To: Joe Morgan, Hall of Famer
From: Rob Parker, Hall of Fame Voter
Re: Baseball Hall of Fame
Say it isnt so, Joe.
Your letter to Baseball Hall of Fame voters on Tuesday should have been titled: Dont Let Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Thats certainly what it sounded like to this scribe who has covered Major League Baseball since 1986.
Sorry, that letter couldnt have been about what a special place the Hall of Fame is and how the voters – Baseball Writers of America members – should keep known steroid users out.
Why? In your words, They cheated. Steroid users dont belong here.
Hate to break it to you, Joe. Your letter is a day late and a dollar short.
Trust me. Steroid users are already in the Hall of Fame.
Sorry, your special place has already been soiled – in your eyes.
Joe Morgan,a fierce competitor renowned for his baseball smarts, could single-handedly beat opposing teams with his multifaceted skills. A two-time National League MVP in 1975 and ’76, he was a terror on the basepaths, topping the 40-steal plateau nine times during his career.
This silly notion that because a player wasnt actually caught or made headlines mean they are clean and worthy is totally false. Some in the game believe that more than half the players in that era dabbled in the stuff.
Joe, how come you didnt sound the alarm last November before writers voted in Pudge Rodriguez, who was mentioned in teammate Jose Cansecos 2005 book Juiced.
Canseco claimed that he personally injected Rodriguez and others many times with human growth hormones.
Or before writers also elected Jeff Bagwell, another player long rumored to have used performance enhancing drugs.
Where was this letter two years ago when Mike Piazza got elected to the Hall? Evidence or not, Piazza was long rumored to have indulged as well.
Either you let them all in or none. You cant pick and chose based on if you like a particular guy or whether a not a player broke a record or not.
Heres a piece of Morgans letter:
Over the years, I have been approached by many Hall of Fame members telling me we needed to do something to speak out about the possibility of steroid users entering the Hall of Fame. This issue has been bubbling below the surface for quite a while. I hope you dont mind if I bring to your attention what Im hearing. Please keep in mind I dont speak for every single member of the Hall of Fame. I dont know how everyone feels, but I do know how many of the Hall of Famers feel.
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Morgan also added this: I think the Hall of Fame is special. There is a sanctity to being elected to the Hall. It is revered.
Morgan, you should write a letter to MLBs commissioner. The record books count everything that went on in the Steroid Era. If MLB recognizes the home runs, hits, wins and saves, they are legit. Its hard to ignore them like they never happened.
Plus, Joe. I hope you wrote a letter to the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox and asked those teams to return their championship trophies won with players on PEDs.
Thats why your letter just doesnt hold water. Especially since you – or anyone else – have no idea of what the scope of the use was in that era. For all we know, Bonds – the all-time HR king – and Clemens – a seven-time Cy Young award winner – were on equal footing because many were on the juice.
Juice, by the way, that wasnt even a banned substance by the sport.
Its seems unfair to go back in time and only penalize a selected few and make examples out of them.
In truth, your letter Joe is about Bonds and Clemens. You see their percentage of votes by the writers are only going up, not down. Bonds and Clemens can get the magical 75 percent either this vote or the next one.
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Some writers have simply come around to the fact that they shouldnt only be punished. First, both were great players. Secondly, most agree, it was widespread whether we have the evidence or not.
Im still waiting on your passionate letter to the commissioner to make sure your ex-teammate and friend, Pete Rose, never gets in this special place as you call it. Oh wait. You were in favor of Rose getting in despite betting on the game, messing with the integrity of sport. Thats a cardinal sin.
Joe, in all the years that the writers have voted, our selections have been solid. Getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame is the hardest of all Halls. Its because the writers take their votes seriously and only allow those worthy.
We, the writers, have done a great job. Thanks, but no thanks for your ill-conceived advice.