As the 2011 Hall of Fame balloting comes to a close in the upcoming week, the debate about allowing admitted performance-enhancing drug users into Cooperstown continues to rear its ugly head.
One of the voters from the Baseball Writers' Association of America has finally found his resolution after years of going back and forth on the topic, and he's established an interesting comparison to those players who have admittedly used PEDs.
He compares them to murderers.
While at first the comparison sounds vastly exaggerated, the supporting argument has some leverage behind it.
At first, Press Democrat staff writer and Hall of Fame voter Lowell Cohn looked primarily at the potential inductees' statistics, looking the other way when it came to PED usage. However, the years of ignoring the illegal usage started to affect his conscience, and he decided that he would no longer vote for any player who has reported steroid usage in their past.
In Cohn's eyes, voting a PED-positive player into the Hall would be like letting a convicted murderer go free simply because not every murderer is caught and convicted. Many murderers get away with their crimes because they haven't been discovered, yet there is no societal controversy to convict those who are caught.
Cohn applies the same logic to the admitted PED user. Even though there are PED users who haven't been caught, that doesn't mean that admitted users like Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro should get voted into the Hall of Fame. By Cohn's logic, we must punish those who have been caught, and not let the uncertainty of the era and other users, sway the voting. They were caught cheating, and therefore they deserve to be punished. Period.
Barry Bonds will also never receive a vote from Cohn, even though his pre-usage numbers are arguably Hall-worthy. Cheating is cheating, and the timing of the violation is irrelevant in Cohn's opinion.
The debate surrounding alleged steroid users will continue to rage on for years to come. But until then, one Hall of Fame voter has found his solution to the controversial topic, knowing that his votes will not help cheaters enter the sacred halls of Cooperstown.
To read Cohn's entire pledge against PED users, click here.