Hall of Fame Vote

I understand why Bonds and Clemens did not cross the threshold, and eagerly await years of wanking from sportswriters about the integrity of the game when everyone knows they were juicing- I mean for cripes sake, Bonds went from a lean guy to a gladiator who had a head that looked like Dark Helmet in Space Balls, but I am actually surprised Piazza did not make it. Is this because he is a hall of fame quality, but not first ballot worthy?

Ron Cook from Pittsburgh, who I listened to on KDKA this afternoon, was especially wankworthy, and if baseball wants to leave the HoF ballot in the hands of those morons, more power to them. But why did Piazza not make it?

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249 replies
  1. 1
    bruins01 says:

    Piazza was one of the original steroids suspects. There are legends about his steroids use and the obvious physical, er, “blemishes” it left behind, literally and figuratively.

  2. 2
    JWL says:

    Did you know that Joltin’ Joe D. was denied entry into the HOF his first year of eligibility?

  3. 3
    Crusty Dem says:

    Did Biggio use steroids?? I think a number of voters just saw Clemens/Bonds on the ballot and felt better leaving it blank. Those idiots should not be allowed to vote again.

  4. 4
    Foxhunter says:

    Nate Silver wrong about Piazza yesterday. And also included Bagwell in that conversation, but not Biggio.

  5. 5
    Foxhunter says:

    Ugh. Wrote not wrong on above comment.

  6. 6
    burnspbesq says:

    Piazza’s traditional stats look good (.308 career BA and over 420 HRS). But I think the stat geeks will look at a WAR of less than 36 over 16 seasons and say “that’s not an era-defining player “

  7. 7
    Eric says:

    The only reason to deny these players entry us to whitewash the role of owners management and sportswriters in perpetrating the so called ateroid fraud. Baseball wa floundering from work stopages and so all of these guardians of the game conspiried to silence to allow the game to recover. Once it returned steroids are banned and heroes are goats. This is a grotesque spectacle

  8. 8
    Mike Lamb says:

    @bruins01: There is absolutely nothing even remotely concrete that links Piazza to PEDs. Look at his career arc. It went like something you would expect from a clean player.

    It’s also criminal that the douche nozzles won’t vote in Biggio this year, all the while knowing that they’ll vote him in next year, just because only certain guys should be first ballot HOFers.

    I hate the HOF voting sooooo much. The first ballot nonsense. The fact that no one has been unanimous. The sanctimony re: steroids (and oh by the by, Bonds had easy HOF numbers before his head swelled to the size of Pluto). I’d also add that PEDs alone do not come close to explaining Bonds’ dominance.

    There is nothing in life with which affects my life less, but causes more aggravation than the baseball HOF voting.

  9. 9
    Mark S. says:

    Going by stats, I think Bagwell has a pretty good argument as well.

  10. 10
    trollhattan says:

    I have no idea, but since we’re talkin’ sports–the goddamn Maloofs are getting ready to deal the Kings to the goddamn Seattle billionaire squad to replace the goddamn SonicsThunder who got dealt by another goddamn billionaire who lied about his intent right up to the end.

    Grew up with the Sonics, grudgingly switched to the Kings when the two met in the playoffs and I had to cast my lot with my (new) hometown and it looks like both are equally kaput. The NBA is dead to me.

  11. 11
    Comrade Luke says:

    It’s not a Hall of Fame if Edgar Martinez isn’t in it.

    Best player at his position in the history of the position. Best hitter of his era. Won the Silver Slugger award so many times they renamed it the Edgar Martinez Award.

    36% of the vote.

    The BBWAA is like the Tea Party. A small minority of people who have been given too much leverage, and are using it to show their power and how much they “matter”. Many are clearly clueless.

  12. 12
    MattR says:

    Gaylord Perry doctored the ball when he pitched and he’s in the hall of fame. And I can’t even count the number of HOFers who regularly took prescription amphetamines without a prescription (or cocaine). So it makes perfect sense for Bonds and Clemens to be excluded for their steroid use. /sarcasm

  13. 13
    red dog says:

    The past 20 years baseball has followed the nation; bigger is better and breaking rules is normal so no more heros just rich rulebreakers.

  14. 14
    Stogz says:

    Unfortunately, Edgar Martinez from my beloved Seattle Mariners probably will never get in. So much for consistently hitting the snot out of the baseball and scoring a shit-ton of runs. He is about the only DH that I can think that deserves to represent the position in the HoF. Not to be incendiary, but either reward those that are good at the job or eliminate the job.

  15. 15
    cathyx says:

    Is there mandatory drug testing in baseball?

  16. 16
    Hungry Joe says:

    Some of those guys won’t vote for anyone the first year of eligibility — they feel that no one deserves it. Some of them didn’t vote for Hank Aaron. So we’re talking about idiots. Not all of them, but a sizable minority … possibly even a majority.

    In “Ball Four” Bouton wrote about the casual use of “greenies” — speed. Improved performance, the players thought. This was in the late ’60s, and it lasted till who knows when. Don’t remember a movement to keep anyone out of the HOF for that.

  17. 17
    The Dangerman says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    It’s not a Hall of Fame if Edgar Martinez isn’t in it.

    I don’t see EM in the HOF anytime soon; I can’t think of any other “mostly a DH” that has gotten in (of course, that’s more than a little unfair given DH’s are typically towards the end of their careers after playing a position, so not a large data set on the matter).

  18. 18
    Cassidy says:

    @Mike Lamb: Re: Bonds

    That’s one thing that always bothered me. The guy was a HOF candidate before he left the Pirates, so I never understood what he was thinking.

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:

    @Cassidy: That he would get away with it. Oh and it wouldn’t shock me if there was a daddy issue there as well.

  20. 20
    Mark S. says:

    @cathyx:

    They started testing in like 2005 or something. Before that, no testing at all. They didn’t give a shit. Every other sport has been testing since at least the 80’s.

  21. 21
    General Stuck says:

    I just want to put the steroid era far back into the rear view mirror, faster the better. The corruption of stats for power hitters was in a class of its own, upper body muscle bulk = more bat speed = more home runs slugging percentage, etc…, Nothing else comes close to that effect. I remember seeing Sammy Sosa a couple of years after he stopped the roids, and he looked like a withered pipsqueak compared to before. I hope it all is mostly over, and will become a rarity rather the the baseball wide rule it was. All power hitters are suspect from that era, especially if they turned into Lou Ferrigno over night.

  22. 22
    jharp says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    Big fan of Edgar Martinez too. He could to hit all fields as well as anyone.

    Except maybe that dude in Detroit now, Cabrera?

  23. 23
    Eric S says:

    @MattR:
    Some sportswriter on MLB Network last night, when confronted with the great Whitey Ford’s admission to using his wedding ring to notch the baseball, said, and I quote, “That’s gamesmanship. Steroids is different.”

    I was too infuriated to stay on the channel and learn the writer’s name.

  24. 24
    Kristin says:

    I’d also add that PEDs alone do not come close to explaining Bonds’ dominance.

    Yes. If PED’s alone gave him that level of performance, there would have been a lot more guys playing like him during that time. Instead, there was no one like him.

  25. 25
    Comrade Luke says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Oh, I agree with you. It’s obvious that the BBWAA doesn’t think a DH is worthy of induction, even if it’s the best DH ever. There are so many things wrong with that opinion that I’m not even going to bother to refute it; especially since you seem to at least get it :).

    It’s just another example of an arbitrary rule imposed by the BBWAA, with no foundation.

    It’s ridiculous to me that, for weeks, I’ve been reading about how this ballot is loaded, and it screams to lifting the limit of only inducting 10 per ballot (which I agree should be done), and then NO ONE gets elected.

    They’re just clueless.

  26. 26
    The Dangerman says:

    @Cassidy:

    The guy was a HOF candidate before he left the Pirates, so I never understood what he was thinking.

    Dude was pissed everyone was talking about McGuire and Sosa and he knew what was behind them.

  27. 27
    Publius39 says:

    Biggio, Alan Trammel, Jack Morris, and the list goes on. I was just ranting to the wife about how long it took Jim Rice to get in. I mean FFS, Biggio had 3000 hits. That should be an automatic ticket into the HoF.

  28. 28
    Cassidy says:

    @Kristin: That’s bunk. Bonds went from being a triple threat to a slugger. His dominance was only in the one area after the PED’s.

  29. 29
    Comrade Luke says:

    Aaron Sele got a vote for the Hall of Fame. Aaron. Fucking. Sele.

  30. 30
    cathyx says:

    Speaking of testing positive, Lance Armstrong is admitting to doping. I heard long ago from someone who raced competitively during the time when Armstrong was racing that all competitive bicyclists used performance enhancing drugs. No doubt that he did because if you wanted to win or even come close, you had to.

  31. 31
    JWL says:

    MLB owners are laughing at ALL the fans who care enough to engage in this HOF Great Debate. They turned a blind eye to steroids because it put money in their pockets. Their hypocrisy extended to ex-owner GW Bush having castigated THE PLAYERS ONLY for steroid abuse (and that during a State of the Union Address while the country was at war). I love the game. But for Chrissakes, the owners arrogance as they watch this sorry ass story unfold is nearly enough for me to write it off altogether.

  32. 32
    Mike Lamb says:

    @Publius39: 3000 hits, more doubles than Aaron, a ridiculous number of extra base hits, stolen bases, AND he was a good to elite defender at THREE different premium positions.

  33. 33
    Lev says:

    @Eric S: Scott Lemieux had a good post over at Lawyers, Guns and Money arguing that the steroid freakout was easily explicable as a bunch of boomers being infuriated about sacred records from their childhood being broken, and little more. Various PEDs have been a part of sport (as Mitt Romney would call it) forever, and yet nobody says to chuck out an entire era because of it.

    Fucking boomers. Enough already.

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    Just this.

    BBWAA is composed of doofi. Many more than one doofus.

  35. 35
    Darkrose says:

    @trollhattan: I hate to say it, but I’m fine with seeing the Kings leave, if it means the city won’t be on the hook for building them a new stadium.

  36. 36
    daverave says:

    @trollhattan:

    When Sacto has billionaires, and only then, will it deserve to have an NBA team, apparently. Of course the Magoofs obviously come up short in that department.

  37. 37
    The Dangerman says:

    @Publius39:

    Biggio had 3000 hits. That should be an automatic ticket into the HoF.

    Kinda like 300 wins; if memory serves, Sutton had to wait a while for the HOF. Glavine will probably have to wait as well (and Sutton had more wins, IIRC).

    Next first balloter might be Greg Maddux.

  38. 38
    daverave says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    Stupid Sox fans…

  39. 39
    NobodySpecial says:

    It’s too simplistic to just trash the writers for this one.

    Think about it: Based on numbers alone, regardless of your opinion on steroids, there’s a good argument to be made for 15-20 people on that ballot, and you only get to vote for so many, AND they have to show up on 75% of the ballots.

    Chances are, a number of writers left Piazza off in favor of Bagwell, or Biggio, or Larry Walker, or anyone else. If you don’t care about the steroid thing, then you have to ask yourself questions like Sosa or Piazza, and Sosa has 600 homers and Piazza doesn’t.

    Piazza doesn’t really have eye popping numbers from the Steroid Era compared to other hitters, and he was a pretty indifferent defender at catcher. I still think he makes the Hall, but not for three or four years.

  40. 40
    Darkrose says:

    @General Stuck: So, we just pretend that an entire decade never happened?

  41. 41
    Darkrose says:

    @Cassidy: He was thinking that he was a great player, but all anyone cared about was that two juiced guys were hitting the long ball. And he was probably thinking about how much he loathed the media, which I suspect is a big part of the self-righteousness coming from the BBWAA.

  42. 42
    The Dangerman says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    Aaron Sele got a vote for the Hall of Fame.

    First and last; voter must have not followed the dots over to the proper bubble to darken.

  43. 43
    General Stuck says:

    @Darkrose:

    For statistics on power hitters. pretty much. Or at least I plan to with liberal use of asterisks.

  44. 44
    J.W. Hamner says:

    You really just need a “PEDs Era Wing” of the Hall where you lay out the situation and the allegations and be done with it. You can’t exclude an entire generation of baseball players who weren’t even violating baseball’s rules at the time. It’s idiotic.

  45. 45
    MikeJ says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    Aaron Sele got a vote for the Hall of Fame. Aaron. Fucking. Sele.

    When did Yutsano get a vote? (Washington State.)

  46. 46
    Brachiator says:

    I understand why Bonds and Clemens did not cross the threshold, and eagerly await years of wanking from sportswriters about the integrity of the game when everyone knows they were juicing

    Lance Armstrong wept.

  47. 47
    Disco says:

    I guess we have a lot of armchair PED experts here tonight.

    Bonds fucking cheated. Clemens fucking cheated. They don’t deserve the hall of fame; they deserve federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

  48. 48
    Eric S says:

    @Lev: I’ve read Lemieux’s piece. As much as I love to hate on the Boomers I think the LGM piece points out a generational problem over all. Neither DiMaggio or Cy Young got in on their first try.

  49. 49
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    But I think the stat geeks will look at a WAR of less than 36 over 16 seasons and say “that’s not an era-defining player “

    They might if his WAR actually were less than 36, but you seem to be looking at WAA. His WAR was 56.1, which is good for 5th all time among catchers. His defense may have been bad enough to take him out of the best of all time discussion, but his hitting was good enough to put him in the Hall even if he had played first base.

  50. 50
    Concerned Citizen says:

    @Disco: I hate the fact that prison rape is actively promoted. Doing steroids does not mean you should be raped.

    I think this would be a good time to rekindle the “Piazza is gay” rumours. He didn’t make it because he was en effeminate girly man who liked gay sex.

  51. 51
    Mark S. says:

    God I hate when people downplay steroids. Taking amphetamines isn’t comparable at all. It’s a contrarian argument of the type Matt Yglesias would make.

    I’m waiting for someone to say Dock Ellis pitched that no-hitter with the help of LSD.

  52. 52
    Publius39 says:

    @Mike Lamb: And he was clean and a great guy.@

    The Dangerman: Maddux should get in, but Morris deserves to get in. He was a great pitcher in the 80s and 90s, and tough as nails. Fuck Bonds and fuck Clemens. I bet if some of the other players had played for the Yankees, they would have already been in by now.

  53. 53
    Darkrose says:

    MLB needs to decide what the Hall is for. Is it to document the history of the game, or is it a reward to players for good behavior? And if it’s the latter, when do we kick Ty Cobb out?

  54. 54
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @Disco:

    So when do you start the campaign to eject that dirty cheater Willie Mays from the Hall? He’s still alive so maybe we can get him in to Federal prison too!

  55. 55
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @Mark S.:

    Of course it’s not the same, but it’s still a PED. I hate it when people only are against a certain very specific type of cheating that wasn’t actually against the rules.

  56. 56
    Darkrose says:

    @Disco: Yeah, no one ever cheated in baseball. It’s not like Gaylord Perry was throwing spitballs or anything.

  57. 57
    Heliopause says:

    if baseball wants to leave the HoF ballot in the hands of those morons

    They could put it in the hands of the public, in which case Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber will get in. They could put it in the hands of the statheads, in which case only Bonds and Clemens will get in and everybody else will be expelled. They could simply put it in the hands of a faceless committee, in which case hedge fund managers will mysteriously start receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards.

  58. 58
    MattR says:

    @Mark S.: How are they not comparable? Taking amphetamines has a performance enhancing effect. It’s a different one than steroids, but it has one nonetheless. And the use of amphetamines without a prescription was against the rules of the game.

  59. 59
    Disco says:

    “MLB needs to decide what the Hall is for. Is it to document the history of the game, or is it a reward to players for good behavior? And if it’s the latter, when do we kick Ty Cobb out?”

    Good point. And if it’s the history of the game, then Pete Rose better be in there.

    But it’s not to document the history. There are other venues for that.

  60. 60
    Darkrose says:

    @Heliopause: They should let me decide. There will be a statue of Buster Posey in there next week.

  61. 61
    Tokyokie says:

    @The Dangerman: No 300-game winner had to wait as long to get into the HOF as Phil Niekro.

  62. 62
    Publius39 says:

    @Darkrose: Cheating in baseball? How dare you make such an accusation! Next thing you know, people will start thinking that black people weren’t allowed to play when baseball first started getting popular!

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I can’t think of any other “mostly a DH” that has gotten in (of course, that’s more than a little unfair given DH’s are typically towards the end of their careers after playing a position, so not a large data set on the matter).

    About the closest would be Paul Molitor, who played about 1200 of his 2700 games at DH. Like Martinez, Molitor was moved to DH more in an attempt to keep him healthy than because he was a poor fielder. The big difference is that Molitor became a regular in his 21 year old season, while Seattle just failed to recognize how good Edgar was and didn’t give him a real shot until he was 26.

  64. 64
    Joel says:

    Piazza and Biggio at least deserved to get in, whatever your stance on ‘roids.

    Clemens wasn’t just a ‘roid abuser, he was also a sexual predator.

    So was Karl Malone, for that matter.

  65. 65
    Disco says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Molitor is my favourite player of all time. I had the honour of meeting him when I was 12. Awesome man.

  66. 66
    The Dangerman says:

    @Concerned Citizen:

    I think this would be a good time to rekindle the “Piazza is gay” rumours.

    Dude married a Playboy Centerfold (although the former Ms. Richter could have had the potential to convert, I suppose, let alone the possibility of being a switch-hitter).

    I don’t recall Piazza being linked to steroids, but there were some rumblings around the Dodgers. I grew up an Angels fan, but their 2002 team was the most juiced ever (link to Dodgers being Scioscia).

  67. 67
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Dangerman:

    First and last; voter must have not followed the dots over to the proper bubble to darken.

    It was probably a writer who didn’t think there were 10 real candidates giving a vote to a player he liked, rather than somebody who sincerely thought he deserved to be in the Hall or made a dumb mistake. You’ll see a few guys like that most years.

  68. 68
    Kristin says:

    @Cassidy: You obviously didn’t watch him play.

  69. 69
    matt k says:

    Rarely comment here at balloonjuice (though I’m a fan), but as a baseball nerd had to chime in on this one. Writing on my phone so apologies for any typos. Anyway just wanted to respond to a few comments: firstly, Mike lamb, Luke, and mattr- preach, brothers, preach. The grandstanding and bloviating of the bwaa members leading to ZERO players being inducted in a year when there were countless deserving candidates on the ballot(off the top of my head – biggio, bagwell, bonds, Clemens, raines, Martinez, piazza and trammell, and good arguments for many others) is criminal. Red dog, gotta say I’m surprised – typically the traditionalist, ‘things were better back in my day ‘ argument is one that I associate with conservatives (judging from how frequently dudes saying that sort of stuff on baseball blogs tend to jump to ‘obamas killing America ‘ at the drop of a hat. You seriously think that rules weren’t broken before? Or that its fair to lay the transgressions of an era at the feet of a few individuals, when MLB and the baseball media aided and abetted the process every step of the way? Sure the influx of money has changed a few things, but I would rather the dough be in the hands of the guy who grew up sleeping in a tin shack in the Dominican republic (who’s actually PLAYING the game) than in the pockets of some asshole multimillionaire real estate developer or conglomerate or whatever in ownership. Finally, burnspbesq – not sure what version of WAR you’re looking at: piazzas at 66 WAR on fangraphs and 56 on bbref; both figures are easily HOF worthy. Don’t think ‘Stat geeks’ have much sway in the BWAA anyway- the continued presence of jack Morris on the ballot (and the lack of support for guys like Tim raines) seem proof enough of that. Aaaanyway- in short, fuck the hot voting committee (also, can baseball start again already?)

  70. 70
    Concerned Citizen says:

    @The Dangerman: I always felt bad for the guy. The fucking press eviscerated him for being too nice.

    At least now accusing a guy of being gay isn’t damaging. In Mike’s day, it was.

  71. 71
    Roger Moore says:

    @Eric S:

    Neither DiMaggio or Cy Young got in on their first try.

    That was a different situation. Young’s first shot was the very first ballot, when there were simply too many guys on the ballot to elect every qualified player. He was also a confusing candidate because his career was exactly split between the 19th and 20th Centuries, which had different groups voting for them. DiMaggio became eligible in a period when the ballot was overwhelmed with qualified players and nobody was getting elected at all. That shouldn’t be happening now, but it’s possible that we’ll have the same kind of logjam if the voters can’t elect several players next year.

  72. 72
    Concerned Citizen says:

    @Cassidy: No, he was always a 5 tool guy. Barry Bonds was an incredible player without steroids. Was better with them (but also a cheater, no excuses here).

  73. 73
    Haydnseek says:

    Fuck the HOF. Just three words. Gil Fucking Hodges.

  74. 74
    Roger Moore says:

    @Publius39:

    Morris deserves to get in. He was a great pitcher in the 80s and 90s, and tough as nails.

    No, he wasn’t a great pitcher. He was a durable pitcher who played for teams that gave him great run support. His ERA would be the highest for any pitcher in the HOF, and his ERA+ (ERA adjusted for era and home ballpark) was only about 5% better than league average.

  75. 75
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Disco: That’s not cool man, wishing rape on dudes for cheating at a game.

    And seriously, having managers betting on the sport is way worse than PEDs. That’s like arguing that the reason you don’t watch pro-wrestling isn’t fixed matches, it’s steroids.

  76. 76
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    So according to the last thread we had on this, Piazza is suspicious because he was a low draft pick who had a stellar career so obviously he improved through steroids. The reason they think Griffey and Thomas didn’t do steroids is that they were slowed by injury. It would seem then that the best candidates going forward will be those that don’t reach their potential. We need to reconsider chuck knoblach.

  77. 77
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    So according to the last thread we had on this, Piazza is suspicious because he was a low draft pick who had a stellar career so obviously he improved through steroids. The reason they think Griffey and Thomas didn’t do steroids is that they were slowed by injury. It would seem then that the best candidates going forward will be those that don’t reach their potential. We need to reconsider chuck knoblach.

  78. 78
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    So according to the last thread we had on this, Piazza is suspicious because he was a low draft pick who had a stellar career so obviously he improved through steroids. The reason they think Griffey and Thomas didn’t do steroids is that they were slowed by injury. It would seem then that the best candidates going forward will be those that don’t reach their potential. We need to reconsider chuck knoblach.

  79. 79
    Kristin says:

    I’m a Giants fan, and I watched Bonds a lot (I once drunkenly said hi to him from the LF bleachers, and he waved and smiled — he isn’t that bad a guy). That said, I knew he wouldn’t get it. I’m okay with it.

    The thing that most annoys me is the “FIRST BALLOT GUY!” thing. WTF is this? It’s some separate category? Like, “best supporting actress” or something? The BBWAA takes itself way too seriously.

  80. 80
    Eric S says:

    @Roger Moore: Fair points. I guess my point is that the writers have historically been slow to elect obvious HOFers.

  81. 81
    Haydnseek says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace: Not to mention Ed Kranepool…….

  82. 82
    Legalize says:

    Piazza is a perfect illustration of the PED problem. He was “suspected,” but nothing ever came of it. He is the best hitting catcher ever. If the numbers are right, let them all in, and put a footnote saying what the fuck ever about steroids on their plaques. This all about baseball writers and their bullshit morality concerns – while they said dick about steroids while guys were using in mass. Why didn’t they? Because chicks dig the long ball, and long balls sell more newspapers.

  83. 83
    piratedan says:

    still, felt that the top five vote getters are all worthy but getting those writers to agree on anything is like herding cats.

  84. 84
    AxelFoley says:

    @Disco:

    They don’t deserve the hall of fame; they deserve federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

    Seriously, bro? For juicing? I mean, seriously?

  85. 85
    Ol Froth says:

    You can’t exclude an entire generation of baseball players who weren’t even violating baseball’s rules at the time.

    So sick of this argument. They may not have been violating the rules, but they certaintly were violating the law by consuming controlled substances without a prescription.

  86. 86
    Disco says:

    @AxelFoley:

    No, for PERJURY, “bro”

    And unless you people are 5 years old, you ought to get the Office Space reference. I will not apologize for that.

  87. 87
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @cathyx:

    I heard long ago from someone who raced competitively during the time when Armstrong was racing that all competitive bicyclists used performance enhancing drugs. No doubt that he did because if you wanted to win or even come close, you had to.

    That’s not really the way to think about it. Armstrong, Bruyneel and the team doctors honed doping to a science, when the continental teams were largely engaged in a mixture of haphazard doping and witch doctoring. That’s why they didn’t get caught.

  88. 88
    Tom Q says:

    @Darkrose: My long-held opinion is, if Bonds hadn’t made his steroid use become so obvious (both by body size and unreal, greatest-player-of-all-time statistics), and hadn’t been so deeply disliked by the media, the media might never have delved into the great steroid scandal, and Mark McGwire & Sammy Sosa might still be universally beloved household names.

    This is going to poison the Hall of Fame voting for decades to come. People on either side of the issue (as we see here) are set in their opinions, and whatever happens to please one will outrage the other. We’ve brought a version of red state/blue state to baseball.

  89. 89
    Trinity says:

    We are but pawns in the rich man’s game.

  90. 90
    Haydnseek says:

    @AxelFoley: I think Disco deserves the same punishment for reminding me of, well, Disco……

  91. 91
    Concerned Citizen says:

    @Disco: Rape sucks. I wish it would go away.

  92. 92
    Hawes says:

    Tim Raines isn’t in. Explain that one to me. Because stolen bases and OBP in Canada are only worth 80% of what they are worth in America?

    Biggio and Bagwell should be in, too. Piazza belongs.

    So do Bonds and Clemens, but make them wait a while.

  93. 93
    Tehanu says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Some of those guys won’t vote for anyone the first year of eligibility — they feel that no one deserves it. Some of them didn’t vote for Hank Aaron. So we’re talking about idiots.

    Sanctimonious idiots. These are guys who spend their lives on the road drinking whisky and smoking cigars, getting all snarky about athletes not being simon-pure. A lot of baseball players used steroids and never hit above the Mendoza line — so how exactly is it that great players like Bonds could “only” have done what they did by cheating?

  94. 94
    AxelFoley says:

    @Disco:

    No, for PERJURY, “bro”

    Oh, so they deserve ass-rape for lying under oath? Does Bill Clinton deserve the same fate?

    And I don’t give a fuck what movie you’re quoting. This shit ain’t THAT serious.

  95. 95
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Oh, and fuck the HOF. It’s clearly just a wankfest.

  96. 96
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Jack Morris? Jack Morris? Buehler? Buehler?

  97. 97
    efgoldman says:

    @General Stuck:

    All power hitters are suspect from that era, especially if they turned into Lou Ferrigno over night.

    Yeah, so? One major criterion is “Best player of his era.” Well, if the era was the juice era, assume they all did it, judge them against each other for the 15 years or so, and lettem the fuck in.
    BBWA is a bunch of hypocrites. They all knew about the greenies. And the ones that regularly went into clubhouses knew about ‘roids, too.

  98. 98
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mark S.:

    God I hate when people downplay steroids. Taking amphetamines isn’t comparable at all.

    No, not comparable at all. Different sport, but Tommy Simpson fucking collapsed and *died* during the 1967 Tour de France from taking amphetamines. “Everybody did it” then, too. Who has collapsed and died during, say, the World Series from steroids?

  99. 99
    Tangent of 90 says:

    Ty Cobb actually killed someone

  100. 100
    Concerned Citizen says:

    @efgoldman: agreed. They were all guilty.

  101. 101
    efgoldman says:

    @Lev:

    Fucking boomers. Enough already.

    I’m a fucking boomer. See me @efgoldman: @95 above.

  102. 102
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Biggio was the shocker. Bagwell, I can see steroid suspicion, but his shoulder problems were from his batting stance and weren’t steroid-pattern injuries. Fkers.

  103. 103
    Raven says:

    @Disco: Apologize for your nasty fucking rape analogy asshole.

  104. 104
    Jay C says:

    Well, looking at the history of the HoF balloting, a “nobody” vote is unusual, but not completely unknown: in 76 years, there have been eight with no vote-ins, so it’s basically a once-a-decade occurrence on average (though rarer in the past 30 years). I can imagine that (in pre-PED-obsessed eras) it’s just a fluke of the candidates and the interest therein by the BBWAA; but this year, I think it was probably a combination of factors: the outstanding players up for consideration were too juice-stained, and those that weren’t weren’t all that outstanding.

    That said, Piazza and Biggio missing the cut is just plain weird…

  105. 105
    trollhattan says:

    @Darkrose:

    I hear you–I’ve never been comfortable going to the mat for them, different owners, maybe. Will still miss the electricity of the good years–it permeated every corner of this town in a way that no AAA pennant ever can. We’ve gone from a one-horse town to a no-horse town, and now the insufferable Lakers legions will sprout from every sidewalk crack. Ugh.

  106. 106
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    The point of having a hall of fame is to bring people to the middle of nowhere New York State to a baseball memorabilia museum and archive and to help maintain the value of old baseball junk on the junk market. Not electing players actually undercuts both objectives. From time to time the writers will gridlock, but if they do that often enough, the league will have a way to change those rules and find different voters.

  107. 107
    SFAW says:

    @Yutsano:

    Oh and it wouldn’t shock me if there was a daddy issue there as well.

    If my memory isn’t completely beclouded: there was, but not in the way you mean.

    @Disco:

    No, for PERJURY, “bro”
    .
    And unless you people are 5 years old, you ought to get the Office Space reference. I will not apologize for that.

    Perjury, juicing, whatever. I guess your next rationalization will be because Bonds allegedly once thought about kicking a cat that looked exactly like Tunch.

    Oh, and “Office Space” references as a litmus test of anything is on a par with “Glen or Glenda?” references for same.

  108. 108
    efgoldman says:

    @Disco:

    I guess we have a lot of armchair PED experts here tonight.

    Oh bullshit. Ty Cobb probably fixed games, and did murder somebody. Whitey Ford admitted to dicking around with the ball, and Gaylord Perry makes at least two. Johny Damon (not a HOF candidate, but still) admitted to greenies. That’s just off the top of my head. They are of their era. We don’t need hypocritical sportswriters to screw with a whole era of players.
    At least the boomers will start to retire soon (do they still get votes?) and the younger men and women will take over and we’ll get a little bit of common sense and less weeping, wailing, and moralizing.

  109. 109
    efgoldman says:

    @Darkrose:

    And if it’s the latter, when do we kick Ty Cobb out?

    Right after the NFL HOF evicts OJ.

  110. 110
    Raven says:

    @efgoldman:

    “admitted to greenies.”

    Every fucking-body in the show did greenies.

  111. 111
    SFAW says:

    @Raven:

    Every fucking-body in the show did greenies.

    Even Mario Mendoza? Damn, all my illusions destroyed.

  112. 112
    Raven says:

    @SFAW: Well…almost everybody.

  113. 113
    SFAW says:

    @efgoldman:

    Right after the NFL HOF evicts OJ.

    Oh, come on, he was acquitted of murdar. And besides, he promised to devote his life to finding the REAL killer.

    Well, he will in about 20 years, I guess.

  114. 114
    SFAW says:

    @Raven:

    Well…almost everybody.

    Thank FSM! I was worried I’d have to take down my shrine to him.

  115. 115

    Let’s say you’re Barry Bonds and the HOF says, “We will let you in, but next to your plaque we will put a statue of you shooting up.” Do you take that deal?

  116. 116
    Jamey says:

    @Cassidy: Sorry, gotta disagree with you there.

    http://www.baseball-almanac.co.....=bondsba01

    Amazing thing is, Bonds got 156 hits in 476 ab–and nearly half those hits were HR (73). He would have had 688 ab if he weren’t walked 212 times. Projecting his ba of .328 that year, he would have gotten 210 hits. The NL leader that year, Richie Aurelia, had 206.

    Bonds’s ba in the “steroid era”: .262 (’99); .305; .328; .370 (!); .341; .362; .286 (’05)

    Power is one thing, but the guy could tag the ball. Damn shame he shit all over a sure-fire HoF career by juicing at the tail end. His desire to be loved and admired was practically Nixonian.

  117. 117
    SFAW says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    Oh, no … you’re not going to turn this into another “Will Obama have those trillion-dollar coins minted, or won’t he?” threads.

  118. 118

    Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal likened sabermetricians to the Tea Party today due to the “over the top” objections of the stat dudes to Jack Morris’ HOF credentials. Does he know who signs his checks?

    http://deadspin.com/5974663/he.....-tea-party

  119. 119
    Baud says:

    @SFAW:

    Are you suggesting Bonds should be on the coin?

  120. 120
    Haydnseek says:

    @SFAW: Naw, Mario wasn’t into greenies. He was into snorting the occasional Mendoza line, however, which became the league’s first performance decreasing drug.

  121. 121
    Raven says:

    Go Illini, beat the Gophers!

  122. 122
    SFAW says:

    @Baud:

    I wasn’t, but your idea is intriguing. And Obama could say he’s just issuing bonds.

    I think it would be a nice touch if Bobby were on the other coin. for that matter.

  123. 123
    sb says:

    Damn, I love these sports threads… and always show up too late for them.

    Piazza didn’t get in because of steroid suspicion. He and Bagwell both suffered because of their physiques.

    Biggio should be a no-holds barred HOFer. There is no reason at all to keep that guy out. I’d also let in Morris and Raines along with Bagwell and Piazza. Of those five, Piazza at his best was the most valuable.

  124. 124
    SFAW says:

    @Haydnseek:

    Bless you, child, for that one.

    Although, historically speaking, imagine what the greatest of all time could have done if he hadn’t done so much REAL performance-decreasing drugs, i.e. alcohol.

    And, no, I’m not talking about Rod Kanehl.

  125. 125
    Baud says:

    @SFAW:

    And Obama could say he’s just issuing bonds.

    Haha. Obama should also analogize the debt ceiling to the salary cap, in order to explain why it needs to be raised from time to time.

  126. 126
    Omar says:

    @Disco: I’ve always thought that Pete Rose should be elected to the HOF 75 years after Shoeless Joe Jackson is. At least a jury found Shoeless Joe “Not Guilty.”

  127. 127
    SFAW says:

    @sb:

    Piazza didn’t get in because of steroid suspicion. He and Bagwell both suffered because of their physiques.

    See, as a Mets fan, I wouldn’t vote for him on GP.

    Maybe he and Armando Benitez can get their own Halls of Choke.

  128. 128
    efgoldman says:

    @Raven:

    Every fucking-body in the show did greenies.

    Exactly. Illegal use of an Rx drug. They arrest people on the street for that. Not to mention, the trainers should all be arrested for possession with intent.
    Why yes, I think this is all bullshit. They were the greatest players of their era. Puttem in.

  129. 129
    Jamey says:

    @Baud: Except (wait for it…) the salary cap is tied to revenues.

  130. 130
    efgoldman says:

    @SFAW:

    Oh, come on, he was acquitted of murdar.

    Why yes, he was. Remind me: where is he now, and why?

  131. 131

    @SFAW: Would Pete Rose accept a place in the gambling hall of fame?

  132. 132
    sb says:

    @SFAW: That was funny and I say that as a compliment.

    I saw Piazza a lot (Dodger fan here) and, man, I never saw anything like that from a catcher. He was an event every time he came up to the plate.

  133. 133
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @ranchandsyrup: you bet he would!

  134. 134
    Haydnseek says:

    @SFAW: I agree. It brings tears to my eyes when I think of how much greater the career of Mickey Mendel would have been if he could have just stayed away from that Mogen David. Hank Greenberg tried to talk to him, but he just wouldn’t listen.

  135. 135
    Darkrose says:

    efgoldman:

    Exactly.

    This year, the BBWAA has made “character” the primary criterion for admission, above things like performance on the field. If that’s how it’s going to be, then call it “The Baseball Hall of Holiness and Ponies and Kittens” and nominate Duane Kuiper, with his 1 career MLB home run.

    Pretending that it didn’t happen would be like pretending that there was never any such thing as a color line in baseball.

  136. 136
    Cacti says:

    If we’re going to talk about performance enhancing advantages, what of the fact that St. Babe Ruth compiled all of his stats in an era where the primary qualification for playing pro baseball was white skin?

  137. 137
    Gex says:

    @Darkrose: Making Gary Gaetti’s latter years hall of fame worthy.

  138. 138
    SFAW says:

    @efgoldman:

    Re-read my comment, it’ll come to you.

  139. 139
    sb says:

    @Darkrose: I always thought the BBWA was and is pissed about missing the damn story. The greatest season in baseball history was 1998… until it wasn’t.

    So many writers with egg on their face. The HOF vote is their version of payback being a b***h.

  140. 140
    Gravenstone says:

    @ranchandsyrup: He’d probably give them advice on what injection site to show.

  141. 141
    SFAW says:

    @Haydnseek:
    Channeling Hyman Kaplan, are we?

  142. 142
    Cacti says:

    @Darkrose:

    This year, the BBWAA has made “character” the primary criterion for admission, above things like performance on the field. If that’s how it’s going to be, then call it “The Baseball Hall of Holiness and Ponies and Kittens” and nominate Duane Kuiper, with his 1 career MLB home run.

    Oh, it started long before this year. Kirby Puckett got in with marginal stats for his position, but being such an allegedly swell guy swayed the BBWA.

    In reality, Kirby Puckett was an abusive arsehole off the field, who beat on his wife and kids.

  143. 143
    Gravenstone says:

    @Darkrose: Dale Murphy might have a quibble with your argument re. “character” above all.

  144. 144
    efgoldman says:

    @SFAW:

    Channeling Hyman Kaplan, are we?

    Hyman Kaplan? Next you’re going to start dropping Carl Perkins, Ike DeLock and Gary Geiger references.

  145. 145
    Raven says:

    @Gravenstone: I love Murph but the numbers ain’t there.

  146. 146
    Cacti says:

    @Darkrose:

    This year, the BBWAA has made “character” the primary criterion for admission, above things like performance on the field. If that’s how it’s going to be, then call it “The Baseball Hall of Holiness and Ponies and Kittens” and nominate Duane Kuiper, with his 1 career MLB home run.

    Then of course, there was the 1995 AL MVP race.

    Albert Belle was hands down, the best player in baseball, on the AL’s best team. But he was a big old meanie, so Mo Vaughn won in it in a “screw you” vote.

    Petulant primadonnas? Grudge-holding Heathers? Not our baseball writers.

  147. 147
    Haydnseek says:

    @SFAW: One can only hope. Juicers need a little Leo Rosten in their lives…I know he’s certainly enhanced mine. Nice catch, by the way. ( I know, the baseball metaphor is too easy, but you deserve credit where credit is due.)

  148. 148
    sylvan says:

    @cathyx:

    Lance Armstrong is admitting to doping

    That episode of Oprah hasn’t aired yet.

    Besides, if Lance was going full honest, one would hope he would name names.

    That could get complicated.

  149. 149
    Darkrose says:

    @Gravenstone: I’m sure there are plenty of others. I think the point still stands, though: this year’s vote was more about punishing players for using steroids than about selecting the players who had the greatest impact on the game.

  150. 150
    efgoldman says:

    @Cacti:

    Then of course, there was the 1995 AL MVP race.

    Of course the annual awards are voted by two writers in each MLB city. I believe they rotate every year.
    The HOF vote is by all eligible BBWA members, several hundred of the weasels.

  151. 151
    Haydnseek says:

    @efgoldman: Who is this Ike DeLock of which you speak? I know, I could google it, but I just really like doing the “of which you speak” riff. I also really like your posts, and from what I gather you seem to have a really interesting background (radio, pro audio, etc.) You make this place better.

  152. 152
    Raven says:

    @Haydnseek: He’s just old.

  153. 153
    efgoldman says:

    @Haydnseek:

    Who is this Ike DeLock of which you speak?

    He was a member of a terrible Red Sox rotation on the terrible – really really bad – teams of the late 50s – early 60s. Gary Geiger was a center fielder of the same era. I don’t know that Carl Perkins ever held a baseball, but he wore footwear of blue hue. Or at least sang about it, before Elvis grabbed the song.

    ETA: And thank you. You learn a lot of shit in 67 years.

  154. 154
  155. 155
    efgoldman says:

    @Raven:

    He’s just old.

    You should talk!

  156. 156
    SFAW says:

    @sb:

    I realize that Piazza was truly great as a Dodger.

    But I also remember the 2000 Series, and predicting that he would choke.

    And he did. And the fucking Yankees won.

    And, as the dear, departed Steve Gilliard would say: FTFY!

    (I don’t really hate the Yanks that much, but I did that year.)

  157. 157
    pattonbt says:

    Hate the HOF voters. Sanctimoniuous pricks (some of them). I can not abide by a group where some members believe no one can be elected on the first ballot. There are plenty of players that deserve that honor and those writers should have their voting eligibility removed for not voting them in.

    Re the steroids era – so what. Sosa and McGuire saved baseball when steroids werent tested for or cared about. They both deserve to be in for that alone. Rose – douche supreme – deserves to be in. Bonds / Clemens – hate them both with a firey hot passion – both should have been first ballot without question (god it hurt writing that).

    If those are the standards, then go through the ranks of those currently in the hall and remove all candidates with the same or equivalent “circumstantial moral taints” (drugs, cheating, murder, assholishness, etc.) as the ones excluded in this voting cycle (and previous ones) and remove them or get rid of the current voters and start again.

    These players were the best of their era and played within the confines of their era and were not caught and / or convicted of anything other than suspicion (though some have admitted to PED use – to which I say “so what?”).

  158. 158
    Ol Froth says:

    “Greenies” weren’t criminalized until 1971.

  159. 159
    SFAW says:

    @efgoldman:

    You should talk LOUDER!

    Fixed, as a nod to your advanced age.

    Oh, wait, sorry:

    FIXED, AS A NOD TO YOUR ADVANCED AGE!

    (Wanted to make sure you could hear what I was writing.)

  160. 160
    patroclus says:

    I think interest in the HOF is WAY overblown, but if Ryne Sandberg makes it, so should Biggio. The steroids guys (and that includes Piazza) are just going to have to wait until the older generation of baseball writers die off. Next year, Maddux, Glavine and probably Frank Thomas are locks, so everyone is just going to complain about it again.

  161. 161
    Mike E says:

    @Jamey:

    His desire to be loved and admired was practically Nixonian.

    And the guy’s Godfather, Willie Mays, was such a narcissist that he never bothered learning people’s names, so he called everybody “Say Hey.”

    Seems the legacy got transferred.

  162. 162
    General Stuck says:

    @efgoldman:

    You can take all the methods of cheating, all the other drugs used, and none of it, added altogether would have anywhere near the profound effect and impact on power hitting stats that rampant use of steroids did. And the players that weren’t using them, knew that others were, and said nothing. It was a mind boggling and profound episode in sports cheating, and really, everyone knew what was going on and because the home runs were flying frequent and far, it was allowed to go on. In that sense, I agree that “so what”. I don’t propose doing anything to these folks, punitive, or otherwise. But in my mind, that entire era has a huge asterisk by the power hitting stats, and always will.

  163. 163
    efgoldman says:

    @Ol Froth:

    “Greenies” weren’t criminalized until 1971.

    OK, then, exclude anyone and everyone who was on MLB rosters that year and every year until the recent year when they were banned from clubhouses.
    Oh, wait! All those guys are already in the Hall.
    Oh, well. Too bad.

  164. 164
    Haydnseek says:

    @efgoldman: The Angels had a pitcher like that in the mid ’70’s. The Angels were terrible, but the tickets were cheap and the stadium was fairly close. We took great delight in denigrating one Dick Drago, whose presence in the show remains one of lifes enduring mysteries…Carl Perkins could have gone yard on this chump swinging a Telecaster.

  165. 165
    Raven says:

    “Despite the problem of cocaine use and abuse being a baseball-wide problem,[citation needed] it was perceived as just a “Pittsburgh problem” by the national media.[citation needed] Arguably, it led to the more widespread awareness of use of other drugs such as amphetamines (“greenies” in baseball vernacular) and marijuana[citation needed] in the game. Both have a long history in baseball; Milner (who had retired two years earlier due to recurring hamstring injuries), in fact, spoke of Willie Mays and Willie Stargell, both iconic figures and Baseball Hall of Famers, giving him “greenies”.

  166. 166
    Raven says:

    Baseball is so fucking boring. This thread is more interesting than the first three months of the season.

  167. 167
    General Stuck says:

    And as for greenies, I think the usefulness of those on baseball performance, was similar to my own thinking while loaded, that I was ten foot tall and bulletproof, with a nine inch dick that was always hard and ready. The reality was, shall we say, somewhere short of that. Anything that was mind altering for a precision timing sport like baseball, probly did more harm than good. I know from playing a lot of baseball in my youth, sometimes a little loose around the gills.

    Steroids is a whole nuther story.

  168. 168
    Raven says:

    @General Stuck: I dunno, crank always slowed me down and helped me focus.

    eta, we used to get Obesitol and French Pharmaceutical luquid meth in the village and, damn, I could focus like a mofo!

  169. 169
    General Stuck says:

    @Raven:

    Yea, well, you obviously don’t belong to the Church of Baseball.

  170. 170
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Of all the Halls of Fame, baseball’s is the stupidest bunch of bullshit wankery, it’s almost like BCS rankings.

  171. 171
    efgoldman says:

    @General Stuck:

    But in my mind, that entire era has a huge asterisk by the power hitting stats, and always will.

    Sure, why not. I’ve seen suggestions like a special wing, or special plaques. Fine with me. Just like the HOF clearly acknowledges the segregation era.

  172. 172
    Raven says:

    @General Stuck: Nah, I mean I follow it but it’s my third fav.

  173. 173
    Haydnseek says:

    @efgoldman: I like it! We’ll call it “Asterix Annex.” I know, spelling, but I like the repeating “X” thing. Kinda catchy.

  174. 174
    Roger Moore says:

    @Omar:
    I hope you realize that there’s at least as much evidence pointing to Rose being a steroid user as Piazza or Bagwell. After all, Rose was the one with a freakishly long career who had a known steroid dealer living in his house rent free.

  175. 175
    Mike E says:

    @Raven: 3rd fave… behind throwing D cells and booing Santa?

    Oh, sorry…that’s my order of sportitude.
    /Phils fan

  176. 176
    SFAW says:

    @General Stuck:

    Kinda depends on which affects bat speed more, steroids or uppers. I don’t know the answer to that, other than one is indirect, one is direct.

    And even if you juice, you still gotta do the work to gain the strength. At some level, a little like comparing Jerry Rice to Randy Moss. Bonds (apparently) had the help, but he also did the work.

  177. 177
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @efgoldman: I always laugh a bit at this suggestion. As if there are soooo many ball players who are tainted that they need to build an extra wing for the 20 or so 2 foot plaques. It’s kind of expensive to build a wing. 20-30 million for something people want to hide.

    Maybe they could put them in a room with a beaded door that only adults can enter. Like where the porn videos used to be at “family” video stores.

  178. 178
    SFAW says:

    @Raven:

    I dunno, crank always slowed me down and helped me focus.

    Look! A bunny rabbit!

  179. 179
    efgoldman says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Of all the Halls of Fame, baseball’s is the stupidest bunch of bullshit wankery, it’s almost like BCS rankings.

    Actually, I really enjoyed Cooperstown the once I’ve been there. My wife and I walked along the hall with the plaques while I said “I saw him play….I saw him play…I saw him manage…” We also went upstairs to the library, where there was an exhibit of baseball sheet music. The librarian was very welcoming, and let us browse through some folders. I found a Sousa march that I didn’t know existed (Not The National Game – another one). As a band music geek, that was a bonus.
    Plus we toured the small brewery South of town, and got samples of some very fine microbrews.
    Also somebody complained about the food (prices and quality) in Cooperstown, but where we stayed, along US 20, there were several local, real home cooking places.
    That was a while ago, though. Don’t know what the area is like now.

  180. 180
    sylvan says:

    @Raven:

    That was just creepy.

    Eric Clapton later admitted he was being an arrogant dick during that era.

  181. 181
    Roger Moore says:

    @efgoldman:

    Plus we toured the small brewery South of town, and got samples of some very fine microbrews.

    Was that Brewery Ommegang? I know they’re close to Cooperstown, and they’re certainly very good.

  182. 182
    General Stuck says:

    @SFAW: Steroids as a general rule are not mind altering, and only increase muscle bulk and upper body strength that makes bat speed increase that automatically equals hitting balls farther for a skilled hitter.

    I think using speed could possibly increase concentration at the right dose, and focus, but it does nothing for body strength, other than maybe making you think you have more of it than you do. And that altered mental status would not match up with actual physical capability, and therefore throw off the delicate split second timing it takes for the mental to the physical act of hitting a pitched baseball.

  183. 183
    Raven says:

    @sylvan: I post you decide.

  184. 184
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Mark S.:

    “I’m waiting for someone to say Dock Ellis pitched that no-hitter with the help of LSD.”

    I’m with Bill “Spaceman” Lee and say that this story is actually bullshit. I’ve listened to Dock Ellis’ account of the day he pitched a no-hitter on LSD and while he has enough details to sound credible, I don’t believe it’s humanly possible. I played baseball at the college level and dropped ‘cid at an all-star level and I don’t believe anybody taking an actual dose of acid (much less multiple doses over 12-24 hours) could perform one of the most difficult feats in all of sports. I believe part of the reason why people believe Ellis’ account is because he speaks so knowledgeably about drugs in general. Playing sports on speed, even cocaine, is one thing…doing anything like pitching a complete game no-hitter at the major league level for 2+ hours while tripping balls is quite another.

    One of the physical side-effects of LSD usage that you don’t get from speed and cocaine use is severe muscle cramps, especially in the neck, shoulder and back areas. This side effect is very common with the extended, multiple dose usage that Ellis describes. Visually, his pupils would be extremely dilated and the bright stadium lights would really do a number on his eyes.

    Pitching a 9 inning game would have Ellis throw almost 200 pitches total, including all the warm-ups. The amount of speed he would have had to do to counter the effects of beginning an acid trip 12+ hours earlier while performing the physical exertion of pitching a major league baseball game while suffering the side effects of LSD use is just too much to believe.

    Until someone digs up a complete video of the game, I’m calling bullshit on the LSD no-hiiter. I took a lot of acid and played a lot of baseball and they are not someone that when you put them together yields perfection. I call bullshit.

  185. 185
    cokane says:

    Most guys, even very deserving ones, don’t make it on the first ballot. That being said, I think Piazza will fall short, 75% is a high threshold. And if you look at the guys coming in next year, it’s highly doubtful Piazza makes it in that year. He will stick around for awhile, and could make it on a weak year.

  186. 186
    MattR says:

    @General Stuck:

    I think using speed could possibly increase concentration at the right dose, and focus, but it does nothing for body strength, other than maybe making you think you have more of it than you do. And that altered mental status would not match up with actual physical capability, and therefore throw off the delicate split second timing it takes for the mental to the physical act of hitting a pitched baseball.

    You ever had one of those days when you were wide awake and full of energy and it seemed like everything was a bit easier because of that? That’s what greenies do for you (or at least what they did for me when I had a prescription. It was like getting a multi hour caffeine jolt). Over the course of a 6 month season with all the travel and partying being done, being able to take a pill that gets you back to a good, but not superhuman, level of alertness and concentration every single day is performance altering. I would almost compare it to the improved performance that has resulted from better weight training and nutrition, less stressful travel, etc. Except it was illegal from 1965 on and therefore was cheating.

  187. 187
    redshirt says:

    The HOF should be legal, and rare.

  188. 188
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Disco:

    Bonds fucking cheated. Clemens fucking cheated. They don’t deserve the hall of fame; they deserve federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

    you have, uh, issues you may want to work through.

  189. 189
    SFAW says:

    @General Stuck:

    and only increase muscle bulk and upper body strength

    I was under the impression that steroids themselves don’t build bulk, they just help the body/muscles recuperate faster, so that you can work your muscles harder.

    Maybe I’m just picking nits. But, juicers still have to do the work to reap the benefit. I expect they didn’t all work as hard as Bonds did.

    Did Jerry Rice juice? He was reputed to follow a killer training regimen. Was Bonds’s training regimen any harder than Rice’s? I don’t know the answer to either of those questions, by the way.

  190. 190
    gene108 says:

    @Disco:

    Bonds fucking cheated. Clemens fucking cheated.

    PED usage wasn’t illegal in baseball until 2005 or 2006. They didn’t cheat. They didn’t break any written rules.

    Maybe some unwritten rules about sportsmanship (which is a criteria I heard one writer say they are using to keep them out), but not written rules.

    When the spit ball was legal, voters didn’t hold that against spit ball pitchers or against the batters trying to hit them, because their numbers weren’t as impressive as the post spit ball era.

    Baseball’s had few eras due to rules changes, from how tight the ball is wound to eliminating things like the spitball, and people are judged relative to how they performed in that era.

    The steroid era players should be judged just the same.

  191. 191
    gene108 says:

    If anyone’s wondering how long it might take to get into the Hall of Fame, Deacon White the fabled bare handed catcher, who retired in 1890 and passed away in 1939, just got in via the veteran’s committee.

  192. 192
    General Stuck says:

    @SFAW:

    Steroid use without exercise does build muscle mass by itself, and you can about double that muscle mass by exercise with steroid use.

  193. 193
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @General Stuck:

    I remember the many many arguments in the 90’s that there was no reason to even worry about steroids because big muscles wouldn’t help you with the hand eye coordination necessary to hit a baseball. Now people seem to equate them with a twisted Super Soldier serum, turning tiny frail Barry Bonds into a baseball mashing giant headed monster.

    I don’t know how much steroids or amphetamines helped people play baseball better, but the players taking them certainly thought they helped and were trying to get an edge. An edge not proscribed by the rules but frowned on by society in general… and baseball writers well after the fact. In fact during the McGuire/Sosa home run chase they would have shouted you down for asking whether any of those home runs were chemically enhanced.

  194. 194
    cokane says:

    Also some commenters here need to buy a clue. The level of outrage tossed at the BBWAA is absurd.

    First–comparing greenies, spitballs, notching the baseball, and any other sort of low-level performance enhancement to steroids is just absurd. None of those things compare to the positive effect steroids has on a player’s ability to play. Bonds’ career arc is unlike any player in any sport ever, except some of the other steroid users.

    Further, plenty of cheaters are banned from the hall, for things that are truly lesser crimes. Pete Rose for gambling and Shoeless Joe Jackson for throwing a World Series. Their transgressions did not improve their stat lines, but still barred from HoF. One of them is the hit king, the other is one of the greatest all around players to ever play the game. There might be some discrepancy on who got in, but it’s Okay for MLB to not want to tarnish its image.

    Second, quit bitching that your favorite player or objectively deserving guy didn’t get in on the first ballot. Writers can only nominate so many players on a ballot, and tons of deserving players became eligible this year, in addition to several deserving guys who have been sitting on the ballot for awhile. There’s nothing wrong with a guy having to wait a year or two to get in. It’s not a reason to be outraged in the slightest.

  195. 195
    MattR says:

    @cokane: Throwing the World Series is a lesser crime than using steroids? I think most Americans woulld agree that trying to lose for monetary gain is worse that cheating to win.

  196. 196
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    @Mike Lamb:

    “Mike Piazza was all power from 1992-2002. Piazza holds the all-time record for home runs by a catcher with 396, but he sucked behind the plate. If he played in the American League he would’ve been a DH without a doubt. He was never on a list and was never mentioned by Canseco, but he did admit to using androstenedione before it was banned, and that folks, is a steroid. That’s the same shit that got McGwire caught up. He followed that admission up with this excuse, ”I hit the ball as far in high school as I do now.” In The Rocket That Fell to Earth by Jeff Pearlman, Piazza was said to have told reporters, off record, that he used PEDs and two fellow ball players—one unnamed, the other was Reggie Jefferson—confirmed this. Jefferson was quoted as saying, “He’s a guy who did it, and everybody knows it. It’s amazing how all these names, like Roger Clemens, are brought up, yet Mike Piazza goes untouched.” A couple NY-area writers, Joel Sherman and Murray Chass, noticed his bad case of back acne; a supposed side effect of juicing, but still nothing solid.”

    http://www.complex.com/sports/.....teroids-14

  197. 197
    SFAW says:

    @General Stuck:

    Thanks for the link and added knowledge.

  198. 198
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym says:

    @cokane:

    None of those things compare to the positive effect steroids has on a player’s ability to play.

    Actually, no one really has any idea how much steroids help baseball players. You, like everyone else, are guessing.

  199. 199
    SFAW says:

    @MattR:

    Not completely clear that Jackson was in on it. Yes, I know “Opinions differ” and all that shit, but it seems clear that, at worst, he knew but didn’t rat out Cicotte and the rest.

    Considering his stats for the Series, it seems pretty likely that hi didn’t throw any games, etc.

  200. 200
    MattR says:

    @SFAW: I agree. If that was the argument that cokane had made, I would not have chimed in. But he accepted the premise Jackson threw the World Series but claimed it was not that big a deal compared to steroids. I find that pretty ludicrous.

  201. 201

    Who does or doesn’t get into the Baseball Hall of Fame is of no consequence to me. I was there fifty years ago. I found it boring.

    There are already PED users in the HOF. Kirby Puckett for one. Before steroids the teams used to keep a jug of red juice (amphetamine koolaid) in the dugout. That goes back to at least the sixties. Before that the game was segregated so all those records happened while blacks were excluded.

    Everyone rejoiced in Gaylord Perry getting in, but he built a career throwing an illegal pitch. Hell, they even steal bases.

    Whatever, the Giants won the World Series two out of the last three years, and they got quite a few wins thanks to Melky Cabrera (and Guillermo Mota).

  202. 202
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @efgoldman: Sorry, I should have qualified that. The *selection process* for the Baseball HoF is the stupidest bunch of bullshit wankery.

  203. 203
    sneezy says:

    @Darkrose:

    MLB needs to decide what the Hall is for.

    The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is neither owned nor operated by Major League Baseball. That is, MLB doesn’t get to decide anything.

  204. 204
    sylvan says:

    Dock Ellis:

    “Ellis said that the scariest moment of his career was when he attempted to pitch while sober in a 1973 game. During pre-game warmups, he couldn’t recreate his pitching mechanics. Ellis went to his locker, took some amphetamines with coffee, and returned to pitch.”

    Legend has it that Dock Ellis once pitched a no-hitter on LSD.

    Fuck baseball.

  205. 205
    SFAW says:

    @MattR:

    OK, thanks for ‘splainin’.

  206. 206
    marv says:

    Really interesting question. The subtext, I think, even in 2013, is how could any catcher who hit more home runs than Johnny Bench not be inducted on the first ballot? There’s a lot of stuff about the voting for the Hall and then a lot of stuff even about first-ballot induction. Here’s what I got: I played two months in the big leagues in the old days and ran out there on the ball field with a handful or so of Hall of Famers, and they never treated me like I didn’t belong, and what I am saying is there was just something about Johnnny Bench. Like among ballplayers. I never saw him play firsthand and wondered about it a little, actually a lot, was the guy overhyped? So I asked several guys I respected: hey, Johnny Bench, is he overrrated, or what? And they all looked at me almost surprised: No, Johnny Bench was a motherfucker. And then that filtered down through the press into the popular perception. So I don’t follow baseball much now, but my guess is for whatever reason there weren’t many guys saying Piazza was a motherfucker.

  207. 207
    catclub says:

    @Tom Q: I agree with that.

    I also think Marvin Miller should be in the HOF. pretty sure the owners would never put him on a ballot.

  208. 208
    SFAW says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Before that the game was segregated so all those records happened while blacks were excluded.

    As if that matters. It’s not as if Josh, or Oscar, or Cool Papa, or Satch were any good. They were only allowed to play because of Affirmative Action, ya know.

  209. 209
    SatanicPanic says:

    @MattR: undoubtedly worse. A contest between two roided out teams is still a contest. A fixed game is not a contest, it’s a performance.

  210. 210
    honus says:

    @Cassidy: Bullshit. Bonds hit for his best averages during the steroid years. 2001-2004: .328, .370, .341, .362. (his lifetime average is .298) Roger Angell said a manager once played down to him the steroid accusations involving Bonds, saying, ”Are they shooting the steroids into his eyes?’
    I tend to agree with Mike Schmidt that much of the home run
    explosion was due to smaller parks and degraded pitching from expansion. He was asked in an interview in 1998 how many home runs he would hit then. Schmidt pointed out that he hit 48 hime runs in 1980 and he flew out to the warning track at least 20 times, which would be home runs in the 1998 parks, so “you figure it out.”
    The hitters of the 60s and 70s were guys of average height and weight. Schmidt was 6-0, 190. Stargell weighed 190 for most of his career. He hit four HRs into the upper deck in Three Rivers; there weren’t four others hit there in 30 years. Hank Aaron was 6-0, 180; Willie Mays 5-10, 175, Mantle 5-11, 190. Reggie Jackson was generally thought of as a big strong guy- 6-0, 195. I never saw Sosa, McGwire, or Bonds hit balls as hard or as far as those guys regularly did. They didn’t hit 70 or 80 home runs because they played in much larger parks and in a smaller league with much more concentrated and superior pitching. Mantle, Aaron, Stargell and Mays didn’t fail to hit 70 HRs because they weren’t strong enough.

  211. 211
    honus says:

    @marv: As a Pirates fan I hated the Reds, and I have to say Johnny Bench was a motherfucker. He had an arm and a glove and a bat. You couldn’t steal on him, and he could hit for power and average. He was the best you could get. Maybe there have been better catchers, but I haven’t seen any in the last 50 years.

  212. 212
    Darkrose says:

    @sneezy: Fine. SOMEBODY needs to decide what the Hall is for. Better?

  213. 213
    MattR says:

    @Darkrose: The Hall is for making money.

  214. 214
    Darkrose says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Whatever, the Giants won the World Series two out of the last three years, and they got quite a few wins thanks to Melky Cabrera (and Guillermo Mota).

    I’m not sure how many wins we got from Mota this year.

    As we often asked in our house, “Why is Mota?”

  215. 215
    honus says:

    @sylvan: More impressive than the LSD no-no is when Dock knocked down the 1974 Reds- Rose, Morgan, Driessen, Bench and Perez- in the first inning, before Virdon took him out.

  216. 216
    SFAW says:

    @honus:

    Maybe it was actually Virdon who was tripping?

  217. 217
    Suffern ACE says:

    @MattR: the hall isn’t completely independent. But it does exist to make money for upstate New York, because visiting the sites related to James Fennimore Cooper has never been as exciting as visiting those related to Mark Twain.

    I think baseball is singular in treating its hall of carved plauqes as actual idols in a temple. As if the ghost of DiMaggio himself lives in his plaque and will be angry if bonds is in the hall. What’s he gonna do? Leave?

    What will kill the hall is not inducting players, because who the hell is going to come to Cooperstown to celebrate the induction of an umpire and a gloveless catcher? The baseball writers keep that up for a few years, and they will loose their votes. They only have the vote now so that they’ll cover the hall in their stories and keep people talking about baseball in January. But they’re supposed to do things that wil get people to flock to hotels in the Summer.

  218. 218
    honus says:

    @SFAW: I can’t see it. Harry Walker, maybe.

  219. 219
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Roger Moore:

    No, he wasn’t a great pitcher. He was a durable pitcher who played for teams that gave him great run support. His ERA would be the highest for any pitcher in the HOF, and his ERA+ (ERA adjusted for era and home ballpark) was only about 5% better than league average.

    Morris’ home park for the majority of his career made left-handed hitters, whether they were considered power hitters or not, salivate. Had he played in one of the ’60s/’70s all-purpose cookie-cuts, his ERA would have dropped considerably. Had he pitched for the Dodgers or Red Sox, it would have been lower yet.

  220. 220
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    But it does exist to make money for upstate New York, because visiting the sites related to James Fennimore Cooper has never been as exciting as visiting those related to Mark Twain.

    Fenimore Cooper only has himself to blame.

  221. 221
    SFAW says:

    @honus:

    Yeah, you always did have a hat-on for him, dintcha?

  222. 222
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @SFAW:

    Not completely clear that Jackson was in on it. Yes, I know “Opinions differ” and all that shit, but it seems clear that, at worst, he knew but didn’t rat out Cicotte and the rest.

    The Reds hit three triples to left field in that series. LEFT field. And Jackson was considered, at the time, the best left fielder to have ever played the game.

  223. 223
    honus says:

    @SFAW: And here I was thinking you were some youngster who probably thought I meant to type “Larry Walker.”

  224. 224
    Kdizzle says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Fangraphs has Piazza at 66 WAR over 16 seasons.

    The baseline for a hall of fame career is 60.

  225. 225
    SFAW says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):
    .375, 1 HR, 5 R, 6 RBI

    We could probably do this all night (where’re those greenies when you need ’em?), but what would be the point? I would wager at least a beer that there is no one alive today who knows the truth, and it will be argued for awhile longer.

  226. 226
    SFAW says:

    @honus:

    thought I meant to type “Larry Walker.”

    Who?

    But (semi-)seriously, all the things I wrote tonight made you think I was a youngster? Shit, just for that, I’m selling my baseball card of you. I figure I can get at least a buck for it.

  227. 227
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @SFAW:

    To curb further suspicion, the Black Sox decided to make a reasonable effort and rebounded in the following two games with 5-4 and 4-1 victories. Cincinnati “dominated” the final outing “with a little help” from their crooked rivals in a 10-5 stomp that started with four runs in the first inning. The Reds had won their first World Championship in their first Fall Classic appearance. Unfortunately, the victory would be bittersweet after the scandal had been confirmed a year later. The Black Sox had been able to camouflague their deception by being selective in their misdeeds. Joe Jackson had batted a Series-leading .375 but acknowledged that he had let up in key situations. Buck Weaver had also performed well at the plate by hitting .324. Chick Gandil had game-deciding hits in two outings and Eddie Cicotte had tossed a one-run game to avoid elimination.

    Here

    I’ve got some sympathy for that entire White Sox team, because the Old Roman really did screw ’em over, but the only one of the eight that shouldn’t have been tossed out of baseball was the Ginger Kid.

  228. 228
    SFAW says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):
    Ooh, it’s on the Intertubez, so it must be accurate. Which is another way of saying: let’s see the transcript.

    I read enough depos to know that questions and context may lead to differing interpretations – some of them at odds with reality.

    I hear the Cubs should have won in 1969, too.

  229. 229
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @SFAW:

    And who from the ’69 Cubs has admitted to taking money from gamblers who were asking him to throw the series? (pdf)

  230. 230
    eldorado says:

    hahahahaha..you people actually care about baseball

  231. 231
    jayackroyd says:

    The sportswriters were either stupid or complicit during the steroid era. The stories were too good to fuck with. (I count myself among the stupid. I had a great time seeing McGwire hit two homers at Shea when he and Sosa were chasing 70.)

    So NOW they can be all holier than thou and refuse to recognize achievement.

    That said, I don’t know what I’d do if I had a vote. Bonds is clearly the best player of his generation–i don’t see how he doesn’t get in. Clemens is, less clearly, the best pitcher. They’re also both narcissistic psychos, but since when did that matter? But their, and more importantly, everyone else’s longevity numbers are distorted by the juice. It’s not just that roids added homers. They added years. And years is what the Hall is largely about.

  232. 232
    Kathleen says:

    @Hungry Joe: In The Long Season Jim Brosnan wrote about greenie use in the late 1950’s.

  233. 233
    SFAW says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):
    Just because no one has (yet) admitted to it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Remember, there’s a “Chicago style” of doing things.

    Or at least, that’s what the wingnuts tell me. Them, and the voices.

  234. 234
    SFAW says:

    @jayackroyd:

    The sportswriters were All of MLB, especially the owners, either stupid or was complicit during the steroid era.

    It was just an inadvertent oversight that they played up two of the bigger juicers having an unoffical competition to break Maris’s record, after baseball’s post-strike ratings had been in the 112th-Congress-approval zone.

    Had they known that McGwire and Sosa were using andro, they NEVER would have approved of it. Don’t you remember the Owners’ rep, one Captain Louis Renault, expressing the Owners’ SHOCK when they learned of the problem.

    Yeah, it’s all on the players.

  235. 235
    kindness says:

    It’s so absurd really. In the 70’s and earlier baseball clubs would have bowls of amphetamines sitting on a table out in the open in the clubhouse for anyone to come and eat a handful and it was completely above board.

    Bonds is the extreme case but I honestly think a large number of players played with steroids and hormones. Most not to Bonds level thank god.

    Put an asteric by all their names and let them in and for god sake put Pete Rose in the hall with two asterics.

  236. 236
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    As a lifelong Tigers fan I still think it’s a travesty that neither Lou Whitaker nor Alan Trammell are in the Hall of Fame. Neither even got close in the voting despite having numbers equal to or better than anyone else to play their positions in their era. They’re still the longest running double play combination to ever grace baseball history, and with free agency are unlikely to ever lose that distinction.

    So I guess what I’m saying is I don’t really feel for Mike Piazza, who I always thought was kind of overrated anyway, or anyone else that gets snubbed. There are far more deserving players who didn’t make the cut than Mike Piazza.

  237. 237
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Publius39: 27 comments in, and finally, someone who isn’t an anti-flyover-country bigot mentions Jack Morris, the St. Paul (YAY,like Dave Winfield) native who received the second most votes in this year’s balloting.

  238. 238
    Vlad says:

    There are a couple of different factors working against Piazza.

    First, as noted, is the steroid thing. There’s absolutely no evidence connecting Piazza to steroids, but some writers (such as professional troll Murray Chass) are convinced that he used anyway on the strength of things like his amount of back acne, and as such he’s losing some of the anti-PED fanatics.

    Second, there are some writers who maintain an artificial distinction between players who were elected on the first ballot and players who needed more than one in order to get in. That’s a stupid system not supported at all by the voting instructions, and it places Kirby Puckett in a tier above Joe DiMaggio (who only got 44.3% of the vote in his first time on the ballot after retirement), but some writers vote that way anyway.

    Third, the BBWAA generally doesn’t assess positional value appropriately during their voting. For instance, there are 23 right fielders currently in the Hall, but only 15 third basemen and 16 catchers (not counting the guys picked this year by the VC, who aren’t officially “in” until the ceremony). Looking specifically at catchers: Yogi Berra (67.2%) didn’t get in on his first ballot. Neither did Carlton Fisk (66.4%) or Gary Carter (42.3%). After Bill Dickey retired, he needed nine tries to be elected. And so forth… Offensively-oriented catchers in particular have trouble with the vote – Ernie Lombardi never got more than 16.4% of the vote from the writers, and deserving guys like Joe Torre and Ted Simmons are still on the outside looking in (though Torre will probably get in as a manager in a few years).

    Fourth, this year’s ballot was absolutely jam-packed and writers can only vote for a maximum of ten players per ballot, so Piazza may have lost a few votes from voters who thought he was worthy but liked ten other players better. That’s a problem that’s going to get worse before it gets better, due to the anti-PED voters forcing guys like Bonds and Clemens to linger on the ballot.

  239. 239
    Vlad says:

    @Mark S.: Amphetamines are absolutely performance-enhancing. They increase focus and stamina, both things that allow players to train longer and harder. They also make it easier to give a good performance where fatigue is a factor, like at the tail end of a long August road trip, or after a late night at the bar.

    I also enjoy the assumption that players of the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s weren’t using steroids. Pete Rose, for example, is a guy who has admitted to taking other illegal performance-enhancers (i.e. amphetamines), and who had several steroid dealers among his personal circle of acquaintances and business associates, including one who actually lived in Rose’s house for six months at the tail end of Rose’s playing career – yet there are some writers who wag their fingers at guys like Bonds and Clemens, but are perfectly willing to talk about a plaque in the Hall for Pete at some point.

    Even if you throw out amphetamines, the writers’ current desperation to keep PED users out of the Hall has been a lost cause since at least 1965, when 19th-century pitcher James “Pud” Galvin was elected. All the way back in the 1880s, Galvin was taking a testosterone supplement extracted from animal testicles. The Washington Post wrote an approving article about it at the time, saying that other players could benefit from following Galvin’s example. It’s likely that he derived no real benefit from the substance, but the intent was certainly there, and a lack of evidence of any benefit from HGH hasn’t prevented the current witch-hunters from tarring players who took that.

  240. 240
    Vlad says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Even with all the drugs, modern cycling is actually much cleaner than it was in the early days of the sport. Look at the 1904 Tour de France, for example, where the alleged cheating included (but was not limited to): riders scattering tacks, nails, and broken glass on the road to puncture the tires of pursuing cyclists, mobs of fans attacking riders and destroying their bicycles, riders operating bicycles with concealed motors, riders catching a lift on cars and/or trains, celebrity riders threatening to drop out and financially cripple the race in order to receive special treatment, fans felling trees and constructing roadblocks to hinder riders they disliked, masked men in cars running riders off the road, and riders either drafting in the slipstream of cars or in one case receiving a tow from a car, via a thin wire attached to a cork held between the rider’s teeth. The top four finishers (including the winners of every stage of the race) were all disqualified and suspended, and the fifth-place finisher was warned and scolded because he was one of the guys who took a car.

    All these purity crusades in sports are fucking tiresome. I can’t wait until they’re over.

  241. 241
    Vlad says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Even with all the drugs, modern cycling is actually much cleaner than it was in the early days of the sport. Look at the 1904 Tour de France, for example, where the alleged cheating included (but was not limited to): riders scattering tacks, nails, and broken glass on the road to puncture the tires of pursuing cyclists, mobs of fans attacking riders and destroying their bicycles, riders operating bicycles with concealed motors, riders catching a lift on cars and/or trains, celebrity riders threatening to drop out and financially cripple the race in order to receive special treatment, fans felling trees and constructing roadblocks to hinder riders they disliked, masked men in cars running riders off the road, and riders either drafting in the slipstream of cars or in one case receiving a tow from a car, via a thin wire attached to a cork held between the rider’s teeth. The top four finishers (including the winners of every stage of the race) were all disqualified and suspended, and the fifth-place finisher was warned and scolded because he was one of the guys who took a car.

    All these purity crusades in sports are fucking tiresome. I can’t wait until they’re over.

  242. 242
    Cassidy says:

    @honus:

    Bonds hit for his best averages during the steroid years

    That’s what I said. Bonds went from being a guy who would steal, get extra bases due to speed, flag down fly balls due to speed, have a respectable batting average, and hot a decent number of long balls to a guy who hit lots of homeruns. So, how is it bullshit when we were saying the same thing? Or did you just want to sound smart, throw out some stats, and defend Bonds?

  243. 243
    Mike Lamb says:

    @MoeLarryAndJesus: The some ironclad innuendo and hearsay right there.

  244. 244
    Cassidy says:

    Bootom line, if you’re drug program is worse than combat sports, then you suck at it.

  245. 245
    Vlad says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Morris’ home park for the majority of his career made left-handed hitters, whether they were considered power hitters or not, salivate.

    Career ERA, Morris, home: 3.90
    Career ERA, Morris, road: 3.90

    Had he played in one of the ’60s/’70s all-purpose cookie-cuts, his ERA would have dropped considerably. Had he pitched for the Dodgers or Red Sox, it would have been lower yet.

    Morris in Boston, career: 4.49 ERA, 1.403 WHIP, 79/43 K/BB

  246. 246
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cassidy: He was supposed to be very pissed at the attention McGwire & Sosa were getting (and he knew they were juicing). He determined that he was going to get in on that sweet, sweet homer adulation himself & proceeded to cheat as well to do so.

  247. 247
    Cassidy says:

    @Paul in KY: It’s too bad. That was a career 30/30, 40/40 guy anyway. His story could have been so much different. I think that’s why I dislike Bonds so much. I know that baseball, and sports in general, has always been infested with PED’s; that’s not even an argument. On occassion, though, you get some seriously talented people that are just naturally above and beyond what a normal person can do. It doesn’t take them hard work and dedication, they just go out and play and he was one of those. He pissed it away for a tarnished legacy.

  248. 248
    MCA1 says:

    @Publius39: Jack Morris has no business even being this close to enshrinement. And I say that as a huge Twins fan who was at Game 7 in 1991 and whose father went to high school with Morris. His legend far, far outstrips his actual numbers. The primary argument for him seems to be “He had more wins than anyone else in the 1980’s.” (a) We all recognize in 2013 how overrated Wins are. (b) So what? Mark Grace had more hits than anyone in the ’90’s – does that equal greatness? Setting boundaries on a decade is completely arbitrary.

    The guy’s career ERA+ was 105! His best ERA+ season was 133; to put that in perspective, think of how long it took Blyleven to get in, and how everyone’s argument against him was always “He was never dominant enough.” Well, Bert had SIX seasons with a better ERA+ than Morris’s best year. And essentially equal stats in the postseason – Morris had a few great performances in the Series, but everyone forgets about all the stinkers to go with them.

    Separately, +1 to honus @ comment 210. There are so many factors going into the power explosion of modern ball that to attribute it all to steroids is ludicrous. Steroids don’t help with pitch selection, and they don’t help with basic hand-eye coordination. Pitchers were taking them, too, and they definitely help with recovery time from one start to the next.

  249. 249
    MCA1 says:

    @Cassidy: No, you’re not saying the same thing. You said: “Bonds went from being a triple threat to a slugger. His dominance was only in the one area after the PED’s.” Honus was disputing that. Your statement implied that Bonds started as a complete player and morphed into a guy who could hit the long ball and nothing else. In fact, he morphed into a guy who stuffed the stats across the board. As evidenced by the fact he was hitting .350 with an OBP well into the .400’s at the same time he was hitting 60 homers a year for a 5 or 6 year stretch. His base stealing was diminished, admittedly. But you implied he turned into Harmon Killebrew, when in fact he turned into the greatest hitting machine the game had seen since Babe Ruth.

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