do their rap sheets come with a little stick of bubblegum?

Here’s a thought: if Barry Bonds is found guilty of lying about his steroid use, it would seem likely that Commissioner Bud Selig would bar Bonds’ admission to the Hall of Fame (or rather, bar him from being elected to the Hall).

And that would mean that the holders of baseball’s two most prominent offensive records – most career hits (Pete Rose) and most career home runs (Bonds) – would both be barred from the Hall of Fame.

That’s rather sad.

Certainly, Bonds’ offense (assuming he’s found guilty…which, of course, I would never do, of course not) is far worse than Rose’s: it materially affected his and his teams’ performance, whereas Rose’s gambling did not. I’ve always felt that barring Rose from the Hall is pointlessly moralistic: the man hit 4,000-plus hits, and that he was a lying, unethical jerk has little to do with it. I mean, if we’re going to include “character” as a consideration for the Hall of Fame, what’s Ty Cobb doing in there? Unlike Rose, though, Bonds’ offense directly facilitated his achieving the record – and therefore makes it rather less legitimate. I mean, if Roger Maris had to have an asterisk next to his name merely because there were a few more games to a season, surely Bonds deserves an even more prominent qualifying mark. As Steve pointed out, The Onion got it right…



Filed under sports

3 responses to “do their rap sheets come with a little stick of bubblegum?

  1. Steve

    The one major difference is that gambling (which is what Pete Rose got banned for — not being a lying, unethical jerk) has been grounds for banishment in MLB since day one, but there was no MLB testing for performance enhancing drugs until 2003.

    I’m pretty sure that Barry took whatever he took, but his indictment is just mindless four years after the fact Monicagating by the feds. Whatever.. the dude hit some awesome home runs.

  2. yellojkt

    Pete Rose bet on his own team, which was pretty slimey, but he was my childhood hero and I want him in the HoF before cheats like Bonds, Sosa, and McGuire.

  3. 2fs

    Steve – Here’s one writer’s comments on that four-years-long delay. It’s true that gambling has been an explicit no-no forever – but Pete Rose’s gambling never helped him get a hit, and even if MLB didn’t start steroid tests till ’03, it’s not as if they were just perfectly okay before that…and they directly helped Bonds hit more homers. Would he have broken either the single-season or lifetime HR totals without steroids?

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