This is an interesting segment from Nick Cafardo, a well respected Boston beat writer, in his column today.
http://bostonglobe.com/sports/2012/12/2 ... story.html
My Hall of Fame ballot in last week’s Sunday notes triggered some angry and nasty responses since I selected Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza, and Jeff Bagwell, who were at the very least suspected of using steroids, as well as Craig Biggio, Tim Raines, Jack Morris, and Alan Trammell.
I am among a growing number of voters who have stopped trying to sort through the players who were caught vs. those who weren’t. Those in my camp feel that many players dabbled in steroids or other PEDs during this time.
Was it wrong? Of course. Would these players have been Hall of Famers had they been 100 percent clean? I’m projecting that Bonds and Clemens, who were named in the Mitchell Report, would have been. If you don’t think they were Hall of Fame performers, that’s just crazy.
My policy used to be that steroid users didn’t get my vote, but that changed as I began to realize the playing field, in my opinion, was fair. So, do I wipe out an entire generation of players and never vote for them, or do I understand the era and what, in my opinion, was more the norm, and accept that it happened?
What I will not do is vote for anyone who tested positive after the steroid policy was put in place in 2003.
Manny Ramirez and Rafael Palmeiro won’t get my vote unless there’s a compelling reason why they were taking PEDs when the rules indicated they couldn’t and when 99 percent of the players against had negative tests.
I also get the argument that steroids were illegal, that there didn’t need to be a policy. But amphetamines were also taken illegally by players in the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. As one Hall of Famer told me, “They handed them out in the clubhouse in big bowls. Take as many as you want. Don’t think some of the players could have performed without them.”
Amphetamines are now on the list of banned substances, so evidently they had some effect on performance.
Should we kick all those players out of the Hall? Should we kick out all of those massive offensive and defensive linemen who are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who took steroids in the 1970s, ’80s, and beyond?
Tom Glavine, a 300-game winner who surely will reach Cooperstown on the first ballot in 2014, said, “It’ll be a tough call for the voters and I’m glad I’m not making that call.”