Inductee La Russa says let steroid era players in Hall

Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:28pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Tony La Russa, who will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, believes there is room in the Hall for tainted stars from the so-called Steroids Era.

Pitcher Roger Clemens and sluggers Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire should be included in the shrine as stars of their generation, attached with an asterisk to note the questions that surround their achievements, former manager La Russa told ESPN.

Those players deserve recognition as the best of their time despite being linked to performance enhancers, said La Russa, who will join five other new inductees at Cooperstown this weekend.

“If you were a Hall of Famer during that period as far as your pitching and playing, I would create some kind of asterisk, where everybody understands that, ‘Look, we have some questions, but you were still the dominant pitchers and players of your time,'” said La Russa.

“I might get voted out of the Hall of Fame with that attitude, but that’s what I believe.”

La Russa's view flies in the face of outspoken Hall of Fame members and in the voting record of members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, who have yet to elect a player linked to performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) into the Hall.

"He is naturally entitled to his opinion, but he is not part of the voting body for the Hall of Fame," BBWAA Secretary/Treasurer Jack O'Connell told Reuters on Friday in an e-mail.

"The rules are clear; voters may vote for anyone on the ballot up to a number of 10," added O'Connell about the system, which requires 75 percent of the votes cast to earn induction.

Vote totals for Clemens, Bonds and McGwire were not close to winning entrance. Clemens was ninth (35.4 percent) among vote getters, Bonds was one place back (34.7) and McGwire was 18th on the list with a distant 11 percent.   Continued...

Former Oakland Athletics manager Tony La Russa (10), and players Dave Stewart (34) and Rickey Henderson (24) during the 1989 Oakland Athletics World Series team tribute before the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Coliseum. Jul 19, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports