As ace turned not such an ace, Whammy Douglas Bader, once said…“Baseball rules are for the obedience of wise men and the guidance of fools.”
The whole thing is beyond a slippery slope. It’s an icy crevasse.
The one thing that is clear is that players with any link to performance-enhancing drugs aren’t currently welcome in Cooperstown. McGwire, the test case, has been on the ballot five years, never has received more than 23.7 percent of the vote and received 13 fewer votes in 2011 than in 2010.
While Jeff Bagwell never was linked to steroid use, he improved his body taking androstenedione when it was sold off the shelves at GNC and told ESPN in 2010 that he had “no problem” with a player juicing up. He received 41.7 percent as a first-timer and returns for his second year on the ballot in the voting that ends Sunday and will be released Jan. 9.
It’s impossible to know if that 42 percent rating is a reflection on his play - he’s a Hall of Famer in my book - or if he’s considered a steroid user, even if his only real tie is to androstenedione when it was sold over the counter.
My interpretation says guys who took advantage of baseball’s lack of testing to do as they pleased - Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Clemens, Rodriguez and Palmeiro, among others - disqualified themselves for the Hall because integrity is among the listed factors for voting. But I need some evidence. I don’t believe I can eliminate every brawny player on suspicion alone.