Do the Untainted get a free pass to Cooperstown?
I never liked Glavine, because I remember him mostly as a member of the Atlanta Braves, the team I hated most in my Montreal Expos’ NL East. But I knew he was a great player: an excellent pitcher, a fine hitter (for a pitcher) and solid defensive player. And he had a hockey background.
I always like Frank Thomas. “The Big Hurt” had been a football player at Auburn. He was big before baseball players were big. He was big before the steroid era. Indeed, he came out in favour of drug testing as early as 1995, and he volunteered to be interviewed for the Mitchell Report in 2007, the only active player to do so.
The thrust of the SI blurb was that both Thomas and Glavine were not only great, but were also untainted by steroids. I’m going to assume that is true. Either way, there is no question that Thomas and Glavine should be first ballot Hall of Famers. Yet I wonder how much of their induction will be due to their “drug-free “status? And will lesser players who were also drug-free be given undue deference because of it?