Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I, For One, Am Glad A-Rod Tested Positive

Joe already discussed the revelation that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003. But since it's a pretty big revelation, I would like to expound upon one of the points he made.

Joe (no, not me, the other one) asked how the A-Rod positive test will impact the Hall of Fame selection of players from the steroids era. Well, luckily I'm here to tell you. It means that no longer can the members of the Baseball Writers Association of America pick and choose who gets into the Hall of Fame based on who they guess used steroids. Everyone who played baseball from roughly 1990 through 2005 has to be considered as player that may have used performance enhancing drugs. The argument used on Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and, eventually, Barry Bonds that "oh, man, that guy got really big during his playing career, so he must have used steroids" can no longer be used, since Alex Rodriguez (and, as Joe mentioned, at least 104 other players) wasn't a typical muscle-bound slugger.

In fact, A-Rod was the last bastion for pundits that thought they could differentiate between players that did and did not use performance enhancers. Prior to two days ago, these writers would point to Rodriquez and say "He's lean, agile, fast and proof that supreme natural talent and hard work can still succeed in the steroids-era". Whoops, that argument doesn't hold water anymore. Every single player in the steroids era (and especially those be considered for the Hall of Fame) has to be considered a user of performance enhancing drugs. Yes, this means Griffey, yes, this means Manny Ramirez and, yes, this means Greg Maddux too.

So writers, here's where it gets easy. Either a player gets into the Hall of Fame based upon his performance on the field (which we now have to assume was aided by performance enhancing drugs) or NOBODY from the steroids era gets into the Hall of Fame. If you are a voting member of BBWAA decide right now whether or not you think a player that used performance enhancing drugs is worthy of the Hall of Fame. If the answer is no, then punch "no" on your HOF ballot every time a player from 1990-2005 comes up. If the answer is yes, then vote based on the players accomplishments. It's just that simple and that's why I'm glad A-Rod tested positive.


Chip said...

If the HOF voters vote "yes" for steroid users, what about Pete Rose? I know he was one, not many (but who's to say others didn't gamble on baseball and just weren't as high profile), but if you're going to put in steroid users, you have to put in Pete Rose.

... and I don't even like that guy.

GoodPointJoe said...

The deal with Rose and Joe Jackson is more clear cut than the steroids era guys. Rose and Jackson are on the "permanent ban" list. Until they get removed from that list, there's no need to talk about them with regards to the Hall of Fame. And I don't see anything happening anytime soon to get Rose pulled off that list.

Personally, I think your best players have to be your hall of famers, regardless of what they've done. O.J. Simpson, despite apparently being a villain, deserves to remain in the NFL Hall of Fame. Bonds deserves to be there. So does Pete Rose.

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