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Sammy Sosa for the Hall of Fame? He's a Definite Maybe

Jun 16, 2009 – 7:48 PM
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Jeff Fletcher

Jeff Fletcher %BloggerTitle%

Sammy SosaAfter you got over the "utter shock" of learning that Sammy Sosa had reportedly tested positive for peformance-enhancing drugs, you might have been tempted to think: "Well, there goes his Hall of Fame chances."

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.

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