Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, told the National Press Club (Washington, D.C.) Wednesday that steroid use shouldn’t keep baseball’s best sluggers and pitchers out of the Hall of Fame, arguing that the Hall of Fame, “is for the best baseball players that have ever played.”
Weiner also said he thinks Pete Rose should be in the Hall despite Rose’s history of gambling — just as team executives aren’t barred from induction for engaging in collusion against the players in the 1980s.
“It’s a museum,” Weiner said. “If you want to have some notation on their plaque that indicates that they were either judged to have used performance enhancing substances or accused of having done that, so be it.
“There will be people in the Hall of Fame who have been judged by several arbitrators to have engaged in a massive conspiracy called collusion to defraud the fans of free competition,” Weiner continued.
“Those people belong in the Hall of Fame as well. So, from my perspective, the Hall of Fame is for the best baseball players and most influential executives that have been involved, and they should all be in.”
Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro are two of the most prominent names from baseball’s steroids era. Both have fallen considerably short of earning enough votes for the Hall of Fame despite career statistics that would otherwise have made them shoo-ins.
Roger Clemens, a 300-game winner and seven-time Cy Young winner who is eligible for Hall of Fame induction in 2013, goes on trial next week on charges he lied to Congress when he denied using steroids and human growth hormone.
Many members of the Baseball Writers Association of America have written that they will never vote to induct any player or pitcher into the Hall of Fame who has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. Others BBWAA members are conflicted over the issue, preferring to reserve judgment.
Former San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds has never admitted to using performance enhancers, only that he never “knowingly” used them. Former Mariner Alex Rodriguez, one of the great players of all time, admitted more than a year ago that he used steroids earlier in his career.