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The impact of Alex Rodriguez testing positive for steroids is sure to be felt in Cooperstown. But instead of using it simply as an excuse to eventually leave A-Rod off the Hall of Fame ballot when he's eligible down the road, it should be cause for voters to re-examine the resumes of pre-steroid-era players and reconsider their candidacy.
Jim Rice is a perfect example. The fact that he was never suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs helped him finally get elected this year. Juiced-up sluggers who hit 500-plus homers made Rice's 382 homers in 16 seasons look more impressive considering his power wasn't generated in a laboratory.
Now that Rice is in, there is no reason why Andre Dawson shouldn't be elected next year. The Hawk hit 438 homers in a 21-year career and, like Rice, won an MVP award and was named to eight All-Star teams.
If you're not going to vote for players like Rafael Palmeiro (569 career HRs and 3,020 hits) because of chemically enhanced numbers, it's only fair that borderline candidates such as Dale Murphy -- who didn't have artificial muscles -- be viewed in a more favorable light.