The steroid issue rains over MLB

Opinion: The Hall should adopt a zero tolerance policy for all steroid users

Photo courtesy of YouTube | The status of former San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds’ entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame is shrouded in controversy after repeated denial of steroid use. He tops the MLB’s list of career home runs hit.

Four of the very best to ever play the game of baseball were elected into the Hall of Fame on Jan. 24. Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones and Jim Thome all will be formally enshrined this summer.

And they should be. These players were masters of the game, from putting the ball over the fence in big situations to getting the save when their team needed them most.

Jones was a staple of the Braves’ super teams of the 90s and manned the hot corner in Atlanta for his entire career, an extremely rare occurrence in modern-day sports. Thome is one of nine people to hit more than 600 home runs.

Guerrero is known as the game’s best “bad ball” hitter, drilling hits from pitches way outside the strike zone. His .318 career batting average shows it paid off.

Hoffman was lights-out in the 9th. His 602 career saves are second only to Mariano Rivera, who will be hall-eligible beginning in 2019.

You know what else these guys have in common? They didn’t cheat. They didn’t use performance-enhancing drugs (PED) to be able to hit the most home runs anyone’s ever hit. They didn’t use PEDs to throw harder than the rest of the league. They didn’t use PEDs to hit 68 home runs in a single season.

It’s no secret that one of the biggest question marks in sports is whether or not baseball players from the “steroid era” should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

These players include Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez and eventually Alex Rodriguez when he becomes eligible.

There are several arguments that people have used to allow these players in, and I don’t believe any of them are strong enough.

The first one is that Bud Selig, the MLB commissioner at the time these players were doping, was inducted into the Hall of Fame. So why can’t these players?

This argument is baloney. Maybe Selig did turn a blind eye to doping or didn’t react fast enough. But allowing one flawed person in does not justify the induction of others.

Another argument I’ve seen is that baseball didn’t have any written rules about doping at the time. So, if it wasn’t wrong at the time, why didn’t these players go around bragging about it?

They would’ve been proud, saying, “I found this new drug, and it’s helping me play a hell of a lot better.” Why would they hide it in shame and do everything they could not to be caught?

If it wasn’t wrong, more players would’ve gotten on board and not think, “Hey, maybe this is a bad idea and I shouldn’t do it because it’s wrong.”

At its core, baseball is a game of rules. A pitch is either a strike or a ball. A runner is either safe or out. A ball is either caught or dropped. There is no gray area in-between. Those who cheated got their rewards already, with the cheering fans and records.

Baseball is our national pastime. The MLB has been around for more than 100 years. The Baseball Hall of Fame includes not some of the best baseball players, but some of the best people who ever lived.

Some of these players, like Jackie Robinson, played important roles in U.S. history. To induct those who go against these values would be a dark moment in baseball history.

I hope that even in the worst-case scenario that these cheaters get into the hall that their plaques end up like Barry Bond’s 756th home run ball, laser engraved with an asterisk.

By: Jack Dunn ~Staff Writer~