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…