Steroid Era - My Stance on This Matter

I'm a simple man; I enjoy life and I'm committed to doing everything that I can to impact my three sons in a positive manner.  Children are like sponges and if you let down your guard for one regretful moment, they can and will pick up something that will have lifelong unintended implications.  If you're a Phillies fan and you despise the Red Sox, chances are, you're likely half-heartedly rooting for the Yankees every time those two teams cross paths on National television (which is, at least 8 times per season).  But if your son catches you rooting for the Yankees, that simple idea could change the course of his life.  For that reason, I don't root for the Yankees... ever.  That same logic has always led me to one simple conclusion- we must give the steroid era a free pass. 

Forgiveness is one of the most important virtues that we can teach our children.  With forgiveness, wars can be averted, marriages can be cemented and friendships can be made out of the most impossible situations (if, for instance, your neighbor was a Mets fan).  I want my sons to have a heart that is capable of forgiveness. 

Truthfully, I feel awful for the children of the players that have been outed- their entire world has been turned upside down.  There is even a soft spot in my heart for the players; the players that were led into this mess by a baseball front office that cultivated the usage of PED's by never testing for the drugs until it was too late and the players that were led into the flames when were tested 'anonymously' 8 years ago, Selig's fingers crossed behind his back.  The age old adage says that 'if you ain't cheatin, you ain't tryin' and that might be laughable but it's also very true- teams and managers in all sports live on the line between acceptable and unsportsmanlike because it's the only way to ensure that they don't lose a competitive advantage.  How do you expect someone to live on that line and not cross over it once in a while?

I won't root for the players that have been named but I will give them a free pass and take them for what they are- human.  I'm not saying that they have to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame now or ever but if the production warrants it, the procedure has to be in place for them to voted in at some time; there is no reason to celebrate these players and the magic numbers no longer apply but if the numbers are there, I'm all for voting them in.  The judging criteria has to be centered on production relative to the competition, like the dead ball era.  Hall of Famer Cap Anson led MLB in RBI's eight times and finished top 10 in batting average 10 times, yet he never hit more than 21 HR.  The numbers don't always tell the story but when you compare a players production to his competitors, you'll usually see what type of player he really was.  If a player is a known user, there is no reason that he has to be around to witness the enshrinement; a posthumous induction would be fitting.  We don't need to celebrate these players but they should be given the opporutnity to get in.  After all, without legitimate testing, there is no way to tell who was really taking PED's.  Without testing, there is no way to tell if players who took PED's aren't already in the Hall of Fame.  By some accounts, steroids have been in baseball since the 1960's and it's widely known that uppers were being used by athletes for decades prior to steroid use. 

I know that my opinion is the exception, rather than the rule on this topic and this debate is clearly old and tired but as we dive into more top 10's and all-time teams, I think that it's important that you all know where I'm coming from on this matter.  I don't expect you to agree with my stance but if you're going to post regularly, it's probably important for the rest of us to know where you stand and why.


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  2. My stance on this matter is much different. I do blame baseball for letting it happen. I don't buy that they didn't know. These players knew it was wrong even if not against the rules. If not, why did they hide it and deny it? I do forgive those who admit it as opposed to those who keep denying it. I can't for give the ones who come clean when it's going to change fan support for them (McGwire). I don't include any of them on my all-time lists and I don't put any of them in the hall. I may forgive, but I don't forget. To those players I say just go away.

  3. Baseball has to shoulder some blame, but I agree with hersh that the players knew it was wrong. I don't think baseball led players into using steroids, they just turned a blind eye because business was booming. At some point, I have to throw my hands up and go "who knows who used and who didn't," (except those that had confirmed failed tests). I think it's very difficult to see how far reaching the steroids epidemic is. It's also hard to know how many pitchers were juicing that we don't hear about. As far as the Hall of Fame goes, if you let one in, then I believe you have to let them all in. If Bonds goes, if Clemens goes, if A-Rod goes into the Hall, then you have to let in Sosa, Palmeiro, Manny, and everyone else who failed tests or were highly implicated.

    It will be case by case whether or not I use someone from the steroid era in my top ten lists. Parting thought is that one could argue there would be no baseball, as we know it with such popularity, were it not for Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998. Baseball was at a low point 4 years removed from the strike that almost killed the sport. The homerun chase, now tainted by PEDs, brought it back in the eyes of millions of fans. That has to count for something.


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