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Should 'roiders be kicked out of the Hall of Fame?

Jan 13, 2010, 12:55 PM EDT

UPDATE: I just interviewed Goose Gossage about this. He was pretty damn cool about. Here’s the story.

As is pretty clear by now, I have no problem putting players associated with steroids into the Hall of Fame. Adjust downward for era, use your horse sense and as much statistical evidence you can to figure out if they would have cut the mustard regardless, but by no means should someone be banned or blackballed simply because they did steroids.

I appreciate that that’s a minority position of course. Much more in the mainstream seems to be Goose Gossage’s view of things:

“I definitely think that they cheated.  And what does the Hall
of Fame consist of? Integrity. Cheating is not part of integrity. The integrity of the Hall of Fame and the numbers and the history are
all in jeopardy. I don’t think
they should be recognized.”

I respect that view even if I don’t agree with it.  But I wonder how far that view goes.

I ask because yesterday Jose Canseco made his obligatory appearance in the steroids circus. And I’m reminded of something he said last summer:

“And I’ll tell you this, Major League Baseball is going to have a big,
big problem on their hands when they find out they have a Hall of Famer
who’s used . . . Just remember, I have never lied about this subject.”

One has to assume that Canseco — if indeed he is telling the truth — is referring to a former teammate. Otherwise how would he know for sure? For the record, Canseco played with seven players who went on to be inducted to the Hall of Fame: Nolan Ryan, Rickey Henderson, Wade Boggs, Reggie Jackson, Don Sutton, Dennis Eckersley and, um, Goose Gossage.

Question: if it is one day determined that one of those gentlemen — or any other Hall of Famer — did steroids like Canseco says, what then?

I say nothing. Who cares.  But would the people who think like Rich Gossage say the same thing?  Would they be fine with a double standard that allows already-inducted ‘roiders to stay in the Hall of Fame and keeps out those not yet inducted? Or — and this would really get things buzzing — would they spearhead an unprecedented campaign to oust the guilty party?

Anyone have Gossage’s cell so I can ask?

  1. Sir Ron - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    All sports players should be tested before and after every game….just like boxers…..cause every “outstanding” player seems to be suspect….and as far as cheaters….every sport cheats:
    how many players in any sports run to the ref and say:
    * I fouled that guy or
    * I was really out of bounds when I caught the ball or
    * I made an illegal tackle, give me a penalty please.
    They know they did it, but don’t admit it; it’s the nature of the game.

  2. Sabu1966 - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    If you let in the amphetamine users (Mantle, Aaron and the rest) then you have to let in the roid users period!

  3. Zeke - Jan 15, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    There have been a lot of people on here saying that cheating on your wife isn’t illegal but steroids are so steroid users shouldn’t get into the HOF.
    You’re missing the point. Entrance into the HOF is based on over all stats, but it is also partly based on the character of the player. A man that cheats on his wife or gets busted for smoking crack has serious character issues.
    People can look at McGwire’s 70 homerun season or Bonds’ 73 homerun season and say that yes those totals were aided by steroids. How many pitchers’ ERA’s were lower because of spitters or scuffed balls? How many pitchers’ strikeout totals were higher because of spitters or scuffed balls. How many hitters had better numbers because of corked bats? How many players had that little extra bounce in their step at the end of a long season because of amphetamines?
    It is much easier to identify (or at least suspect) a steroid user because they have unworldly large muscles.
    It is a lot harder to identify someone that’s doctoring a baseball, corking a bat, or popping a few amphetamines because unless the bat breaks and you see the cork (Sammy Sosa) or you catch them with amphetamines in their locker or catch them doctoring the ball on the mound those players look just like everyone else.
    There are undoubtedly guys in the HOF right now who cheated throughout their entire careers. We don’t know who most of them are because they never got caught. Are those players any less guilty than the steroid users? Is doctoring a baseball, popping some amphetamines, or corking a bat somehow more forgivable than using steroids?
    Yes steroid users gained an unfair advantage, but no moreso than the other cheaters throughout the history of the game.
    When Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens come up for HOF consideration will they get the same treatment as McGwire?
    Can the HOF really keep the all time hits leader, the all time homerun leader, and a guy with 350 wins and a trophy case full of Cy Young awards out?
    Maybe they all just need to die. When Pete Rose dies put him in the HOF. When Barry Bonds dies put him in the HOF. When all of the other guys die put them in the HOF.
    Don’t give them the satisfaction in life, but recognize their numbers once they’re dead.
    And for the love of God put Shoeless Joe Jackson in for crying out loud. That’s the biggest screw job of all time.

  4. MVD - Jan 16, 2010 at 4:43 AM

    Yep, lets kick out everyone who broke the rules. Wow, the Hall Of Fame is empty!

  5. God's Own Silver and Blue - Jan 16, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    If unrepentant racists/utterly worthless human beings such as Ty Cobb can be in the Hall, as far as I’m concerned anybody can be in the Hall.

  6. cheaters justice - Jan 17, 2010 at 2:10 AM

    Some excellent points including should the amphetamine users be banned or extracted from the Hall of Fame.
    Sad to say even though the speed allegations have been around for DECADES no one really called anyone to the mat for it. Jim Bouton’s book Ball Four talked about drug use over 3 decades ago at this point. But even with the speed if the average guy had bought some “greenies” or speed in the 60s or 70s along with alot of other DRUGS we would’ve been considered junkies,hippies,communists and/or ARRESTED. In others words in many cases a CRIMINAL drug deal was transacted back then. A drug charge decades ago was a bigger death knoll that it is today.
    It still comes back to CRIME in the name of sport.
    Needless to say the older I get the less respect and/or awe I have for so called professional athletes. They’re just a bunch of guys playing games for a living. They have a passion for their games, they play their games well and they quite literally will do anything to win.
    Do the ends justify the means?

  7. Britt Falanga - Jan 17, 2010 at 6:15 AM

    We just couldnt leave your website before saying that we really enjoyed the quality information you offer to your visitors… Will be back often to check up on new stuff you post!

  8. MarkM - Jan 19, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Unfortunately I believe you are wrong about the stats comment. A lot of people just look at players lifetime hitting or pitching stats and that accounts for 99.9 percent of their opinion about that player. I don’t think morals hold much weight for HOF voters. As for the rest of your article I have been watching and listening and reading about baseball since 1970. I have very little knowledge of the day to day goings on before that so I am not making comments about a time I didn’t experience. Over the last fourty years though I have witnessed many of those different controversies you wrote about; corked bats, scuffed balls, spitters, etc. If you add up all of these different things players can do to make their game better none of them come close to PEDS. Those other cheats that players used have about .0000000000000001 the value on games that PEDS did. Check ERAS and home run totals for the last fourty years and you can see a big difference in the decades.

  9. Jose - Jan 19, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    What a lame excuse.

  10. FernandoV - Jan 19, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    If that’s what it takes.

  11. MarkM - Jan 19, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    You are full of it.

  12. JDB - Jan 19, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    Why don’t you tell us who these players are and what offenses they commited. Make your case. Put up or shut up, back up your case with facts.

  13. Shawn711 - Jan 20, 2010 at 12:33 AM

    While I don’t agree with PED use, let’s face it: the “stars” were not the only ones using. Has anyone noticed how many of the players who have been identified as users were nothing more than a slightly above average MLB player? Forget they did it? No. On the same token while I believe a good portion of players did play the game with pure god given talent, can anyone really say that PEDs for the ones who have been caught wasn’t, in fact, “leveling the playing field”?
    I agree with those who say let em in, but add notation acknowledging their use of PEDs. To me, for a large part, it would be impossible to identify all the heroes of the past who did use em in some form or another. To try to do so, would simply be in vain. Anyone foolish enough to think that some form of edge has not always been attempted through chemical means is simply naive. Just because we’ve identified several in the last 3 decades, doesn’t mean it didn’t exist before. It just means we didn’t know.
    Also, it seems that most of the attention is focused on the hitters using, since the testing has been in place, it seems the number of hitters vs. pitchers penalized has been fairly evenly split. Have to take in all the facts in situations like this, not just the ones that are convenient.

  14. Bruce - Jan 21, 2010 at 12:34 AM

    Steroids are drugs. Steroid users are drug-users. Drug-users are thieves. They steal records that belong to others.

  15. StreatorDave - Jan 22, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    All this went on while the Commissioner of Baseball played his violin. Bud should have done something & HE ……DID….NOT.
    Was there ever a more worthless Commissioner of Baseball?
    Maybe that is how the owners want it, including the one that owns the Brewers. Shame.

  16. CharlieH - Jan 27, 2010 at 9:37 PM

    To your first point; taking no-doze, drinking coffee or tea, consuming alcoholic beverages, smoking or chewing on sunflower seeds are all legal; and in no way should be considered as taking PEDs. To your second point; sadly, all these PED users will see their records stand.

  17. JoeT - Jan 27, 2010 at 9:45 PM

    PED use and all other illegal drugs have been banned from baseball since 1991. Testing for PED use started in 2003. Baseball doesn’t test for HGH, but it is illegal and has penaltys for use. Colleges don’t test for HGH either.

  18. Terry McNaught - Jan 28, 2010 at 9:02 AM

    I watched a special this weekend about the struggles Jose Canseco is having from his long steriod use. He has major depression and has no more sex drive. Jose can’t maintain a relationship with a women. He was caught at the mexican border with drugs that he purchased to help him stop the use of steriods because he is addicted to steriods. No one should be allowed to use steriods or be inducted into the hall of fame. This will help stop the use of this bad drug.
    I’m comfused that professional baseball has made the use of steriods illeagel but they have band Jose from most of the ball parks because of the book he wrote exposing all of the cheaters. Everyone knows who has used steriods so his book was no surprise. Look how long Mark Maguire has said he never has used steriods and has now admitted it. Again my son didn’t make the pros because he did not use steriods but hes healthy.

  19. Daine - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:43 AM

    Thanks a lot for the post! Hope to read more from you!
    Gold Liberty Quarter

  20. Ila Hermanson - Feb 2, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    Interessante Idee und au├čerdem auch sch

  21. Soxrocker - Feb 4, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    Correction necessary: I think the emery board was Mike Scott or Joe Niekro. Nolan Ryan was NEVER caught (and rarely accused) of anything illegal. I really hate to see his name even mentioned in this discussion because he was a personal hero, played clean (and mean….just ask Robin Ventura). One of the good guys and earned his HOF status.

  22. cheaters justice - Feb 7, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    Saw the Jose Canseco piece. To me it’s more proof that the roiders are nothing but defacto junkies legal or not. Just like a junky trying to balance out uppers with downers or visa versa the roider must try to balance their hormones. The body chemistry in roiders probably changes more than a crack heads in that the body cuts off it own hormone production. Throw in the fact that many roiders do things like deny and/or rationalize they’re closer to junky status than more think.
    Yeah isn’t funny how Jose is banned from the MLB and yet admitted cheaters and liars that profited off their acts are allowed in. How many times did the Yankees give a guy like Steve Howe for drug abuse. Jose is being treated like someone who testified against a criminal organization.

  23. backlinks forum - Feb 8, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    Very interesting read. Thanks.

  24. Secrets To Dog Training Review - Feb 8, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Dr Phil is the bomb. He’s very successful and i’ve learned a lot from his show.

  25. masinn - Feb 9, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Let me see now , who was 6 foot 6 & 245 lbs ? in baseball ? , not big John , but maybe a 100 players or so . to the point ; no matter how big you are if you don’t make contact with the ball its a strike , but you still get two more chances and if you miss again you are out , so its not braun its brains that counts .

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