The Baseball Writers Association of America got it wrong Wednesday denying Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds a bid into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
We all know the back story, Clemens and Bonds are two of the greatest baseball players of all time regardless of position, Clemens with more than 300 wins on the mound and Bonds with the all time home run record of 762. Those numbers however, have been enhanced by the use of steroids, and that’s where the slippery slope begins.
Regardless of their steroid use, the BBWAA was wrong to leave two of the all time greats out of the Hall of Fame.
Let’s back track to the days before Clemens and Bonds started juicing. Bonds was a five tool player and a consensus Hall of Fame outfielder, nobody would argue that at the time.
In 1997 Clemens left the Red Sox for the Blue Jays with Hall of Fame numbers, nobody would argue that at the time either.
Then came the steroid era, where Clemens and Bonds were two of hundreds of players that used performance enhancing drugs to put up ungodly numbers. Hitters used, pitchers used, the same fans and pundits who now condemn it loved it at the time and Major League Baseball turned a blind eye because of the games increased popularity that took a big hit after the 1994 strike.
Sure the integrity of Major League Baseball’s record book took a huge hit during the steroid era and Bonds’ home run record is at the forefront of the controversy. But the competitive balance of the game did not take a hit. The playing field was level in those years. All players could use steroids without fear of being punished and without fear of taking a drug test, and all players had equal opportunity to do so. One would have to be crazy and maybe even dumb not to use steroids during that era.