Saturday, February 14, 2009

HOF and Records for the Steroid Era

I've been inspired by Hank Aaron. His point of view of MLB records and their fall during the Steroid Era has me thinking. I am going to throw this topic out there for discussion, but first I would like to give you some quotes from Aaron regarding the all-time HR record:

"In all fairness to everybody, I just don't see how you really can do a thing like that and just say somebody isn't the record holder anymore, and let's go back to the way that it was." "If you did that, you'd have to go back and change all kinds of records, and the [home run] record was very important to me." "It's probably the most hallowed record out there, as far as I'm concerned, but it's now in the hands of somebody else. It belongs to Barry. No matter how we look at it, it's his record, and I held it for a long time. But my take on all of this has always been the same. I'm not going to say that Barry's got it because of this or because of that, because I don't know."

I completely agree with Mr. Aaron. The records from the Steroid Era should stand. Who can say what would have happened if steroids and other PEDs had not been introduced into the sport? Nobody. In the annals of history, everyone will know about Barry Bonds and his suspected (confirmed, if he is convicted of perjury) use of PEDs. Nobody will be looking at these numbers in a vaccuum. Everyone will know that Hank Aaron held the record without the cloud of suspicion. Someone will come along, years down the road, and take the all-time HR record from Bonds. He won't hold it forever.

The HOF is a different animal. Pete Rose was banned for gambling. The rules the forbid betting on games are there so that the results of the game aren't changed by some outside (or inside) force. I'm looking at you, Black Sox. Rose broke a rule that was to protect the integrity of the outcome of games. PEDs are designed to help a player change the outcome of a game. If it is found that Barry, in fact, used PEDs, he cannot go into the Hall unless the ban is also lifted on Rose. There's no other answer.

Just my two cents.

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