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Kenny Lofton wants everyone to know he didn't cheat

Jan 28, 2010, 1:28 AM EDT

Lofton_Kenny_Indians.standard[1].jpgKenny Lofton would like to let everyone know that he did not ever use, or even consider using, performance-enhancing drugs.

“I just went out there and did what I had to do. I was not a cheater,” he told the Associated Press. Lofton made the comments during an announcement that he had been selected for induction into the Cleveland Indians’ Hall of Fame. The speedy outfielder is hoping for induction into a more prestigious hall – the one in Cooperstown, and it seems he’s hoping the steroid angle will increase his chances.

“I was a guy who never did it (steroids), never tried to do it, never wanted to do it but I played against guys who obviously were doing it,” he said. “My competition level had to be at a certain level to be able to compete with those guys who were cheating.

“I was not a cheater, so hopefully they’ll take a look at that and see what I did under that period and hopefully they take that into account.”

In the current voting climate, this actually isn’t a bad strategy (though it hasn’t worked for Fred McGriff ), and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see other borderline candidates try it.

As for Lofton’s case, he had a .299/.372/.423 line in 17 seasons. He was a six-time All-Star, won four Gold Gloves, stole 622 bases (leading the league five times), scored 1,528 runs and notched 2,428 hits. That might be good enough to get in on it’s own merit, especially if voters remember just how good he was during the first decade of his career.

You be the judge as to whether doing it in the steroid era should make a difference.

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  1. george - Jan 28, 2010 at 3:26 AM

    get in line behind at least Raines

  2. Bobby Townsend - Jan 28, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    I find it odd that Lofton brings that up. As far I know, nobody ever suspected he ever took steriods or any PEDs. I hope he gets in but I think he may come up short

  3. stinky - Jan 28, 2010 at 9:40 AM

    He was a clubhouse cancer

  4. BC - Jan 28, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    …and a lousy point guard, too.

  5. CharlieH - Jan 28, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    I think it’s good for the game for players to come out and say whether or not they took PEDs. They may not be telling the truth, but at least they will be on record. And we get the chance to decide if we believe them or not.

  6. dprat - Jan 28, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    First, I absolutely take Lofton at his word. No reason not to. But consider this…
    “prime-years” Lofton (age 27-30 seasons):
    2352 AB – 38 HR
    “well-past prime” Lofton (ages 33-36):
    2139 AB – 52 HR
    On a rate basis, that’s slightly more than a 50% increase in HR pop in the well-past-prime years. But again, I absolutely believe Lofton.
    Why? Because this is not unusual in that period: 85% of players (35 of 41) playing in both 2001 and 1992 (400 PA min. each seasons) had more HRs in 2001, even though their average age at that point was a well-past prime of 36 versus prime age 27 in 1992. 85%!
    My conclusions:
    – either, the less likely, that almost all players were doing PEDs by 2001, in which case, pretty much level playing field, and who cares.
    – or far more likely, major changes of other types, e.g., in the size of new ballparks, the construction of the baseball, the type of bats, the dilution of pitching talent via two expansions, training methods, legal diet supplements, etc, etc, were together radically changing the baseball landscape. So until real studies are done to tease out the effects of all that, and try to separate that from supposed PED enhancements, we all might want to sit back and pop open a can of just STFU.

  7. JoeT - Jan 28, 2010 at 9:02 PM

    Kenny Lofton never hit more than 15 home runs in a year and averaged hitting 10 a year. Not really the player you want to use to make your point. Considering these stats, it’s doubtful he used PEDs.

  8. Denise Wolfe - Apr 8, 2010 at 2:00 AM

    Stinky? That’s your name? That should tell your fat head something! I’m from Cleveland and in my city Kenny Lofton is a god so why don’t you find some web site that talks about something you are more familiar with like fat ugly people that never had the talent to play sports and comment on their stories. LOSER!!!!

  9. Denise Wolfe - Apr 8, 2010 at 2:14 AM

    What does that have to do with him making it in the BASEBALL Hall of Fame? NOTHING!!! Hello???!!!?? Airhead???!!!?!? You and Stinky deserve each other! There are so many MLB players today using these performance enhancing drugs. MLB is loaded with these homerun hitters but how many big time base stealer’s are there? How many guys hop the fence like nothing and steal a homerun away to save the game? The problem with MLB is situations like Mark McGuire admits when he broke the homerun record he was on steriods and that is cheating and what happens to him? They make him a 1st base coach for the Cardinals. Darryl Strawberry has done cocaine and booze like there is no tomorrow not to mention a regular on the hooker’s beat in every city he frequented and what happend to him? They make him an instructor for the Mets. Here is someone who always got to the post season and was phenominal to watch no matter where he was on that field and he did it without using drugs that should count for something! Kenny Lofton was entertainment and I miss seeing him play!!

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