By LeAnne Harris
It's the dead of the off-season, and while the stove is cooling, we're still months away from Opening Day. There is no baseball to watch, and if you're anything like me, you've got the iconic Rangers-Jays Seventh Inning playing in the background while you're refreshing your twitter feed every eleven seconds, giving yourself enough time to read an A's beat writer's response to a quirky fan comment and an article on a Barry Bonds vote to the Hall of Fame by Ken Rosenthal.
Wait, Ken Rosenthal did what?
That's right. Kenny Bowties did the unthinkable. For the first time in their three years of eligibility, Rosenthal included Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens in his Hall of Fame Ballot.
Rosenthal outlined several excellent points in this article released last night, discussing his recent motion to include the two players. Along the thoughts of cheating and authenticity, Rosenthal states: "I no longer could justify snubbing two of the greatest players of this era." Rosenthal then explains that if a player has faced accusations yet was still inducted to the Hall of Fame, there is still no proof that they did not engage in PED use. So why is it considered a crime for Bonds and Clemens to be elected?
The morality behind inducting possible PED users is more so an argument of authenticity. As Rosenthal wrote, "suspicion alone is not enough to withhold a vote from a player who hasn't admitted to PED use, never tested positive to public knowledge, never been the subject of a government investigation." And though we may be fully aware that both Bonds and Clemens were subjects in government trials, does that give them less of a right to be inducted if the charges were dropped?
Whether you agree that both players should be in the HOF or that they are cheaters and should be recognized as cheaters, having Ken Rosenthal's votes are just as important in the long run as other voters. We see and hear Ken Rosenthal everywhere, and one could only imagine the impact he may have on his voting brethren.
Rosenthal is the main, credible source we have for trades and news, and his ability to report such news allows for us baseball fans to see him as a familiar, comforting face when it comes to baseball. He made such a substantial decision on reversing his previous statements on adding both Bonds and Clemens to his ballot, which can be either judged as noble or cowardly among fans and other players. Both Bonds and Clemens have names that are tarnished for the rest of their lives, regardless of the numbers they put up during their careers; and while Rosenthal still feels conflicted after submitting his ballot, he understands the frustrating and contradictory point.
With such a big, influential reporter admitting his uncertainty on one of the biggest baseball scandals of the decade, it may show other voters in the future, if he is not inducted from the 2016 ballot, that it is okay to place a vote for him. We could possibly have one of the best, biggest, and baddest entertainers in the history of baseball inducted into the Hall of Fame, and for that, I am juiced.