MLB: Put them in the Hall already, you hypocrites

Photo by Associated Press

By @RyanGrosman
July 29, 2017

Steroid talk has cropped up a few times this year as guys like Eric Thames and Aaron Judge have mashed the ball to bits.

But with extensive testing now in place, the juice discussions have all but dried up.

Well…at least until now. With the the 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony set to take place July 30, no doubt steroids will be a topic of discussion.

The questions that always come up are, should suspected juicers like Bonds get in? Should McGwire? Sosa? Roger Clemens?

The answers are yes, yes, yes and, even though he’s a giant jerk, yes. They should all get in. They should all already be in.

Why? Well, I’ll tell you why.

It’s a giant guessing game

Listen, as a huge baseball fan, I get the fact that drugs ruin the integrity of the game. And it sucks that players weren’t all performing on a level playing field.

But during the steroid era, how do we know who was juicing and who wasn’t?

Yes, okay. There’s very little doubt that Bonds, McGuire and Sosa juiced. But they were also batting against juiced up pitchers. And yes, Clemens likely hit the roids hard. But then again, he was facing beasts like McGuire.

So maybe there was more of a level playing field than we thought.

Steroids saved baseball

Sad to say. But it’s true.

After the 1994 strike, baseball was in shambles. Cal Ripken’s iron man chase in ’95 brought fans back to the game, but it didn’t totally save baseball.

The homerun race in ’98 did.

That unforgettable season saw 2 hulking sluggers, McGuire and Sosa, go toe-to-toe to out-blast Roger Maris — with Big Mac ultimately reaching the 62 homer milestone first.

There’s no question that these guys saved baseball. And we all cheered and watched in awe as ball after ball cleared fences, heads and stadiums.

It was 19 years ago, so my memory might be a tad foggy. But I don’t recall fans, writers or MLB vilifying these guys back then. Why? Fans were entertained, writers always had something to write about, asses were in seats and eyeballs were glued to TV sets.

Everyone was happy and excited.

That’s why I’m absolutely sickened by the hypocrisy and moral high ground that fans, Hall voters and league officials are currently taking.

Were you not entertained?

I also think everyone forgets why they watch baseball in the first place. It’s very simple — people watch to be entertained.

Yes, baseball is a form of entertainment.

Find me one fan who wasn’t enthralled by Clemens punching out 20 batters. Or McGuire and Bonds launching 500-foot dingers. Trust me, it’s not just chicks who dig the long ball.

Sorry. Did you prefer watching Jamie Moyer lob in 78 mph fastballs? Or the Tony Fernandezes and Omar Vizquels of the world beating out infield singles?

No. You wanted to see, and still want to see, 98 on the radar gun. You want to see hitters knock the seams off the ball.

You want Big Mac, not those things you get at White Castle. You want Pudge Rodriguez, not Puny Rodriguez…which leads me to my next point.

A suspected juicer’s already in

The whole argument against electing suspected steroid users is moot. Why? Because one is already in the Hall of Fame.

Ivan Rodriguez was elected to the Hall on his first ballot and will officially be inducted July 30.

You can’t tell me he didn’t stick a needle or 200 in his ass. Or was it just coincidence that once MLB started testing, he slimmed down to the point where he was practically unrecognizable?

Let’s just say, for the last few years of his career, it felt really odd still calling him Pudge.

C’mon. Just think about it. Dude squatted behind the plate every day for 12 seasons in the sweltering Texas heat while still pounding the ball every chance he got.

I’m not trying to take anything away from Pudge. He belongs in the Hall 100%. I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy of letting him in without question, but not the others.

MLB’s convenient blind eye

And what’s even more hypocritical is MLB and their steroid witch hunt.

In the past 10 years or so, the league has formed commissions and penned studies that have chased down and called out these steroid users.

But perhaps MLB should take a long look in the mirror. And not just a washroom mirror. I mean one of those full length bad boys.

You’re telling me they had no clue what was going on? Please. But they kept quiet because they had gigantic dollar signs in their eyes.

So maybe leave the Sosas and McGuires alone. They made you a shit ton of money for a long time. And you just looked the other way.

So where do we draw the line?

It’s actually pretty easy.

Once testing was fully in place and the rules were the same for everyone, anyone who got caught after that should not be in the Hall of Fame. Sorry Chris Colabello.

This applies most notably to guys like Manny Ramirez — one of the greatest and most feared hitters in the history of baseball.

But he continued to take banned substances long after testing was established. Or perhaps he was just trying to get pregnant. I mean, why else would one take female fertility drugs?

Let’s wrap it up

So am I missing something here? Is it just me? Why are fans, writers and MLB being so hypocritical? It makes me sick that these players are being dragged through the mud now after being our heroes not too long ago.

Again, I’m not condoning the use of steroids. Not at all. I’m just saying the steroid era happened. And we all couldn’t get enough of it. So why is everyone so up in arms about it now?

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