By: Lycurgus Lines
The longstanding question of the MLB Hall of Fame voters has been whether or not the Hall of Fame should include the users and addicts of the steroid era to join the elite group. The difficulty in this question is that many of the voters are writers and they do not comprehend the amount of time and effort put into finding these performance enhancing drugs without the MLB catching them. Many of us know the difficulty of cheating during an impossible exam, and we also know the rewards of succeeding to cheat on an exam. So we will look to important figures of sports and data to answer the proposed question.
As the legendary Nascar driver Richard Petty said, “If ya aint cheating, ya aint tryin’.” (Petty) Athletes are always searching for ways to gain an advantage on the competition. We have seen it in the NFL with “sticky” gloves. These are specially designed, and illegal, gloves that receivers wear to ensure that the pigskin sticks to their hands each and every catch. (Fendrich) So is it wrong for athletes to attempt to cheat as long as they don’t get caught? It is not wrong. This is an important lesson we need to teach our children before they enter the real world. Our children need to realize the importance of ignoring ethics and integrity in order to gain the ever so important “competitive advantage.” Hard work and dedication should be second to cheating in every child’s mind from now on.
One of the main arguers of the steroid era is Jose Canseco. He was known as the king of juicing for his countless books arguing his case. He said that nearly everyone was using steroids, so it would be wrong to punish only the few that were caught. So by his argument, if everyone is cheating, it is acceptable. This account is from a former player so, basically, he knows more about baseball than the non-baseball players. He recently ranted about the subject on his social media page, as u can read his grammatically incorrect tweets here.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemons have shown us the possible rewards of cheating. These players have combined for 25 all-star games, 8 MVP’s and the honor of all those awards being tainted with steroid use. (baseball-reference) They also will forever be looked at as “those guys that cheated their way to the top,” and the opportunity to be called cheaters by nearly every baseball fan. This situation is comparable to a Harvard student who somehow manages to graduate with a degree in Engineering without any knowledge by just cheating on tests. This same student follows up with a failure to acquire any job post-college. Due to his lack of knowledge he fails to pay off any of his student debt, but what is important is that he graduated with a degree from Harvard! The Hall of Fame needs to open their eyes up to the skill of pulling off years of PED use under the nose of the MLB’s hammer.
Fans of the MLB throughout the steroid era have time after time paid to witness juicers like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemons perform. These players were iconic to the league in terms of sales. But these juicing players gave the fans something that Bryce Harper doesn’t supply: hope. Barry Bonds has shown these fans that even the most un-athletic people can make it to the MLB with the use of steroids or any other performance enhancing drug. From a business standpoint, these players from the steroid era are a key reason for a growth in popularity. As we see in the chart below, the biggest leap in attendance occurred around the mid 1990s, the highest point of the steroid era. (Pinto) We will never see this type of impact in the Major League ever again. Ignoring the generation of ball players that were crucial to the development of the MLB would be a clear-cut mistake.
And here we go….. As you may or may not be surprised, I do not agree with the above opinions. In no way am I okay with the complete ignorance of ethics and integrity. Our children need to know the importance of playing sports the right way. I believe that what we teach our children will directly affect their life goals and how they live their professional life in the future. These players who have partaken in PED use should not be inducted into the Hall of Fame because they are horrible role models for the future baseball players of the MLB.
Fendrich, Howard . “Who needs Stickum when you’ve got ‘sticky’ gloves?” NFL.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.
“Roger Clemens Stats.” Baseball-Reference.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.
“Barry Bonds Stats.” Baseball-Reference.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.
Pinto, David . “The Big Picture.” Baseball Prospectus. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.
“TOP 21 QUOTES BY RICHARD PETTY.” A-Z Quotes. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.