June 25, 2009

PEDs & the HoF


If you've been following baseball lately, you know that in 2003 MLB did steroid testing and turned up 103 guilty players. Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa are allegedly on that list of names and they have been leaked, so that leaves 101 other players yet to be revealed.

This year in the Hall of Fame marks Rickey Henderson's induction. His last year was in 2003. So that means that while I hope that Rickey isn't one of the 101 names yet to be revealed, he could be. And every Hall of Fame class after this one faces the potential of inducting a player who could be one of the 101 yet to be revealed names.

So, what happens if/when the Hall of Fame inducts a steroid user that was on that list? Like what if Rickey is on that list? Or if they induct Roberto Alomar Jr. next year and then it's found out later he's on the list? Can the Baseball Writers of America Assocation evict someone from the Hall of Fame? Would they?

I've been thinking about this for a while. The Hall of Fame already has cheaters in there, from people who scuffed and doctored the baseball to people who used amphetamines, so it's not like it's unheard of to enshrine those who color outside the lines.

And also, whatever achievements the steroids users have gotten, they did it against competition that may have also been juiced so it's hard to think that it was an unfair advantage.

With all that, steroids is different. It has this sheen where the pill or injection suddenly makes you a better baseball player, like it's better talent through chemistry. So it's dirtier, far more egregious that taking a handful of uppers or greasing a ball with vaseline for a competitive advantage.

I just don't know. What do you think?

viva el mustache

1 comment:

Flynn said...

The list is a big can of worms for two reasons:

1. It names players who failed a test for PEDs that weren't yet banned by MLB.
2. The list, per agreement between MLBPA and MLB, is supposed to remain sealed.

Nobody's ever been evicted from the HoF before (though Tim Robbins was famously disinvited to appear), but anything is within the realm of possibility w/ the people who run it (remember how they dropped the ball w/ Buck O'Neil).

I'm willing to bet that the voting writers have had a little bird whisper the names of the 103 cheaters into their ears, off the record, at some point in the past 6 years to protect the integrity of their HoF votes. Baseball writers are privy to a lot of info that never shows up in print. Eventually, I think, the other names will come out.

Lastly, I think baseball realizes that PEDs cross the line from gamesmanship (scuffing, greasing balls) and institutionalized advocacy of greenies into something much more dangerous to individuals and the game itself. Granted, MLB didn't come to that realization on its own, but it's gotten there nonetheless.