The 2012 induction ceremony for the Baseball Hall of Fame takes place this weekend, so there's even more discussion about the 2013 election, because then both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will be on the ballot, along with several other players who are also suspected of having used PEDs ---- performance enhancing drugs.
I've been surprised to learn how some baseball writers have declared that they'll vote for Bonds and Clemens because they were the best players in an era when drug use was widespread ----
Of course, we do not know how many baseball players took steroids, but it certainly never involved more than a small percentage. It was never, for example, like the Tour de France where drugs were as common as toothpaste. But what the baseball writers must not forget is that the dopers did not just pad their own statistics. They keep score in games; by definition, sports are zero sum. By taking unfair advantage, the druggies hurt the players who played fair.
Now, in a team game it's impossible to measure exactly how much any one individual was harmed. But let me read you some names, most of which will mean nothing to you: Wendy Boglioli, Camille Wright, Linda Jezek, Lauri Siering, Shirley Babashoff, Rosalyn Bryant, Debra Sapenter, Sheila Ingram, Pamela Jiles, Kathy McMillan, Frank Shorter.
Those are all American Olympians, who we
We cannot unravel the past, but the one way -- even if its only symbolic -- to punish drug cheats is to withhold from them any recognition. The battle against drugs in sports is forever. A Senate hearing into doping in thoroughbred racing is going on now. Lance Armstrong is finally about to face the music in drug court. But just because it was a drug era in baseball does not mean, so glibly, well, everybody did it. To vote for Bonds and Clemens for the Hall of Fame is, above all, an insult to all the good guys who played fair.
Boglioli, Wright, Jezek, Siering, Babashoff, Bryant, Sapenter, Ingram, Jiles, McMillan, Shorter. Remember the names -- robbed by other athletes using drugs. Multiply by a hundred or more and those were the honest baseball players robbed. To let in obvious dopers is not just to excuse them, but it is, effectively, an endorsement of drugs . . . and foremost: a slap in the face to all athletes, in all sports, who lost whatever