Originally posted on i70baseball  |  Last updated 1/10/13
The result of this year’s Hall of Fame election, in which no payers were elected, is already controversial enough, but the number of votes for some players who appeared on the ballot for the first time is what could set the stage for vehement arguments for years to come. Known steroid users Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds graced the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year, and each received slightly more than one-third of the vote. That’s fine. Two-thirds of the Baseball Writers Association of America voting members said they don’t think steroid users should be in the Hall of Fame, at least not yet. The “not yet” part is what could get really messy in future years. Mark McGwire, who was one of the first steroid-era players to reach the Hall of Fame ballot, received about one-quarter of the votes in his first year of eligibility, and his percentage of votes has steadily decreased each year. This time he received 16.9 percent of the vote. Similarly, Rafael Palmeiro, who has more than 3,000 hits and 500 homeruns but tested positive for steroids, received just 8.8 percent of the vote. He received 11 percent in his first appearance on the ballot three years ago. In one sense, the relatively high number of votes Clemens and Bonds received could mean attitudes have softened toward steroid users in part because time continues to distance the sport from the height of the steroid years. It’s human nature for old wounds to begin to heal. Someone who gets punched in the face will want to punch the other person back immediately at the time of the altercation, but it takes a heck of a lot of effort to hold a grudge that burns just as hot many years later. However, if Clemens and Bonds receive more votes in future years because voters start to think steroid players should be elected, players such as McGwire, Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa should also see their vote totals rise. Otherwise, Clemens and Bonds simply got lucky to retire years after other players took the brunt of the punishment for using steroids. Some people try to use the logic that Clemens and Bonds were great before they started using steroids. That’s a possibility, but none of us know when these players started using steroids. Yet even with that sort of reasoning, McGwire set the rookie record for homeruns in a single season with 49 homeruns in 1987. Surely he was already considered a special player at that point. The greatness-before-steroids argument shouldn’t even matter. We don’t know when players began using steroids, and we never will. But, if Clemens and Bonds start to receive more Hall of Fame votes in upcoming years, so should McGwire, Palmeiro and Sosa. This problem even extends to current players. People talk about Alex Rodriguez as a future Hall of Famer even though he’s admitted he used steroids. He’s done the exact same things the 1990s steroid guys did, so why should his chance at being elected to the Hall of Fame be any better than the rest? There’s no easy answer to any of the current Hall of Fame debates. Given the voters relative inconsistencies, the cruelest part might be that the generation of baseball fans who watched and attended games in the steroid era might never know what to think of the greatest players of their time.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: LeBron salutes Toronto fans after Game 6

FIFA Penalizes 7 countries for discriminatory acts

Report: Jets offering Ryan Fitzpatrick 3-year deal for $12M

Ezekiel Elliott bought parents a new house with his first check

Warriors, Thunder taking turns beating each other in the opposite style


Yoenis Cespedes open to spending rest of career with Mets

Los Angeles Kings reportedly to strip Dustin Brown of captaincy

Report: Sixers to gauge interest in Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel

Rob Ryan echoes brother Rex: ‘Bring Belichick on. We got him’

Wizards will offer Beal max contract

Report: Owners unhappy with Robert Kraft's letter for Brady

WATCH: D’Angelo Russell trolled by Adam Sandler and David Spade

WATCH: LeBron jukes defender, throws down one-handed dunk

Scientists call for Rio Olympics relocation or rescheduling

The biggest questions about the WWE brand split

U.S. Women’s Soccer players demand right to strike over equal pay, as Olympics near

Pat Riley reportedly hates the Dwyane Wade-LeBron James friendship

UEFA Champions League Final: The two Madrids and history in Milan

Memphis newspaper confuses Juwan Howard for David Fizdale

The tale of Kevin Love's inconsistent play

WATCH: Raiders release video promoting move to Las Vegas

Ricky Williams opening marijuana-friendly gym

Report: Utley's family received death threats after NLDS slide

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

How expanded instant replay has hurt the NBA

Best regular-season NBA teams not to win a championship

Every time an NBA team came back from a 3-1 deficit (and what it means for the Warriors)

How disallowed goals can change the course of NHL games

The five most disappointing MLB teams this season

QUIZ: Identify these NHL Hall of Famers by their nicknames

QUIZ: Name every winner of the Belmont Stakes since 1867

Sniping quotes highlight NHL conference finals animosity

QUIZ: Name every NBA franchise's original incarnation

The 15 biggest playoff upsets in NBA history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker