Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens are just a few of the names on the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. What makes these names different from the others on the ballot is that they have all been linked to performance enhancing drugs at some point in their careers. So will the voters allow PEDs in Cooperstown?
Based on accomplishments alone, these players seem like Hall of Famers. Barry Bonds is the all time home run king with 762 dingers, and Roger Clemens was easily one of the most feared pitchers of his time. But should their involvement with PEDs keep them out of the Hall of Fame?
It wouldn’t be the first time a player was kept out of Cooperstown for breaking the rules. Pete Rose is the most obvious example, as he was banned from baseball after allegedly betting against the Cincinnati Reds while managing them. Rose’s numbers (4,256 hits, 17 all star appearances, 3 World Series titles) easily make him one of the best players of all time, but his actions have kept him out of the Hall of Fame.
Players like Bonds and McGwire have brought on the so-called “steroid era” of baseball, and it seems like a new player is linked to PEDs every other week. I’ve heard the argument made that if we don’t allow steroid users into the Hall of Fame, then there wont be anyone allowed into Cooperstown for the next 10 years. But would that really be a bad thing?
If we allow Bonds, Clemens and even Alex Rodriguez in the future into the Hall of Fame, what message are we sending to current and future players? Sure, you might get suspended for 50 games if you get caught using PEDs. But who cares? As long as you put up big numbers, you can still be a Hall of Famer.
If the voters really want to take a stand against steroid use and send a message to young players, then they can start by keeping these players out of the Hall of Fame. They have until December 31st to cast their ballots, and hopefully they make the right choice.