This year the Baseball Writer's Association of America failed to elect anybody to the Baseball Hall of Fame. This was partially because some all time greats were linked to steroid use. The steroid issue, however, only partially explains why nobody was elected to the Hall of Fame.
Quietly going about one's business -- putting in time as an IRS agent, serving in the army, working toward winning the Heisman or performing small acts of kindness for their own sake -- is a noble and satisfying pursuit. Far easier said than done, but surely not impossible.
Keeping people out of the Hall of Fame because of suspected or real connections to steroids may or may not be wise, but keeping people out because the voting rules have not changed to fully recognize expansion is not.
Baseball fans now know the answer to the question about whether or not the very brightest stars of an era forever linked with performance enhancing drugs will pay the price in the form of Hall of Fame entry, or lack thereof.
We have a Hall of Fame filled with many players who played in a segregated era and said nothing, who either took amphetamines or looked the way while others did and probably even players who said nothing about the gambling and betting on baseball they saw around them.
I wanted to believe what he had achieved was possible without doping. I wanted to believe that, if he could confront and conquer cancer, he could do nearly anything. I wanted to believe he was different.