Going out of bounds a little bit for writing purposes here, but since Sammy Sosa was property of the Texas Rangers (twice), I will put this under the Ranger heading. I have two feelings only on the “Steroid Era” in Major League Baseball. One is that I really don’t think it is something we should embrace in the glorious history of our favorite sport. The other has the but part of the deal. But if we are going to embrace it, it needs to be acknowledged by the league office and the Commissioner. This idea of putting the names on the ballot seems almost passive aggressive.
When the steroid era began, the league was coming off arguably one of the lowest points in its history. The strike of 1994 sent fans packing. Fans quit going to the ballpark in droves. One of the most exciting things about a ballgame is the long ball. With the introduction of steroids the balls were flying out of the park at a record pace. There was no finer example of this at its peak than the Texas Rangers. With Juan Gonzales, Rafael Palmiero, Pudge Rodriguez and Jose Canseco all allegedly taking part in adding a little performance enhancement. The league was complicate in the growth of its use. Turnstiles were turning in record numbers and the money was flowing.
Flash forward a few years and suddenly the office of the Commissioner decides that it has to go. Even Congress (with so much more to worry about than this) stepped in to ask how it could happen. I’ll tell you how it can happen. Greed.
IF these players are going to be on a HOF ballot, the league office needs to come clean like so many players had to. If they were to do that I would support their names on the ballot, even their entry into the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. I am not a big believer in adding an asterisk in the record books. I think any person who loves the history of baseball can find context in any record book. Babe Ruth was still the greatest player of all time to me, because he did everything that was opposite of performance enhancing. The league was steadfast in its refusal to do anything with Roger Maris and Hank Aaron’s numbers and that I understand. But something as epic as our steroid era screams for a disclaimer.
As it is, I don’t support them getting in, much less than on a ballot.