The 2013 Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame ballot was announced late last month and this year the candidates include Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa. The BBWAA voters have until the end of this month to return their completed ballots. Results will be announced on January 9.
The issue of performance enhancing drugs has taken the spotlight this voting cycle and figures to factor in to who will get inducted into Cooperstown this summer. Hall of Famer Andre Dawson doesn’t believe that any players who used steroids - including Bonds, Clemens or Sosa should be inducted. Dawson, who is now an assistant with the Marlins, was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2010 and thinks that players who have broken the rules of baseball should not be allowed into baseball’s most prestigious club.
“One of the criteria is integrity of the game and I think that was broken,” Dawson said. “There are probably individuals in the Hall of Fame who haven’t abided by all of the rules but this is something that was detrimental to the history of the game and that’s the problem I have.”
The most recent Hall of Fame inductee, Barry Larkin, agrees with Dawson in that players who used PEDs cheated and should not be allowed into the Hall of Fame.
“I think if you cheated, no, you don’t deserve it because I know how difficult it was for me to get there and how difficult it was for me just to compete on an everyday basis,” Larkin said. ”I think if you cheated I think you made a decision and I don’t think you belong.’
Dawson did admit that he thinks Bonds will be voted into the Hall of Fame eventually, but not this year. He isn’t sure that Clemens and Sosa will ever be voted in. Dawson cites Mark McGwire’s dwindling support in the Hall of Fame voting as evidence that the BBWAA voters don’t think PED users have a right to be in the Hall of Fame. McGwire first appeared on the ballot in 2006 and has never gotten more than 24 percent of the vote. He dropped to 19 percent last year.
“Bonds probably will eventually,” Dawson said. “I think there are lot of writers where somewhere along the lines they will switch gears and he will get in, but these other two guys (Clemens and Sosa), I don’t see it.”
Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda also thinks players who “didn’t do it the right way” should be left out.