Steroid users should not be voted into the Hall of Fame.
Steroids created a gap between the talent levels of steroid users and clean players. Steroids were even capable of overshadowing the accomplishments of some of Major League Baseball’s most talented stars, such as Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, a first baseman/designated hitter for the Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Oakland Athletics.
“I do feel I was overshadowed by some of those guys,” Thomas has been quoted as saying. “I had a diminished-skills clause written in after I hit 29 home runs and drove in 92 RBIs, and I think those (steroid) guys are partly to blame.”
Thomas felt he didn’t get the credit he deserved as a non-steroid-user, even though he hit 521 home runs and knocked in 1,704 runs in his 20-year career.
Steroids provided an advantage and a shortcut to superstardom.
As former Red Sox pitcher Manny Delcarmen said in an interview with Rhode Island Write On Sports, “Work super hard and never cut any corners” in regards to chasing your dream.
Steroids are a form of cutting corners. Players who exposed themselves to steroids cut corners on their path to greatness. Players who used steroids still put in work, and were very talented baseball players, including Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who are worthy of being in the hall but haven’t been voted in by the writers because of their links to steroids. They were certainly good enough to be in the Hall before they were suspected of juicing.
Outside of them, though, it is hard to find any other suspected steroid users who are worthy. For example, a player such as Mark McGwire, a one-dimensional superstar, reportedly needed steroids to be as good as he was in his specialty – home-run hitting. McGwire hit for power, but was lacking in other technical areas of the game. Steroids enhance strength, and a very high level of strength is required to hit the ball as far as McGwire did.
That’s the case with most of the suspected steroid users. I have heard all the talk about various cheating strategies in the past and even today. However, steroids impacted baseball to the point where records were broken. No one knows for sure, but we can assume if Bonds never used steroids, as has been suspected, Hank Aaron would still hold the title of most homers in a career. We also can assume if steroids hadn’t been an issue, Roger Maris still would hold the record for most homers hit in a single season.
Most of all, character is more important than how good a player is in a sport. Talent is temporary, while your character lasts forever. Athletes are role models, and steroid users did not model the game of baseball in the right way. They cheated. Cheating should not be tolerated by the Hall of Fame. I am a believer in the rule of integrity. Steroid users broke that rule. They should not be allowed in the Hall of Fame.