The truth of the matter is that every MLB player who is eligible for the baseball Hall of Fame and performed during the steroids era should be voted in. The writers that vote who covered the game during that period and did not do their journalistic job and report it have no choice but to vote them in and here’s why.
If those who covered baseball from the mid 1980s to the early 2000s made a ton of money off of the players who took steroids, then they have no right to be righteous and not vote for these same players for the Hall of Fame. If they did not blow the whistle when steroid use was right under their nose, then by keeping these players out of the Hall they are as guilty as those who used.
At the height of steroid use in MLB, two players in particular, Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals and Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs, thrilled fans by hitting titanic home runs and shattering the single season record in 1998. They were lauded as supermen and the media couldn’t get enough of them. Print and television media and those who work for them made a ton of money off of both players. Well known authors wrote books about them that sold very well.
While all of this was going on, very few questioned how McGwire, Sosa and others had suddenly become so big and powerful. Most simply believed that advancements in diet and weight training made them what they were. If there was anyone who knew anything about players using steroids it was hardly reported. When Associated Press writer Steve Wilstein wrote that McGwire was using androstenedione, the news was mostly dismissed.
Why few seriously followed up on Wilstein’s report is a mystery especially since Washington Post baseball columnist Thomas Boswell had written an article accusing Oakland Athletics outfielder Jose Canseco of using steroids as far back as 1988. Canseco was only a teammate of McGwire at that time.
Though it is true that baseball had no drug testing in the 1980s and 1990s, this does not mean that people weren’t using them. It just meant that they did not have to pay a price for doing it. The use of steroids still should have been reported.
Instead, most people who covered the game turned a blind eye to it. It was not until Canseco wrote his book ‘Juiced’ that there was any outcry over steroids and this did not occur until he was blasted by the media and those in baseball for calling out his brothers. All Canseco had done was what every writer involved at the time should have and most didn’t.
Now, these same writers want to keep McGwire, Sosa, Canseco, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens out of the hall of fame. After 15 years of fattening their bank accounts, they finally want to do the right thing.
It’s too late. They can’t have it both ways. If what players did during the steroids era was good enough for the writers when they were making money covering them, then it is good enough for these same writers to vote them into the Hall now.