...his statement would have been true. On March 17, 2005, this is what Palmeiro said to Congress. "Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. My name is Rafael Palmeiro and I am a professional baseball player. I'll be brief in my remarks today. Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids. Period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never. The reference to me in Mr. Canseco's book is absolutely false. I am against the use of steroids. I don't think athletes should use steroids and I don't think our kids should use them. That point of view is one, unfortunately, that is not shared by our former colleague, Jose Canseco. Mr. Canseco is an unashamed advocate for increased steroid use by all athletes."
Just a few months later, Palmeiro would reach 3000 hits and shortly thereafter be suspended by MLB for 10 days for violating the drug policy. Who knows where Palmeiro's career numbers might have ended up had he not used SOMETHING. Like so many other players, we'll never know.
I think that Palmeiro, like Mark McGwire, will someday make it into the Hall of Fame. It may take a while, but as some of the old guard of the BBWAA go away, the big stat guys of the steroid era will find their place in the Hall. It may be a separate wing, even a broom closet, but they'll be there someday.