Yesterday Paul Leume wrote a piece on Jeff Bagwell and whether it even mattered if he did steroids or not with regard to the MLB Hall of Fame.
There are those out there that feel,"what's the big deal, so many people were doing it that the playing field leveled itself." Others feel that there should be a "Hall of Shame" for those who did PED's because even if it were true that the playing field leveled itself, it didn't level the stats versus the previous generations. Then there are some that just feel it was cheating period and they shouldn't get in.
But can we really ignore the leaders in the record books? Looking at Paul's post I note that 9 out of the top 50 home run hitters of all time have already been found to use steroids. That's 18%! Just one more guy (is there any reason to believe there isn't at least one more) and 1 of every 5 on the list used PED's!
Paul brought up a great point, can we really distinguish between those who played in that era who have been found to use them and those who have not? Everyone who is now a known user was presumed innocent until we caught them. How many Jose Canseco's are there that came out and told us without being caught first, two or three? So what does that mean, the burden is on us to obsessively snoop around in the personal lives of these guys until every last one is found out?
By now it's assumed by all (I think) that the likes of Ken Griffey Jr. and Derek Jeter are most certainly clean right? I mean really, can anyone here imagine if it turned out that Jeter and Griffey took steroids? What would happen to baseball if the two most pure players to take the field in the era were found to have used PED's?
For argument sake, let's just say that people have been poking around in Ken Griffey's business for the last ten years trying to come up with something; anything. Ok, so people try and try and they come up with nothing, nada, zilch, zippo, he's clean. Let's say those same people are doing the same thing to Mike Piazza and in year eleven, it turns out that there is proof that Piazza actually did take PED's (I'm not saying he did, this is a hypothetical). Well what does that say about Griffey? Piazza was able to keep in a secret for ten years, why couldn't Griffey have? Do we not think that there are players who took PED's ten years ago that haven't been found out yet?
I don't know who took steroids and who was clean and neither do you. Anyone who says for certain that they know someone juiced or they know someone was clean merely has an opinion. So how do we deal with this? Is there a statute of limitations whereby after X amount of time we presume a guy clean?
As one Hall of Fame voter put it, "For the Jeff Bagwell's of the world, where we have no proof that they took steroids, are we still doing the innocent until proven guilty thing? Because that's getting old...."
Yes this is America and everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but perhaps they should change that to "innocent until proven guilty except for in baseball." This innocent until guilty thing clearly isn't working as we are routinely being made fools of ourselves as each new person is being found to have used. So what do we do? Every time we walk that way to school we get punched in the face by the bully. Do we just keep taking that same path to school? At some point to we start taking a different route to get to school? Do we stop going to school altogether?
We'd like to know how you fell about the topic. In the eyes of you, the reader, is everyone truly innocent until they are proven guilty? If you say yes, do you change your opinion if Jeter and Griffey turn out to have juiced? - Mike Cardano
Mike is the founder of Around the Horn Baseball & Xtra Point Football.
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