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Barry Bonds and the Hall of Fame: a simple question

Dec 20, 2011, 6:42 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v San Francisco Giants, Game 3 Getty Images

John Harper of the Daily News is, in my view, wrong when it comes to Barry Bonds and the Hall of Fame, but in approaching the matter, I think he frames the question just perfectly:

But in saying here that I won’t vote for Bonds when he becomes Hall-eligible next year, let me respond to the other side of the debate with a question: Should the Hall of Fame merely be a museum of sorts that reflects the history of baseball, for better or for worse?

Yes. Yes it should be. And I’m not sure what’s so hard about that.

But there is still something I like about Harper’s approach. He adds “I just think the Hall should stand for more than that.”  And with that he injects an honesty that he is, in fact, trying to make a moral stand out of all of this. In some ways it’s a lot more respectable than those voters who say “well, the rules require that we take character into account” and leave it at that.

I like Harper’s approach because I think that if you vote with the Hall of Fame ballot’s famous character clause in mind, it should be incumbent upon you explain the ultimate end of the character clause. To say what the Hall is supposed to stand for. To say what morals and ethics are served by keeping guys like Bonds out. Most don’t, however, because I suspect they can’t come up with a coherent set of ethics that fits (a) their voting choice; (b) their personal moral code; and (c) the Hall of Fame as it currently exists.

So good for Harper. I disagree with him, but good for him for being up front about what he wants out of the Hall of Fame.  Would that other voters who vote similarly explain that they are, in fact, making a moral stand. And explain what, exactly, that moral stand is.  I don’t think they can. At least in any coherent fashion.

120 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Matt - Dec 20, 2011 at 7:08 AM

    My comment under the Bagwell post yesterday is probably more relevant under this one, but instead I’m just getting more and more angry about it…

    I’d just like to tell Mr. Harper to take his moral high horse and shove it, then I’d like to sit down with him and go through the morality of his childhood baseball heroes and ask if they should all be removed from the HOF as well. I’m never going to try to argue that ‘my guys’ from my 90s childhood are all nice and honorable people, but keeping them out of the HOF is ruining the possibility that I ever make a trip there with my kids since I apparently will not be able to show them all that I grew up loving about baseball because we’re just going to wipe their achievements from the collective history. I know someone mentioned the museum part being where I can find some of these things, but that’s not good enough…the idea that I’m going to have to tell them that we aren’t going to bother going into the room with the plaques because there’s noone in there that means anything to me beyond the mere history that I never experienced personally infuriates me. So, thanks Mr. Harper and company for saving me the money that would have been spent taking a trip to the Coop.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Dec 20, 2011 at 7:11 AM

      Yeah, they can call it Matt’s Baseball Hall of Fame – that’s a solution that should please everyone.

      • Matt - Dec 20, 2011 at 7:15 AM

        Yes, that’s what I’m asking for exactly. It’s such an absurd request that my generation of stars not be absent from the HOF due to the moral superiority of the racists, drunks and cheaters of Mr. Harper’s generation.

      • Matt - Dec 20, 2011 at 7:26 AM

        But of course, if you really are serious that my childhood HOF is the best solution I’m not going to argue with you, and 8 year old me looks forward to the ceremony for Cecil Fielder and Mickey Tettleton.

    • lardin - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:31 AM

      Barry Bonds is in the HOF. There are exhibits on HR records. He is part of baseball history and Hall showcases him. He is part of the museum. If Bonds is not elected to the Hall of fame, Its not like he will be whitewashed out of baseball history. What he wont get is a bronze plaque and the ability to write HOF after his name. There is a difference between being in the Hall of fame and being a hall of famer. Bonds is in the Hall of fame. Whether he gets to be a hall of famer is yet to be determined.

    • Jonny 5 - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:16 AM

      Please, we’ve lost enough of our morals in this country to be telling those with morals to shove them. There’s nothing wrong with that.
      With that said, I agree for the most part that the HOF remain a museum dedicated to baseball of the past. We don’t know who was clean and who wasn’t that are already in the HOF, we never will. These guys of the 90’s weren’t the first to use PED’s and aren’t the last. I feel the best players should be in it, even if it’s with an asterisk stating their implications of PED use, if proven.

    • nudeman - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:27 AM

      Matt
      Nice load of crap you’ve laid on us here.

      First, Let’s start here: Bonds won’t make the HOF. Ever. Period.

      Secondly, he’s not being kept out because he’s not “nice and honorable”. Although let’s be honest: He appears to have been an as*hole of epic proportions to teammates, fans, writers and all other comers for the entirety of his career.

      He won’t make the HOF because his name was at the very top of players who disgraced the game for an 10+ years.
      He made a mockery of the word “integrity”, then lied about it to you, me, everyone else and most of all himself. I loathe him and all he stands for.

      • golfballtx - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:01 PM

        Actually, he won’t make it BECAUSE of his treatment of writers during his entire career. Any other reason is unadulterated bunk!

        I have a question for all of the “roider haters” out there…..Has BB ever been reported as failing a drug test by MLB? Has he ever been proven to have broken rules of the game with respect to any PED? Not to my knowledge. And if he failed a drug test, it is the greatest secret ever kept!!!!! So, it looks like he should be considered with the same criteria as Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Wille Mays, Mickey Mantle, etc.

        Our society has become one that, due to personal shortcomings, takes joy in denigrating the accomplishments of those who succeed. We no longer try to pull ourselves up, but instead tear others down. No wonder people like Barack Obama and his ilk have risen to positions of power…..that is their MO.

      • nudeman - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:20 PM

        He was on the list of 104 positive testers

        Further, have you just flown in from Mars? Did you not know he was just convicted for obstructing justice?
        Did you hear the recording of his butt boy, Greg Anderson whispering to him “I’ve got this stuff, it’s not detectable … blah blah)?
        Did you know he’s admitted to juicing? (But of course blames someone else)?

        I can only help you so much if you’re really that ignorant.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:10 PM

        Has BB ever been reported as failing a drug test by MLB? Has he ever been proven to have broken rules of the game with respect to any PED? Not to my knowledge.

        Mentioned this in another thread, but I’m pretty sure after the FEDs got a hold of the syringe from Trevor Graham, allowing them to test for the Cream and the Clear, they retested Bonds sample from ’03 and found the steroids in his system*. Unfortunately due to the way google works, trying to find an article on Bonds + steroids leads to 1093692653 articles from writers high atop their pedestals.

        *The Cream and the Clear were designed to not get picked up by steroid testing at the time.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:13 PM

        Here’s a NYDN article, not definitive but:

        http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-02-03/sports/17915934_1_doping-calendars-bonds-grand-jury-testimony-urine-sample

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:14 PM

        Ugh HuffPo piece saying it was confirmed he failed tests for 3 different steroids:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/04/barry-bonds-steroid-evide_n_163826.html

    • pjmarn6 - Dec 21, 2011 at 6:12 PM

      In the Olympics, if you win and are caught doping, you lose your medal and are banned. Disgraced. Completely fair as every individual is competing against the physical and mental abilities of other clean athletes.
      Everyone understand that.
      But in sports especially baseball with the ridiculous salaries and long term idiotic salaries and the stupidest people on earth, the owners and general managers who know the athletes are doped and hope they continue to dope to keep up their stats to fill the seats, rewarded doping and winked at it until it became so blatant the game was made a joke, which it still is today.
      Multimillion dollar salaries for a .276 hitter, Alex Rodriguez. The players doped themselves enough to have a stellar year just before they became free agents and the gms and owners had to feed the monster they created.
      As long as the foolish, naive and read to be deceived public was willing to pay and see the doped rhinestones play on the baseball holy ground the owners were ready to charge through the nose, rid free tv of the games and saturate the radio waves with enough commercials to make people sick.
      The racing commission knew how important it was to keep the horses and jockeys clean. The whole industry would fall in a heartbeat if drugging was allowed.
      But what the hell BASEBALL was only our national pasttime. It wasn’t worth it to keep it clean as long as the owners and gms lined their pockets with money. As stated many times, professional athletes blow the money as quickly as they make it. Many never live to see those pensions. And as far as the gms and owners, there is a new crop every year.

    • pjmarn6 - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:04 PM

      Barry Bonds and all these pill poppers have made a mockery of the hall of fame and there is no way to fix it. Perhaps two or three areas. One before the drugging was suspected. A second area during the suspected area and a third area for the time after the drugging area.

    • mauiandpapa - Dec 24, 2011 at 10:12 AM

      Dude….Chill. Go see the HOF cause it’s great. It’s an amazing place. Mr Harper and his high horse are not on trial. The Baseball Hall of fame has admitted people that are of questionable moral character throughout its history: Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Kirby Puckett (sadly), hell even Babe Ruth some would say. But cheating is a different kind of crime when it comes to sports. Being a racist or a womanizer sucks but doesn’t have a bearing on the outcome of a game. Using drugs to enhance performance undermines the intergrity of the game and unfortunately the era you speak of. I loved the 90’s too but Albert Belle and Juan Gonzalez should not be in the hall of fame. They cheated. Period.

  2. purnellmeagrejr - Dec 20, 2011 at 7:29 AM

    Matt – racism doesn’t improve one’s baseball performance – not does alcohol or being a dbag. Bob Gibson achieved his 1.12 from a higher mound but it was the same mound everyone pitched from.Barry Bonds hit 70 something Homers but it was while he was ingesting performance enhancing drugs that only a select group of cheaters was doing. Too bad about Ken Caminiti, Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, etc.If it gets you ticked off you can always do what people from Alabama do that don’t accept the outcome of the Civil War – hang up posters of your favorite steroid enlarged players in your den or in the back windshield of your pick up truck.

    • Matt - Dec 20, 2011 at 7:35 AM

      Racism does, and did, improve the performance of MLB players for generations while non-white players were excluded from the game.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Dec 20, 2011 at 7:39 AM

        you have a point there.

      • Matt - Dec 20, 2011 at 7:41 AM

        As did the spitball thrown by HOF pitchers, amphetamines taken by countless HOF players, and the steroids likely taken by MLB players dating back to the 60s and 70s (olympians had access to anabolic steroids as early as the 1950s, so I’d be shocked if somehow noone from baseball was able to gain that same access).

      • alang3131982 - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:51 AM

        I dont understand how Steroids are the ultimate cheating…as many have noted the sheer amount of greenies used probably overwhelms the amount who did steroids. People steal signs, use spit balls, etc. How can you arbitrarily draw the line that steroids should keep you out when there is no real proof of what kinds of cheating help you more.

        What if it turns out amphetamines are a bigger boon to production than steroids? I know a ton of players who did steroids who didnt amount to anything, so its not like steroids are a magic potion you take and become Barry Bonds or Andy Pettitte…

      • paperlions - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:28 AM

        Let’s point out again that the recent down turn in offense coincided with the ban of amphetamines by MLB and NOT with the ban and testing of steroids.

        When testing began for steroids you know what happened to offensive production? Nothing.

      • paperlions - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:53 PM

        I’ll never understand why people so desperately want steroids to have affected offensive production. From a general perspective, there is just no evidence that steroids was the primary driver behind the offensive explosion of the 90s and 00s.

    • cktai - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:45 AM

      General consensus is that Barry Bonds started using in 2000. If we take a conservative approach and only take in his career up to 1998, the simple conclusion is that he was a virtual deadlock for the hall of fame. Up to that point he had amassed a .290/.410/.556 batting line with 1917 hits, 411 HR, 445 SB, 8 gold glove awards, 8 all star appearances and 3 MVP awards.

      Since Bonds already secured his place before using PEDs, I do not see why, following your logic, you should keep him out.

      The only way you could keep him out is if you say that his subsequent use of PEDs tainted his personality, which places it on the same level as racism, alcohol abuse, amphetemine abuse or general douchbaggery

      • kellyb9 - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:47 AM

        Soooo what you’re saying is that Pete Rose should be in the hall of fame because he cheated after he had achieved “hall of fame status”.

      • paperlions - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:11 AM

        Rose should be in the HOF because he had a HOF career. Him betting on baseball near the end of it has nothing to do with whether or not he had a career worthy of HOF enshrinement.

      • kellyb9 - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:44 AM

        @Paper – completely agree that Rose should be in the HOF… but I don’t know how he can’t be in the HOF and Bonds or any of the other PED users can. IMO what they did was worse because by most measurable standards, Rose can claim that he had a legitimate addiction.

      • cktai - Dec 21, 2011 at 2:09 AM

        Yes I am saying that. And you seem to agree, so what is the problem?

    • bravojawja - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:49 AM

      What is it about you Yankees always wanting to re-fight the Civil War? You constantly throw it in everybody’s faces even though it ended 150 years ago.

      Someone needs to come up with a Godwin’s Law for this.

      • Matt - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:14 AM

        While obviously this is off topic…I’m pretty sure the individuals who wave the confederate flag, put it on their cars, and yell about its virtues are the ones who seemly struggle to come to grips with the fact that the civil war ended years ago.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:33 PM

        Matt – my point exactly about the Confederate flag types – many idolize the founder of the KKK.
        You know – this is kind of a December through March discussion – the Hall is ceremonial – it’s not like we’re voting these guys in and out of Heaven.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        bravojawja – dumb Northerner OK, effete leftist -no problem nattering nabob – fine , intellectual -a stretch, but I can live with it – YANKEES??? NO NO NO NO.

    • JBerardi - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:38 PM

      “.Barry Bonds hit 70 something Homers but it was while he was ingesting performance enhancing drugs that only a select group of cheaters was doing. Too bad about Ken Caminiti, Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, etc.”

      That’s just blatantly counterfactual. Plenty of obscure middle relievers and fringy 5th outfielders have been busted for PEDs. It’s probably comforting to imagine that the problem was confined to a select group of players, but it’s also remarkably naive. I mean, who has more incentive to use PEDs than marginal, fringy players? In a league where no one is testing, those guys are practically required to use PEDs.

  3. skids003 - Dec 20, 2011 at 7:45 AM

    Hey, enough of all that. It is what it is and it can’t be changed, that’s just the way things were 70 to 100 years ago, everyone needs to get over it. But I do agree with ou Matt that it’s not fair to exclude someone because a baseball “writer” thinks he did something bad, it’s really ridiculous. Besides, I’ve alwyas wondered what t takes for some of these writers to be allowed to even get a vote for the Hall. Although some are worthy of it, some are just plain idiots.

  4. purnellmeagrejr - Dec 20, 2011 at 7:54 AM

    Matt – this is a debatable topic – guess that’s why we’re debating it – point by point –
    1.) racism has been such an important part of our society that I feel it’s been digested as far as the Hall of Fame is concerned and Baseball has actually helped racial healing. In other words – everybody knows up until 1947 it might as well have been called WMLB, I know I would have regretted not growing up without a Willie Mays to marvel at. To rectify baseball’s and society’s errors they had special election for the Negro Leagues (Hey there’s your steroid solution!)
    2.) Amphetamines apparently were so prevalent that they conferred no special advantage on anyone if everyone that felt the need was doing them.
    3.) Spitball or any type of real time cheating is handled in real time – ejections, etc were (theoretically) used to limit this.
    4.) Are you insinuating that Ted Kluzewski was Ted KliJooski? Geez, I’ll have to shred my baseball card of him (kidding, of course)

    • stex52 - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:28 AM

      I think steroids were equally prevalent in some form. It is at least my impression that the real users were the marginal AAA-major league players who used them to be able to spend at least some time on the 40-man roster and get some decent money. I’m not sure that concentrating on the stars is really going where the problem was.

    • alang3131982 - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:53 AM

      How can you argue that because more people used amphetamines that means it was ok. Isnt cheating cheating?

      Further, does that mean that the HRs juicers hit off juicers count? So all of Bonds appearances against Pettitte, Clemens, etc. count to his line, but the others dont?

      Either cheating deems you unfit for the hall or it doesnt, you cant just say that because everyone was cheating it’s ok.

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:03 AM

    The argument that because there are those who cheated currently in the Hall of Fame so those who used PED’s should be allowed in is a faulty argument. It is akin to getting caught up in a pattern of behavior and not wanting to change it because “that is the way it has been”. It is never too late to change ones moral compass. Furthermore, I don’t think one should have to define their moral code as it relates to baseball based upon who previous writers voted in. It should be a personal decision irrespective of the views and values of others. That being said, I would like all the “steroid era” players to get in….mainly so I don’t have to hear this argument every year.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:07 AM

      Speaking of people with questionable moral compasses, I kind of miss “Halladaysbicepts”….. spiced things up around here he did.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:09 AM

        yeah, agreed. maybe he’s on vacation someplace warm – maybe I’ll see him in Jamaica this January (many Canadians down there.)

      • Matt - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:23 AM

        He’s probably just waiting around here, stalking the comments until there is another Venezuelan player kidnapped so he can blame the player for being from a country that he views as morally inferior.

      • stex52 - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:24 AM

        Agreed. Maybe as Spring Training comes around he won’t be able to resist the siren call of baseball comments.

      • kiwicricket - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:47 AM

        Perhaps they don’t allow android’s in the local penitentiary?

      • Alex K - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:02 AM

        I believe Craig said he asked to be banned. So there is no coming back.

    • alang3131982 - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:59 AM

      I dont think you’re totally off-base or anything.

      However, the voters, as Craig noted, are using the morals clause. In so doing, they are basically saying that those in the Hall are fine upstanding citizens when we know they are not.

      In addition, it seems that steroids as a form of cheating somehow trumps every other brand of cheating. until someone proves that steroids were a great aid than amphetamines or scuffing the ball, you cant say one is okay and the other isnt. If the voters who are anti-steroids guys were saying: those who scuffed balls and took amphetamines should be thrown out of the hall and we shouldnt allow any juicers – that would be fine.

      But if you asked most voters about the amphetamine users and scuffers, I dont think they’d have a problem with them remaining in the hall – just seems superficially hypocritical without any evidence into degrees of cheating

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:11 AM

        I’m just saying that the voters change over time and that the current set of voters should not have to be bound by the same moral compass as the previous voters. Furthermore, I think there is a big distinction between voting somebody in and removing somebody currently in the Hall of Fame. I don’t think those situations are the least bit analogous. Like I said, I wouldn’t exclude those who used steroids, but I don’t think that writers should have to apply the same moral code as their predecessors.

      • cur68 - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:15 AM

        IMO scuffing up, spitting on, altering in any way a baseball prior to throwing it is a more serious breach of the rules than the arbitrary advantages conferred by steroids. You can measure easily, both statistically and with the naked eye, the change in performance of the ball and hence the person throwing it.

        You can juice a guy from here to eternity and he may OR MAY NOT improve. Altering a ball is cheating by every definition of cheating. But, because it doesn’t involve any fancy dope or new fangled science which people may or may not understand, better just act like juicing is voodoo in St. Petersberg Cathedral. Beats thinking or learning or using a moral compass that makes any blessed sense.

      • alang3131982 - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:19 AM

        I guess I would rather have some sort of consistency and i do think the BBWAA is bound to approach these types of issues with history in mind.

        If, all of a sudden, the body governing who gets into the Hall of Fame changes the rules without telling people until after their playing days that’s just unfair and it makes for a completely arbitrary Hall.

        For years, voters had no problems voting in known cheaters.

        I’m not quite saying that voters should kick out cheaters in the Hall, but they should advocate for it. That is, current voters who do not want to allow steroids users in the Hall should say on record that known cheaters should be expelled (or that they wouldnt have voted for them).

        The perception exists, fairly or not, that current (and certainly past) voters have no problem with ball scuffers and amphetamine users. And, in my opinion, cheating is cheating, we have no way of saying what types of cheating were more prevalent/worse than others.

        It’d be like a teacher arbitrarily changing what constitutes an ‘A’ mid-way through the year.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:25 AM

        If a particular voter knowingly voted for an amphetamine user of ball scuffer, etc. then I think your point is valid. However, my point is that somebody who didn’t have the opportunity to vote or not vote for those violators mentioned above should not be bound my history. They should have the freedom to vote in whatever way satisfies their moral code. On the notion of expelling or advocating expelling known cheaters; like I said, I believe that to be an entirely separate issue.

    • Bill - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:13 AM

      The argument that because there are those who cheated currently in the Hall of Fame so those who used PED’s should be allowed in is a faulty argument. It is akin to getting caught up in a pattern of behavior and not wanting to change it because “that is the way it has been”. It is never too late to change ones moral compass.

      Gotta disagree with this. The Hall of Fame voter’s job isn’t to make a personal decision regarding who the voter feels is or is not a Hall of Famer. He or she is being entrusted with the care of an institution, and at this point, more than 70 years in, I think it’s fair to say that part of his or her duty is to uphold the standards of said institution (and, for all the flak the Hall gets, much of it deserved, a set of standards does start to take shape if you look at their induction history).

      So if you are going to do what Harper does here and basically acknowledge that you’re voting in a way that willfully ignores all of the Hall’s history with regard to cheaters and unsavory characters — or by a similar token, if you’re going to refuse to vote for a Barry Larkin because, while you acknowledge he’s better than the average existing Hall of Famer, you think the Hall should be for the Best of the Best, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays and that’s about it — you’re failing to do your job. It’s not a “pattern of behavior” you’re trying to change, it’s the whole history of an organization that you’ve been asked to uphold and protect, and you’re failing at it.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:20 AM

        You can’t ask somebody to have the same set of morals and values as their predecessors. Ones value judgments are of an intimately personal nature. Asking somebody to conform to the values and mores of a previous generation is essentially asking them to ignore the societal and cultural changes within the world. I understand the concept of protecting an institution, but times change….perceptions change. I don’t think that keeping the status quo under the premise of “having to protect the institution” when perhaps change would be better is healthy.

      • Bill - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:23 AM

        You can’t ask somebody to have the same set of morals and values as their predecessors.
        No, but you can ask them to leave their set of morals and values at the door, since they’ve really got no place in this discussion and never have. It’s a baseball museum. It’s including “morals and values” at all, really, that muddies up the whole thing.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:28 AM

        But it says to take into account the character of a given player in the balloting. If that clause was not in the rules of voting, then fine….but it is which the door open for moral and value judgments.

      • alang3131982 - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:28 AM

        The disconnect I have with Dr. Monkey Army is you are allowing the voters to be subjective whereas I want them to be objective.

        Obviously a certain level of subjectivity seeps into anyone’s decisions. However, media, especially when voting & reporting, are supposed to be objective.

        Imposing one’s own morals (which seem to run counter the 70+ year history of the voting body’s morals) is a purely subjective thing to do and is not keeping with the objective nature of the duty/charge. The writers are asked to assess the facts and by throwing one’s own assessment of “wrong doing” into the mill, he is ignoring the established and, I believe, correct process. he’s no different than a beat writer voting for a hometown star for MVP or leaving Pedro off an MVP ballot.

      • Bill - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:36 AM

        Judges aren’t free to make decisions based on a plausible reading of the literal wording of a statute that’s already been interpreted hundreds of times before to mean something else; same should be true of the Hall voters.

        Yep, there’s a character clause. But there’s also 70+ years of voting that is pretty significant evidence of what the original intent of the character clause was. There are guys who you might argue got a little extra push into the Hall based on a good perceived character (Kirby Puckett is the first example I think of) but nobody in the game’s entire history who has been left out based on a bad character (you might argue Dick Allen, but he’d be very borderline at any rate). It’s been conclusively decided that the character clause does NOT mean you can keep guys out just because you think they’re bad dudes. That “door” was closed more or less on day one, when they let Cobb in.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:37 AM

        It is all subjective. It is impossible for people to give opinions (and that is really what Hall of Fame voting is…opinions on what defines a HOF player) without having some level of bias… whether it is a conscious or subconscious bias. The very nature and wording of the HOF balloting and MVP voting instructions allows for personal variances in what the voters value. Like I said, I have no problem allowing steroid users in the HOF, however, I’m not going to get pissed if certain voters don’t find it acceptable regardless of how previous voters viewed issues pertaining to cheating.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:42 AM

        Those situations are not analogous at all. A judge (a single man or woman) interpreting statutes is not akin to asking a thousand sports writers to interpret HOF voting procedures. Furthermore, nobody is talking about whether was a “good dude”…the central issue is whether those steroid users cheated the game. Big difference.

      • hystoracle - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:57 AM

        “The Hall of Fame voter’s job isn’t to make a personal decision regarding who the voter feels is or is not a Hall of Famer.”

        That is exactly their job. To make a personal, subjective decision on whether a player is or is not a Hall of Famer. If it was objective then when any player passed a certain criteria of numbers then they would automatically be in the hall of fame without the need of a vote. When you place the onus on a group of voters, no matter how big or small; it becomes a popularity contest. And popularity contest are subjective by their very nature.

        I agree with the idea of just putting all the PED era guys in just to end this argument. It has been beaten to death at least 3 times over.. While you are at it put Pete Rose in as a player. His infraction was committed as a manager. On the field, he was one of the greatest players to ever play the game and fun to watch play.

      • Bill - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:09 AM

        Those situations are not analogous at all. A judge (a single man or woman) interpreting statutes is not akin to asking a thousand sports writers to interpret HOF voting procedures.

        No, but a single judge (one of much more than a thousand) interpreting statutes certainly is akin to any single voter interpreting the HOF voting procedures. That was a really odd false distinction you created.

        “That is exactly their job. To make a personal, subjective decision on whether a player is or is not a Hall of Famer. If it was objective then when any player passed a certain criteria of numbers then they would automatically be in the hall of fame without the need of a vote.”

        There are two different levels worth talking about here. There’s the question: historically, “does what this player did on the field merit inclusion in the Hall of Fame?” and there’s the way one answers that question. I don’t think anyone would disagree that voters get to apply a heavy dose of subjectivity to the latter — there’s no one statistical standard or metric, nor should there be. But if you start arguing for bringing your own moral code into it and/or ignoring the institution itself and deciding whether those players fit into your own personal Hall of Fame, which has nothing at all in common with the real one? Then you’re changing the whole question itself, and you’re failing at your duty to the institution.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:16 AM

        You are missing the point that moral codes change over time. One should not be bound by a previously established code of ethics, if that code is past its time. It says expressly in the instructions that personal character can play a role in voting. Just because previous voters chose not to apply that clause does not mean that current voters should be mandated to ignore it. The notion of case law or interpreted statues does not apply to this situation. Also, for the record I should state that I am in favor of arbitrary objective counting stats garnering automatic inclusion into the HOF.

      • Bill - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        If by “you’re missing the point” you mean “you’ve directly addressed that exact point twice,” then yes. No one’s moral code has ever played any part in the Hall voting, regardless of one plausible reading of the literal wording of the ballot instructions, so the fact that they change over time is irrelevant. It’s well-established that that just doesn’t enter the picture.

        And this obviously isn’t a case of a new code of ethics, for what it’s worth; it’s just some high and mighty writers feeling like they were duped in the nineties, who now want to make someone pay for it. But again, whatever it is, it just shouldn’t come into play here.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:29 AM

        So, to make sure I understand your point: you feel that because a written instruction has generally not been applied in the past, it shouldn’t be applied in the future…even with a changing of the voting constituency? Do you also feel that players and teams should not be punished for slow play….after all, it is a rule that is seldom if ever applied but a rule nonetheless.

      • Bill - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:44 AM

        So, to make sure I understand your point: you feel that because a written instruction has generally not been applied in the past, it shouldn’t be applied in the future…even with a changing of the voting constituency?

        It’s not a written instruction, it’s one plausible, but long-rejected, interpretation of the written instruction. As I said, the guys who wrote those instructions have made it abundantly clear what they meant — character can be used as a point in a guy’s favor, but has never been used to keep one out. Which is why the judge example is apt. The second amendment could be interpreted to bar laws that keeps a man from walking down the street pointing a loaded gun at everyone he sees — all he’s doing is bearing arms, after all, and that right shall not be infringed — but it’s pretty clear now that that’s not the way that provision is to be read. New judges are put on the bench all the time, and they don’t suddenly get to start interpreting the rule that way (the Supreme Court does, but that would be more like the Hall’s board deciding to change/clarify the rules).

        So if you start considering character as a bar to induction, you’re changing the rule. You don’t have to change the words to do it, but nonetheless, you’ve turned the actual rule on its head.

  6. Matt - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    1. That doesn’t adjust for the relatively inflated numbers that were probably achieved by those white-only baseball players during the WMLB days, which would have some impact over who actually deserved HOF consideration. Also, I wouldn’t want to tarnish what is ultimately a retroactive positive in the Negro Leagues special elections by having a ‘special election’ for the baseball years stained with the suspected cheating of an unknown number of players.
    2. The narrative as I hear it from the writers is that steroids were equally prevalent throughout the 90s and early 2000s, with speedy players, HR hitters, power pitchers, control pitchers all having their claim to players connected to steroids, so if you want to say the playing field was level for the amphetamine use, you’d have to also say it may have been for the steroid years.
    3. I don’t understand the distinction between types of cheating, in game or pre-game, it’s still against the rules either way. HOF pitchers have discussed how often they cheated, suggesting that enforcement was similarly lax regarding spitballs in their time.

    Unlike Mr. Harper, my argument isn’t based on the notion that the players I want to see enshrined are all great people, and should be given sainthood. Many of them may have cheated (although, I have still yet to see an actual study showing that steroids make you a better baseball player, just a more massive one) some even have evidence of such. I’m merely stating that while the dead-ball era pitchers are compared with their contemporaries, and the best voted in, the same should be done with the ‘steroid era’ (or juiced ball era, or expansion era, or small ball park era…as each of these were at least contributing factors in the offensive explosion seen).

  7. natsattack - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:32 AM

    I’m not saying it is my opinion, especially about the Braun/MVP scandal, but does taking PEDs/roids/HGH make a player any less valuable? Just a thought

    • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:43 AM

      I think if a team has to worry about 50 or 100 game suspensions, the value of the questionable player has to diminish in a eyes of the team, no?

      • Matt - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:03 AM

        Sure, it’s just like having an injury prone player on the team. He may be great, but at you can’t enter the season without a backup plan for Chipper Jones, and that hurts the overall roster flexibility.

  8. kiwicricket - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    Why would anyone want to go to a sports museum that didn’t have one of the best players to ever to play the game?

    • kiwicricket - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:45 AM

      Please, feel free to correct my English.

      • cur68 - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:21 AM

        Nah. The gods don’t like it when you do that. They will, without fail, introduce error into the correction then some smug bugger with a keyboard will point it out. We should have a name for this occurrence. Sod’s Law?

  9. natsattack - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:55 AM

    Yes, but Braun’s value in the season he used PEDs does not diminish, the suspension will effect his value the following year, which makes it harder to win the MVP that year.

    • garlicfriesandbaseball - Dec 21, 2011 at 2:55 AM

      It hasn’t been determined he used PED’s. Last I heard it was a prescribed medicine. And last I heard it was innocent until proven guilty. If they’re going to do the tests at least they might want to get it right don’t you think?

  10. bthart22 - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    The only reason we care about sports is the belief that excellence is achieved on a level playing field. That’s what makes it special, and that is what scumbags like Clemens, McGuire, and Bonds take from us. Bonds used the clear and the cream to take Aaron’s record and that is so disrespectful to the game and our race.

    • alang3131982 - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:09 AM

      At what point, in the history of baseball, was there a level playing field?

      • kellyb9 - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:57 AM

        There certainly isn’t a level playing field at minute maid park!

    • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:14 AM

      You are making the assumption (through your own perceptions) that steroids were the first instance of performance enhancing substances being used in baseball. This assumption ignores the rampant amphetamine use and abuse that ran rampant through professional baseball. If you ask me, the use of amphetamines would have a greater impact upon day to day performance than steroids.

    • alang3131982 - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:24 AM

      Also, the whole barring certain ethnic groups from playing wasnt exactly a level playing field for white athletes.

    • Jeremiah Graves - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:29 AM

      Not going to lie, I fail to take anyone seriously when they can’t spell McGwire correctly. I see this ALL THE TIME and it drives me nuts. If you want to get on some morality kick and run guys down, but you clearly never paid enough attention to the guy to know how his name is spelled, you’re not what I would call a “good source” of information.

      Sports are SPORTS…they are entertainment. It’s about time we all got the hell over ourselves and realized that. There’s a whole bunch of actors high on coke right now, that’s a performance enhancer(ish)…yet no one is demanding they return Oscars or go to jail. Why? It’s entertainment. Just. Like. Sports.

    • cur68 - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:33 AM

      bthart: Do you not don’t know what shenanigans have already been got up to by guys already in the hall? Seriously, the HOF is little more than the “Hall Of Famous Cheaters, Douchebags, & Pill Poppers Along with Some Guys On Whom We Have No Official Dirt Because It Was Covered Up By A Benevolent Press Back in The Day”. Mixed in there are some people who deserve to be there on merit alone exactly as the rules state. That last group are probably in the minority. I don’t care that it is so, but I am AWARE that it is so. As soon as I am aware of that, I cease to give a crap if Bonds is in it with them. His achievements tower above theirs in nearly every instance and his detraction as a person are no where near a bad as some others already enshrined.

  11. jhastrello - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Players are voted to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers of America. In short, they are elected based upon the opinions of those Baseball Writers. There are no guidelines listed as part of the ‘BBWAA Election Rules’ that specifies what the criteria is for election – simply rules governing who is eligible. There is no mention or inference given as to what would stand for election.

    If you go back earlier in Baseball History, the accepted criteria that many writers have used – changes over time. It is quite likely that many of the early HOF Members, would not be voted in today – given the standards of play that is required today.

    Who is to say, what truly constitutes ‘performance enhancing’ for todays performers, in comparison. Training regimes are advancing radically, especially with all of the high tech analysis tools available. Medical treatment; rehabilitation programs and the availability of authorized medical supplements today, were generally beyond the scope of what may have been deemed not acceptable – even back into the 60-70’s, much less the pre-WWII era.

    So, that leaves us with the question of what is the acceptable criteria for election into the BB HOF. The criteria is left up to each individual BB Writer that has ballot. It is an individual decision, pure and simple. Your contract and how much you are paid shouldn’t matter. Your individual standards on honesty, integrity, personal and political views shouldn’t matter. Being a ‘good guy’ versus a being a ‘bum’ shouldn’t matter. Your performance on the field over a given period of time (when you played) is all that should matter. If you performed at a ‘high level’ against the opponents that you faced, you should be eligible. Leaving someone off of your ballot, because you believe that he may have had some advantage – seems to me to show bias. If they were eligible to play; did play and performed at a superior level over their careers – they deserve to be considered in an un-biased fashion. Leaving them off of your ballot, or simply not considering their performance based upon something that you ‘believe’, is simply baised and spitefull.

  12. trevorb06 - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    When little German school kids go to history class, do they leave out the years of WWII?

    When American school kids go to history class, do they leave out the Great Depression or slavery?

    History, GOOD or BAD, is still history. You can’t just bury your head in the sand and pretend it didn’t happen.

    • danandcasey - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:14 AM

      I want to preface my statement by saying that, if I had a vote, I would vote for Bonds. Three reasons I guess – first, he was a hall-of-fame-caliber player before his head literally swelled. Second, I think MLB gave its tacit approval of Bonds’s actions. Third, he hit the ball a long way on those rare occasions that the other team actually let him play.

      Still, to your point, the Hall of Fame’s name is Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Its tag line is “Preserving History – Honoring Excellence – Connecting Generations.” The museum is separate from the Hall. Bonds’s exploits can be extolled in the museum without him being part of the Hall. If a sufficient number of writers believe that it would NOT “Honor Excellence” by including Bonds, then that is that – the process gives them the power. By doing so, I do not think the Hall of Fame and Museum would become “steroid deniers.” I would have a problem with the museum part excluding any reference to Bonds or other exploits of the “steroids era” – that would be contrary to “Preserving History.”

    • Kevin S. - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:44 PM

      Actually, Japanese history classes end right before WWII. They feel no shame over the Rape of Nanking because most of them don’t know what it is.

  13. fatass5 - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    Just put him in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. wolfwrack - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Look, make it simple – If the Hall of Fame is ok for Bonds, then Pete Rose should be there too. Fuck the commissioner, he’ll never get there. Rose has as much right to be there as Bonds does.

    • nategearhart - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:11 PM

      Pete Rose broke an existing rule with an existing consequence: banishment from baseball. Rose has less right to be there than Bonds does.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      No sense in Rose being in with Shoeless Joe staying out.

  15. thefalcon123 - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    .966 OPS
    164 OPS+
    411 homer runs and 445 steals
    1364 runs scored, 1216 RBIs
    3 MVP awards
    8 Gold Gloves
    8 Time All-Star
    103.4 WAR

    Is this guy a hall of famer? Because that guy is Barry Bonds at the end of 1998…when pretty much everyone agrees he wasn’t doing steroids. You can leave out people who you feel gained an advantage from steroids all you want. If this is the Barry Bonds cut off point, he’s still an *easy* hall of fame call.

    And the character clause didn’t matter they day the elected Ty Cobb…which was the first HOF vote ever.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:31 AM

      Those who voted for Ty Cobb were a different voting constituency than those who vote now, obviously. Why should voters now be bound by the decisions of the past? Also, I agree Bonds should be in.

      • thefalcon123 - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        Because precedent matter. We have our bar for what a hall of fame player is due to what voters chose in the past. But throwing precedent out the window, we could argue the hall of fame case for anyone at all for whatever reason we can think of.

        The hall of fame is filled to the brim with cheaters, racists, bad teammates, people who beat their wives, drunks…but they all have one thing in common: they were all better than most of their contemporaries at baseball. That is the common denominator in hall of fame selection, so let’s not all suddenly get high and mighty now that Barry Bonds is nearing the ballot.

  16. stevejeltzjehricurl - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Here’s my fervent wish — that someone like Larkin or Maddux or Griffey gets voted in. During their acceptance speech, they say something like, “I have a confession to make. During the course of my baseball career, I cheated. I’m not going to say how — it may be steroids, it may HGH, it may be amphetamines, I may have corked my bat, I may scuffed the ball, I may have drugged the opposition’s Gatorade. I don’t think any of it helped, but maybe it did. But none of us know, just like we don’t know how or if PED use helped guys achieve Hall of Fame numbers. So let’s get off our high horse and vote them in, and note on the plaques where proven that these guys used PEDs. Because now there’s at least one more cheater in the Hall of Fame. Now, should I go sit next to Gaylord Perry?”

  17. Max Power - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    I wouldn’t vote for Bonds if I had a Hall of Fame Vote.

    On the other hand, I might vote for Newt Gingrich for President.

    I don’t have to explain myself to you people.

  18. jonirocit - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Just vote him in losers . The same guys judging him are proly banging their secretary or looking or doing a little pick me up . Atleast while he was cheating he was giving millions to charity. What do you hypocrites give back ? Let me guess you give change to the people in the Santa outfit at the store.

  19. buffalomafia - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Whether you do steroids or not you still have to hit the ball first & play the feild!

    What about all the greenies players took back in the day?

    At Matt, your right how come the Braves keep Chipper Jones if he is injury prone? Why not get another 3rd baseman? Maybe thevBraves wouldn’t have choked?

    Put Bonds in the Hall of Fame!

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:12 PM

      I agree people seem to forget that Bonds won 2 batting titles while allegedly on roids, sorry but steroids won’t help you suddenly become a .370 hitter with only 47 strike outs. Believe anything you want about steroids but they wouldn’t have helped his batting eye which led him to low strikeouts and high walks (even non intentional ones) maybe he hit some balls further, but I think people overvalue what they can or can’t do for a player.

  20. cshearing - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    He definitely belongs. I do not share the…ambivalent attitude towards PEDs many here do, but I like thefalcon123’s argument; he was making the Hall before any of the PED use (apparently) happened anyhow.

    But I also do not like the idea of totally discounting PED use; I just have no better ideas to offer on how to deal with it.

  21. golfballtx - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Actually, he won’t make it BECAUSE of his treatment of writers during his entire career. Any other reason is unadulterated bunk!

    I have a question for all of the “roider haters” out there…..Has BB ever been reported as failing a drug test by MLB? Has he ever been proven to have broken rules of the game with respect to any PED? Not to my knowledge. And if he failed a drug test, it is the greatest secret ever kept!!!!! So, it looks like he should be considered with the same criteria as Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Wille Mays, Mickey Mantle, etc.

    Our society has become one that, due to personal shortcomings, takes joy in denigrating the accomplishments of those who succeed. We no longer try to pull ourselves up, but instead tear others down. No wonder people like Barack Obama and his ilk have risen to positions of power…..that is their MO.

  22. richie26 - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    My suggestion: put him and the other alleged PED users in the HOF next to all the pitchers that cheated by doctoring the baseball. There are plenty of them in there.

    • ireportyoudecide - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:51 PM

      How did Bonds cheat? Steroids were not cheating in baseball until 2005. What did Bonds do that was against the rules?

      • ireportyoudecide - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:37 PM

        Thumbs down becuase you don’t like him or you think he cheated? Please one person tell me what he did that was against the rules. You may not like the fact that he used steroids or HGH but it is pretty clear that he wasn’t breaking any rules.

      • richie26 - Dec 21, 2011 at 10:44 AM

        For the record, I do think that Bonds should be in the HOF. Also, I didn’t say he cheated, but there are those who believe he did. Yes, there were no rules against steroids. But for arguments sake, if the writers who cast a vote look at him as a “cheater”, then my response to them is to put him in anyway since the HOF is not “cheater” free. And he was a Hall of Famer before he allegedly took steroids. The history of Baseball is littered with players and managers trying to get an edge over the competition, with a blind eye from ownership.

  23. ssazz - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Bonds didn’t retire or end his career in 1998, so why should he get an arbitrary cut off point? His career numbers are inflated and false because he not only used PED’s, but did so defiantly, acting condescendingly toward anyone who dare challenge or call him out for the inflated numbers he put up as a result. Why should that be honored with a spot in the HoF? Can Hank Aaron at least get his record back from McGwire and Bonds (or Sosa) as a trade off? Or can Ruth get his career walks record back? It’s a completely unpersuasive argument. If people want to see the Hall as nothing more than a museum, fine, then go there and see the memorabilia of Bonds’ artificial records as currently exhibited.

    • ssazz - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      EDIT: I accidently left Maris’ name out for getting single season HR record back.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:43 PM

      “Bonds didn’t retire or end his career in 1998, so why should he get an arbitrary cut off point?”

      Because everyone pretty much accuses him of starting steroids in 1999.

      For those who keep spouting the absurd line that “Aaron should get his records back”, I say this. Fine. But be sure to go back through and wipe all the runs off the board that helped a team win those games. If that home run doesn’t count in Bonds’ career stats, why should the Giants as a team get credit for it? Should the Angels and Red Sox be stripped of their World Series crowns because the WS MVPs are now known to have done steroids? Why only punish the individual and not the teams that benefited from it too!

      The entire culture of MLB supported steroids either directly or by turning a blind eye. Trying to go back and paint make villains in a ridiculous witch hunt ignores the history of MLB. Wanna make villains out of cheaters? Fine, go picket next to Gaylord Perry’s plague, otherwise I tend to think you are a hypocritical douchebag.

      • ssazz - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:51 PM

        Wow, name calling on the internet. That’s always the sign of a powerful argument at work. Color me impressed.

        And why exactly is it “absurd” to point out Bond’s broke all-time records as a direct result of using steroids? You seem to be acknowledging just that fact in your weak attempt at deflection. (The answer to your absurd question btw, about why the Giants shouldn’t have all of his runs erased has been pointed out a couple of times in this thread already, it wasn’t illegal then. They stand, and his “records” stand as well unfortunately) Those “records” are documented in the Hall currently. Anyone who wants to look on them and celebrate them as legitimate are welcome to. We were discussing an individual honor, sorry you can’t make the distinction. (just like you can’t seem to between a spitballing pitcher, and a scientifically, artificially enhanced player who trampled over some of the single greatest individual accomplishments in the game) Aaron’s numbers were achieved legitimately, Bonds record breaking numbers were not. Nothing in your whiny “argument” changes the truth of that. The only thing you proved honestly is what a douchebag you are.

      • thefalcon123 - Dec 21, 2011 at 10:07 AM

        “(just like you can’t seem to between a spitballing pitcher, and a scientifically, artificially enhanced player who trampled over some of the single greatest individual accomplishments in the game)”

        This is the single most absurd justification I’ve ever heard of, and I know poor people who voted for Bush.

      • ssazz - Dec 21, 2011 at 5:44 PM

        More weak deflection, what a surprise. But coming from the guy who thinks it’s “absurd” to even point out that Bonds’ “records” are utterly fraudulent, I take the lame avoidance as a compliment.

        And congrats on knowing some poor people, but what that has to do with Bonds’ false assault on the MLB record book I couldn’t begin to tell you. I can’t even sarcastically say nice try, because it’s so pathetically lame.

  24. sjbryce - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    It would be a shame if Barry Bonds didn’t make the Hall of Fame. You can agree or disagree with me but hear me out first. I know that many people look down upon him for his steroid use and the way he treated media and fans, but this is about playing the game of baseball. Can anyone honestly say that he was not going to be one of the better baseball players of that generation if there were no steroids? No. It’s simple. He was one of the greatest of that era. He was the epitome of a 5 tool player even before steroids. He hit for power, average, had a good arm, was a gold glove left fielder, and was a base stealing threat. Of course he boosted those numbers by taking steroids, but how many HRs can you attribute to steroids? Actually how much further do steroids make you hit a ball. You still need to be a great athlete to hit a 100 MHP fastball. Steroids don’t give you eye hand coordination. My last point is that MLB and Bud Selig are the true people to blame for the steroid era. They can say all they want about not knowing what was going on, but who is really going to believe that? I know that some people have their own morals and would sit here and deny that they would take steroids. Most were never put it that position in the first place. These guys looked around and saw McGuire and Sosa getting paid boatloads of money because “chicks dig the long ball.” Bonds was a better athlete than those other two but saw those two getting all the pub and fame. So who can really say they wouldn’t want what those two had? Not me

  25. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    I like the honest morality that Harper provides as well.

    But it’s all arbitrary, and that can’t be measured. In 2011, would we vote in a racist drunk who argued with fans violently? Of course not. But Ty Cobb’s in there anyway.

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