Yesterday was a tough day for Astros fans as the BBWAA, in its infinite wisdom (or lack thereof), failed to do what is right and, in my mind, inevitable by giving Craig Biggio the requisite 75% of the vote necessary to be enshrined in Cooperstown. It didn't help matters when it was announced shortly thereafter that Astros top prospect 1B Jon Singleton was suspended 50 games for using a "substance of abuse," which substance was widely reported to be marijuana.
First things first. I'll admit that even though I didn't expect Biggio to make it on the first ballot after reading all the reports of hang-wringing and angst among many of the so-called "Keepers of the Purity of Cooperstown," I was disappointed that he wasn't closer. He led all vote-getters with 68.2%, but I had really hoped and expected to see him get slightly higher. But ultimately only 39 votes separated him from a trip to Cooperstown this summer.
Many people who are much smarter and more eloquent about these matters have written reams about the problems with the BBWAA and the candidacies of all of the players who were snubbed this year, including our own Jeff Bagwell who inched slightly closer in the voting, but seems destined to be slow-walked into the Hall. I will leave it to them to opine on those things, but I do hope that more people who follow baseball for a living are given the opportunity to vote on these things eventually.
But I have learned in life that worrying about things over which I personally have no control is not healthy or productive. I will vent my anger and then I will move on. I may be totally misguided, but I have faith that enough members of the BBWAA will do the right thing next year, even if they are shamed into doing so by their peers, that I went ahead and put down a deposit for a Cooperstown bed and breakfast for July 2014 as I cancelled a different reservation for this year.
I want to see Biggio go in to the Hall of Fame because for us Houstonians he is Mr. Baseball. He has given us so many wonderful memories and given so much back to the community. And as trite as it may sound, Biggio really did play the game "the right way." I would love to see Biggio and Bagwell go in to the Hall of Fame together, but I really don't see that happening. If Biggio becomes the first player wearing an Astros cap to be inducted, that will feel right.
The second piece of news from yesterday about Singleton's suspension was met with moans and groans (and a few bad jokes) by Astros fans. Yes, it is unfortunate, but Jonathan Mayo wrote this piece that should keep Astros fans from jumping off any cliffs. The worst part is that Singleton tested positive twice which shows a real lapse in judgment.
Singleton is young, though. He only turned 21 in September. Sometimes people need to see real consequences to their actions to wake up and face up to their responsibilities. This whole episode can eventually become a distant, unpleasant memory. That is up to Singleton. There was another player for the Astros who did something very stupid when he was a young man, much stupider than what Singleton just did and he turned out OK.