The voters got this one right. Baseball Writers Association of America voters did not vote Barry Bonds into the Hall of Fame on Wednesday. It was the right call.
This is the Hall of Fame. It's not the Hall of Shame.
Steroid users don't belong in the Hall of Fame, no matter how many thrilling home-run chases and despite hundreds of victories.
They don't belong. Voters got it right.
Roger Clemens didn't get in, either. No one did, actually. For the first time since 1996, no player received the required 75 percent of the votes to be inducted into Cooperstown.
This was a big year for voting, with Clemens and Bonds on the ballot for the first time. And Mike Piazza, too.
Bonds hit 762 home runs, and Clemens pitched his way to 354 wins. Those statistics alone should've gotten them into the Hall of Fame, but those numbers were tarnished, so they didn't deserve to get in.
I was a first-time Hall of Fame voter this year. I didn't vote in Bonds or Clemens, nor did I vote for anyone else who was linked to steroids but never proven.
The voting criteria, which is short and simple, states: "Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played."
Integrity and character don't mix with steroids.
Those who say the voting criteria is vague and ambiguous are right in that it doesn't address steroids. In the absence of such guidelines concerning steroids, voters choose based on the guidelines given.
Pitcher Dennis Eckersley was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2004. On Wednesday, he Tweeted: "Wow! Baseball writers make a statement -@baseballhall. Feels right."
Detroit Tigers infielder Danny Worth, a former Pepperdine player, went one further: "Whas even more of a joke than PED users being on the HOF ballot is the MLB drug policy 50 game susp for the 1st pos test.
There should be more players who are playing the game cleanly who denounce steroid users and show there's no place for them in the Hall of Fame.
For people who say Bonds and Clemens would've put up those same numbers with or without steroids, I wish they had given us the chance to see that.
I can't vote based on what I think they might have done without the benefit of steroids. Rather, I vote on what they did. They tried to gain an unfair advantage, and they should not be rewarded for it.
If they could have put up those numbers without the steroids, why did they do steroids? Think about it.
Jason Kipnis, second baseman for the Cleveland Indians, asked this question of his followers: "Honest opinion ... If Bonds was a Hall of Famer before using peds, does he still not to deserve to get in?"
He doesn't deserve to be in because again, integrity and character are part of the voting process. That can't be ignored. If you used, it doesn't matter what you've done before that.
The baseball writers got this one right.