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
  • State audit of Joplin School District begins

    Staff members from the state auditor’s office have begun their audit of the Joplin School District, Superintendent C.J. Huff said Monday. They are expected to be in the district four days per week for the next five to six months, or perhaps longer, until the audit is complete, Huff said.

    July 21, 2014

  • Burglary conviction draws shock prison time

    A Joplin man who received 120 days of shock incarceration time Friday in a drunken-driving case in Jasper County Circuit Court was assessed a concurrent sentence Monday in a burglary case.

    July 21, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Family gatherings mirror circle of life

    The annual family gathering is getting bigger. There tends to be an ebb and a flow to most family gatherings. When you’re a kid, and especially if you’re a kid from a large Catholic family, the gatherings seem to be huge.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • 071714 Jasper Cty Dispatch1_72.jpg Area communities, Jasper County work to improve communications

    The first law enforcement officer to respond to a fatal shooting last November at Northpark Mall was from the Duquesne Police Department — not Joplin. Joplin police Chief Jason Burns said he wasn’t bothered by that. “We dispatch for them, and they had an officer close who could get there faster,” he said. “And getting help to people as quickly as possible is more important than jurisdictions.”

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • New and old TIF districts on agenda for Joplin council

    Another tax increment financing district is being proposed for Joplin, this one along South Main Street. The area is close to the new Mercy Hospital Joplin that is set to open next year. RKS Development is seeking authorization from the Joplin City Council when it meets Monday night to prepare a request to establish a TIF district.

    July 20, 2014

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Family grows by one — a black Lab named Raven

    If you haven’t experienced the feeling of a tiny puppy in your lap at the end of a perfect July Saturday — hammock time, s’mores, leisurely walks, you know the kind — I highly recommend it. It is pure joy.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042017 Jo Ellis_c.jpg Jo Ellis: Car show, sidewalk sale and more scheduled for weekend in Carthage

    All roads leading to Carthage should be packed this weekend as numerous events geared toward entertainment, cultural pursuits and bargain hunting are expected to pull in large crowds.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Hobby Lobby lawyer to speak at watermelon feed

    Josh Hawley, who helped represent Hobby Lobby in arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on contraception requirements in the Affordable Care Act, has been added to the list of speakers for Thursday’s annual watermelon feed sponsored by Newton County Republicans.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read


Do you think Missouri should pass legislation that would allow a prescription drug database to be kept?

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