COOPERSTOWN, NY — In a stunning turn of events today, The Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced that not only would it not be inducting a single new member to the Hall of Fame this year, but that it was retroactively kicking out a number of members already enshrined.
“I feel that for a ballplayer to be a Hall of Famer, they need to be amazing on the field and live in a hermetically-sealed bubble off the field,” said ESPN contributor Howard Bryant, who turned in a blank ballot this year. “I think that’s fair, don’t you?”
Because of the steroid controversy, some of the all-time greats eligible for the Hall of Fame, such as career Home Run leader Barry Bonds and 7-time Cy Young award winner Roger Clemens, were expected to fall short of enshrinement. What was less certain was that general suspicion would keep players such as Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, and Jeff Bagwell out of the Hall even thought they never failed a drug test, were never named in any report or juicy tell-all bestseller, and never had Jose Canseco on speed dial.
The true stunner, however, was the announcement that the writers had elected to remove a number of previously-enshrined players from the Hall in an effort to purify the museum. Players voted out of the Hall included 1988 inductee Willie Stargell, who was accused of distributing amphetamines, 2004 inductee Paul Molitor, who has admitted to using cocaine during the early years of his career, and 1991 inductee Fergie Jenkins, who was suspended in 1980 when a customs search discovered 3 grams of cocaine, 2.2 grams of hashish and 1.7 grams of marijuana in his possession.
1936 inductee Ty Cobb was also kicked out of the Hall on the basis of being a notorious and legendary dickwad.
Future elections are expected to rid the Hall of suspected users such as Willie Mays (liquid speed), Mickey Mantle (steroids and speed), and any player who was active during the 1970s.