After the Hall of Fame elected four new members this past week, there were some significant names that did not make the cut because of performance-enhancing drug suspicion, including the all-time leader in home runs.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are the two biggest names that are being held out on a large percentage of votes because of PEDs. Though the two were never suspended for PEDs, or ever convicted of using the, the cloud surrounding them is too big for most voters.
In an essay for The Players Tribune, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy gave his take on the exclusion of those suspected of PED use:
Until a rule is established to explicitly ban proven steroid users, voters should respect the main purpose of the Hall of Fame: to create a comprehensive, all-encompassing look at the history of baseball. Any truthful telling of that history would recognize Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens as two of the best to ever play. Inside the Hall of Fame, the steroid era can be addressed however is deemed fit—with qualifiers, categories, or explainers—but ignoring it altogether is just taking the easy way out.
MLB now has rules to suspend players caught using PEDs, but back during the era of Bonds and Clemens, there was no structured testing. It is believed that a large number of players were using during that time. While some of the players with the cloud around them will likely make the Hall of Fame eventually, McCarthy doesn’t want them penalized by voters if they weren’t convicted. The difference in opinions on the subject has been debated for years and will continue to be debated for years to come, unless a change in the rule is made.
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