Jeff Pearlman has a column up today in which he suggests that Jeff Bagwell doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame because, even if he didn’t take steroids, he should have blown the whistle on those who did. Full disclosure: I haven’t read the column and I don’t plan to. The premise makes me cringe. As Craig Calcaterra suggests, that would mean no player who played in the past 25 years belongs in the Hall.
Craig’s Swiftian conclusion: keep them all out. Don’t admit anyone to the Hall of Fame who dared to play during the steroids era.
I have a better suggestion. Don’t let any writers who covered baseball during the period in question vote for the Hall of Fame. Strip away their credentials. After all, isn’t the essence of journalism uncovering corruption and scandal? These guys didn’t do their job, and now they’re trying to make up for it by keeping legitimately great players out of the Hall.
This is a conflict of interest that appears to be undermining the vitality and legitimacy of the Hall of Fame voting. I wish these journalists would forgive themselves, grow up and move on. If not, they should excuse themselves from voting for the Hall of Fame.