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The MLB Is the Biggest Cheater in Baseball

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"Let's face it: Hall of Fame is a mess."

That's the title of ESPN's Jayston Stark's latest little ditty, detailing how Cooperstown failed to induct anyone on Wednesday for its literally famed annals. (No, not anals. Sicko.) That's right. Zero. Nobody will be going to the Hall of Fame in 2013.

Here's Stark:

"The votes are in. The earth is still rumbling. Now let's try to digest the magnitude of what just happened here:

"A man who hit 762 home runs wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame... A pitcher who won seven Cy Young Awards wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame. Barry Bonds is the all-time leader in home runs, but he fell far short of getting elected in his first time on the Hall of Fame ballot. A man who hit 609 home runs only got 12.5 percent of the vote... A catcher who made 12 All-Star teams missed election by 98 votes.

"It boggles the mind. Doesn't it? We were just presented the most star-studded Hall of Fame ballot in maybe 75 years. And NOBODY got elected?

"It's enough to make you wonder: What kind of Hall of Fame are we building here?"

Well, Jayson, you ask an interesting question. The real answer, though, is another question: What kind of Hall of Fame have we been building for a while?

Now, I'm all with Stark here. Steroids or not, Barry Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame, and I'd include others: Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire. Whatever.

Let's stop pretending that we're so offended by our All-Stars cheating over an entire career and over an entire life.

Steroids are to sports what sex is to the White House. It's a far easier scandal to report on and to comment on than something of actual importance. It's a distraction to avert our eyes from what we knows is there but don't want to see.

Now, steroids should be outlawed. Actually, they are outlawed. The MLB has allowed them to be used for a long time, though, and now it's crying foul. Now, it's crying wolf and "Mama, there's somebody in my bed" and "Ze Germans are here."

Baseball can't pretend steroids are a new phenomenon. There were drugs and enhancers a long time ago, and everyone knows certain superstars were using them in the '70s and before.

Reggie Jackson was the first big timer to be accused of such a thing.

Willie Mays used methamphetamines, and he then was "instrumental" in spreading it to whoever wanted it.

But, when Stark asks "What kind of Hall of Fame are we building?" he's forgetting how low standards have been for some time. He's forgetting how low they've always been.

He's forgetting, but he also knows it.

"Bud Selig let it happen. The union let it happen. The owners let it happen," he says of the '90s steroid rash. "The managers let it happen. The agents let it happen. The media let it happen. Front offices across the continent let it happen. And the players never stepped up to stop it from happening."

Now, while a player is in the middle of a 40-home run year, we debate whether or not he'll keep it up and whether or not he'll get into Cooperstown. Craig Biggio deserves to be in the Hall. And, what about Mike Piazza, an all-around stud who never did anything wrong except for dodging the bat Roger Clemens threw at him in 2000? Jeff Bagwell deserves to get in. Curt Schilling, too.

So do Barry Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, and Palmeiro. So do Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe.

Let's stop being offended. Let's quit the ruse.

The MLB is the biggest cheater in baseball. They're just better at hiding the syringes.

This was originally posted on White Cover Magazine.