Originally Posted by Hendu
I certainly respect your opinion, as it's one I used to hold. I just don't think it's so cut-and-dried. The outlook on the steroids era will evolve, especially as the kids who grew up during the era cheering for these players take more prominent roles in baseball. I'm not saying they'll gloss it over, but they'll figure out a way to honor the era, warts and all.
I think that this is completely untrue. Full disclosure: I'm a high school student. And almost every baseball player on my team or baseball fan that I know that's my age or younger are fully aware that what Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, or whoever you name did was blatant cheating. Most of my teammates and classmates at this point can hardly remember the home run chases of the late 90s, and frankly don't care whether they 'saved the game' or not. The people that I know today who became baseball fans simply because of home runs aren't the baseball fans who follow the game closely enough to have a stake in what records are broken, or who gets into the Hall of Fame.
I've grown up watching player after player from sport after sport be suspended, banned, ostracized, and in some cases almost imprisoned because of PEDs. I've grown up knowing that those players cheated, and I can't believe that anybody else who has thinks that they deserve to be rewarded because of some convoluted idea that they rescued the floundering game of baseball. If anything, the idea that we of my generation should accept them just because people weren't complaining at the time seems ludicrous.
Look, point is, the fact that they did what they did is not going to go away. Sooner or later, there are going to be far more people who know Barry Bonds for being a lying, cheating scumbag than who know him for being a fantastic athlete who was putting up 30/30 seasons regardless of PEDs. I don't understand why there would be any reason to forgive or forget. What happens if Giancarlo Stanton puts up 65 HR in a season, or if Bryce Harper eventually passes 755? I think anyone who supported Barry or Mark or Sammy because of their hyperinflated bull**** stats that 'saved' the game are going to be irrelevant. The players will be irrelevant. In 70 years, It's gonna be nothing more than the Sox throwing the Series, or Pete Rose betting on ballgames.
That, to me, is the bottom line. Do they really deserve to be enshrined for that? Records that people know are empty, or an era that will be written off as tainted and bogus? Ty Cobb was a racist schmuck, but racism ain't got nothing to do with 4,000 hits. PEDs are a different story. Other than that, it's all beside the point.