Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/20/14
The BBWAA released the 2013 Hall of Fame ballots yesterday, and in a related story, writers from around the country made it clear that they weren’t going to vote for players that have been implicated in PED usage. Some even find it an annual tradition to be celebrated. Oh, the joy I will have snubbing Sosa, Bonds and Clemens (plus McGwire and Palmeiro, natch) on my HoF ballot. — Philip Hersh (@olyphil) November 28, 2012 Regardless of where you stand on the issue of PEDs and the Hall of Fame — and hopefully we can all agree that reasonable people can disagree on this — it should be pretty obvious that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are not getting inducted into Cooperstown this year. Jeff Bagwell probably won’t either. The contingent of voters who want to keep these guys out is large enough to block them from getting 75% of the vote this year, and probably for the foreseeable future. However, the contingent who wants them to be voted in based on their on field accomplishments is large enough to keep them on the ballot. Even inferior performers with ties to PEDs — such as Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro — have a large enough base of support that they remain on the ballot. And so, as the Hall of Fame ballots go forward, they’re going to run into a significant overcrowding problem. They might be there already. The official ballot mailed to voters lists spaces for 10 names. That is the maximum amount of numbers that any voter can support, regardless of how many players he thinks should be enshrined. And, it’s quite clear that for many voters, 10 spots are not enough. Looking at HOF ballot, I counted 19 players for whom you could make a pretty good case, if you take PEDs out of equation.Can vote for 10 — Larry Stone (@StoneLarry) November 28, 2012 There are at least 14 players on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot I would love to see in the Hall. — Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) November 28, 2012 For those who are in favor of voting for PED users, they’re going to want to cast ballots for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, and Jeff Bagwell, who are all obvious selections purely from a performance standpoint. That leaves only six spots left on the ballot for the non-PED newcomers and the holdovers from previous years. That means a voter could not support the PED group and also vote for all of Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling, Larry Walker, Alan Trammell, Edgar Martinez, Tim Raines, and Kenny Lofton. They’re not allowed. They have to exclude someone from that group simply because of the size of the ballot. And if they support the candidacy of a guy like Jack Morris, they kicking two of that group off the ballot. If they support McGwire and Palmeiro, then they’re kicking out most of that group, even if they believe most of them belong. Alan Trammell and Kenny Lofton are classic bubble candidates. You can make an argument for them or against them and be on solid ground. But you can’t make a good argument that they should be less likely to make the Hall of Fame because they happen to be on the ballot at the same time the PED crowd has come up for induction. You can’t make a good argument that a player’s HOF worthiness should be decided because of the size of the piece of paper that is mailed to the voters. Lofton, Trammell, Raines, Martinez, Walker… these guys should be evaluated based on their own merits, their own accomplishments, and their own careers. And they shouldn’t be penalized because the ballot doesn’t contain enough empty spaces for voters to have their actual opinions registered. Full ballots are going to be turned in this year, and those full ballots will be counted as no votes against every player who doesn’t appear in one of the 10 spots. Joe Posnanski is going to be forced to vote no on four players he wants to see in Cooperstown. He’s not the only one. This is beyond silly. Give writers the ability to return a ballot with 15, 20, 25, even 50 names if they want. If they support a big Hall of Fame, that’s their right, and if they support PED candidates, that’s their right too. We shouldn’t take that right away from them simply because the PED issue is creating a logjam of viable candidates. We shouldn’t penalize players who have nothing to do with PEDs because they happen to be on the ballot at the same time as Bonds and Clemens. Just make the ballot bigger. It’s an easy fix to a real problem.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

HBO's Lampley feels 'terrible' for those who paid for fight

Has Blake Griffin taken the next step?

Mike Evans liked Winston more than Mariota

Ernie Johnson gives his Emmy to Stuart Scott’s daughters

Titus Young avoids prison, receives probation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Manziel moves from downtown Cleveland to golf community

Ex sues Mayweather for $20M for lying in Couric interview

The NBA needs to leave 'hack-a-whoever' rules alone

Top Rank threatens to sue over Mayweather-Pacquiao piracy

Titans already tailoring offense to suit Mariota's strengths

Pettine: Manziel isn't favorite for Browns' starting QB job

Mike Wallace: 'I'm the fastest player in the NFL'

Ty Lawson could be trade target for Celtics

WATCH: Zack Greinke does great bat flip after hitting double

WATCH: Fan uses beer as ice pack after being hit by ball

La'el Collins reportedly has 'airtight alibi' in murder case

WATCH: Stephen Curry nails shot from hallway prior to game

Top eight NFL free agents on the market

No homers, no problem for Cubs' Kris Bryant

Eagles' Chip Kelly & Sam Bradford: In like, but not love

NFL releases times and dates for preseason slate

Fans file $5M class action suit against Pacquiao over injury

Making sense of the AL East pile-up

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top eight NFL free agents on the market

Eagles' Chip Kelly & Sam Bradford: In like, but not love

Manziel moves from downtown Cleveland

Making sense of the AL East pile-up

Chris Bosh on blood clot diagnosis: ‘I’m lucky to be alive’

Projecting the All-Star Game rosters

Tiger hasn't slept in three days since Lindsey Vonn breakup

2015 NBA Draft big board, first edition

Eliminate Hack-A-Player: Don't reward violating sports rules

No easy solution to the problem of early NFL draft entrants

What’s next for the Spurs?

Cauley-Stein changes middle name to 'Trill'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.