Thinking about today’s Hall of Fame announcement, it dawned on me that people who never covered a day of baseball’s Steroid Era voted last month. Players are eligible up to 15 years after their final season (It used to be 20). The Steroid Era stands apart from any era in the game’s history, and two of it’s biggest stars, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both long suspected of using PED’s may very well be elected by those same people who never covered their careers. That could happen because those same voters only look at the numbers, and in today’s sports world it’s all about the numbers…metrics that can be measured and compared.
Back in December when this year’s ballots started trickling in, and along with the perennial river of Hall of Fame columns and tweets came an unexpected spike in checks in the “Bonds” and “Clemens” boxes. At the same time, a 16-member body that considers players, managers, umpires, and executives who aren’t eligible for the Hall inducted Bud Selig, the recently retired commissioner who presided over the most tainted portion of the Steroid Era and was slow to regulate the game’s PED culture. Is this an indication that all is forgotten?
The younger guys appear to be more lenient in how they view the long-suffering drug cheats of the diamond. That’s bad news for us Old School baseball fans who believe you should be clean, play with integrity, and sportsmanship, and have good defensive numbers that no one seems to look at. The character of a player (at least on the field and clubhouse) should be considered as well, but it hasn’t been in years.
Clemens and Bonds aren’t the only members of the pharmaceutical club. Manny, Vlad, Pudge, and Bagwell all have been suspected of membership. Thankfully, McGwire and Sosa are no longer eligible. I hope Clemens and Bonds don’t get in. I know its just a baseball hall of fame, devoted to honoring the greatest who ever played the game… it isn't the Medal of Freedom, but I hope they don’t get in, ever.
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