Skip to content

“Why doesn’t anyone stump for Aaron to be booted out of Cooperstown?”

Dec 28, 2011, 8:52 AM EDT

Hank Aaron AP AP

Ken Davidoff, following up on his Hall of Fame ballot column from yesterday, brings the noise about why PED stuff shouldn’t matter when it comes to this sort of thing.  hitting the following bases:

  • Hank Aaron did greenies, so why aren’t people on his case about that?;
  • The fact that non-prescribed steroids are illegal should not be relevant to a Hall voter because (a) Hall voters aren’t lawyers; and (b) that logic would apply to greenies, cocaine and — though he doesn’t say it — alcohol in the 1920s too. It’s just not a workable reason to withhold a Hall vote now; and
  • More generally, people and the times in which they live are imperfect and there’s no way to be consistent or fair if we apply the standards of one era to the acts of those in another.

I imagine Davidoff will catch a lot of flak for this column, particularly when it comes to the Hank Aaron stuff.  But nothing he says in it is wrong, and I love the fact that he’s willing to ruffle some feathers on this stuff.

  1. sdelmonte - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    Points to Mr Davidoff as well for his succinct and smart reaction to RA Dickey’s upcoming climb.

    I gotta start reading his stuff without being told to.

    • pjmarn6 - Jan 1, 2012 at 6:49 PM

      If Hank Aaron or any one else was using stimulants or drugs than the whole idea of a Hall of Fame is a joke. There is no more national past time and no more idols to look up to and no more players to hold up as models or records to be broken.
      They are all bogus. I like the ponies. There is a system to be studied and statistics to be used and one can make an extremely good living off the nags and the reason is that they are clean. Once the nags are doped and races are fixed, then you have to find another way to make money.
      For instance 30 years ago at Calder Race Track in Maryland, once a day every day during the summer season the longest long shot won. You can go back and check. If you put $1000 on each of the nine races on the longest long shot and say a 25 to one came in then you got $25,000 less $8,000 and walked home with $17,000 in your pocket. You just couldn’t lose. Now if their rules weren’t so tight that all the horses had the chance to be tested and all winners were tested, that type of betting would never work.
      But any time one wants to make money on the nags, its there because the races are clean. Not like baseball.

  2. kopy - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    I applaud Davidoff for making this point. As a baseball fan that was born in the 80s, it’s very frustrating to have a panel of journalists a generation older than me claim that the baseball players they grew up watching are more moralistic than the players I grew up watching.

  3. metalhead65 - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    amazing what you will come up with to try and point that cheaters should be admitted. so players like Aaron took greenies and shouldn’t be in the hall because of it? yeah becaause taking greenies transformed his body overnight into the incredible hulk that enabled him to go from hitting 46 homers to 73 like the your steroid idol bonds right? yeah taking greenies was the the reason he hit all those homers. it is really sad you keep trying to drag others into the mess bonds and players like him created. stop trying to say roids had nothing to do with the records the guys who took them broke. true roids alone did not make them hit the ball but it gave them more strength which made the balls they hit go farther giving them more homers. what part of that don’t you understand? now tell me how taking greenies or drinking made players from earler eras better players?Bonds home run production once he started juicing is all the proof you need and if not what Sammy sosa? whoever heard of this guy really untill he started juicing and hitting 60 plus homers? just stop dragging the greats of the game thru the mud trying to prove your point.if it makes you feel better well that is just sad but you will never change my mind about or most fans mind about the fact bonds and players like him do not deserve to be in the hall for cheating. what is sad was bonds was a hall of fame guy before he started juicing and other than his ego there was no reason for him to cheat but he did and should suffer the consequences.

    • paperlions - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:21 AM


      1) The greats of the game from the 50 through the 00s took amphetamines
      2) When steroid testing began, offense did not decline
      3) When amphetamine testing began, offense declined dramatically

      Stop singling out steroids as the only form of cheating you find offensive, when it isn’t even clear that steroids were the most significant form of cheating, especially for hitters.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:07 AM

        Hey he missed the measurable change in performance to the baseball that altering it with spit, vagisil, nasal mucous or sandpaper makes. As opposed to, say, the nonmeasurable changes that ‘roids produce in performance. Apparently cheating is only cheating if he doesn’t understand how it may or may not work.

      • dan1111 - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:22 AM

        This claim that amphetamine testing is linked to a “dramatic” decline in offense, while steroid testing made no difference, is simply not true.

        MLB runs per game:

        Offense has been on a downward trend since 2000. It doesn’t neatly coincide with either steroid testing (2004) or amphetamine testing (2006). However, I think that the conventional wisdom that it is linked to steroids is much more likely to be true. A few reasons:

        1) Most of the players putting up unprecedented numbers in the 90’s are known to have been steroid users. Coincidence?
        2) Amphetamines have been widespread for decades, so they can’t explain the increase in offense in the 90’s. Increased steroid use in this period, linked to new developments in technology, can explain it.
        3) It is wrong to look only at 2004 for a decline in steroid use, because there were many gradual changes that discouraged steroids: increased publicity and negative stigma in the early 2000’s; minor league testing in 2001; major league survey testing in 2003; much stiffer penalties in 2006. As soon as it was clear that steroids were no longer going to be winked at and ignored, players had an incentive to stop using–or not start in the first place.

        I don’t agree with some of the over-the-top moralizing about steroids, particularly in relation to the Hall of Fame, but it seems pretty obvious that they do, in fact, increase performance.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:30 PM

        I’m glad you’re saying some of this stuff as questions, Dan. Don’t forget the “Juiced Ball ERA” question. From the early 1990’s right thru to about 2002 (I think) that ball flew further on contact than it ever flew before. So the “steroid era” could easily be the “juiced ball era” or the “steroid-juiced ball era” or the “amphetamine-coke-alcohol-steroid-juiced ball era”.

        The point of all this is that it is not possible to separate the effect of roids from that of the other stuff since they were concurrent. Anyone claiming to be able to do so speaks from their arse. In point of fact, the one thing you CAN conclusively say is that altering the ball itself alters its performance in a measurable and predictable fashion and was always illegal under the rules as stated since Adam was a pup. And yet, many august members of the BBWAA have no problem with the provable cheaters. Either get off the ‘roiders or get on all the cheaters. Anything else lacks integrity.

    • dondada10 - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:30 AM

      I’m a freshman English teacher and reading your post is making me bemoan going back to work.

      • orangeflh - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:56 AM

        Look at the bright side, Teach. You could very possibly use the above post as a teaching tool. Print it, make copies and have each of your students read it out loud on the first day of school, nonstop and very quickly.

        Once their headaches subside, they just may come away with some appreciation for proper composition. Even if they learn nothing from it you will at least have had the guilty pleasure of knowing that you inflicted said headaches.

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:23 AM

        I’m a retired English professor with 30 years of teaching (shudder) football scholarships in early morning survey courses, and his post transports me back to the halcyon days when high modernism with its Joyce, Faulkner and stream-of-consciousness explications ruled the syllabus. Trust me: in the years to come you will learn to savor your students’ blank expressions like fine wines.

      • dan1111 - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:25 AM

        Dude, your compound sentence ain’t go no comma in it!

      • bigharold - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:20 PM

        Really, .. now where taking the SATs?

        Hey, lets try sticking to the baseball arguments. I’m all for grammar, punctuation, proper spelling and all that but if I can discern the point that somebody is trying to get to then I try and stick with just addressing their point. Granted, that is due largely to the fact that I’m a terrible typist, even worse speller and rarely proof read what I post. So there is that whole people in glass houses thing.

        Unless somebody is being a complete pompous ass, lets stick to baseball. Otherwise, we risk spiraling into one monkey poop throwing event after another.

        By the way, I agree completely with Davidoff, if you are going to hang guys for steroid use than there are a bunch of guys that took uppers, which were institutionalized and generally provided by the team, for decades that need to be outted, figuratively and literally. Also, keep in mind that percentage wise there were likely just as many pitchers taking steroids as hitters so there could be an argument made that it was a wash.

      • bigharold - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:22 PM

        “Really, .. now where taking the SATs?”

        Should read; … now we’re taking the SATs?

        See what I mkean?

    • istillbelieveinblue - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:37 AM

      Amphetamines/stimulants might help in baseball as much or more as anabolic steroids. Aaron was rarely a big homer guy (never hit 50), but he was consistently great for over 20 years. Baseball is a 162 game (154 for part of Aaron’s career) marathon, and having a little kick before the game would be a real benefit. Now that MLB tests for Amphetamines, the players chug Red Bull like it’s water. Hmmm, I wonder why?

      • JBerardi - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:48 AM

        Troy Percivial once said in an interview that he drank ten cups of coffee before pitching in a save situation. Ten. Cups. Of. Coffee.

        Remember that the next time you hear about a guys “closer mentality” and how much better he pitches in the ninth. There’s a reason those guys like knowing what inning they’re going to pitch.

      • Glenn - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:03 AM

        Aaron had the benefit of moving from a good hitter’s park to a great hitter’s park just as his numbers should have been declining. This circumstance led to a much longer ‘peak” that would have been present with or without amphetamines.

    • JBerardi - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      “what is sad was bonds was a hall of fame guy before he started juicing and other than his ego there was no reason for him to cheat but he did and should suffer the consequences.

      What consequences are we talking about here? When was it ever decided that a steroid user can’t be in the hall of fame? Did this happen? Who decided it, and why didn’t they send me a postcard or a text message or something to let me know? Was there a press release? Please, fill me in on these magical “consequences” you seem to know so much about.

      • dwil12 - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:50 AM

        it was decided that steroid users wont be in the hall of fame when the people that actually vote on it decided not to let guys like mcgwire into the hall of fame. dont know if you noticed that the voters were doing that. your postcard must have gotten lost in the mail. and by the way that sounds like a “magical” consequence to me. do steroids and you dont get into the hall

    • dluxxx - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM

      How can it be cheating if there wasn’t a rule against it?

      • ireportyoudecide - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:08 PM

        Yep, that really should be the end of the discussion. So if Bonds doesn’t make the Hall of Fame next year it really has become the “Hall of pretty good” for players who followed arbitrary rules that I as a voter made up.

  4. hushbrother - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    Hard to see how alcohol could enhance a player’s performance. Other than to keep the raging alcoholics in the game from going into withdrawal.

    • caputop - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:40 AM

      I don’t know what cocaine would do either, but the 86 mets did everything, and look how that ended up.

      • Glenn - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:05 AM

        They got away with it short-term, but how did it work out in the long run? Doc and Strawberry kept themselves out of the HOF.

    • catsmeat - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      I think Craig’s point responds to the somewhat common assertion that even if steroids weren’t banned by baseball, they were still illegal and, thus, any player who used them broke the law and shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame. Basically, that should also count out any player who drank a sip of alcohol during Prohibition.

      • istillbelieveinblue - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:56 AM

        Anyone have the balls to throw The Babe out of the HOF? 😛

      • theolgoaler - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:06 AM

        Istillbelieve… Not just “NO”, but “HELL, NO!!!!!” (Ty Cobb, on the other hand…) 😉

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:26 AM

        Ah, but you would expel Cobb not for cheating but because he was an asshole. Now let’s talk about Bonds again…..

      • Gamera the Brave - Dec 28, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        I think the comparison between Bonds and Cobb can be summed up thusly –
        Bonds is an asshole.
        Cobb was an ASSHOLE.
        That’s WAY bigger.

      • sasquash20 - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:47 PM

        Not even close to the same thing. Apples and oranges, thus it makes zero sense. Prohibition was the banning of alcohol. Alcohol was something that was generally accepted by most in society. Steroids will never be generally accepted in society, or used as much as alcohol. Baseball is about history more then any sport. Thus steroids help shatter records that stood for decades. I do think greenies or other uppers may help you be your most alert, which would increase your numbers over a season. But if I had to pick one over the other in a contract season I’m juicing. The results are mind blowing and to act like there not isn’t being honest.

      • Old Gator - Dec 29, 2011 at 12:01 AM

        When Bonds becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame
        He’ll get called asshole.
        That never happened to
        Pablo Picasso…..

        (with apologies to Jonathan Richman)

  5. nightrain42 - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    Good point. I agree.

  6. JBerardi - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Oh, sportswriters want to apply a different standard to their childhood icons than to the guys who broke the records of their childhood icons? You don’t say.

  7. rjostewart - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    And I suppose all the writers who cite the “illegal in US” argument will not be voting for Tony LaRussa when his time comes?

    • JBerardi - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      I thought we all agreed that Tony LaRussa’s questionable record with regard to alcohol abuse was to be thrown down the memory hole in accordance with his officially BBWAA sanctioned status as a and a Smart Guy Good Guy.

  8. kellyb9 - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    I’ll admit ignorance on this one… so I decided to go to the quickest source available (Wikipedia) “Amphetamine use has historically been especially common among Major League Baseball players and is usually known by the slang term “greenies”.[64] In 2006, the MLB banned the use of amphetamine.” How can you retroactively apply a ban on the hall of fame for something that wasn’t against the rules when Aaron was playing?

    • clydeserra - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      Which is the point. How can you ban Steroid users before the ban?

    • kopy - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:59 AM


      Steroids weren’t against the rules when McGwire and Bonds are suspected to have been juicing, but they are being shunned because steroids are/were against the law. The double standard is that taking a drug (greenies) without a prescription for recreational purposes is/was also illegal.

      • theolgoaler - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:09 AM

        Is it “recreational purposes” when you’re taking “greenies” for your job of playing baseball? Just askin’…

      • kopy - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:15 AM

        I’m not an expert, but for all intents and purposes, yes. It would be the same as a banker taking Adarall to stay at his desk and focus on his work longer. If you don’t have a prescription, it’s illegal.

    • istillbelieveinblue - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:01 AM

      If Greenies were illegal, they are then implicitly against the rules of baseball. Period. MLB shouldn’t have to comb through all the laws in the US and Canada and explicitly add each law to the rule book.

      • JBerardi - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:10 AM

        Alright, well I’ll break the news to the Ruth family, then… Alcohol, as an illegal substance, was implicitly against the rules of baseball, right? So his law-breaking ass is gone.

      • kellyb9 - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:28 AM

        Repectfully disagree – I assume there are places in the world where these drugs are not illegal… to circumvent your logic, what if player traveled to such a place and took said drug? He’s benefitting from the performance enhancing effects of the drug and not breaking US or Canadian law. This is on MLB. They knew that players were using these drugs and should have banned them when all this was happening… now, I’m sorry to say that they don’t have a leg to stand on.

      • clydeserra - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

        Assault is illegal in all 50 states and at least 10 provinces(never know what newfies are up to).

        Do we ban Nolan Ryan for the NOogies appled to Robin Ventura? Juan Marichal? Ty Cobb?

    • cur68 - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:15 AM

      …and off course doctoring the ball has always been against the rules. Plenty of admitted ball doctorers are in the HOF. Is anyone seriously going to deny Smoltz his place because Leo Mazzoni outed Smoltz’s use of pine tar?

      The BBWAA seem to have variable standards being arbitrarily applied to drugs but no standards when it comes to stuff which is actually a clear violation of the rules. They haven’t a leg to stand on but they still manage to jump up and down pretty effectively when it comes to steroids.

    • hammyofdoom - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:43 AM

      I see your point, but all it takes is a skimming of a James Elroy novel to understand that “greenies” have been illegal in the US since the 40s at least, and isn’t it kind of rediculous to say that something is illegal in baseball when it is already illegal to take anywhere else in the US?

      • kellyb9 - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:13 AM

        The point is that there are tons of things that are illegal in the US that have nothing to do with baseball. And there are players in the hall of fame that have likely served jail time for a number of those things, If that is truely baseball’s position, then the hall of fame should be a lot smaller. To be completely honest, I’m fine with that, but at least have some consistancy.

  9. theolgoaler - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Uh… what about corked bats and/or the spitter/scuffball pitchers? (Yes, Virginia, Gaylord Perry is in the Hall of Fame, but they don’t have his Vaseline jar on display…)

  10. Jonny 5 - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    I don’t know how many times scientists and doctors have been ignored when proving time and again that nobody is really better at anything, besides staying awake while taking amphetamines, or cocaine. There’s actually a new tv special on this right now. And as far as alcohol goes we know from personal experience it doesn’t make us much of anything but numb and bad decision makers. These things don’t make people stronger and faster like PED’s. I too don’t think people should be excluded from the HOF for taking PED’s in the “steroid era”. But I won’t go as far as pretending that greenies, coke, and alcohol are on the same level as PED’s. They aren’t.
    The only way this argument works at all is it’s for legality issues which the author does. But reading some comments above actually makes me snicker because they just don’t have realistic views on the matter.

    • istillbelieveinblue - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:25 AM

      If greenies don’t enhance performance, why did players gobble them by the handful in the locker room before games? Stimulants absolutely help performance, especially with the brutal schedule of baseball. You don’t think a guy will be better after chugging a Red Bull before the back side of a day -game-after-a-night-game?

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:43 AM

        If HGH and steroids don’t improve performance then why do they get gobbled up until testing began? If praying to god was never proven to work why do millions upon millions of Americans do that as well?

        I think the answer is this. If people think it works, they will do it. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t?
        Amphetamines are physically and mentally addictive, so after becoming addicted, which can happen after using for a couple of weeks straight, maybe taking them actually helped, but not for the same reasons as intended, but to fight withdraw effects. As far as red bull goes? Caffeine is addictive too. Think about it next time you “need” one, or coffee for that matter.

      • nukeladouche - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:03 AM

        What about the placebo effect (kind of jonny5’s point, I think)? Maybe, clinically speaking, greenies and coke didn’t help players (though I tend to think they probably did). I knew a guy in HS who did coke before some basketball games – he *thought* it made him a better player and so maybe that made him play harder, or more aggressively, which did in fact *make* him a better player. Perhaps the same can be said for greenies. For example, stealing bases is about a lot of things – pure speed, a good jump, reading a pitchers’ windup, etc. It’s also about less tangible things like confidence – maybe a bit of cocky arrogance – that encourages you to take that chance. Being wired on greenies or coke might add to that cocky feeling of invincibility – or just make you *believe* that you can steal that base. . . and thus result in better performance (of course, you still need to have pure speed, a good jump, etc. No amount of coke is going to make Ryan Howard run like Carl Lewis). . . . As someone pointed out above re: closers drinking 10 cups of coffee before the 9th inning. . . that wired, jumpy “I can beat the world” attitude might help certain players in certain situations. Both clinically (i.e., physically) and, perhaps just as importantly, mentally.

    • cur68 - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

      J5: experimentally the actions of steroids on performance, especially baseball performance, isn’t a lock. There does seem to be a measurable change in healing time with a combination of HGH, various steroids and other stuff (like insulin) but that remains to be conclusively proved. Many of the effects seem to be highly variable depending on the subject’s body’s reaction to whatever they are being given. Its not like upgrading the handling on a car (more’s the pity) with new brakes and suspension, which always produces a change for the betterment of the car. Some people might get a great reaction and turn into a monster, others, not so much. Baseball is littered with the failed careers of the “not so much” crowd: the dope made no difference to their ability and may have altered their health to their detriment. So in fact, the argument could be made with some success that steroids are nearly exactly like greenies, coke and booze.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:49 AM

        I’m afraid that argument would hold much less water than a dixie cup though Cur. So what you’re saying is that it’s an even bigger benefit for only “some” ball players. So because mostly everyone was taking them at the time, only some people got the maximum benefit. Guys like Sosa, Bonds , and Mcguire. That kind of fuels the whole “keep them out” crowd if true. I mean it’s obvious that stronger men can put more balls into the bleachers. We know it doesn’t improve hand to eye coordination, but a child could tell you if they were a bit stronger they can hit the ball a bit further.

      • clydeserra - Dec 28, 2011 at 12:52 PM

        J5: that’s why I will never vote for Alex Sanchez or FP Santangelo

      • sasquash20 - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:53 PM

        That is the single dumbest thing ever written/typed down before.

    • Ben - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:43 AM

      “You have no idea what the Tour de France is,” Henri said. “It’s a Calvary. Worse than that, because the road to the Cross has only 14 stations and ours has 15. We suffer from the start to the end. You want to know how we keep going? Here…” He pulled a phial from his bag. “That’s cocaine, for our eyes. This is chloroform, for our gums.”
      “This,” Ville said, emptying his shoulder bag “is liniment to put warmth back into our knees.”
      “And pills. Do you want to see pills? Have a look, here are the pills.” Each pulled out three boxes.
      “The truth is,” Francis said, “that we keep going on dynamite.”

      The greenies weren’t to help you hit the ball harder–it’s to keep you going during the grind that is the baseball season. Similarly, cyclists were chowing down on them just to keep in the saddle and on their bike.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:53 AM

        What will ball players ever do now that they can’t have their greenies??? Oh wait. They’re still doing it without them. And have been for some time now. They never needed them.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

        They are getting Therapeutic Use Exemptions and getting prescribed Adarall for the record number of AD(H)D patients, i mean players, in MLB.

  11. jonirocit - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Greenies were and are cheating just as much as cheating . They give you energy and speed to react as well as adrenaline for strength. Old guys deal with it your generation was just as dirty as ours and the more you guys hide in your glass houses and throw stones more time others r going to take time to find a boulder to take your house out in one shot

  12. Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Why don’t we just shut the fucking hall of fame down and be done with all this insoluble gibbering?

    • Jonny 5 - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:05 AM

      Or we could just call it the “Great American Baseball Museum” And stop letting self righteous journalists who thrive on controversy for popularity reasons, and job security, control who gets in and who doesn’t. It’s more about page clicks now than it is about common sense. Or the fans for that matter.

  13. hammyofdoom - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    How in the hell did I overlook drinking in the 20s? For a long time I have made the arguement in my own head about the greenies and coke not being an issue when it came to greats from the past, and I can’t believe I never thought of how alcohol was illegal in the 20s and we have all heard stories of hall of famers drinking in that era. Players have always cheated, the most infamous ball doctorer is in the hall of fame for cryin’ out loud. Not only that, but the character clause is a joke: when you have a guy in the hall of fame who would beat/stab black people for the hell of it, you can’t even begin to argue for a character clause.

  14. tuftsb - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    I have asked many of the players of my era if they would take any illegal substance if it lengthened their career and could shorten their lives by a few years. Most of these players are very religious and “moral” – all said “yes”.

    Should Broadway ban a revival of “Damn Yankees”? What did Joe Hardy take to raise his performance?

  15. yahmule - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Why all the half stepping, Davidoff? Why not just accuse Aaron of using steroids? We know for a fact that steroids were being used in sports during the 70’s (the Pittsburgh Steelers entire offensive line for example) and Aaron had a late career power burst, so the idea isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

    Greenies, what a joke. You can buy speed legally in this country in those stupid energy drinks. The same old drug repackaged for the new generation.

    • clydeserra - Dec 28, 2011 at 12:56 PM

      If you point is that more players than expected are ADD sufferers, point taken.

      But, Aaron’s career was over in the 70s.

      • yahmule - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:46 PM

        Except for the 211 home runs he hit in that decade.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:32 PM

      I used to chug coffee/Red Bull by the quart. This year, I began taking a low-medium dosage of Vyvanse (an amphetamine) for ADHD. I’m more alert for longer periods of time on 40 mils a day of that stuff than I was drinking a half a gallon of coffee. That you would equate the two things is a pretty good indicator that you haven’t got a clue as to what the fuck you’re talking about.

      Oh, and those aren’t accusations. Aaron’s admitted to taking greenies.

      • yahmule - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:44 PM

        The ADHD is the least of your problems. You’re grievously stupid as well.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 28, 2011 at 4:15 PM

        What, because I gave you first-hand knowledge that not all stimulants are created equal, and it hurt your little feelings that someone told you that you were wrong? Hey, I’m wrong here plenty of times, and people certainly let me know when it happens, but I absolutely know what I’m talking about on this subject, and the idea that greenies = coffee or energies drinks is supremely uninformed.

      • yahmule - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:02 PM

        As is the assertion that steroids are comparable to pep pills, but you applaud that poor comparison, right?

        Nah, Davidoff and Craig and the other Bonds apologists are totally correct. Baseball was way better when guys had absurd career years @ 39 and half a dozen shortstops were banging 35+ HR a season.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:41 PM

        No, I don’t, actually – amphetamines have had a more measurable effect on performance than steroids have. Seriously, while the most evidence anybody has ever provided for the impact of steroids on baseball is “But teh homerz!” there is actually significant research out there indicating they actually have had minimal effect on offense. Try starting at

        Actually, baseball wasn’t way better when half a dozen shortstops were banging 35+ homers a season, because that never happened. In fact, only twice did even two shortstops hit at least 35 homers in a season, and A-Rod is the only post-strike shortstop to do it more than once. But hey, wild exaggeration never hurt anybody’s point, right?

        I guess baseball was awful in 1971, when Hank Aaron had his career year at the tender age of 37, right? Or when he had a personal top-five season two years later, at age 39? Players have always had anomalous spikes at times we wouldn’t expect them. Obviously, those recent ones came under greater scrutiny because of the flagellation applied to the steroid era, but does it make sense to simply chalk all of those up to steroids when we know that tighter balls, tighter walls and tighter strike zones were all having noticeable effects on offense as well? And I don’t know about you, but I actually think it’s awesome when somebody who by all rights should be done puts together an incredible season late in his career. Randomness makes things more exciting.

      • yahmule - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:09 PM

        It’s mind boggling that guys like you still exist. When did you finally admit Bonds was dirty, last year?

      • Kevin S. - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:16 PM

        I’d like to say it’s mind-boggling that guys like you exist who ignore the studies showing that the impact of steroids on baseball performance ranges from unknown to negligible and the impact of expansion, small parks, tight balls and small strike zones on offense (these four facts fit the offensive spike better than the “Steroid Era” does), but sadly I realize that a sizable number of baseball fans have the emotional range of a five y.o.

        As for Bonds, yeah, he used, and I’ve had no problems presuming that for quite some time. What I still refuse to acknowledge is that his usage makes him any dirtier than any other cheater in baseball’s history, including the many cheaters currently in the HOF.

  16. garion14 - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    I would think that the statistics for players in the “Steroids” era show a correlation of greater offensive output in individual seasons along with prolonged careers versus the stats from the “Greenies” era or any other. This is why I personally feel that it is okay with the voters to at least be skeptical when viewing some of the upcoming candidates, but still expect them to vote in deserving players.

    In Aaron’s biography “I had a Hammer”, he admits to using the greenies, but makes it sound as if it was not very often and he did not rely on them. He was certainly not the only Hall of Famer to use them, and if you started with Aaron several other legendary players would have to be removed. I understand why the author used Aaron’s name (helps draw more attention to his point by using the shock value), but to start removing names from Cooperstown would be a huge mistake and as a result would only hurt the Hall of Fame and baseball in the end.

  17. tuftsb - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    from a teammate of Aaron…

    “(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. He and his teammates laughed and rationalized losses by saying, “We didn’t get beat, we got out-milligrammed. And when you found out what they were taking, you started taking them.”

    “I pretty much popped everything cold turkey,” House said in a phone interview. “We were doing steroids they wouldn’t give to horses. That was the ’60s..”

    • clydeserra - Dec 28, 2011 at 12:57 PM


  18. mojosmagic - Dec 28, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Because it’s not the same thing moron. Davidof you should be banned from writing for drinking to much coffee.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 28, 2011 at 4:35 PM

      …moron…to much coffee.


      • Kevin S. - Dec 28, 2011 at 4:38 PM

        Don’t you love irony?

  19. dluxxx - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    There were plenty of pitchers using steroids as well, so if both the hitter and the pitcher are roiding, then what’s the effin difference? Seriously… There weren’t rules against it, and both sides were using them. Seems pretty cut and dried to me. Maybe I’m oversimplifying it…

  20. mpw2133 - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    I have been making this point for years now, when you look at all the facts any substance that allows you to gain energy and back on the field of play when your hurt sore or indifferent is a PED. and thats not just me saying it that by definition. All these writers are a bunch of hypocrits.

  21. drugrehabnewyork - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    Speaking of the juice, I watched the Miami Heat last night and couldn’t help but notice the size of Dwyane Wade’s head seems to have grown, as well as pretty much ALL of Chris Bosh. Did a little research, and saw this, starting to think it’s credible:

  22. bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    Steroids were first invented right around the time that Aaron’s HR numbers jumped dramatically. Who’s to say that his “greenies” weren’t really first-generation steroids?

  23. sfm073 - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    I personally don’t think ped users should be banned from the HOF. But comparing peds to greenies is kind of silly. Steroids physically alters your body and strength. Greenies just help give guys a little boost for the games. Just completely different to me.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:20 PM

      Again, saying that greenies just help give guys a little boost for the games A) completely underscores the effect greenies have on the human body, and B) underscores the importance of getting into games and being alert during them.

      Steroids allow you to work out harder, certainly, but the body and strength alteration are almost predominantly in the upper body (I think it’s something like 80/20 in that regard). Both home-run and pitching power is generated in the legs. Just because guys look bigger doesn’t mean they can necessarily hit the ball farther.

  24. lostsok - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    This articles seems superficial and tossed-off. C’mon, don’t waste our time. If you have a point, take some time and make it. Lazy writing…

  25. jbrashguitarist - Dec 29, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    I’ve often wondered about the legitimacy of keeping someone from the hall for steroids. Think of this for a minute: Not ONLY do we have reason to believe the “greats” like Hank Aaron did in fact take amphetamines, but we know that the game was different for them. Babe Ruth hit over HALF of his home runs in his career AFTER the 7th inning. In the game in today’s world he would’ve been hitting on a reliever or worst case a closer. That closer wouldn’t have been a white guy it would be Mariano freaking Rivera.

    Not only that… Babe Ruth was a known Coca Cola drinker – he supposedly drank Coca Cola throughout games. At the time he did so Coca Cola featured REAL coke – and I don’t mean soda. Would that have given him a jolt? What if Albert Pujols takes a shot of Coke on a tired starter in the 8th inning every game?

    I’m not saying cheaters should be rewarded – but I AM saying the game was different when they were juicing, and if everyone was doing it – oh well. It’s an era – just like the era of all whites was an era.

    • bozosforall - Dec 29, 2011 at 8:14 PM

      Wrong. Coca Cola took out the caffeine in 1903, when Babe Ruth was really still a “babe” (8 years old). So much for your idiotic claim.

      And Babe Ruth did plenty of barnstorming, hitting against black pitching, and doing quite well, so the stupid claims of how he benefitted from there not being black pitchers in the majors is vastly overblown.

      • jbrashguitarist - Dec 30, 2011 at 10:32 AM

        Fair rebuttal – however how would you then rebut the point of no relief pitchers and no closers at the time he played ball? Compare complete games of today’s leading pitchers to then (Cy Young had 749) to today’s pitchers which it’s a monumental achievement for them to get 5 or 6 a year. He DID hit most of his home runs on starting pitchers late in games… that is fact. So with that in mind he wouldn’t be facing those pitchers in today’s game thus proving the game is harder today than it was then. Ultimate point: It was a different game when they roided and to compare the today’s players to the era of those guys is a bit needing an asterisk with or WITHOUT steroids.

      • jbrashguitarist - Dec 30, 2011 at 10:33 AM

        Also I was referring to Coca Cola using actual cocaine not caffeine. will show it had cocaine in it until 1929.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Wright (2612)
  2. G. Stanton (2458)
  3. D. Span (2419)
  4. Y. Puig (2372)
  5. J. Fernandez (2303)
  1. B. Crawford (2271)
  2. G. Springer (2208)
  3. M. Teixeira (2134)
  4. J. Hamilton (2077)
  5. H. Pence (1944)