Alex Rodriguez' 600th home run has rekindled the debate of long ball hitters and their Hall of Fame credentials. Of course, the Steriod Era has complicated what once was an easy call. Hitting 500 home runs used to mean automatic entry. No longer.
Here is what my Hall of Fame ballot would reflect for some of the future candidates. I and most of my brethen already have voted NO for Mark McGuire in the first litmus test for those connected to PED use. That McGwire has since come clean so he could get a job in baseball will not change many minds.
Barry Bonds (762 homers): Most believe he was a Hall of Fame shoe-in as an all-around player long before the PED issue and HR binge. I agree but he's forever tainted. His acceptance speech could be the most watched sporting event in history. YES.
Sammy Sosa (609): That HR battle with McGwire apparently was as phony as pro wrestling. NO.
Rafael Palmeiro (569): He said something to the effect that he didn't realize what he was doing. NO.
Gary Sheffield (509): Anyone who could bad-mouth Joe Torre and Derek Jeter and be linked to PED's can't he a hall of famer. NO.
Manny Ramirez (554): Manny being Manny when he tested positive after the PED issue was in the public arena? NO. And hanging around to hit 600 homers will not help, either.
Alex Rodriguez (600): Admitted what he did; still has years to make amends. YES.