Originally Posted by Daver
Why is it that only hitters are brought up in this discussion, when the reality is more pitchers have been caught using them than hitters?
Part of the reason is that pitchers weren't producting numbers out of proportion to the history and legacy of the game. Sosa and McGwire passed Maris in the same season, and passed up the Ruth/Maris milestones later, which is even more incredible when you consider that Ruth and Maris only achieved 60 home runs once in their careers. Then Bonds passed McGwire's season home run record and Aaron's career record.
When there were whispers linking Mark Prior to steroids, Cubs fans dismissed the idea as ridiculous because he wasn't Sammy Sosa. Roger Clemens was a standout pitcher, but he never struck out 300 in a season, let alone threaten Nolan Ryan's record numbers. He never pitched more than eight shutouts in a season, not even approaching Bob Gibson numbers in shutouts or ERA. (Bob Gibson was asthmatic and his treatment probably included steroids, but other than relieving his asthma, I'm sure it didn't affect his performance.) Statistically, he wasn't even where Justin Verlander is now, and Justin Verlander isn't breaking high-profile records the way Sosa/McGwire and Bonds were. And one of the problems with steroids is that it also goes all the way down to marginal players who may not have gone that route if other players weren't competing clean. Most of the players involved with steroids wouldn't be considered Hall of Fame worthy in any case.
I wouldn't vote for Clemens either. It isn't a question of whether he would have been worthy of the Hall of Fame without the steroids. The fact is that steroids taints his career.