Let me start by saying this.
I love the game of baseball. I’ve adored it as a fan since I was a kid and now into adulthood. Of course now, I love it from a totally different perspective, as a broadcaster.
Working on the media side of the game, you gain a new appreciation for athletes and the sacrifices they make coming to the yard everyday.
In Minor League Baseball for example, top prospects play alongside guys who are third day draft picks just trying to make a sniff at the Big Leagues. On a daily basis, it’s get to the field everyday at around 2:00 or 3:00 PM, workout, take infield/outfield, eat, stretch, warmup, play, cool down, go home, repeat.
Simply put, just getting to the highest level in the game of baseball is hard. Usually so, the guys who get there do things the right way, always grateful for being able to play a kid’s game and get paid millions of dollars.
Again, that’s most guys.
Some players become selfish. So consumed with their own image and the level of success that they’ll do anything to win. Anything.
Guys like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Jose Canseco, and more.
I’ve long thought that guys who cheat in any form don’t belong in Cooperstown. The Hall-of-Fame is filled with the best of the best that have ever stepped foot on the diamond. Those guys, because of their mistakes are not included.
Once again, those names are being brought up because Bonds and Clemens are on their last shot to get in. Every single year we get back to the same conversation. Some people believe that they should be inducted, some don’t.
I hate the thought of Bonds being next to the likes of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Mickey Mantle. But let’s make a consensus here. If I was in charge, I would settle for the known steroid guys getting in, on one condition.
You make a separate section in Cooperstown for all of them.
Bonds, Clemens, and the crew don’t deserve to be next to the guys who did things the right way. They all should be embarrassed for cheating the game that gave them literally everything. Without the game, the Barry Bonds we know doesn’t exist.
That brings up another point though.
If you do this with the steroid guys, you must do it with Pete Rose.
With the settlement that the guys that used PED’s get in, Rose has to be there. If you don’t, the league would run into a very dangerous situation where they’re practically saying that doing steroids is more accepted than betting on baseball as a player and manager.
Yeah, can’t do that. So here you go.
Bonds, Clemens, Rose, McGwire, Sosa, A-Rod, the whole crew. Put them in. But on their plaque glistening in gold, the HOF should write exactly what they did to cheat the game. That’s right along with their accomplishments, stats, and awards.
Make it so a person visiting Cooperstown with no baseball knowledge what-so-ever knows exactly what each guy did in the bright lights and also when the cameras were turned off.
By the way, I interviewed Clemens during my rookie year of broadcasting in Boise, Idaho. It was quite the experience. (I was a massive Clemens fan growing up before I learned of the steroid allegations).
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