By Keith Gendron
The Baseball Writers of America had their final say today voting in three to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas made it to Cooperstown on their first try. Craig Biggio missed by 2 votes and garnered 74.8% of the votes out of the 75% needed to get elected.
Maddux won 355 games during his 23 year career, including 4 National league Cy Young awards. Tom Glavine won 60% of his decisions in his career totalling 305 victories(61 wins as a Met)including 2 Cy Youngs as a Brave. He and Maddux were on the 1995 World Championship teamthat defeated the Indians 4 out of 6 games. Frank Thomas hit 521 homers and drove in 1704 runs during his 19 season career batting .301. All three very deserving of their enshrinement.
But Mets fans are agitated that when their hopes of a former Met was to get elected, they didn’t have Mr. Glavine in mind. They were hoping for their star catcher from 1998-2005 would get the nod.
But it wasn’t to be as Mike Piazza received 62.2% of the votes in his second year of eiligibilty. The numbers speak for themselves 427 homers, 396 as a catcher(Major League record)1335 rbis .308 avg and .377 obp. The suspicion of PED use has been at issue in his quest into the Hall. There has been no proof and no admittance of using performance enhancing drugs, but their have been rumors such as, he had acne on his back which can be a side effect of using PED’s. But this does seem to be a stretch. Surely, their must be more evidence that he used. Its not like you take it one day and you reep the physical benefits. How come he was so mild mannered? How come his name wasn’t mentioned on the Mitchell Reports? or that nobody else has come out and mentioned him directly? None of this is to say he didn’t use, its just that, where do the accusations arise from? Piazza’s time with the Mets fans was a memorable one and the fans love him to this day. He gave them hope, turned the franchise around and gave the Mets instant respectability when he was signed in May of 1998. They made it to the postseason twice, including one trip to the World Series in 2000 losing to their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees 4 games to one.
Regardless, I don’t know if anyone will know for sure if he did partake in cheating and using PED’s. On a positive note, his percentage of votes went up about 4% from last year, so maybe in time he will be elected. The baseball writers seem to be waiting for some evidence to reward their speculation….But, what happens if their is no evidence to shine a light on?
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One hour remains before the 2013 class names its Hall of Fame inductees. Many of this years names are from baseball’s steroid era and we will soon find how the Baseball Writers of America view the class that played between 1995-2005. Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds are some of the expected players to be rejected and one Mike Piazza, although not directly linked to performance enhancing drugs(PED’s) or steroids, may also fall short of the 75% of votes needed because he played during this era.
The reults of todays vote will become a topic of discussion for the following weeks leading up to spring training on sports talk radio and media of the like. At one time, fans were only concerned with which cap a player will be wearing. For the not so distant future the discussion will be tainted with should he or not, because of steroid-use.