The Baseball Hall of Fame voters have spoken, and another member of the 500 Home Run Club has been denied admission because of his alleged involvement with performance enhancing steroids.
Rafael Palmeiro, whose career offensive numbers were off the chart, was virtually ignored in the recent balloting that selected Roberto Alomar Jr. and Bert Blyleven into the exclusive club.
Palmeiro hit 569 home runs, collected 3,020 hits and drove in 1,835 runs over 20 years. But when he wagged his finger at a Congressman and emphatically denied that he ever used performance-enhancing drugs during the 2005 hearings regarding steroid use in sports, Palmeiro struck out.
It was later revealed that he had failed a drug test, even though Palmeiro insisted that he had been injected with what he believed to be a B-12 shot from a former teammate.
Regardless, the precedent has been set for proven cheaters, or even presumed cheaters who are viewed as guilty until proven innocent by the voters. Admitted juicer Mark McGwire has received similar Hall treatment. Presumably, fellow slugger Sammy Sosa will, as well, when he becomes eligible, unless further evidence exonerates him. Same for Barry Bonds, pitcher Roger Clemens and other superstars who probably didn’t need artificial enhancements to pad their already Hall of Fame-worthy credentials.
So sad, what a waste.