Give Major League Baseball Credit for this one. They knew there was a problem with its players using steroids and it went out and exposed the players to the public and let us, the fans, know the true depth of steroid use in the Leage. Baseball will most likely institute what will be the model for testing performance enhancing drug and its unlikely that such issues will come to be anytime in the forseeable future. If you truly do detest steroid use and feel it is a textbook method of cheating, then you should give Bud Selig the ovation he deserves for exposing his own players and being the one comissioner to take, what compared to other sports, proactive measures against the use of performance enhancing drugs.
That said, MLB is now left to ponder the issue of how to discipline those named in the report. Should all active players serve a 15 game suspension for past use? Should all retired players be banned from Major League Baseball for a few years? Should all of these players be ineligible for the Hall? And what about us fans, how should we look at this? How should players like Matt Williams, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire be reiceved. Should we write off thier accomplishments as nothing more than a by product of cheating? Should we demand all records set by these players be accompanied with an asterik? Or should baseball take an eraser and some white out to its record book? What do we do? Do we really need to do anything?
The answer is NO. The best way for MLB and the fans to move on from this is to forgive and forget. Treat this like water under the bridge. We now know 2 things 1) That the problem was widespread, and 2) It wasnt just one or two sluggers using this to pad thier stats, but more so its a case of average players looking for that extra lift to make them quality everyday players (See: Brian Robets, Derrick Turnbow, Gary Matthews Jr., Lenny Dykstra. Average players who got better over night). It does not do anybody, MLB exec or fan to sit around and harp on this, or to make the players named suffer any backlash for this. There was no policy in place when most of these guys were taking steroids (though they were illegal). Its wrong to punish people retroactively, its so unethical infact that its prohibited by the United States Costitution (See ex post facto). No suspensions, no asterik, and theres players like Bonds, McGwire, and Clemens deserve to be in Cooperstown. Steroids or not Clemens and Bonds are the best players any of us have ever seen. To keep them out of the Hall is a disservice to baseball, but most of all, an entire generation of fans who idolized these guys (well, Clemens anyway). And McGwire should get in this year. Yes, he probably did take steroids, all you had to do was look at him and figure it out. But regardless of what he put in his body the man saved baseball, and no fan, exec, or writer can deny that. Throughout the entire summer of 1998 the whole nation hung on each swing of McGwires bat. We loved watching him launch each moonshot closer to Maris. We loved what a nice guy he was. He sold out stadiums. He did more to save the game that Ripken and Gywnn combined, so them being first ballot HOFers, and McGwire getting less than 25% of the vote is just wrong. He needs to be in the Hall.
If we make too much of this, the end result will be that we have cheapened an entire generation of Major League Baseball, all because of poor ethics by its players. But to take the legitimacy away from an cohort of major leaguers is also going to end up ruining a generation of heros. Who will be my generations Willy Mays, Babe Ruth, Mike Schmidt, and so on and so on. MY favorite players were Dykstra and McGwire. To ruin thier legacy and all of other player will in turn cheapen alot of childhood memories of baseball for alot of young adults. Not for me individually, I could care less what they took or what thier ethics are, but I only speak for one person. But theres plenty of people out there who will be bothered by this.