It's no secret that this year's Hall of Fame ballot consists of players that are believed to use performance enhancing drugs. Some people believe that there is no place in the Hall of Fame for players that cheat, while other believe that they should be enshrined. Brad Harris, of The Hardball Times, looks at how the heck we should handle the PED issue, when it comes to voting for the Hall of Fame. The original article can be read here.
The Hall of Fame says that unless a player is banned for life, so long as he played 10 or more seasons, he’s eligible for election; not just consideration, but election to the Hall. Therefore, voters should apply to same standard to the eligible PED user (or PED suspect) that they apply to all other eligible players: Was he as good a baseball player as the de facto standard for Hall of Famers laid out by seven decades of elections? Was he one of the best all-time at his position? Was he one of the best of his era?
Performance enhancing drugs can be a touchy issue, but nowhere in the rules does it say that PED users (or suspected users) are not allowed to be elected in the Hall of Fame. In fact, the only way to be banned from Hall of Fame consideration is to be banned from the game of baseball. This means players like Shoeless Joe Jackson or Pete Rose.
There are many players in Cooperstown who have either admitted to cheating or been suspected of cheating. In his book entitled "I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story", Hank Aaron admits to using amphetamines in order to get out of a slump. That's just one example, but I'm sure there were many, many other Hall of Famers who have cheated.
The Hall of Fame doesn't say that PED users are banned from Cooperstown, so why should they be punished?
Question for the community:
1) Do you think PED users should be prohibited from entering the Hall of Fame?