Look, I understand that the 2013 Hall of Fame vote wasn't going to be quite like any other. I understand the conflict that voters were presented with this year. My personal opinion is that steroids were a baseball problem and not an individual problem. An era, and not an isolated incident among two or three great players. And that the Baseball Hall of Fame isn't just to reward great players, but to tell the story of baseball. You can't write a book about American History and leave out Vietnam. You can't write a book about baseball and leave out the steroid era. So while I would lean towards giving Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens plaques for their achievements (a good portion of which I'm sure came against lesser players who also "juiced"), albeit ones that emphasize their role and alleged involvement in the steroid scandal right on the plaque (and in Clemens' case, his role in being a dick), I completely understand them being left out. And I'm the last one to be outraged if players like Bonds and Clemens are kept out forever. I certainly don't want to be the one to look Willie Mays in the eye and explain to him why obvious cheats share the same hallowed ground as him … especially when it really should be Bud Selig explaining why baseball looked the other way while Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and other alleged juicers helped line the pockets of every executive in Major League Baseball in 1998.
But for the writers who are members of the BBWAA to leave out players who are deserving of the Hall of Fame in the guise of making some grand statement, when the true motive seems to be making the story about themselves is a disgrace. Yes, I sympathize with the difficulty of the choice this year. But when people who have that privilege whine about not being given more specific guidelines for this incoming crop because they want the privilege without all the pesky responsibility, then they lose my sympathy. When 42.2% of voters leave Mike Piazza, a slam dunk Hall of Famer if there ever was one, off the ballot either because he's "guilty by association", or that they're afraid that there is some imaginary Brian McNamee clone storing needles with Piazza's DNA on its tips even though there's no evidence of steroid use by Piazza and that he's never been called to testify in front of a grand jury, then they lose my sympathy. When other deserving Hall of Famers like Craig Biggio get left out because writers make up stupid tiers of Hall of Famers like "first ballot Hall of Famers" and what not, as if you could be a little bit of a Hall of Famer like being "a little bit pregnant", then they lose my sympathy. You're a Hall of Famer or you're not. Simple.
And when one voter uses the privilege he or she has to vote for Aaron Sele, all voters lose my sympathy. Yeah, I know it happens every season. Jim DeShaies got a vote. Bobby Bonilla got two. But this is the year it was supposed to be so hard, and so important. And they all had years to think about this. Yet one ballot is used to punch Aaron Sele's name? I'm sorry. They're all idiots. I can't take a group of people trying to make a statement from a collective soapbox when one of the group votes for Aaron Sele. A bunch of these soapboxers need to lose their privileges. It's probably wrong of me to paint all the writers with the same brush. But hey, now they know how Mike Piazza feels.