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Nah, there’s nothing wrong with the Hall of Fame voting process

Jan 4, 2013, 11:01 AM EDT

cooperstown

Except for the fact that three writers — not one, not two but three writers — from something called “GolfersWest.com” have Hall of Fame votes. And justify votes for some guys by saying things like “[a]dmitted bias here, as I covered [player] for his entire career …”

But fine, the GolfersWest.com did cover baseball for a long time and their ballots are not awful or anything. But gee whiz this is a bit much:

As for bias, that part is correct. We have the responsibility as to who gets in, so that gives us a natural bias toward doing it correctly. We stand by the door like a nightclub bouncer behind the velvet rope. We check IDs. We check authenticity. We compare those already in to those standing on the doorstep. For better or worse, we are to ones who approve the credentials. Yea or nay. That job has been entrusted to us and our bias tends to bend toward merit, not whim.

Today Joe Sheehan — whose newsletter is fabulous and to which you should subscribe — said the following:

This is the year, I would say, that the Hall of Fame voting ceased to be about the players and became, wholly, about the writers.

I’ve seen nothing to dissuade me of that notion.

There are probably a dozen dudes on the ballot this year who far exceed historical precedent for induction. If the patterns shown among publicly-released ballots so far, absolutely none are getting in.  All because a bunch of writers who, once upon a time, covered baseball for a living have decided that they are neither reporters nor historians nor analysts, but bouncers at Studio 54.  Just fabulous.

  1. JustMeMike - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    I read that some of those who are/were baseball writers will hand in a blank ballot. Fine – if you think there are no candidates worthy among the eligibles – then that is your opinion. But they should not be allowed to do that more than once.

    This is supposed to be about the very best baseball players, not baseball writers. As mentioned above – the writers may very well be the gatekeepers, but they should not forget – they are gatekeepers and they are not members of the HOF themselves.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      Fine – if you think there are no candidates worthy among the eligibles – then that is your opinion

      The problem with that is there are far too many overqualified candidates up for eligibility this year. Maybe a couple years ago when it was Larkin/Blyleven/Morris were only ones gaining any traction, a small HoF argument voter could justify not voting for anyone. But there’s no logical reason why keeping Bonds and/or Clemens out of the HoF. One of the best pitchers ever and one of the best players ever, how?

      • ramrene - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        >there’s no logical reason why keeping Bonds and/or Clemens out of the HoF

        {Laughing out loud, spitting up on my self.}

        No logical reason?

        How about they took steroids to improve their onfield performance. How about THAT for a LOGICAL reason?

        Church of the perfpetually outraged… How about Church of the perpetually clueless?

      • tuberippin - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:41 PM

        What’s that you say? PLAYERS USING ILLICIT SUBSTANCES TO ENHANCE PERFORMANCE?

        OHHH….you mean like how players in the 70s and 80s used coke, players in the 60s and 70s used greenies (amphetamines), players in the 50s and 60s used combinations of painkillers and speed to work past injury, and players in the previous eras doctored the ball with regularity? Or do you mean how players for at least thirty-five years have been using cortisone (a steroidal hormone) shots to keep playing even when they’re hurt?

        Hank Aaron used amphetamines, Fergie Jenkins was coked up, Mickey Mantle used speed and steroids in the 1961 HR chase, Willie Mays used speed, Ty Cobb spiked infielders with his sharpened metal cleats, Whitey Ford, Don Sutton, Gaylord Perry and Don Drysdale all doctored the ball…

        Cheating to gain an upper hand has a lonnnnng history in baseball, and a ton of guys who cheated to improve their on-field performance are now enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

      • dontfeedgigantor - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        @ramrene

        I think you should read my comment below for several LOGICAL reasons why Bonds and Clemens (by the way, I really dislike Roger Clemens as a person) shouldn’t be excluded.

        It’s clear to me that you, and plenty of others (including a lot of sportswriters), are letting your own personal bias determine your opinion of these people.

        Bias is part of being human. I don’t fault anyone for it. We tend to favor the players we see play and those who we think we have some personal connection with. We watch our favorite athletes give a couple interviews on TV and suddenly we think we know their personality. We give them the benefit of the doubt even though we don’t really know them.

        We do the opposite to guys who don’t play for us. We loathe to see a slugger like McGwire smash his way into the record books if he’s not doing it for our team. We hear that he used PEDs and we assume he’s a terrible person.

        To attempt a logical argument for some kind of morality basis for excluding players from the Hall of Fame based on PED use is just silly. If morality is part of the equation, then there are a large number of things that need to be considered before PED use, and I think a number of guys who are already in would have to be removed. But the HoF is for on-the-field accomplishments, not morality.

        If you think there aren’t any guys who are currently in the Hall of Fame that didn’t use some sort of substance to enhance their performances, then you’re incredibly naive. And no, it doesn’t make their accomplishments any less great.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        thanks tube, and for emphasis, QFMFT:

        Cheating to gain an upper hand has a lonnnnng history in baseball, and a ton of guys who cheated to improve their on-field performance are now enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

      • abaird2012 - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        I don’t know why everybody fails to get this, so I’ll spell it out: unlike other instances of cheating, like ball-doctoiring or amphetamine abuse, when an athlete uses steroids he is altering his body’s fundamental physiology permanently. Effects of stimulants like speed, caffeine or cocaine are temporary and prone to the law of diminishing returns due to the body’s tendency to build tolerance to them. Ball-doctoring or bat-corking only effect the tools with which the game is played.

        Only steroids change who you ARE as an athlete.

        That being said, there were no MLB rules against them during most of the time period under discussion, and I bet if they’d been available in the 1920s, Babe Ruth would have checked them out in a New York minute … so … a crime of opportunity perhaps.

      • abaird2012 - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        Sorry, “affect.” EDIT FUNCTION!

      • abaird2012 - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        Never mind, I think I was right the first time.

      • paperlions - Jan 4, 2013 at 3:43 PM

        Effects of stimulants are also immediate and require no effort on the part of the player. Within 30 minutes, amphetamines with improve a players energy level and his ability to focus. Are you really going to argue that a more focused and energetic player is not fundamentally changed? Energy and focus can have great benefit to a pitcher or hitter. All of that benefit without any effort at all…just pop a pill. Yes, the returns diminish, but they do not go away and more can be taken.

        In contrast, if you take steroids you have to endure strenuous and repeated workouts in order to gain any benefit from them…then you have to keep taking them and working out to maintain that muscle mass or you’ll lose it….and added muscle mass is no guarantee of playing better baseball.

        Interestingly, or not, when steroid testing began, power numbers did not go down….when amphetamine testing began, power numbers did go down. Is that because steroid benefits were not manifest or because they were equal for both pitchers and hitters? Is that because amphetamine benefits were more realized by hitters? In any case, good luck trying to find any signal of the effects of steroids in the power numbers…they don’t exist.

        Just because players look different on steroids, doesn’t mean they were performing differently….and just because players look on speed the same doesn’t mean they were performing similarly.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 4, 2013 at 5:37 PM

        I don’t know why everybody fails to get this, so I’ll spell it out: unlike other instances of cheating, like ball-doctoiring or amphetamine abuse, when an athlete uses steroids he is altering his body’s fundamental physiology permanently. Effects of stimulants like speed, caffeine or cocaine are temporary and prone to the law of diminishing returns due to the body’s tendency to build tolerance to them. Ball-doctoring or bat-corking only effect the tools with which the game is played.

        Only steroids change who you ARE as an athlete.

        I know PL already argued against this, but I’m going to put it another way because I think people are still confused as to how steroids actually work. So here’s an analogy. Speed is like alcohol and steroids are like weed. If the goal is the same, to get wasted, we’ll offer two choices.

        All you need is to do with alcohol is drink it. Once it’s absorbed into your blood stream, you start to feel the affects. It’s the same with speed. Once you ingest it, there’s an increased heart rate, expanded blood vessels, the whole nine yards. There’s nothing you need to do but ingest it.

        Weed, like steroids, is a different story. If i hand you a dime bag, you don’t just eat it, you have to pick your conveyance of choice to get the affects. Steroids are similar. If you just inject your ‘anolol of choice and sit on your ass, nothing happens other than an increased testosterone level. You want to get stronger, better hit the gym. Want to get even stronger? Supplement your workout with steroids. Merely taking the drug won’t have the affect you want with the work that comes with it.

        So please, stop confusing how these two drugs work. Also, steroids don’t have a permanent altering shape on their own, nor do they not suffer from diminishing returns like other drugs. There’s a reason why steroid users have to take drug cocktails while they are cycling. The body starts to shut down natural production of testosterone (shriveled testicles) and/or increases the levels of estrogen (hence the “bitch tits” side effect).

      • ramrene - Jan 4, 2013 at 6:48 PM

        >We tend to favor the players we see play and those who we think we have some personal connection with.

        I’d agree with that and take it one step further. This generation has a higher level of self importance than past generations. We want to believe that the greatest players who ever played are playing in our lifetimes so we’re more willing to look the other way. We want to believe that Bonds was the greatest home run hitter ever and we were there we saw him. We want to believe that Clemens was dominating like no one else his age so we’re willing to make excuses for him.

        The truth is without steroids those players would not have put up near the numbers they did and would have fallen off the table in the same natural arc that players their age typically do.

        >To attempt a logical argument for some kind of morality basis for excluding players from the Hall of Fame based on PED use is just silly.

        Why? Why is it silly? The Hall of Fame ballot actually has a clause on it pertaining to morality.

        >If morality is part of the equation, then there are a large number of things that need to be considered before PED use,

        And what would they be?

        >But the HoF is for on-the-field accomplishments, not morality.

        Not according to the ballot. According to the ballot it’s about both.

        >If you think there aren’t any guys who are currently in the Hall of Fame that didn’t use some sort of substance to enhance their performances, then you’re incredibly naive.

        >OHHH….you mean like how players in the 70s and 80s used coke, players in the 60s and 70s used greenies (amphetamines), players in the 50s and 60s used combinations of painkillers and speed to work past injury, and players in the previous eras doctored the ball with regularity? Or do you mean how players for at least thirty-five years have been using cortisone (a steroidal hormone) shots to keep playing even when they’re hurt?

        Are you guys seriously going to try to compare coke, “greenies”, painkillers and speed to the benefits of designer steroids?

        Are you not able to comprehend the differences?

        Well let me enlighten you…

        Coke does not enhance your performance. Coke is a recreation drug to make you feel better. Coke doesn’t help you go from 16-home runs one season to 50-home runs the next ala Brady Anderson. If anything Coke will steal from your statistics, it won’t allow you to threaten All-Time statistics in any category.

        “Greenies” were a quick pick-me-up when players were tired during the dog days of Summer. A quick energy boost so you could go out and play. If you want to argue that the player would have been too tired to have played that game without his “greenies” an argument could be made. If you want to argue that whatever his statistics for that game should not count for his all time statistics an argument could be made there as well. However, “greenies” didn’t allow players to go “off the charts” statistically. The benefits of “greenies” do not compare to the benefits of designer steroids.

        Pain killers also did not allow players to rack up off the chart numbers. They allowed players to take the field.

        If your argument is that once a player takes a greenie another player should be allowed to take a steriod and you can’t see a gigantic disparity in benefit I think the chasm between our two positions is just too vast to bridge.

        Designer steroids inflated the numbers just too far to the point they don’t count and coupled with the willing to cheat element creates an obsticle just to large for Bonds or Clemens to overcome. Neither will make it nor deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

  2. sdelmonte - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I propose that we start a Sportswriters Hall of Fame and let athletes vote for it.

    • gregorblanco1 - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      Like Albert Belle, for example?

  3. slappymcknucklepunch - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    I have an Idea.If you were a HOF voter and you DID NOT,I repeat,DID NOT write ONE column in 1998 telling everyone what Roiders McGuire,Sosa and anyone who looked bigger than the year before then you are an hypocrite.I do not care one way or another about steroids.I for one loved the Maris chase.I don’t seem to recall any of you santimomious assholes writing anything but glowing columns about what heroes they all were and NOW you decide they were Unclean and Tainted.F&#@! You!

    • paperlions - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      Not only that…but when a reporter noticed andro in McGwire’s locker that year and it became an issue….baseball reporters & writers across the country reamed that reporter in their columns…they essentially shouted down a guy that brought up the notion that a PED might be involved in the HR chase.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        Don’t worry, those same reporters went after that Phillies blogger, Jerod Morris, due to his lack of integrity in not having proof that Ibanez was using PEDs. Then those same reporters are vilifying Piazza/Bagwell for using with zero proof (Geoff Baker, Ken Rosenthal, etc).

  4. darthicarus - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    The voters do seem to think of themselves a bit too highly & are unfortunately flexing that muscle at the expense of players who do deserve to be in the Hall. Having read that GolfersWest article Bob Sherwin did actually make a few good points relevant to those who deserve to be in, those who might not, and how honesty can go a long way (ie. Rose [eventually] & Piazza).

    The fact that he openly flaunts the fact that he & his peers are gatekeepers whom can be stingy little twits is unnerving…I’m hoping some sect of writers decide to be keymasters and actually allow deserving players in, and if we get a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man to appear that would be cool too.

    • cur68 - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      I was rooting for The Marshmallow Man. Every time I see GB I I root for him. He’s so soft and cuddly and I just know that if were to take a big bite of him he would be sooooooo marshmallowy. I vote SPMM for HOF, baby!

  5. okobojicat - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    I’m pretty sure the guys at Golferswest are a bunch of sports writers from the Seattle area who all were regular beat writers for the Mariners for years. That said, there is absolutely no reason for them to STILL have the ability to vote for the HoF. They don’t actively follow the sport anymore.

    In particular, Kirby Arnold was covering the M’s just last year and was/is a great writer.

  6. koufaxmitzvah - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Any nightclub bouncer who works behind a velvet rope is working for a bunch of narcissists.

    Let there be rock!

    • cur68 - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      I’d only work for nihilists. They just don’t care, man.

  7. braddavery - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    I think the complaining about HOF voters is starting to become more annoying than the voters themselves.

    • mJankiewicz - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      Craig wants a vote.

      • mJankiewicz - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        Also, never underestimate his ability to beat topics into the ground.

  8. simon94022 - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    The HOF is a private organization, separate from MLB. It is entitled to arrange for voting and admissions by any system its governing board likes.

    But for the Hall’s own sake, it is increasingly obvious the current system requires dramatic overhaul. If not, the place is going to become the Hall of Affable & Pretty Good Players Who Are Not Necessarily the Best.

    Not good for long term tourism prospects in Cooperstown.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      I don’t know why people believe the voters — as a group — really care about how nice the players are. Jim Rice made it in; Steve Garvey did not. I think you could consider them both borderline cases, and if the media played favorites in the way Simon implied, the reverse would have happened.

  9. johndavidstutts - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    The nightclub bouncer metaphor is not a particularly eloquent one, but it is apt. At it’s essence, all the Hall of Fame voting process really does is discriminate against those not deemed worthy.

    • nukeladouche - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      I agree with johndavidstutts. It’s not a bad analogy/metaphor and I think Craig overdoes it with his focus on that analogy/metaphor. The rest of their statement you can’t really argue with: they acknowledge personal bias, but then claim that they are focused on merit, comparing those on the outside with those on the inside, etc. What more can you ask for from a BBWAA voter?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        What more can you ask for from a BBWAA voter?

        Consistency? Don’t say you are voting for player A because of X metrics, and then not vote for player B because he’s better than A due to X metrics. It’s like the inverse case that Drew (DJ?) was trying to make the other week when he said if you think Bagwell did roids because he was teammates with Caminiti, why don’t you think Biggio did roids because he was teammates with Caminiti as well.

        Create a criteria, and stick with it. Don’t make point A relevant for Morris, B for Bonds, C for Clemens, etc…

  10. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Could part of the problem be that the actual members of the Hall of Fame take themselves a bit too seriously as well? I mean…it is a private organization completely separate from Major League baseball, right? There are no “official Major league baseball approved Hall of Famers” are there? So who is to say that even if Jack Morris is elected that he really is a “Major League Baseball Hall of Famer”? Because 75% of a group of nitwits who bring to the table so much bias and utter contempt that their vote should be rendered meaningless said so? Bleh.

  11. misterchainbluelightning - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Where is the signup sheet for a boycott of the Baseball Hall of Fame? Because nothing will change until you hurt them.

    • nategearhart - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      A year with no new electees would hurt the hall pretty badly; that annual induction ceremony is a huge windfall for the place both in attendance and revenue.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        Sounds like they should be vulnerable to pressure

  12. tc4306 - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    There can’t be a whole heck of a lot left in that axe you’re grinding. This is getting almost as tiresome as puckheads and their constant lockout blather.

    • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      Yet here you are in the comment section. Perhaps it’s time for a nap.

      • tc4306 - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        Or a shot…’cause its 5 o’clock somewhere.

  13. dontfeedgigantor - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    I feel like I am taking crazy pills whenever I hear people talk about PEDs in sports.

    For starters, just because steroids did not exist back in the 20′s does not mean that people were not taking substances to try to enhance their performance, and if you believe that they weren’t, then you’re either stupid or incredibly naive.

    For example, Thomas Hicks won the Olympic marathon in 1904. PEDs were obviously much cruder back then, as he did so using a concoction of strychnine and brandy. He collapsed after the finish (no shit, huh?).

    Furthermore, I find it extremely hard to draw arbitrary lines as to what constitutes “performance-enhancing.” Should we ban over-the-counter workout supplements? I’m pretty sure eating, breathing, and training hard contribute much more to enhancing a person’s performance than typical OTC supplements, should we ban those, too? What is it about lab creations that make them “cheating” any more than any other natural substance? If anything, the dangers of using steroids shows that we should be regulating PED use, not banning it, so that players who are going to use them anyway can do so safely, instead of eating strychnine during a marathon just to get an edge.

    I think the PED thing is even more silly when you consider just how hard it is to hit a 90+ mph fastball. Sure, bigger muscles might help you to swing the bat faster, but they don’t give you perfect timing. They don’t make you see the ball. They don’t make you a consistent hitter. Hard work does that. Focusing on PEDs completely ignores the fact that even the guys who dosed the most had to work their asses off to accomplish what they have.

    The real problem is stat worship. Stats are a nice, tidy way to evaluate the performance, and therefore greatness, of a player. But people seem to be getting so caught up in comparing stats that they forget the game we play today is totally different from the game that was played fifty or even thirty years ago. Rules have changed; the mound was lowered; baseballs are different; ballparks have come and gone, and even changed dimensions. The competitiveness of baseball is greater than ever. Training and medicine are drastically better than they once were. Sure, many guys were probably juicing in the 80′s and 90′s (and doing coke and amphetamines in the 70′s), but that means that they had a (somewhat) level playing field. Besides, juicing alone didn’t make them great ballplayers.

    Maybe one day we’ll start evaluating players against their peers instead of comparing them to all-time stats that aren’t really all that relevant to today’s game, and remember them for their performance on the field instead of their workout supplements.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      Wasn’t there a story linked in one of these threads about a guy in like 1885 eating goat’s testicles for the added testosterone? Steroids were in the olympics in the 50s and made their way to professional sports in the 60s. They’ve been in the games for a lot longer than people think.

      • ptfu - Jan 4, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        Old Hoss Radbourn approves this message.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 4, 2013 at 5:38 PM

        Opium dens and shagging your teammates wives are PEDs?

      • raysfan1 - Jan 4, 2013 at 10:24 PM

        Pud Galvin, Hall of Famer from the 19th century used testostetone. Here’s the link you were remembering, COPO:
        http://bleacherreport.com/articles/573866-pud-galvin-the-godfather-of-juicing

  14. blacksables - Jan 4, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    How is that you people say that sportswriters who haven’t covered the game for a set number of years shouldn’t be allowed to vote on the Hall, yet you fail to show the same outrage at the Veterans Committe, which consists of players who haven’t played for years (and failed to elect Ron Santo until after he died).

    It’s the same Hall. Lets see the same outrage.

    • paperlions - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      That outrage was manifest at the appropriate time. People aren’t bitching about the voters for stupid shit they did years ago (like Lou Whittaker failing to get 5% of the vote and dropping off of the ballot when he should be in the HOF since he is one of the top 10 2B in history)…they are bitching about stupid shit voters are doing today. The veterans committee, in all of its incarnations, has been mocked at the appropriate times. Of course, the veterans committee wouldn’t have had to “worry” about Santo if the writers didn’t have their head up their asses when he was eligible.

  15. Steve A - Jan 4, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    I believe that the backlash against the writers will be worst once the voting results are announced. Then, the critics will be working with more answers into the general feeling of the HOF voters and their attitudes towards this era of HOF-eligible players.

    It feels like no one, or Jack Morris, will make the HOF this year, some of the big names will have surprisingly low vote totals, and the voters will adjust accordingly next year. Then, there will be no danger of allowing surefire HOFers like Bonds or Clemens to go in with the “exalted” title of “First Ballot Hall of Famer”.

  16. hardjudge - Jan 4, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Abolish the current HALL and start over with a balanced vote of fans, writers and broadcasters and players.

  17. dontfeedgigantor - Jan 5, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    >> “We want to believe that Clemens was dominating like no one else his age so we’re willing to make excuses for him.”

    No, I don’t, and that’s exactly my point. I hate Clemens, but I’m willing to set aside my personal opinions of him to logically evaluate whether or not he deserves to be inducted. All you’ve done is create a straw man argument.

    >> “The truth is without steroids those players would not have put up near the numbers they did and would have fallen off the table in the same natural arc that players their age typically do.”

    Statistical analysis suggests that you are incorrect, as has been pointed out repeatedly by multiple people.

    >> “Why is it silly? The Hall of Fame ballot actually has a clause on it pertaining to morality.”

    It’s silly because it’s pointless. The Hall is for honoring people who accomplished great things on the baseball field, not for honoring the quality of their character. Show me a ballot where it says that morality is a factor in determining Hall of Fame eligibility.

    >> “And what would they [a large number of things that need to be considered before PED use] be?”

    How about marital indiscretions, fraud, or bigotry? Cheating in a game doesn’t rank high on my list of importance. See, that’s the whole problem with morality: it’s based on personal preference.

    >> “Well let me enlighten you…”

    I am enlightened. See, at first I thought you were either biased or naive, but now I understand that you’re ignorant and hard-headed.

    >> “Coke does not enhance your performance. Coke is a recreation drug to make you feel better. Coke doesn’t help you go from 16-home runs one season to 50-home runs the next ala Brady Anderson. If anything Coke will steal from your statistics, it won’t allow you to threaten All-Time statistics in any category.”

    Cocaine is a stimulant and an anesthetic. It increases alertness, energy, and endurance. It also produces feelings of euphoria. These effects are immediate. Please tell me that you understand why these effects would benefit an athlete.

    >> “‘Greenies’ were a quick pick-me-up when players were tired during the dog days of Summer.”

    Amphetamines produce effects similar to cocaine, except they tend to last even longer. Adderall is popular with college kids because it decreases their fatigue and allows them to sharpen their focus for hours. Obviously this would greatly benefit any athlete (maintaining focus and decreasing fatigue through strenuous training sessions, for example).

    >> “Pain killers also did not allow players to rack up off the chart numbers. They allowed players to take the field.”

    …which they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do, thus enhancing their numbers. Painkillers also help athletes train longer and harder, which probably, you know, enhances their numbers. Perhaps you haven’t fully thought this through.

    >> “Designer steroids inflated the numbers just too far to the point they don’t count and coupled with the willing to cheat element creates an obsticle just to large for Bonds or Clemens to overcome.”

    Okay, since you were so hard up on “LOGICAL” reasons, let me try to coax some actual logic out of you. In order to construct your argument, you need to:

    1. Provide evidence that the player used steroids. That means actual test results. Anecdotal evidence is notoriously unreliable and insufficient.

    2. Show a correlation between stats and steroids.

    3. Prove that the correlation is due to steroids, and not something else. That means ruling out all other possibilities, such as changes in ball construction, changes to bats, changes to ball parks, rule changes, player experience, etc. Professional athletes DO tend to improve as their careers progress, after all (the ones that are good, anyway). Correlation is not causation.

    4. Construct a logical argument for why steroid use invalidates a person’s performance while other performance-enhancing drugs like coke or amphetamines do not.

    You are arbitrarily claiming that steroids inflate stats by some finite amount and ignoring the fact that steroids alone do not make a player better. You’re ignoring the years of training and dedication that it takes to become a great ballplayer. You’re arbitrarily throwing out entire careers based on a link between steroids and performance that is not statistically evident. And you’re ignoring the fact that these players essentially did the same thing that many HoFers themselves did (apparently because you don’t understand the performance benefits of the previous decades’ PEDs). You asked for logic. We gave it to you. You have yet to make a logical argument.

    • paperlions - Jan 5, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      Well done.

    • ramrene - Jan 6, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      >> “The truth is without steroids those players would not have put up near the numbers they did and would have fallen off the table in the same natural arc that players their age typically do.”

      >Statistical analysis suggests that you are incorrect, as has been pointed out repeatedly by multiple people.

      Do you really think you c an you handle statistical analysis?

      I’m currently working on an analysis that factor’s out Bond’s steroid useage. I broke his career into 3-parts… the start of his career, the prime of his career, and the end of his career. Because I needed an untainted sample size of what a non-PED human being was capable of I chose the top-5 home run hitters of All-Time who played in non-PED eras. The players chosen were: Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, and Harmon Kilebrew. I then started averaging their career numbers during those same 3-phases of their careers. Mind you, these were the 5-greatest homerun hitters of All-Time, not some shlubs but the greatest of All-Time so if you want to know what a person not on steroids is capable of these 5 greats more than demonstrates what “clean” stats are. I’m currently attempting to tighten the separation points but where I stand now, is the beginning of a player’s career ends at age 27, his prime is between 28-34, and his end of career starts are 35 through to however long he’s able to keep playing.

      We know for a fact that according to “Book of Shadows” Bonds started taking steroids in 1999 but those were the Balco “designer steroids”. We also know Bond’s body started changing in San Francisco from his Pirate days. If we allow Bond’s early Giant years through to 1998 then use the average rate of decline from the 5-greats and apply that same decline rate to Bonds he ends up with 571 career home runs which is a far cry from the 762 he’s credited with hitting. Almost 200 home runs we can attribute to his steroid use.

      Now, we also know he’s a liar and a cheat so even though the book states he started using the Balco steroids in 1999 why should we give him the benefit of the doubt. His body started changing, his head started growing, in those early Giant years. It is possible he started taking steroids earlier but didn’t get the Creme and the Clear until years later. If we use the average rate of acceleration from the 5-greats and apply it to Bond’s earlier Giant years he ends up with 478 career home runs. Also, Bond’s earlier Giant years were abnormally outside the +/- margin of error during those early Giant years so evidence actually points in the direction he did take something during those early Giant years but didn’t get caught and nobody has come forward (yet) stating he did. It’s just speculation on my part and an abnormal career arc compared to what the 5-greatest power hitters of all time were capable of. At some point, something jumps off the page and stinks.

      So, if you want analysis, analysis is pointing to Bonds hitting less than 500 career home runs, .270 batting average (as opposed to .298), 1477 RBI’s (as opposed to 1996).

      The numbers indicate that Bond’s benefited due to his steroid use to the tune of an additional:
      284 home runs
      .28 points in his batting average
      519 runs batted in

      His home run total places him 28th All-Time
      His RBI total places him 54th behind Dave Parker & Vlad Guerrero
      His batting average places him 919 behind somebody named Johnny Wyrostek

      And you’re going to tell me statistical analysis favors him? You better go over those numbers again. Now, factor in the fact that the guy did cheat and you have a better chance of getting into the Hall-of-Fame than he does.

      Nextime, ask yourself can you handle the truth or not because in the light of day Bond’s warts are pretty ugly.

      • dontfeedgigantor - Jan 17, 2013 at 7:44 PM

        >> “Do you really think you c an you handle statistical analysis?”

        I don’t know what this is supposed to mean.

        “I’m currently working on an analysis that factor’s out Bond’s steroid useage.”

        You’re attempting to work backwards. Obviously you don’t understand how evidence works. How the hell do you purport to factor out Bond’s steroid usage when there’s no clear way to determine what effect his steroid usage had?

        >> “We know for a fact that according to ‘Book of Shadows’ Bonds started taking steroids in 1999 but those were the Balco ‘designer steroids.’”

        Okay, first of all, you didn’t even get the name of the book right. Secondly, just because they are written down in a book doesn’t mean that allegations are “facts.” I’m not saying that Bonds wasn’t using steroids, I’m saying that you’re misrepresenting information.

        >> “If we allow Bond’s early Giant years through to 1998 then use the average rate of decline from the 5-greats and apply that same decline rate to Bonds he ends up with 571 career home runs which is a far cry from the 762 he’s credited with hitting.”

        Yup, doing arbitrary math produces arbitrary numbers. Great job. You’ve still completely failed to do any of the numbered steps above that I mentioned needed to be done to construct a coherent argument. In fact, you’ve gone backwards, constructing an even less coherent argument than before. Now you’re trying to randomly manipulate numbers without any logical basis in order to produce a number that sounds satisfying to you.

        For instance, Bonds went 40-40 in 1996. It was pretty obvious by then that this was a talented ball player. Drawing the line at 1999 is pretty arbitrary, aside from the fact that he was alleged to start using Balco stuff in ’99, so says a book that you didn’t write. I can’t fathom the logic that states if a player plays well then he must be using steroids, but I also can’t fathom the logic which overlooks certain standout years but doesn’t overlook others.

        Furthermore, applying an “average rate of decline” from guys that played in entirely different decades with entirely different medical treatment available to them makes absolutely no fucking sense whatsoever. So all of your supposed statistical analysis is complete bullshit. Whatever we know about Bonds, one thing is supremely obvious: you have no grasp of logic whatsoever.

        >> “Now, we also know he’s a liar and a cheat so even though the book states he started using the Balco steroids in 1999 why should we give him the benefit of the doubt.”

        Poisoning the well. Another logical fallacy. No surprise there, given every attempt that you’ve made towards logic has taken you even further from the goal.

        >> “It’s just speculation on my part”

        Yes, exactly. All of this is just speculation on your part, crude and illogical speculation.

        I think we can safely assume that Bonds used steroids for much of his career. What we can’t do is determine precisely what effect it had on his stats. And then, you’ve still yet to address why I should ignore all the hard work and results that Bonds actually produced on the field just because his muscles got bigger (due to working out), or why that should exclude him from the Hall of Fame when there are already PED-users in there. And maybe while you’re at it, you could explain to me why steroids in sports is such a bad thing anyway.

  18. dontfeedgigantor - Jan 17, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    >> “And you’re going to tell me statistical analysis favors him? You better go over those numbers again. Now, factor in the fact that the guy did cheat and you have a better chance of getting into the Hall-of-Fame than he does.”

    I was referring, of course, to REAL statistical analysis, not the half-baked mental gymnastics that you’re practicing.

  19. dontfeedgigantor - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    I hate to beat a dead horse, but re-reading our comments, I’m compelled to point this out. Earlier, you said this:

    “The truth is without steroids those players would not have put up near the numbers they did and would have fallen off the table in the same natural arc that players their age typically do.”

    Then later, you said this:

    “Because I needed an untainted sample size of what a non-PED human being was capable of I chose the top-5 home run hitters of All-Time who played in non-PED eras. The players chosen were: Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, and Harmon Kilebrew.”

    One obvious flaw in your logic is that you’re insisting that there is a “natural arc” which players’ numbers drop off. Even if there is, that doesn’t logically explain why we should force that arc upon every player’s numbers. Some guys are just genetically gifted, and the average doesn’t apply to them. How do we know that Bonds wasn’t somehow genetically gifted?

    The second, perhaps less obvious flaw in your argument, is that you’re presupposing the results; you started by saying that it is a “fact” that Bonds wouldn’t have produced the numbers he did had he not used steroids, and then you manipulated his stats until they supported your results. This is not how science works; it’s completely ass-backwards. In science, you start with a hypothesis, test your hypothesis, and then let the evidence take you to your result.

    The third flaw I already mentioned, that these guys played in completely different decades than Bonds. As an example, I’ll use Mickey Mantle. I don’t know much about Mickey’s career, but I know that it was rather plagued with injuries. In his rookie year, he twisted his knee and was carried off the field, and a doctor has speculated that perhaps he tore his ACL and it never fully healed. ACL surgeries are common now, but didn’t exist when Mantle was playing. There have been 40+ years of sports medicine advancements, so it’s unclear to me why you would expect a player from Bonds’ era to match the dropoff of players from more than 4 decades earlier. Obviously, with better medicine players have a better chance to stay healthy, recover quicker, and play more games (which means potentially higher stats).

    Babe Ruth died before you were even born (I’m assuming). You never saw him play, you never met him, you don’t have any firsthand knowledge of him. And yet, you label him one of the greatest hitters ever. Why do you assume so much of him, but deny that maybe Bonds could have been just as good? Do you seriously think that the last 40 years of baseball has never produced a player that is better than those 5 guys, even with all the advances in sports medicine?

    You’re obviously attached to old records, and for what reason I haven’t a clue. Especially since seasons were extended, mounds were changed, stadiums were changed, fields were changed, balls were changed, bats were changed, rules were changed, and medicine has changed. There’s no sane reason whatsoever to compare the careers of these guys with Bonds’. There’s WAY too many variables. But somehow, you’ve cracked the code and figured out exactly how steroids contributed to Bonds’ stats while all those other factors magically didn’t.

    And now I’ve wasted far too much time trying to talk some sense into you even though I’m fairly sure you’re not listening anyway.

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