Originally Posted by oneupper
I think here is the conceptual diversion on the issue, IMO. Some consider excluding some of the players from the HOF as "punishment" or "denying" them some right they have "earned" with their performance (a part of which, is from cheating, we can speculate how much but never know until we send McFly back to steal Barry's syringes).
No, the induction is an honor. Its totally optional.
The argument that because we can't get Selig or the writers or the others who had a part in this, we should HONOR Clemens and Bonds (and the others...), doesn't make sense to me.
And yes, people who played a big part in the phenomenon and the cover up will get away. But maybe someone will think twice about cheating or covering up in the future.
People forget that the Black Sox Eight were acquitted in a court of law. The participation of several in the fix was debatable. And there was a cover-up that supposedly involved many others (yes, writers too).
Judge Landis kicked them all out of baseball. He didn't get all the players who threw games before or after. He didn't get the writers or the owners who covered up all the cheating. By all accounts, gambling was an epidemic then much like steroids were recently (steroids may still be).
Landis didn't get all the cheaters and he may have even banished an "innocent" or two and/or a "not totally guilty" one. But he was right.
If all we get from the steroid cheating epidemic is Bonds and Clemens looking at the HOF from the outside in, it won't be much at all.
But the alternative is nothing.
Denying someone an honor they have otherwise earned is a punishment.
Secondly, I was not arguing that the steroids users should be inducted in the HOF.
My point was that the very people who are belatedly vilifying the steroids cheaters also benefited from and were complicit in the steroids scandal themselves. I was drawing attention to their hypocrisy and self-righteousness.
If we are going to leave Bonds, Clemens and the other steroids users out of the Hall of Fame (which is OK by me), then we should also leave out the other people who also benefited from the cheating, who turned a blind eye and allowed it to continue, who could have stopped the cheating but chose not to -- folks like Bud Selig, Tony LaRussa, Walt Jocketty, Dusty Baker, Billy Beane, Joe Torre and the other managers, GMs and league officials who saw the cheating and did nothing to stop it. These people clearly gained a huge advantage over their competition due to steroid cheating but their reputations have remained largely untouched.