Voters cheat cheater Barry Bonds out of Hall of Fame


Steroids are germane to the question of whether Barry Bonds belongs in the all-time outfield, but not to whether he belongs in the Hall of Fame. He belongs in Cooperstown, but the steroid rage of non-users kept him out.

The Hall of Fame election results were just announced on MLB Network and for the eighth time, nobody was elected. An elector for the 16th year, I voted for a personal-record eight players.

Craig Biggio was the leading vote recipient, appearing on 68 percent of the ballots. A player must be on 75 percent of the ballots to enter the Hall of Fame.

Back to Bonds. He doesn’t belong in the all-time outfield because with Willie Mays in center, flanked by Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, there simply isn’t room for Bonds, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb or Oscar Charleston. If Bonds’ numbers were not steroid-inflated, they would merit him a spot in the all-time lineup.

Keeping Bonds out of Cooperstown because he juiced so mightily his head swelled and made it look as if he were auditioning for a part as a Klingon in the next Star Trek flick ignores what a great ballplayer he was before cheating.

A lousy baseball player, I learned to trust my ears more than my eyes when covering the game and did have a skill for knowing where to go to get the unvarnished truth. Bobby Cox was one such source of knowledge. The guy doesn’t have time for nonsense. I’ll never forget the Bonds conversation I had with Cox, one of my favorite managers in his dugout.

I asked him if I were correct in my belief that Ken Griffey Jr. ranked No. 1 in the game at the time. He held up two fingers, meaning someone ranked ahead of him.

“Griffey’s great,” Cox said. “But if you put it in just the right spot, you can get him out. Bonds doesn’t have a spot. The best pitchers in the game can throw pitches exactly where they want them and he’ll go down there and get them. I don’t know how he does it.”

This was before Bonds’ cap grew three sizes. The only fair way to vote is to make as informed a guess as possible as to whether a player juiced — a Hall of Fame ballot is an opinion document, not a legal one — deflate the numbers of those you think cheated and go from there. But automatically ban them because they were doing what at least half the hitters and many pitchers were doing? Please.

Keeping Bonds out of Cooperstown because he grew modern muscles in the latter stages of his career is even more foolish than keeping John Hadl out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame because of his poor play with the Green Bay Packers and Houston Oilers after having an exceptional career with the San Diego Chargers and Los Angeles Rams.

Bonds was the first name I checked on my Hall of Fame ballot and Roger Clemens was the second, not just because that happens to be the alphabetical order of the (personal-high) eight players for which I voted.

The others: Edgar Martinez, Mark McGwire (first time), Jack Morris, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines (first time) and Curt Schilling. Every one with the exception of Piazza was a tough call. So were exclusions Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio.

Sammy Sosa? Easy call. He was one player when his body called to mind the Michelin Man, a much weaker force when he looked like an old-fashioned ballplayer.


brutus 5 years, 5 months ago

I say treat him like Pete Rose. Never when he is alive and only maybe when he is dead.

LAJayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

The Hall ruled in 1991 that Shoeless Joe would never be admitted (70 years after the fact), and they did that then because of the Pete Rose situation. If they aren't going to let in Joe Jackson, they certainly never will allow Pete Rose in for doing something very similar.

What they said in 1991 is that players on baseball's ineligible list would not be considered for election. So the only way Rose could be considered is if the MLB took him off the ineligible list... which will never, ever happen.

riverdrifter 5 years, 5 months ago

I agree. No juicers in the HOF. The steroid age of MLB must be ignored for a generation or two.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 5 months ago

Real Deal, Dare I ask how I lost your respect?

Tom Keegan 5 years, 5 months ago

Max, You're right. Should have mentioned Stan the Man as one of those not making the cut, but I wouldn't put him ahead of Willie, Babe or Hank.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 5 months ago

I knew I shouldn't have asked. ... Anyway, the Bonds/Clemens omissions are disappointing.

Gary McCullough 5 years, 5 months ago

The problem with doping is we can never know how good the player could have been without the drugs. If he could be a great player without the dope, why did he resort to cheating? I think there are requirements for Cooperstown and every other sports hall of fame. Playing fair is fundamental in games. If the player is caught cheating, whether it involves gambling or taking performance enhancing drugs, they cannot be considered eligible for induction. Period!

Chris Bailey 5 years, 5 months ago

Ha! Yeah I wouldn't have asked ether. I don't like every article every guy writes on here. Get tired of you being thrown under the bus. Get over it people. Anyway, I think your votes were spot on. I think I could have cast the exact same ballot if I were able. Unbelievable so many are crucifying Bonds & Clemons. Do we all forget how great they were even early on in their careers? If you talked about baseball in the 80's and 90's you couldn't do it without mentioning the above names. Enough said. They are all worthy and the 8 better make it at some point. I have fond memories of watching each of them even if I didn't like them or their team. Stats don't lie!!

VancouverHawk 5 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps I'm unusual but I think its a tough call. In my view, it is likely that Bonds would've had the numbers for the Hall of Fame even without the performance enhancing drugs. So on that we agree. But I'm less sure what I think about the other criteria one is supposed to invoke for the Hall - such as character and integrity. Did Bonds cheat? Yes, it seems in a pretty clear sense that he did. Isn't this a mark against his character and integrity? Here is where I guess it gets a little complicated - if you are right that half of the players were similarly cheating, then I guess your might argue that it doesn't seem so bad. But still, I think it is hard for many voters to overlook his (and Clemens, etc.) failure on these other criteria.

Then again, maybe we should just forget character and sportsmanship, and say, well, he was probably the greatest player of his era, so he should go in the Hall.

Jake Waddle 5 years, 5 months ago

Bonds was a greedy cheater... he saw the fame and popularity McGuire and Sosa got during their HR chase and being a 30/30 player just wasn't getting him the attention he wanted. Because of this he began to use steroids. Its sad for him and fans that he wasn't strong enough to accept the HOF career he was on pace to have, instead he sought the attention of more and more people through the use of steroids to increase his power numbers. Does Bonds have the pure numbers to be in the Hall... OF COURSE. However, if you allow a man who cheated his way into history to gain the highest of honors (in any sport) you would be sending the wrong message to anyone who plays/watches the game. NO WAY he deserves to be in... I know your job is to attract readers by writing touchy articles such as this, but I really hope you don't actually think Bonds deserves in!?

Jake Waddle 5 years, 5 months ago

P.S. Rock Chalk tonight! I HATE the cyclowns.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 5 months ago

Iowajayhawk, I don't write for reaction. I write my honest opinions, so you never have to question whether I truly believe what I write. Where do you draw the line on cheating? Is stealing signs cheating? Taking amphetamines? I don't mean to equate the effect of those forms of cheating to steroids, but if 60 percent of the hitters were juicing— I believe the number was that high — do you think only the 40 percent of the highest character should be eligible? Athletes forever seek an edge. Unfortunately, steroids were abused by more than half the hitters. So I deflate the numbers of those who used and see if they still are Hall of Famers. Sure, it involves guessing, but steroids have muddled the process.

kugrad93 5 years, 5 months ago

How does a writer who doesn't cover MLB and doesn't live in an MLB city get a vote in the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Tom Keegan 5 years, 5 months ago

If you cover Major League Baseball for 10 consecutive years, you become a lifetime member of the BBWAA and a lifetime Hall of Fame voter. I covered baseball for the Orange County Register (1985-89), the National Sports Daily (1990-92), the Daily Southtown in Chicago (1992-94), the Baltimore Sun (1994) and the New York Post (1995-2002).

Eric TheCapn 5 years, 5 months ago

That's a very poignant article. Thanks bad_dog. The most relevant paragraph? "Plenty of the association’s active members do not cover the sport regularly; there are editors, general assignment writers and so on. They hold the card mainly for the convenience of access. But if they hold it long enough, they can keep voting no matter what they cover. (The New York Times does not permit its reporters to vote for awards.)"

Tom Keegan 5 years, 5 months ago

How steroids helped hitters:

  1. Made them stronger, which added distance to the balls they hit.

  2. Made their bats quicker, which in an indirect, subtle way made their batting eyes better because it gave them that extra instant to distinguish a strike from a ball and to pinpoint the pitch's location.

  3. Hastened the recovery of injured players, getting them back in the lineup quicker.

How they hurt:

  1. Led to young people, all the way to the high school level, using them, hence putting their mental and physical health at risk.

  2. Shortened some careers because the frame is meant to carry only so much weight and if a playe'rs muscles became too big, the frame could break down.

Myths about steroids:

  1. They only became illegal since 2004, when testing started. Wrong, there has been a written rule against steroid use since 1991.

  2. Only those who have been outed used them. A ton of guys were using, according to off-the-record conversations I had with players when I was covering Major League Baseball and conversations I've had with former players since they retired and I moved onto covering college sports.

  3. Steroids started during the McGwire-Sosa home run chase. They were gaining steam in the '80s, when there was a debate as to whether the baseball had become harder, more live. There are some who believe that a doctor was giving Mickey Mantle injections of a drug to help his knees in 1961. The drug not only helped his knees, but made him much stronger overall. He supposedly told Roger Maris about it and encouraged him to use it. Maris had a career year, broke Ruth's record and his hair started falling out. The hair loss always has been attributed to the stress of chasing Ruth and the abuse he received from fans who thought if someone should break Ruth's record, that someone should be Mantle, not Maris. Do I believe that Mantle's knee medicine helped him and Maris have huge power years. Don't know. I was only 2 years old and Maris and Mantle are gone.

wildjayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

You need to be in the Hall of the Outhouse.

NJHAWK 5 years, 5 months ago

Nice article and responses, Keeg. Next year, show some love to Bagwell and Biggio - ultimate team players. If they would have played for an east coast team, I bet that both of them would be in HOF conversation on every radio and TV station.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 5 months ago

Biggio was toughest call and I can see myself voting for him next year. I agree that Bagwell was ultimate team player and a very smart player. I wouldn't go ultimate team player on Biggio. A close inspection of every double he ever hit will show that when he was chasing record, he turned a couple of triples into doubles. A nitpick, but I think a disturbing one.

RockChalkIowa2010 5 years, 5 months ago

Tom - by this assertion your idea that these players were "great" before PED use comes into serious question. Couldn't that have been using PED's then, too?

Tom Keegan 5 years, 5 months ago

They could have been, but that's where educated guess comes in. Bonds got noticeably bigger. An equipment manager said his cap size became three sizes bigger. There was no other explanation for the freakish changes in his body. But you're right, it's not an exact science, but offering opinions on any matter is not pure science.

hawk316 5 years, 5 months ago

Keegan unleashed! Wow! Tom, I love seeing your different responses in the Comments section. It's fun seeing you interact with your readers, and I would encourage you to make it a habit.

I also appreciate your knowledgeable insight about baseball (very interesting speculation about Mantle and Maris, by the way. I had not heard that before). As a long time Dodger fan, I have followed the sport for a good number of years. Were you a little surprised, as I was, that Piazza didn't get in?

Tom Keegan 5 years, 5 months ago

A Dodger fan, that triggers some memories. I gained 20 pounds in Vero Beach in six-plus weeks in 1988, eating at Dodgertown during the day and Bobby's III at night. I was mildly surprised Piazza did not get in, but more surprised that Bonds and Clemens received so little support.

Lasorda was giving me the rookie treatment that spring, never calling me by name, sneering at my questions. A veteran writer told me whatever I do, don't play basketball with him. "He's a dirty player and no good can come of it," said the late, great Terry Johnson.

I loved playing basketball back then, so I ignored the advice. I went up for a shot and Lasorda wound up and hit me in the gut harder than I'd ever been hit and he was, I think, 61 at the time. Strong man. The shot went in and more importantly, I didn't call a foul or complain. That was the start of a good working relationship that developed into a friendship.

Unfortunately, the weight from that spring never came off, went in the other direction. It became tougher and tougher to play basketball and now I wouldn't think of risking my Achilles, heart, etc.

hawk316 5 years, 5 months ago

Ha! Thanks for the great Lasorda story, Tom. I met him once years ago outside the Dodger clubhouse. I was there as a guest of Johnny Werhas who played third base for the club for a brief time and then later did some work with the Baseball Chapel program. Lasorda was very warm to me, but of course, I was not a rookie journalist. :-)

And we both know that Piazza is an eventual lock. His offensive numbers for his position practically guarantee it.

hawk316 5 years, 5 months ago

P.S. And you're right. Bonds was probably good enough to get into the HOF without using steroids.

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for the honest responses and the insights Tom! I had no idea that you were a baseball writer and worked for so many different publications.

Brian Skelly 5 years, 5 months ago

Last night on MLB network they had a roundtable of guys who debated the good, the bad, and the ugly with this years (and clearly the next several) HOF balloting.

The good thing with this years voting is that it will get us a revamped system sooner than later. The number of people who get a ballot is an complete and utter joke. Anyone who doesnt think this is a big part of the problem isnt paying attention, or is actually part of the problem. It's turned into something nearly as unscientific and uninformed as most internet polls. Pure emotion and opinion... as Keegan has so gracefully presented himself here. Understand too, im not partial to either argument -- steroid yes, steroid no -- there's simply to many voters who's information isnt any better than anyone who's been a season ticket holder for decades. And we arent letting them vote.

If one covers a team (or has) -- im assuming Keegan has at some point -- otherwise how did he get his vote... they should be able to have one. But after one relinquishes those duties they should have a grace period (5 years maybe?) and then be done with it. Wanna keep voting for it? Go back to work on the baseball beat or in the baseball press box. Otherwise, you lose it.

With so many people who vote but dont actually cover baseball, its screwed up the process to the Nth degree. Dont forget guys who do radio broadcasts of teams (thought to be to homerish) dont get votes. Yet who watches more baseball than those guys? And we dont include them? Politics at its finest.

I dont do this to pick on Keegan. When and if he covered a MLB team he should have been bestowed the privileged of voting. But while opining about the comings of goings of things here in Jayhawk Nation, he shouldnt be still determining who gets into the Hall of Fame or not.

brutus 5 years, 5 months ago

A man lives his whole life as a great husband and father. For 20 years he does everything a great husband a father does. Then he goes on a rampage and kills his family. Is he a great husband and father or a murderer? The crime trumps everything. These guys were great athletes that turned into cheats. Not only cheaters, but liars too.
Are they Hall of Famers or Cheats and Liars? Cheaters, Liars.

RockChalkIowa2010 5 years, 5 months ago

Stop calling them "cheaters" and "steroids" and call them what they are. Professionals who knowingly took Performance Enhancing Drugs with the knowledge that if they were every caught their name and reputation would be irreparably damaged. They saw what happened to Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe, do you not believe, regardless if everyone else was taking them, that the same thing would befall them? I do.

What makes baseball unique is the ability to use statistics to quantify a players greatness. For over 100 years players were on an equal playing field. Anyone could steal a sign, scuff a ball, or put too much resin on their bat. These may have helped players that individual day but baseball has a way of evening the score the next day when the individual catches a fastball in the spleen.

What I'm trying to say is - regardless of how skilled a baseball player was before his use of PED's or if PED's only added 10 HR's to an already 60 HR season (Bonds) the fact of the matter is that Performance Enhancing Drugs skewed the one definitive always used to compare players of different generation - statistics. They did so knowingly and they knew the repercussions would be dramatic.

If a college student has the best grade in the class, is well prepared for a test, and has correctly answered 80% of the questions but uses their neighbor to help with the 20% they're hazy on, and is caught, they still receive an F for the class and have a potential to be kicked out of school. Their previous performance isn't taken into account and it is forever documented in their transcripts. They are ineligible for any scholarships, honors, or end of the year/graduation awards. I do not see how this is any different.

RockChalkIowa2010 5 years, 5 months ago

Also - LJW. Please take this off the site. shouldn't be an outlet for an opinion editor to write about whatever he pleases.

Secondly, Tom, what do you do all day? These "opinion" articles seemingly take no more than an hour to write and require no fact checking. The quotes you use are always tailored to your story - in the sense that you ask players/coaches questions with the story already written in your mind and you're just waiting for them to agree with you. So it seems you never actually DO any reporting.

So. What do you do?

hawk316 5 years, 5 months ago

Wow, Rock, just a little harsh, don't you think? If you scroll through all the comments to Keegan's story, you can easily ascertain that his article produced a great deal of interest. Isn't that one of the objectives of a journalist?

LAJayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago


I definitely respect the argument that he was better before he juiced. That's actually an argument I've made myself. He was one of the best the game has seen... then he decided to jam needles into himself. Ironically, that actually hurt his legitimacy as a player. But I get the logic of thinking he deserves to be in.

I do disagree, however, with the "a majority of other players where doing it" argument. I think that is logically invalid. If you cheat, you cheat regardless of how many others are cheating with you. And to answer your question above, there are many ways to cheat. Some are worse than others, and I think you have to judge them that way, on a case by case basis.

David Leathers 5 years, 5 months ago

For instance, driving 10 MPH over the speed limit and murdering are both illegal; however, only one warrants prison time.

GobiasIndustries 5 years, 5 months ago

Tom, this is a well considered ballot. Although I would have liked to see you fill your ballot with two of Trammell, Walker or Lofton.

Its nice to see someone bring up amphetamines in the PED discussion. There are many PED users in the Hall of Fame already, so I have never understood why steroids (or even worse, allegations of steroid use in most cases) are held to a different standard,

Also, Jack Morris. ugh

Tom Keegan 5 years, 5 months ago

Trammell and Lofton had terrific careers, but I loved what Harold Reynolds said today: "Just because you didn't make the Hall of Fame doesn't mean you had a disappointing career." They fall just short for me. Thanks for mentioning Walker. I should have put him on my tough-call list. Coors Field helped inflate his numbers, but he was more than a numbers guy. He was an excellent right fielder and good baserunner. Injuries hurt him.

stigs 5 years, 5 months ago

Maybe Walker should have juiced to keep himself on the field like McGwire. In fact, since you try to discount the improved stats from PED users, maybe you should inflate the stats of the players who played by the rules to re-level the playing field.

Dyrk Dugan 5 years, 5 months ago

he lost me at McGwire. to vote in McGwire is an absolute joke. he had a few decent years before the 'roids...and then he exploded. after he was off of 'em, he went away very quickly.

Bonds had a career .444 on base percentage...that's CAREER. during the 'roid era? in a four year stretch, and this includes his monstrous 2001, he went ..515, .582, ..529 and .609........609!! every five times he came up, he reached base three times. it's a nonsense, out of this world number.

and that's what 'roids did. it made these players superhuman....Bonds didn't need 'roids to be great...he was already great. and there's a price to be paid for going over the limit...and that's what these 'roiders did...they pushed too far.

does Barry Bond deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? of course. i think Clemens does too. but they played too long, and their numbers after they were "old" were too can't have it all.

Jeff Coffman 5 years, 5 months ago

Tom, Why did you vote for McGuire this year, but not last year?

If any of the thought has to do with Steroids, PEDs, Aminos, etc., you've proven why Bonds, Clemens or others should not be admitted.

If you say he just isn't a first ballot HOF, I'd like to understand why people think there is a difference.

Anyways, I appreciate the debate. I must say I lean towards keeping them out. The rules were clear and they chose to ignore the rules.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 5 months ago

Fair question. He is not the only case of flip-flopping on my part. Some guys are just such tough calls, your opinion changes. He undoubtedly was helped by steroids, which forces me to dilute his numbers. But he hit 49 HR as a rookie when he was slender and made 12 All-Star Games. If nobody in the game did steroids, would McGwire have been one of the top home run hitters in the game? We'll never know, but probably. As for the case of one-dimensional, if that dimension is hitting home runs, that helps the entire lineup. McCovey and Killebrew made it based mainly on home runs. Will I always vote for McGwire, I can't say for sure, but I'm thinking I probably will. His admission that he did steroids didn't change my opinion on whether he did them. I would have staked my life on him being a steroid user. He was the loudest one during his career about criticizing writers for speculating on rampant steroid use in baseball. I remember one interview in which he angrily said, "We're just that good," implying the players who came before him weren't. That was a horribly disrespectful statement, harmful to the game's past. I didn't hold it against him for slamming writers because that's just part of being a sportswriter. I held it against him for indirectly slamming the players who came before him.

BigDog 5 years, 5 months ago

Tom, Looking at your ballot shows exactly what sports writers have done to the Baseball Hall of Fame already ..... It has become the Baseball Hall of the Good to Really Good

Tom Keegan 5 years, 5 months ago

BigDog, Actually, your opinion that my standards are too lenient is your opinion and there is no challenging that. But I do challenge you using my ballot to accuse writers in general of watering down the standards. I voted for eight players. The writers in general did not induct a single player. As another commenter pointed out, I was not in lockstep with the writers this year. It's a common criticism, but I've never bought that the writers of today are too lenient. For example, I don't think today's writers would have inducted Rick Ferrell, a seven-time All-Star catcher who in 18 years batted .281 with 28 home runs and 734 RBIs.

Eric TheCapn 5 years, 5 months ago

The most ridiculous statement in this article: "Keeping Bonds out of Cooperstown because he grew modern muscles in the latter stages of his career is even more foolish than keeping John Hadl out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame because of his poor play with the Green Bay Packers and Houston Oilers."

John Hadl did not intentionally play poorly in an effort to cheat, and Bonds did a lot more than "[grow] modern muscles." He cheated, for years, and sullied the name of America's past time for years (with a handful of other players). That is so not even close to the same. Chronic cheaters deserve no honor; voting for them is a disgrace.

texashawk10 5 years, 5 months ago

I'm very biased, but Bagwell and Biggio need to be in. As for the steroids issue, if a player was nothing more than a pure homerun hitter (McGwire, Sosa, Canseco) then they shouldn't be in because position players need to be more than 1 dimensional. Players like Bonds who were great all around players should be in because they were more than a 1 dimensional player/

AirCapJay 5 years, 5 months ago

Sports is just entertainment. Some like myself like to see humans go to the extreme in order to win. I look at performance enhancing drugs as the equalizer as they all use them. The players using the drugs still have to work their butts off to succeed. They spend hours working out everyday. They push their bodies to the max and beyond. I want to see guys knock the ball out of the park, or ride a bike for 200 miles per day, or run a kick-off back for a TD. I don't care. I think most are being hypocritical when they judge another for pushing themselves to super-human levels. So I say... So What?

yovoy 5 years, 5 months ago

ACJ, I've been saying this since the hype on 'roids got to be such a big deal. I WANT to see a human run an 8.93 100m. I WANT to see a guy hit the ball 800 feet. I WANT to see someone kick a 70-yard field goal. I want to start a "cheaters" league, in whatever sport, where clean athletes that IMO are already super-human, become HYPER-human. Do I still want to watch "regular" old super-humans compete? Yes, but from time to time I want to tune in and watch somebody that knows they're going to flame out really push the envelope, and be out there on the bleeding edge. I can't be alone. I can't be the only one that doesn't sport a holier-than-thou attitude about PED like it's some sort of crown. I'm only semi-serious about any of that, and I'm dead-serious about other 50% of it.

The old "chicks dig the long ball" ad should've been everyone digs the long ball. MLB rode that maxim back to relevance. It brought people that were starting to show some interest in Soccer back to America's Pastime. Hell, I've never played a soccer game, but I've been to World Cup games even if I haven't even wanted to go to a World Series game. It's one thing to watch a horse race, but it's a completely different desire that makes me want to watch open-run on the Bonneville Salt Flats. I love them both, but I know they are different things. A few years ago, when (as it is) my contention that baseball got "serious" about steroids and hitters, that the next thing that the MLB would do to recover it's 'image' would be to make the "aughties" and the "teens" be about masterful pitching. Was I right? Look at the numbers over the last 6 years or so? How many no-nos? How man perfect games? How many for the same period previous? It's my guess that MLB is using the ascendance of the pitcher as "proof" that their anti-doping stance is a success. If Jim Joyce (1B ump that admittedly cost Gallaraga a perfect game in '10) had just been some no-name umpire, do you think he'd still be working MLB? Do you think Selig would've reversed the call? It would've drawn too much attention to the concept that pitchers were more valued in the "new" and "cleaner" MLB than batters were.

I'm glad that Mr. Keegan mentions Mantle's knee meds, because it brings up a point that no one ever seems to mention when it comes to the heros of the game: cheating to gain a competitive edge in sports is not new. It's not new to MLB, or any sport. If we believe that pre-steriods players didn't cheat (wildly) we're just deluded enough to stick with "believing" in professional sports, and we're just deluded enough to think that some cheaters belong in the HOF while others don't. If Bonds had been the media darling that the narrow-minded wanted him to be, I think he'd be in the HOF. If he'd have had more Willie Mays/Michael Jordan and less Jack Johnson/Bill Russell, I think the public perception/media opinion of him would be a bit different.

Phil Leister 5 years, 5 months ago

Look at Keegan coming out of the woodwork and responding to comments. Roids and baseball are obviously something he's passionate about.

BigDog 5 years, 5 months ago

Keegan - Have you been consistent in your vote or opinion on this? Did you or would you vote for Hank Aaron, Mike Schmidt, Gaylord Perry? ..... Under your terms they are not Hall of Famers

By their own admission, both Hank Aaron and Mike Schmidt have used "greenies" ... amphetamines that are considered performance-enhancing drugs. Players like Gaylord Perry used foreign substances to gain a pitching advantage(spitballs, vaseline, nail files to scuff ball, etc.), activities deemed illegal by the rules of the game.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 5 months ago

BirdDog. I'm confused. Under my terms, Bonds and Clemens are Hall of Famers. I voted for them.

Brian Skelly 5 years, 5 months ago

While it gets heated up around the hall of fame debate, I do find it interesting that when lesser players are caught doing it -- Pettite, Ankiel, Glaus -- there seems to be no outrage about it whatsoever.

All 3 have been quoted as saying they did it to remain on the field. How in the hell is taking something that keeps you on the field (that isnt legal by the way) not a 'competitive advantage'???

Im okay if one takes either position on the steroids yes, steroids no position. But be consistent. The sliding scale of piety that goes on with this debate tends to show the unreal hypocrisy involved with all this.

I'd also dispute that McGwire didnt "do anything" before he started roiding up. My guess is he started taking them to "stay on the field". He hit several hundred homers before cycling up with Jose Canseco in the mens room it sounds like. He also walked (and struck out) like crazy both at the beginning, middle, and end of his career. Im not saying vote or dont vote for him. But dont use the sliding scale that's getting thrown around here to judge him with -- or the other roids guys as well who arent Bonds and Clemens.

KGphoto 5 years, 5 months ago

2 cents from some clean Hall of Famers.

I have a ton of respect for Goose. I get to talk to him a few times a year at various events and at his youth sports complex where he is a great mentor and coach. (He will still brush you back, by the way, and he can still bring it.) I have to go with him on this. Everything Barry did before the roids was wiped away by a stupid decision. You can't have two separate careers, and get elected for the clean one. Either you knowingly cheated or you didn't.

Others may have cheated too, and if they did so, then no Hall of Fame for them. It's pretty simple really. If Hank Aaron cheated. Yank him from the Hall. Babe Ruth? Yank him. It's the pearly gates of America's pass-time and passage should be for the pure.

Where to draw the line? Proof and magnitude. Did he get caught? How much advantage was gained by the act? Did Sammy Sosa's corked bat fly through the infield? Oh hell yeah! Did that bat help his HR total balloon? We'll have to assume so. That AND roids. No Hall of Fame for him. Did Gaylord Perry get ejected for greasing? Not for 20 years, but eventually. Did it help him garner HOF stats? Hell yeah. No Hall.

Hank Aaron took greenies? I don't know, did he? Does it even matter? They weren't even illegal at the time. I do know I didn't see Hank Aaron hulking out of his uniform in his late 30s. He was very consistent with his play over his career, so I have no reason to believe whatever he did was giving him much of an advantage. Hall pass.

I like all the charisma and creativeness of the cheaters over the years. The greasers and corkers and even the roid heads. They have contributed to the games history and entertained in their own way, but to me the Hall of Fame is reserved for those who did it the right way. The ones who didn't cheat the game to advance their careers.

Jeff Coffman 5 years, 5 months ago

I know that many people reference the Mickie Mantle and other references. According to Tom's Post, in 1991 Baseball put into place a rule stating no Steroids. I don't know how prescriptive this was; however, anyone that used after that rule was place in existence, should not be in HOF.

If baseball came out and said I don't care if you use PEDs today, I would be all for everyone using, and based on some of the results, some would argue the game would be better. All I am saying is the rules were specific and people chose to ignore the rules.

Sam Constance 5 years, 5 months ago

Disappointed by how many people take such a hard-line stance on keeping alleged PED users out of the Hall of Fame.

You want the HOF to be worthless? Keep on omitting guys like Bonds. The problem with keeping guys who you KNOW used PEDs out of the Hall is that you automatically place a premium on those who avoided getting caught.

Also worth noting: there is no proof that Bonds used PEDs. I'm not going to sit here and argue that he didn't because it's a waste of everyone's time. But show me a positive test on Bonds' record, THEN let's talk about the holier-than-thou writers keeping Bonds out of the Hall. Personally, I like Jayson Stark's take on the matter:

It seems like a smarter idea to induct people based on whether their numbers warrant it, then asterisk EVERYONE who is inducted and played during the "steroids era".

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