What Should Be Done to Steroid-Tainted MLB Records?

Cliff Eastham@RedsToTheBoneSenior Writer IIFebruary 2, 2010

What can be done to the MLB record books in regards to the steroid abuse?

It's easy to say "screw them" but what does that do to posterity? Is it fair to the hard-working, law-abiding, rule-following players to stand by and do nothing?

Here are three things that could be done in response to the steroid users breaking major league records.


1)  Do nothing at all.

That is the easy way out, the coward's way if you will. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. No harm, no foul. Just turn your head and walk away. Come on baseball fans, you are better than that. That is no answer. That is like a classroom full of students, with one getting a 100 percent and being found with all the answers written on his desk.

Does he still get his A+ and class record just because he was caught and faked a tear or two and said how sorry he was?

You know he doesn't. He will get an F or an incomplete for the assignment, and the next highest score will be the record to beat.

2)  Let the record stand, but place an asterisk beside it.

Wait a second, I can hear Roger Maris yelling from heaven now. An asterisk is no way to handle this. It is confusing and in no way helpful to the situation at hand.

MLB Commissioner Ford Frick put an asterisk beside Maris' name when he broke Babe Ruth's home run record in 1961. That was not due to steroids or any other high crime or misdemeanor. It was because he broke it in 162 games instead of 154.

I ask you, my friend, does 162 games constitute a season or not? The records do not stipulate how many games (maximum) a player has to play to break the record. A season is a season. Move on, please.

3) Wipe the record clean, reverting it back to the proper record holder.

If a man has broken a record (such as Mark McGwire and later Barry Bonds, with Sammy Sosa sandwiched in there as well) and was found or admitted to steroid use, his name should be wiped completely away from that particular record.

In this case, the record (home runs in a season) would roll back to Roger Maris of the Yankees in 1961.

The home run record for a career would roll back to Hank Aaron with 755. That would be fair to everyone.

Their totals could show on their baseball card or on their bio page, but not in an official or non-official record book.

Whatever is done to the batters, the same should apply to the pitchers who have been guilty, i.e. Roger Clemens.


What are your thoughts? Do you have a better idea? I would certainly love to read it substantiated by reasoning.