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So what should you do if you suspect a Hall of Fame candidate did steroids?

Jan 3, 2012, 3:31 PM EDT

Jeff Bagwell

This morning I opined about the voters who leave Jeff Bagwell off their ballots because they suspect he did steroids. In the piece I explained what I took to be the thought process of such voters: either they know nothing about his PED use but merely have a hunch or else they know something but can’t publish it because it wouldn’t pass editorial muster.

My conclusion — as I’ve said many times before — was that such a state of affairs is an illegitimate means upon which to base one’s Hall vote.  Put up or shut up, you know.  My friend Rob Neyer — after dropping the winning phrase “Calcaterrian whatfor and whatnot” — took issue:

I wonder if Craig’s legal background isn’t tripping him up here, just a bit. He’s saying, I think, one of two things (or perhaps both):

1. A voter who hinges his decision about a particular player on the use of PEDs should consider only documented evidence; there’s no room for hearsay, or statistical oddities, or visual impressions;

2. If a voter does have some worthwhile evidence, he’s not allowed to write about the voting decision unless he’s also willing to discuss that evidence.

While I believe Bagwell should be in the Hall of Fame, I’ve never quite understood the argument that a Hall of Fame voter — if he thinks steroid use is germane — should ignore every scrap of evidence that doesn’t appear in the Mitchell Report or wherever.

I’ll grant that a voter can’t just ignore the hearsay.  And to be clear: I know there’s hearsay out there.  Last winter I spoke to a writer who, while not a Hall of Fame voter, covered baseball during Bagwell’s prime.  He said that there is a lot of stuff floating around about Bagwell out there. People talk. No one ever says they saw Bagwell using anything first hand, but lots of people know someone who says they did. Or knew some guy whose brother did. That kind of thing. I think such evidence should be ignored and I would ignore it myself, but not everyone agrees and, no, you can’t un-hear that.

But I do think it is incumbent upon those who do consider that kind of evidence germane to say so if they write about their votes or else simply not write about it.  Why? Because when they go from merely whispering about it among friends to executing one of the duties of their profession based on that evidence they are necessarily making an accusation. A far less factually-based accusation than those they’ve excoriated others for making in the past.

They may not believe they are, but they are. Read any writer who makes a point to ding Bagwell because of “uncertainties” and tell me that they’re not making him a steroid suspect.  And not just because he was a power hitter of his era, because they’re not giving the same treatment to many other players.

I agree with Rob that voters will consider such things. But if they do so, they cannot ignore the fact that the single biggest question among members of the media and the public with respect to the steroids era is who was doing it and who wasn’t. And via their public, defacto accusations that Bagwell used PEDs, they’re putting him in a group of people who have been, rightly or wrongly, rendered pariahs. I think doing so requires more than that hearsay we’re discussing.

I’ll grant that about 95% of my rhetoric on this topic is about how people should not vote such a way for such and such a reason.  But in light of Rob’s piece, I have to admit that what bothers me about it is less the vote itself and more about what the vote means.  It means being assumed to be guilty.  And sorry, my legal background does trip me up when it comes to that sort of thing, even if the Hall of Fame is not a court of law.

  1. cur68 - Jan 3, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    And the ball is now in Nyer’s court on that Calcaterra backhand, down the line dart, of the Nyer slice serve…

    • pjmarn6 - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      NO ONE should be inducted into the HOF unless they can prove they didn’t use enhancement drugs.

      • cur68 - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:14 PM


        Just having your utterly ridiculous, lack of thought comment linked as a reply to mine is enough to taint me with it.

        How the HELL can anyone prove something like that? Mother Teresa couldn’t prove that. YOU couldn’t prove that!

        Show me the test Bagwell failed or cite some actual evidence. Show your work. I’ll wait.

      • evanhartford - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:04 AM

        Craig, I’ve said this all along, except that I’m not nearly as well spoken as Rob Neyer. Your legal background is snaking its way into a process that has absolutely nothing to do with our legal system.

        The HOF voting process is a microcosm of the All Star vote. Its skewed by all sorts of things. How “popular” was the player? How entertaining was he to watch (aka how many homeruns did he hit or world championships did win)? Did he say all the right things? Did he bring his kids out and hug them when he passed a milestone? Did he play in a large market and did he have name recognition?

        I’m just using a few examples, I’m not attempting to cover the whole process and I know most sports writers probably have certain stat quotas that must be met to even consider a certain player for the HOF. Regardless, people vote for other people based on all sorts of stuff that might have nothing to do with baseball or politics or whatever. It has always been this way and it will ALWAYS be this way.

        To use a legal analogy its no different than a judge giving two guys entirely different sentences for the same crime based on the appearance and demeanor of one individual versus the other. If voting didn’t involve discretion, it wouldn’t be voting.

        And please stop bringing old timers into this discussion. There is no doubt that cheaters, liars, thieves and probably murderers are in the HOF. However, the process was different back then. Steroids may have been a problem but the public (and subsequently) the writers didn’t care or didn’t know. The times are different. Most people actually care. If the vast majority of people wanted Barry Bonds in the HOF, he’d be in. The fact of the matter is, they don’t. What was once ignored, is now taboo, that’s life. Way back when, it wasn’t a crime to drink and drive, and yet you are arguing that was should chase down all those drunk drivers from prior to 1970 and arrest them. Heck, if you’re going to apply today’s “juicing” HOF standards to generations past, why not compare the numbers too? Lets not stop with the guys that cheated, lets kick out all the guys that wouldn’t get in today with their paltry numbers from yesteryear!

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 4, 2012 at 10:41 AM

        “Steroids may have been a problem but the public (and subsequently) the writers didn’t care or didn’t know.

        You could add the players to your list above, and that is where the problem lies. Many PED users probably didn’t consider their actions cheating. They were doing what was expected of them, and everyone celebrated it.

        Now the standards have changed, and many people want to blame these guys for the same actions that were being celebrated at the time. And by the same people.

        Is it possible to see a side by side of the MVP ballots and HoF ballots for some of these sportswriters from say 1988 through the present? I would like to see how many writers voted for McGwire’s MVP and now say they will not vote for him because he is a cheater.

      • evanhartford - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:08 AM


        You’re also talking about 13 years ago. That’s an eternity in any sport. A LOT has changed since then. People were still smoking in NYC restaurants back then and you didn’t have to take your shoes off when you got on a flight. Just because the times and perceptions have changed doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone that voted McGwire MVP was a hypocrite. If there is one thing that everyone hates, its being fooled. I think a lot of people felt like they were taken for a ride (myself included). Its like the collective baseball world suddenly found out that Santa Claus didn’t exist, except the people that were lying weren’t loving parents nurturing our imagination but businessmen making tons of money off our ignorance.

        As I’ve said numerous times, McGwire has had more of an oppportunity than anyone to admit his steroid use, denounce steroids and ask the public for forgiveness. He has done none of those things, choosing instead to avoid the topic and hide from the public. He’s acted like a coward after having been hailed as a hero. He had no problem doing interviews when everyone adored him and now he can’t even say a few words without looking disingenious and uncertain.

      • pjmarn6 - Jan 4, 2012 at 7:34 PM

        cur68 Ridiculous? Who didn’t cheat, can you answer that? I really don’t give a shit about the HOF. But a lot of people do. I read a very interesting analysis of Aaron’s career and his statistics. Perhaps you should too. His ab.homerun average soared in his later years. Please explain how that happened?
        When you have a cancer you cut out a lot of healthy tissue too as you want to get all the cancerous cells that might start up the cancer again.
        Now answer me how many players ratted on the drug using players? Should they have of course but then they would be outcasts and the managers owners wouldn’t keep them on a team or bid for them or use them. So it was a joint conspiracy. Now you have the fall out a rotten destroyed HOF. And you want to blame the messenger. What a fool.

      • cur68 - Jan 4, 2012 at 8:17 PM

        What you have is simple guilt by association. There are murders in your family. Simple law of averages says so. Therefore, you sir, are also a murderer. Now, how would you like that statement taken seriously?

        You cannot ask for post facto proof of a negative. Its impossible. Prove that you didn’t do steroids 15 years ago. You can’t.

        Steroids have been around since the 30’s. Simply associating the presence of the drug with power hitting DOES NOT IMPLY USE. Otherwise, Ted Williams has a lot to answer for.

        Next time you plan to launch a ridiculous argument like this, append it to someone else’s comment, you dolt. Your stupid is getting on my suit.

    • pjmarn6 - Jan 4, 2012 at 7:28 PM

      Craig Calcaterra is trying to protect himself and his livelihood. Of course he wants drugged players into the HOF that is news. No players into the HOF is no news. And whispers are as good as facts as the player is never going to come out and say he cheated.
      The HOF is dead. No asterisk is going to change any statistic or clean any name. No statistic is ever going to be accepted that happened in the last 50 years.
      Craig Calcaterra writes a lot and says nothing. He offers no solutions to the mess and millions of fans have been lied to and billions of dollars have been paid to cheaters and have increased the wealth of the owners that winked at the cheating. I have never heard an own yelling and screaming about the cheating.
      Now Torre one of the biggest winkers wants to get in as an owner of the Dodgers. He winked for how many years with the Yankees? He should be banned from baseball. Judge Landis banned a lot of blacksox players on whispers. We need an new Judge Landis to clean out baseball.

      • pjmarn6 - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        cur68 You are aware that if you witness a crime and do not come forward, you can be charged with obstruction of justice? You are also aware that if you are with a person who does a criminal act and do not report it you can be charged as an accessory.

        There are a lot of “clean” baseball players who can be charged with obstruction of justice and a lot who can be charged with being an accessory before, during and after the fact.
        However as using performing enhancing drugs was not a criminal act and probably was allowed by baseball even though it spoiled and soiled the game for all time, “clean” players never came forward and complained. They took their checks to the bank and maintained the wall of silence.
        Some character building game, baseball is.

  2. sasquash20 - Jan 3, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Not vote for him, and keep the integrity of the game from dropping even lower then the juice heads already made it.

  3. baseballisboring - Jan 3, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    I think there’s a huge difference between hearing from someone directly involved in baseball that Bagwell used steroids, and just assuming he did because he hit a lot of home runs and played with/against some guys who used them. It’s definitely a fair point that maybe it’s not fair to expect everyone who doesn’t vote for Bags based on steroids to have to have concrete proof, because obviously a lot of guys didn’t get caught and there is no proof about them. Still, I’d really like it if those people who have heard whispers about Bagwell were a little more direct about it, instead of just babbling cryptic shit on their websites. If you’ve heard, from inside sources that you have some amount of trust in, that Bagwell definitely used steroids and you consider that to be an offense worth keeping someone out of the HoF for, fine. But be honest about it. I fear that at least 90% of the people who won’t vote for him based on steroids stuff don’t even have THAT much to lean on, it’s all narrative, and the fact that he was kinda big. It’s a complicated issue, so if it were me I’d uncomplicate it and say fuck it, let ’em all in. Steroids were rampant, blah blah blah, let in the guys who have the numbers and view them within the context of the era.

  4. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 3, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    You remember that few players have had 100% clean careers, and if a player has been suspected with nothing, and you can accuse him of nothing, then you’re branding him for nothing.

    The HOF is a museum; sure, it’s for the best of the best to be inducted, but it’s also a history museum. If racists like Cobb, drunks like Ruth and greenie-takers like Aaron can be inducted, so can steroid users.

    While I understand those who have been legitimately caught using PED’s are questionable to be inducted, they should not at all be banned, either. They’re a part of history, and many ended up being the best of their time.

    • baseballisboring - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      Right. Racists like Cobb, drunks like Ruth, cocaine users like probably everyone in the 80’s…surely there are plenty of guys in the HoF with DUI’s to their name, statistically speaking there are probably even a few wife beaters in the HoF given how many people are in it…granted we don’t know all of that, but let’s be honest about what the “character clause” really is. It has nothing to do with a player’s character as a human. It only applies to the things they did on the field that personally offended a particular writer, like taking the *magic* and innocence out of the game (that was never there) by using steroids. It’s less about character and more about being vindictive. There’s always a tinge of anger/emotion in anti-steroid users for the HoF arguments, and it shouldn’t be an emotional decision, but a cold, clinical one.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      I am with you 100% Matt. The thing that bothers me more than anything else is the fact these players (along with Cobb, Aaron, etc…) broke NO MLB rules. Therefore, what exactly are they being punished for. Granted…there should have been rules. But again…there weren’t.
      So again…what are they being punished for?
      Include an asterisk and call it the steroid era so we can all move on.
      Otherwise, everytime I see one of these articles I will want nothing more than to kick a BBWAA Member in the nut sack.

      • baseballisboring - Jan 3, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        You’re right, but fuck the asterisk. Just use uhhhh, a mental asterisk. It’s not like we could ever forget about this steroids shit at this point, given the debate about it that’s already happened and is bound to continue for at least the next ten years or so.

    • pjmarn6 - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:38 PM

      @WhenMattStairsIsKing – I can see you are a man of character. Call it what it is not the hall of fame but the hall of shame.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    To take it one step further, many of these guys who are thought of as PED users never admitted it, and we have hear-say and some pretty weak evidence in places like the Mitchell Report as the only smoking guns. So it is still “Innocent until alleged guilty” in their cases. Is the mere public accusation enough to change the position of guys like Craig and others who support his arguments?

    Clemens still vehemently denies PED use. He was not proven guilty by anyone. The evidence against him comes from a rather shady personal trainer and lots of late-career-resurgence speculation. We all think that we KNOW he is guilty, but is that any different than what some members of the press are doing to Bagwell?

    • pjmarn6 - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:40 PM

      How many cops are going to admit they gave other cops a break on parking and speeding tickets and bringing them in on domestic violence disputes? The ones who were clean didn’t denounce the cheaters. That makes them equally guilty.

      See how baseball builds character and honesty?

  6. butchhuskey - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    I find it funny how the only reason I’ve seen for Bagwell being linked with steroids is that he was a power hitter during the 90’s yet guys like Fred McGriff aren’t labeled the same way. Another problem I have with the BBAA is that they not only try to base all their decisions on some kind of superior moral standard (like punishing Alomar for spitting at Hirshbeck), but they are inconsistent with that very standard. For example, if character is so important why does a virulent racist like Ty Cobb have a place in the Hall? If cheating is so frowned upon, then why does a ball scuffer like Gaylord Perry never get admonished? Plus these writers are so in love with their own stereotypical views of what a steroid player is and looks like that they start to believe their own baseless speculation. For a long time everyone claimed that A-Rod was completely clean, and I don’t think anyone would have expected someone like Neifi Perez would be caught with PEDs. The truth is that it is impossible for anyone to know exactly who did what and for how long during the steroid era, and even if that were the case what perspective would we use to view the stats that were produced during these years? In my opinion, hall voters should simply vote for the best players of the era and acknowledge that steroids were a large part of the game during those years. I am not advocating the use of any kind of drugs, but it would be naive to ignore the fact that there will always be players who try to cheat the system. I hope Bagwell does make it into the Hall, but it looks like an upward climb at the moment.

  7. thefalcon123 - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    -A lot of big guys in the 1990s hit home runs
    -A lot of those guys did steroids
    -Jeff Bagwell was a big guy in the 1990s
    -Therefore, Jeff Bagwell did steroids.

    That’s it. That’s their whole argument. If you are keeping someone out of the HOF for keeping the same vague company, then you deserve every bit of criticism you get. I like Neyer a lot, but he is indirectly supporting this nonsense with his column. Bagwell could every well have done steroids, but the only evidence is that he was big and hit home runs. That’s bullshit. Either you have something substantive or your putting Bagwell through a ringer he can’t possibly get out of.

    Another poster on another board brought up an great point about Roberto Alomar. He saw his average home run total double in the middle of his career and posted a middle-of-the-order esque .956 OPS at age 33, his career high. That’s just as much evidence for steroid use as there is for Bagwell (which is none at all). Where were the holier than thou gatekeepers on that one? You’d think from the Mitchell Report they would have learned that not all ‘roid users looked like Sammy Sosa. Instead, they engage in this “he was big, keep him out” bullshit that’s turning the annual HOF celebrations into a sad joke.

    • butchhuskey - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      It’s a lot like what Stephen Colbert once said about Wikipedia- if enough people accept something as fact then others end up viewing it as fact as well. The problem is there is no evidence to these claims and Bagwell is simply being found guilty based on pure conjecture.

    • cur68 - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:34 PM

      Know what I find annoying? How long it takes the reasonable people to make their point. Check it out: a troll can make a simple accusation based on 1 thought. Comme ci,:
      -“Jeff Bagwell was a big guy in the 1990s
      -Therefore, Jeff Bagwell did steroids”, right?

      But to refute this we have to use dozens and dozens of words and sweet reason to get across our point.

      So lets, I say, take a stab at refuting this from the same standpoint of the troll argument:
      Jeff Bagwell: 6′, 195 lbs (@Baseballref). Fangraghs 6′, 215 lbs (Baggy’s max). He gained 20 lbs in his 15 year career. Big friggin’ deal.

      Contrast, Sammy Sosa: 6′, 165 (@Baseballref)…boy he’s was skinny, eh? Now fangraghs : 6′, 225. Boy did HE change! 60 lbs!

      Bags was not, in any way shape or form, a “big guy” nor did he change that much in the course of his career given that he lifted weights a lot. You cannot make an argument that he was ‘steroid big”. He’s about the right size for a physically fit person who lifts weights.

    • bigharold - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      “Either you have something substantive or your putting Bagwell through a ringer he can’t possibly get out of.”

      Exactly. In fact every player of the last twenty years is in the same boat. It’s impossible to prove a negative in this instance. Either there is evidence against a player or there is not. If it’s the latter then what are we taking about?

      In my estimation this is one of the worst aspects of PEDs, .. nobody is above suspicion. There is no reason to think that guys like Jeter, Mo Rivera, Pujols or Griffey shouldn’t be considered dirty too if this is considered a legitimate reason to reject a HOF candidate.

  8. buffalomafia - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Enough about steroids? It is okay for players in the past to take greenies that were in dishes on a table like they were holiday M& M’s right?

  9. bigharold - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    The idea that a player who has never failed a PED test, never had anybody credible say they saw him or knew of him taking PEDs, a player where not a single shred of actual evidence has been forwarded, someone who never stated he took PEDs shouldn’t receive a vote because a voter has a gut feeling about it is rather nostalgic, … in a Joe McCarthy sort of way.

    Face it this was the steroids era. Rather than holding against somebody who might have taken steroids, .. assume EVERYBODY did. Then, compare his performance against his peers, the other players of that era, and grant him induction based on how he did against the other juicers. Sort of like what was done for all the players before baseball was desegregated. The white players were all granted access because it was assumed that they were the best players of their time, .. regardless of the obvious fax that black players weren’t allowed to compete.

    Either prove a player took PEDs, present EVIDENCE of some sort that he took PEDs or remove it as a criteria from consideration of said player altogether. Otherwise you might as well not vote for a single guy in the last 20 years because there is absolutely no reason to think just because a player wasn’t caught using he didn’t.

    • phillysoulfan - Jan 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      @bigharold it might be something as simple as Bagwell telling the beat writers “off the record” that he used them, which, when you think about it, underscores the BBWAA’s hypocrisy on this subject.

      • bigharold - Jan 3, 2012 at 7:21 PM

        I can’t believe that A) he’d tell that to a writer or B) that once he said that they kept his confidence.

        Without compelling evidence there is no reason to think that he used PEDs other than he played in that era and was successful. Well, that could be true of every star of that era that hasn’t failed a test, admitted that he took PEDs or had some other form of significant evidence presented.

        This, I think is less about hypocrisy tha it is about lazy journalism on the part of some voters. Or, a complete lack of logic..

      • phillysoulfan - Jan 4, 2012 at 10:00 AM

        @bigharold That’s actually the rumor with Mike Piazza. He told all the reporters “off the record” so none of them would print it. Please note emphasis on rumor. In my opinion this is so ridiculous, it has to be true.

  10. stlouis1baseball - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Come on!
    Beat it to death…beat it to death…beat it to death.
    I would do absolutely NOTHING because AGAIN…the players broke no MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.
    The players did NOT break any MLB rules.

    • vivabear - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:54 PM

      “The players did NOT break any MLB rules.”

      I hear this statement all the time and it’s annoying – since beginning with 1991, it cannot be true. Faye Vincent sent a memo to all MLB teams adding steroids to the banned substance list. Any player who tested positive would be subject to treatment and penalties. Obviously, this was very much ignored – but that doesn’t mean players weren’t breaking any rules by using substances classified by the FDA as steroids.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jan 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM

        Don’t know anything about that Bear. The first I have heard of it in fact. Vincent might have done so. If so…then why weren’t players tested for it? It is illegal…but not to the point of actually enforcining it? Makes no sense. And to further cloud your argument…you actually use the “FDA.” I don’t care about the FDA. Otherwise, Cocain users, DUI offenders, Wife beaters, etc… would be excluded.
        On second thought…for the sake of argument I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt. If so…then everyone PRIOR to 1991 is golden.
        Fair enough then?

    • phillysoulfan - Jan 3, 2012 at 5:23 PM

      Really? You need MLB to tell you you can’t use steroids? Last I checked, it was illegal in this country to be in possession of them. So whether baseball has a rule against them or not is completely irrelevant. they are illegal. Period. End of story.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jan 3, 2012 at 5:30 PM

        Soulfan: You are missing my point. I didn’t say they weren’t bad. Didn’t say they were good for you. Didn’t say they were legal in the sense of the law enformcement aspect of it.
        What I said was they broke no MLB rules. Using your argument…everyone who took amphetimines in the 60’s and 70’s, Cocaine in the 80’s and 90’s…all DUI offenders, all Wife beaters, all racists, etc… would NOT be voted in (or should be voted out).

      • vivabear - Jan 3, 2012 at 5:37 PM

        stlouis – the memo isn’t a secret, a quick internet search comes up with numerous articles mentioning this memo. I did see a pdf of the memo somewhere, but can’t recall the website.

        “why weren’t players tested for it?” Because it wasn’t in the collective bargaining agreement. Does that make sense to you?

        With so many substances out there, really the only was to categorize a steroid at that time was to use the list that the FDA had deemed illegal steroids.

        Yeah, everyone who used steroids before, and only before 1991 can be separted from those who used from 1991 onward. I guess those are the only guys in the discussion, so there’s not much point in doing so…is there?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:33 PM

        So whether baseball has a rule against them or not is completely irrelevant. they are illegal. Period. End of story.

        Amphetamines are illegal under those same drug laws, but no one was trying to prevent Hank Aaron and legions of other players out of the HoF. Alcohol was illegal during Prohibition, but no one tried doing the same with Babe Ruth. Cocaine has been illegal for decades, but no one held that against Paul Molitor.

        Consistency is all we’re asking.

    • jeffrp - Jan 4, 2012 at 4:46 PM

  11. phillysoulfan - Jan 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    The BBWAA really needs to get their priorities in order here. Let’s have a little straw poll here, What’s worse using steroids or molesting children?

  12. phillysoulfan - Jan 3, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    @stlouis1baseball No I got your point. It’s illegal to be in possession of them, like any other narcotic. To say they didn’t break any baseball rules is moronic at best. Your argument about cocaine and DUI is equally as moronic because those things did not aid in their performance on the field.

    • vivabear - Jan 3, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      another point to consider stlouis: I don’t thing being a racist alone is against any laws. So that doesn’t help your position much.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        Bear: But character is considered. Right? Position enhanced.

      • bozosforall - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:14 PM

        stlouis1baseball is referring to the “character clause” (which was brought up by a previous poster), idiots. Try reading the entire discourse next time, morons.

        So, yes…anyone who is found to have engaged in any behavior that violates the integrity of the game should be gone from the HOF. Aaron, Cobb, et al….GONE

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:13 PM

      “Moronic?” Wow. Tough to have civil discourse when you are insulting those you are discoursing with. The entire point was…were they illegal with regards to MLB.
      So let’s go back to “performance on the field.” Question: Did/do Greenies (Amphetimines) help?
      If so…those who took them should be kicked out.
      After all…they were “illegal” and certainly “aided” their performance.
      A great number of players will be included in this as teams doled them out like candy during the 60’s and 70’s. Additionally, Henry Aaron openly admits as much.
      Character is also something the hall considers.
      Does this mean all Wife beaters and racists should be tossed out?
      Back to character/law: Should all DUI offenders be tossed out and/or excluded?
      Cocaine is illegal: Should all those found to have taken Cocaine be tossed out and/or excluded?
      Yeah…you are really proving your point here Junior.

      • bozosforall - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:16 PM

        stlouis1baseball…nice analogies.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:20 PM

        Thanks for the backup Bozo. I was starting to think that maybe I was the only one actually reading these posts.

      • vivabear - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:25 PM

        yeah bozos…it’s pretty obvious stlouis was referring to the morals clause, but that doesn’t just make his inconsistencies go away.

      • jwbiii - Jan 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM

        “A great number of players will be included in this as teams doled them out like candy during the 60′s and 70′s.”

        Amphetamines became popular immediately after WWII.

      • stex52 - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:52 PM

        Stl, you are not totally alone in this. The more I see of the argument, the less I can defend the positions of these writers.

        Everyone likes to imagine the old times were filled with these larger-than-life heroes who did no wrong. The truth is messier, and we don’t want that, especially in our sports.

        Bagwell needs fair treatment.

    • vivabear - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:19 PM

      stlouis – yeah there’s a morals clause in the HOF voting. But you are trying to discuss two separate issues here. You said steroid users didn’t break any MLB rules so that can’t be held against them. I pointed out that was incorrect. You then say since steroid users didn’t break any rules, the HOF voters can’t hold it against them. If they do, the HOF needs to go back and remove all drunks, wife beaters, coke users, racists, etc. But then it’s pointed out there have never been any rules in the MLB against simply being a racist. This contradicts your first point that since no rules existed banning steroids, we shouldn’t hold it against anyone (even though your are not even right about this).

      Your position is very inconsistent.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:27 PM

        Bear: BINGO! You are the winner. Focus on that word….”inconsistent.”
        Inconsisten is prcisely what the BBWAA is as they relate to Hall of Fame voting.
        Character is considered.
        Yet…the number of unsavory characters in the HOF is too high to count.
        Illegal activity is considered.
        Yet…the number of player who were involved in illegal activis is too high to count. Performance Enhancing Drugs (and there use) are considered.
        Yet…the number of players who routinely took Amphetimines in the 60’s & 70’s are too high to count.
        I would counter that the position YOU are taking is very inconsistent.

      • vivabear - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:32 PM

        I’m not taking any position…a quick read of my comments reveals this. I was simply pointing out that you statement of “The players did NOT break any MLB rules” was incorrect. Then you responded to this by saying you had never heard of this (like that meant it wasn’t true). You asked why players weren’t tested after the 1991 memo, I said b/c it wasn’t in the collective bargaining agreement. To which you had no response.

        It’s not clear what you are trying to accomplish, because your rambling has no common theme.

      • bozosforall - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:07 AM

        What stlouis is saying is this, vivabear…either all or none. Pretty simple actually.

      • vivabear - Jan 5, 2012 at 3:20 PM

        bozos – it may be pretty simple, but he’s still inconsistent. stlouis is lumping together things that are apples and oranges. For instance: to my knowledge no MLB rules have ever prohibited DUI…players have been found guilty of DUI and never served a suspension. Anabolic steroids have been on baseball’s banned substances list since 1991, tested for since 2003. Testing positive can result in suspension.

        I guess I’m trying to point out to him statements he’s made aren’t true and his logic lacks consistency.

  13. robneyer - Jan 3, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    I think Craig might be slightly mischaracterizing the writers’ action when he writes that they are “making an accusation”.

    No, they are not. They are expressing a suspicion. However clumsily. I think that might be a distinction worth making.

    • phillysoulfan - Jan 3, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      @robneyer “They are expressing a suspicion” is making an accusation.

      • cur68 - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:25 PM

        Yup. Because, unlike us, the pess are not random commenters. If they express a suspicion without proof, its not like if some guy who named himself after hounds of uncertain pedigree does it. Its like if a cop says “I think that guy is a drug dealer. Looks like a drug dealer anyways” to an employer of said guy: that guy stands a very reasonable chance of no job. Bagwell stands a very reasonable chance of not receiving the HOF credit that he deserves. Just being in the HOF raises the price of Bagwell memorabilia (among other things). There’s a legitimate loss to Bagwell here.

  14. jwbiii - Jan 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    These are all fine responses. I’d still go with kill your father, marry your mother, and tear out your eyes.

  15. buffalomafia - Jan 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Listen to this stlouis baseball fan cry about steroids!

    You should be crying your Cards will never make the playoffs again!

    Playoffs? What playoffs? Lmao!

  16. cdrydie - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    I would not vote for Bagwell for the hall, i liked him as a player, but he was very good but not hall worthy.
    2314 hits not 3000, 449 homers – not 500 and during steroid era, 4x all star in 14 years. Not great defensively. The only argument that could be made for hall of fame induction would be that if he would not have been injured and had put up good numbers for another 6 years then he would have put up hall of fame numbers, 3000 hits 550 hrs or so.

    • phillyphreak - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:46 PM

      “2314 hits not 3000,”

      -You are aware that 3000 hits has only been done by <30 players right?

      "The only argument that could be made for hall of fame induction would be that if he would not have been injured and had put up good numbers for another 6 years"

      – Somehow, though, Bagwell was able to rank 40th in career leaders in OBP and 37th in bWAR.

      • cdrydie - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:52 PM

        and there are 138 players with more hits than him

      • phillyphreak - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:57 PM

        OBP > Hits

    • nategearhart - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:47 PM

      Since when do you HAVE to have 3000 hits or 500 home runs to get in the hall? (Quick aside – he was actually damn good defensively).
      Players in the hall with neither 3000 hits nor 500 home runs:
      Ryne Sandberg
      Duke Snider
      Ralph Kiner
      Lou Boudreau
      Larry Doby
      Andre Dawson
      I’m just pulling these names off the top of my head, too. Don’t even get me started on the King Kellys, Willie Keelers, Red Schoendiensts, and Jim Rices….

      • bozosforall - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:05 AM

        Please do get started on the Jim Rices…as his election into the HOF on his 15th and last try was nothing more than a pathetic sympathy vote engineered by the hypocritical Boston media.

  17. cdrydie - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    his OBP obviously would have went down if he had played for 6 more years and declined like players do there last few years.

    • stex52 - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:49 PM

      And his home runs would have gone up to your “magic” 500 count. You completely discount the fact that he played in the Astrodome, which was an absolute homerun killer, for most of his career. And if you discount his defense as not that good, I question how much you actually saw of him.

      I won’t even start on baserunning and leadership.

      • cur68 - Jan 4, 2012 at 12:24 AM

        I think, stex52, that our friend cdrydie might want a do-over on the “Not great defensively” he’s put out there in cyberspace. Baggy’s fielding % is 0.993 lifetime (64th overall: anything above .900 is pretty good) with a Total Zone Runs (rtot) of 12 (anything above 10 is pretty good). IMO, as a quick eyeball guestimate, if you want to know if a guy was any good defensively, then the combination of pretty good Fld% & pretty good rtot = superior defensive player.
        Having watched Bags play 1st, I’m gonna say that’s accurate.

      • cdrydie - Jan 4, 2012 at 2:14 AM

        he was good defensively, one gold glove during his first half of his career, but shoulder issues made him a defensive liability the second half of his career.

      • cdrydie - Jan 4, 2012 at 2:19 AM

        one gold glove is not enough to be considered a standout defensively, torii hunter has 9. And i am not arguing that he was not good, i think he was very good, and he deserves to be in the Astros hall of fame, just not the MLB hall of fame. Are you gonna let in 10 first basemen from the 90s?

      • cdrydie - Jan 4, 2012 at 2:51 AM

        My hall of fame ballot would include votes this year for: Tim Raines, Barry Larkin, Jack Morris, Lee Smith.

        Next year when more big home run hitters get on the ballot it will really hurt the likes of Bagwell.

      • phillyphreak - Jan 4, 2012 at 8:21 AM

        So your assertion, then, is that to be a HOF player you need: 3000 hits, 500HR, and to be a super crazy awesome (not just pretty damn good) defender at your position.

        Got it.

      • phillyphreak - Jan 4, 2012 at 8:23 AM

        Sorry last post was for cdrydie not stex.

      • CJ - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM


        yes because gold gloves are a great indicator of defensive prowess and aren’t in the least bit influenced by a popularity vote. Clearly, this notion is support by the fact that DJ2K was the best defensive SS in the AL back in 2010. Hands down. I’m sure we could go on all day with this one.

        For our next trick, this summer on PFT we’ll be discussing the merits of HOF candidates based on AMR (Aggregate Madden Ratings).

      • cdrydie - Jan 4, 2012 at 2:24 PM

        no its a combination, hitting plus defense, 3000 hits should get you in basically automatically, 500 home runs pre-roids era was basically an automatic. Then you adjust from there, if they dont have these things, you add points for there defense, points for there position, etc. a short stop will get more give then a first basemen, because the fist basemen position has historically been more of a hitters position then middle infield. Bagwell was very good, but i am also wouldnt vote for Mcgwire or Sosa, but Bonds deserves to be in, so does Clemens. You need to be the best, not just top 10 of the era. But my hall of fame would be smaller than yours that is fine, that is just how we look differently at the Hall of Fame.

  18. drew44 - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    If Barry Bonds is not in the HoF, no one who played in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s should be either. Mark McGwire hit 49 he’s as a rookie in 87′. Cal Ripkin never missed a game while everyone was using steroids. He’s guilty. How about Nolan Ryan? He was a roider. He threw 97 in his mid 40’s. Right. Baseball is littered with cheaters. The idea that these 2 guys who played while steroids were used by everyone else, but they were clean is B.S. Their in the hall, time for Bonds, Clenents, A Rod and Manny Ramirez. Their all roiders, and hall of famers, just like Ripkin and Nolan Ryan. Plus, if the baseball hall of fame doesn’t have the all time hit king Pete Rose and home run king Barry Bonds, what kind of hall is it really?

  19. drew44 - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Look, if steroids are a factor in HOF voting, nobody I watched as a kid, all my childhood hero’s will not count. Bonds, Griffey Jr, Mike Piazza, mark McGwire, Roger Clements. None of these great players would be in the HOF. The HOF would loose a whole generation of fans, and cease to be relevant. A museum of old white players most living people have not watched. The future would’ve bleak for Cooperstown.

  20. kehnn13 - Jan 4, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    A couple comments here…I am a bit on the fence re steroids. If the evidence is prety strong that a player used steroids and would probably not have made the hall without them, I don’t want him in there (Roger Clemens)…if a player made a strong case for the hall without steroids (Bonds), or if there is little to no evidence that they used – and had a strong career, of course-(Bagwell), I think they need to be voted in.

    In addition, how can anyone say that Jack Morris belongs in the Hall, but not Jeff Bagwell? That just blows my mind…If you want to say Bagweel isn’t in because he didnt have 3000 hits 500 HRs, fine…but then how can you let a pitcher in who doesnt even have 300 wins??

    • cdrydie - Jan 4, 2012 at 2:29 PM

      Jack morris gets points for being the best pitcher on the ballot right now, the ballot is full of hitters. If Jack Morris would get in i would be alright with Bagwell getting in.

      • phillyphreak - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        “Jack morris gets points for being the best pitcher on the ballot right now,”

        So, just because he’s the best one on there, he gets points? Ok. We can use that logic for Bagwell:

        2nd best OBP, 2nd best OPS+, 3rd best OPS, best WAR (per BR).

        Seems to me being ranked that highly on the ballot, per this logic, means he should be a lock, no?

    • bozosforall - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      There is no real evidence (read: positive steroid test results) that Clemens did steroids, so unless you have that real evidence (and not the word of a sleazeball, slimebag serial date rapist and illegal drug dealer), you’ve not nothing.

      • vivabear - Jan 5, 2012 at 3:29 PM

        Serial date rapist? So being accused by one woman, in one instance, constitutes attaching serial to the description? Further more adding “accused” would be more accurate, since he was never convicted. Plus that would put it more in line with your rationale of saying there’s no real evidence against Clemens using steroids.

        The fact that McNamee was an admitted illegal drug dealer, would really put him in a better position to know whether or not Clemens used steroids. Since, you know, he is the one who acquired the steroids for Clemens.

  21. stercuilus65 - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    To a lawyer not being found guilty is the same as being innocent. As the writer stated the HOF is not a court of law. Each writer should vote his own conscience.

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