How long till Opening Day?

Bruce Markusen, respected baseball author, MLBlogger and former Hall of Fame historian in Cooperstown, just saved a thoughtful post and included the following:

"Then there’s the issue of the Hall of Fame. (Roger) Clemens, who would have
been a slam dunk first-year shoe-in, will now receive the Mark McGwire
treatment. If Clemens makes it at all, and that’s highly questionable
right now, he will have to wait quite awhile — perhaps until the Veterans
Committee. Ditto for Barry Bonds and to a lesser extent, Gary
Sheffield. Miguel Tejada, given his recent decline, had probably
already lost his way toward Cooperstown; his chances have been reduced
to near zero."

Here are some examples of what others are saying around the blogosphere. You can find other MLBlogs easily enough by clicking around here. Try these:

Huffington Post | The New Republic | Wonkette | Slate | MetsBlog |
The Smoking Gun | Things That Make You Go Hmmm | Above the Law
…and feel free to post other URLs as comments.

Probably no one mentioned in the Mitchell Report was hit harder than Clemens, who denied the allegations through his lawyer. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner was singled out in nearly nine pages, 82 references by name. Much of the information on the Rocket came from former Yankees strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee.

"The illegal use of performance-enhancing substances poses a serious threat to the integrity of the game," the report said. "Widespread use by players of such substances unfairly disadvantages the honest athletes who refuse to use them and raises questions about the validity of baseball records."

Clemens certainly is not alone in the long list of names. But what do you think this does to his legacy, and how do you feel about the degree of fairness in terms of his reported involvement and his attorney’s subsequent "vehement" denial? Is this a lawsuit waiting to happen, hinging on credibility of the accuser? Would you vote Clemens into the Hall of Fame no matter what, given his career before the reported steroid participation began? What did you think about this whole day, what it means to the game’s future, how it was handled, and the commissioner’s reaction?

Polling at ESPN.com showed that 77 percent of fans said they still would attend Major League games in 2008, and a larger percentage said they weren’t surprised by the number of names on the list. How do you feel about everything now that you’ve read the report? And have you really read the report? It’s a monster. And what do you think of the Milano Report?

3 Comments

I would not only vote for Clemens, but I would vote for Pete Rose in a heartbeat. I cannot stand Bonds, but would still vote for the SOB. Are you going to deny an entire generation of ballplayers their due in the Hall of Fame in the name of sanctimonious, hypocritical MLB publicity?

Selig has’nt really done anything yet, why should we believe him now

I will still be a baseball fan. I think it is sad that these events have played out this way, but I hope that it will be a new beginning for baseball.

BTW, I attended the Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies this past summer, and if ever two players deserved their places in the HOF, it was Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken.

Baseball will come back from this, and although I can’t speculate on how Clemens and others might fair when they are eligible for the Hall, I think that the Mitchell Report seems to indict baseball as a whole, rather than the individual players.

So if this problem was known about by baseball for a long period, and not acted upon, how can MLB now point fingers at players for doing what was essentially a condoned practice?

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