PHILADELPHIA – Mike Schmidt said he would have taken steroids if he played during the late 1990s.

Frank Robinson said players proven to have used steroids should have their records “wiped out … like they didn’t play.”

The two Hall of Fame players, among baseball’s career home run leaders, gave their opinions to Bob Costas on his HBO show, “Costas Now,” televised Friday night.

“Let me go out on a limb and say that if I had played during that era I would have taken steroids,” said Schmidt, who ranks 11th all-time with 548 homers. Since retiring in 1989 he has been surpassed by Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro.

Costas said: “Even though you led the league in home runs eight times and hit 548 lifetime, you said to yourself, “I’m not passing moral judgment on any of these guys. If I was in the same situation I would have done the same thing.’ “

“You’re exactly right,” Schmidt replied. “Again, I’m weak. We all have these things we deal with in life, and I’m surely not going to sit here and say to you guys, “I wouldn’t have done that.”‘

In a separate interview taped Tuesday, Costas asked Robinson how much it bothered him that some sluggers may have used performance-enhancing drugs.

“You were fourth (in home runs) for, like, a quarter century. The list was unchanged. It was (Henry) Aaron, (Babe) Ruth, (Willie) Mays, you,” Costas said.

“And I loved it. It was a nice ring,” said Robinson, who served as vice president of player discipline for Major League Baseball and now manages the Washington Nationals, who are playing in Philadelphia this weekend. “Now I’m fifth (behind Bonds), for a little bit more. And I may be sixth, seventh, eighth.”

“Here comes Sosa, Palmeiro,” Costas said.

“There’s nothing wrong with that. As long as it was done legitimately,” said Robinson, who hit 586 home runs. “If it was found out that they didn’t do it legitimately, then I would really be upset.”

“If it’s determined fairly that guys with big numbers cheated with steroids … should they be kept out of the Hall of Fame?” Costas asked.

“Wipe it out. That’s the way I feel about it. No numbers. It’s like they didn’t play,” Robinson said.

“Like they didn’t play?”

“Just like they didn’t play,” Robinson answered.

“Costas Now” reruns this morning at 10 EDT and Sunday at 11 a. m.


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