The majority of “experts” with a Hall of Fame vote have decided that steroid use disqualifies a player from the hallowed baseball museum.
Their conclusion is based on the Hall of Fame’s integrity clause that requires voters to consider a potential member’s integrity and sportsmanship.
Some baseball writers, including,Joe Posnanski wonder if, in 15 or 20 years, fans will be still be eager to visit the Hall if players such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Ivan Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez, all of whom have been linked to steroids and all of whom would be Hall of Famers based solely on performance, are never voted in.
No one has to worry. Americans have become used to being told what to think. If the media continue to excoriate those who should be Hall of Famers but are kept out for being associated with performance enhancing substances, Hall of Fame attendance will be unaffected. Bonds and Clemens will remain villains.
Baseball has turned a blind eye to some forms of cheating. Stealing signs is an excellent example of the double standard.
It’s acceptable for Solly Hofman of the 1908 World Champion Chicago Cubs, Charlie Dressen of the 1952 National League Champion Brooklyn Dodgers and Bob Turley of the 1958 World Champion New York Yankees to steal signs because they used their wits.
The 1951 New York Giants used mechanical means to steal signs during their miracle run to the pennant. Hoffman, Turley and Dressen are lauded for their skills. The Giants stole the pennant. The Giants stole the pennant. The Giants stole the pennant.
Does it matter if a terrorist uses ricin or arsenic to achieve her goals?
Those who run the Hall of Fame, which is a private entity, as well as those who are in charge of Major League Baseball, are disingenuous with respect to the integrity clause.
Paul Molitor and Ferguson Jenkins have admitted to drug use, but each showed remorse. Transgressors who don’t show remorse must pay the price.
Gaylord Perry willing cheated by using the spitball, while Don Sutton and the greatest pitcher in New York Yankees history cut baseballs. Whitey Ford told the world that he would cheat if it would lengthen his career.
During the Pittsburgh drug trials in the mid-1980s, former New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman John Milner testified that Willie Mays introduced him to a liquid amphetamine known as “red juice.”
Who thinks Willie shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame?
After he retired, Tony Gwynn said that at least 50 percent of major leaguers used amphetamines.
Hey, the United States defenders of our freedoms use stimulants to enhance their freedom-fighting skills.
What does this all mean? It means that Bonds, Clemens, McGwire and any other Hall of Fame candidates must be judged on their records.
The ends justified the means.