Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A-Rod's Steroid Scandal Could Open Hall of Fame Door for Other Users

Thank you Alex Rodriguez.

You have found a way to not only make a farce out of baseball, but your antics will eventually make a farce out of the Hall of Fame. You opened a Pandora's Box, letting all the gargoyles and bats, named Barry, Roger, McGwire, and Sammy come flying out with big smiles on their faces. You have given them the hope of regaining their immortality.

Thanks to A-Rod's admission of using steroids early in his career, new hope is given to Clemens, Bonds, and anyone other big name who has used 'Roids, that they may eventually make it to the Hall of Fame.

Why would this be the case?
Because before "using" steroids, A-Rod was a MVP type player averaging 36 homeruns a year from 1996-2000 with the Seattle Mariners. Ever since coming to the Yankees in what A-Rod claims as his "clean" years, Rodriguez has averaged 41.6 homeruns and 123.2 RBI a year.

Therefore, if A-Rod should stay clean for the rest of his career and continue to average 40 homers and 120 RBI a year, he will be the first big name steroid user to enter baseball's shrine of greatness.

With that it will force baseball writers of the present and future to ask themselves this question: Should we vote in Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens too?

Both Clemens and Bonds were heading into Cooperstown long before they started using illegal substances. Before "using" steroids Clemens was a three-time Cy Young Award winner with the Boston Red Sox. In 1986 and 1987 combined, Clemens was 44-13 with an ERA around 2.60. He was the most dominating pitcher in his sport, before some claimed he started using the juice when he went to Toronto and later the Yankees.

That means for 13 years Clemens was possibly clean of Roids. 13 years that were Hall of Fame caliber.

As for Bonds, he was a five tool player with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants from 1986-1993. He had eight straight seasons of 25 plus doubles. He had 12 straight years of 28 plus stolen bases a year and was a prolific homerun hitter before his obsession with the McGwire/Sosa infamous homerun chase of 1998.

With that some might say that Clemens and Bonds are deserving of Hall of Fame recognition because of what they had accomplised early in their careers. Then again, who is to say that neither player used steroids early in their career? Steroids were not banned from baseball until 1991, and were untested until 2003.

Thus, the McCarthy-like witchhunt has become baseball's steroid problem for the past 15 years. No one knows who has used the juice before testing nor who is still using the juice now that more sophisticated tests have been implemented.
For all we know, Rodriguez could still be injecting himself every evening before taking the field. The only people who know are Rodriguez and his teammates. Too bad Joe Torre is no longer around the Yankee clubhouse; it would be fun to read a book about the steroids that have been passed around the Yankee clubhouse over the past decade.

If Rodriguez does continue to pack up the stats, people will be suspicious for obvious reasons, but if he never tests positive for steroids again, who is to say he is not a Hall of Famer?

Rodriguez is on pace to break Bonds' phony homerun mark and become the next homerun king. He has three MVP's and is young enough to earn one or two more. Eventually, one would think, Rodriguez will win a World Series ring.

He will be in one day, and, thanks to him, whether you hate to admit it or not, Clemens and Bonds will follow.

It is a shame that baseball has come to this, and, just think, the humiliation is only just beginning.

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