Pedro Gomez is a baseball journalist. Of this, there can be no doubt. If you’ve seen him on ESPN Sports Center and question how relevant to baseball he’s remained since following Barry Bonds around during the greatest player’s pursuit of Hank Aaron’s all time home run record, he’ll happily show you his Baseball Writers’ Association of America membership card as proof of his time served.

Aside: Never mind yourself, why would anyone want to belong to a club that would have Pedro Gomez as a member?

In the wee hours of this morning, Gomez took to Twitter to start talking about the Hall of Fame merits of suspected performance enhancing drug users, because such a topic never grows tiresome. When the subject of Jeff Bagwell was broached, Gomez defended his choice to leave the Houston Astros slugger off of his ballot:

Apparently, Gomez spends about as much time preparing for his Hall of Fame vote as he does a regular tweet because as is quite well known, Bagwell did indeed deny using steroids in an interview with ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

So, as the reasoning for his position deteriorated, Gomez would certainly rethink it, right? I mean, that’s certainly what a reasonable person would do.

Unfortunately, childish comes before reasonable on the list of adjectives describing Gomez.

Yes, that sounds about right. While many … many have taken to mocking Gomez for his vehemently unreasonable behaviour, I will not. In fact, I’d like to thank him for providing me something to link to when I attempt to describe the type of narrow minded thinking necessary to keep some of the game’s best players from being honoured in the place purposely designed to celebrate the achievement of those exact players.

Seriously, not voting for Bagwell or Barry Bonds or even Roger Clemens to enter the Hall of Fame is like designing the ice cream cone, but refusing to allow scoops of ice cream to be used with the cone.

Of the many pointedly mocking tweets that Gomez has received since his original thoughts became public domain, my favourite belongs to Keith Law and his elephantic memory:

Gomez, of course, famously voted for Jay Bell’s entrance into the Hall of Fame. No, seriously. Jay Bell. The very same Jay Bell who, as Dave Brown pointed out for Big League Stew,  finished only 1,037 hits short of 3,000, narrowly missed 200 homers and 100 steals, and whose OPS of .759 was three whole points above league average.

I suppose that for such a person, exceedingly dumb opinions shouldn’t be that shocking. Frankly, I’m surprised there wasn’t more outrage over Gomez referring to Albert Pujols’ streak of homelessness.

Or even his thoughts on the justice system:

Seriously, though, what’s the point in allowing people like to vote for membership into the Hall of Fame when they very clearly can’t defend the decisions that they make and their relevance to baseball is so very fleeting?

Comments (15)

  1. I agree – these writers have developed a list of biases and opinions that just boggle the mind. The thing that has always bothered me most about it is, at what point does a player go from “good” to “must be on steroids, therefore should never ever ever be in the Hall of Fame”? Are there certain benchmarks in terms of stats that make a guy suspicious? Is there a certain body structure that invites this suspicion? All around, these assumptions are wrong and stupid. No one would ever suspect that a guy like Greg Zaun would have taken steroids, but then his name showed up on a bill for them (whether or not he used them). Neither his body or stats would indicate he was on anything. Similarly this goes for large players – is Eric Thames on steroids, even though his arms are huge now?

    These voters need to stop playing the assumption game, and need to stop being the moral police of the baseball world. Unless you piss-test the guy personally and it comes up positive, you have no right to smear his name and potentially take away one of the biggest honours in baseball from him, just because you suspect him of something illicit.

    The question becomes, who should vote, since so many members of the BBWAA seem to not be up to the task? What if players were to vote?

    • I think it will be natural, especially if Bonds doesn’t get in. It’s just going to get harder and harder for people to take it seriously. That’s probably a long evolution, but hopefully technology and accessibility will speed it up.

      • I propose the following test: If you have been suspended for failing an MLB drug test, you don’t get in.

        It’s objective and therefore removes argument, and is also fair to guys who played during the turn the other way era.

  2. While I entirely agree, I’m finding it harder and harder to care about who’s there ever since I spent a month one night at the Hall of Fame.

  3. Qu’est ce que le what?

  4. How about finding a list of ALL of the members of BBWAA so we can see how many voters shouldn’t belong.

    There is a former San Diego writer who has a vote who got out of journalism about half a dozen years ago and last regularly covered the Padres in the 1980s. He would run a column about his ballot (Hyvonen was his name) and kept his vote despite making one or two visits a year to games.

    A writer from his former paper has a vote (Maffei or Maffai or Mafeii or something like that) and it emerged last fall that he was the guy who voted Ian Kennedy for Cy Young. His reasoning wasn’t valid but it came out on social media sites that he was a high school writer who didn’t vote for Reggie Bush as San Diego High School player of the year when Bush was winning national Player of the Year honors. He voted for some QB none us of ever heard of from a high school (Oceanside) in his coverage area where he is a way too close relationship with the head coach.

    So there are guys are folks who shouldn’t have votes and once these guys have 10 years in with BBWAA, they have Hall of Fame votes for life. The Hyvonen guy shouldn’t have had one in the late 1990s and he definitely shouldn’t be voting in 2012.

  5. I honestly don’t know how any writer can exclude one person for using steroids and vote for anyone else during that era, we just don’t know who was using and who wasn’t. Sure we can all make educated guesses, but we just don’t know for sure. Therefore, I say vote for everyone you think is worthy and don’t even let steroid usage be a factor in your decision.

  6. I’m not sure I understand why you highlighted his thoughts on the justice system.

    Are you implying that anyone who has been found not guilty by the justice system is therefore innocent of what they were accused of?

    That might make sense if you restrict the word innocent strictly to its legal definition, but I’m not sure why you would do that.

  7. I think steroids were a huge part of the game for a period of time. I think they are awful ,but a fact.

    The colour bar was a part of the game for a period of time. It was awful but a fact. They didn’t limit the white guys who played in MLB pre-1947 when they inducted them into the Hall, even though they never played against any black or Latin players.

    There is drug testing now that didn’t exist back when Bonds and Bagwell et al were playing. Guys should be inducted based on the perimeters of the era they were playing in. The sooner the entire baseball community acknowledges the unsavoury aspects of the game, the sooner everyone can move on.

  8. Psycho Killer is qu’est-ce que c’est

  9. They should all be first-ballot HOFers because they didn’t do anything illegal at the time (save Palmeiro obviously). You can’t go back and retroactively punish. What I do think will happen, however, is that voters will make them wait a year like they did with Alomar. If they do that, in 2014 you’ll have a MASSIVE class from the BBWAA: Glavine, Maddux, Bonds, Piazza, Clemens, maybe Sosa…damn

  10. Gomez is a motherfucking idiot. How he has a job is beyond me, even if it is with ESPN.

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