Joe Morgan’s Plea to Ban Steroid Users from the Hall of Fame is Simplistic and Reactionary

For years, the Baseball Hall of Fame has officially steered clear of the question as to how voters should handle the candidacies of players connected to performance-enhancing drugs. On Tuesday, however, Hall voters received a mass email from Joe Morgan, pleading with voters to reject “players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids or were identified as users in Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid abuse, known as the Mitchell Report.” Morgan, a Hall of Fame second baseman who has served on the institution’s board of directors since 1994, used the Hall’s email address and signed the letter as “Hall of Fame Class of 1990” and “Vice Chairman,” a capacity in which he has served the institution since 2000. In other words, this is unmistakably an official position.

Sent a day after the BBWAA’s 2018 ballot was released, Morgan’s letter is a reactionary attempt to halt the momentum of candidates Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Last year, the two candidates their fifth out of 10 on received more than 50% of the vote in their fifth year on the ballot, a significant threshold that has historically indicated future election. Bonds, the all-time home run leader and seven-time MVP, and Clemens, the seven-time Cy Young winner, have overwhelming statistical credentials for election, but have fallen short of 75% due to

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