Actually, with an admission and an apology, I'd vote him in. But not until then.
He would have had, say, 3,200 hits at least without the roiding, due to fewer intentional walks. Still would have batted .300. Probably still would have had at least 500 HRs, quite possibly at least 550.
At least 1,800 runs and RBIs also possible. Don't forget his multiple Gold Gloves.
Here's his career line, with the roids.
Give him same games and plate appearances. Let's say maybe, as I said, 3,200 hits with fewer IBBs. Jump the doubles to 650 at least. runs at 1,900. RBIs at 1,800. Slugging at .550 and OBP at .425 still gives you .975 OPS, at No. 11, but over a lot longer career than all but three or four ahead of him.
And, it's not like he didn't have legit power pre-roiding. He led in slugging three timems and OPS five times at age 30 or younger.
Like Roger Clemens, he was a first-round HOFer without the roiding or HGHing or whatever the hell all was in the "clear" and the "cream." (Barry, if it really was flaxseed oil, where's your endorsement contract?)
But, like Clemens, until an apology, I don't want him in.
More below the fold.
Now, with Bonds, I buy his frustration over Mark McGwire (and Sammy Sosa, to a lesser degree). I don't buy the reverse racism part of it.
And, with Clemens, there's no "others did it" excuse at all. Greg Maddux sure as hell wasn't juicing, not with his pedestrian fastball. Neither did string bean Randy Johnson.
And, yes, I want a more real apology from Big Mac, too. But, even as a lifelong Cards fan, I say he doesn't belong in the HOF, if we allow for the roids, especially. Knock his HRs back to 450 and what is he? Dave Kingman with muscles rather than lankiness. (Well, Big Mac was a better fielder, but who wasn't?)
Now, that all said, I'm not sure "confession" is the right word. There's a few reasons for that.
The first is that the MLB Hall of Fame, among major sports halls in the US, is the only one with a morals clause.
Alex Karras and Paul Hornung are in the NFL Hall after a year's suspension for betting on games.
Second, there's plenty of shady characters in the MLB Hall as is. Racists. People besides Charlie Hustle who allegedly bet on games, even besides Shoeless Joe who allegedly threw at least one game.
Third, per the "greenies" (and even steroid precursors) of the past, performance enhancement via chemistry isn't totally new. Nor (corked bats, spitballs, with illegal users of both in the HOF) is performance enhancement via physics.
I guess what I'm looking for is an investigative "confession," not a moral one. How bad was (and is?) the issue, not just as far as amount of using, but effect?
At the same time, there is a bit of a difference. Kids in the 1960s had no clue if superstars were using amphetamines or not and so, didn't rush out to buy them themselves. More on this in an upcoming post.