With the announcement of which players will be forever immortalized in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum coming at roughly 2 p.m. ET, I have decided to share my opinions about players who used Performance Enhancing Drugs getting elected.
To ignore Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and their PED era contemporaries is unfair to the Hall of Fame and to the game of baseball. While this time period was certainly not the proudest in Major League Baseball history, it happened. By not including these players in the Hall of Fame, the BBWAA is making a mockery of the game; a glorified vision of what they believe the game should look like, not what it actually looks like.
To disallow the players that took PEDs is, in my opinion, a travesty, though it is not nearly as wicked as excluding those who are only suspected of using these drugs. Without proof of reason, what is the basis in keeping these players out? Surely, these writers are rejecting these players with the fear of them one day admitting to using steroids. They don’t want their votes to contribute to the inclusion of a Jeff Bagwell or a Mike Piazza in the Hall of Fame if it will look immoral, now or in the future. This is a cowardice practice, a practice that these “journalists” shouldn’t be given the chance to exercise.
By excluding the small majority of Hall of Fame-caliber players that have taken PEDs (or simply those who are suspected of taking them) is to write a false history of the game of baseball. When looking at the 1960s, history textbooks don’t exclude the bad events and just keep the good ones. We write about our John F. Kennedy’s and our Martin Luther King Jr.’s, but we also must include our Fidel Castro’s and our James Earl Ray’s. It isn’t the job of the writer to put in only what they believe is good and dismiss what is not. It is not even the writer’s job to distinguish between two different occurrences. It is their job, however, to include the most important aspects of a certain era so whoever may see their work can have a full, comprehensive knowledge of the chief happenings of that time. Indeed, it is not up to the baseball writer to determine what is right or wrong. Rather, the writer must determine which of these contenders made a large enough impact to deserve enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, whether they may have ties to steroids or not.