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letters | cooperstown confronts the steroid era

Hall of Fame voters must shun baseball’s cheaters

I AGREE that “putting the steroid era in proper perspective is important” for baseball (“At Hall of Fame, a need for a full account of steroid era,” Editorial, Dec. 30) But suggesting that the National Baseball Hall of Fame conduct an independent investigation into the scandal and that the sportswriters who pick new inductees await its results is, in my view, unrealistic and unnecessary.

Fact finders and voting sportswriters already know that the steroids era dawned after the strike of the mid-’90s. Fans were drawn back to the ballparks to see home run records shattered by juiced players hitting juiced balls, while those entrusted with protecting the integrity of the game turned a blind eye as lost revenues were being replenished.

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Let’s accept one other fact. For youngsters, life does imitate sport. It’s the early teacher of life’s important lessons — what’s fair, what’s foul; what’s safe, what’s out; what’s right, what’s wrong — and that there are consequences for not playing by the rules. Whether kids or grownups, society needs to be reminded that in all walks of life behavior matters, rules matter, accountability matters, and, yes, role models matter.

The Globe’s editorial suggests that if investigators find steroid use to have been universal, writers might choose to enshrine the cheaters who put up the best numbers. Is this to suggest that if you’ve broken enough records, it’s OK to have broken the rules?

I don’t think so.

Paul G. Kirk Jr.

Marstons Mills

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