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Team Clark
01-09-2007, 04:00 PM
Pretty interesting article by Todd Jones from Sporting News....


McGwire didn't play for the Hall
By Todd Jones - SportingNews

We wanted to see homers, and Mark McGwire hit them. He hit them out of sight. We came to ballparks 2 hours early just to watch him in BP. We demanded that he hit BP so much that Tony La Russa had to issue press releases before the Sundays when McGwire wasn't going to hit.

Now we're treating Big Mac as if he was Frankenstein. His biceps are like the bolts on Frankenstein's neck, a symbol of the monster we created. We wanted homers, and he hit them for us.

But after we made McGwire a hero, we found out that yeah, he might have used something to do what he did. Then again, maybe he didn't. We can't be sure, can we?

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Doesn't matter. Now there's a big angry mob with pitchforks and torches that wants a pound of his flesh. It plans to get it when voting results are announced Tuesday for this year's Hall of Fame class. Though he hit 583 home runs, including 70 in that record-breaking summer of 1998, McGwire is not expected to make the cut.

Whether McGwire was using something was of no concern in 1998. We didn't care what he looked like. Did you say anything back then? The Cardinals surely didn't. Neither did baseball. McGwire was his team's and the game's golden goose.

Perhaps things would be different for McGwire if he had answered questions at the congressional hearing two years ago. But really, what could he say? He said in his opening statement that if he denied using steroids, no one would believe him and if he admitted to using them, he would risk "public scorn and endless government investigations." He probably was right, not that it might have mattered. Those close to McGwire knew he wouldn't go against baseball's unwritten rules and sell out any of his colleagues.

So after he told the committee he was not there to talk about the past, the angry mob went berserk and now that angry mob is going to teach him a lesson.

Well, I hate to inform the angry mob, but the McGwire I've gotten the chance to know couldn't care less if he's in the Hall of Fame. You don't see him peddling his name or his likeness to keep his persona in the public conscious. He's living his life away from the spotlight just like he tried to do when he was playing.

I heard one member of the angry mob say if McGwire doesn't want to talk about the past then he doesn't want to talk about McGwire's past, either. Ooohhh, scary. You know what? The angry mob doesn't understand that you can't hold the Hall over his head. McGwire is one of those players who if he doesn't get in, it looks bad on the Hall of Fame. He was that dominant a player.

We live in a society when we want it all. The angry mob loved McGwire in 1998 but now wants his head. Well, I want the media to know that if you put McGwire in or leave him out, that's not why he played.

I don't think he cares one way or the other.

E-mail Todd Jones, a reliever for the Tigers, at tjones@sportingnews.com.

Jpup
01-09-2007, 04:07 PM
I never liked the guy, not in Oakland, not in St. Louis and certainly not now. I think he has the numbers to be in the Hall of Fame, but I can't say that I care one way or another. I definitely wasn't pulling for him or Sosa in 1998. To me, he is a coward for his testimony in front of the grand jury.

registerthis
01-09-2007, 04:13 PM
McGwire doesn't care whether he's in the HoF or not?

Awesome. Take his name off the ballot then and save all of us the trouble.

Team Clark
01-09-2007, 04:26 PM
McGwire doesn't care whether he's in the HoF or not?

Awesome. Take his name off the ballot then and save all of us the trouble.

:laugh: Now that is one heck of an idea. I wondered today if McGwire even bothered sitting by the phone? From all accounts he is recluse. Would the HOF even be able to get ahold of him? If he were elected would he be the first to no show? Just questions I had.

Chip R
01-09-2007, 04:49 PM
I'm sure he does care but, to his credit, he hasn't been politicing about it.

Team Clark
01-09-2007, 04:59 PM
I'm sure he does care but, to his credit, he hasn't been politicing about it.

True. I've met him and personally I like him. I'm just wondering if he is not politicing because he knows he has no shot? (Valid or not) It's hard to say. I may chide about his situation but he's a stronger man than I for handling the dismantling of his career the way he has.

icehole3
01-09-2007, 05:02 PM
If they let Pete Rose in, then I wouldnt care if McGwire got in.

bucksfan2
01-09-2007, 05:35 PM
I never liked McGwire as a player. He was a good player, not great. Without his HR #'s he would have been a subpar first baseman. I respect what he has done with his life after baseball. He has just disappeared from the baseball landscape which I am sure most of your stars want to do. In fact the only time you have heard from him since he retired was at that congressional hearing when he probably ruined his chances at the hall. I dont think he belongs in the Hall. However on his behalf the owner and even baseball knew he was on stuff. They had just suffered through a work stopage and knew they needed something to get fans back. They basically turned their head the other way and let him cheat his way to a record. It is kinda ironic that they guys (Sosa and McGwire) cheated in doing so.

Goten
01-09-2007, 05:57 PM
Mac should get in. There is nothing but weak allegations against him. To keep him out is a joke. There's PROVEN cheaters who breezed their way in, and yet one who's alleged to have used drugs doesn't get in?

Big mistake.

RedsManRick
01-09-2007, 06:37 PM
I really enjoy reading Jones' articles. It's a fresh take on the whole HoF debate. The HoF isn't for players -- it's for fans. It's the hall of "fame". Fame implies the relation between the players and the fans. McGwire, by all accounts I've read, did his best to accommodate fans while he played.

Did he cheat? I don't know. Did he break the law? I don't know. Did he hit lots of homers and enterain legions of fans. Yup. Us stat geeks have done everything we can to make the Hall of Fame in to the Hall of Players Who Contributed the Most to Winning Games. Yeah, there's a whole lot of overlap. But maybe it just doesn't matter that much.

In this information age, we have access to so much of the information about baseball at our fingertips. In a heartbeat I can tell you the career statistics and give you a brief bio on nearly any player in the last 100 years. The HoF, as an institution is a great way to capture and preserve baseball history. But it's just one of many -- no longer THE way. Good for McGwire that he's leaving history to the historians and going about the rest of his life in peace.

dougflynn23
01-09-2007, 06:46 PM
I never liked McGwire as a player. He was a good player, not great. Without his HR #'s he would have been a subpar first baseman. :confused: That kind of like saying that without her looks, Jennifer Aniston would be a subpar actress. Fact is, his numbers far surpass similiar skill-set players such as Willie Stargell, Harmon Killebrew, and Willie McCovey, all HOF'ers. He has 2,000 less AB's than those HOF'ers and still matched or surpssed their numbers. If you like OPS as a measurement, not one of those players was within 100 points of McGwire's.

Say you won't vote him in because of the speculation that he was doing it the wrong way, but don't say it's because his numbers or performance don't warrant it. That's silly.

TeamBoone
01-09-2007, 11:35 PM
The HoF isn't for players -- it's for fans. It's the hall of "fame". Fame implies the relation between the players and the fans. McGwire, by all accounts I've read, did his best to accommodate fans while he played.


I totally disagree with this statement.

IMHO, "fame" in no way implies the relationship between the players and their fans (that would be the All Star Game)... to me, it means (not implies) the fame earned by a player because he excel/s/ed at playing the game when compared to his peers. He becomes famous for that reason, not just with his fans but with everyone involved in the game, including his peers.

George Foster
01-09-2007, 11:40 PM
McGwire was asked directly during the congressional hearing, if he took steroids....we all know what he said. to say, "we don't know if he took steroids are not," is just a joke. He took steroids. Not answering a direct question is an admission of guilt...period.


"Did you or did you not cheat on your wife?" "Well (voice cracking)....I want to concentrate on the future and not the past..." What would your opinion be of this guy???

oneupper
01-09-2007, 11:56 PM
The majority of voters decided that they had enough proof that Mac cheated.
This is not a criminal trial, it doesn't have to be proven beyond "reasonable doubt".

As things stand today, if Mac wants in (the HOF), IMO the burden of proof would be on HIM.

Cedric
01-10-2007, 12:18 AM
Maybe the angry mob just thought he wasn't good enough. Maybe they realize that the guy only had 1600 hits and without steriods is just an above average one trick pony.

I think if you use common sense you would say the guy was on 'roids and that certainly helped his power numbers. Putting doubt on the only thing the guy did great would be enough for me to not even think of voting for him.

paulrichjr
01-10-2007, 12:58 AM
Just out of curosity...What if McGwire only took them once and didn't take any during his Cardinal years... What would you think then. Could Andro had made him look like that?

There is no way to know what his records would have been without them or even if he took them in 1998. We know that he was taking Andro then and baseball didn't care. I honestly think that McGwire was a great home run hitter without the stuff and wouldn't be surprised if he had hit 500 without it. Should he be in the Hall? I honestly don't know how I would vote. I have changed my mind twice since reading these other quotes. My gut says that he was too one dimensional and that his great years were too few...

KGJR30
01-10-2007, 01:15 AM
Whether Big Mac cheated or not is a moot point. Most on here (not all, and I realize this) think that Pete Rose should be admitted. He broke a rule, just as Big Mac "supposedly" did. Difference is Rose admitted it and Big Mac won't. I am stealing this logic from the Sports Guy on espn.com, but McGwire shouldn't be left out because people think he cheated. Even if he did, he basically brought baseball back to where it was before the strike. Vote him in the hall of fame, but put on his plaque that he may have taken steroids. Same with Rose, let him in, just let it be known that he was basically a scumbag.

TeamSelig
01-10-2007, 01:15 AM
he should be in the HOF just because he was apart of something that so called "saved" baseball... thats a big enough part of history to grant a hof election IMO

we need to stop worrying about who cheated and who didn't cheat, and just go by what their impact on the league was, and their overall stats

also, whats up with Cal Ripken getting the most votes ever?

Yachtzee
01-10-2007, 01:32 AM
I totally disagree with this statement.

IMHO, "fame" in no way implies the relationship between the players and their fans (that would be the All Star Game)... to me, it means (not implies) the fame earned by a player because he excel/s/ed at playing the game when compared to his peers. He becomes famous for that reason, not just with his fans but with everyone involved in the game, including his peers.

If the Hall isn't for baseball fans, what is it for, really? I've been to the hall many times and I enjoy it every time...love it. But contrary to what some baseball writers think, it's a museum where people go to see cool baseball stuff and learn about the history of the game. It's not a church, nor is it some kind of Valhalla to be filled only with those the baseball writers deem to be worthy "gods of baseball."

Compare the selection process and the Hall of Fame festivities of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Pro Football Hall has a big to-do with exhibition football, huge fan turnout, parades, live televised ceremonies, the whole shebang. It really seems to be designed not just around honoring the greats of the game, but encouraging fans to come out and experience the hall itself. When you go to the Football Hall, they have a room with all the busts of the past inductees. You can look at them up close or use interactive touch panels to get more info about each player. When they select the players, the selection committee is required to induct a certain number of people each year. It seems as though they're saying, "Hey, we've had so many great players that we have to keep inducting people." More players getting in also brings more people to Canton for the festivities.

Baseball, on the other hand, leaves the selection process to the baseball writers, who hmm and haw about whether this guy or that guy was good enough. It always seems to be about the guys who weren't good enough as it was about the players who get in. Then they end up with one or two guys getting in who don't have that draw on their own to generate interest in the induction ceremonies. Then they induct the players in the middle of the season, when a lot of people are too involved following their own team to get excited about the hall induction ceremonies. I don't even think they play the "Hall of Fame" game that weekend, do they?

Another problem is the part of the hall containing the plaques. When I was last there, the baseball history areas were great, but the room with the plaques was rather sterile and did not invite people to linger. The amount of info you could find out about each member, in that room at least, was limited to the blub they chose to put on each member's plaque. No interactive touch screens with pages of player info and history to browse through, unless they changed that from the last time I was there.

I think that, even though the Hall is considered a separate entity, MLB needs to look at the Hall as another way to market the game and its history. It needs to loosen the standards for membership in the selection committee and encourage voters to consider those who were top players in their time. I would also move the induction ceremonies up to coincide with the end of Spring Training, or else maybe have them during the All-Star break, with a live feed of the induction ceremonies shown on the video boards at the host city's ballpark.

M2
01-10-2007, 11:35 AM
What Yachtzee said for the most part. The HOF is a baseball museum. It's there to chronicle the game through the ages. In fact, it's probably more important that it immortalize the second-tier stars and scoundrels of each era than the guys who everybody would know anyway.

Viewed through that light, Mark McGwire, Pete Rose and Joe Jackson deserve plaques. Barry Bonds will deserve one as well. So will Sammy Sosa and Raffy Palmeiro. Infamy is part of the "fame" equation too. Cooperstown doesn't have to sugarcoat their bios.

Mind you, I don't care if Mark McGwire gets into the HOF any more than Todd Jones says Mark McGwire doesn't care. There's a good dozen guys on the current ballot who missed despite an excellent case for entry in Cooperstown. Famous guys, great players, stars in their eras.

Cooperstown allows the media to enshrine its own willy-nilly while it treats players with contempt. You'd be hard-pressed to find a worse system. It would be like the Met refusing to display some of Titian's work because it needed the wall space to honor its trustees.

So should Mark McGwire be in Cooperstown? Yes. Do I care given how screwed up the system is? No, because a lot of players who should be there are getting left on the doorstep and McGwire, because of his steroids taint, doesn't strike me as notably more deserving than many others.

Wheelhouse
01-10-2007, 12:31 PM
I wrote this to Todd Jones:

Dear Todd-
I know you have a rightful contempt for the media, especially the sports media, and especially in regards to the topic of steroids. A good many journalists turned a blind eye to something that was obvious because they couldn't make "news product" out of it at the time. MLB was to busy counting money to care about a problem that was abundantly clear. But what the press and baseball executives are reacting to now is justified outrage by the fans. Neither the press nor baseball execs are known to be courageous groups, but when their pocketbooks can get hit they take action. Most fans did not know about the effect steroids had on performance in 1998--the conventional wisdom among most Americans was that bulk was bad for a player, as the game required quickness and flexibility. We were actually shocked men of such muscular size could hit a 90MPH fastball. Now that the medical facts have come to light about steroids and how they can actually help an athlete in every way, not just strength, the fans are wise to how they have been cheated. But is it important that the fans have been cheated? Is it worth sending a guy like McGwire up the flagpole for a game? Maybe not. But I'll tell you who this whole issue is important for-- young athletes who will become ill or die from use of these drugs. You may say it is debatable whether the drugs have that effect. Fine. Forget the fans, forget the young athletes. The real impact on them is up for discussion. But what about your group, professional ballplayers? Have you spent one second thinking about the young guy in AA or AAA who refused to take steroids but who was stuck on the depth chart because some 40-year old guy in the Show was juiced? Have you thought about the Major League careers that were stalled or ended because of that? Or is it "out of sight out of mind." Seems like you are a pretty rigorous defender of your teammates. Nice quality. Now try defending the ones you never had.

camisadelgolf
01-10-2007, 12:34 PM
I think he should be allowed in the Hall. The substances McGwire admits to taking were legal at the time. Did McGwire illegally use steroids? Maybe. Heck, probably. But we're supposed to be in the nation of innocent-until-proven-guilty. If you won't let McGwire in the Hall, then you should at least kick out the people who you know broke the rules (i.e. Gaylord Perry, who admits to using spitballs).

Chip R
01-10-2007, 12:44 PM
Compare the selection process and the Hall of Fame festivities of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Pro Football Hall has a big to-do with exhibition football, huge fan turnout, parades, live televised ceremonies, the whole shebang. It really seems to be designed not just around honoring the greats of the game, but encouraging fans to come out and experience the hall itself. When you go to the Football Hall, they have a room with all the busts of the past inductees. You can look at them up close or use interactive touch panels to get more info about each player. When they select the players, the selection committee is required to induct a certain number of people each year. It seems as though they're saying, "Hey, we've had so many great players that we have to keep inducting people." More players getting in also brings more people to Canton for the festivities.

Baseball, on the other hand, leaves the selection process to the baseball writers, who hmm and haw about whether this guy or that guy was good enough. It always seems to be about the guys who weren't good enough as it was about the players who get in. Then they end up with one or two guys getting in who don't have that draw on their own to generate interest in the induction ceremonies. Then they induct the players in the middle of the season, when a lot of people are too involved following their own team to get excited about the hall induction ceremonies. I don't even think they play the "Hall of Fame" game that weekend, do they?



Football writers do the selecting for the football HOF too. If you talk to Cincinnati Bengals fans, a lot of them feel that Ken Riley and Ken Anderson should be in Canton.

If you leave HOF voting up to the fans, you may get a lot more inductees but you're also going to be leaving out well deserved players. Fans have just as many - if not more - silly criteria that define a great player.

I agree that the way the writers are voting is screwed up but giving it to the fans would make it worse.

BoilerBC11
01-10-2007, 01:22 PM
It’s truly sad that this is even an argument; it drives me crazy how hypocritical baseball and all of its media relations have acted over this whole steroids ordeal.

The truth is that baseball didn’t have rules put in place to scare players away from steroids. Because of this certain players used this to their advantage, and made millions because of it.

However, they weren’t the only ones making millions during the steroids era. The homerun chase was huge for the sport of baseball. After the strike, baseball was an afterthought to most sports fans; and "the chase" was what brought baseball back to the front page.

I just find it funny that during "the chase", nearly everyone was suspicious of steroid use, but you sure didn’t hear a peep out of baseball or the media...I wonder if this is due to the steady flow of cash they were making from it??

I know I'm rambling, but I just find it funny that baseball, and media officials are throwing these players under the bus now...you know after they’ve made their money.

The bottom line is that all of these steroid users changed the game of baseball forever and even though many now think they changed the sport for the worse. I wonder what state the sport would be in today if it wasn’t for all of the momentum gained from the steroid era.

Due to the simple fact that they have had a HUGE impact on the sport, and baseball essentially encouraged their “power surges”, there is no reason that the Sammy Sosa’s and Mark McGuire’s of baseball shouldn’t be in the HOF.

Chip R
01-10-2007, 01:27 PM
The bottom line is that all of these steroid users changed the game of baseball forever and even though many now think they changed the sport for the worse. I wonder what state the sport would be in today if it wasn’t for all of the momentum gained from the steroid era.


So the ends justify the means?

RedsManRick
01-10-2007, 01:46 PM
Exactly M2. In my mind, the HoF should be a place to celebrate the history of the game. If Pete Rose and Joe Jackson get in but get placed next to an exhibit about the problems of baseball and gambling, then it at least properly contextualizes the real history. Same with Bonds, Sosa, McGwire and steroids.

You shouldn't attempt to change or hide history. Talk about it in it's full context. Say that McGwire & Sosa were great home run hitters who drew massive crowds and revitalized the game with the race of '98, but that suspicion of steroid use

If all the HoF is is an identification of the "best" players, then why does it need a physical location. It's not just a stamp of approval, but a celebration of history. Bonds, Sosa, and McGwire ARE a part of history, and keeping them out of the Hall won't change their on the field accomplishments. Let the Hall celebrate the full, real history of the game --- as well as serve as a place to discuss and present the often controversial aspects of that history.

If it does not do that, I think it will begin to lose relevance as an institution and simply become one more award tacked on at the end of player's career.

Dom Heffner
01-10-2007, 01:59 PM
We wanted to see homers, and Mark McGwire hit them.

Yes, the fans wanted to see Big Mac hit home runs. No, we didn't want to see him home runs while on steroids. The reason we were amazed with his strength is because we thought he was doing it with skill and natural atheltic ability. It isn't so amazing when you know he got some help. That's why the fans left his side. Stop blaming everybody but McGwire.


But after we made McGwire a hero, we found out that yeah, he might have used something to do what he did. Then again, maybe he didn't. We can't be sure, can we?

As GF pointed out, McGwire pretty much invoked the Fifth when asked directly in front of Congress. It's quite telling.

To those of you who think that answers under oath or before a committe do not mean anything, think of it this way: would Rafael Palmeiro have been better off answering the same way?

If I were Mark McGwire's attorney, I'd tell him he better not say that he didn't use them if there is anybody on earth that knows better.

So if he can't say that he didn't, and he certainly isn't going to say he did, then we are left with the only other answer, which is "I'm not here to talk about the past," or i.e., "no comment" which is what he gave us.

To think that McGwire never took steroids but will not say so while under oath or in front of a Congressional committe is a bit ridiculous.

He's never getting in. And he shouldn't.


Perhaps things would be different for McGwire if he had answered questions at the congressional hearing two years ago. But really, what could he say? He said in his opening statement that if he denied using steroids, no one would believe him and if he admitted to using them, he would risk "public scorn and endless government investigations."

My above point is valid here, but there is something utterly ridiculous about the reasoning. Read this statement again and see if it passes the smell test:


if he admitted to using them, he would risk "public scorn and endless government investigations

Why, dearest Big Mac, would admitting this ever be an option, if you never took them?

Can you imagine being a truly innocent murder suspect saying something so ridiculous?

And as far as McGwire's point about the public not believing his denial: He got the same result by pleading the fifth, did he not?

When you say to the world, "I'm not here to talk about the past," you make people think you did them, anyway, right? So what is the difference if I don't believe you in either case?

I'll tell you the difference: You can't get get into legal trouble when you plead the fifth.

McGwire, like when he took his steroids, is thinking only of himself.


What Yachtzee said for the most part. The HOF is a baseball museum. It's there to chronicle the game through the ages. In fact, it's probably more important that it immortalize the second-tier stars and scoundrels of each era than the guys who everybody would know anyway.


The Hall of Fame is not just a baseball museum. Using this argument suggests that Tom Hume should be there, because he played the game, too. He should be in the museum because he played the game. No.

The Hall is for the best players, and by that we mean the ones who got there honestly.

We make it really hard to get in, but part of the requirement should not be whether or not you are a nice guy or a racist.

The numbers should be legitimate, or it doesn't mean a thing.

Players using steroids also have a ripple effect: they make it harder for those who didn't use drugs to get into the Hall. Suddenly 400 homeruns doesn't seem like anything because Barry Bonds could have done that in 5.5 half seasons.

We need to learn to make the distinction between legitimate numbers and simply bad guys. As a player you can be both a top producer and a terrible guy. The former gets you in the hall, the latter doesn't keep you out of it, unless being a terrible guy includes cheating to be a top producer.

alexad
01-10-2007, 02:05 PM
McGwire should be in the Hall of Fame.

alexad
01-10-2007, 02:12 PM
I just wanted to vent a some over the voting of the Greatest Players of All Time.

First of all, if you are a writer, how can you turn in a blank ballot? You have a special right to vote on such an honor. I feel if a writer sends in a blank ballot, he/she should have his right to vote taken away.

I do not like the voting. I am disgusted with how players are being treated. You are either a hall of famer or you are not. Is Goose Gossage a Hall of Fame Pitcher. I think so, so why do we have to vote? What changes the mind of a voter over the years. Gossage can not prove himself anymore. Either he is or is not. The same goes for Dawson and Rice. Blyleven is in the same boat. He lost votes from last year. How can you vote one year and not the next.

I think it is sad that over the past few years, only one or two get into the Hall of Fame each year. I hear that because the list next year is slim pickings, you might see Rice, Gossage and the others get their chance. What made Gwynn a better Hall of Famer than Gossage or Rice? Gwynn even admitted he never won anything big like a World Series. Gossage sure did win a few in his days. It appears the writers have the players by the (boys). Either you suck up to me during your playing days or you do not get in.

It is important that baseball allows the current Hall of Famers to vote players in. It is sad that they have to wait 15 years to do so. How does a writer know more about the game of baseball than those who played. I would like to see the Hall of Fame members vote first. They know what it takes to be a Hall of Fame player. If a writer turns in a blank ballot, I would hope the players turn against them. By not voting, you are slapping the face of those who help you earn a living.

I would like to see what the current members of the Hall think about who should be there. They should have some say.

The voting is bad and needs corrected.

Does Mark McGwire deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? He helped the sport of baseball when it needed someone the most to step up and carry the game on his shoulders. McGwire did just that, but what does the baseball world do to him? Slaps him in the face and says thanks but not thanks. I honestly believe if it were not for Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, baseball would be like the NHL and in a terrible state. I say McGwire deserves to be there. If he used Roids, there is nothing we can do about it. There were no laws from the very sport he played in saying he could not do it. There was no way to find out during his playing days. We should be blaming baseball, not the player. Mark McGwire did what he had to do in order to be the best player he could be. IF baseball did not set up rules for how to do this, shame on the sport. Players are under pressure to perform in front of thousands and thousands of people every day. I am not saying treat them with kid gloves, but we all know in the society we live in no matter if we deliever mail or work in a big office, there is always pressure and you as a person make every attempt to do the best you can under the guildlines presented to you.

Shame on the writers for what they have accomplished this week. ONly two players deserve to be in the Hall of Fame this year and only one last year? COme on. I guess I have lived in the dead era of baseball. I am pretty sure at the age of 37, I have seen some Hall of Fame players perform. Why are they not being honored?

We talk about era' s we live in, juiced ball era, dead ball era, roids era. How about nobody get's into the Hall of Fame Era???

Also if I am Mark McGwire, I demand everything in the Hall of Fame associated with my name removed. If I am not deserving as a person, my stuff that made the game so special when I played does not deserve to be there either. I think Pete Rose should also do the same.
__________________

Yachtzee
01-10-2007, 02:14 PM
Football writers do the selecting for the football HOF too. If you talk to Cincinnati Bengals fans, a lot of them feel that Ken Riley and Ken Anderson should be in Canton.

If you leave HOF voting up to the fans, you may get a lot more inductees but you're also going to be leaving out well deserved players. Fans have just as many - if not more - silly criteria that define a great player.

I agree that the way the writers are voting is screwed up but giving it to the fans would make it worse.

I'm not necessarily advocating a fan vote. I just think that the Pro Football Hall does it better by requiring a certain number of inductees each year. There is a greater encouragement to look at a variety of players, coaches, and executives in terms of their contributions to the game rather than just pure stats (Otherwise, how would you ever have a offensive lineman elected). The way some baseball writers treat their ballots, you'd think they were electing a pope.

I'd like to see the vote include not only baseball beat writers, but broadcasters, internet jouralists, some of the more respected SABR folks, maybe even retired players, managers, and front office personnel. My big concern about a fan vote at this point is that there will be attempts to rig the vote to put in someone silly. I just think that voting should be done with the fans in mind, not someone's personal notion of a baseball pantheon.

RedFanAlways1966
01-10-2007, 02:22 PM
I am not so sure that MAC deserves induction b/c he was simply a one-trick pony. He hit HRS. What else did he do? Mays and Aaron hit HRs... they also fielded, they also hit for average, they also drove in runs. Did his one-trick get aided by drug use? I don't know, but if you are a one-trick pony than you'd better hope not.

Oh well... MAC is crying all the way to the bank. Not sure the guy would want to make an induction speech anyway. Especially after his pathetic appearance before Congress. He might like it that he can fade into oblivion w/ the millions upon millions of dollars that his one-trick got him.

noskill27
01-10-2007, 02:37 PM
I don't have a problem with the blank ballots. Those voters are right that we can't say definitively who jucied and who didn't. Their solution is to not voter for anyone. It might be the easy way out, but I don't have a problem with it. I would have a problem if those voters voted next year.

I think too many so-so players are getting into the Hall of Fame. Does Gary Carter really belong in the same sentence as Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Mickey Cochrane, Carlton Fisk, Josh Gibson, and Ernie Lonbardi? Heck no. But because the voters couldn't let a year go by with no one getting in, Carter got in.

The only two players who didn't get in on the ballot that I think are deserving are Davey Concepcion and Jim Rice.

registerthis
01-10-2007, 03:12 PM
I don't have a problem with the blank ballots. Those voters are right that we can't say definitively who jucied and who didn't. Their solution is to not voter for anyone. It might be the easy way out, but I don't have a problem with it. I would have a problem if those voters voted next year.

What of the players on the ballot who did not play during the "suspicious years." Did the vote abstainers refrain from voting for them because they didn't believe they were good enough to get it, or because they simply wanted to make a name for themselves by turning in a blank ballot?

The task of the Hall of Fame voter is to vote for those whom you believe are most worthy to be in the Hall of Fame. Period. If there are individuals who are not willing to do that, then their voting priveleges should be rescinded. Unless they have some evidence related to either Ripken or Gwynn that the public is not aware of, I can think of only one reason why a voter might abstain from voting for those individuals: personal noteriety.

toledodan
01-10-2007, 03:26 PM
I think he should be allowed in the Hall. The substances McGwire admits to taking were legal at the time. Did McGwire illegally use steroids? Maybe. Heck, probably. But we're supposed to be in the nation of innocent-until-proven-guilty. If you won't let McGwire in the Hall, then you should at least kick out the people who you know broke the rules (i.e. Gaylord Perry, who admits to using spitballs).



great post. its amazing how many people forget he hit 49 homeruns his rookie year when he was a beanpole. mcgwire took andro which was legal all the way around. there is no proof he did anything besides andro. like the poster above mentioned we have cheaters in the hall but we justify that. how many pitchers have used steroids during mcgwire's career? people think the clemons may have used them but we give him a hall pass. with baseball taking no kind of action how can we really keep anyone out that put the numbers up to get in.

jojo
01-10-2007, 03:36 PM
But we're supposed to be in the nation of innocent-until-proven-guilty.

Nope..we're the nation that gives Jose Conseco credibility on a whim.... if Jose says so, then it must be.

Number_Fourteen
01-10-2007, 03:37 PM
I don't have a problem with the blank ballots. Those voters are right that we can't say definitively who jucied and who didn't. Their solution is to not voter for anyone. It might be the easy way out, but I don't have a problem with it. I would have a problem if those voters voted next year.
Blank ballot was self-important gesture
Kevin Hench / FOXSports.com

Congratulations, Paul Ladewski, on your immediate induction to the Blowhard Writers wing of the Hall of Fame.

Your world-class sanctimonious self-importance will be duly noted on your plaque.

Until Tuesday morning only readers of the Daily Southtown in suburban Chicago were lucky enough to know the views of The Most Important Person in Baseball History. But now, thanks to news of one writer's blank-ballot protest, which has spread coast to coast on the AP wire, we can all take in the teachings of the Great Ladewski.

The Sage of Southtown handed down this rationale for his blank ballot: "I don't have nearly enough information to make a value judgment of this magnitude. In particular, that concerns any player in the Steroids Era, which I consider to be the 1993-2004 period, give or a take a season."

Really? Since Mr. Ladewski doesn't have nearly enough information — apparently the Daily Southtown slashed the Baseball Encyclopedia budget and the writer himself is incapable of a Google search — allow me to provide some facts. You know, facts, those stubborn things baseball writers might want to use to make their Hall decisions when they're not busy using conjecture to justify their preachy grandstanding.

From 1982 to 1993, the pre-steroid era, Cal Ripken Jr. won Rookie of the Year, two MVPs, seven Silver Slugger awards, two Gold Gloves, made the All-Star team 11 times, won a World Series and played in 1,939 consecutive games.

In this same 12-season, pre-'roid stretch, Tony Gwynn won four batting titles, four Silver Sluggers, five Gold Gloves, stole 263 bases and made nine All-Star teams.

Impressive, yes, but not quite good enough to torpedo Ladewski's guilt-by-association crusade. (If you can't find enough information to vote for Cal Ripken, Jr. for the Hall of Fame, it's time to turn in your BBWAA badge, brother.)

And how would Ladewski like to be denied a Pulitzer — a hypothetical stretch, I'm guessing — because some of his coworkers at the Daily Southtown had plagiarized pieces? Would hardly seem fair.

Ladewski, in his infinite self-importance, went on to contend that neither Ripken nor Gwynn deserved to be a unanimous choice. Uh, Mr. Ladewski, shouldn't you just be worrying about your ballot? Are you so afraid that one day — barring the vigilance of heroes like yourself — some player will skate into the Hall on a unanimous vote, thus disparaging the memory of the great Honus Wagner?

With his protest, Ladewski joins a long line of bitter, bumptious press-box panjandrum who are restrained only by the limits of their own self-righteousness.

In 1992, Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News was one of the few, the proud, the comically narcissistic who turned in a blank ballot, meaning he was one of five writers who didn't vote for Tom Seaver.

As Hagen explained to the AP on Monday, "That was the first year that baseball intervened with Pete Rose and kept his name off the ballot. I just felt like that was a way of protesting. It had nothing to do with Tom Seaver."

Right. Except for the fact that Hagen didn't vote for Tom Seaver. Just as Ladewski didn't vote for Cal Ripken Jr. And it's not like they get another crack at it. That's it. It's over.

Perhaps Ladewski and Ripken — two of baseball's towering figures — will run into each other at a ballpark this year. "Hey, Cal, I'm Paul Ladewski, the guy who didn't vote for you for the Hall of Fame because I'm pretty sure Mark McGwire was on steroids. Oh, and also because Honus Wagner wasn't a unanimous choice."

As Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe lamented to me, "The fact that no player has ever been a unanimous pick to the Hall is to the shame of the BBWAA, not to its credit."

Indeed.

Shame on you, Paul Ladewski.


I think too many so-so players are getting into the Hall of Fame. Does Gary Carter really belong in the same sentence as Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Mickey Cochrane, Carlton Fisk, Josh Gibson, and Ernie Lonbardi? Heck no. But because the voters couldn't let a year go by with no one getting in, Carter got in. The only two players who didn't get in on the ballot that I think are deserving are Davey Concepcion and Jim Rice.

Hmmm... well, 325 HRs, and over 2000 hits at the catcher's position, along with 3 gold gloves and some massive clutch hitting performances doesn't seem all so bad. Are you suggesting Concepcion is more HOF worthy than Carter? As much as I love Davey, I respectfully disagree.

BTW, on Jim Rice, I agree with Dave Parker's assessment below:
http://www.kskssports.com/ksks_sports/sports_illustrated/1970s/images/si7355.jpeg

noskill27
01-10-2007, 03:50 PM
I think too much importance is being placed upon TWO votes. Did anyone miss by two votes? No. Is handing in a blank ballot the easy way out and self-serving? Yes. Do I have a problem with it? Nope... not really important. The overall results are important. They only reason anyone cares about the blank ballots is because there was a unanimous pick - something the mainstream media wants very, very badly...

gonelong
01-10-2007, 03:52 PM
This has been a fun thread to read.

GL

Number_Fourteen
01-10-2007, 04:04 PM
I think too much importance is being placed upon TWO votes. Did anyone miss by two votes? No. Is handing in a blank ballot the easy way out and self-serving? Yes.

That's where I disagree. The careers of Tony Gwynn & Cal Ripken deserve better than that. Why lump them together with Mac? Ridiculous, IMO. Vote for the deserving, and that's it. The low percentage of votes received by McGwire should overshadow a dense idiot who turned in an empty ballot. :thumbdown

RedsManRick
01-10-2007, 04:06 PM
If the guy had a problem with the entire era, I sure hope that he feels that Gossage and Blyleven have no place in the hall. That's the question I'd ask.

Chip R
01-10-2007, 04:09 PM
Nope..we're the nation that gives Jose Conseco credibility on a whim.... if Jose says so, then it must be.


He said Palmiero was juicing and no one believed him until Palmiero tested positive. You may not like Canseco but it doesn't mean he's not telling the truth.

jojo
01-10-2007, 04:31 PM
As GF pointed out, McGwire pretty much invoked the Fifth when asked directly in front of Congress. It's quite telling.

No, not really so much. It's always interesting when the assertion of someone else's rights is *quite telling*.

Lets envision this scenario. McGwire answers one way or the other concerning whether he used steroids. Next question, did Rickie Henderson use performance enhancing drugs (even though there is absolutely zero reason to believe he did)? McGwire, "i'm not here to talk about other guys". The Media the next day: Rickie Henderson used steroids-teammate refuses to deny it!!!!!! Let the witch hunt begin.

Besides, I don't really buy the argument all would be forgiven if he would've *come clean*. Also, he was forthright about using andro (which was legal and available over the counter at the time) during the height of his fame. I don't think its a given he would lie about using steroids if he had used them. The truth is, we don't know and we never will know. We should stop acting like we do know....


The Hall of Fame is not just a baseball museum.

I absolutely agree 100%. It is a hallowed honor. That being said, why does the hall let a bunch of quacks and loons with self serving interests largely decide who gets inducted?


The Hall is for the best players, and by that we mean the ones who got there honestly.

We make it really hard to get in, but part of the requirement should not be whether or not you are a nice guy or a racist.

The numbers should be legitimate, or it doesn't mean a thing.

Players using steroids also have a ripple effect: they make it harder for those who didn't use drugs to get into the Hall. Suddenly 400 homeruns doesn't seem like anything because Barry Bonds could have done that in 5.5 half seasons.

These comments really embody the trouble I have with the current steroid debate. Largely here's why:

1. The assumed impact of steroids on offense is often grossly overstated as it is here. Since this issue has been studied using rigorous analysis, its becoming clear that the impact of steroids upon offensive production is not nearly as clear cut nor as dramatic as often stated. As it turns out, many other factors contributed to increased production during the so-called steroid era. Frankly, a statistically significant impact of steroid use hasn't even been demonstrated....

2. Villifying a select group of sluggers who played during the *steroid era* implies the game has actually been clean. Performance enhancing drugs have been rampant in baseball for decades. Its a safe bet many of those on the veterans committee (and many sportswriters with a vote for that matter) are hypocrites for criticizing steroid users when they themselves used to grab the candy pills from the bowl in the clubhouse during their playing days. Frankly, if this is all about setting an example for our youth, I would prefer my daughters hear a lecture about the dangers of methamphetamine use from a former ballplayer than a lecture about steroids.

3. Villifying a select group of sluggers who played during the *steroid era* implies pitchers didn't also have an anabolic advantage. Rubbers arms are just as valuable as an extra 25 feet on a fly ball. Why do many assume that potential gains by the offense weren't offset by gains by pitchers with 4 extra mph and an ability to recover quicker? Look at it this way- it's pretty impressive that a hitter could hit 60 homers a year in an era when pitchers were juiced....

4. Villifying a select group of sluggers who played during the *steroid era* implies its easy to tell because of muscle mass. I give you Ryan Franklin and Mike Morse.... They are confirmed steroid users and together they don't equal one thigh on McGwire who everyone is certain used steroids because Jose said so in a book he wasn't even articulate enough to write himself. Good luck telling me which major leaguers are using meth based upon their appearance....

5. Finally, concerning records, via various sabermetric approaches its becoming easier and easier to compare players across generations. The issue of steroids doesn't complicate this any more than the fact that rampant use of amphetamines during the 70's clouds the rightful place of the Big Red machine in history or the fact that African Americans weren't allowed in the majors during the 20's or 30's clouds the greatness of Ruth...

In sum, its all wild speculation.... the fan has zero basis to assert any player was either clean or dirty with the exception of a few players who have either admitted steroid use or have had positive results reported. To argue a conclusion definitively without actual supporting premises is reckless especially when it effects a person's reputation.

I think this is worth repeating: We should stop acting like we do know....

jojo
01-10-2007, 04:32 PM
He said Palmiero was juicing and no one believed him until Palmiero tested positive. You may not like Canseco but it doesn't mean he's not telling the truth.

Nor does he being right about Palmiero mean he was telling the truth about anything else in his book..... I feel sorry for anyone holding a literary work by Jose as his only authority concerning truth....

Team Clark
01-10-2007, 04:51 PM
Nor does he being right about Palmiero mean he was telling the truth about anything else in his book..... I feel sorry for anyone holding a literary work by Jose as his only authority concerning truth....

I agree that it could be coincidence. I've read the book twice and some of it I believe and most of it I do not. There really is no measure of proof other than happenstance. I can see that the info could be perceived differently by almost anyone who reads the book. Hard to judge on someone's word. I've been through this kind of B.S. and it really says a lot about a person who will unequivocally side with someone based on their words alone. Shallow.

Chip R
01-10-2007, 04:54 PM
Nor does he being right about Palmiero mean he was telling the truth about anything else in his book..... I feel sorry for anyone holding a literary work by Jose as his only authority concerning truth....


No, but it doesn't mean he was lying. I'll admit, he'd be more believable if he were a model citizen. I certainly didn't believe him when he said Raffy was juicing but he was proven correct in that instance. He said Sosa was on the juice and Sosa testified that he didn't do anything against US law. Of course steroids are legal in his home country the Dominican Republic. All McGwire had to say was that he took Andro. It wasn't against the law when he did that so he had no fear of prosecution but he decided to take the 5th instead. We don't want to believe McGwire, Palmiero and Sosa were jucing because they were good guys and well liked. But it's easy to believe guys like Canseco and Bonds were juicing because they aren't very likable.

Team Clark
01-10-2007, 05:04 PM
No, but it doesn't mean he was lying. I'll admit, he'd be more believable if he were a model citizen. I certainly didn't believe him when he said Raffy was juicing but he was proven correct in that instance. He said Sosa was on the juice and Sosa testified that he didn't do anything against US law. Of course steroids are legal in his home country the Dominican Republic. All McGwire had to say was that he took Andro. It wasn't against the law when he did that so he had no fear of prosecution but he decided to take the 5th instead. We don't want to believe McGwire, Palmiero and Sosa were jucing because they were good guys and well liked. But it's easy to believe guys like Canseco and Bonds were juicing because they aren't very likable.

Wasn't Manny Alexander busted for possessing steroids several years ago? He had them in the glove compartment. He was driving Manny Ramirez's car at the time IIRC. Sosa's best friend is supposedly Manny Alexander. Does that mean Sosa is guilty too? No... but someone will always want to make that leap in logic to satisfy their own conclusions.

Dom Heffner
01-10-2007, 05:33 PM
Lets envision this scenario. McGwire answers one way or the other concerning whether he used steroids. Next question, did Rickie Henderson use performance enhancing drugs (even though there is absolutely zero reason to believe he did)? McGwire, "i'm not here to talk about other guys". The Media the next day: Rickie Henderson used steroids-teammate refuses to deny it!!!!!! Let the witch hunt begin.

If McGwire answers the question about his own steroid usage, then he is not necessarliy expected to know the habits of other players. This is a slippery slope argument. It's almost as if you are saying McGwire cannot answer the question honestly because he might implicate others.

If I worked as hard to get where McGwire did, and my legacy was at stake over cheating, you can bet darn sure I would deny it if it weren't true.

That's where evewryone thinks he has something to hide. Did he do it? I have my suspicions, but I do not know, you are correct. But I tell you what: It doesn't help McGwire when he just won't deny it. If's he's innocent and he doesn't care about his own legacy, then why should anybody else?

flyer85
01-10-2007, 05:38 PM
As long as baseball is going to conduct itself as it knew nothing was going and hang players out to dry they make it impossible for players to come clean. Who wants to have their name drug through the mud and made a pariah for telling the truth. Until baseball owns up to their complicity in ignoring what was going on, the steroid issue will continue to be nothing more than a witch hunt.

Chip R
01-10-2007, 06:04 PM
Wasn't Manny Alexander busted for possessing steroids several years ago? He had them in the glove compartment. He was driving Manny Ramirez's car at the time IIRC. Sosa's best friend is supposedly Manny Alexander. Does that mean Sosa is guilty too? No... but someone will always want to make that leap in logic to satisfy their own conclusions.

For all I know they all are 100% clean. All I'm saying is that you can't discount what Canseco said just because he isn't a "good guy". Sure, it'd be more believable if someone like Cal Ripken, Jr. made the accusations but he didn't.

Team Clark
01-10-2007, 06:52 PM
For all I know they all are 100% clean. All I'm saying is that you can't discount what Canseco said just because he isn't a "good guy". Sure, it'd be more believable if someone like Cal Ripken, Jr. made the accusations but he didn't.

I'm with you 100% I was just bringing up a similar scenario. :thumbup:

jimbo
01-10-2007, 07:20 PM
The truth is that baseball didn’t have rules put in place to scare players away from steroids. Because of this certain players used this to their advantage, and made millions because of it.


As much blame and bashing that "baseball" gets for knowing and allowing it to happen, the players union should share just as much, if not more, of the blame. Does anyone really think that if "baseball" had tried to do anything about it, that the players union would have allowed it? The sad part about baseball is that the players union has way too much control over the game and it's rules.

flyer85
01-10-2007, 07:29 PM
from Caple at espn.com

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=caple/070110&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab1pos1

M2
01-10-2007, 07:44 PM
The Hall of Fame is not just a baseball museum. Using this argument suggests that Tom Hume should be there, because he played the game, too. He should be in the museum because he played the game. No.

The Hall is for the best players, and by that we mean the ones who got there honestly.

We make it really hard to get in, but part of the requirement should not be whether or not you are a nice guy or a racist.

The numbers should be legitimate, or it doesn't mean a thing.

Players using steroids also have a ripple effect: they make it harder for those who didn't use drugs to get into the Hall. Suddenly 400 homeruns doesn't seem like anything because Barry Bonds could have done that in 5.5 half seasons.

We need to learn to make the distinction between legitimate numbers and simply bad guys. As a player you can be both a top producer and a terrible guy. The former gets you in the hall, the latter doesn't keep you out of it, unless being a terrible guy includes cheating to be a top producer.

Actually it's the very definition of a museum. It's a building filled with exhibits. It's got curators and everything. It's official name is even the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. I'm not sure how much more obvious they could make it.

Nice red herring with Tom Hume, though. Care to fabricate any other arguments no one in recorded history has ever offered up? Now if you'd like to take up the question as to why a dozen-plus modern players who are better than a whole pile of old timers in the HOF can't get entry -- you know, address the actual issue -- I'd like to hear that.

And how much of the numbers put up by Bonds, McGwire, Sosa and Palmeiro were illegitmate? I don't assume they were part of a small cadre of steroids users. They were the best of their era even if it happened to be the Steroids Era. Are we going to act like 15-20 years of baseball history didn't happen?

I'm not arguing for any of these guys to get into Cooperstown any time soon, but one of these days someone's going to have to address that issue. It for sure won't be the BBWAA, which couldn't be more incompetent. The BBWAA needs to be chloroformed. I don't feel an ounce of sympathy for McGwire and I don't think it would be any great misdeed if other roidsballers get frozen out, but there will come a time where the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum needs to figure out how to treat 1988-2003. It's going somewhere in the museum as it wouldn't be much of a museum if it willfully ignored that big a chunk of the history it's supposed to commemorate.

flyer85
01-10-2007, 07:49 PM
And how much of the numbers put up by Bonds, McGwire, Sosa and Palmeiro were illegitmate? I don't assume they were part of a small cadre of steroids users. They were the best of their era even if it happened to be the Steroids Era. Are we going to act like 15-20 years of baseball history didn't happen?also to note at least half of the players caught have been pitchers, I'd be willing to bet the percentage was the same when it wasn't being tested for. So how should pitchers of this era be treated?

M2
01-10-2007, 08:09 PM
also to note at least half of the players caught have been pitchers, I'd be willing to bet the percentage was the same when it wasn't being tested for. So how should pitchers of this era be treated?

Very good point. Does the juice favor hitters? Offense is still king and, supposedly, the game has been de-juiced.

Also, if numbers purity is such an issue, what about all those guys in the HOF who didn't have to face Satchel Paige and Bullet Joe Rogan? Stick another two quality pitchers on each team and let's see what Earl Averill's numbers look like.

jojo
01-10-2007, 08:22 PM
I never liked McGwire as a player. He was a good player, not great. Without his HR #'s he would have been a subpar first baseman.

I dunno, a gold glove award in 1990, 12 time all star, 3 time silver slugger award winner, and a career OBP of .394 to go with his SLG of .588 suggest he was a little more than a one trick pony....

flyer85
01-10-2007, 08:24 PM
I dunno, a gold glove award in 1990, 12 time all star, 3 time silver slugger award winner, and a career OBP of .394 to go with his SLG of .588 suggest he was a little more than a one trick pony....certainly no worse than Tony Gwynn

Dom Heffner
01-10-2007, 08:57 PM
Nice red herring with Tom Hume, though. Care to fabricate any other arguments no one in recorded history has ever offered up? Now if you'd like to take up the question as to why a dozen-plus modern players who are better than a whole pile of old timers in the HOF can't get entry -- you know, address the actual issue -- I'd like to hear that.


I was joking about Tom Hume.

We can chronicle the game and it's achievements without inducting McGwire. His 70th homerun ball is there, I'll bet, as well as some bats and maybe something from his rookie season. The hall can put all the McGwire memorabilia it wants up.

But the vote on the induction of McGwire as a whole and not of just of his milestones is one that looks at his entire career, and he severely damaged the way his career is looked at by pleading the fifth.

If I'm a voter, am I going to pull the trigger on a guy that won't deny he took steroids under oath? He has worked his whole life ot get to this point, and he doesn't care about his legacy to deny that he cheated? He can't say, "I didn't cheat"?

Are you kidding me? You think that is acceptable?

If that hearing never happened, he's possibly in, but it did. He could not deny under oath that he never took steroids. is it proof? Nope, but we sure can infer a lot from that, can't we? It's hard to give him the benefit of the doubt when he won't give us reason to.

Bonds, Sosa, Palmeiro- those are bridges we cross when we come to them. We don't have to say, "Well we can't keep them all out so McGwire gets in, even though he won't deny doing it under oath."

We don't have to look at it as one big vote for all players of the era- we can look at each individual situation.

Those sportswriters who boycotted are idiots. Give the man a vote, up or down.


And how much of the numbers put up by Bonds, McGwire, Sosa and Palmeiro were illegitmate?

This is the beauty of it: we don't have to know an exact number. If it affefted their numbers at all, they don't get in. I don't care if it's .001%, because the intent certainly was to take drugs to improve their performance.

It's an unfair advantage- or, it's an attempt at one.

See- it doesn't matter if it makes one more or one less ball fly out of the park, because the intent is to essentially cheat.

I've seen studies that show a corked bat doesn't help a hitter: should we allow it then?

I keep hearing these arguments that I have to know exactly how much it affected their games to ban these guys, and we don't.

If it gave them one more homerun, it's wrong. If it gave them none, wrong.

I know you are saying that they shouldn't be in Cooperstown, but as I said before, the Hall of Fame can recognize the events of the game without having individual players inducted into the hall.

I tink the true test is when Griffey Junior comes up, because he played in that era, had some greeat numbers, and there isn't anybody in the world who thinks he cheated.

You are right about having to address it, because that one is going to be interesting.

Sham
01-10-2007, 09:12 PM
What Dom said.

RedsManRick
01-10-2007, 09:16 PM
Ban him from the game (and thus the HoF) or let him in to the hall. There should not be an in between where a player's performance clearly merits inclusion yet suspicions keep them out. Either they cheated and should be removed from consideration, or they should be considered for the performance the put up.

I only HOPE that some big name not yet considered ends up coming out as a user (roger clemens perhaps). The pressure is going to mount as more of this era's players come eligible. Are we going to pretend an entire era never happened or that there were only a few good players? There are so many freaking shades of gray about what substances do what, etc. We know that Sosa corked his bat. If we could prove he was clean in terms of steroids, should we ban him from the hall? He cheated! What about guys using illegal substances on the ball. If we made these sorts of decisions retroactively, a number of HoF would need to be kicked out.

Nate Silver makes a great point in his Unfiltered post tonight. The reason people don't like steroids disproportionately to other forms of cheating and even other past cheaters is that they weren't in it. Sure, Gaylord Perry cheated up a storm. But we knew about it. With steroids, people FEEL more cheated. They didn't have a chance to approve or disapprove. They felt like fools for being tricked and now want retribution. These journalists who supported McGwire -- many of whom surely suspected steroid usage but never asked for not wanting to ruin their story -- now turn on him because they can. I think it's incredibly sanctimonious. If a guy cheated, punish him accordingly, even banning him from HoF consideration. If not, or if you arent' willing to take that step, then vote him on what he accomplished. Player's gain an advantage in 100's of less than "legal" ways. Tim "rock" Raines did coke throughout a portion of his career and happened to steal a lot of bases -- I wonder..... I just want to see consistency about how we enforce our judgment.

Highlifeman21
01-10-2007, 09:23 PM
I was joking about Tom Hume.

We can chronicle the game and it's achievements without inducting McGwire. His 70th homerun ball is there, I'll bet, as well as some bats and maybe something from his rookie season. The hall can put all the McGwire memorabilia it wants up.

But the vote on the induction of McGwire as a whole and not of just of his milestones is one that looks at his entire career, and he severely damaged the way his career is looked at by pleading the fifth.

If I'm a voter, am I going to pull the trigger on a guy that won't deny he took steroids under oath? He has worked his whole life ot get to this point, and he doesn't care about his legacy to deny that he cheated? He can't say, "I didn't cheat"?

Are you kidding me? You think that is acceptable?

If that hearing never happened, he's possibly in, but it did. He could not deny under oath that he never took steroids. is it proof? Nope, but we sure can infer a lot from that, can't we? It's hard to give him the benefit of the doubt when he won't give us reason to.

Bonds, Sosa, Palmeiro- those are bridges we cross when we come to them. We don't have to say, "Well we can't keep them all out so McGwire gets in, even though he won't deny doing it under oath."

We don't have to look at it as one big vote for all players of the era- we can look at each individual situation.

Those sportswriters who boycotted are idiots. Give the man a vote, up or down.



This is the beauty of it: we don't have to know an exact number. If it affefted their numbers at all, they don't get in. I don't care if it's .001%, because the intent certainly was to take drugs to improve their performance.

It's an unfair advantage- or, it's an attempt at one.

See- it doesn't matter if it makes one more or one less ball fly out of the park, because the intent is to essentially cheat.

I've seen studies that show a corked bat doesn't help a hitter: should we allow it then?

I keep hearing these arguments that I have to know exactly how much it affected their games to ban these guys, and we don't.

If it gave them one more homerun, it's wrong. If it gave them none, wrong.

I know you are saying that they shouldn't be in Cooperstown, but as I said before, the Hall of Fame can recognize the events of the game without having individual players inducted into the hall.

I tink the true test is when Griffey Junior comes up, because he played in that era, had some greeat numbers, and there isn't anybody in the world who thinks he cheated.

You are right about having to address it, because that one is going to be interesting.


Mike Schmidt, Willie Mays, even Pete Rose ... those were just a handful of players that popped speed in their day, which certainly was a drug to improve their performance. Also, don't forget the entire era of 19th century players when gambling and cheating was a regular activity.

By your definition of having an intent to essentially cheat, the Hall of Fame would pretty much be empty and lackluster

I guess Gaylord Perry should be the only member of your HOF.

Team Clark
01-10-2007, 10:22 PM
This has been a fun thread to read.

GL

You're right about that... I thought this would be a passing thread. Glad to see some artful debate on Redszone for a change. Tired of the Trade rehash and the strikeout debate for the 155th time. This is good stuff because it is based mostly on opinion. Everyone is entitled to that without a doubt. :thumbup:

Chip R
01-10-2007, 11:29 PM
Nate Silver makes a great point in his Unfiltered post tonight. The reason people don't like steroids disproportionately to other forms of cheating and even other past cheaters is that they weren't in it. Sure, Gaylord Perry cheated up a storm. But we knew about it. With steroids, people FEEL more cheated. They didn't have a chance to approve or disapprove. They felt like fools for being tricked and now want retribution. These journalists who supported McGwire -- many of whom surely suspected steroid usage but never asked for not wanting to ruin their story -- now turn on him because they can. I think it's incredibly sanctimonious. If a guy cheated, punish him accordingly, even banning him from HoF consideration. If not, or if you arent' willing to take that step, then vote him on what he accomplished. Player's gain an advantage in 100's of less than "legal" ways. Tim "rock" Raines did coke throughout a portion of his career and happened to steal a lot of bases -- I wonder..... I just want to see consistency about how we enforce our judgment.


I do agree that these sportswriters (calling them journalists is in insult to journalism) are sanctimonious SOBs. Just like when Pete Rose came clean. I saw that coming a mile away. They said, "Come clean, Pete, and all will be forgiven." So he came clean and they jumped on him for lying about it and coming clean just as his book was coming out. I've got no sympathy for Pete but these writers make a livng out of saying one thing one day and then later on taking just the opposite position.

The reason guys like Raines get a free pass is that there is no evidence cocaine enhances performance. Raines didn't take the coke to get a competitive advantage. He could have stolen just as many if not more bases straight.

TeamBoone
01-10-2007, 11:30 PM
If the Hall isn't for baseball fans, what is it for, really? I've been to the hall many times and I enjoy it every time...love it. But contrary to what some baseball writers think, it's a museum where people go to see cool baseball stuff and learn about the history of the game. It's not a church, nor is it some kind of Valhalla to be filled only with those the baseball writers deem to be worthy "gods of baseball."

I've been three or four times myself, and agree it's for the fans.

My point, however, isn't about the museum... it's about the players elected to the hallowed Hall. To me, that's based on merit and has nothing to do with their relationship to the fans.

RedFanAlways1966
01-11-2007, 09:11 AM
I dunno, a gold glove award in 1990, 12 time all star, 3 time silver slugger award winner, and a career OBP of .394 to go with his SLG of .588 suggest he was a little more than a one trick pony....

* Gold glove? I think history shows that can be a popularity contest.
* All Star? I think history shows that can be a popularity contest.
* Silver Slugger? Picked by managers and coaches for the best offensive player at each position. Obviously he was a great power threat. However, ony batted over .300 in a full season 1 time in his career. Over 100 RBIs only 8 times in 16 years.
* OBP? Power threats do get walked a lot. I give MAC credit for the walks. Almost as many walks (1317) as hits (1626) in his career. More than 10% of his walks (150) were intentional... and who knows how many were intentional-unintentional walks (ask Jack McKeon!).

jojo
01-11-2007, 09:32 AM
If I'm a voter, am I going to pull the trigger on a guy that won't deny he took steroids under oath? He has worked his whole life ot get to this point, and he doesn't care about his legacy to deny that he cheated? He can't say, "I didn't cheat"?

Are you kidding me? You think that is acceptable?

You mean trust the same sportswriters that told Pete to just admit it and all would be forgiven?

By the way, why do sportswriters thing they are entitled to anything let alone the right to dictate how a player behaves in a legal proceeding?

Or lets put it this way, what basis do sportswriters have for claiming the moral authority?

jojo
01-11-2007, 09:40 AM
* Gold glove? I think history shows that can be a popularity contest.
* All Star? I think history shows that can be a popularity contest.
* Silver Slugger? Picked by managers and coaches for the best offensive player at each position. Obviously he was a great power threat. However, ony batted over .300 in a full season 1 time in his career. Over 100 RBIs only 8 times in 16 years.
* OBP? Power threats do get walked a lot. I give MAC credit for the walks. Almost as many walks (1317) as hits (1626) in his career. More than 10% of his walks (150) were intentional... and who knows how many were intentional-unintentional walks (ask Jack McKeon!).

Youre right....Hank Aaron had no claim to be HOF worthy either... he was just a one trick pony too.... I mean take away his homeruns, OBP, GG, and all star appearances and he was just another outfielder with an empty BA....

:cool:

RedFanAlways1966
01-11-2007, 09:53 AM
Youre right....Hank Aaron had no claim to be HOF worthy either... he was just a one trick pony too.... I mean take away his homeruns, OBP, GG, and all star appearances and he was just another outfielder with an empty BA....

:cool:

You mean the same guy who hit over .300 in 14 of his 23 seasons as a ML player, jojo? ;)

jojo
01-11-2007, 10:15 AM
You mean the same guy who hit over .300 in 14 of his 23 seasons as a ML player, jojo? ;)


yes the same guy...... take away the HRs and OPB and its a completely empty BA.... :pimp:

All kidding aside, claiming McGwire was only valuable due to HRs just isn't a compelling argument... There are alot of reasons to argue he isn't hall worthy, I just don't think that one is near the top of the list...

:beerme:

Dom Heffner
01-12-2007, 12:13 AM
Mike Schmidt, Willie Mays, even Pete Rose ... those were just a handful of players that popped speed in their day, which certainly was a drug to improve their performance.


If you want to compare speed to drugs that make you stronger, go right ahead.

Bary Bonds had the best years of his career at what, 37-39? Did speed let Willie Mays do that?

Roids are worse. I've never said that performance enhancing drugs are all the same.

Roids are more than a pick me up.

And speaking of Bonds having his best years at those ages: We all know baseball had a steroid problem during that time, so for those of you who think Bonds wasn't juicing, ask yourself this: How in the heck could Barry Bonds outpace men in their prime, on roids, at those ages?


You mean trust the same sportswriters that told Pete to just admit it and all would be forgiven?

There isn't anyone to blame here but Pete.

And he got some really bad advice: if they wouldn't let you in when they thoughtyou did it, why on earth would they let you in when they know you did?

Having Pete admit he bet on baseball was like sleeping with someone you aren't attracted to. It can sound good at the time but the next day you can't believe you were so stupid.


Or lets put it this way, what basis do sportswriters have for claiming the moral authority?

I don't think baseball writers do this, do they? We keep saying what scoundrels are in the hall, so somebody is voting them in.

Plus, taking a stand on steroid usage is not taking the moral high road. It's doing what is obviously right. Even a rapist gets to call out a murderer. The idea isn't that perfect people get to vote on other's morality. The idea is that a reasoned mind votes its conscience. A person does not have to be perfect to be able to reason.

Though the guy who turned in an empty ballot is a joke.

jojo
01-12-2007, 09:13 AM
If you want to compare speed to drugs that make you stronger, go right ahead.

Isn't cheating cheating?


Bary Bonds had the best years of his career at what, 37-39? Did speed let Willie Mays do that?

No. But speed would've allowed an athlete like Mays to maintain a high degree of consistency during his prime years that he may not have been able to do otherwise. Afterall isn't that what we're talking about?


Roids are worse. I've never said that performance enhancing drugs are all the same.

This is a very interesting hair to split. Performance enhancing drugs give players unfair advantages that are not afforded by their natural abilities which ultimately artificially inflate their numbers.

Also splitting that hair suggests someone who used amphetamines wouldn't have contemplated using designer steroids or recombinant growth hormone if either had been actually available during the 60's and 70's. I know we all like to look back with nostalgic eyes and presume the eras of our childhoods were more innocent and pure, but isn't the motivation for using amphetamines or steroids ultimately them same?


Roids are more than a pick me up.

And speaking of Bonds having his best years at those ages: We all know baseball had a steroid problem during that time, so for those of you who think Bonds wasn't juicing, ask yourself this: How in the heck could Barry Bonds outpace men in their prime, on roids, at those ages?

Uhhhh, when Mays and McCovey and Aaron and his ilk were 37, they were 30 lbs overweight. I'd easily suggest that when Bonds was 37 he spent more yearly on trainers, nutritionists and related facilities (all world class by the way) than any of the above mentioned guys were actually paid by their respective teams in a given year.

Couple his training/nutritional program with smaller parks, diluted pitching, better medical care etc and it quickly becomes apparent that to attibute Bonds' performance simply to pharmaceuticals is an argument borne out of naïveté. At best it's an argument that isn't compelling. Actually its not even an argument- its the common fallacy of cum hoc ergo propter hoc or if you prefer post hoc ergo propter hoc.....


There isn't anyone to blame here but Pete.

Who was blaming the sportswriters for Pete? I was using their poor behavior concerning Rose as an example of, well, how poorly they themselves behave. A group of self-serving prima donnas armed with oodles of figurative language but no ability to point their moral compasses at themselves or their peers, should not be taken seriously when they point their moral compasses at the guys that they make their living writing about....



Even a rapist gets to call out a murderer. The idea isn't that perfect people get to vote on other's morality. The idea is that a reasoned mind votes its conscience. A person does not have to be perfect to be able to reason.

:eek:

I think my jaw just dislocated.

Actually, in prison, the murderer ranks higher than the rapist. Few would really argue though that the murderer has the higher moral ground. Its hypocrisy and it doesn't mean the murderer has a conscience that should be trusted to have moral clarity let alone revered enough to allow him to vote with moral authority.

in sum: no, players who used amphetamines are no different than players who used steroids (other than they didn't have access to the same ways to cheat due to the era they played in), sportswriters simply can't be taken seriously as moral authorities (or in many cases even as experts about the very things they write about), and no Bonds' greatness is not solely due to taking drugs.

registerthis
01-12-2007, 10:50 AM
The "cheating" aspect of steroid usage is only half of the argument against them, perhaps not even that. "Cheating" is the public face of the evils of steroids, but it's the irreperable harm caused to one's body--particularly those of high school and college players who feel compelled to use roids to "keep up"--that is the greater villain here.

Spitballs and speed do not present the user with remotely nearly the long term health consequences that prolonged steroid use does. So in addition to presenting a clear advantage to the player willing to use steroids over the player who does not, it also presents a terribly unhealthy role model for younger players who carefully watch and emulate what professional players do.

We could argue back and forth over whether or not there are degrees of cheating, and what an appropriate level of punishment should be. But the detrimental health effects of steroid use are not in question, and on that basis alone I would support not voting for players who used those drugs during their playing days. Enshrinement into the HoF is not a birthrite--I think people tend to forget that. No one "has" to be voted in. If the sportswriters do not care to vote for the enshrinement of a steroid user--for whatever reason--their position is certainly supportable.

registerthis
01-12-2007, 10:52 AM
and no Bonds' greatness is not solely due to taking drugs.

And that's a truly unfortunate side to this story. Bonds was an amazing ballplayers withOUT steroids. But that fact will be forgotten by most people because the latter part of his career has been so tainted.

jojo
01-12-2007, 11:05 AM
Spitballs and speed do not present the user with remotely nearly the long term health consequences that prolonged steroid use does.

I'd really beg to differ. Methamphetamine use amongst teens today is approaching epidemic proportions. Importantly, methamphetamines are extremely addictive in some cases causing addiction with the first usage. Chronic methamphetamine abuse significantly changes how the brain functions (not in a good way mind you). Also, meth use is associated with a high rate of transmission of HIV and hepatitis B and C. On a personal note, I have yet to have a dreg hopped up on steroids rumaging through my mail in order to support his steroid habit by selling my personal information to his supplier (who also probably is driving past loaded school buses while cooking the steroids in the trunk of his vehicle). I wish i could say the same about meth users.


So in addition to presenting a clear advantage to the player willing to use steroids over the player who does not, it also presents a terribly unhealthy role model for younger players who carefully watch and emulate what professional players do.

As does the use of *speed*........

Heck, if you wan't to split those hairs, *speed* is worse than steroids.

RedsManRick
01-12-2007, 11:05 AM
In Bonds' defense, and somewhat sadly, he would've been in the HoF anyways. He has his own arrogance/ego to blame. If Game of Shadows is accurate, what pushed Bonds to succeed was seeing the attention and acclaim given to Big Mac and Sammy during their pushes for immortality. Bonds wanted his piece of the pie.

From a "Runs Created" perspective, Bonds' 1993 season ranks as one of the 10 best of all time: .336/.458/.677 with 46 HR, 123 RBI, 29 SB. It's kind of ironic that in seeking to become the greatest of all time he tainted an already all-time great career. It's like he wanted to make a very expensive diamond shinier so he sprayed it with silver, glittery spray paint.

registerthis
01-12-2007, 11:31 AM
I'd really beg to differ. Methamphetamine use amongst teens today is approaching epidemic proportions. Importantly, methamphetamines are extremely addictive in some cases causing addiction with the first usage. Chronic methamphetamine abuse significantly changes how the brain functions (not in a good way mind you). Also, meth use is associated with a high rate of transmission of HIV and hepatitis B and C. On a personal note, I have yet to have a dreg hopped up on steroids rumaging through my mail in order to support his steroid habit by selling my personal information to his supplier (who also probably is driving past loaded school buses while cooking the steroids in the trunk of his vehicle). I wish i could say the same about meth users.

First, you're comparing apples to oranges--methamphetamines are frequently recreational drugs designed to give you a speed rush, and are popular absent any use by professional ballplayers. It's unlikely that any more than the smallest minority are ingesting meth to "keep up" with professional athletes they are emulating. There is no other reason to ingest steroids other than to enhance athletic performance. (And that ignores "roid rage", which parallels your example of the street meth addict.)

Secondly, amphetamine use can be stopped, and the withdrawal process has no real physiological effects on the body. Certainly, long term abuse of speed brings with it an assortment of medical problems, like any other drug. Steroid use, however, causes damage that will extend far beyond the ending of the use of them--damage that is far more severe the younger the individual is when they begin their use, a quality not shared by amphetamines.


Heck, if you wan't to split those hairs, *speed* is worse than steroids.

Well, then, there's yet another reason to deny Bonds' induction, eh?

jojo
01-12-2007, 12:01 PM
First, you're comparing apples to oranges--methamphetamines are frequently recreational drugs designed to give you a speed rush, and are popular absent any use by professional ballplayers.

How does that invalidate the original point though? I also would be unwilling to accept off hand that young ballplayers use steroids to a dramatically greater degree than they use amphetamines. Meth is alot easier to obtain, alot cheaper to obtain and can immediately effect performance. It would seem to be an optimal strategy for the big game.


Steroid use, however, causes damage that will extend far beyond the ending of the use of them--damage that is far more severe the younger the individual is when they begin their use, a quality not shared by amphetamines.

As does meth use. Meth changes brain structure and nerve function-changes that are largely irreversible. In fact the extremely addicitve nature of meth makes it much more likely that its use will be chronic as well as much more likely that the casual/curious user will become a chronic user.




Well, then, there's yet another reason to deny Bonds' induction, eh?

I'm not defending Bonds nor am I a Bonds apologist. I'm merely pointing out the absurdity of the current *steroid debate*. Once again, if you think steroids is a reason to keep Bonds out of the Hall then you also should support the removal of a a host of current members from the hall for precisely the same reason-they just happened to use a different drug.

registerthis
01-12-2007, 12:47 PM
How does that invalidate the original point though? I also would be unwilling to accept off hand that young ballplayers use steroids to a dramatically greater degree than they use amphetamines. Meth is alot easier to obtain, alot cheaper to obtain and can immediately effect performance. It would seem to be an optimal strategy for the big game.

The point is invalidated because this argument, ostensibly, is about the merits of admitting steroid/meth users into the baseball HoF. The argument is not "is meth dangerous?" The argument is that by admitting steroid users into the HoF, baseball is--either directly or indirectly--validating their use. This, in turns, creates pressure amongst younger athletes to believe that they, too, must take steroids in order to excel at the professional level. Beyond even the "cheating" argument against steroids, this is a far more serious issue.

According to the NIDA, in 2005 approximately 1.4% of 12th graders--almost all male--are using steroids. Again, it bears repeating that the *only* reason an individual would take steroids would be for increasing their physical capabilities. Amphetamine usage in 12th graders stood at around 9.5%, but here an important distinction needs to be made--methamphetamine (speed) usage stood at around 2%. Additionally, the NIDA study found that amphetamine and methamphetamine usage was almost entirely for recreational purposes, versus steroid use, which is exclusively for the enhancement of athletic performance. You can view the report here: http://monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/monographs/overview2005.pdf

This supports the argument that school-age children are not as influenced to use amphetamines or methamphetamines by athletes as they are to use steroids, which is precisely the reason why I have no arguments with keeping steroid users out of the hall. IMO, anything which perceives to validate their usage by MLB--or any sport, for that matter--sends the wrong message to school-age athletes.

My argument is not that methamphetamine use should be condoned--in fact, I wouldn't really have a problem barring meth users from the HoF, either. As I stated in my earlier post, there are certainly long-term hazards associated with meth use as well. But the correlation between professional athlete meth use and school-age athlete meth consumption does not appear to exist, so the issue of combatting steroid use is IMO a more immediate danger that MLB needs to address.

Besides, the argument put forth was that cheating was cheating, and if gaylord Perry and his spitball are in the Hall, then McGwire and his andro should be as well. But, clearly, the dangers associated with spitball use do not approach those of steroids. If "all cheating is cheating", the effects of each are nowhere nearly the same.

M2
01-12-2007, 04:24 PM
Here's my main problem with meth -- because of it, I can't buy an over-the-counter decongestant that works anymore. So if a meth user were on the HOF ballot and I were a voter, I'd mail him a used tissue with the words "Thanks a lot pinhead" written on it.

registerthis
01-12-2007, 05:01 PM
Here's my main problem with meth -- because of it, I can't buy an over-the-counter decongestant that works anymore. So if a meth user were on the HOF ballot and I were a voter, I'd mail him a used tissue with the words "Thanks a lot pinhead" written on it.

You and my wife.

Everytime she needs Sudafed, she has to fill out more documents than I did the last time I bought a car.

Roy Tucker
01-12-2007, 05:05 PM
Some comments...

* I wish they would not ban *anyone* from consideration for being voted into the Hall of Fame and leave it totally up to the baseball writers. What is happening to McGuire could conceivably happened to Rose had he been eligible.

* I've got no problem with a writer turning in a blank ballot if he truly believes there is no worthy candidate for that year. If he leaves it blank because he "doesn't have all the data", well then, that's a weenie answer and he should be publicly given paper cuts with his ballot.

* For many players of the steroid era, we aren't ever going to know who did and did not take them. Maybe a player is stonewalling it, maybe he's telling the truth, who knows? It's always going to be a messy topic. Unless some compelling evidence comes out or a player confesses, we just won't know.

So whether or not a player of the steroid era makes it into HoF will always be tried in the court of public opinion. Having the collective opinion of the BBWAA writers is probably about as valid as you're going to get.

Maybe they can start up a Steroid Era Committee and any player from that era has to get in via that route instead of the current BBWAA route.

RedFanAlways1966
01-12-2007, 05:58 PM
* For many players of the steroid era, we aren't ever going to know who did and did not take them. Maybe a player is stonewalling it, maybe he's telling the truth, who knows? It's always going to be a messy topic. Unless some compelling evidence comes out or a player confesses, we just won't know.

So whether or not a player of the steroid era makes it into HoF will always be tried in the court of public opinion. Having the collective opinion of the BBWAA writers is probably about as valid as you're going to get.

Maybe they can start up a Steroid Era Committee and any player from that era has to get in via that route instead of the current BBWAA route.

Yep. Too bad Bud Selig and his cronies allowed it to happen. Too bad they were too stupid to realize that the whole thing would blow up in their "innocent" faces. I have trouble feeling for a guy who cannot speak the truth in front of our Congress. However, I do feel bad for the guys who were allowed to do these things without fear of punishment at the time, who were allowed to do these things and might have even have been encouraged by their team to do it and who were allowed to do these things to help the image of baseball (bam! there is that backfire sound that Bud and his cronies now feel). But of course Bud Selig and his cronies are trying to appear as though they now care and they want to punish the guilty ones that try it today.

Time to clean house... clean out the helm of MLB who were there when this crap was allowed to happen. Union or no union. If the union is blamed, then there is no excuse to not go public at the time and tell everyone that the union wants to allow drug use in the game. They didn't b.c they were more concerned about $elling the game.

jojo
01-12-2007, 08:52 PM
The point is invalidated because this argument, ostensibly, is about the merits of admitting steroid/meth users into the baseball HoF. The argument is not "is meth dangerous?" The argument is that by admitting steroid users into the HoF, baseball is--either directly or indirectly--validating their use. This, in turns, creates pressure amongst younger athletes to believe that they, too, must take steroids in order to excel at the professional level. Beyond even the "cheating" argument against steroids, this is a far more serious issue.

The underlying sentiment behind this statement is noble and speaks well toward your character.

However, the underlying premise is flawed. There is zero evidence that steroid use by professional baseball players is in any way linked to steroid use by 8-12th graders. The assertion that allowing a player alleged to have used steroids into the HOF would cause an increase in steroid use by highschool athletes is specious at best. The linked study does not address this issue in any fashion so no conclusions about such a hypothetical link can be drawn based upon the study. Sure it's *intuitive* to suggest that kids will use drugs if HOFers did but intuition makes poor public policy. Also, while the linked study does indicate that steroid use in those age groups seems linked to athletics, it does not break down the users by sport. It's very likely that the majority of male steroid users in that age group participate in football.

But lets for a moment entertain the notion that the behavior of HOFers can influence HS drug use. The original point still stands. If steroid use by major leaguers causes high schoolers to also use them, so too would the rampant use of speed by major leaguers be expected to encourage high schoolers to use speed. Both steroids and meth are detrimental to the user's health. Given the addictive nature of meth, its use is far more dangerous than steroids because it is far more likely that meth users will be chronic users.

Basically, there is nothing to be gained by drawing a distinction between the use of speed or steroids by major leaguers. Users of both are cheaters and the use of both is detrimental to the user's health.


This supports the argument that school-age children are not as influenced to use amphetamines or methamphetamines by athletes as they are to use steroids,

Once again, no it doesn't. At best it supports the assertion that professional ballplayers and high school athletes use steroids for the same reasons.


But the correlation between professional athlete meth use and school-age athlete meth consumption does not appear to exist, so the issue of combatting steroid use is IMO a more immediate danger that MLB needs to address.

Once again, no conclusions about a potential link between meth use by professional and high school athletes can be drawn based upon the linked study.

Also, to be accurate, the linked NIDA study did not indicate that meth was not used for athletic enhancement. It merely indicated that steroids were the only class of drugs used exclusively to enhance athletic prowess. By the way it is exactly the psychoactive effects of meth that make this class of drugs an effective performace enhancer so the indication by the NIDA that the majority of meth users do so for the psychoactive effect does not exclude meth use by athletes.



Besides, the argument put forth was that cheating was cheating, and if gaylord Perry and his spitball are in the Hall, then McGwire and his andro should be as well. But, clearly, the dangers associated with spitball use do not approach those of steroids. If "all cheating is cheating", the effects of each are nowhere nearly the same.

If the best that sportswriters have on McGwire is andro, then he absolutely should be considered a guilt-free HOF candidate. Andro was not only legal at the time he used it (both criminally and in the baseball world), it was available over the counter and he talked freely about his use of andro as a supplement. There is absolutely no scandal there and if some congressmen feel slighted that he didn't talk about it with them, well, that's too bad.

Besides the bottom line with performance enhancing drugs is that they have been vilified because they enhance performance in a manner that is against the rules. I'd bet this thread has devoted more words to discussing steroids and teen health than all of the sportswriters in the country combined have penned on that issue.

The ultimate point of the meth vs steroid debate? Steroids have recently been singled out as an evil assault on the moral fabric of baseball tradition. In fact their use is no different than the rampant use of speed during the two decades preceding the *steroid era*. Its ridiculous to feign a moral stand against a select few sluggers while ignoring the fact that all they did differently then those already enshrined in the Hall was play in an era whose performance enhancing drug was different while a confluence of other issues like expansion and shrinking ballparks converged to endanger several hallowed records and cherished milestones. Suddenly talking about these dirty little secrets became a juicy story that sells news. If we're going to debate steroids in baseball as a nation, lets at least do it in a proper context. IMHO, up to this point, little about the *debate* in the media has been more than unsupported assumption and wild speculation stated as fact all twisted into talking points tailored for the next news cycle.

Anyway, great discussion.....

:beerme: