Pretty much everything Caple says here is right, but this is especially important:
I would agree more with your pompous Hall of Fame voting stance if it weren’t so hypocritical, inconsistent and impossible to defend.
First, how can you reasonably justify withholding a vote for steroid use but not amphetamine use? Amphetamines became illegal two decades before steroids did. That was also about when we learned amphetamine use was rampant in baseball, thanks to “Ball Four.” In other words, a whole lot more players used amphetamines and for a whole lot longer than ever took steroids. And you probably voted for them without hesitation.
Don’t tell me amphetamines are a performance-enabler, not a performance-enhancer. That’s simply a convenient rationalization to excuse amphetamine use by your favorite players. If a substance helps a player perform in any way, it is a performance enhancer.
If you wouldn’t vote for McGwire or Bonds or Clemens and also believe that it’s a disgrace that “cheaters” like Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays are in the Hall of Fame, well, I think you’re wrong on both counts but at least you’re consistent. If you believe that players of the 90s should be held to different standards than players of the 50s and 60s — perhaps because the Brooklyn Dodgers are totally the only team in history that ever had fans, never mind that none of them were actually going to the park to watch their perennial first-place team, so in conclusion steroids are eeeevilllll! — I really don’t see the point in even pursuing the argument.