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I am Once Again Asking to Fix the Baseball Hall of Fame

This is going to start being a yearly tradition it seems. Back in January of 2023, Scott Rolen was the only member elected in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The voting wasn’t as bad this year, but there is one guy that had me up in arms for not getting in, and that is Gary Sheffield. Sheffield garnered just 63.9% of the vote, and is now off the ballot. 

I wrote about who I thought would get in back when the ballot of was announced, and I was pretty spot on. Adrian Beltre was a no doubter, Joe Mauer squeaked in on first ballot, and Todd Helton finally gets in. Billy Wagner fell just short, but he’ll get in next year.

As mentioned, my big snub was Gary Sheffield, who barely got a bump for his last year on the ballot. It’s absolutely disgraceful what they did to this guy, and the BBWAA is all over the place with who gets in and who gets out.

I won’t waste anymore of my breath on why Scott Rolen shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame, because this argument has nothing to do with talent, and everything to do with the Steroid Era.

Sheffield got caught up with the steroid scandal in the early 2000s like most power hitters did, but he never tested positive for the juice.

It’s totally unfair that the BBWAA still holds this against him, especially when other guys who were loosely associated with steroids like Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell, and even Mike Piazza, recently got in to the Hall of Fame. None of those players tested positive, and neither did Sheffield.

Actually, it’s even less so, because his steroid allegations revolve around using a steroid cream to help his knee scarring after stitches busted open (given to him by Barry Bonds). Yet David Ortiz, who never tested positive publicly, but reportedly tested positive in a confidential test in 2003, remains a beloved guy by the media and was voted in easily. 

If you don’t want to let the poster children of the steroid era in (Bonds, Roger Clemens, A-Rod, Manny Ramirez) I kind of get that; but where is the line for the guys who never tested positive and never showed up on any reports? You know why those guys were linked to steroids? BECAUSE THE MEDIA SPECULATED IT. They forced these players to defend themselves even when there was no proof, and now they still get to decide who gets in and who is out based on that subjectivity? It’s horrible, absolutely horrible.

Sheffield was an absolute force, by every metric he should be a Hall of Famer: 60.5 WAR, 140 OPS+, .907 OPS, 509 home runs, 2,689 hits, a career .292 BA. How is this allowed? How did this happen? How did Gary Sheffield go 10 full years on the ballot and not get in? It will never make sense.

Unfortunately, I’ll probably be back next year writing and talking about the same thing with a different player.

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