Well, there are two things going on, baseball-wise, right now: Hot Stove League, with lots of signings, and HOF voting. I'll stick with the latter, for a while. I'll go over my thoughts on the full ballot next week or the following week, but this week I'll get that other issue out of the way. I've said it before, but it's worth saying each year: eventually, the steroids guys are going to go in. All of them, more or less; I suppose there might be a fringe guy or two where that'll tip the balance the other way, but I wouldn't bet on it.
There are two reasons why I'm very confident about that. The second reason is that I'm fairly certain that people down the road will care a lot less about it than people do now. Part of that has to do with the way things always are when something disappointing is revealed about baseball players; it takes a while to put it into context, so that when you hear about Mark McGwire or Rafael Palmiero you think about the whole player and the whole career, not just PEDs. Part of it is that sooner or later I think the odds are that people will realize that there's no reason to treat the steroids crowd any differently than we've treated Willie Mays, Henry Aaron, and the rest of the players who drank the funny coffee all those years. And part of it has to do with the future, and the odds that sooner or later we'll have pills that can help you get stronger without side-effects, and those will be legal and accepted. We already, after all, have surgery to improve players, and no one seems to think of that as massive cheating.
But the main reason (and this certainly comes from what Bill James has said about the Hall of Fame) is that the Hall, as an institution, needs to have inductees. They aren't going to be able to skip a generation of players. Moreover, if they just induct the best supposedly "clean" ones, they'll risk turning the Hall into a joke. And remember; the only thing that makes the Hall of Fame into the "real" Hall of Fame is that everyone believes in it. If the Hall in Cooperstown is a joke, someone is going to start their own HOF-like thing, induct the actual greats, and if people start believing in that one, the current Hall could find itself a relic.
And that's not to mention the increasing chances that someone already inducted will be found out as a steroids user, making it even sillier to keep the rest out.
So, I'm not sure how quickly it'll happen, but my guess is that McGwire will get in via the writer's vote before his time runs out, and eventually, as I said, they're all going in.