Yesterday, the 2018 Hall of Fame winners were announced. These professionals will now have their illustrious careers put on display in Cooperstown: Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, and Trevor Hoffman. These four players deserve to be in Cooperstown in my opinion, no questions asked.
I do have one question though, when will the steroid users start trickling in? It is absolutely inevitable that someone who was tied to steroids at one point in their career gets elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. As the years go on, more and more players on the ballot will have been accused of cheating the precious game.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have now been on the ballot for 6 years. Roger Clemens received 56.4% and Barry Bonds received 57.3% which is only a slight increase from last year for these two. They only have 4 remaining years to reach the required 75% vote to make it into Cooperstown. They have fared well with the newer voters but it is obviously the old baseball curmudgeon purists that want nothing to do with these two in the Hall.
I understand everyone wants to keep the game pure and basically wants to shun every single player from the Hall of Fame tied to steroids. It was an era of baseball that the purists cannot stand to even talk about, like a mistake they made in their lives they refuse to admit happened. There is the problem though, it did happen. Steroids ran rampant throughout baseball for a good 15-20 years. Not just Brady Anderson was using them to hit 50 homeruns in 1996. It was the best of the best using them.
You know who was the commissioner of the MLB during this era? He is someone who decided to turn the other way although knowing all of this was going on during this era. He willingly allowed all of this because he knew the sport was back to peak popularity after the 1998 homerun race. A race that included two alleged steroid users in Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. God that season was the best. The commissioner was Bud Selig. You know what Bud Selig was elected into last year? The National Baseball Hall of Fame. The illustrious Hall that wants absolutely nothing to do with the greatest players of all time who used said steroids. They elected the person who willingly allowed it all to happen, because he wasn’t using them so he wasn’t cheating right?
Listen, I understand these players have tarnished records in a sport that holds records in the highest regards. I understand they cheated those who performed at a high level the right way. You cannot simply act like this era did not happen. As James Earl Jones says to Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams “It’s a part of our past Ray”. The steroid era, for better or worse, is part of baseball now. Alex Rodriguez will be arriving on that ballot in a few years, joining Bonds, Clemens, Pudge Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, and others tied to this era.
All I am asking is that baseball acknowledges this era and votes them in the place where the greatest to ever play the game are honored. You can even make a separate hall for them for all I care. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are two of the best players in history, do not punish them because of the era they played in.