The Chicago chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America is taking up the thorny question of what to do with "Steroid Era" players and the Hall of Fame.
The writers plan to meet Friday to discuss whether there should be any guidelines for voting in light of the drug scandal that has tainted baseball over the last dozen years. Six of the top 20 career home run hitters have been linked to performance-enhancing drugs, including Sammy Sosa, who spent most of his career with the Chicago Cubs.
Excellent. This is a much needed discussion. It's vital that the baseball writers figure out (or at least try to) what to do with players who took steroids and those who might have taken steroids. Because let's face it, because of steroids, the hall of fame HAS AND WILL change forever.
"The guidelines used to be so simple: stats, longevity and star power. It's all been trumped by performance-enhancing drug use and drug use suspicion," Telander said Tuesday. "Part of me says it's not fair we have to make these determinations, but we do."
Well said. What in the world should the hall of fame do with these players? Put them in the hall of fame? Don't put them in the hall of fame? Have a separate wing for steroid users/the steroid era? Asterisks?
I don't have the slightest idea about what will happen, but if it was up to me, I would put the steroid users in hall of fame. At this point, we have to assume that a large group (majority?) of players were using steroids during this period and it'd be extremely difficult to keep all the steroid users OUT of the hall of fame. Perhaps an asterisk on the hall of fame plaque or something like it would make the baseball purists feel better about putting them in. Maybe not.
The nightmare scenario is that the hall of fame allows entry to a player, who they believe was never on performance enhancing drugs, but then a few years after entering the hall of fame, it's discovered that he indeed did use PEDs. What should the hall of fame do then?
This issue is so fascinating because there is no answer that will satisfy the baseball loving masses, most of whom just want the issue of steroids to go away. However, over the next few years, the hall of fame and steroids will be THE highly debated issue that will offer a vast array of solutions and ideas. This is merely the beginning of the debate.