Time to Hammer Hank

The former homerun king delivered a congratulatory message to Barry Bonds and the world via video tape the night his record was passed two summers ago.  This time Hank Aaron delivered another message.

He was widely quoted this weekend for saying that anyone who has been proven to use steroids should be banned from the Hall of Fame. That would conveniently eliminate both the man who broke his biggest record (Barry Bonds) and the man most likely to break it in the future (Alex Rodriguez).  He also wants the 102 names from the infamous list of 2003 released, as if that would solve anything.

“My feeling has always been the same – the game of baseball has no place for cheaters,” Aaron said Sunday morning. “There’s no place in the Hall of Fame for people who cheat.”

He’s right cheating is bad. But is using steroids really cheating? Let’s ask another current Hall of Famer:

“I certainly don’t think you can stand up there and hit a Nolan Ryan 100-mph fastball just because you put something in your arm or took a pill,” he said.

Oh, wait … that was Hank Aaron again!

But at the same time, Aaron has no problem with Pete Rose joining the club. In the same impromptu press conference, Aaron said that Rose belongs in Cooperstown and he would like to seem him there. He says that Pete’s situation is different than the steroids question. (It is…it’s worse!)

Which way is it Hank?!?!  If you desire morals in your hall of fame, you can’t choose which to have and which to not have.

Baseball should not even consider adding asterisks or banning players from the Hall of Fame who have tested positive, or been connected to performance enhancing drugs.  There are multiple reasons:

1) Like the point Aaron makes in his second statement above, what evidence do we have that PED’s make you a better player, and/or by how much?

2) How do you do it?  Rumors?  Failed tests?  Opinions on appearence?  Good luck.

3) Baseball did not enforce a steroid/drug policy until 2002.

4) Baseball has punishments in place for those who fail tests, and nowhere does it say “banned from hall of fame” or “asterisks to be placed next to said players stats”

5) One failed test does not mean a player cheated for his entrie career, thus they should not be punished as such.

6)  Baseball’s Hall of Fame is filled with cheaters, they just cheated in different ways, and for some reason we’ve become more forgiving of those that were caught.  And many that cheated were never caught, and believe me, they exist.

7) It’s a Hall of Fame, not a morality institute.  It is meant to celebrate baseball’s past, the good, and the BAD.

8) And lastly, it ALWAYS amazes me the obsession with numbers in baseball…that is, individual numbers.  If PED’s are so terrible, why aren’t more people outraged at the GAME RESULTS!!!!  Isn’t that why we play?  To win!  Nobody ever brings it up.  Probably because we are then forced to realize how drastically the game would be affected because who knows how many game outcomes would be changed.

Aaron was one of the best to ever play.  And a good guy, but that doesn’t and shouldn’t matter.  His opinion reeks of bitterness.  I’m sorry, it does.  Bonds out and Rose in?  Come on now.  There is no question Bonds, Clemens, Manny, ARod, and Pete Rose are amongst the greatest players of all-time.  If they aren’t Hall of Famers, we shouldn’t have a Hall of Fame.