According to a recent Gallup poll, a majority of baseball fans (57%) think Roger Clemens lied last month when he told Congress he had never taken performance enhancing drugs. Despite this, 62 percent of fans surveyed believe Clemens should still be in the Hall of Fame.
As a reminder, The Hall of Fame’s motto is “preserving history, honoring excellence, and connecting generations.” Clemens’ induction, if convicted, would preserve history alright, but what about honor and example (read: connecting generations)?
“But Clemens, Bonds, and [insert your favorite talented suspect here] should be remembered in the record books even if convicted because they were phenomenal athletes,” is the common justification held by short-sighted fans. What these fans are really saying is, “It’s okay to cheat so long as your natural talent is above average.” Moronic.
You are kidding yourself if you think integrity can be fully restored to baseball (or anything for that matter) without proper reparation (i.e “Let’s just sweep this under the rug and forget about it”). Therefore, it’s expedient that we charge the guilty players, including high-profile ones — whomever they are.
And no, public humiliation alone won’t suffice — a price must always be paid, whether imposed privately by baseball (something the “cartel” has proven it’s incapable of doing) or by our judicial system, just like other frauds.
Why stick my neck out on this? Because I love baseball, and it saddens me to see greed clogging the gears. This one’s for you, Teddy.