While one baseball great named Barry was elected to the Hall of Fame today, another is now just one year away from the possibility of being voted into the most prestigious club of baseball stars.
However, if today’s results were any indication, it’s unlikely that Barry Bonds will get the required 75 percent of the votes to be inducted into the Hall anytime soon.
In fact, Barry Larkin was the only player to receive the necessary amount of votes to enter Baseball’s Hall of Fame today.
On the other hand, the support for Mark McGwire and Rafeal Palmeiro, two players that have been linked to steroid use, has remained scarce during their time on the ballot and today was no exception. Despite their wonderful statistics, McGwire has never received more than 24 percent of the votes and Palmeiro hasn’t eclipsed the 13 percent mark.
This doesn’t bode well for Bonds. Regardless of whether or not he, along with two other alleged steroid users who will be on next year's ballot (Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa), ever failed a drug test, the Baseball Writers Association of America will not change its stance on steroids.
To them, the evidence presented against Bonds in the book Game of Shadows along with the court documents that claim he tested positive for steroids when they weren’t against the rules are enough to keep him out of Cooperstown. The same goes for the evidence against Sosa and Clemens.
The only thing that Bonds might have in his favor is that perhaps some writers will look at the consistency of his greatness and his god-like career numbers and vote for him based on the notion that he still would have been great regardless of whether or not he juiced.
The consensus of many fans and writers is also that both Bonds and Clemens didn’t take steroids until they had already established themselves as stars, whereas players like Sosa and McGwire took them just to get to that level of greatness in the first place.
Of course, there is no hard evidence to tell when any of these players started using steroids, if in fact they used them at all. McGwire is the only one of these players who has admitted to taking steroids, but he never disclosed a specific year when he started taking them.
Nevertheless, these are the opinions of some BWAA members, which makes you wonder if this association needs to develop a strict set of rules in terms of how to deal with alleged steroid users and proven steroid users.
Should they simply raise the bar for all players linked to performance-enhancing drugs and require them to achieve higher statistics than the other Hall of Famers?
Or would it be better for them to just create a separate room in the Hall of Fame for all players linked to PEDs and call it “The Asterisk Room?”
As long as there is a grey area surrounding whether these players took steroids and how much it may have impacted their performance, there will always be a grey area around letting them into the Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately for players like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, it looks like they’ll be in the wrong part of that grey area when it comes time to vote on who gets into the Hall of Fame in 2013.