Tim Kurkjian has been on local sports radio this week discussing what it takes to earn his vote into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Let me summarize: put up big numbers and he doesn’t care how you do it.
When asked specifically about players suspected of using steroids, he was very happy to turn a blind eye. I couldn’t find transcripts of the interviews, but here is the basic message.
Sammy Sosa: First ballot Hall of Famer. He rattled off the numbers – three 60+ home run seasons, 5th most home runs overall, and on and on. But when asked about the obvious rise and fall of his numbers along with his physical stature, TK wouldn’t bite. He said he wants evidence. So he was asked about Sosa and the corked bat, and he laughed it off as a one-time incident. Guys have been corking bats for 100 years, he said.
Raphael Palmeiro: Hall of Famer – no doubt. Numbers, numbers, numbers. When challenged with the evidence that Palmeiro tested positive, again Kurkjian dismissed it, saying it doesn’t prove he was juicing for his entire career.
Mark Maguire: In.
Barry Bonds: In.
Seems there is no end to his generosity and forgiveness. And if I may step up on the old soapbox for a moment, it is guys like him who are just as much to blame as the cheating players for ruining the integrity of the game.
On to better things – pitchers and catchers report tomorrow!