Refusing to exercise the Cooperstown franchise

Mark Haller of the Arizona Republic claims he’s “choosing to speak loudly by using silence” in declining to fill out a Hall of Fame ballot. But he has plenty more to say about why he’s doing what he’s (not) doing:

“The day of reckoning I’ve been dreading for five years — ever since Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens finally left the playing field and started the countdown to Hall of Fame eligibility — has arrived.

“With no guidance from either the Hall of Fame or Major League Baseball, no clarity from the courts or Congress, and no soul-baring from the players themselves, it’s up to the 600 or so Hall of Fame voters to be judge and jury for these symbols of baseball’s steroids era.

“The questions are unprecedented. Who was dirty? Who was clean? Who got an advantage from using performance-enhancing drugs and who didn’t?

“In the end, all we have is a ton of circumstantial evidence, a general acknowledgment that it was a dirty time in baseball for a lot of players, but no checklist telling us who juiced and who was clean.

“Hall voters are left with three options:

“Vote based on players’ career records and shelve the PED debate.

“Selectively vote based on whatever suspicions one might have.

“Vote for no one.”

Haller’s colleague Paola Boivin simplistically calls 2012 “the year of the cheater” and claims we are so “scarred” by the sports deceit all around us that “we don’t know who to trust anymore.”

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