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I wrote a column for Sunday on how I will vote this year for three baseball players in particular on the Hall of Fame ballot. Here is the opening to my column:

I am looking at three names on baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot, recently mailed to me. The three names are Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa. Those three names fill me with varying degrees of disgust. I will not vote for any of them.

I dismiss all three on ethical grounds. I believe they used performance enhancing drugs to bloat their statistics and prolong their careers.

To read the full column, please click here.

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Comments

21 Comments

  1. B-Rad

    On Dec. 1, 2012 an Associated Press survey of 112 HOF voters (nearly 1/5 of
    those eligible) showed that:

    Bonds received 45% of their vote

    Clemens received 43%

    Sosa received 18%

    They need 75% of the vote to get in.

    December 15th, 2012 8:53 pm

  2. Neal

    I agree lowell, would not vote for anyone on roids but did vote yes for anyone else, such as Jack Morris?

    December 15th, 2012 9:34 pm

  3. Ben

    i disagree with you on bonds, but i respect your opinion. to me, he’s simply the greatest ball player i’ve ever seen. his at bats were appointment television when i was at home, and time to hold my breath when i was in the stands. i think it’s silly that there’s a place called the baseball hall of fame and it wouldn’t have him in it…… he was just too good, PEDs or not, in my opinion. he was twice as good as any other hitter in the game while he played. same for me with pete rose, for what it’s worth… i don’t care if he bet on every game as a manager, he was one of the greats on the field. i guess for me… if i were a voter… i’d have to ask myself, “who am i to judge people based on their morals? i’m not perfect.”

    December 15th, 2012 9:52 pm

  4. Tiburon Dave

    Agree, Agree and Agree…

    Ty Cobb was a vile human being but nobody ever accused him of cheating or gambling on baseball. He spent his final years in Atherton living off a whole lot of Coka Cola stock and shivering all alone in a lower box seat on the third base line at Candlestick.

    All three of these guys cheated every day for years and made tens of millions of dollars doing it…we can’t take their money but we can deny them the Hall of Fame…

    December 15th, 2012 10:20 pm

  5. Jumbo Shrimp

    Have you ever voted for McGwire?

    What about the fact that Clemens and Bonds were both HOF caliber before their ill-fated decisions to go astray?

    Is it because they sought unfair advantage? If so, shouldn’t cheating carry an instant lifetime ban from the game?

    December 16th, 2012 12:36 am

  6. JohanKnaven

    Lowell–I think you miss the point. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL turned a blind eye to players taking PED’s so that home runs would attract fans back to the game after the early 1990′s lockout. Tom Boswell (and Red Soxes fans) knew the A’s were taking PED’s early on. The only people that didn’t know were Selig and LaRussa. Buzz Bissinger talks about how the owners of baseball went out of there way to make the game into home run derby. Bob Nightengale had a talk with Steve Phillips, the Mets former GM, and was told that upon signing someone to a long contract–Phillips would say (paraphrase) “I dont know if you are taking PEDS, but we just spent alot of money, so if you are taking something keep taking it.” The first penalty for taking PEDS was what?, 5 games, until Congress “laughed” at MLB. We could go on and on. Clemens and Bonds were the best players of the “steroid era”, an era that MLB–the owners, the commissioner tacitly encouraged.

    December 16th, 2012 12:38 am

  7. Albert Park

    Good for you, Lowell. I think you’re right!

    December 16th, 2012 12:38 am

  8. JayT

    This is why most people view HOF voters like yourself as sanctimonious. Bonds and Clemens were hall worthy long before they took PEDs. Ridiculous – this is why no one respects the HOF anyway.

    December 16th, 2012 8:16 am

  9. JDW

    I have a couple of questions, Lowell.

    A) If (and only if) we assume that Bonds didn’t take steroids prior to 1998, would his numbers have excluded him from consideration?

    I do not disagree that he should not be allowed in Cooperstown because of his cheating, but would he have been unworthy without cheating?

    I also agree that Sosa should not be allowed. Do not forget that he was caught with a corked bat.

    B) Did you vote “No” on players such as Gaylord Perry, a known spitballer?

    December 16th, 2012 9:04 am

  10. mbabco

    I’d vote Bonds & Clemens in based on what they did on the field. Give ‘em an asterisk or add an explanation about the steroids but they belong in an institution honoring the best baseball players of all time.

    December 16th, 2012 10:04 am

  11. Stan

    Maybe because it was cold and rainy yesterday- and nothing to do with HOF- I had Barry Bonds on my brain. And you see photos of him on Google in the 80′s..he’s a rail! A RAIL!. And for the first four- five years of his career looker thin. Then,1992. Barry was twice as big..his HR’s went from I est. to be 24-26 per year on average…to 46 in 1992.
    It seems to me the “He was great before roids” might not be true. He was good,not great.

    Still,they all cheated. And living in a rough hood like I do,disgusted at a guy who took roids to play baseball isn’t very upsetting to me.
    My vote? unless MLB tells you roids rumors mean anything..I guess you got to vote, SI. HE WASN’T CONVICTED.

    December 16th, 2012 10:42 am

  12. Stan

    And Bonds was never suspended even one game for steroid use by MLB. And he did in 2000 test positive for–no kidding- Stanazole. I swear.
    Also,did you know that the HR ball that set the record was bought by some fashion designer? For $750,000…Get this, he stamped an asterisk on the ball and then sent it to Cooperstown.
    Don’t say the rich cant be catty and petty!

    December 16th, 2012 10:55 am

  13. gary

    I agree with no HOF vote for these cheaters.
    After their 15 years on the ballot are up, they have another avenue to the HOF, via the
    vetrans comm. Then let a group of their peers
    decide, if players with the best chemists belong along side non enhanced players.

    December 16th, 2012 11:32 am

  14. Steve the cat rescuer

    Lifelong baseball fan, but I’ve come to the point where I couldn’t care less about the HOF. I enjoy every season for what it is and nothing more. The statistical history of baseball was forever tainted by the complicity of Selig, the owners, managers and players, in brief, practically everyone involved in baseball. Even the fans are guilty; the prevalence of PEDs was obvious, but the turnstiles kept turning at record numbers season after season. The strongest statement would be a No vote, in other words return your ballot completely unmarked.

    December 16th, 2012 12:12 pm

  15. Bob In Portland

    The Hall of Fame is further diminished.

    December 16th, 2012 1:41 pm

  16. Dr. Feelgood

    Follow your convictions and you’ll sleep well.
    Thanks for the explanation.

    December 16th, 2012 1:56 pm

  17. MJ

    To the people who say “they were hof players before using”…wasn’t Pete Rose a hall of fame player before gambling, or being caught? Yet here he sits, 20+ years later as one of the 10 greatest ball players, or of the last 50 years at least, without a spot in Cooperstown.

    This whole idea of “you were something before doing something bad” so that can justify being rewarded is nonsense. If Bonds was so great and confident in his talent, he should never have used. But he did.

    And please, no one drop the “well we dont know who else was using” excuse either. That matters not. We know they used, we know they cheated, we know they lied. Hall of Fame they are not.

    December 16th, 2012 3:43 pm

  18. lameduck

    It’s your vote…
    If you want to set up an online poll, go for it but I don’t think the results would change your mind.

    December 16th, 2012 7:09 pm

  19. Stan

    Pete signed a confession that he gambled/cheated and agreed to give up any HOF contention. Big difference.

    December 16th, 2012 8:32 pm

  20. Stan

    I notice that some of the “He was great before”..well,I think Barry was doping BEFORE Balco. The photo’s show he grew- a LOT- by 92..not 98 or so. If I had to guess..Barry got good results with some kind of ‘roid…and was all hooked and ready for “the clear” when it came along.
    He went from pot you might say to designer LSD.

    December 17th, 2012 5:57 pm

  21. mbabco

    It’s interesting the depth of feeling you have about steroids in baseball. I don’t recall ever seeing a comment from you about steroids in football. Where’s the outrage about all the cheaters in pro football who are certainly using steroids? It seems a bit disingenuous to be so upset about steroids in baseball yet to ignore their presence in football.

    December 30th, 2012 3:24 am

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