BOSTON, MA - APRIL 30: David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting a second home run off of Tommy Milone #57 of the Oakland Athletics in the fifth inning at Fenway Park April 30, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Steroid users need love, too. But do they deserve the ultimate love, a place in the Hall of Fame? Guys like Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and even David Ortiz should take their place in Cooperstown.
After all, the three of them are all linked to performance enhancing drugs. That's why Clemens is on trial right now (well, more so for lying to the feds about his alleged steroid used), and Pettitte is an admitted steroid user.
And then, there's Ortiz. Remember, Ortiz failed a drug test, and it wasn't for marijuana. Ortiz, along with former Sox hero-turned-villain Manny Ramirez, tested positive or performance enhancing drugs. Red Sox Nation has done a good job of sweeping this under the rug, because you don't hear about it anymore around these parts. But facts are facts: Ortiz was a user.
All of the above were users, and all were greats. So, should they be Hall of Famers? In short, yes.
I'm not just talking about those guys, either. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez. They all deserve spots in Cooperstown, even if they were cheaters (Also, since the word 'cheater' was thrown out there, they weren't actually cheaters since it wasn't illegal yet).
Why? They were all key cogs in the resurgence of the game. While highly immoral, the Steroid Era in baseball helped to save the sport. The awesome power displays put on by McGwire and Sosa, the home run record being broken by Bonds, the dominance of Clemens. Like it or not, they all played roles in bringing baseball back to prominence. Denying that is denying history.
As for Ortiz, he is quite possibly the best designated hitter of all time. Not to mention, one of the greatest clutch hitters in the history of baseball. No, he hasn't hit 500 home runs, but his importance to the sport, and the city of Boston, should be celebrated on the Hall of Fame stage.
Yet as is the case with everything, there's a catch. Sure, steroid users should be allowed into the Hall of Fame, but you shouldn't forget what they did. Neither should the baseball world. How can this be done? By officially dubbing this era in baseball "The Steroid Era."
Of course, this isn't fair for everyone. After all, every single player wasn't on steroids. But in a time when juicing ruled the sport, the title is only fitting. By officially creating The Steroid Era, it sends the message to fans that they should use their discretion when judging this time period.
We also don't know when the steroid era truly began. Who is to say that some of the greats who played in the 1900s didn't use performance enhancers? There wasn't a crusade against them during those days, and they still weren't illegal. Hopefully that wasn't the case, but we just don't know. We never will, either. So for now, let the roiders in. Just use your own judgement.