I posted this question yesterday afternoon in the Sosa thread over at Baseball Think Factory, and I really think it's worth pondering:
Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Fred McGriff, and Edgar Martinez (and Robin Ventura, Andres Galarraga, Ellis Burks and Ray Lankford, to a lesser extent) all played their last game in 2004, so they likely had to take this test. What happens if names on the list keep coming out randomly like this and one of these guys is named only a week before the HOF voting? Or what happens if they get elected and then their name gets "leaked" the day before the inauguration?Larkin, Alomar, McGriff, and Martinez. That's the list of potential Hall of Fame players who were likely tested in 2005 that will be voted on first (this coming December/January, I believe). How are HOF voters going to look at them, especially if the names on this list are still shrouded in secrecy?
Is this a worst-case or best-case scenario?
Personally, I think the best-case scenario (in this admittedly crappy situation) is one of these players getting elected into the Hall and then, shortly thereafter, getting outed as being on the list. That way, the writers/voters will have no choice but to face head-on the reality of steroid users in the Hall of Fame. Sure, the Jay Mariottis of the world will rail against it and "boycott" the ceremony, but, overall, the weight and reality of it will be good for the sport.
The worst-case scenario, though, would be the opposite: one of these players getting outed as being on the list only a week or two before the voting takes place. In that instance, the emotions and drama of the revelations would still be high (as they are today with Sosa and as they were in May with Manny and in February with A-Rod) and there would be more than a good chance that the player would not even receive the 5% support that he needs to stay on the ballot. In short, he might not even be able to receive the McGwire treatment. That would be a bloody shame because, at some point, the steroid users are going to be admitted into the Hall and, when they do, players like McGwire will finally start getting fair elections. If they're not on the list, though, like the player in this hypothetical situation, then they won't get that chance to be elected and would instead have to wait until the Veteran's Committee, 15 or 20 years later.
The sad thing is, it's probably going to take something like these two scenarios to get the Hall voters to face reality. I just hope it's the better of the two.