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Won't this year's Hall of Fame ceremony be grand? We can't wait to go and watch absolutely no one give a speech -- because the Baseball Writers' Association of America let no one in this time around. Only Craig Biggio and Jack Morris came close to the 75 percent threshold necessary to get one's face on a plaque in Cooperstown. Clearly, the issue of performance-enhancing drugs is tainting the process in some way; Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds would have been surefire first-time inductees had they not been connected to steroids. The spectacle of an empty induction year might force the Hall of Fame into making some sort of change.

Ballot: Which top vote-getters from this year's class will eventually make it in?

Vote: Will more worthy candidates create a Hall of Fame logjam?


A different process?

Some voters submitted blank ballots. Other voters picked single, strange candidates. Others didn't vote at all.

SportsNation

What do you make of the Baseball Hall of Fame's selection process?

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    34%
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    66%

Discuss (Total votes: 56,879)


A minimum requirement?

We could theoretically see a year in which there were no deserving candidates, but several exceptional players were on this ballot.

SportsNation

Should the Baseball Hall of Fame induct a player from the writers' ballot every year, even if the top vote-getter doesn't get 75 percent of the vote?

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    48%
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    52%

Discuss (Total votes: 46,288)


Destigmatize PEDs?

Mark McGwire was on 17 percent of ballots this year, but he won't be the last player connected to PEDs to be on the Hall of Fame list.

SportsNation

Will a known PED user ever be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

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    58%
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    42%

Discuss (Total votes: 176,762)


New definitions?

Voters have expressed some confusion over how to treat players with possible connections to PEDs, which may explain Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds' low numbers.

SportsNation

Should the Baseball Hall of Fame give voters more defined instructions on how to treat players from the ''steroids era''?

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    65%
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    35%

Discuss (Total votes: 26,504)

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Sometimes we all need a little extra space to vent. ESPN profiles give fans space to post their own blog entries and go toe-to-toe with commenters.

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SportsNation is pretty definitive that a lot of players with big numbers won't be making induction speeches in Cooperstown. But as more and more names are crossed off the list due to performance-enhancing drugs, will the plaque-making industry go under entirely?

It appears fans tired of disappointment are turning to Ken Griffey Jr. as a beacon of legitimacy. Among the four active players who either have 500 career home runs or are within striking distance, Griffey is the only player with anything close to unanimous support for the Hall of Fame.

SportsNation's Hall of Fame Approval Ratings
Ken Griffey Jr.: 97 percent
Jim Thome: 64 percent
Gary Sheffield: 50 percent
Carlos Delgado: 50 percent (if he reaches 500 home runs)

And what about Ivan Rodriguez, who Wednesday night set a record for career games caught? A guy with double-digit totals in Gold Gloves and All-Star appearances, Pudge has the support of a healthy -- but far from unanimous -- 67 percent of SportsNation.

fmc132

if Pudge is the greatest catcher of all time I guess we have to say Bonds and Clemens are the gretest at their positions.

-- fmc132
LL316

Pudge is not only the greatest Pudge of all time, but the greatest catcher of all time as well. The fact that there are no substantial accusations, or even anecdotal evidence, linking him to steroids makes him all the more impressive. Congrats, Pudge Rodriguez, on a great achievement.

-- LL316

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It used to be that hitting 500 home runs was an instant ticket to Cooperstown. More and more, it seems like the benchmark guarantees a player won't have to worry about navigating the backroads of upstate New York. But while a solid majority of fans now disqualify Sammy Sosa based on his reported use of performance-enhancing drugs, there is a sizable voting block that contends his numbers, 609 home runs and all, just weren't good enough.

Performance-enhancing drug concerns disqualify him
Mark McGwire: 64 percent (January, 2009)
Sammy Sosa: 65 percent (June, 2009)

He deserves to be in Cooperstown
Mark McGwire: 29 percent (January, 2009)
Sammy Sosa: 20 percent (June, 2009)

Numbers weren't good enough
Mark McGwire: 7 percent (January, 2009)
Sammy Sosa: 15 percent (June, 2009)

Comment »

When the movie "A Few Good Men" came out in 1992, an outfielder named Sammy Sosa was in his first season with the Chicago Cubs and coming off two seasons with the White Sox in which he hit 25 home runs in 269 games. Coincidence? Well, yes. But also convenient, because for much of the rest of the decade, a lot of fans, media members, owners and players didn't want to handle the truth about performance-enhancing drugs (which might have helped Tom Cruise's cause in the movie's softball scenes).

Forced to yet again confront the era and its aftermath in the wake of reports that Sosa was among the infamous 104 positive tests from 2003, SportsNation sorts through the muck.

dalla42003

Im not shocked one bit. Im just sick of the steriod talk like I am with Brett Farve. We all knew Sosa was on steriods. We all know that half of the players from the mid to late 90's were on steriods. Peter Gammons is right we dont care anyomore. Cause we have talked this subject into the ground. And no one wants to talk about anymore.

-- dalla42003
trebor2488

Honestly the fans kinda created the steroid era. Before the Sosa/McGwire homerun race baseball was loosing popularity, but the homerun bought the fans back thus causing more demand for homeruns. When more homeruns were hit it became who could hit it farthest and the most.

-- trebor2488

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