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Pedro Gomez embodies the intellectual dishonesty of the anti-PEDs bloc of the Hall of Fame electorate

Apr 25, 2012, 9:40 AM EDT

ESPN’s Pedro Gomez had some back and forth on Twitter last night about the Hall of Fame. Pete Rose came up, but so too did PED users — or rumored users — like Jeff Bagwell.

Here’s Gomez’s tweet in response to someone who thinks it is unfair for Gomez and his “500 friends,” as Gomez later referred to the Hall of Fame electorate, to keep Bagwell out:

This is screwy for two reasons. First, because of the McCarthyite “Look! He never denied doing that awful thing we keep saying he did!” jazz, which has no place in mature discourse. I’m sure I can think of all kinds of things Pedro Gomez might have done and start tweeting about them all day. If Gomez doesn’t deny them, does it make it true? Is that how we roll in the sporting press, gentlemen?

But it’s screwy for a much more basic reason:  Bagwell has repeatedly denied that he took steroids. Most recently to Gomez’s own ESPN colleague, Jerry Crasnick:

Jeff Bagwell first denied using performance-enhancing drugs during a 2004 interview with the Houston Chronicle. The passage of time hasn’t altered his words or softened his emotions on the topic. Bagwell, to this day, asserts that he never touched steroids or other illegal performance-enhancers…

… “I never used [steroids], and I’ll tell you exactly why: If I could hit between 30 and 40 home runs every year and drive in 120 runs, why did I need to do anything else? I was pretty happy with what I was doing, and that’s the God’s honest truth. All of a sudden guys were starting to hit 60 or 70 home runs and people were like, ‘Dude, if you took [PEDs], you could do it too.’ And I was like, ‘I’m good where I’m at. I just want to do what I can do.’

You can choose not to believe Jeff Bagwell here — players who have used PEDs have obviously said such things before — but you cannot say that he has not denied using steroids. No, in order to hold the stance that Gomez holds on Bagwell, he has to call Bagwell a liar.

But he’s apparently too cowardly or too ignorant to do that.  He’d prefer to play this cutesy, oblique, intellectually dishonest game, smearing a man while trying desperately to not get his hands dirty.  It’s pathetic.

UPDATE:  Gomez has responded:

So, I presume now that either (a) Gomez will change his Hall of Fame vote and support Bagwell’s induction; or (b) what Bagwell said, and whether or not he actually did PEDs is a wholly irrelevant concern for Gomez, and he was just being disingenuous about it all.

Of course, given that he has basically taken his ball and stormed home, we probably shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for a reply.

  1. timpaz - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Gomez is just another talking head, that’s what’s wrong with the selecting committee in baseball

  2. bigleagues - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    So I just caught the tail end of Tim Brown from Yahoo Sports on Mad Dog Unleashed.

    The topic was Pudge Rodriquez and both Brown and Russo have placed themselves firmly in the Pedro Gomez HOF ‘eye-test’ camp.

    I love Chris Mad Dog Russo like you would love a crazy uncle. He’s been a distant part of my life since puberty. While Russo makes great radio – he can often trap himself in his own (il)logic. He loves to divine observations and make judgements from reading a players career numbers over the air.

    Anyway, today Russo even went so far as to analyze Pudge’s career against Canseco’s arrival in Texas. The obligatory flood of “I agree fully with you” calls followed until a caller made the claim that Pudge should be a HOF solely based on his defensive prowess prior to Pudge’s alleged ‘steroid’ use. Russo said he could understand that but he still wouldn’t vote for him.

    They didn’t discuss Bagpipes, and I can’t remember what Russo has stated previously about Bagwell’s HOF candidacy, but his response would fascinating because when a subsequent caller inquired about whether Russo had any concerns about Chipper Jones and “steroids”, Russo responded by stating that he does not because Chipper was never implicated or connected to steroids in any way.

    Russo is continuing ‘steroids’ and HOF electability discussion now if you’ve got SXM.

    • ezthinking - Apr 25, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      What was the connection? Pudge was in his second year in 1992 when Canseco got there mid-way into the season. During their time together, Pudge hit 8, 10 and 16 HR. Canseco player part of a season in ’92, hurt most of ’93 and played ’94. I don’t get it.

      • bigleagues - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:27 PM

        I find NOTHING suspicious about Pudge’s career trajectory offensively. But somehow Russo and Tim Brown do via their own speculations and suppositions.

        When Canseco arrived, Pudge was 22 in his first full year in the majors. Russo and others (who make pronouncements and offer judgements without doing any relevant research) chortle that because Pudge played with Canseco and Palmeiro then I-Rod’s offense MUST have been ‘juiced’.

        Following Russo’s brand of logic, one must at least consider consider that Johnny Bench also dabbled in ‘steroids’ prior to his 1970 (Age 22) season, backed off of the juice prior to 1971, and then came back fully roided prior to 1972. I mean, how else could someone produce such dramatic differences in production? (<—heavily slathered sarcasm)

                                                                                              
        Year          Age    G   PA    R    H  2B 3B  HR  RBI SB   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+   TB
        1968           20  154  607   67  155  40  2  15   82  1 .275 .311 .433 .743  116  244
        1969           21  148  592   83  156  23  1  26   90  6 .293 .353 .487 .840  129  259
        1970           22  158  671   97  177  35  4  45  148  5 .293 .345 .587 .932  141  355
        1971           23  149  613   80  134  19  2  27   61  2 .238 .299 .423 .722  107  238
        1972           24  147  653   87  145  22  2  40  125  6 .270 .379 .541 .920  166  291
        1973           25  152  651   83  141  17  3  25  104  4 .253 .345 .429 .774  119  239
        1974           26  160  708  108  174  38  2  33  129  5 .280 .363 .507 .870  143  315
        1975           27  142  606   83  150  39  1  28  110 11 .283 .359 .519 .878  140  275
        1976           28  135  552   62  109  24  1  16   74 13 .234 .348 .394 .741  109  183
        1977           29  142  563   67  136  34  2  31  109  2 .275 .348 .540 .889  133  267
        17 Yrs            2158 8674 1091 2048 381 24 389 1376 68 .267 .342 .476 .817  126 3644
        162 Game Avg.      162  651   82  154  29  2  29  103  5 .267 .342 .476 .817  126  274
        

        Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original TableGenerated 4/25/2012.

                                                                                                 
        Year          Age    G    PA    R    H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS OPS+   TB
        1992           20  123   454   39  109  16  1   8   37   0 .260 .300 .360  .659   87  151
        1993           21  137   519   56  129  28  4  10   66   8 .273 .315 .412  .727   98  195
        1994           22   99   405   56  108  19  1  16   57   6 .298 .360 .488  .848  118  177
        1995           23  130   517   56  149  32  2  12   67   0 .303 .327 .449  .776   98  221
        1996           24  153   685  116  192  47  3  19   86   5 .300 .342 .473  .814  100  302
        1997           25  150   648   98  187  34  4  20   77   7 .313 .360 .484  .844  114  289
        1998           26  145   617   88  186  40  4  21   91   9 .321 .358 .513  .871  120  297
        1999           27  144   630  116  199  29  1  35  113  25 .332 .356 .558  .914  125  335
        2000           28   91   389   66  126  27  4  27   83   5 .347 .375 .667 1.042  156  242
        2001           29  111   470   70  136  24  2  25   65  10 .308 .347 .541  .888  126  239
        21 Yrs            2543 10270 1354 2844 572 51 311 1332 127 .296 .334 .464  .798  106 4451
        162 Game Avg.      162   654   86  181  36  3  20   85   8 .296 .334 .464  .798  106  284
        

        Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original TableGenerated 4/25/2012.

        Anyway, I was attempting to point out the rather unsubstantive knee-jerk manner in which many sports talking heads and pundits go about in applying their opinions to a HOF candidacy. Tim Brown has a HOF vote and he agreed with Russo’s incomplete misinformed opinion on I-Rod’s career.

  3. downhillrider - Apr 25, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    there should be a committee NOT made up of sports writers to elect these guys to the HOF. (Deleted rant about how much I dislike sportswriters)

  4. channingtaintum - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    #PedroGomezNeverDenied crying himself to sleep after being sent a link to this page.

  5. bbil2012 - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    He said it himself: FINE! = f*cked up,insecure,neurotic,egotistical

  6. dexterismyhero - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    #PedroGomezNeverDenied having an affair with the monkey from “The Hangover”.

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