Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Performance-enhancing drugs: Record Books not the only thing that was cheated!

Since the flood gates open regarding performance-enhancing drugs in MLB most of the topics that are discussed in the sports media are:

  1) Are the record books tainted?
  2) Does the drugs really help the players?
  3) Should the players in that era be inducted into the Hall of Fame?
  4) Would you do if it was worth millions of dollars in salary?

Well, these are nice topics, but I have never heard the one topic that I am most angry about when I think about the performance-enhancing drugs era and the influence it had in MLB:  MLB fans got cheated out of a great era of baseball. Think of some of the greats in the steroid/HGH era:

1.      Mark McGwire (Broke the single season record for home runs – 70 (1998), 583 home runs which ranks 9th all-time)

2.      Roger Clemens (354 wins 8th all-time with a 3.14 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, the third-most all time over a 24 year career)

3.      Barry Bonds (762 home runs all-time home run leader)

4.      Rafael Palmeiro (569 Home Runs, ranked 12th all-time)

5.      Alex Rodriguez (643 Home Runs ranked 5th all-time)

All of the players I listed above would have been Hall of Famers without the use of performance-enhancing drugs, but with the accusation, Mitchell Report or the admission of using, their greatness has and will always be tarnish just like the fan's view of them. We as fans in this era was robbed of telling our kids and our grandchildren the stories that our fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles told us about watching Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer, Dizzy Dean, Rogers Hornsby, etc. and how great it was growing up in the era in baseball. When we bring up Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens years down the road, the debate will not be was he the best player in that era, it will always be would he have been that great without it.

My baseball generation will be known as the Hall of Famers that could have been, because the greats in my time will never make the Hall of Fame.

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