MLB has changed along with the American culture over its 110-year history. The competition seems to reach new heights with every passing season.
Unfortunately (but fortunately), steroids have left MLB with an ugly black eye—one that it most certainly doesn't deserve.
It's almost funny to hear fans bashing players for using PED's, especially when the juiced up players were one of the main reasons many people began to follow baseball.
Even more ridiculous is the fact that the Baseball Writers Association of America has chosen not to vote many of these deserving users' into the the Hall of Fame—when those players are the reason many of the writers even have jobs.
Baseball players of the 70's and 80's ate amphetamines like they were candy, yet they are not being judged in the same manner as players today.
The steroid era in baseball was just that—an era. Who are we to judge?
Here are seven PED users who belong and deserve to be enshrined into MLB's Hall of Fame.
"I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period!"
Yes, Rafael Palmeiro clearly lied to Congress and to the world when making those statements back in 2005. But guess what? It doesn't matter!
As a man, he may be a selfish liar. As a baseball player, however, few were better than Palmeiro.
Palmeiro is in a small class which includes Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Eddie Murray as the only four players in MLB history to hit 500 home runs while also amassing 3,000 hits.
Maybe Palmeiro lacks integrity, but he did what he was paid to do on the baseball field and should be in the Hall of Fame.
Sammy Sosa was a part of the greatest home run chase in MLB history—an iconic moment for baseball that rejuvenated its fan base to heights never before seen.
Slammin' Sammy is the only player in MLB history to hit 60-plus homers during three different seasons—a feat that most likely will never be touched again.
Sosa is also one of only seven players in the prestigious 600 Home Run Club, which in itself means he should be considered a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
He did what we as baseball fans wanted him to do—hit monster home runs. Now how can we just turn our backs on him?
Before all of you Mets fans start screaming, saying that Mike Piazza wasn't in the Mitchell Report nor has he ever been linked to PED use, you should first read The Rocket That Fell to Earth. Here is just one of the many implications against Piazza.
"Long rumored to have used steroids, at least two former players were quoted as saying they were sure that Piazza used."
Steroids or no steroids, Piazza belongs in baseball's Hall of Fame. He is arguably the greatest hitting catchers of all time—slugging 427 home runs while winning 10 Silver Slugger awards.
Whether or not he used does not matter, as Piazza redefined the standard of hitting from the backstop position. He is a Hall of Famer, hands down.
Mark McGwire was great right from the get-go—slugging 49 home runs as rookie for the Oakland A's in 1987.
In another case of lying to Congress and to the public for years, McGwire finally came clean and admitted his PED use throughout his career.
McGwire beat out the aforementioned Sammy Sosa in 1998 to take down Roger Maris' age-old single-season home run record by hitting 70 out of the park.
There was perhaps no more of an iconic player during the late-90's than McGwire; he was loved by fans and respected by just about everyone.
Keeping McGwire and his 583 career home runs out of the Hall of Fame would be a true shame.
Manny Ramirez, in my opinion, is the best pure hitter to ever step in the batter's box. It's too bad that earlier this season he got busted for a second time, ultimately leading to an early retirement.
Ramirez was a careless wonder, and that's what made him so entertaining. Manny was just being Manny.
Ending his career with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBI immediately puts Manny into the hall conversation, but leading the Red Sox to a pair of World Series championships should have sealed the deal.
Seeing as he popped on two MLB drug tests, voters may not give Manny much sympathy—but they would be utterly wrong to keep him out of the Hall of Fame.
By now, we all know Roger Clemens is in the midst of a perjury trial that has all but tainted his career. Win, lose or draw—Clemens deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
In one of the most dominant pitching careers in MLB history, Clemens won seven Cy Young Awards and an MVP over his 24 years in baseball.
With 354 career victories and nearly 4,700 strikeouts, a case can be made for Clemens being the greatest pitcher baseball has ever seen.
We all know Clemens has lied about his PED use for years, but whether or not he is convicted of anything doesn't matter. Clemens is without a doubt a Hall of Famer. No questions asked.
Love him or hate him, Barry Bonds is statistically the greatest player to ever play the game—hands down.
Although not much really came of Bonds' perjury trial, it wouldn't even matter if it did. Bonds was paid to mash the baseball out of the park, and he did it better than anyone to ever play the game.
Bonds owns every home run record known to man, among dozens of others. He is the king, and no player has ever left as much of foot-print on the game as Bonds has—even though the foot may have grown a few sizes over his career.
Keeping Bonds out of the Hall of Fame would be an absolute travesty, and we can only hope that voters use their heads when voting on Bonds' first ballot next year.