Mr. Pearlman, here is your response.
What we know about the steroids era and the players who were involved in it are two separate things and considering yourself an arbiter, a judge, a jury and an executioner of who did what on solely circumstantial evidence, with no proof, hard evidence, or even testimony, is a terribly irresponsible use of power.
As Ol’ Hoss Radbourn’s twitter said, saying “This player did steroids, here is my proof,” is what a responsible reporter would do. Saying “I think player X did steroids because Players Y and Z did it too” is what a gossip columnist would write.
Barry Bonds admitted to using the cream and the clear in a leaked grand jury testimony. Roger Clemens was cited in testimony for using HGH. Alex Rodriguez admitted to doing steroids while at Texas. Andy Pettitte admitted to HGH use while in recovery from an elbow injury.
This is evidence–and hard evidence at that. Citing before and after pictures is circumstancial evidence. It is not proof.
Two more points:
1. How can any player prove he didn’t do steroids?
Imagine, if you will, someone starts spreading a rumor that you’re gay. So how do you go about trying to prove you’re not gay? Start acting more hetero? That’s proof that you’re trying to hide it. Start going on dates with more women? You’re coming off too strong to show off your hetero-ness.
How do you talk to the people who started spreading this rumor? Almost anything you say will be used against you. “He said he’s going on a date with this girl Emma, it’s pretty obvious he’s just overcompensating.”
There is no way for a player who is suspected of doing steroids to prove he didn’t do steroids.
2. It’s not the voters’ jobs to judge who did and didn’t do steroids.
If evidence comes to light that he did use steroids, talk can begin of removing his plaque. I’d rather his plaque be removed upon being found guilty of using any performance enhancer than to further instigate any steroids gossip. But voting on suspicion is entirely bullshit and goes against the basic principles of justice.
I hope this answers your question.