The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 9, 2013

Mike Pound: Steroid users shouldn’t go into Hall of Fame now

Just a few words to cheer up Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens: Hey, it could be worse. At least you’re more popular than Congress.

If you follow baseball, you probably know that it was announced Wednesday that the Baseball Writers’ Association of America decided that — at least this year — no one belongs in the Hall of Fame.

I can sort of see that.

It has pretty much been a given that despite their denials, some of the best players in recent history used steroids or some form of performance enhancing drugs at some point during their careers. And since baseball authorities — a bit late, if you ask me — decided that using these drugs was cheating, the baseball writers decided that Bonds, Clemens and others who have been accused of using them don’t belong in the Hall of Fame.

I agree with them. Look, I like Mark McGwire. He is a great guy, and he was a great player.

But he cheated.

At least Mark finally admitted that he cheated. Others, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, continue to deny that they used steroids.

Former Houston Astros player Craig Biggio came the closest to making the Hall of Fame, with 68.2 percent of the vote; 75 percent is needed to get in. Former Dodgers and Mets catcher Mike Piazza picked up 57.8 percent. I read that some writers declined to vote for Craig and Mike simply because they played during the steroid era. Guilt by association. If that’s true, it’s wrong.

But that’s where we are in this whole steroid debate. No one really knows how many players during that time period used steroids. Was it 100 percent? Was it 50 percent? Was it more like 10 percent? We don’t know, and we probably never will.

Of course, part of the reason we don’t know is that baseball — both the owners and the players union — for years opted to look the other way when it came to steroids.

As long as fans continued to pour into ballparks, it didn’t matter that many of the players looked like cartoon characters. A guy who never hit more than 10 home runs in a season suddenly hits 45, and everyone says, “Wow, he must have really worked hard in the offseason.”

A lot of baseball fans think Hall of Fame voters shouldn’t act like the judge and the jury when they cast their ballots, and I understand that position up to a point.

I mean, you can make the argument that baseball players have cheated in one way or another since the game was invented. But does that make it right? I don’t think it does.

The sad thing is that if Bonds and Clemens hadn’t gotten implicated in the scandal, they would have received close to 100 percent of the vote and would be practicing their acceptance speeches right now. Bonds was one of the top three hitters in the history of the game, and Clemens was one of the most dominating pitchers of all time. Sure, by many accounts, both guys were jerks, but being a jerk doesn’t keep you out of the Hall of Fame.

Cheating does.

I’m pretty sure that eventually, Bonds and Clemens will both be elected to the Hall of Fame. And once that happens, a bunch of other guys, such as McGwire, will also make it in. But even then, there will be a taint to their careers. In one way that’s a shame, but in another way it’s a good thing. It’s nice for kids, for example, to see that there are consequences for your actions.

But still, time will pass. Younger baseball writers will become Hall of Fame voters, and those writers perhaps will view the steroid era a bit differently. And if, at some point, those young writers decide to elect guys such as Bonds and Clemens, I’ll probably say the same thing I said when I heard about this year’s vote.

I can sort of see that.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

Text Only
Local News
  • ArtFest.jpg Giant footballs arrive in Pittsburg; organizers seeking more underwriters, artists for event

    Twenty-four giant fiberglass footballs arrived in Pittsburg on Wednesday to officially kick off SEK Art Fest’s second annual public art event.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • City of Neosho reinstates school officer

    The city of Neosho has restored its contract with the Neosho School District to provide a police officer for security in schools.

    April 16, 2014

  • Mike Pound: Host families build relationships with Joplin Outlaws

    When Missy and Wade Short agreed to serve as a host family for a member of the Joplin Outlaws, they knew they were helping a college baseball player. But what they didn’t know is that they would also find another role model for their son.

    April 16, 2014

  • City of Miami to stage trash, cleanup events

    The city of Miami plans two trash and cleanup events over the next month in an effort to beautify the city and to assist residents with trash removal. This Saturday will see the return of the annual spring “Trash-Off the Streets of Miami.”

    April 16, 2014

  • Commission awards contract for bridge replacement project

    Construction will start in about a month on a new bridge on County Road 48 in the northeast part of Jasper County. The Jasper County Commission this week approved a contract for the project on Deer Creek, south of Baseline Road.

    April 16, 2014

  • More volunteers, donations sought for ‘Victory 4 Haiti’

    The second meals-for-Haiti project, scheduled for April 26, is in need of donations and volunteers, organizers say. “Victory 4 Haiti,” a food-packaging event that will provide meals to the Haitian Christian Mission in the village of Fond-Parisien and elsewhere in Haiti, needs $60,000 to pay for about 280,000 meals.

    April 16, 2014

  • TIF proposal filed for development of area at 44th Street and Range Line

    Joplin’s Tax Increment Financing Commission will hold an informational meeting today on a proposal to establish a TIF district to pay for a wetlands project on property in the area of 44th Street and Range Line, where a developer wants to build a retail, office and hospitality district.

    April 16, 2014

  • 041614 MDOT5_72.jpg JATSO recommends 15 road projects for planning

    The reconstruction of the Highway 171/Interstate 49 interchange at Carthage and the construction of a limited-access highway on the west side of Joplin and Carl Junction are among the top highway projects to be identified by the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin city attorney takes job in Lee’s Summit

    City Attorney Brian Head will leave his Joplin post next month for a job in Lee’s Summit in suburban Kansas City. Head submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday morning to Mayor Mike Seibert and the City Council. The council is his employer.

    April 16, 2014

  • Neosho restores school resource officer to schools

    Neosho Police Chief David McCracken told the city council on Tuesday that he was restoring the city contract to provide a police officer in schools.

    April 16, 2014

Must Read


The Supreme Court may take up a challenge to an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign. Do you think false accusations made in the heat of an election should be punished as a crime?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter