No player will be making an acceptance speech this summer in Cooperstown. No one was voted for, although one was worthy—Craig Biggio. But Biggio, according to some members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, had to be punished for not “speaking out” against performance enhancing drugs during the “steroid era.” Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were punished for suspicion of steroid use. I’ll have more to say about them in a later post.
Although we can’t be certain about any ballplayer—this is one of the tragedies of that era—it is widely assumed that Biggio never took performance enhancers. To deny him first-ballot status is high hypocrisy. I don’t know which writers denied him, but I suspect few or any of them spoke out during the nineties. They were all too busy exalting the home-run exploits of Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa, who “saved” baseball in 1998 from its supposed demise after the 1994 strike.