Shaughnessy on HoF: Steroid users should be the bad guys, not baseball writers

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The Baseball Hall of Fame announced its newest member of the 2022 class on Tuesday, as former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz earned induction through voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Ortiz's name appeared on 77.9-percent of the ballots, and he became just the 58th player elected by the baseball writers in his first year of eligibility.

Although most of the baseball community reveres Ortiz, who was undeniably clutch at the plate and one of the game's most congenial players, his career isn't controversy-free. Ortiz has long been suspected of PED use, and earlier this month, he called longtime Boston Globe columnist and BBWAA member Dan Shaughnessy an "a--hole" for not voting for him.

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"I've never voted for anybody with a whiff of the PED era, and it's all over him. He had a positive test in 2003, and we can go from there. But, no need to do that. He's in the Hall of Fame," Shaughnessy told The DA Show on Wednesday morning. "[Ortiz] needs to get his rolodex out and call the other 86 guys who didn't vote for him. It's a bigger club than he would like. If that's the definition, then there's 86 more of us there. Again, this is a vote. It's the Hall of Fame.

"I've been around it a long time, and this is how I've chosen to take the path. It's ironic that Bonds and Clemens are bounced forever, on a year that David goes in on the first ballot... This has been a very uncomfortable charge, and everybody hates the writers. I don't know when the writers became the bad guys. What about the guys who took steroids? But, that's been the charge. So, we've served as the punching bags for everybody..."

In 2009, The New York Times reported that Ortiz was among 100-plus players who tested positive for PEDs in 2003, during anonymous survey testing from the league. Ortiz has long denied steroid use, and in 2016, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the tests in question were inconclusive, and excluding Ortiz from the Hall of Fame "would be wrong."

In 20 big league seasons (14 with Boston), Ortiz slashed .286/.380/.552 with 541 home runs, 632 doubles, and 1,768 RBI. He also finished in the top-five in AL MVP voting five times, earned seven Silver Slugger awards, and appeared in 10 All-Star Games. During his time with the Red Sox, Ortiz celebrated three championships, and received World Series MVP honors in 2013. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Ortiz is one of just four players to hit 500 homers and win three World Series in his career.

The entire Baseball Hall of Fame conversation between Shaughnessy and DA can be accessed in the audio player above.

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