It's official: All MLB players from 1998-2007 banned from HOF

>> Monday

Well, that's it. A-Rod did steroids, and baseball is seriously f***ed. Should we institute a blanket banning of all the potential steroid users?

Honestly, I was a little surprised at first that A-Rod is guilty of steroid use. I always defended A-Rod as an upstanding guy and a baseball purist. Yet obviously, he's a competitor that made the same mistake as his peers, and he unfortunately and predictably bought into the pressure to perform at a beyond-human level. If A-Rod is guilty, I would not be surprised to find out that every single star of the Steroid Era had used steroids.

So what happens next? I think the baseball community really needs to use this moment to evaluate how it views the Steroid Era. Sure, we all know about the Barry Bonds saga, but that guy potentially perjured himself. He doesn't deserve to be inducted if he's guilty of a serious crime. However, I'd hate to see the same jerk-offs who are keeping Big Mac out of the HOF -- without credible evidence, mind you -- continually block A-Rod when he's ultimately eligible.

Which brings up another point...

Did A-Rod keep his name clean by admiting he did steroids? Sure, he kinda had to admit it after his name came out. Yet unlike some of the other steroid stars, he never lied about it. If we find out that McGwire, Sosa, and Clemens were all in fact proven users, then clearly they lied and don't deserve the honor of induction to the Hall. A-Rod's case is a little different, and I don't know how the baseball community will handle it come his HOF eligibility. My guess is that A-Rod put himself on the right side of a blurry gray line that separates the tarnished from the untarnished.

I still love A-Rod, even though he used the term "loosey-goosey" in his interview with Peter Gammons. I refuse to crucify him -- or any MLB star -- for taking steroids. He's still a HOFer and one of the best infielders of all time.


Anonymous,  9:33 PM  

A-Rod did lie about it, many many times. Granted, not in front of a grand jury but still definitely lied.
This story has another unusual angle to it that we haven't seen before(well we kind of did with Giambi, but he's a lesser name). A future HOFer guilty of confirmed steroid abuse with many many good years of baseball left in him. From this point on we can be certain he is clean and his performance will be watched incredibly closely.
This next season will play a HUGE role in his HOF candidacy. Smack the ball all over the place and it was always him, choke under the pressure and it was always the roids. Good luck Rod.

Vinnie 9:42 PM  

Not to seem like a degenerate, but I don't feel that being proven a liar or lawbreaker is any reason to keep someone out of a professional sports Hall of Fame. You can say that the HOF is a trivial sports-related thing, which is true, but the fact is that many, many Americans take it very, very seriously. And because of that, I think the acceptance of sinners, if you will, into such institutions is crucial to the maturation of our very puerile moral culture. We need to understand that when we establish criteria for X, we can't arbitrarily rope in criteria for Y because it makes us feel better when those we acknowledge for X also meet Y. Just as Michael Phelps is a legendary swimmer, Mark McGwire was a great baseball player, and Allen Iverson was a phenomenal basketball talent when he was liberally smattering his rap lyrics with "faggot." To anchor those talents to the failure to meet a superhuman standard is a bunch of sickening self-righteous bullshit.

My two cents.

Anonymous,  12:55 AM  

Steroids aren't the same as racism, homophobia, or many other forms of dickishness. This is not criteria Y throwing off our assessment of X. Steroids allow an individual to achieve X when they otherwise would not have. A-Rod(and Bonds for that matter) probably would have made HOF without the roids. They probably would have won multiple MVP's without the roids. But A-Rod probably wouldn't(and Bonds definitely wouldn't) be a threat to Aaron's record without the roids.
Don't get me wrong, racists should be in the Hall, wife beaters should be in the Hall, the Black Sox should be in the Hall, Pete Rose should eventually be let into the Hall, horrible people should be in if they deserve the spot based on their accomplishments. But spit ballers shouldn't get the benefit of the doubt, roiders shouldn't get the benefit of the doubt. Otherwise the records we have mean that much less.

PS. Weren't you the one hating on Phelps all summer?

Vinnie 10:07 AM  

Steroids allow an individual to achieve X when they otherwise would not have.

Don't be so sure.

I know that's getting a little outside your argument, but I do think it's an extremely important element when the subject is whether BBWAA voters are behaving irrationally whith their HOF voting.

Maybe if there'd been a witch hunt over amphetamines in the '60s and '70s, Aaron would have been (absurdly) left out of the Hall. The fact is that the effects of almost any form of "cheating" that get discussed are vastly overblown.

I understand that we're talking about two separate things--on the one hand, the effect of the "cheating" on the relevant criteria, and on the other, the secondary character issues, i.e. the intent to gain unfair advantage. What bothers me is when writers and fans conflate the two. Find me anyone not guilty of the latter, and make him the Dalai Lama.

Once you dispense the absurdity of the character criteria, you're left with the burden to prove effect of PEDs on performance. Besides iffy anecdotal examples and short-sighted statistical mock-ups, no one has successfully done that. Certainly, Rick Morrissey et al haven't.

PS. Weren't you the one hating on Phelps all summer?

Was I? I think that was more Paul, though if I remember right, we were mostly just critical of the magnitude of the hype. You can ask Pat how I feel about Phelps's current situation if you'd like.

Matt 1:21 PM  

Is the HOF only let in "good people," it would have like three members. Other than Clemente and like Lou Gehrig, there ain't no saints in this game.

Matt 1:23 PM  

"Steroids allow an individual to achieve X when they otherwise would not have."

You know what else allowed players to achieve X when they otherwise wouldn't have? Cocaine and amphetamines. And if you're going to go by the letter of the law, you're going to have to take a LOT of players out of the hall, like Paul Molitor and everyone who played in the '80s.

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