Another one bites the dust.
With this week's disappointing, yet predictable news that Sammy Sosa failed a drug test in 2003, the running list of great home run hitters linked to PED's continues to grow.
While many people had already subconsciously assumed this to be true, the news put another dark cloud over America's past time once again.
Then, the discussions began, does Sammy Sosa still belong in the Hall of Fame?
Every analyst said no to Sosa's chances, but Timmy Kurkjian distinguished himself by saying he was planning on voting for all the greatest players of the "steroid era" for the simple reason that "we don't know who was doing it."
His statement got me thinking.
This is not just about Sosa, it is about everyone who has used PED's.
I could not disagree more with Kurkjian, or anyone else who wants to induct players that have used PED's. To me, it's a no-brainer.
Why in the world would we want to put players who cheated into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
The mere thought boggles my mind.
These are players that cheated. There is no other way to describe it. They blatantly put substances into their body to give themselves a distinct advantage.
And now we want to give these cheaters the benefit of the doubt because some of their opponents possibly could have been cheating too?
What does this say about the people involved in baseball? What kind of message is it portraying? Yes, you cheated, but we think other players did too, so you're off the hook.
Am I missing something?
These are people that broke the rules of a game they should have the utmost respect for, the game that made them everything they were in life. These are people that lied in front of Congress. The vast majority of them never were punished during their playing careers, and have yet to be punished in the legal aspect either.
And now, we are electing them into the Hall of Fame?
Why should I give Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, or Rafael Palmeiro the benefit of the doubt?
And you know what, even if 100% of the players were taking PED's, which is obviously not true, they still do not deserve to be inducted into a place where only the best baseball players of all-time reside.
It is because if they were that good, they would not have had to cheat and if they could have made it into the Hall of Fame without cheating, then they really blew it, but to congratulate these players for cheating is preposterous.
If I am playing golf and I cheat, would anybody consider me a winner? No, I don't care how many good shots I hit legitimately, or how many strokes I win by. Cheating is cheating, that's why it's against the rules.
Why would this be any different in baseball?
It doesn't matter how many home runs Mark McGwire hits, or how good he could have been without the assistance of steroids, he cheated; and for that he should be punished, or at the very least, not rewarded by getting inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Some voters have said that if they do not vote for players who took PED's, then this era of baseball would not have enough representatives in the Hall of Fame.
Rewarding cheaters does not do anything to fix this issue.
If I'm Gil Hodges, I'm rolling over in my grave if the day comes that Mark McGwire or anybody who took PED's is elected into the HOF.
It is a slap in the face to all of the great players of the past that played the great game of baseball with integrity and respect.
Baseball has done a much better job recently in testing, and cracking down on violations of the drug policy. For a sport that has taken such a beating over the last decade, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
When the time comes, that these players are on the Hall of Fame ballot, all of their progress would be erased by a one cheater being inducted.
Luckily, the voters have a a few more years to consider the situation.
For the respect of the game, the respect for the legends, and the goodness of the future, let's hope they make the right decision.
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