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Frank Thomas doesn’t want PED users in the Hall of Fame

Jun 7, 2013, 6:52 PM EDT

Frank Thomas

Former White Sox slugger and future Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, in New York for baseball’s first-year player draft, spoke to the media about the recent performance-enhancing drug controversy involving Biogenesis, flatly stating that PED users have no place in Cooperstown. Via ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick:

He said he has spoken with numerous Hall of Famers recently while taking part in a series of charity games, and they’re strongly opposed to players with links to performance-enhancing drugs gaining entry to Cooperstown.

“They say, ‘Hell, no,'” Thomas said. “They don’t want any of these guys in. These are super-superstars in my eyes, and they’re serious about it. I would suggest you get around the Johnny Benches, the Ozzie Smiths, the Dave Winfields and Mike Schmidts. Hold court with them and see how they feel. I’ve talked to them and it was eye-opening.

One of the Hall of Famers Thomas mentions, Mike Schmidt, previously said he would have used PEDs if he had the opportunity and would welcome PED users to the Hall.

Schmidt in 2009:

“I’d welcome him if he got elected to the Hall of Fame,” Schmidt said of A-Rod. “I always seem to walk down the middle of the fence. I understand the old, hard-line guys that use the words, `he cheated, he cheated.’ And the other guys that go, `It was a culture thing back then.’ If you played then, you would have been tempted, too. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I don’t want to get that wrong. We’ve all got some things in our closet.”

Schmidt once again indicated that he would have been tempted to use steroids if presented with the chance to take them when he was playing. He had said that before.

  1. fanofevilempire - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Frank Thomas should shut his mouth.

    • badintent - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:33 PM

      YOU meant Ken Williams the GM. Loved his quote on Frank when Frank was staying up to 4 in the morning in his recording studio,night after night, during the season .”The man is an idiot “

  2. johnjb2315 - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    How about you shut your mouth

  3. Jack Marshall - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Of course. I have always assumed that this would be the final and most difficult sticking point. The HOF is like a club, and it figures that a majority of living members would feel that their own honor and status would be diminished if steroid cheats were knowingly admitted. I think there would be resignations, and I think it would be ugly. This one will lessen with time and the passing of the older members. Will it ever vanish sufficiently for the admission of a Bonds, McGwire, Arod or Manny not to become ugly and divisive? I don’t know.

    I hope not.

  4. 13arod - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    how about all of you shut up

    • fm31970 - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      Shouldn’t you be rehabbing your hip?

      • badintent - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:34 PM

        You meant his lip ! But we hear ya.

  5. dondada10 - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Let me preface this by saying that I don’t think Frank Thomas took steroids. He had incredible plate discipline before admiring plate discipline was vogue. But why does he assume he’ll avoid the sort of accusations that Jeff Bagwell had bestowed upon him?

    Again, I don’t think Thomas used. But doesn’t he fit the same mold that Bagwell fit?

    I almost think Thomas is making these statements now in an attempt to sway voters in the near future.

    • Jack Marshall - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:08 AM

      Bagwell is getting unjustly screwed, but he was a normal-sized guy who suddenly morphed via weight-training into a muscle-bound beast. Thomas was always huge, in the minors and up. I’ve never heard anyone suspect him. If I were as big as Frank Thomas normally, I’d be afraid to take steroids—I don’t think its easy to play baseball if you weigh over 350 pounds, no matter how much is muscle.

  6. moogro - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:26 PM

  7. Liam - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Is Frank Thomas a future Hall of Famer? Don’t get me wrong, if I had a ballot he’d be on it without any hesitation and I hope he gets in, but I’ve heard many people apply the infamous Eye Test to him over the years and declare that he isn’t good enough. I got the sense his induction would be rather controversial, but maybe I just spend a disproportionate amount of time talking to idiots?

    • beebopthearcher - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      Umm….whoever is saying he doesn’t pass the eye test is just silly. 500 HR, 2 MVPs, lead the league in OPS 4 times, 21st all time in OPS+….what eye test is he failing?!?!

    • genericcommenter - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      I think the only question is how much he’s penalized for being strictly a DH after 29. I don’t think it will be that much, and he’s far better than any of the previous mostly-DH candidates.

    • Jack Marshall - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:09 AM

      Yes. Idiots.

    • yarnivek - Jun 8, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      Thomas is not a slam dunk. That he was a full time DH will work against him. Baines didn’t get in. Nor did Edgar Martinez. Or Tony Oliva, the first “star” who extended his career as a DH.

      • beebopthearcher - Jun 8, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        Thomas was predominately a 1st baseman until the age of 30. He was not a “full time DH”.

  8. rbj1 - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    How about amphetamine users? Because they also fall under the ban.

    • paperlions - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      You don’t understand. The PEDs used regularly by guys already in the HOF are fine, it is only the newer generation that are dirty cheaters….oh, and never mind the fact that (again) SI ran multiple cover stories in the 60’s about steroid use in baseball. Steroids have been used by baseball players since at least the 1960s, at which point the media knew and was writing about it….but, you know, those steroids were fine, and greenies those were fine too.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        Those steroids were different than today’s steroids.

        They weren’t as strong.

        Much like people who excuse their own youthful pot use while frowning upon those who use today’s much more potent maryjane.

      • paperlions - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:16 PM

        Exactly. Back in the day, they were just innocent kids having a good time, these druggies today are no good hoodlums.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:50 PM

        It’s easy to keep pot illegal when old people think only minorities and teenagers smoke it.

        And man, old people hate minorities and teenagers almost as much as they love Matlock reruns and eating dinner at 4 o’clock.

        And soft cheese.

      • paperlions - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:51 PM

        I really really really really REALLY with that didn’t sound like nearly all of my aunts and uncles (an my parents and their spouses)….but, it really kind of does.

      • paperlions - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:04 PM


      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:51 PM

        And ribbon candy.

        They also love ribbon candy.

        Which they all have on hand at all times despite the fact that no new ribbon candy has been produced since 1979.

      • paperlions - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:52 PM

        Hey now, lay off of ribbon candy.

      • paperlions - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:53 PM

        To those of you that don’t know what ribbon candy is, all I can say is that your grandmother must not have loved you if she didn’t have any on hand for you around the holidays.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:26 PM

        How much she loved you though depended on how gooey the ribbon candy was.

        If it was hard, that meant it was fresh and she just put it out.

        If it was a little bit sticky that meant it was leftover from last year or the year before.

        If it had a layer of goo on top of the sticky….she just keeps that out at all times and no one has ever tried to eat it.

      • beebopthearcher - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:27 PM

        Hmm…you seem to be implying some shades of gray involving PEDs and steroid use. . With my limited world view, my brain cannot handle such things. I’m gonna have to take some tylenol now.

      • badintent - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:41 PM

        I was a teenager in the 60’s read all the SIs(OK, I didn’t “read” the swimsuit issue ), don’t recall any stories about roids in baseball, only in the Olympics and bodybuilders. Natural giants like Fran Howard and McCovey didn’t have ripped arms or huge heads. SI did do a great article about greenies use and how the flying and expansion brought that drug into wide use to combat jet lag ,etc.

      • paperlions - Jun 8, 2013 at 8:00 AM

        There was a 3 part series and every story makes reference to baseball, including this one, “A little something extra on the ball”

        The story also outlines how everyone in power knows but doesn’t care and hushes things up as they want the most production out of players they can get, with most things actually supplied by trainers. Teams actually introduced most ball players to PEDs, after which, players may have looked for things the team wasn’t handing out.

      • badintent - Jun 9, 2013 at 1:04 AM

        thanks, good reading is always welcomed.. Check out the post under yours for the 3 SI articles too.

      • beebopthearcher - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:59 PM

        Some stories from 1960s SI involving steroids and baseball (the SI Vault is *amazing*). It’s all mostly in the abstract, but clearly players were aware of them.

  9. thebadguyswon - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Hmmm…so I guess he has disqualified himself too.

  10. soundsofsuccess7 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Reasonable request..

  11. golfrangeman - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    My biggest issue is keeping someone out because they’ve been “linked” if you haven’t been suspended or tested positive then it shouldn’t even be brought up. What ever happened to innocent till proven guilty. Clemens is a perfect example never tested positive and not guilty in a court of law, I’m not saying I don’t think he used but I’m not keeping someone out because I “think he used”

    • Jack Marshall - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:14 AM

      When a player’s trainer says the player used, and that he helped, that’s a long way from “I think he used.”

  12. genericcommenter - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Just leave out any guys who were having trouble staying on the field at age 36 or 37- just like most players in the “old days”- and then hit..I don’t know- 39 HR at age 38 and had 624 PAs with a 125 OPS+ at age 39.

    • badintent - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:43 PM

      thank you. My point exactly. Never put Frank in Ted Williams class with his great batting in his late 30’s.

  13. wpjohnson - Jun 8, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    The Hall of Fame has a group of truly great players. However, it also has a much larger group of merely good players. Ferguson Jenkins and Don Drysdale do not remotely compare to Christy Mathewson and Cy Young. Nor does Willie Stargell or Billy Williams compare to Ted Williams or Hank Aaron. No one really compares to Babe Ruth.

    Of more modern players, maybe Ken Griffey, Jr. compares to the true greats. Maybe. Of the pitchers, I would say that only Greg Maddux would deserve to be listed as one of the dozen best starting pitchers of all time.

    • yahmule - Jun 8, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      Comparing across eras is extremely difficult. There have always been great players.

  14. golfrangeman - Jun 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    The players trainer was also a proven lier.

  15. yahmule - Jun 8, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    So, where’s the quote by Schmidt saying he would have used steroids? The comment provided in the article doesn’t indicate that.

  16. louhudson23 - Jun 8, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    I don’t think there are many things I have heard or read that are any sillier(ok…trickle down economics is pretty damn silly…and destructive….but..outside that…)than comparing the use of steroids to amphetamine use…not from a morality or legal standpoint,but purely form a distortion of the game standpoint….like pitchers on steroids,there may or may not have been a competitive advantage gained…durability and energy were generally enhanced,but the record book was not destroyed by a freak show of geeks,defense and pitching did not become a side note at the Home Run Derby and hitting cut-off men and stealing bases become quaint notions of nostalgia for bored outfielders and homer slamming second basemen. There is a difference and it is clear as the light between Bud Selig’s ears…..

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