My letter to the Baseball Writers Association of America addresses the issue of the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball and the induction of accused players into the hall of fame. I argue that no player should be left out of the hall just because of steroids for several reasons. Unfortunately, steroids were a part of the culture of the game during the steroid era and it is about time that we accept that. Baseball is a competitive game in which you need to keep up with those around you in order to keep your job and many players felt steroids were the only solution. Unfortunately, the steroid era has cast a shadow over the game under which no player can go without suspicion whether they have been accused of steroids or not. Also, of those accused, many were on a track to the hall of fame before there is any evidence at all that they started taking steroids and therefore they have a right to a place in the hall. Lastly, we cannot penalize the players for being the best at what they do. It takes a lot more that just the muscle provided by steroids to be successful in the game of baseball and these players have showed us that. Whether or not to allow these players into the hall of fame is one of the toughest decisions ever to face the game of baseball and I can only hope the voters make the correct decision.
An Era to be Forgiven
Dear Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America,
Today I write you in order to shed some light on an issue that I am sure you all are already thinking about plentifully. It is that time of year again when hall of fame votes are due and I know that you all have a vote. We have recently entered an era in which this task of voting has become more difficult than it has ever been. We have now reached the years in which many of the greatest of players from Major League Baseball’s steroid era will be making an appearance on your ballot. It is you who is charged with making one of the toughest decisions any sports writer has ever been asked to make. The debate will rage on in the world around you but in the end, it is you and only you who can make the decision of whether or not to allow accused steroid users into the National Baseball Hall Fame. What am I doing here? I am here to speak to you on those player’s behalf’s and to attempt to explain to you that they do belong. No player should be kept out of the hall of fame for the sole reason of steroid use.
The steroid era was just that; it was an era that took place and it cannot simply be swept under the rug. At this point it has become widely reported about, and steroid use in baseball is no longer the secret it once was. It happened and there is little that can be done about it now. There is no sense in us punishing some of the greatest players of the last two decades for the era that they played in. During the 1990’s and early 2000’s steroid use was unfortunately just a part of the game and there was nothing that the players could have done to help it once it began. Even Senator George Mitchell said when he released his report that baseball has a “serious drug culture” (Mitchell, 2007). Steroid use became so widespread in Major League Baseball that it put pressure on those players who were not using the drugs to keep up in any way they could.
As we know, baseball is a unique game because unlike many other sports, you cannot sub players in and out throughout the game. There are only nine starting spots to be had and achieving one of them can be an incredibly difficult task in such a competitive league. Than, when you have that spot, you know in the back of your head that there is always going to be that other guy who wants to take that spot from you. There is always someone who wants your job. This competitiveness will lead players to do whatever it takes to stay at the top of their game, even if that means breaking the rules...
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