Tony La Russa will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday along with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and fellow managers Joe Torre and Bobby Cox, and if La Russa had his way, he’d be joining a Hall of Fame that includes PED users.
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The topic of what to do with Hall of Fame caliber players who have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs like Rafael Palmeiro or Alex Rodriguez or been linked to PED’s like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire has been a debate with no clear answer.
La Russa would put them in the Hall, but with an asterisk according to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News.
"“It’s my two cents, but I think you should let them in, but with an asterisk. You can’t place these guys ahead of Hank (Aaron) and (Babe) Ruth. It was a bad period. But if a player has Hall of Fame credentials, I think they should be allowed in — a lot of them had Hall of Fame credentials before all this stuff came out.”"
The asterisk is not uncommon to MLB as it was used to signify the difference between Roger Maris hitting 61 home runs in 162 games vs. Babe Ruth who hit 60 home runs in 154 games as a means to explain the record Maris held wasn’t exactly as special as Ruth’s because he needed eight more games to accomplish the feat.
Recognizing the errors of their way, MLB later removed the asterisk next to his 61, so would an asterisk achieve anything under La Russa’s grand plan?
Probably not, but the Hall of Fame should tell the history of the game and not including the game’s all-time home run leader in Bonds and one of the top starters in Clemens would be just as silly.
What do you think of La Russa’s idea? Should MLB let PED users into the hall and put an asterisk on their plaque to signal their usage or connection to performance-enhancing drugs?