Letter to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times Regarding the Hall of Fame
“I’m not going to let steroids association keep me from voting for a candidate.” – Larry Stone
“Dr. Thomas DeLoughery said Mr. Alzado died of complications of a rare form of brain cancer, which was diagnosed a year ago and which the athlete attributed to his years of taking massive doses of steroids to build and maintain a formidable physique.” – LA Times
I love the drama, character building, and competition sports involves. There are many life lessons. Sports can teach honor, fairness, and respect. I’ve attacked the dorks at KJR for lacking this honor (The Bigger Dance and Seattle Mariners Sign a Convicted Rapist and Felon), and now it’s Hall of Fame time and a beef with Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone:
Dear Larry Stone,
I respect and follow you in the paper and sports talk radio, but I disagree hugely on one issue. On January 4 you disclosed your Hall of Fame ballot in the Seattle Times. Yesterday the vote came out. You voted for these ten: Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Edgar Martinez, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Alan Trammell and Larry Walker. You also mentioned that, could you have, you would have voted or given strong consideration to Mark McGwire and Sammy “corked bat” Sosa. This alone should disqualify you from the “Sports Journalism Hall of Fame.”
Biggio, Bagwell, Martinez et al are worthy considerations. But Bonds and Clemens? McGwire and Sosa? No-way no-how not-ever not-in-hell not-in-this world. Never. Drawing the line at Palmeiro, as you did, doesn’t cut it. Here’s why:
No athlete should have to choose between performance enhancing drugs or health. Just take a look at dead-at-43 Lyle Alzado. The harms caused to the user are many: acne, enlarged prostrate, testicular atrophy, liver damage, hair loss, sterility, not to mention psychosis and violent tendencies, as witnessed when wrestler Chris Benoit killed his wife.
Likewise, no athlete who plays fair should lose his or her job or have to compete against opponents who use steroids or other performance enhancing drugs. Ever. It doesn’t matter if others may have done steroids or worse but never were caught or lived in a different age. Integrity now cannot be compromised because dubious behavior has been tolerated in the past. To ensure a richer future in sports, we must change the culture. I want this for my children, Mr. Stone, don’t you?
Therefore, to get into the Hall of Fame, if you think a player used, then he has no place in baseball’s shrine. Larry, your views do not merit the “hate” mail you claim you have received, they are your opinions. But my opinion is that the more people who share your opinion, the greater the harm to future generations. Evidently you are not so naïve to think Bonds and Clemens didn’t use. But you voted for them anyway. Therefore, you have elected to be wrong.