The BBWAA gets one right

Folks may disagree, but I think this is the wiser move:

Baseball writers have turned down a proposal to form a committee for developing guidelines on evaluating players from the steroids era in Hall of Fame voting.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander, who brought the matter up at a Chicago chapter meeting last month, made the proposal Tuesday at a national meeting of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The proposal was voted down 30-25.

Any additional rule or committee or process on this subject is just going to muddle things further. If you affirmatively insert the issue of PEDs into the voting criteria like that, you risk turning the BBWAA into more of a steroids tribunal than it already is. Such a provision could imply a duty to investigate, which leaves the writers with the choice of doing something for which they are decidedly not equipped — conducting a historical steroid probe — or risk the appearance of abandoning the putative committee’s mandate.

As it stands, the writers are to consider a player’s “record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.” If you can’t suss out the steroids business in all of that, it’s probably not worth sussing out at all.

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