FOX43 Sports Poll: Should the suspicion of PEDs or the ‘Character Clause’ prevent players from being voted in the Hall of Fame?
Tonight’s the night several former Major League Baseball players have been waiting for since they were little kids.
At 6 p.m. this evening on MLB Network, this year’s class for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown will be revealed. Last year, only two players were selected. Former outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. set a record by garnering 99.32% of the vote for induction, with catcher Mike Piazza earning 83% of the vote.
To be inducted in the Hall of Fame, a player must receive 75% of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s vote. For the first time in 2017, writers made their votes public, allowing fans, critics and players alike to know what the writers feel.
This year, a number of players have the chance to be selected. There is only one problem.
Many of these players eligible for induction this year have been accused of using Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) during their careers. Some have made questionable decisions in their post-career life, evoking the ‘Character Clause.’ This clause means that votes for induction to the Hall of Fame must be based not only on a player’s record and ability, but also on “integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.
Former pitcher Roger Clemens and former outfielder Barry Bonds have both dealt with accusations of PED usage both during and after their careers were over. While both have been on the ballot in the past, the voters clearly made their feelings known, with both Bonds and Clemens hovering around only 50% of the vote.
Former pitcher Curt Schilling has had his fair share of issues off the field, but continues to make headlines. After garnering just over 50% of the vote in 2016, Schilling’s percentage is expected to drop this year, after a November tweet that suggested he would be in favor of lynching journalists. Schilling has also posted memes that many found to be racially insensitive or offensive. These actions could cost him his spot in Cooperstown.
Our question is, should the suspicion of PEDs or the ‘Character Clause’ prevent players from being voted in the Hall of Fame?
Of course, there are a number of other players eligible for election that aren’t accused of either of these faults. Former outfielder Vladamir Guerrero is eligible for the first time, and debate is rampant as to whether or not his numbers match up with his Hall of Fame skill set. Former first baseman Fred McGriff is entering his final year of candidacy on the ballot, and only reached 21% of the vote despite never being accused of PED usage. McGriff may have to be voted in by Today’s Game Era Committee.
It will be interesting to see who gains eternal glory upon earning induction tonight.