From Tim Brown's well-written piece about his struggles with the latest Hall of Fame ballot:
What I know is this: I cannot vote for a player who used performance-enhancing drugs, or one who I strongly believe used them. I wish I didn't care. But I do.
All I can say is I did my best. I think I've softened some on my previous hard-line ballots, even voting for players I've not voted for previously. As a result, I've submitted seven players, more than I ever have.
It's a tough ballot. You're allowed to vote for 10 candidates, and there are more than 10 players with solid Hall of Fame credentials, statistically speaking. I think Edgar Martinez wouldn't make my cut and I'm also not 100% committed to Larry Walker yet. But Brown's seven candidates were all great players, and all of them better than Jim Rice.
My one quibble is that I would be willing to bet good money that at least three of those seven used performance-enhancing drugs. Illegally. Not even including amphetamines.
Someday, we'll know a lot more about what happened in the 1990s and the 2000s. We'll find out that a bunch of Hall of Famers, players Tim Brown voted for, at least dabbled in steroids.
When that happens, where will he, and we, be?