Skip to content

Andre Dawson is the latest Hall of Famer who wants to keep the PED guys out

Dec 7, 2012, 3:49 PM EDT

Image (1) Andre%20Dawson%20Cubs.jpg for post 3194

A lot of Hall of Famers walk around the Winter Meetings, and a common question they’re asked is what they think about PED users like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens making it into the hall of Fame.  Andre Dawson was one of them, and Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post asked him about the PED generation heading to Cooperstown.

His bright line — which, even if I disagree with, I can respect as intellectually valid, is that people who broke rules shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame.  But he creates problems for himself when he tries to parse their performance as opposed to their character and talks about those players about whom we are uncertain:

“Nobody can say when these individual started doing it. But all of a sudden late in your career you become twice as good a ballplayer as you were maybe in your first 5 to 10 years? That just doesn’t happen. That’s not the way it works.”

Andre Dawson went from 20 home runs to 49 in his 12th year in the league. That just doesn’t happen either, does it?

Of course it does. Because the run scoring context of the game changes all the time. In 1987, when Dawson won the MVP award — an award without which, he probably would not have made the Hall of Fame — baseball had what is widely believed to be a juiced ball.  There are many who believe that, in addition to everything else that happened from the early 90s through the mid 2000s (i.e. steroids and smaller ballparks), the ball was again juiced as well. It is documented that it happened in the 1930s too.

If you’re anti-PED as a matter of ethics, fine, make your stand there. But the idea that people putting up unexpected numbers and having late-career surges, etc. is, by definition, unnatural, you just don’t understand the history of the game. And Andre Dawson himself is as great an example of that as anyone.

Latest Posts
  1. Joaquin Benoit expected to avoid the disabled list

    Aug 21, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

    Joaquin Benoit

    Padres closer Joaquin Benoit hasn’t appeared in a game since last Wednesday due to soreness in his throwing shoulder.

  2. Report: Rockies pulled Michael Cuddyer back off waivers after hamstring issue

    Aug 21, 2014, 9:51 PM EDT

    Michael Cuddyer AP

    Impending free agent Michael Cuddyer will almost certainly finish his season in a Rockies uniform.

  3. MRI comes back negative on Salvador Perez’s knee

    Aug 21, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    Salvador Perez AP AP

    Royals catcher Salvador Perez was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup with tightness in his right knee, but an MRI on Thursday revealed no structural damage.

  4. The Nationals extend their winning streak to 10 games with another walk-off victory

    Aug 21, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    4c6175926c38d231dc81e90954473530-2 AP

    Here’s hoping Nationals manager Matt Williams has been practicing his Babe Ruth home run trot, because he has a promise to fulfill.

  5. Yan Gomes exits game with concussion-like symptoms

    Aug 21, 2014, 6:57 PM EDT

    02e1eef82480ad08381dc3cd40aa3625 AP

    Gomes was hit in the mask in the bottom of the fifth inning by a ball that deflected off the arm of Kurt Suzuki on a hit-by-pitch.

  6. Phil Hughes rolls to 14th win, sports third best K/BB ratio ever

    Aug 21, 2014, 6:14 PM EDT

    Phil Hughes Phil Hughes

    But not the best among major league starters this season.

  7. Angels acquire Gordon Beckham from White Sox

    Aug 21, 2014, 5:42 PM EDT

    Gordon Beckham Gordon Beckham

    Beckham had a very promising rookie season as a 22-year-old in 2009, but the former first-round draft pick has hit just .240 with a .658 OPS in 636 games since then while never topping a .700 OPS in a season.

  8. Reds demote 10-loss reliever J.J. Hoover to Triple-A

    Aug 21, 2014, 5:20 PM EDT

    J.J. Hoover Reds AP

    He heads to Triple-A tied for the Reds franchise record in relief losses with 10, which is especially remarkable considering he won his first decision of the season before dropping 10 straight.

  9. Garrett Richards out 6-9 months with torn patellar tendon

    Aug 21, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

    Garrett Richards Angels AP

    Richards’ leg buckled underneath him as he went to cover first base on a potential double-play ball last night and he was down for nearly 10 minutes before being carted off the field in obvious pain.

  10. Red Sox activate Allen Craig from the disabled list

    Aug 21, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    allen craig getty Getty Images

    He hit a combined .312 with an .863 OPS in 328 games for the Cardinals from 2011 to 2013, but Craig’s production has plummeted to a .237 batting average and .639 OPS in 98 total games this season.

  11. David Price threw a one-hitter against the Rays. And lost.

    Aug 21, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 3.56.49 PM Getty Images

    One unearned run was all he allowed against his old mates. Tough way to lose.

  12. Brandon McCarthy tosses a four-hit shutout as the Yankees top the Astros

    Aug 21, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT

    Brandon McCarthy AP

    Work fast. Throw strikes. If anyone has come up with a better way to win games, I haven’t heard of it yet.

  13. Chris Rock catches a foul ball at Yankee Stadium, gives it to a kid

    Aug 21, 2014, 2:54 PM EDT

    Video camera

    That’s kind of the whole story, but there’s nothing else going on right now.

  14. Masahiro Tanaka to throw against live hitters Saturday

    Aug 21, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

    Masahiro Tanaka AP

    Masahiro Tanaka’s attempt to avoid Tommy John elbow surgery with the rest-and-rehab approach has gone well enough that the Yankees right-hander will face live hitters for the first time Saturday.

  15. Cano, Puig, Pujols to participate in an All-Star series in Japan in November

    Aug 21, 2014, 2:04 PM EDT

    Japan Flag

    It’s better than no baseball in November, right?

  16. Rangers pull back Neal Cotts off waivers, won’t trade him

    Aug 21, 2014, 1:43 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers Getty Images

    Texas not trading impending free agent reliever Neal Cotts before the July 31 deadline was surprising and now they’re going to hang onto the left-hander for the rest of the season.

  17. HBT Daily: Can’t stop the Nats

    Aug 21, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    A nine game winning streak and a bunch of walkoff wins. Do they have a weakness right now?

  18. When will Ryan Zimmerman return to Nationals? “Sometime in September”

    Aug 21, 2014, 12:48 PM EDT

    Ryan Zimmerman AP AP

    There’s only a week or so remaining in the minor-league season, so if Zimmerman wants to go on a rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list he’s running out of time.

Featured video

Who's to blame for Cubs tarp fiasco?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3627)
  2. M. Cuddyer (3101)
  3. K. Bryant (2523)
  4. A. Garcia (2431)
  5. W. Myers (2291)
  1. J. Werth (2249)
  2. A. McCutchen (2197)
  3. Y. Molina (2189)
  4. G. Richards (2034)
  5. M. Fiers (1960)