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Alex Rodriguez Should Be Voted Into The Hall Of Fame

103234002 e1280965775277 Alex Rodriguez Should Be Voted Into The Hall Of FameI am not a fan of A-Rod. I don’t particularly like watching him play, I don’t like his personality, I don’t like the team he plays for. The guy has a portrait of himself as a centaur.

To add fuel to the “don’t like him” fire, he cheated. He then lied about cheating. And then he lied again.

All of that said, if anyone who starred in MLB between 1985-2005 should be in the Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown, Alex Rodriguez should.

While we’re at it, so should Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens.

Click MORE to continue.

As Jose Canseco tried to tell us years ago, it’s clear that steroid use in Major League Baseball was rampant. For a 15-20 year period a solid percentage of players, both pitchers and every day players, were using performance enhancing drugs. We’ll never know exactly what the percentage was, but we can agree it was significant. With every A-Rod we discover as truly guilty, it feels more and more like that percentage was higher than we imagined.

We’ve come to find out that a lot of the PED users were the most successful players of the era. The all-time home run leader. Three different members of the 600 home run club. The most dominant right handed pitcher of all time.

We’re able to hold out hope that there were some who abstained. Derek Jeter people say, is one of the clean ones. The sweet swing of Ken Griffey Jr. wasn’t assisted by the cream and the clear, we all tell each other.

But what if Jeter and Griffey were found to be cheaters too? Then what?

With as commonplace as steroid use was, would you really be that surprised if you woke up tomorrow and read that Jeter and Griffey were among the guilty? Though disappointed, would you really be surprised?

Because the line we’ve drawn is so thin, so blurry, between those who were right and wrong, we shouldn’t draw any line at all. Maybe we just draw that line to feel better about ourselves. The ones who sat and enjoyed all of the great baseball that the so-called cheaters provided for us. Maybe if we can believe that at least some of the greatness was legit, that we’re absolved of our part in it all.

I say it’s all or it’s nothing. I say by punishing select players who just happened to get caught like Bonds and Rodriguez, all we’re doing is punishing the guys who happened to be the best at a bad time.

It’s safe to say that many players who haven’t been named, were guilty. Either we’re choosing to let them slide and turn our heads because we don’t know for sure, or we’re the best guessers the world has ever known. Some were easy to spot, but not all of them. By sight and performance alone, would you have guessed Andy Pettitte was one of the guilty ones? I wouldn’t have. Using PED’s doesn’t always make your head and neck triple in size like Bonds.

By choosing to grant exceptions for admitting what they’ve done, like we seem to have done with Petite, we’ve chosen to put a moral clause into a place that has never had such a thing. There are lots of bad guys and liars in the Hall Of Fame. Just because Pettitte admitted what he did, and Clemens did not, does not change what they both did on and off the field. Again, I say it’s all or nothing.

If we could be sure that the entire league was clean, I contend that Bonds, McGwire, and the rest of the shamed would still have been our best players. The numbers would not have been as inflated, but they still would have been the best. Let’s forget the total numbers and just remember who dominated. The player who went from 12 home runs to 18 with steroids is no less guilty than the guy who went from 40 to 60. He’s probably just less talented.

Just because the best players of the steroid era go to the Hall Of Fame, will not erase what they, and what hundreds of average, pretty good, and terrible players did. Not allowing them into the Hall won’t erase them from history, like we’d hope.

We do not absolve them of their wrongdoing by acknowledging their greatness.

They were playing by different rules. They all were. Remember? We were the ones who let them.

  • jozzie

    “Remember? We were the ones who let them”.
    I didn’t let them. They lied & cheated and do not belong side by side with the greats from the past. Stop all this nonsense. I won’t visit “The HOF” if they go in!

    • Spike

      So real quick, just to be sure.

      When all of those guys were obviously on steroids and hitting 60 and 70 home runs, you were standing up and protesting?

      • jozzie

        Baseball is forever tainted and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. MLB powers fell asleep chose $$$ over the
        purity of the game! A game I grew up with and played as a kid.
        A game with great history. Nuff said.

      • Spike

        I’m curious as to why you think steroids taint the game any more than Mike Scott scuffing the ball to get it to break better, the Phillies spying on catchers and stealing signs, and players standing 6 inches behind the batters box.

        Pitchers have been putting stuff on the ball to cheat for years.

        How is it different?

  • Matt Butler

    I dunno, you make a good point… the coke in the eighties, the “greenies” before that…. I think it might shock some people to see how many baseball legends were popping pills before the game.

    Steroids are easier to demonize, because we can often see their effects. You can look at a Bonds rookie card and be shocked at what they did to his body. You can’t really see how cocaine increased someone’s bat speed or reaction time.

    Additionally, it’s the direct cause for the tainting of the two most sacred records in the game… Single Season HRs and Career HRs.

    One final thought though… and please, let’s be honest with ourselves here. Baseball was DYING after the strike. If it wasn’t for steroids, and the ensuing HR race, who knows what would have happened to the game? The pursuit of the record brought everyone back into the game. Without it, I think you lose a base of fans, and, well, who knows? Maybe Baseball loses the limelight and the league shrinks, or stops being televised… you never know.

    • Spike

      The post-strike home run race point is a good one.

      You could say, COULD say, that steroids saved baseball.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Norton

    Spike, all of these guys are losers, MLB has to clean this mess up! In recent years, the NHL was the first league to agree on drug testing of any type at any time! I hope the rostoferian MLB, NBA and NFL can adopt this stance. Stop being an enabler!

    • Spike

      What they did was wrong, but I’d agree that MLB and fans as well were enablers.

      They did make the choice, but it was probably a more difficult choice to make than we would imagine.

  • Realistic Fan

    No, I don’t care who is in or out. I do care that otherwise intelligent sports people still attach importance to it. This causes casual (and less than casual) fans to think the HoF matters in some way when evaluating the importance and accomplishments of players. I wish that whole place would burn down and never be rebuilt (unless the fix it as I outlined).

    • Spike

      I don’t think deciding on whether to reward players with lifetime accomplishment or not is unimportant.

      It surely isn’t the be-all end-all to any discussion to a player’s greatness, but it is a bit of a final say on the matter.

      I think it’s an easy “yes or no” way to place certain players above the others. I think the discussion regarding the steroid issue and the Hall Of Fame is an interesting one.

      It matters because we cannot erase what happened. In our memories, in the record books, it happened. So the Hall Of Fame discussion allows people to decide how they feel about what happened in a tangible way.

      I agree with you on many points, about the voting, about deciding who goes on, but I do not think the discussion is unwarranted.

  • Adam

    I disagree entirely with your closing comment. We let them cheat? Seriously? We have no influence on the player’s union or MLB. They are grown men. They made the decision to cheat. The question is what is the tolerance between steroids and betting on the game? I’m not comparing. I am wondering what is the difference in the level of disgrace. I say they’re out. All of those found guilty.

    • Spike

      Two things here Adam…

      First, ultimately, everyone allowed them to cheat. The union, the owners, and us. Go back and watch tapes of that era. Watch Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa hit balls 800 feet while they were the size of professional wrestlers. Look at a baseball card of Barry Bonds before and after steroids. Hell, even look at Dykstra. Watch the Bobby Abreu home run derby.

      We didn’t know they were taking steroids because we didn’t want to know. It was all very plain to see. I’m not absolving them of guilt, for sure, but we just stood around and watched. Then we all made Jose Canseco the disgraced figure when he said something.

      As for saying all of those found guilty are out, here is my problem; none of that is published. Most of them weren’t even tested. For us to know who was guilty and who wasn’t is almost impossible. I guess I’m just supposing that the number was so high, that everything within those players is still relative. It is what it is. It’s an era where they all did steroids, just like a ton of them were doing coke in the 80’s. Time will offer a better perspective I think.

      As for gambling, I think it’s different. I think gambling is so dangerous because it brings into question the legitimacy of the contest at all. If we can’t believe they’re actually all competing to win, then there’s no point. I do agree that gambling on the sport you’re playing, for and against your team, is the ultimate sports sin.

      Thank you for reading!

      • Realistic Fan

        Once gain, who cares? The HoF is a joke. I couldn’t care less who is in and who isn’t. It has no relevance to who the greatest players of all time are…..I don’t care what Bonds took (or A-Rod for that matter). There is no way anyone can tell me they were not two of the greatest sluggers of all time.

        As far as I am concerned the HoF is no more meaningful as it relates to identifying the best players of all time than an outhouse on farm in Iowa.

        Let ’em all in or revel in obscurity and irrelevance.

      • Spike

        Basing it solely on the fact that you’ve chosen to respond 3 times to a blog about the Hall Of Fame, I’d guess YOU care. No?

  • steve

    and let’s put in Pete Rose while we are at it,,don’t forget McGuire and Sosa also…Let’s be fair

    • Spike

      I included McGwire and Sosa in the article Steve. Thanks for reading!

      I disagree with Rose though.

  • Realistic Fan

    As a start, I would do the following:

    1.) Lift all bans
    2.) Change the voting criteria of the hall to be strictly based on on-the-field accomplishments, even if ill-gotten.
    3.) Build an exhibit in the hall dedicated to all the major scandals in MLB, identifying the members of HoF who were definitely involved or widely believed to be involved.
    4.) Remove voting privileges to any voters who are clearly not abiding by the new voting criteria.
    5.) Extend eligibility by 5 years to give all the guys left out a chance to catch up (or extend the number of people allowed in per year from 5 t o10)

  • Don't like cheaters

    Alex should be voted into the hall of fame? are you friggin nuts. he cheated just like Bonds, sosa, and Mcguire. Give me a friggin break, The home run record was broken by a cheater(bonds) and now his record will be broken by another cheater(rodrigueaz).

    • Spike

      I doubt Rodriguez at 35 has enough left to hit 170 more home runs. Regardless…

      You’re not at all addressing what I wrote about. I understand the emotional response, but my position is that if cheating was the standard, which it seems like it might have been, then you have to throw out every single number from the era. Not just the ones that are the best.

      Do you really think it’s implausible that Cal Ripken, who never missed a game, used at one point to recover from a nagging injury? And if he did, then what?

      • Realistic Fan

        Why does anyone care anymore about the HoF? The members are elected by the media, seemingly all of which have an axe to grind with someone. Getting voted in is subjective at best, arbitrary at worst.

        Steroid users — technically allowed in, but blacklisted.
        Bet on your own team (Rose) — banned
        Be rumored to throw a game, but not really do it (Shoeless Joe) — Banned
        Admit to cheating via throwing spitballs — Voted in.
        Admit to using Speed to enhance performance (Mike Schmidt and a host of others players from that erea) — Welcomed with open arms…

        The HoF is a joke. No-one should care who is in and who isn’t b/c it does not recognize the greatest players of all time. If it did, of course A-Rod, Clemens, Bonds, Rose, Joe Jackson and many other banned and black listed players would be in.

        There always was and always will be cheating in baseball. The way that the HoF arbitrarily determines which sins are mortal and which aren’t is laughable.

        200 years from now, the Steroid era will be viewed as just the cheat-du-jour .. And all people will really look at is who is on top of the lists, and on top of the HR list, it will be Bonds or A-Rod….Meanwhile the HoF will continue to be meaningless.

      • Spike

        Well said, I agree in full.

        It’s a shame though, because the actual place, the actual Hall Of Fame, is a great place.

        How do you fix it?

  • Ellie Egan

    No, none of them should be in the Hall of Fame. By the way, always check your spelling, especially if you are writing the name twice. Andy Pettitte wouldn’t be happy…..

    • Spike

      Little known fact:

      Andy Pettitte’s name originally just had two t’s, until he took HGH.

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