Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling
I certainly wasn't arguing that steroid usage was acceptable.
My point was that everyone involved with baseball is to blame for the steroids fiasco. The players bear more blame than anyone else, but the commissioner, the managers, the team owners and the media were all aware of the abuse of PEDs but they allowed it to continue and in effect encouraged it by rewarding the players who cheated. It was a league-wide systemic cancer that infected every facet of the game of baseball. Isolating a few star players and pinning a pathetically weak penalty on to them is just another way to gloss over the problem.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens didn't ruin the game all by themselves. They were merely pawns in a much bigger game of chess. It just strikes me as short-sighted to single out a few stars for punishment. The biggest beneficiaries of the steroid era were Commissioner Bud Selig, the owners and the media (especially TV networks) who enjoyed the financial windfall generated by the spike in baseball's popularity during that era. They would never have done anything about PEDs if the US Congress had not forced their hand. If all we ever do to punish the criminals who cheated the game and the fans is deny a few stars induction to the Hall of Fame then most of the worst offenders of the Steroid Era will have gotten away scot free.
I'm not sure anyone was arguing "lets punish Bonds and Clemens, that'll show 'em." However, if there any two that were most obviously users, it is them. So, if only those two got left out of the HOF that otherwise would have gotten in based on their numbers, it would be just.