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Gentlemen, start your arguments

And now, the debate gets serious.

Steroids villains Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa? All on the Hall of Fame ballot?

Guess we'll get to see who was serious about never, ever, ever voting a juicer into the sacred Hall, and who was just blowing smoke. And if there are enough of the former to keep Bonds, Clemens, Sosa et al out for perpetuity.

My guess is eventually they'll get in, because eventually -- 20 years down the road, maybe, but eventually -- chemical enhancement of some form or fashion will be as much an accepted part of the game as the hit-and-run and the double steal. Technology has a way of changing accepted norms. Always has, always will.

My take?

If I had a vote, Bonds and Clemens would be first-ballot Hall of Famers. Because, no matter what they put in their bodies later, their pre-PED numbers were already first-ballot Hall-worthy. Sosa's another matter -- almost all of his numbers can be at least partly attributed to the juice -- but Bonds and Clemens were already mortal-lock Hall of Famers before they ever picked up a syringe. So to keep them out would be farcical.

Put 'em in. Stick a disclaimer on their plaques ("Some of Bonds/Clemens' numbers were achieved during what came to be known as the Steroids Era") and move on. It's long past time.

Ben Smith's blog.

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