By Nick Nunn, Sports Writer
It really doesn’t seem like it has been a full year since I wrote about the “scandal” surrounding the possibility of confirmed or rumored users of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) being voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
I’ll admit that I really didn’t have a firm stance on the issue, but I was quite interested in the amount of attention that it garnered in the middle of bowl season last year.
I was so excited that I rushed back to my computer after an interview so that I could see them tick down the list of inductees firsthand steaming on the internet.
And to what end? Nobody earned enough votes to be allowed into Cooperstown’s most prestigious athletic club. (At least, I assume it is their most prestigious club. I really haven’t done enough research to swear on a stack of bibles about that one.)
But like I said, no player got the 75 percent of votes that they would need to get in, which led to quite an anticlimax for me. Heck, I was excited to see what the fallout among the talking helmets would be if even one of the PED users squeaked by.
Nothing is quite as ridiculous as when a whole lot of people get mad about something that they can’t change. Especially when, in the long run, it really doesn’t add up to a decently-sized hill of beans. This year, however, we already have three confirmed members of the class of 2014: Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, and Joe Torre.
Each earned a 100 percent vote among a group of Expansion Era candidates for their terms as managers in the big leagues. Among the first-year candidates on the standard list, there are two names that should mean a little something to us as native of Georgia: Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, both of whom have a pretty good chance of being selected during their first year of eligibility.
Also, a number of the group of what are being referred to as the “PED holdovers” – Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, etc. – are coming back around for a second chance, but their chances of hanging around aren’t being estimated as highly. Justin McGuire, writer for the Sporting News even goes as far to say that “none of these guys should worry about booking hotel reservations in Cooperstown next summer.”
That calls to mind what Heinrich Heine, German poet, said about Dante’s Hell; namely, that, when a poet sufficiently condemns a person’s name, neither saints nor God himself can redeem it from its eternal judgment.
And when that roll is called up in the yonder in Cooperstown this Wednesday, Jan. 8, we’ll all know for sure who was written in the book of life and who couldn’t free themselves from the doomed inscriptions that will follow their name for all time.