Steroids. For the past 20 years, many players used this PED among others to get an edge on other players. In 2003, Major League baseball randomly tested players and a reported 103 tested positive for a banned substance.
Since then, names—big names—have slowly been leaked out to the public. Names like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Rameriz, David Ortiz, and many others.
The media and players have all said that these players deserve no recognition at all and should not be allowed into the Hall of Fame.
Many think that Barry Bonds' home run record should have an asterisk next to it.
Various players decline ever using PED's. One of them, Roger Clemens, even went to court over the accusations.
Others have made excuses to try to make it seem as if it wasn't their fault. No matter how you look at it, they still cheated, right?
Well here I'm going to explain why using PED's shouldn't affect their accomplishments on the field at all.
My first reason is this: If they should be excluded from the Hall of Fame for cheating, shouldn't other Hall of Famers be kicked out for cheating, too? Babe Ruth cheated, Hank Aaron cheated, Mike Schmidt cheated, Gaylord Perry cheated.
So if everyone thinks that players like Bonds and Clemens shouldn't be in, then all the other cheaters already in the Hall should be kicked out as well.
Mike Schmidt and Hank Aaron both used amphetamines. Amphetamines, now a banned substance, increased a player's reaction time. So both Aaron and Schmidt had an "edge" over others, just like Bonds and Clemens also had a supposed edge over others.
Babe Ruth corked his bats and ate monkey testosterone for a boost of power. Gaylord Perry would use the spitball which was a banned pitch during his time.
If Bonds and Clemens can't get into the HOF because of PED's, should Schmidt, Ruth, and Perry be kicked out too?
A better option would be for the voters to ignore the fact that they used PED's and only look at their on field accomplishments. Bonds and Clemens would be sure Hall of Famers if they weren't linked to any sort of performance enhancing drugs.
My second reason is that steroids isn't comparable to corking bats and using amphetamines. Steroids only boosts the user's power. It doesn't increase the chances of making contact or improve one's equipment.
Amphetamines give the user energy and increase their reaction time, resulting in less fatigue and an increased chance of making contact with the ball, respectively.
Corking bats makes the bat lighter, which makes it easier to make contact and helps the ball travel further. Steroids only improve muscle mass.
It doesn't improve one's talent nor does it help sustain energy levels through the entire season. If steroids are this mystical drug that makes the user better at his sport, then why aren't the majority of the users as "great" as steroids are supposed to make you.
Jeremy Giambi used steroids, but is he such a great player? He isn't.
Let me put it this way. Steroids turn a fly ball to the warning track into a home run over the stands. It increases power, not talent.
My last argument is that steroids actually helped the game of baseball.
After the 1994 strike, attendance wasn't very high. Remember the 1998 home run chase between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire? It was that type of excitement that put fans in those seats. Both Sosa and McGwire used steroids.
The home run is without a doubt the most exciting play in baseball, which is why people started showing up again during this surge of power. Where would baseball be if the power surge of the '90s never happened?
It might not be nearly the same as it is now.
If the 1998 chase didn't happened or if Bonds didn't hit 72 home runs in a season, would baseball be as popular now?
Another reasoning is that a large number of players used PED's. How could a player get that big of an edge using a drug that a majority of players also use, and that doesn't affect your baseball talent?
Players who used steroids chose to take them. They chose to take a drug that increases their muscle mass, but also can risk affecting their health.
Why should the likes of Clemens and Bonds have their statistics discredited for using steroids? If steroids makes you so great, why isn't Todd Pratt a great player?
If you look at the list of alleged users, would you recognize most of the names on there? I didn't, and my guess is that almost nobody else probably would.