I’m not a Braves fan by any stretch of the imagination, but the revelation that Ken Gurnick left Greg Maddux off his ballot for Cooperstown is incredibly frustrating. Gurnick’s fatuous argument that Maddux played in the Steroid Era and thus must be withheld from consideration is preposterous.
Gurnick (and, presumably, others who will abstain from voting from Maddux) ostensibly watched Maddux pitch over his 23-year career, and witnessed his dominance over an extremely extended period of time. Throughout the 1990s, you could only argue Randy Johnson (and, later, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens) as legitimate threats to Maddux’s status as the best in baseball. He displayed no wild changes in body, and got by on guile and deception. His movement and location were so terrific that there’s even a song about them. Greg Maddux was perhaps the finest pitcher of his era, and is among the best of all time.
Of Maddux’s 10 most comparable pitchers on Baseball-Reference.com, all are in the Hall of Fame except one: Roger Clemens. You can make a point by abstaining to vote for Clemens, but what point do you prove by leaving Maddux off your ballot?