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It is virtually certain that there are already steroids users in the Hall of Fame

Jan 7, 2011, 6:04 AM EDT

Bowie Kuhn

As BBWAA voters try their hardest to ensure that no filthy steroids users sneak into the Hall of Fame, it’s probably a good idea that they go back and read the Mitchell Report. As they do, they should pay special attention to this passage on page 28:

In 1973, a Congressional subcommittee announced that its staff had completed an “in depth study into the use of illegal and dangerous drugs in sports” including professional baseball.  The subcommittee concluded that “the degree of improper drug use – primarily amphetamines and anabolic steroids – can only be described as alarming.”

Steroids. In 1973.  Senator Mitchell went on:

Subcommittee chairman Harley O. Staggers called on professional sports leagues to adopt “stringent penalties for illegal use. … In response, Commissioner Kuhn issued a statement announcing that, as a result of its education and prevention efforts, baseball had “no significant problem” with drug use, and he referred to recent private comments by chairman Staggers who reportedly “commended baseball’s drug program as the best and most effective of its kind in sports.”

No significant problems, says Commissioner Kuhn. Great testing program, says Congressman Staggers. This at the height of amphetamine use in baseball, just prior to the cocaine explosion, and after anabolic steroids were already specifically mentioned by Congress as being a problem in all sports, baseball included. This is the same Commissioner Kuhn, mind you, who was elected to the Hall of Fame less than two weeks prior to the Mitchell Report’s release in 2007.  And of course there’s this:

[Tom] House, later an accomplished pitching coach with Texas and now co-founder of the National Pitching Association near San Diego, said performance- enhancing drugs were widespread in baseball in the 1960s and ’70s.

The upshot of all of this is that if anyone thinks for a second that there isn’t already a player in the Hall of Fame who used steroids, they’re deluding themselves.  There almost certainly is.  In light of this, the moral stance currently being taken by the writers is even more ridiculous than it seems on the surface.

  1. baseballstars - Jan 7, 2011 at 7:14 AM

    I have to admit that I would not have voted for someone guilty of taking steroids, but if this is true, it really changes my whole perspective on the issue. I’ll admit it.

    • evanhartford - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:15 AM

      Here we go again! So as Craig continues to push his Steroid Apologist Crusade (SAC), we are forced to confront the fact that people get away with crimes! Imagine that! There are crooks out there amongst us that have committed murder, larceny and rape that never got caught.

      I suppose that means we shouldn’t judge people that commit those crimes. I suppose we should let all murderers go free because people have gotten away with it. Right? Wrong.

      Craig, if you want to apply legal concepts to a process that is anything but, allow me to apply some as well.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:21 AM

        The legal system is not from some other planet. If was designed to at least attempt to do justice, and the idea of doing justice is to promote fundamental fairness on a human level. It may fail from time to time, but that’s the idea. And fairness is applicable in all cases, including the Hall of Fame.

        And if you knew how to apply legal concepts, you’d understand the concepts of precedent and proportional justice, each of which are germane here.

        I have no problem with judging people who commit crimes. I just asked that they be judged on the same basis as everyone else. If the judges are aware — or should be aware — that the crime has been committed multiple times before, don’t judge the current guy as though he was the mastermind who invented the evil deed or as the one who first brought this evil into the world. That’s all I’m saying.

      • evanhartford - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:35 AM

        Craig,

        Back in the 60s and 70s, you could get pulled over drunk and oftentimes the cop laugh at you follow you home. Nowadays, the cop will bust you, take your license away for 6 months and potentially throw you in jail.

        The laws have gotten tougher while the crime has remained the same. In the court of public opinion, what was once a silly mistake has become recognized as a serious societal problem. The same holds true for cheating and steroids. The HOF doesn’t change its laws, but the court of public opinion on steroids and cheating has changed dramatically in the last 20 years.

        What you’re basically saying is that we need to go back to judging drunk drivers as we did previously based on the fact that so many people drank and drove in the 70s and didn’t get in any trouble. I don’t buy it.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:43 AM

        Your analogy is faulty. We have increased the penalties for offense and we have done so severely. First time offenders are now fined 50 games. Repeat offenders can be banned from baseball if they get far enough down that line. Until not too long ago there were no penalties whatsoever.

        What we’re doing now is saying there were no drunk drivers before 1988 and how awful these people are for having unleashed drunk driving on the world in the past 20 years.

      • jawilson27 - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:03 AM

        Craig, your post was destroyed by this comment. And your defense is “proportional justice?” So, since steroid cheaters are already in the hall of fame, it’s only fair that all steroid cheaters that are candidates based on their numbers should be allowed into the hall?
        If that’s the case, then I’m for treating guys like Palmero, Sosa, McGwire, Bonds and Bagwell unfairly. It’s too bad that there are already steroid cheaters in the hall of fame, but that in no way justifies simply allowing the rest of the steroid cheaters into the hall.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:06 AM

        People can vote for the steroids users however they want to. I would simply ask that they acknowledge, as they pass their moral judgments, that they are not — as they claim — protecting the Hall of Fame from anything. They are not keeping it pure, they are not repelling an onslaught of an unprecedented evil.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:18 AM

        evidence evidence evidence…. Where is it? If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit..

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:36 AM

        I really don’t understand this comment insofar as what Craig has written above. The analogy doesn’t work. In the legal system, we have standards to punish people for crimes that they commit. Here, MLB had little in the way of standards, since they chose not to punish use, which indicates that the breaking of the rule regarding the use of PEDs was less important than, say, scuffing the ball — which, when guys got caught, led to suspensions. Yet no one mounts a sopabox of outrage regarding Gaylord Perry’s legendary cheating in that regard.

        If you wanted to argue the concept from a legal perspective, I would think the better argument would be that baseball may not have banned steroids in the 1970’s (I seem to recall that the rule was put in place sometime in the late 80’s, but someone please correct me if I’m wrong). If so, it would be difficult to argue that steroid use was cheating, since it didn’t violate any known rule.

        In that regard, the problem with the stance of the writers who have decided they will not vote guys into the Hall of Fame based on proven or purported steroid use is that they’re applying some malleable, invisible standard that each person develops on their own to judge whether a guy roided or not (was he in the Mitchell Report? did he grow big arms? did I see back acne on him in the lockerroom? did he spend too much time in Texas?), then further applies their own subjective judgment to decide that keeping steroid users out of the Hall of Fame is the right thing to do. There’s no standard here to apply. If you want to use this flawed analogy, it would be like presenting the evidence in a murder trial to the jury, where the defendant is claiming mental insanity or self-defense… then the judge sending the jury out to decide the case with no instructions on the law they’re supposed to apply. There’s nothing except a vague discussion of character/sportsmanship/integrity in the rules BBWAA writers are supposed to apply, which invites these guys to come up with their own crazy standards.

        I think the real point of this post is that the folks who seem to be on a crusade to prevent people who used PEDs from entering the Hall need to acknowledge that their crusade is tainted by the fact the Hall itself is not clean, thanks to amphetamine users and probably due to steroid users who already gained admission.

      • jawilson27 - Jan 7, 2011 at 11:10 AM

        I understand your point, thanks for clarifying. I would hope the Hall voters, even if they have to admit that the Hall is almost certainly not “pure” at this point, would still hold current candidates to the character clause so that the Hall doesn’t become even more illegitimate than it probably already is. I do think you exaggerate both the plight of obvious steroid abusers and the “witch hunting” of the BBWAA. The writers who have voted against McGwire, Bagwell, etc. and will vote against Bonds and Arod are simply offering their opinion that known steroid cheaters shouldn’t gain admission into the hall because of the character clause, plain and simple, nothing more. We’re talking about simple sportsmanship. If guys used steroids, they cheated their employers, teammates, opponents, and triple A guys who never got a shot because of the steroid abusers lengthened effectiveness. That’s poor sportsmanship and is a negative reflection on the steroid abuser’s character and integrity, all of which the Hall asks the voters to consider.

        Even though I disagree with pretty much everything you write on this issue I find your posts thought provoking and I enjoy reading them.

      • giant4life - Jan 7, 2011 at 11:19 AM

        evan…………………………Your right!!!
        You should’t judge.

      • paperlions - Jan 7, 2011 at 11:25 AM

        When you refer to Bagwell as a “known steroid cheat”, you lose all credibility. There remains zero evidence that he used, and no first or second hand account of him using. Just baseless rumor.
        .
        Voters can’t “still” uphold the references to character/integrity (there is no “character clause) in the voting instruction. They have ignored those references since day 1.
        .
        Much of the frustration comes from the fact that (mostly) these same voters gladly welcomed known amphetamine users. There were plenty of stories in the late 60s and early 70s about steroid, amphetamine, and other drug use. These writers did not care. For some reason, they have drawn an arbitrary line at steroids, and they don’t even seem to know why. For the record every medical organization opposed the legalization of steroids (the potential dangers of steroids are greatly exaggerated and no more severe that those of many OTC medications, but people can’t be bothered to educate themselves).
        .
        Additional frustration arises from the fact former players that are celebrated as “pure” admitted to using PEDs during their careers. These same former users have actively campaigned against perceived steroid users. It is noteworthy, to me at least, that amphetamines convey a benefit with no effort on part of the user, whereas steroids ONLY have an effect if the user participates in repeated and strenuous workouts.

      • IdahoMariner - Jan 7, 2011 at 11:44 AM

        It’s a freakin’ MUSEUM. It’s not a question of whether anyone got away with “crimes.” There IS no analogy ala the weak “I suppose that means we should let all murderers go free because people have gotten away with it. Right? Wrong.” nonsense. The reason we prosecute people for crimes is to protect people and communities and maintain some sense of peace and order. It seems clear, one hopes, that this is not why the Hall of Fame was created.

        It’s a museum. One that was created to honor the very best players in professional baseball We respect the players in it for their baseball skills, they are honored to be selected, we talk about the Hall as if it is special and hallowed and sacred, and a lot of players play everyday hoping to get into the Hall someday.

        It is beyond hypocritical, and beyond silly to say that now, somehow, it would tarnish all that the Hall stands for if we voted for a player who in every respect meets the generally understood baseball criteria, but who was rumored to be connected in some un-described way to steroids. Because, yes, we revere the Hall. But yes, we have revered the Hall for decades, despite the fact that steroid users and speed users and spitballers and sign-stealers and rascists and wife-beaters and drunk drivers and cocaine-users are in the Hall. We cannot now, without explicitly changing the rules, say that these (possibly connected but we don’t have any proof and also baseball was letting them do steroids) players are barred when we have chosen, repeatedly, to allow in others who are similarly situated. Because those players were voted in on the basis of their performance, without any real regard to the rest of it. (If anything, GOOD character might have been considered to give a borderline guy a bump in.) And you cannot pretend otherwise when you realize how “alarming” and widespread the use of PEDs has always, always been, and that the voters have always known this.

        All that anyone is asking for is a little intellectual honesty. And a little less sanctimony. And perhaps, the recognition that the Hall was created to honor the very best players in professional baseball. Period.

        (And let’s not even go into the fact that its main function is always has been as a PR/profit-making enterprise. You know, in order to make us all feel more connected to the game so we keep going to games and maybe make a trip to Cooperstown and spend money there… and so we could build a whole industry on arguing about whether someone gets in.)

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 7, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        All that anyone is asking for is a little intellectual honesty. And a little less sanctimony.

        Well said.

        But to achieve a complete picture, we have to mention that in some quarters there is also a request for a little less conversation.

      • jawilson27 - Jan 7, 2011 at 2:54 PM

        paperlions,
        Bagwell admitted to using Androstenedione. While it wasn’t technically labeled as a “steroid,” it absolutely had the same effects as steroids since the body converts it into testosterone. Even if I believed he didn’t use “real” steroids as well as Andro, as McGwire admitted to, heavy use of andro alone is enough for me to DQ Bagwell from the hall since it’s the equivalent of using “real” steroids. If you don’t buy that Andro is essentially an anabolic steroid then check out the FDA’s take on it:

        http://www.fda.gov/food/guidancecomplianceregulatoryinformation/complianceenforcement/ucm081788.htm

        Also, I’m not sure if we agree on the definition of evidence. To me, there’s plenty of evidence on Bagwell.
        (I know Craig has repeated ad nauseam that the allegations against Bagwell are “completely baseless”, but if you really believe that you should read a great article from FanGraphs that reviews a Verducci article on Bagwell from 1999:

        http://www.fangraphs.com/not/index.php/to-the-sivault-jeff-bagwell/

        )
        Back to the “baseless allegations” against Bags. He was a completely marginal prospect with minuscule power (fact) who morphed into a “hall of fame” caliber power hitter (fact) after hiring a professional body builder (fact) to help him transform his body (fact, mission accomplished). He admitted to using androstenedione (fact), which the FDA considers a “steroid precursor” (fact) because the body converts it into an anabolic steroid (fact). Perhaps that’s not enough evidence alone to send Bagwell to jail for illegally using anabolic steroids, but it no doubt is enough evidence for someone to reach a very sound conclusion that Bagwell cheated his way to a hall of fame career.

        Also, I’m not sure if I’m misunderstanding your point, but it sounds like you are claiming there is no such thing as a “character clause” in the Hall of Fame’s voting guidelines. Perhaps there is nothing officially titled “character clause” but the Hall of Fame’s voting guidelines clearly ask voters to consider character. This is from the Hall of Fame’s website:

        “Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

      • jawilson27 - Jan 7, 2011 at 3:25 PM

        IdahoMariner,
        Your point that it’s just a silly museum is a good one, it implies that we actually don’t have to go to extreme lengths to prove someone cheated as we would in the court of law, where someone’s actual life and liberty is literally at stake. The hall is just pretend “honor” so if a voter thinks there’s a 99.9% chance that Player A cheated, than it’s perfectly acceptable for him to abstain from voting for Player A since after all, it’s a silly little museum anyways.
        Anyone can look at Bagwell and his career and say with near 100 % certainty that he did not legitimately become a hall of fame player, and since it’s just a museum, and no one’s life is on the line, it’s perfectly appropriate to have the opinion that you would rather honor someone else in the make believe hall of fame.

        Also, as an aside, the reference to the court of law was simply an analogy, there was no intention of literally comparing the Hall of Fame with public safety, the analogy to the court of law was simply used in an attempt to derail Craig’s logic that since the hall already has steroid cheats, then voters have no argument to prevent other steroid cheats from also gaining entrance into the HOF. The absurd nature of the analogy was meant to show Craig’s faulty logic, not to literally compare the gravity of a Hall of Fame induction with public safety.

      • baseballstars - Jan 7, 2011 at 7:10 PM

        After reading up on steroids in baseball, I was left assuming that steroid use came in with Canseco in the late 90’s. I’ve operated my judgmental opinion under that assumption. Now to hear that steroids were prevalent in the 70’s is quite mind-blowing. I never even assumed it since players weren’t bulked up then (for the most part). But it makes perfect sense. Players back then (especially pitchers) took it for recovery times, not to bulk up and hit home runs. It wasn’t until Canseco ushered in a weight lifting approach that others began to copycat and pair the two together (steroids and muscle mass).

        I’m still not saying I would knowingly vote for someone who took steroids, HGH, or some other similar performance-enhancer just because there are PED users in the Hall, because had those guys faced similar scrutiny, they wouldn’t have gotten in. But I am saying that I never suspected roiders that far back, and maybe one day I’ll change my stance.

      • paperlions - Jan 7, 2011 at 8:21 PM

        Most of these are details that are tangential to the point, as there is no evidence that steroids lead to the power surge in the early 90s….people have looked for evidence to tie HR/power rates over time to PED use…they can’t find any effect. None.
        .
        No clinical study of andro has been able to detect an effect on muscle mass or strength, even at very high doses. It is a sex hormone pre-cursor that appears to have little effect on somatic tissues. It was legal and used openly by 100s of players, because it is NOT a steroid.
        .
        Where are you going to draw the line for PEDs? Gatorade enhances performance over drinking just water, but it is okay. Amino acid supplements increase amino acid level above normal and may benefit strength training, but those are okay? Many stimulants are considered to be fine, but not amphetamines. An unusually high rate of MLB players (compared to the general public) have requested ADHD medication, which are stimulants. Request for medical waivers tripled as soon as amphetamine testing began.
        .
        HGH has no benefit for a health young (under 40 or so) adult, it doesn’t even speed up healing. It is totally useless in that context and won’t do just about any of the things companies selling it say it will do…it is just the latest in a very long line of snake oil remedies.
        .
        Corticosteroids and other pain relievers that reduce inflammation allow players to play and definitely improve performance, those are okay?
        .
        These lines are all arbitrary. Within the context of baseball performance, anyone claiming that steroids are somehow different that these other options or that it turned average players into HOFers simply do not know what they are talking about.
        .
        Bagwell was still a skinny kid when he came up and he immediately started hitting HRs. He was ALWAYS a great prospect, you don’t have a .400 OBP and people not notice. Bagwell’s power didn’t show up over night, like most players, it slowly increased until 1994, the first year with the new ball.
        .
        You don’t seem to be interested in learning about any of the factors associate with the discussion (not even effects of steroids in baseball); it is hard to arrive at the proper conclusion when you have few facts available and refuse to add more data to the equation. Yeah, I know that’s condescending, but it is also true and relevant.

      • frankvzappa - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:37 PM

        if the legal system were designed to attempt to do justice, the flag in the courtroom wouldnt have a yellow outline…the yellow outline means that it is a maritime flag, which denotes a fascist ideology completely separate from anything constitutional…

  2. baseballstars - Jan 7, 2011 at 7:20 AM

    On a separate note, Jose Canseco (who has some validity on the issue of steroids) said that there was already a steroid user in the Hall of Fame.

    Years ago, I read that Reggie Jackson was the person who turned Canseco on to roids, but it seemed very untrustworthy at the time. Does anyone know anything about that story? My guess is that it’s not true, but I’d be interested to see if anyone else has heard the same thing.

    • giant4life - Jan 7, 2011 at 8:42 PM

      Paperlions………..GREAT POST

  3. baseballstars - Jan 7, 2011 at 7:22 AM

    Thought I’d share this as well:

    http://blog.bigshowbaseball.com/2007/08/steroids-in-1970s.html

  4. Panda Claus - Jan 7, 2011 at 7:31 AM

    True or untrue, maybe we’ll find out someday. Not sure what benefits there would be for a player already in the Hall to admit doing such a thing as this so far after the fact.

    As a point of reference though, it’s good to put this out there. The more this topic is discussed, the more that writers and fans will be open to accept the possibility that all is not sacred with some of those guys already enshrined in Cooperstown.

    Just my speculation, but as suspicions (and eventually facts) continue to be brought out about previous baseball eras, this will pave the wave for many guys to get in. Many of those same guys that people today are dismissing as having no chance in hell of ever getting in.

  5. paperlions - Jan 7, 2011 at 7:39 AM

    This also reminds people how hypocritical former players are being. Some (e.g. Hank Aaron) that admitted to regular amphetamine use think that steroid users should be kept out of the HOF. Given that it is human nature to admit to something to get people off of your back, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the admitted amphetamine users (not trying to single out Aaron) also used steroids (though they probably didn’t work out enough to get maximum benefit), but only admitted to the amphetamines because it was an open practice and people still don’t seem to care.

    • Jonny 5 - Jan 7, 2011 at 7:48 AM

      They weren’t steroids. They were “””Vitamins””” Duhhhh…

  6. Jonny 5 - Jan 7, 2011 at 7:46 AM

    Thank goodness!!! I’ve been saying this all along. And everyone leaves me hanging every single time. I was beginning to wonder if. A) I’m an idiot, or B) everyone else is an idiot for ignoring the obvious. Steroids were used in sports to cheat since the 50’s at least. If not before then. My stance.

    I know for a fact HOF’ers already in, have used steroids. No, I don’t have any idea who they were, or even who they might be. But it would take some serious ignorance of human nature to deny this.

    • paperlions - Jan 7, 2011 at 7:56 AM

      Mike Schmidt seemed to have some serious acne issues didn’t he. ;-)

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 7, 2011 at 8:05 AM

        Ha!! PL, don’t go pointing fingers now…… I mean it’s Mike Jack Schmidt you’re talking about here…. Truthfully, I can’t say one way or the other. And we’ll never know unless he tells us. If I were him, I’d keep my mouth shut if he did use…

        He’s about the height of DB Cooper too, come to think of it….. Hmmm?

    • Matt - Jan 7, 2011 at 8:01 AM

      I wouldn’t be so quick to eliminate (A) and (B) as possibilities, but I too have argued with people that Jose Canseco didn’t magically create steroids in 1989…

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 7, 2011 at 8:06 AM

        Actually A) is spot on. But I’m not Dumb. No, not by a long shot…. ;)

    • professorperry - Jan 7, 2011 at 8:30 AM

      Yeah, we’re in complete agreement here.

      I do think in the late 80s and 90s there were a few related advances – in training techniques, in legal supplement development, in illegal supplement development, in “athleticism” in baseball generally, in traumatic sports-related rehab/surgery techniques, etc. – all of which created the perfect offensive storm we witnessed. PEDs are more a part of the story in the 90s than they were in the 70s, but they are there in both cases, without a doubt.

      • paperlions - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:10 AM

        Add to that manufacturing changes to the baseball introduced in the middle of the 93 season that included more synthetics to replace natural fibers (synthetics don’t absorb as much moisture, reducing the weight of the ball, essentially introducing a “Coors field effect” throughout baseball) as well as the addition of a more elastic core. Studies of the physics of the changes in balls suggest that the majority of the mid-90s power surge was related to these changes, which is why it seemed like someone flipped a switch and everyone was a slugger….it wasn’t because everyone got steroids for Christmas one year.
        .
        Unfortunately, that story doesn’t sell as many papers as stories about particular players using PEDs, many of which don’t actually enhance baseball performance.

      • umrguy42 - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:40 AM

        How about the increase in contract $ also starting to make it more worth while to enhance one’s performance – once free agency came about, what better way to get bigger contracts than enhancing your performance?

    • Detroit Michael - Jan 7, 2011 at 8:39 AM

      You keep using that phrase “I know for a fact.” I do not think it means what you think it means.

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093779/quotes

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:09 AM

        “I virtually know for a fact”. How’s that Mr. Knit picker? I am not a blogger. I am not a Journalist. Yet you will Knit Pick phrases like that? Get off your freaking high horse will ya?? You sound like a voting member of the BBWAA now. ;)

      • spindervish - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:23 AM

        “I know for a fact HOF’ers already in, have used steroids. No, I don’t have any idea who they were, or even who they might be.”

        You say you know something for a fact and then in the very next sentence say you have no idea what you’re talking about. When you don’t know something for a fact at all, you probably shouldn’t use that phrase. No high horse needed; you’re just wrong.

        Also, you can never go wrong with a Princess Bride reference.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:32 AM

        spindervish you said…

        “You say you know something for a fact and then in the very next sentence say you have no idea what you’re talking about.”

        Well now that makes two of us now doesn’t it? Because you’re now just as wrong. I never said “I have no idea what i’m talking about”

        Here we go again. I tried to recant. Is that not good enough for you?? Would you also like a kidney?

        One “fact” that leads me to my conclusion is we’re dealing with Human athletes here. If steroids were available, which they were, there is at least a small percentage of the best of them that used these drugs to benefit themselves. Which we virtually know “for a fact” since a large percentage are known to use other drugs for their supposed benefits as well. And if you don’t like my willy nill use of the word fact, it’s your problem, and it doesn’t make me wrong unless we’re in English Lit class here.

      • spindervish - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:09 AM

        Sigh.

        When I said you said you have no idea what you’re talking about, I was paraphrasing your “I don’t have any idea who they were…” statement…and also admittedly taking a bit of a shot. It’s essentially the same thing. Your lack of any hard evidence to support a statement of fact demonstrates that you don’t really know what you’re talking about.

        In this most recent post, you state two facts and then draw a conclusion from them. That doesn’t make your conclusion a fact. Again, this is a simple matter of correct and incorrect. I’m well aware that logic and the construction of coherent arguments are not your strongest areas, but I and the previous poster were simply trying to point out your error so you could avoid it in the future and thus enhance your overall credibility as a thinker of things. The idea that we should only be concerned with choosing our words carefully and saying what we actually intend to communicate in the limited setting of academia (“English Lit. class”) is disappointingly ignorant, though unfortunately you’re not at all alone in this opinion. So if you prefer to stubbornly insist that the correct application of things like logic and facts is no big deal and would like to continue occasionally coming off like a dolt, that’s entirely your prerogative.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:57 AM

        Once again you’re bending things.. you did not tell me “you don’t know what you’re talking about” which you just wrongfully reported. YOU told me I said something I did not say. Which is just as much of a crime as using the word “Fact” when I mean “I virtually know for a fact”, which I did correct. And to imply I’m not aware of the definition of a core word of our language is pretty funny too…

        Let’s review. So your rephrasing of my words to fit your own aggenda, whatever that may be…. is allowed, while my misuse of the word “fact” which I corrected mind you, is so much worse. I see how it is. You’re just being a dick about it now. Addressing nothing more than the misuse of one word is a heck of an argument there, I must say… And I’m glad you can label me as “ignorant” among many other things for that as well. It shows your true colors.

  7. jkcalhoun - Jan 7, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    I suspect Hall of Famer XXXX XXXXXXXX. Off with his plaque!

  8. Chipmaker - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    In other news, the sun rose in the East this morning, and the market fluctuated.

  9. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Wouldn’t it be epic if some existing HOF’er admitted it, just to topple the facade?

    “Yes, I am in the HOF and during the 1970’s, I like many others, were trying to get whatever edge we could and we used anabolic steroids. I’m not sure they helped but I’m not sure they didn’t, either. Regardless, I used them and there are others in this institution who did as well. It’s wasn’t the right thing to do then and it’s not now. But it is done.”

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      Among the problems with witch hunts is that they tend to spook the witches.

      Seriously, the standard of inquiry around these issues is not at all inviting of candor.

    • stevejeltzjehricurl - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:18 AM

      Again, as I noted yesterday when discussing Robbie Alomar in another post, I think the greatest service Robbie (or Blyleven, for that matter) could do would be to say, “I used steroids…. Okay, I’m kidding… but maybe not. The point is, no one here knows except for me. And yet some of the same folks who voted me into the Hall of Fame won’t vote for others based on nothing more than rumor and innuendo regarding their alleged use of steroids. So add my name to the list of alleged steroid users, because no one can know for certain whether I used them or not.”

  10. motherscratcher23 - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Also, let’s not forget – let’s not forget, Dude – that keeping wildlife, an amphibious rodent, for uh, domestic, you know, within the city – that aint legal either.

  11. BC - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    Hey, the entire 1986 Mets team other than Ray Knight was sucking half of Colombia up their nose all the time. I knew it, everyone knew it. It wasn’t until the past 20 years that anyone did anything about that. And only in the last 5 or 6 years for steroids.
    I remember giving Jose Canseco the “STERRRRR-OOOOIDS” chant at Fenway back in 1988 or so. It was funny or a joke back then. Then 15 years later it wasn’t a joke.
    Times change.

  12. caputop - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    I think part of the blame for this also falls on the players. What would happen if Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, and a bunch of those types just publicly confessed and apologized for doing steroids, whether or not it’s true. They’re already in, are they going to really kick them out? Can they still get prosecuted for crimes?

    It’s a bit more understandable for the retired players to keep their mouths shut and hope they get away without getting tainted, but why did the union leave Arod and the other people leaked from the list of 104 out to dry? What would have happened if the day that story leaked, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, etc just stepped up and said they were on the list also? Would they really crucify everyone? Will they really not put anyone in?

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:27 AM

      Can they still get prosecuted for crimes?

      To be on the safer side of all possible statutes of limitation, better get Yogi to do it.

  13. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    I’m sleepy. Let’s play some mother f@cking ball!

  14. giant4life - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    I think we are missing the point…Steroid use was not made illegal until 2004….Those caught AFTER that date were steroid cheats. My gripe is with MLB.. As baseball as done at least since 72, they only gave the illusion that they gave a sh@t. Selig is the key pin…..For all you real men, who wish to use some sort of a moral barometer, I suggest you read, Krakauer’s, WHERE MEN WIN GLORY, It is the story of Pat Tillman…..The wrongs done by the military, right to the top of this government is staggering….the Cooperstown witch hunt will continue……as will the thought police…keep writing Craig!, We have killed enough innocent people, it needs to stop.

  15. BC - Jan 7, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    At this point, after having thrown my hands up in the air over the steroid/PED issue… I’m throwing my hands up in the air over the HOF. I say shut it down. Abolish it. Mail the plaques to the players or their descendants and just pack it in. The voting is a farce and no one has clear parameters on who should be excluded. I give up. Play ball. Go Mets. Well, at least try to go. If you can’t use Flomax.
    Does beg the question though…. Why isn’t there a furor about the Football Hall of Fame? Plenty of steroid users in that league in the 70s and 80s (and likely thereafter)…..

    • Panda Claus - Jan 7, 2011 at 12:25 PM

      Therein lies a good comparison point you made, so what about the NFL? It seems obvious just based on the overall largess of the players from the 60’s to the 70’s, that things were a changing, as they say. To try to roll back the foil lid on that can of worms might result in many expulsions–if the NFL HOF would do such a thing. And it doesn’t appear they are in a hurry to do that.

      The easiest solution to this mess is to consider two points.

      First, baseball is a game built on cheating. To deny that is to deny the obvious. True there are different levels of cheating, but from the rules-allowed stealing bases, to the “unspoken rules” against stealing signs, to recent rules changes that now outlaw supplements which were once accepted (i.e., uppers).

      How about if MLB adopts a page from NASCAR and documents its penalties better, sort of like when they take away team points for building illegal cars?

      If a player is caught scuffing or otherwise doctoring the baseball (I’m talking to you Perry) throw him out of the game. Oh wait, they already do that. Caught corking the bat? Suspension. Never mind, they already do that too.

      What about bigger offenses? Spiking the coffee so it changes color and speeds up metalolism or maybe got caught taking some other banned substance? Seems like a 50-game suspension might work. What? That’s in place also?

      So what the real problem we have here is that the rules that govern the game were about 2-3 decades behind the infractions being committed. Rather than penalize after-the-fact by applying rules or tests that didn’t exist, let it go.

      Not penalizing “dirty” players isn’t fair to “clean” players is it? No, it’s not, but not everything is fair. In the same vain, trying to penalize “suspected” players is equally pointless. It comes close to the “two wrongs don’t make a right” scenario really.

      The solution to the problem only gets fixed going forward, with new tests and subsequent penalties that come with failing the tests. How is it that the Steve Howes, Dwight Goodens and Lawrence Taylors of the world could sniff the white stuff repeatedly, yet they still got 2nd, 3rd or more chances. Yet Mark McGwire openly took andro, totally legal, and gets slammed about it (this was before other information came out later).

      A player was either great or he wasn’t. Trying to measure players against invisible standards is just too difficult for HOF voters to do. Voters can and are allowed a great deal of latitude to determine whom they think is Hall-worthy. I just don’t happen to think the standards many are using make much sense. Like I said, a player was either great or he wasn’t.

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 7, 2011 at 1:11 PM

        Not penalizing “dirty” players isn’t fair to “clean” players is it? No, it’s not, but not everything is fair.

        In particular, there no way to do it retroactively, with extremely spotty information at best, without introducing further unfairness.

        Yes, some players were wronged while PEDs use went unregulated. I’m glad to hear someone correctly apply the maxim that “two wrongs don’t make a right”, is so commonly cited on the other side of the issue whenever addition of “cheaters” to a Hall that already contains “cheaters” is discussed, to further wrongs that would inevitably result from misguided and necessarily uninformed attempts to “make things right”.

        As with grandfathered spitballers, it can’t be done. Lay down your pitchforks.

  16. ta192 - Jan 7, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Don’t have a problem with steroid users in the Hall, not even if they were of a type we haven’t really seen, known, acknowledged, and unrepentant. Paperlions earlier post says it for me. Never believed that steroids were THE reason for the offensive explosion, just one of many and NOT the prime one. I’m comfortable with the idea that it was the juiced BALL that made the major difference, not the juiced players. Firmly believe that the lords of baseball got together and made a decision similar to that of 1930, let’s pump some offense into the game and see what happens, and it worked. They created the most exciting and profitable era in the sport, but, there were unintended consequences. The most talented players were put in a position where they could actually share in the wealth, owners certainly didn’t want that result. And, the 60 HR barrier wasn’t just poked and prodded, it was smashed, trashed, and reduced to near irrelevance. The owners looked around for a scape goat that would allow them to dial the ball back unnoticed, and steroids use was just standing there, tethered, bleating, and waiting for the tiger. The press and the public fell for it, and here we are today, arguing back and forth about HOF credentials of suspected PED users. And I might add, fortunately so. Just as a small number of dedicated individuals bang away at the prospect of reversing criminal convictions of those they believe were unjustly incarcerated, proponents of players HOF suitability will keep this chapter of baseball history in the public eye, until, maybe, we actually know just what the hell was going on…

  17. bobwheel - Jan 7, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    OK, so now let’s “inject” a little levity into this discussion. I’m writing a screenplay about the steroid era in baseball, and I’m curious as to others opinions on casting for the film. Who should play some of the accused?

  18. alfreddigs - Jan 7, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Based on his longevity, the era in which he played, and being on the A’s in the late ’80s, I’d be extremely surprised if Rickey Henderson didn’t at least try them out for a bit.

  19. whomecare - Jan 7, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    I was watching MLB Network last night and the interview with Roberto Alomar. Among the questions, Mr. Alomar was asked his thoughts on players he knows and played with who have been identified as steroid users and should they be in the HOF — Rafael Palmeiro specifically. While his answer was not surprising it was telling of many players of his generation. Mr. Alomar basicallly said Palmeio should be in since his numbers are there. Of course there are other players and HOF members with the complete opposite view of Mr. Alomar.

    So this debate will certainly linger for a long time. But it would be interesting to see if and how the voting percentages change should all HOF members be given the right to vote along with the writers.

  20. lanflfan - Jan 7, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Yes, there are steroid users in our sacred Hall of Fame. There are also drunks, womanizers and a few pitchers who threw “non-traditional” pitches. This is hardly news to anyone. Steroids were rampant in the NFL and Wrestling in the 70’s and 80’s, did we really think Baseball was exempt was such taint?

    The calendar now reads 2011. We can’t go back and remove Babe Ruth (drunk) and Gaylord Perry (interesting pitches) from the HOF, nor would anyone in their right mind advocate such a position. HOWEVER, we CAN do our very best to make sure those that we do enshrine in Cooperstown demonstrate the very best ideals of Baseball, ON and OFF the field.

    Ty Cobb was a jerk, but there is nothing we can do about that now. But we can keep steroid users out, and make a point to our YOUTH (you know, the kids of today and ball players of tomorrow) that steroids are not acceptable and have no place in this game. Acknowledge the mistakes of the past, and do not repeat them.

    Or would you rather have 10 year old kids shooting up ‘roids?

    • giant4life - Jan 7, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      Ian,
      Good logic….and surely no wants kids to shoot up, (as if baseball players are responsible) Lets say, you get to decide who gets in…….or not? So is it…1. any one suspected?
      2. those on the list that were exposed? 3.only those caught when steroids became illegal in 2004? Decide for me? I am for not letting any dodgers in.

    • ta192 - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:28 PM

      Please! Spare me the “think of the children” argument…

  21. calhounite - Jan 7, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    What a pile of crock.

    Before writing know what your’re talking about.

    The Mitchell report was not an investigation but a recap of just one federal investigation of one dealer. That report by itself implicated numerous players. One can extrapolate from the Mitchell report, the fact that 7 per cent tested positive KNOWING they would be tested, the crazy, abnormal numbers, and body changes, weight gain endemic in mlb players that the use of steroids during the steroid era was not incidental but a common occurrence.

    Whether or not one is doping in athletic contests is decided by TESTING. How does one evaluate Bagwell vis-a-vis peds in this steroid era when steroid use was a common occurrence. He is evaluated as GUILTY because he and every othe MLB player ran away from his testing appointment as a body (so no one player could be specifically blamed -how nice, but still doesn’t change the universal, accepted standard for determining guilt/innocence regarding doptng in athletic competion).

    This crap about steroid use prior to the steroid era is old, worn out slander against the great names of the past. The use of steroids without weight training would be counterproductive for the purposes of excelling in baseball, so all a player would be doing is hurting his health. When did weight training gain prominence in baseball – the steroid era of course.

    Peds have been outlawed beginning with the 1950’s. This is 2011. Wake up. Your incoherent, ridiculous, indefensible rants are useless. Unless you take affirmative action actually honoring a guy, your’re slandering him. How nuts. You’ve lost.

    HONORING ped users ain’t happening.in this day and age.

    • giant4life - Jan 7, 2011 at 6:11 PM

      What the FU#K are you saying…breathe….So I guess what your saying is no one gets in from 80-2005….if they did or did not, but a “universal standard for determining guilt”…Lets burn another witch…

  22. calhounite - Jan 7, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    This is not for you. No one’s taking away your stash. Just don’t leave the crackhouse..

    • giant4life - Jan 7, 2011 at 6:25 PM

      Craig can fight his own battles…I just was trying to understand what you were saying…I do have some good HumboldtCounty weed that Selig (Bud), endorses.

      • giant4life - Jan 7, 2011 at 6:32 PM

        Just one thing..please……What is this “universal standard” that you believe in?
        Trial, Jury, stoning, bareheading or the old see if they float method…just interested to know?
        How about facts?

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:22 PM

      Hello, calhounite. Coincidentally, I too bear the great name of the Vice President from South Carolina and principal champion of states rights.

      I admit this is a mere assumption, as it’s patently possible either that your surname is Hounite or that your WordPress name is merely an adopted alias.

      Still it’s an honor to meet someone who by choice or by good fortune bears that name.

      Yet I must echo giant4life: what in the whole of Calhoun County are you onto here? I am not able to discern the significance.

  23. giant4life - Jan 7, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Bareheading is what happened to Craig,….you might be more into beheading,

    • ta192 - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:31 PM

      Craig used ‘roids?

  24. dcart6 - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    People in the comments keep talking about “known steroid users” and “evidence” against certain players, but then name guys for whom there is no actual proof of steroid use, at least not yet. If we want to go back to the legal analogies that were debated above, it’s as if many of the writers are looking at guys who were never convicted, often never even brought to trial, and saying “to heck with it. let’s throw them in jail anyway”.

  25. kaientai72 - Jan 8, 2011 at 12:56 AM

    Sadly, there is a very good chance that this is true. There are already many questionable characters in various Halls of Fame and MLB basically buried their heads like ostriches when Sosa and McGwire became a hell of a lot bigger, yet were bringing fans back to the stadiums after the ’94 strike. http://www.notinhalloffame.com has an interesting take on the McGwire situtation in their ranking of those not in the Hall.

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