The Steroid era in Major League Baseball is long since over. No more 70 home run seasons, no more 50 home run seasons by 10 guys who never even came close to knocking 40 out of the park. No more ballooning biceps and comic book like cap sizes.
No , once the Federal government got involved with Congressional hearings Major League Baseball was forced to clean up its act and for the most part it did.
So a few years have passed and with the exception of the A-Rod revelation, all has been quiet on the roids front. You do get the occasional idiot offender but it is safe to say that the Steroid Era is over.
But at the Baseball Hall of Fame..the steroid era is really just getting started!
The first test case was Big Mac , All American hero Mark McGwire. Statistically McGwire was a non brainer 1st ballot hall of famer. He has 583 Career Home Runs and captivated the entire country in 1998 when he broke the single season home run record held by Roger Maris for over 35 years. And of course battled Sammy Sosa homer for homer for the entire month of september. It was Maris and Mantle all over again and the nation was hooked.
So needless to say Big Mac knocks 70 dingers and he is a national hero, fast forward a few years and McGwire is sitting before a congressional committee and basically sunk his own ship by refusing to discuss the subject of steroids. GUILTY!
Fast forward another two years and Mark McGwire is up for introduction in the hall and it’s not even close. He has now been eligible for three years and despite the fact that he is back in baseball as the cardinals hitting instructor , his votes keep going down.
In the latest voting that came out this past week, it was Rafael Palmeiro who got the shaft. This guy was a 1000 percent lock to get into the hall first ballot. 500 home runs and 3000 hits…the only other guys in history with those numbers are named Mays and Aaron…. But of course this idiot also testified in front of Congress.. and in what would become a pretty historical soundbite, Palmeiro indignantly points his finger at the Senators and states “I Have never used steroids”
5 months later Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for PEDs while still an active player. GUILTY!
So the trend has started, Players with Hall Of Fame stats will not be getting into the Hall if they have been suspected of using steroids. This is a slippery slope for the entire game of baseball…fans, players, journalists, all of us.
If you are a true baseball fan then you truly must have the utmost respect for the Hall Of Fame. Cooperstown New York is hallowed ground for all baseball purists and I am comfortable saying that of all the professional sports leagues in our country , it is Baseball who has the most respected and most important Hall of Fame. The National Pastimes best of the best!!
Palmeiro and Big Mac might be able to fly somewhat under the radar in terms of popular debate regarding whether or not they should be in the Hall… but what will happen in two years when the names on the ballots are Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa?
Well forget Sosa because without steroids he hits 450 dingers tops.
But Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were guaranteed Hall Of Famers way before they ever hit the juice, see 3 Cy Youngs and 3 MVPs…..but then they started using steroids and they ended up with 7 Cy Young Awards and 6 MVPs….6 MVPs??? Are you kidding??
73 Home Runs in a Season, 300 wins, 4000 strikeouts…the numbers are earth shattering!
The Baseball writers association of america are the body that casts the HOF votes.. They are in the un-enviable position of deciding how to handle this dilemma. But it seems like most of the writers have drawn a line in the sand with Mac and Palmeiro, one can only assume that Bonds and Clemens are certainly not going to get in on the first ballot and perhaps never at all.
The world knows these guys cheated but by excluding them from the hall, the writers are in some ways attempting to erase an entire period of time, something that despite their best intentions is just not possible.
If I was a voter, for starters I would put Don Mattingly in the Hall immediately ..but that’s another story..if I was a voter I would put them all in. I hate Barry Bonds and he certainly used PEDS (as evidenced by his massive dome..the guy wears a size 14 1/8……HAT!!!) but it’s not like someone else was hitting those home runs, stealing those bases and scoring those runs. Roger Clemens is far from the most likeable Yankee, but he was certainly the most feared and most dominant pitcher for almost two decades. And Palmerio, you just cant ignore the numbers.
I say the games have been played, the records have been set, the stats are in the books.
Home Run King
If the history can’t be changed I am not sure ignoring it and in turn ignoring the players that made that history is really the right move for the game of baseball.
Yankees in 2011!