• Tim Crone: Baseball Hall of Fame faces quandary

  • Another Super Bowl is in the books and like most sports fans Sundays will not be the same until the new football season begins next fall.

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  • Another Super Bowl is in the books and like most sports fans Sundays will not be the same until the new football season begins next fall.
    Of course, we can all now look forward to March Madness and the NCAA national championship game. This year should be interesting because there are many teams with a shot at the title. The final four would be tough to predict let alone the No. 1 seeds in each region.
    As I put football behind me, I would like to take this opportunity to to discuss a topic that has slipped under the radar for the most part. A few weeks ago the sportswriters and former players who vote for the baseball Hall of Fame failed to elect anyone to receive the honor this year.The guys in the steroid era have a price to pay for the use of performance enhancing drugs that in turn changed forever the landscape of the record books.
    It is an extremely sensitive issue that creates a complicated dilemma for voters. The selection process itself creates the first hurdle in the selection of inductees into the Hall of Fame.The sportswriters have too much power in this process. They are basically a group of people who watch the game in the same light as any fan but who have the power to sway votes due to their media status. I just do not trust that these people are solid in their role as judge and jury.
    Case in point – Craig Biggio is a member of an elite group of players with 3,060 hits under his belt with no hint of any problems with the use of any type of performance enhancing drugs. However, because he played in the steroid era, he must pay the price for the poor choices made by others. Next year if Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine are not first-round selections, in my eyes the process is a joke. Maddux had 335 wins and Glavine had 301. Both of them may be among the last 300-game winners in baseball. Neither of these great pitchers have ever been accused of anything other than being great pitchers. Both were true stoppers.
    It is obvious that the Hall of Fame organization will need to arrive at a solution to handle the superstars and record breakers of the tainted steroid time. Some argue that these players still had to hit, catch, pitch and play the game in order to build their careers into such statistical successes. However, a large number of fans think that the steroid users are pure cheaters and do not deserve the holy grail of baseball by being named to the Hall.
    I could go on and on but I do not have a answer for the the Hall. Look at some of the greatest of that time. Rafael Palmero – 569 home runs and 3,020 hits; Barry Bonds – 762 home runs, 2,935 hits, .444 on-base percentage, .607 slugging percentage; Roger Clemens – 354 wins,4,674 strikeouts; Mark McGwire 583 home runs; and Sammy Sosa – 609 home runs, a .534 slugging percentage.
    Page 2 of 2 - It’s a great baseball dilemma. If these players are not allowed in the Hall of Fame then it should only be right that anyone involved in that era should also pay the steroid price. Owners, general managers, managers, the commissioner and in particular, the media, should be left out of the decision making. They are the group that buried their heads and looked the other way way for so many years because of the excitement generated by the players of that time. Let's face it, the summer of the McGwire and Sosa home run chase brought baseball back to the front page. Everyone in the game prospered. Big money was made. No one in the steroid era has a right to cast the first stone.
    This is precisely why there has to be a place in the Hall that deals with this very real time in baseball history. Baseball is the biggest loser in this whole story. I find it hard to question the integrity of everyone in the game but how was the entire scenario allowed to be played out in the first place?
    n The death of Dale Williams, the legendary girls basketball coach at Ft. Osage High School, made me reflect on his total dedication to his players and the game of basketball. At district seeding meetings he would argue for hours to seed his teams as high as possible. He loved the game.
    n I have to pop the balloon of Randy Moss by saying without question he was not the greatest receiver in the history of football. Jerry Rice is the man who played hard on every play of his career. That deserves a “C'mon Man!”
    n My quote of the week comes from Henri Frederic Amiel, Swiss essayist, "He who floats with the current, who does not guide himself, according to higher principles, who has no ideal, no real standards - such a man is a mere article of the world's furniture – a thing moved, instead of a living and moving being – an echo, not a voice.”

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