If you want to be remembered fondly as a businessperson, be careful of the company that you keep.
Last week, I found out that this year, for the first time since 1996, no living ball players will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Now, I have cheating on my mind. I’m thinking about cheating because most of the players who weren’t inducted to the Hall of Fame were muscle bound sluggers like Barry Bonds, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, Rafael Palmeiro, and Sammy Sosa. Also excluded was the tremendous hurler, and alleged doper Rodger Clements.
Are these men hall of famers? In a vacuum, yes. Will they ever be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Probably not. Is their exclusion fair? The question is a matter of opinion, and in this case, the only opinions that matter are the those of the people who are able to cast votes in the yearly Baseball Hall of Fame election. Judging from the votes that were cast yesterday, the hall of fame jury thinks that the exclusion is fair.
Despite the fact that there were no penalties for steroid use before 2004, in some cases, I agree with the voters. Both Bonds and Clements were obvious abusers of steroids. Beyond using illegal drugs to gain a competitive edge, these two men repeatedly lied about their substance abuse. To me, this is conduct unbecoming of a hall of fame inductee.
Sammy Sosa used steroids, lied about his steroid use, and was caught using a corked bat. Lying and drugs is one thing, but corking your bat is entirely different. No one who corks their bat will be (or should be) a member of our National Baseball Hall of Fame.
That leaves us with Bagwell, Palmerio, and Piazza. Even without steroid suspicion, with the amount of baseball talent becoming eligible in the coming years, the HOF candidacy of Bagwell and Palmerio is borderline. Mike Piazza is a different story. Surely it’s imperative that one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time be immortalized with a shrine in Cooperstown.
The problem that Piazza will run into is that he was an imposing, big bodied, hitter in an era where steroid use was commonplace. Has anyone ever proved that Piazza used steroids? No. But that doesn’t matter, because proof isn’t needed to keep him out of the Hall of Fame.
I think that business owners can take an important lesson from this Hall of Fame exclusion. If you’re worried about your legacy, be careful of the company that you keep. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, as a business owner, it is imperative that you always do what you know to be ethical.
And don’t get too chummy with other business owners if you know that their practices are unethical. I would hate for any of you to find yourself in the position of Mike Piazza, because as we all know, the suffering of an innocent suspect is far worse than the suffering of a guilty offender.
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- Steroid era: Baseball, like America, better with its outlaws (voxxi.com)
- Are You Taking Advantage Of Your "One Shot"? (business2community.com)