable this year due to PED use. Many are wondering whether or not some players should be inducted because of their prior drug use. So, what does it take to be a Hall-of-Famer?
Former Players who are Eligible for HOF
There were several former MLB players who were on the ballot for the HOF. The question is whether or not they are worthy to be honored in this class of great players. Some of the players include Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Gary Sheffield. Anyone who knows anything about baseball has heard of all these players and the greatness they have accomplished. Does everyone know that these same players may have an asterisk next to their names if they entered the HOF?
Roger Clemens, for example, played in 709 games in his career. His ERA is 3.12, which is pretty good. Barry Bonds played in 2,986 games and has a career batting average of .298. This is pretty good as well. Bonds also has the most homers all-time, with 762, surpassing Hank Aaron who had 755.
When looking at these players, along with several others not mentioned, they all have great numbers. There is no questioning that. The problem is, these numbers are somewhat tainted due to PED use. Does this mean they can’t be eligible for the HOF because some of their stats were “enhanced” due to PEDs? Should people look at the HOF in a different light if players like these were inducted? How would other Hall-of-Famer’s feel about it? Would they be angry that they worked hard to get to that point, but someone can cheat and still get in? There are so many questions that would be raised and have been raised in regards to PED users entering the HOF.
Can the door be Opened for Other Former Players?
Another question comes to mind about former MLB players and whether or not they deserve to be in the HOF. One person is Don Mattingly. Those that watched him play know “Donny Baseball”, where Mattingly showed his skills at the plate and defensively. Mattingly’s career average is .307, which is better than that of Bonds, Sosa (.273) and Sheffield (.292), but he is not getting the credit he deserves. Why? The most logical of answers is because Mattingly never won a World Series in his 14-year career. Should not getting a ring stop a player from entering the HOF? Some say yes, but is that fair? It is like Mattingly is being judged on the whole team’s failures instead of looking at his individual accomplishments.
It is true that the Yankees made the playoffs only one time during Mattingly’s career. This came in 1995 when the Yankees played against the Seattle Mariners in the AL Division Series. The Yankees lost three games to two. Mattingly, however, played in all five games and went 10-24, giving him a .417 average. His OPS was 1.148. Wow!
What’s the deal?
The truth is, the HOF should be based on merit and what a person did in his career. It also should focus on what a player did in the playoffs. Mattingly did this and more. Mattingly made 68 errors total during his career. Herman Long has the most with 1,090 in 16,574 innings. Mattingly doesn’t even land on the list of top 400, which is where Doug Allison ranks with 237 errors in 2,725 innings. This is saying something about Mattingly’s defense.
Allowing former players into the HOF with a proven use of PEDs is a very touchy and controversial subject. Both sides make valid arguments, but the fact that these players are being talked about for even a slim chance should bring up another conversation. This conversation is about other players who have played the game and played it well, but are not in the HOF. Although Mattingly was on the ballot several times, his name should be brought back up again with all he has accomplished. If steroid users have a chance, so should players like Mattingly.
Featured Image Courtesy of scoopify.org
“From Our Haus to Yours“