'Heavy Hitters on Pariahs' Row'

Richard Sandomir, writing for The New York Times:

The message is clear: Stellar achievements like Bonds’s 762 home runs, which once would have made election to the Hall a cinch, cannot be accompanied by a strong whiff or reality of banned drug use. In Rodriguez’s case, baseball believes that he has used prohibited substances for years and interfered with its investigation into his conduct.

I highly doubt Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod, et al, will ever get in — maybe posthumously.

That said, I’ve long believed players like Bonds and McGwire to be Hall of Fame-caliber players regardless of performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds, to me, was the best all-around player of his generation, while McGwire was one of the best sluggers of the same generation. (Bonds was a rookie in 1986; McGwire in ’87.) All this to say that both men are Hall of Famers in my book; I don’t need a bronze plaque in some museum to tell me who the best players are. I know who was great.