MLB Great Billy Wagner Speaks Out on Cheaters in Baseball

Former All-Star reliever Billy Wagner doesn't have the time of day for cheaters. He's one of the many ex-players who have been speaking out on his issues with the Steroid Era and Wagner doesn't feeling he should be sharing a hall-of-fame ballot with players who have used performance-enhancing drugs.

Wagner caught up with Mike Puma of the New York Post and had this to say about being considered with 'cheaters':

To me, that is a very easy story. If you are caught and proven without a doubt and you are suspended, I don't know why you are on the ballot. I understand that A-Rod was one of the greatest players I ever played against, and when all that stuff changes, you just have a hard time. You go, 'Why? You were already great.' For whatever reason, I just don't think it's fair that (suspended PED users) get to enjoy what guys who did it the correct way are forced to deal with. A guy like (longtime Atlanta Braves star) Dale Murphy, who goes out there and hits and gets MVPs and does it correctly, but doesn't get in, but the guy who takes shortcuts shouldn’t get the same privilege

Wagner does feel that there should be a clear distinction between players who 100% tested positive and those who were never proven to have used PEDs. For instance, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have long been connected to cheating but have never tested positive while playing.

This debate ramps up even more in 2022 because of David Ortiz being elected in. He tested positive in 2003 during an MLB survey and Ortiz said at the time his positive test stemmed from a nutritional supplement, not steroids.  

As for Wagner, this was his seventh year on the hall-of-fame ballot and this time around he only received 51% of the vote. He's a seven-time All-Star who was a dominant closer over his 16-year career. Perhaps next year will be his year, for now, he's busy throwing shade at the 'cheaters'.

Photo credit:  Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports