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Rose Is Banned From Baseball, But What About Accused Steroid Users?

Pete Rose appears at an autograph signing event last month in Las Vegas. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred rejected Rose's plea for reinstatement, citing Rose's continued gambling and evidence that he bet on games when he was playing for the Cincinnati Reds. Without reinstatement, Rose can't be elected to the Hall of Fame.
John Locher

We start 2016 with a command: that the subject of Pete Rose and the Hall of Fame is over, finis, kaput forever and ever. As sure as we will no longer discuss whether Lindsey Graham or George Pataki can be president. The new commissioner has been even more adamant in dismissing Rose's pleadings, so it doesn't matter how passionately you feel — it is a dead issue. There.

But OK, now that we have that settled, there's bound to be more attention devoted to the candidacies of the accused steroid users. Should they get in the Hall of Fame? Especially among those who worship at the altar of statistics, there is the argument that, well, so many players were using that the cheaters just proved that they were better than the other cheaters. Of course, this still cheats all the players who didn't cheat, but since nobody knows the accurate steroid census, the argument persists.

Click the audio to hear Frank Deford's take on this issue.

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Frank Deford died on Sunday, May 28, at his home in Florida. Remembrances of Frank's life and work can be found in All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and on NPR.org.
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