Dan Shaughnessy has performed his sacred duty. He has cast his Hall of Fame ballot.
These are the men who in Shaughnessy’s estimation deserve enshrinement with the immortals:
Jack Morris, Curt Schilling, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, and Greg Maddux.
These men live up to Shaughnessy’s high standards. They were men of terrific accomplishment who – and this is a very important point – never had any PED-era stain rub off on them. At least not enough to show up under Dan Shaughnessy’s Blue Light of Morality.
The same can’t be said for certain other great ballplayers of the past 20 years. Guys like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro…they’ve got stains all over them.
Guys like Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza…they might not be stained per se, but in Shaughnessy’s eyes they still “look dirty.”
What exactly does it mean for someone to “look dirty” in Shaughnessy’s estimation? Elaboration, Dan?
“I don’t vote for the PED guys, so it’s easy to say no to Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, McGwire, and Palmeiro,” Shaugnessy writes. “They have positive tests and/or admissions and/or multiple appearances in the Mitchell Report. Piazza and Bagwell have none of that. They just don’t look right.”
That’s Shaughnessy’s entire argument for leaving Bagwell and Piazza off his ballot. They just don’t look right.
No explanation at all is given for why he left off Tim Raines and Larry Walker while including Jack Morris. Well, Raines used cocaine and Walker played in a ridiculous home run friendly ballpark. So they don’t look quite right either.
Look, don’t question Shaughnessy’s reasoning. All you need to know is that Dan Shaughnessy has a Hall of Fame vote. So he knows what he’s talking about.
He doesn’t need confessions, positive tests or even one shred of sworn eyewitness testimony to know that a guy used PEDs. He can look at them and see the dirt. He has special dirt-detecting eyeballs. They came in the mail with his BBWAA membership card.
These are very sensitive dirt-detecting eyeballs. One little speck is enough to set them off. So, Bagwell and Piazza…SHAUGHNESSY BANISHES YOU! Don’t you feel bad now that you let yourself be stained by the more-or-less-proven PED users of your era?
Nothing escapes the eye of Shaughnessy.