By: E&P Staff
A survey of eight leading baseball reporters — who also happen to be voters for the annual Hall of Fame induction — finds that most now oppose enshrinement for steroid-tainted slugger Rafael Palmeiro.
Sports Weekly found five saying No, two for Yes, and one big Maybe. Jon Heyman of Newsday was perhaps most emphatic in his response, which echoed the slugger’s testimony before Congress earlier this year: ?I will never vote for Rafael Palmeiro for the Hall of Fame. Never. Ever. Period.?
Until he tested positive for a steroid, and was suspended for 10 days recently, Palmeiro’s track record (more than 500 home runs and more than 3,000 hits) seemed to almost guarantee the Hall of Fame nod.
Another No came from Hal Bodley of USA Today: ?He’s let me down. More important, he’s let baseball down.?
Bill Madden of the New York Daily News agreed, citing the ballot rule that instructs voters to consider a player’s ?integrity.? Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle also cited ?character issues.?
The Yes votes came from Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, who said Palmeiro could not have been the only one who has cheated, and Jayson Stark of ESPN, who said he’d back him on the first ballot, no less. Tom Verducci said Maybe, saying a lot could change in a few years.