In ten years, who is still going to be above the fray? Jeter. Pedro. Maddux. Mussina. Rivera?
Rivera's rookie year in the Major Leagues was 1995, initially as a starting pitcher. He found mixed success, posting a 5–3 record and 5.51 ERA that year. As a result, he split time between the Yankees and their AAA affiliate in Columbus. As a 25 year-old rookie with major arm surgery in his past, Rivera's role on the team was not guaranteed. The Yankees considered trading Rivera to the Detroit Tigers for David Wells. However, a surprise improvement prompted a change of heart. In one minor league start, Rivera suddenly began throwing 95–96 MPH. Rivera started ten games for the Yankees that season, participating in a two-hit shutout of the Chicago White Sox on July 4, in which he recorded a career-high eleven strikeouts. Rivera's sudden improvement and his success in the 1995 American League Division Series, in which he pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, convinced Yankees' management to keep him and move him into the bullpen the following season.Sounds pretty suspicious in hindsight doesn't it?
A-Rod tested positive for Primobolan. In her interview with Bob Costas on the MLB Network on Saturday, Selena Roberts said that it doesn't bulk you up like Winstrol or Deca-Durabolin and that it allows you retain 80% of your strength once you cycle off. Couple that with HGH (which Andy-facking-Pettitte was on) and the "Who's Juicing" game just got a whole lot more difficult.
Pudge Rodriguez is undoubtedly a HoF player numbers-wise and wasn't in the Mitchell Report, but I will literally bet you anything that he took steroids, HGH or something like that when he caught 144 games in the Texas heat, hit 35 home runs and slugged .558.
See what happens? When you don't even have to rely on changes in physical appearance (which Pudge certainly had), the cloud of suspicion broadens further still. As we've discussed before, baseball statistics are incredibly random and you can pretty much read any storyline you want on those tea leaves.
It's a divisive issue and everyone is going to have their own take. That includes the BBWAA writers. I think everyone should get in and being that it is a museum, just include the PED stuff in the exhibit. Pete Rose too. He existed. Leaving him out of the HoF doesn't remove him from baseball history and it isn't going to take the needle from Roger Clemens' ass or the veins from Barry Bonds' forehead.
Of course that's not how most of the crotchety old bastards like Murray Chass, who feel they are the sanctimonious gatekeepers of Cooperstown, are going to vote. I'm guessing that pretty soon the induction classes are going to be awfully small.