It's been five years since Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who somehow only faced off eight times in their overlapping forty-six years of playing professional baseball, last stepped onto the field. Both bitterly retired before they believed their time was up. And now the two men find themselves side-by-side again, listed together on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year. Ballots are due on on December 31, and in the time we've been forced to wait for the voting sportswriters to decide the fate of these two athletes, we've seen the perception of performance-enhancing drug use in America slowly turn.
Baseball now has a defined "steroid era," which no longer seems like a derisive term meant to tarnish the period, but rather the best way we can all understand and quarantine it. We now know who took the drugs, we think we know why, and we've mostly forgiven those who have admitted their sins, including All-Stars, Cy Young winners, and MVPs.