Many Hall of Fame voters have said that everyone who played in the steroid era is under suspicion or, at the very least, share culpability because they did not say or do anything to combat the scourge of PEDs during the 1990s. Specific fingers have been pointed at the player’s union and its leadership for standing silent.
Even the publicly anti-PED Curt Schilling has said that, yes, he is partially culpable on these grounds, and that it justifies his exclusion from the Hall of Fame, at least for now:
“If there was ever a ballot and a year to make a statement about what we didn’t do as players, which is we didn’t actively push to get the game clean, this is it … Perception in our world is absolutely reality. Everybody is linked to it. You either are a suspected user or you’re somebody who didn’t actively do anything to stop it. You’re one or the other if you were a player in this generation. Unfortunately, I fall into the category of one of the players that didn’t do anything to stop it. As a player rep and a member of the association, we had the ability to do it and we looked the other way, just like the media did, just like the ownership did, just like the fans did. And now this is part of the price that we’re paying.”
Against that backdrop, J.C. Bradbury makes an interesting point:
If you think players are culpable for steroids, then you have to vote against Glavine for HOF, right? MLBPA leader.
— J.C. Bradbury (@jc_bradbury) January 11, 2013
I don’t think that Glavine, who was probably the most visible and active player representative during the steroid era, will have a particularly hard time getting in nor should he. But really, if you’re going to play the “everyone was responsible and the whole era is under suspicion” card, you have to give Glavine a hard time, right? I mean, no less an authority than Curt Schilling has told you that it’s OK to do it.
Watch next December: I bet there will be Hall of Fame voters who quote Schilling here and submit more blank ballots or, at the very least, unreasonable ones, feeling they now have intellectual cover, such as it is, to punish even more players than they’re currently punishing.