This Hall of Fame voter is here to say: Not so fast.
Without getting into all of the details of my well-chronicled position that I'm going to vote based on performance, regardless of alleged or proven steroid use, I'd simply like to remind people that a lot of things can change with time.
The first time the name Sammy Sosa will appear on a Hall of Fame ballot will be December 2012. Provided he gets at least 5 percent of the vote each year, his name will stay on there until 2027. That's a long time.
Right now, at the height of the media's collective indignation (read: overreaction) about steroid use, it's easy to say: "He cheated. He's out."
A decade or so from now, though, it may be different. We may have a laundry list of names of cheaters even longer than we can fathom today. There may be scientific studies that show that steroids don't really help your performance as much as we thought. Or that they aren't as bad for our health as we thought, and probably shouldn't have been banned in the first place.
Or the voters may simply be worn down by all the users. At some point, we're going to greet new steroids news with a yawn. That point may be here sooner than we think.
Some day, as current voters move on and are replaced by new ones, the group's collective opinion of steroid use may be like mine: Big deal. They played in an era of cheaters, and they were the best of the cheaters. Let 'em in.
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers watches as Mo Williams #2 takes a shoe to the face by Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers after a steal in the closing seconds of the first half at The Quicken Loans Arena on February 8, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio. (David Liam Kyle, NBAE/Getty Images)
David Liam Kyle, NBAE/Getty Images
Brazil's Diogo (L) vies for the ball with Paraguay's Hernan Perez during their U-20 South American Championship football match in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela on February 8, 2009.(Juan Barreto, AFP/Getty Images )
Juan Barreto, AFP/Getty Images
A Dalmatian looks at its handler as a judge goes to touch the dog during the first day of the 2009 Westminster Dog Show in New York February 9, 2009.(Lucas Jackson, Reuters)
Lucas Jackson, Reuters
Denver Nuggets forward Chris Anderson touches his head during a time out in the first half of their NBA basketball game with the New Jersey Nets in East Rutherford, New Jersey February 7, 2009. (Ray Stubblebine, Reuters)
Ray Stubblebine, Reuters
Margarita Marbler, of Austria, skis to a bronze medal finish the ladies moguls freestyle FIS World Cupskiing qualification at Cypress mountain in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009. (Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press/AP)
Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press/AP
West Virginia guard Darryl Bryant (25) is fouled by Providence guard Jeff Xavier (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Morgantown, W.Va. Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009. West Virginia won 86-59. (Don Wright, AP)
Don Wright, AP
Missouri's DeMarre Carroll, top, celebrates the Tigers' 62-60 win over Kansas in Columbia, Missouri, Monday, February 9, 2009. (Rich Sugg, Kansas City Star/MCT)
Rich Sugg, Kansas City Star/MCT
David Clarkson #23 of the New Jersey Devils fights Erik Reitz #4 of the New York Rangers during their game on February 9, 2009 at The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey (Al Bello, Getty Images)
Al Bello, Getty Images
Driver Patrick Sheltra (60) begins to spin coming out of the fourth turn during the ARCA 200 auto race in Daytona Beach, Fla. Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009.
Darryl Graham, AP
Spain's Nuria Llagostera Vives serves the ball, in this multiple exposure, to Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic during their Fed Cup tennis match in Brno February 7, 2009.