We’ve all been left to believe what we want when it comes to steroids, but one thing that can’t be argued is this: In the ’90’s and into the next century, steroids in baseball were like rats in New York City. They were everywhere.
I applaud the fact that no one got in the Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
That’s the way it should be.
And it probably should stay that way for a while, even though next year’s eligibility class has some of my personal favorites — Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine.
I have to laugh when I read and/or hear someone say, “Craig Biggio deserved to get in on Wednesday. He was clean. He wasn’t linked to steroids. Fred McGriff didn’t use steroids. He should be in, too.”
And, honestly, you know this how?
Are you sure Curt Schilling didn’t use steroids?
Why, because he said he didn’t? Because he openly bashed those who did? You’d bet your mortgage for a year that Curt Schilling was clean?
I sure wouldn’t.
I seem to remember a certain all-time hits leader telling us for years, steadfast in his claim, that “I did not, ever, gamble on baseball.”
Remember that? Remember those interviews? Remember the outrage Pete Rose feigned anytime someone questioned him about gambling and his lifetime ban from the game?
Did you buy that?
I sure as hell didn’t.
And guess what? I was right. And so was anyone else who knew Rose was lying about his gambling habits while he managed the Reds.
I also laugh when I hear something stupid like, “Well, he was going to be a Hall of Famer anyway…or, his numbers before he started using steroids were good enough that he would have gotten in.”
And I again ask…”And you know this how?”
The answer, of course, is that we really don’t know anything, other than what we’ve learned from leaks like Jose Canseco and grand jury indictments and courtroom activities involving guys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
It would be easy – maybe even easier – to just say, “Aww, hell, vote ’em all in.”
But doing that, just giving in, would be precisely the same treatment the steroid users got in the ’90’s and early last decade.
That’s how we got in this mess in the first place, by lowering our standards and not wanting to hold the players accountable to respect the game as a fair competition between athletes who are willing to do anything and everything EXCEPT cheat in order to win.
(Please see next page)