During the first game of the Blue Jays vs Indians series at Rogers Centre earlier in the week, the broadcast showed fan favourite Carlos Delgado chatting away in one of the box seats. Seeing Delgado back in Toronto prompted quite a few responses on Twitter, including the following tweet.
— Scott BlueJaysAlways (@BluejaysAlways) May 10, 2017
It’s disappointing that Delgado isn’t in the Hall of Fame despite having far superior numbers than many of the players already in there. It’s made even worse that Delgado received votes from just 3.8% of the voting committee in his only year on the ballot, thus not even qualifying for the minimum 5% required to keep his name on the freakin’ ballot. Hard to imagine that Delgado, and his career 473 HR, .280 AVG, and .383 OBP was on the Hall of Fame ballot for all of one piddly year (2015). This mistreatment of Delgado is nothing new for him though, and is unfortunately just par for the coarse when it comes to how he’s been slighted throughout his entire career.
One of the biggest problems that baseball had back in the 90’s and early 2000’s was that the game rewarded players who were obviously taking performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), while all the other players who played clean, including guys like Delgado, fell to the wayside and weren’t given anywhere near the recognition they would have received had everyone been playing on the same level.
In Delgado’s best season (2003), he’d finish 2nd in the MVP vote to Alex Rodriguez (a player notorious for his PED use), and still managed to best Rodriguez that season in RBI, BB, AVG, OBP, OPS, all while having 37 fewer at-bats. If it wasn’t enough that he was robbed of the MVP title by a player who had an unfair advantage, the same thing goes with how he was often overlooked for the All-Star game because his numbers were often overshadowed by players who were benefiting from the use of PEDs.
Back in the day, when Delgado was doing his thing with the Blue Jays, I just assumed he wasn’t making many All-Star games because 1st base was loaded with so many great offensive players. This is true, 1st base back then was the premiere position more so than any other when it came to where the best offensive players resided. But when you look at the list of players (Jason Giambi, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Mo Vaughn) who were All-Star 1st basemen during Delgado’s career, it’s insane how many of them were involved with PEDs.
If it wasn’t enough that Delgado was screwed back in the day when it came to the MVP and All-Star votes, now that he’s retired, baseball is finding a whole new way to disrespect and downplay his accomplishments. I’m referring to how the Hall of Fame shafted him the first and only time he was on the HOF ballot, while at the same time they’ve begun voting in players (e.g. Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez) who were obvious PED users. There’s an old saying “cheaters never prosper”, well apparently that phrase doesn’t apply to baseball as much as it should, as the game sadly continues to reward players who cheated, all while ignoring the efforts of great players such as Delgado.