Former MLB Greats React to 2013 Hall of Fame Voting
In what will go down as arguably the most controversial Hall of Fame vote ever, not one player was inducted into the prestigious group at Cooperstown.
The shocking news came down from the official Twitter account of the Baseball Writers Association of America:
BBWAA (@officialBBWAA) January 9, 2013
Not Barry Bonds. Not Roger Clemens. Not Sammy Sosa. Not anyone.
The Internet understandably blew up when news of all the snubs broke, but let's take a look at how some of the all-time greats responded.
We'll get it started with Clemens, who issued this understandably upset thank-you note via his Twitter account:
This -----------> twitter.com/rogerclemens/s…— Roger Clemens (@rogerclemens) January 9, 2013
The Rocket won 354 games and compiled a career ERA of 3.12 as he established himself as arguably the best right-handed pitcher ever, but the voters were clearly swayed by the Steroid Era (although Clemens was found not guilty of lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs).
Current Hall of Famer Jim Palmer (via the Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly) had plenty more to say about the effect of the performance-enhancing drugs over the past 15 years.
HOFer Jim Palmer said he'd have been fine with the decision if Bonds and Clemens went in or didn't. But he is surprised by the low numbers— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) January 9, 2013
Palmer: Guys that belong, in the end, are going to get in it. ... It was a rather loud statement to the people that played in the Steroid Era.— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) January 9, 2013
Jim Palmer on HOF vote: This is a shot across the bow of the whole Steroid Era, when it was all about revenue ... all about making money.— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) January 9, 2013
Tony Gwynn, another player already in the Hall of Fame, was baffled that no one made it in (via MLB Network Radio):
Tony Gwynn on #InsidePitch reaction to no one getting into the HOF: "I'm stunned, with a star-studded ballot I thought someone would get in"— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) January 9, 2013
Tony Gwynn "When you have nobody getting in, I find something wrong with that. Especially with a ballot as strong as this years" #InsidePitch— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) January 9, 2013
Former Houston Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell, who came up short with just 59.6 percent of the vote, was just as upset, although it was at his buddy longtime teammate Craig Biggio being excluded, not him (via USA Today's Jorge L. Ortiz):
"That's ridiculous. That doesn't make any sense. That's a travesty," Bagwell said, according to tweets by Mark Berman, sports director of Fox affiliate KRIV in Houston. "You're talking about 3,000 hits and you don't get in on the 1st ballot. That sucks. He deserves to be in right now."
Biggio was the closest to getting into the Hall with 68.2 percent of the vote (he was 39 total votes shy), and it's hard to imagine him not entering Cooperstown in the very near future.
Edgar Martinez got just 35.9 percent of the vote, marking the fourth year in a row he fell significantly short. Nonetheless, he wasn't too surprised by the news (via MLB.com's Greg Johns):
That's kind of what I was expecting. I was hoping it would jump a little higher, but it is what it is. I'm aware it's going to be a process that's going to take a while. There are still a lot of great players coming on the ballot in the next few years, so it's wait and see.
Finally, commissioner Bud Selig unsurprisingly defended the highly criticized vote (via the Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin):
Selig, speaking at the team owners' meetings, started his comments by answering the question of whether he was unhappy at Wednesday's Hall of Fame shutout.
"No. Why would I be?" he said. "The Hall of Fame is the greatest honor a player can get. A very small percentage of players. Next year, I think you'll have a rather large class, and this year, for whatever reasons, you had a couple of guys who came very close."
Is it next year yet?
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