Bonds' Hall of Fame Snub is Bigger Problem Than Steroids

Bud Selig's anti-steroid crusade is tarnishing baseball more than Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens ever did.

In case you didn't know, the National Baseball Hall of Fame is a joke. It is a sham. A misnomer. A decorated soldier in Bud Selig's army deployed in the bogus Operation Baseball is Ethical strike on America. 

No one was elected to the Hall on Wednesday in the annual vote of players eligible for consideration, in large part because many of the candidates come from the Steroid Era — a roughly 15 to 20-year period starting in the late 1980s when players started using performance enhancing drugs to boost stats.

The pervasive and completely flawed logic is that because a massive majority of these players used synthetics along on the way, they are blacklisted as cheaters and barred from entry into the Cooperstown baseball shrine.

Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BWAA) make up the electorate in the Hall of Fame selection. It takes a 'Yes' vote from 75 percent of the writers to earn selection to the Hall. Wednesday's vote, in which indisputable all-time greats like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro (all accused steroid users) didn't even come close to 75 percent, simply shows how readily the members of the BWAA eat up the company line like their paychecks depend on it.

Let me explain: Bud Selig, commissioner of baseball, has led the crusade against steroids in his sport for about a decade, more or less since Bonds broke the single-season home run record in 2001. He has encouraged everything from federal trials to congressional witch hunts in his public battle with steroids. And the world has eaten it up, as evidenced by Wednesday's Hall of Fame voting results.

But this only began when it became convenient for Selig. For a solid decade, if not 15 years before Bonds hit 73, steroid use grew exponentially among Major League players, with full cognizance of training staffs, front offices and league executives. In that time, it was technically against the rules, but enforcement was scarce, some say nonexistent. 

Then in 1994, the baseball strike threatened to kill off the sport as a profession entirely in America. Fans stopped buying tickets. TV viewers flocked to anything but baseball. The sport needed a shot in the arm (or the butt) like never before and it got that jolt in the form of Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. 

Thanks to steroids, McGwire and Sosa saved baseball. In 1998 they hit 70 and 66 home runs, respectively, both shattering the previous record of 61 held for decades by Roger Maris, turning America's attention back to its pastime. If it wasn't Clinton and Lewinsky headlining the news, it was Sosa and McGwire. That's how big of a deal it was. And it was no secret to anyone on the inside where these guys' massive biceps, inflated bat speed and jacked up power came from. But did Selig nail them as villains for injecting their way to the top? Of course not. He had a failing business to run.

In fact, he did quite the opposite. He made sure Sosa and McGwire were exalted as gods of the sport. Major League Baseball started using the slogan "Chicks dig the long ball," making millions in merchandise emblazoned with that war cry. Not only does the catchphrase champion steroid use, it suggests that guys need 28-inch biceps because, of course, that's what "chicks dig."

Fast forward to 2013 and there is no greater enemy in professional sports than steroids. Likely, that's the position that should have been taken all along. It would have promoted health and morality in sports. But morality is not reality, not in baseball, despite what Selig would like everyone to think.

The BWAA members helping cleanse the Hall of steroid users are only buying into Selig's propaganda aiming to erase the last 20 years of baseball from the history books. It's called the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Morals. Bad history is just as important as good history. Every player can't be poster boy Cal Ripken with shiny blues and a perfect crescent smile. 

The Hall should be a historical museum of all things important in baseball, and how can that exclude the men who helped save the sport 15 years ago?

I propose this: Let's start an Unbiased National Baseball Hall of Fame, where we don't pretend that history didn't happen just because we're not proud of it. The Black Sox will be included along with Bonds, Clemens and the rest of the Steroid Era greats. Pete Rose has been known to throw his money around. Maybe he'll help fund it. We can let him in, too.

What do you think? Should steroid users be allowed in the Hall of Fame? Tell us in the comments!

Steph January 12, 2013 at 04:42 PM
Love this article! First off - I'm in no way an advocate of steroid use. However, being a big Giants fan...I know what the people of SF, exterior fans, owners, and city business made from this man (Barrry Bonds). Tons of money, drama, excitement, and GREAT baseball! In my view the used him up and threw him away...I hated the way he left the game and then (and now) treated. Baseball was different during that time and they need to accept it because they ALLOWED it. Also, the fact that he was a great player before the steroid use!
Kevin George January 12, 2013 at 05:56 PM
The black socks cheated to lose, Pete Rose only bet on baseball, the only effect he could have had was to make his team lose. The teams they played against came out on top. Bonds, McGwire, Sosa and I might add Caminiti, cheated to win, therefor taking unfair advantage over their opponents. A player who wanted to play by the rules in that era was at a disadvantage, that's the distinction. Barry Bonds did him self no favors to the fans or the press with his unapproachable, arrogant attitude.
Jim January 14, 2013 at 10:11 AM
McGuire and Sosa saved baseball?? Baseball would have survived anyway, but if anyone "saved" the game it was Cal Ripken Jr. Remember him? He was the guy that broke Lou Gehrig's record just after baseball resumed following the strike. He was a first ballot hall of famer, played during the steroid era, and didn't cheat. Bonds, McGuire, Sosa and others cheated. Selig's actions are not relevant. We all learned in kindergarten that the actions of one person do not justify the actions of another. They cheated and now they are experiencing the consequence. I am a life long baseball fan and my only disappointment is that any of the writers voted for them.


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