Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mike Schmidt wants A-Roid in HOF

Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt announced that he would like A-Roid to join him in the Hall of Fame.
Mike Schmidt knows he isn't speaking for all living Hall of Fame players, but if Alex Rodriguez joins their club someday, Schmidt said he would welcome him to the fraternity.

"Would I welcome him? Yeah, I will -- if he got elected to the Hall of Fame," Schmidt said Wednesday after he checked into the Philadelphia Phillies' spring training camp as a special instructor.

Schmidt was elected to the Hall in 1995 with 96.5 percent of the vote, the third-highest percentage at the time -- behind Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron -- of any Hall of Fame position player. Asked why he wouldn't have qualms about accepting an admitted user of performance-enhancing drugs as a fellow Hall of Famer, Schmidt said he sees both sides of this issue.

"I'm a guy, I always seem to be walking right on top of, right down the middle of the fence," he said. "I can understand the old hard-line guys who use the words, 'He cheated, he cheated, he cheated.' And [I understand] the other guys that go, 'It was a culture thing back then, and if you played, you'd have been tempted, too.' "

In fact, when Schmidt was asked directly if he thought he'd have gotten caught up in trying performance-enhancing drugs had they been part of his era, he answered: "Most likely. Why not?"

"A term that I think has been overused a lot, especially by Alex, is 'culture' -- culture of the era he played in," Schmidt said. "We had a culture when I played. There was a culture in the era when Babe Ruth played. And in the '60s, there was a culture. It's just that way in life. And apparently -- I wasn't involved, but from hearing everybody -- that was the culture of the '90s and the early 2000s. The temptation had to be tremendous to the young men playing major league baseball back then."

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