Originally Posted by TDog
Why should a player who cheated, a player who broke the law to gain an advantage not have that count against him when it comes to Hall of Fame consideration?
Being inducted into the Hall of Fame isn't like earning a promotion through your productivity on the job. The Hall of Fame is a place where the players that define what is great about baseball are celebrated, not where you go if you hit 500 home runs.
If you tell a grand jury you took money from gamblers who paid players to throw baseball games, you don't belong in the Hall of Fame when one is created to celebrate baseball. If you bet on major league baseball while managing major league baseball, you don't belong in the Hall of Fame. If there is evidence that you enhanced your performance with illegal and banned substances, putting other players you are competing with in a position where they may have to consider using illegal and banned substances, you don't belong in the Hall of Fame.
Whether nobody cared about McGwire or Sosa when they were chasing Maris is irrelevant. By the ends of their careers most fans cared, and by the time Bonds was chasing Aaron, even Congress cared about performance enhancing drugs. There is no need for a special wing in the Hall of Fame. There is no reason for Sosa, McGwire, Bonds, Clemens et.al. -- you can even throw in Rose -- to be in the Hall of Fame because actions that they are remembered for are the antithesis of Hall of Fame worthy.
Firstly how does anyone even decide who was clean and who wasn't in the pre-testing era? Even Barry's case hasn't been proven without a reason of a doubt or he'd have been convicted of straight-up perjury, and not obstruction of justice for giving vague, rambling answers. Then what happens when the "clean" guys get in and then 5 years later write tell-all books about their doping regimen?
It's hypocritical to encourage this behavior for a decade and then when the hangover comes, to punish the players who were doing exactly what the fans, the media, the owners and the commissioner wanted. Again, Mark McGwire in 1998 had a bottle of Andro, an anabolic steroid, in his locker and admitted to using it for over a year. Nobody cared because it was all about the homerun chase saving baseball. That reaction is what caused a lot of players to start using, and now many of the same baseball writers and fans who ate it up back then are the first to grab pitchforks now.