I’ve never been the biggest ARod supporter out there, but Reggie’s asinine comments simply are based upon his level of friendship, nothing more. Which is as flimsy a basis for which to make a HOF debate about as there is. Look, if you (the HOF voters) want to universally keep out every admitted user, fine. Just be consistent. If you are going to try to discount a portion of any player’s career to try to guesstimate what their productivity would have been sans PED’s, good luck, friend, as that’s a fool’s errand.
There are guys who probably (definitely?) deserve HOF consideration, if not induction, who will be kept on the outside due to some whisper campaign. Guys like Jeff Bagwell (see related stories here), Jim Edmonds (as I wrote about here for ESPN). What’s their status going to rest upon? Their likeability? Jim Rice knows a thing or two about the absence of likeability with regards to one’s candidacy.
The PED discussion/debate is not going away. Period. Having guys like Reggie espouse garbled ramblings based not on logic or facts, but on his degree of friendshipitudeness, further clouds an already gray area. Me, I say vote for the best players, period. No asterisks. Historians and fans know/think whatever they want to know or think anyways. And, by the way, stuff from known/admitted PED users is already in the HOF. Maybe not their plaques, but represented, so spare me the moralizing. Remember, that building in Cooperstown, NY, is officially called the “National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum”.
Back to Reggie for a minute, lest I veer off too far into Tangentville… Is Reggie THE voice of the HOF electorate? Is he the one they look to as a leader, as their representative? I’d find that hard to believe. I’d like to imagine that they would sooner stand behind more thoughtful, reserved, upper-tier HOF’ers like a Hank Aaron, but that’s probably me projecting. So when Reggie pukes out this beauty, I have to wonder if the rest of the electorate is reading it over their breakfast while muttering expletives:
With players like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year, Jackson added he is prepared to skip the induction ceremony if they or any other players linked to steroid use make the cut.
According to him, he won’t be alone, either.
“If any of those guys get in, no Hall of Famer will attend,” said Jackson, now a special adviser to the Yankees.
Oh, and Reggie, how do you feel about some of the others elected in the last decade or so?
The former slugger also said he was unhappy with a number of players he feels are undeserving of being in the Hall of Fame who have recently been inducted — including Gary Carter, the late former Met.
“I didn’t see Kirby Puckett as a Hall of Famer,” Jackson said. “I didn’t see Gary Carter as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Don Sutton as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Phil Niekro as a Hall of Famer. As much as I like Jim Rice, I’m not so sure he’s a Hall of Famer.”
Reggie, you’re becoming an intolerable old d’bag. To say those guys didn’t deserve it is patently absurd. Hell, you yourself were largely a one-dimentional player. The HOF has become more inclusive, but that doesn’t mean these guys don’t deserve it. Sure, you hit 563 home runs, many of them of the dramatic sort (but only 18 career post-season HR in 17 series over 11 years). Dude, we love you for that. But you are also the all-time leader in strikeouts, your career OPS ranks 189th, your career slugging (an important metric for a one-trick pony) is merely .490, good enough for 134th all time. You were great, but not SO great to cast out your peers. Shame on you for thinking so much of yourself that you felt it appropriate to disparage your peers and fellow HOF inductees.
Reggie, stick to signing autographs and waving to your fans. When someone sticks a mic in your face and asks you to weigh in on things like the HOF, do so, but only after considering what the hell you are saying. You are a member of the most elite fraternity in baseball. Don’t bring it down by disparaging your fellow members, because in doing so, you are only bringing down yourself.