Hall of fame vote – Bonds and Clemens

The day baseball Hall of Fame results are announced is supposed to be the most auspicious day in American sports. Today was also the day where a select group of voters would judge the greatest living hitter and pitcher, both of whom who have been accused of using steroids. I don’t think a Hall of Fame that is missing Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens is representative of baseball. I have come a long way in the last 10 years as far as using steroids are concerned. The only way to solve this problem is divide the Hall of Fame into each era – dead ball era, segregation era, steroids era etc etc. 10 years back I did not think Bonds belonged in the Hall. But now I do. He hit against pitchers and fielders who used steroids. Clemens pitched against hitters who used steroids. In an institution where testing did not exist, it is not fair to presume someone is guilty or innocence. Mike Piazza belongs in the Hall and he never tested positive for steroids, but the voters “believe” he did. Yes this is a big screw up and everyone is to be blamed – owners, players, and fans. As Barry said it perfectly – I am just an entertainer. They come to see home runs and be entertained. As far as cheating is concerned, what is the difference between steroids and Derek Jeter faking being hit in the batter’s box? If steroids are performance enhancers, is getting platelet-rich plasma therapy in Germany a performance enhancement? Hundreds used steroids, but they did not hit or pitch anywhere close to Bonds or Clemens. Can adderall or caffeine be called a performance-enhancer? For some people it would. I get the other side, without steroids Barry Bonds would not have hit 73 home runs or 762 home runs. I think he got about 100 extra home runs in his career because of steroids. If he was the only one, or one of a tiny group of players, I would have been against it. But he was not and there is no empirical way to find out who used and who didn’t. If Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens do not get into the Hall of Fame, then anyone who played between 1985 and 2005 should not get into the Hall either. Personally, I think both will be in the Hall before the end of this decade, and so will Pete Rose.

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