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Why are steroid users still being left out of the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Barry Bonds in an at bat against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Image Credit: Kirby lee, Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Barry Bonds in an at bat against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Image Credit: Kirby lee, Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Austin Schreiber

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Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, John Schuerholz, Ivan Rodriguez, Bud Selig at the 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Image Credit: Mike Stobe Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Although many people feel that steroid users are cheaters who don’t deserve awards, I believe that outstanding players should still be allowed in the Hall of Fame. Let me tell you why.

Only four players were inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year: Chipper Jones (97.2 percent of votes), Vladimir Guerrero (92.9 percent of votes), Jim Thome (89.8 percent of votes), and Trevor Hoffman (79.9 percent of votes).

Notably absent from that list, once again, were Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

Bonds and Clemens are both well known superstars, but unfortunately have been held out of the Hall of Fame for six years due to their steroid controversies.

Just to give you a little idea who these players are, Barry Bonds is an outfielder who holds the record for all time home runs, 762, and most home runs in a single season, 73. Clemens is a pitcher who is third on the all-time strikeout list (4,672) and holds the record for most Cy Young awards, seven.

Moreover, these two players are more than deserving of being in the Hall of Fame, but are being kept out due to their questionable ethics and use of performance enhancing drugs.

If the Hall of Fame’s goal is to shun anyone with questionable ethics, then they need to look in the mirror. The last few decades have been full of drug-related scandals.

Look at Tim Raines, for example. Raines was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017 with a vote percentage of 86 percent. He also recently came out and admitted to having a major cocaine problem during the 1982 season. Could this be seen as a performance enhancing drug? If so, should he be removed from the Hall of Fame?

Let’s move on to catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Rodriguez was inducted in 2017 with a vote percentage of 76 percent. Although Ivan Rodriguez has never formally tested positive for PEDs, former teammate Jose Canseco publicly stated that he injected Rodriguez with steroids in 1992. Apparently this wasn’t controversial enough to keep Rodriguez out of the Hall of Fame either.

Despite the hypocrisy, it is promising that the percentage of votes for Bonds and Clemens have increased over the past couple years. In 2016, Bonds received 44.3 percent of votes and Clemens received 45.2 percent. In 2017, Bonds received 53.8 percent of votes and Clemens received 54.1 percent. In 2018, Bonds received 56.4 percent of votes and Clemens received 57.3 percent.

The problem, however, is that the percentage of votes doesn’t appear to be climbing fast enough. Players are only allowed to appear on the ballot for 10 years, and Bonds and Clemens only have four years left.

Furthermore, Hall of Fame voters should stop worrying about ethics and start paying more attention to the statistics. Putting an asterisk next to a controversial player’s name would more than solve the problem, because picking and choosing which athletes to punish is not the right way to go about things.

Austin Schreiber can be reached at [email protected] or @aschreiber94 on Twitter.

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Why are steroid users still being left out of the Baseball Hall of Fame?