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Today the Hall of Fame celebrates the (imaginary) purity of baseball

Jul 28, 2013, 1:03 PM EST

Cooperstown

Today the Hall of Fame honors its inductees. Posthumous inductees, that is, as it is only inducting umpire Hank O’Day, Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and 19th Century catcher/third baseman Deacon White. One living honoree — Spink Award winner Paul Hagen — will take the stage and speak.

This despite the fact that there is no shortage of worthy living players who deserve induction. Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza and Alan Trammell all have strong cases on the merits. Obviously the Hall of Fame voters disagree as they tend to do. I think eventually most of those guys will make it. There are two, however, who deserve to be on that stage today but won’t be and may never be: Barry Bonds and Rogers Clemens.

The reason for this is pretty obvious. They cheated. Bonds definitely, as has been widely documented. Clemens most likely, even though the evidence against him isn’t as public and isn’t as thorough. Each of them are out of the Hall of Fame, not because their baseball cases are debatable, but because they are seen wanting in the department of character, morals and ethics.

But on this day when only the dead speak and only the pure of heart and soul shall pass, let us not forget that the Hall of Fame has long welcomed cheaters with open arms.

Gaylord Perry threw a spitball. Don Sutton and Whitey Ford (and probably almost every other pitcher in history) scuffed or cut balls. Scores of batters corked their bats. The 1951 Giants won the pennant after rigging up an elaborate, electric sign-stealing mechanism. John McGraw, both as a player and a manager, invented and carried out more ways to break rules than anyone in history, ranging from umpire distracting and cutting the corners on bases and tripping or obstructing opposing runners. Ty Cobb sharpened his spikes in an effort to maim opposing players who would dare try to tag him out. While we single out the 1919 White Sox as a unique stain on the game, many players — including Hall of Famers — fixed baseball games prior to the Black Sox scandal.

While many have attempted to argue that using PEDs is different in kind than all of those other examples — examples which are often laughed off as quirky or colorful — the fact is that there are PED users in the Hall of Fame already. Only, instead of steroids, they used amphetamines or “greenies” as they were called. Players who have either admitted to or have been credibly accused of taking such things include Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. And this leaves out all of the drug and/or alcohol users who took things which hindered their performance, which also impacted the competitive nature of the game, albeit adversely to their team’s interests. And it also assumes that there are no steroid users already in the Hall of Fame, which I do not believe is a reasonable assumption.

The common thread here: all of these examples of baseball cheating involved players breaking rules in an effort to gain some sort of edge on the competition. Rule breaking that, in turn, put the competition in the unenviable position of having to decide if they too should break the rules to keep up. There is not a black and white difference between a user of PEDs and baseball’s other cheaters.

Oh, and there are tons of racists in there too. Men who actively fought to keep minorities out of the game for decades, which is both objectively evil and which adversely impacted the game’s competitive landscape . There is also a former Spink Award winner in there — Bill Conlin — who has had more credible accusations of sexual molestation leveled at him than many players who are being kept out of the hall for steroids have had steroids accusations leveled at them. Character matters, see. Except in those cases where it doesn’t.

Not that any of this makes Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens better people than they are. Two wrongs don’t make a right. But let us not forget that, until very, very recently, the Hall of Fame has never cared about wrongs in the first place.  Why it should start caring about them now is beyond me.

114 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. proudlycanadian - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Tom Cheek never used PED’s.

  2. detroitfanatic - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, all would have taken steroids if they were available in his day. Please don’t tell me they was too classy: They weren’t. Also, they didn’t give a shit about level playing fields, or respecting their opponents.

    • cktai - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      Babe Ruth in fact did take steroids in the form of sheep testicle injections.

      • detroitfanatic - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        And Mays and Aaron took amphetamines. Ruth got hammered every day during prohibition. I’ve broken a lot of laws, but that motherfucker broke the US Constitution.

    • toosano - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      Hey, let them all cheat. We can call it gorilla ball.
      Who cares about ethics and morals anymore. It’s all about the mighty dollar, anyway.

      • detroitfanatic - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:13 PM

        They televise the hall of fame ceremony. They sell advertising for it. You are right. It is all about the dollar. And if you think Mantle, Ruth, Mays, Dimaggio didn’t want to screw famous women and live in the fanciest houses you don’t know your history.

      • DJ MC - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        You are assuming that there were EVER ethics and morals in the first place.

    • soxpower - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:49 PM

      BUT THEY DIDN’T. Frank Thomas didn’t use Roids? Craig Biggio? Randy Johnson? ALl players that compare to Mcguire, Bonds, and Clemens.

      • toosano - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:04 PM

        Maybe. Maybe not.

    • cohnjusack - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:23 PM

      http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/2592737

      To Quote Bob Gibson:

      What surprises me is that the best ballplayers in the world thought they needed to do that. But I’ve got to say, if it had been me, and I thought somebody would have been given a little bit of an edge (from performance-enhancing drugs), I’m not so sure I wouldn’t have done the same thing.

      I’m glad I didn’t have to make that decision. You guys would have been talking about me instead of them. So I can’t be too critical. I don’t know what I would have done, so I can’t be holier than thou.

    • ctony1216 - Jul 28, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      Yeah, I hope A-Rod retires now so he and Mariano can get into the Hall of Fame at the same time. That’d be cool, wouldn’t it? One of the greatest HR hitters of all time, Alex Rodriguez, going into the Hall with the greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera!

      What? A-Rod isn’t Hall material because he did steroids? But everybody cheats — Willie, Mickey, they’re all cheating scumbags, right? Kick those guys out or admit you’re a hypocrite and let A-Rod in! Stop celebrating imaginary purity, dammit! 642 HRs talk, imaginary purity walks!

      /snark

  3. cackalackyank - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    I do not like rule breakers, but I have to agree that it makes no sense to apply a higher standard to players from the last 30 years than was applied to players from the previous 100 or so years.

  4. koufaxmitzvah - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    “The 1951 Giants won the pennant after rigging up an elaborate, electric sign-stealing mechanism.”

    The shot heard around the world of CHEATERS!!!11!

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:38 PM

      The Giants won the pennant. The Dodgers lost the pennant. You call it cheating. I call it a mitzvah.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 29, 2013 at 7:35 AM

        It’s all good, Jims. Ya’ll won the pennant in ’51. The caps and !!11!! is all tongue in cheek for going crazy.

  5. jayscarpa - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    The HOF doesn’t select the inductees they are just the caretakers. It doesn’t celebrate “purity”, it celebrates baseball – good, bad, ugly.

    It irks me when people denigrate the institution because of what a country club of baseball writers decide to do. Ignorant.

    • rbj1 - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      And let’s examine how many writers padded expense accounts, were racists/sexists, cheated on their wives, were drunks (DUI) or substance abusers.

      I don’t mind a 2006 cut off date, when testing came into effect, but before then there was too much looking the other way, if not outright encouragement.

      Or else the HoF contains Gehrig, Matthewson and . . . Rabbit Maranville?

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        I don’t understand why people like you don’t simply boycott the Baseball Hall of Fame. Clearly you have no interest in it in it’s current state, so why not just stay away from it and the topic of it. Make your own “anything goes” baseball hall of fame and you can all love it and cherish it and never have to have sleepless nights over Gary Sheffield not being a MLB HOFer because he was a cheater ever again.

      • ryanrockzzz - Jul 29, 2013 at 7:41 AM

        Maybe they do not boycott the HOF because the institution istelf contains tons of baseball history that is relevent and interesting to the average fan. How is this a matter of “anything goes.” This is a matter of how you define cheating in baseball. Do we define sign stealing, use of “greenies” for years, and doctoring baseballs as acceptable, and steroid use as totally unacceptable? It sounds a little far-fetched, and it’s not fair that the standards of an ill-informed, disengaged election committe shape the insitution that carries on baseball’s history.

    • DJ MC - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Because the institution is happy with the current situation, and consistently states so publicly.

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        And?

      • DJ MC - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        And what? I’m explaining why people denigrate the institution in addition to the writers: the Hall of Fame sees the current situation as acceptable, and says so publicly.

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        Oh. It’s hard to tell what post is being responded to. This set-up is archaic.

      • jayscarpa - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        Haven’t seen them state that.

    • DJ MC - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      Responding here to make sure you see it:

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/09/quote-of-the-day-hall-of-fame-president-jeff-idelson/

  6. braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    You can’t change the past, only the future. It amazes me how so many don’t use logic and reason when forming their opinions. Sure, there are bad people and cheaters in the Hall of Fame… but how on earth dos that equate to allowing known bad people and cheaters into the Hall of Fame NOW. It’s a senseless argument.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      but how on earth dos that equate to allowing known bad people and cheaters into the Hall of Fame NOW

      It doesn’t. Players who break the rules now shouldn’t be allowed in the HoF if the rules specifically forbid it.

      However, that’s not what the writers are arguing. They try to use the “character clause” to keep players out while conveniently forgetting/not using it previously. There is no consistency in their application of these guidelines, which is hypocritical.

      If a writer wants to say that using PEDs is bad, they should also come out and say that, if they were alive/had the vote then, they wouldn’t have voted in any of those players Craig mentioned. If they do that, they are staying logically consistent.

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        The writers simply make their votes. If there was stigma attached to greenies back in the day, then the players who used them would have received less Hall votes. No one really cared about greeny usage then like many do care about anabolic steroid usage now. So holding voters now to standards of the past is an absurd notion.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        Please reread my comment. No, don’t, I’ll just simplify it.

        If you think using a substance to enhance your performance now is cheating, but don’t think using a substance 30 years ago to enhance your performance is cheating, then you are a moron.

        If you think you can’t elect any “cheaters” into the HoF now because the HoF has to be “pure” without acknowledging the many admitted cheaters are already in the HoF, you are a moron.

        Not you specifically, but general you.

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:06 PM

        Jesus Christ. Can’t anyone ever simply have a discussion anymore. Why does everything immediately go to name calling and general nastiness. No class. I would respond to you with a thought out response, but since you want to play belligerent internet guy instead of simply discussing things cordially with people, I’ll just ignore you and not waste my time.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        Why does everything immediately go to name calling and general nastiness.

        Are you serious? Can you really read? I mean really? because I f’ing posted this:

        Not you specifically, but general you.

        What part of not you specifically is so hard to understand?

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        Give me a break. You followed your argument with “If you disagree with me, you are a moron.” General or not, it’s a nasty way to talk to people simply trying to have a civil discussion with you. Have some tact.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:14 PM

        General or not, it’s a nasty way to talk to people simply trying to have a civil discussion with you

        I’m willing to have a civil discussion with anyone, but if you can’t read what I write and instead try to interpret something i’m not saying, then it’s pointless.

        When I point out specifically I’m not talking about you, and you say that I do. Then I write again that I wasn’t talking to you specifically, and you again make that claim, it’s pretty pointless trying to have a discussion.

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:30 PM

        Oh my lord. And where did I say that you were talking about me. Oh, that’s right. I never did. lol You sure can’t comprehend very well for a person claiming others aren’t comprehending what you are saying.

      • cackalackyank - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:38 PM

        Can’t we all just get along?

    • American of African Descent - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      Have you ever heard of the concept of stare decisis? Basically it says that we should treat current cases in the same manner that we treated prior cases because to do otherwise would be an injustice to someone. Using stare decisis, given that there are cheaters in the hall of fame now, it stands to reason that “cheating” is not a per se bar to hall of fame entry — that is, you have to do something more to a ban for morals. Otherwise, we should be advocating just as hard to remove Mays and Aaron and Cobb and countless others. (We remove Cobb because intentionally trying to maim the opposition, and being a bigot are terrible things.)

      Using your own words, braddavery, it’s senseless to argue that we should start enforcing the morals clause now when so many immoral people (indeed, so many more immoral people) are already enshrined.

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:52 PM

        This isn’t a court case, it’s a Hall of Fame for people who play a game. Give me a break. You can’t take it so seriously as to act like it’s akin to a court of law and that decisions made should be treated as such. If the HOF wants to keep out modern day cheaters and let the past be the past, it’s their choice. As I stated, this isn’t a court of law.

      • American of African Descent - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:10 PM

        It may not be a court of law or of equity.

        Notwithstanding that stare decisis is a legal term, the philosophical concept that we should treat similarly situated people similarly applies to the hall of fame debate. Whether you want to use the shorter Latin, or whether you want to write it out in English, the bottom line is that adults use these philosophical concepts when they discuss how they are going to treat groups of people.

        Also, you’re one to talk about taking things seriously given how much you comment on steroids on the blog. Obviously the sports writers who guard the entrance to the HOF can make the choice to keep out modern day cheaters. The question is whether they should keep out modern day cheaters given the precedent that they have established by allowing players who have engaged in serious immoral behavior in the past.

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        Most of the voters who voted in these devils of the past you speak of are no longer voting for Hall induction, so no actually, precedents have NOT been set for the current stream of voters. The guy who voted in Hank Aaron didn’t leave off a vote for Barry Bonds on last year’s ballot, sorry. These new voters are not to be held to standards of past voters. Your point is denied.

      • American of African Descent - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:21 PM

        How has my point been denied? That would require someone with authority to act on it.

        In any case, the way that precedent works is that the new crop of decision makers looks at the way previous decision makers acted. Again, go back to the court system.

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:25 PM

        lol No. Just no.

      • American of African Descent - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:41 PM

        Right back at you, my friend.

    • CyclePower - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      Craig uses an insidious kind of relativism, I think the kind that comes from years of litigating where arguments are formed in a kind of moral vacuum. It’s sophistry designed to make a point that, while technically valid, is detached from the larger notion of what most people consider right and wrong. Most of us here know, instinctively, that there’s a big difference between Gaylord Perry using an occasional dab of saliva to get a baseball to move more and Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire looking like mutated freaks. I’m sorry, but if you’re going to draw a comparison between a systematic use of pharmaceuticals to dramatically alter and enhance your abilities as an athlete, then a more apt comparison would be if Hank Aaron used exclusively a corked bat at every plate appearance in the last ten years of his career. …not only a corked bat, but a magic corked bat that dramatically improved both power and bat speed and eye-hand coordination and reaction time.

      In fact, Hank Aaron, who is really one of the the sports good guys – as in classy guy with character – is one of the biggest losers in all this. Now we really can’t recognize him for his greatness because that record was stolen from him. We can’t really, truly appreciate greatness and achievement that comes from talent and persistence anymore. We will never, ever be really able to have a discussion or “who was the best ever?” How we look at baseball historically is now completely distorted.

      Craig is just being cute and clever and it’s getting kind of annoying. To his credit, though, he’s not as annoying as that smarmy twerp Jeff Passan.

      • nategearhart - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        “Gaylord Perry using an occasional dab of saliva”
        This is a gross understatement of the frequency with which Perry doctored baseballs, according to Perry himself.

        “a magic corked bat that dramatically improved both power and bat speed and eye-hand coordination and reaction time.”
        It’s been said many many times, but PED use is not guaranteed to send a hit ball farther. And muscle mass has no effect whatsoever on ‘eye-hand coordination and reaction time’.

        “Now we really can’t recognize him for his greatness…”
        I am well aware of how amazingly amazing Hank Aaron was, and anytime I want a reminder I can go look at his Baseball Reference page or watch video of him playing…it’s an amazing time we live in, in which so much information is readily available. Steroids have done nothing to hinder that.

  7. yankeepunk3000 - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    completely agree. Doesn’t make sense on this purity nonsense when so many players had huge problems. this only steroid user o would probally keep oir would be Mark Maguire just because I don’t believe he would of been a haller with out the roiding. he had 1500 hits or so and 583 were homeruns! other then that most have food cases that even without the roids they would of been hallers

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      Very sloppy writing. Please try again.

  8. barrywhererufrom - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    To compare a stimulant to steroids is assine. What would greenies do to make an athlete stronger? Can you hit a baseball further? Red Bull is a stimulant should we compare that to steroid use? Have you competed against people who have used PEDS? I have. The advantage is huge. The idea you can gain muscle and recover from your workouts faster is a huge advantaged. Do athletes gain strength and and put up numbers like bonds did in their late 30’s..no amount of greenies would do that for you. I asked a buddy of mine who was stuck at AAA with the Blue Jays during the steroid era did you ever think about using. He said not for a second. It’s cheating and I would refuse to a .part of that group..

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      BarryBondsIsFromRiverside, what does speed have to do with hitting the ball? Well, it keeps you focused on a fast spinning object that you’re supposed to decide if and how to hit within a .02 second span, for starters.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      To compare a stimulant to steroids is assine. What would greenies do to make an athlete stronger?

      Steroids do absolutely nothing to make you stronger. It’s the combination of steroids and working out harder/longer and more frequent that make you stronger. But you still need to work out. Swallowing a greenie gives you instant energy and alertness.

      Do athletes gain strength and and put up numbers like bonds did in their late 30′s..no amount of greenies would do that for you.

      What numbers did Bonds put up in his late 30s that others haven’t put up? Is it the 73 HR’s? Because the rest of his numbers he put up mid 40 HRs. Aaron did that, so did Williams and Ruth.

      • barrywhererufrom - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        Of course you would have to workout..but my workouts would not have to be so good..and when I did my recovery time would be much shorter than yours. Would you consider red bull a performance enhancer? Doesn’t that give you energy and make you more awake?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        I actually would, because it gives you more energy (unless you are like that one player who chugged three or four of them every day before a game, then you hit diminishing returns). Anything that makes your performance better than if you didn’t take something, should be called a “performance enhancer”.

      • raysfan1 - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        Dexedrine, AKA “greenies” is far more potent than Red Bull. The amphetamines also have more dangerous side effects. Further, amphetamine use without a prescription has been illegal since 1970.

      • tonirigatoni - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:24 PM

        Swallowing a greenie isn’t instant, no more than taken an advil instantly cures your headache. Obviously, you’re no expert.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:31 PM

        Compared to how long it takes the effects of anabolic steroids to take hold, greenies are virtually instantaneous. The one I take goes to work in less than fifteen minutes.

    • ryanrockzzz - Jul 29, 2013 at 7:55 AM

      Greenies keep you focused and energized over 162 games. So maybe in a game you felt like dogging it and wouldn’t have had energy to play well, you would play better and be more energized. Unless you’ve taken both, how can you quantify either and what they did at the time. Both are cheating, and give some sort of an advantage, so how can you put one above the other?

  9. Walk - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    I have always been of the opinion that an article that furthers debate has merit beyond what an article may say. Craig takes a lot of flack for being pro steroid. Looking at this article he has plenty of points which are debatable which I think is the very point. Comparing greenies to steroids is a basic apples and oranges type of argument. A lot of peds have been proven to have very little to no effect on strength while an amphetamine will give a person a boost in energy that would allow them to play in games where they would otherwise be too tired to take part. Look at how players are substituted now in a day game after a night game. Go back and look at how many regulars were in the lineups when it was ok to take greenies. So I happen to agree with you barry amphetamines had a much greater impact on the game. If steroids could turn us into a barry bonds we would all be taking them. I am sure they helped players like barry, but how much did they help? How much and what did he take? It is quite possible we will have those answers some day and it will let us measure achievements in the steroids era more accurately. Until then all we have are a bunch of flawed arguments, mine included, and debate which is a good thing.

  10. lkwalk - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    It’s not as if steroids morph you into Clark Kent. The question ought to be, ‘Would these guys have been great had they not used the crap?’ And if the answer is yes, as I believe it is, let em in.

  11. misterj167 - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Two observations

    One, while braddavery makes a good point, it’s my impression that the people who scream most about “cheaters” are mostly upset that people get paid so much money for doing what they do, money that comes from someone else. Bankers cheat all the time, and big corporations do nothing but cheat in their goal to maximize profits, pay their employees as little as possible, and pay as little taxes as possible. For people like that, it seems, cheating is “The American Way”, and I don’t hear anyone complain nearly as much about that, despite the fact that what goes on in the banking industry directly affects their lives, as opposed to how many homers Ryan Braun hits.

    The other point is that a lot of this seems to me to be the commissioner and others looking to make examples out of the big stars of the game as part of the constant struggle between owners and players, which until the late sixties the owners had pretty much won. Selig is an owner after all, and as far as he’s concerned, the interests of his fellow owners are more important than the game itself. The owners have always hated free agency and there’s little doubt in my mind that many would love to go back to the days of the reserve clause, but since they can’t do that, they’ll find some other way.

    Sooner or later they’ll turn these techniques on players who haven’t cheated, but who have annoyed the owners sufficiently that they need be be put down, and the sad thing is that there are a lot of fans who would be happy to help them along.

    I for one would welcome a fair and equitable way to handle things like steroid use, but I have no confidence that you will ever get one from team owners or from a commissioner who is firmly in their camp.

  12. barrywhererufrom - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Clemens was done in Boston. Their GM gets fired after his steroid enhanced reconnaissance. See that is what roids does for..it makes a border line HOFamer an immortal. It can get some guys to the major leagues and it enhances careers. if you were a hall of famer and didnt cheat you would feel a lot different. I could understand why they would not want anyone in associated with that. Finally we had a president who was a member of the kkk Truman..we had a senator Robert Byrd who also a member. This is sickening to think that this was true..sadly our history is littered with racists like this..and what does this have to do with cheating in baseball I have no idea

    • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      Well apparently many want modern baseball to be held to the standards of baseball past. I guess they want segregation back too then? I mean, that’s how it was, no matter how awful it was, and the present should be held to past standards. Right?

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:19 PM

        I will admit that this statement I made is an obvious strawman and was a misguided attempt to rationalize my thoughts on the matter. I strike it from the record books! : )

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      Blab much?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      Clemens was done in Boston.

      242.1 IP, 3.63 ERA, 139 ERA+, 257 K’s (lead league) = done?

      • barrywhererufrom - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        those were stats from his last year in Boston?

      • cohnjusack - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:31 PM

        No Barry, church just made it up in a clever rouse to fool you.

        Yes, those were his number in his last year in Boston.

        The year before that he still had nearly 9ks per 9 innings and a 117 ERA+ with the league’s worst defense behind him and the year before that he had a whopping 176 ERA+

        When people say he was “done in Boston” they are looking at his win totals. Which we should all know by now are a terrible way to judge a pitcher.

  13. blacksables - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    The difference between the examples here are simple. One happens on the field. The other happens away from it.

    Players, managers, sportswriters, fans, etc, have always accepted what happens on the field as part of the game. The, ‘hey, at least they’re trying to win’ thing. Vs doing something away from the field (locker room, home, doctor’s office) ‘hey, he’s cheating’.

    That’s why stealing signs from the dugout is okay, and using electronic means isn’t. Doing something on the field is the spirit of competition. Doing it off the field is cheating.

    That’s why there were specific rules and punishments for getting caught doing something during the game, and very few for off-the field incidents.

    Used to be, what happened on the field mattered, and what happened off the field was nobody’s business.

    Thanks to mass media, that has all changed.

  14. dparker713 - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Craig, for Bonds to be an admitted cheater I think most people would require him to have actually known he was cheating. He’s claimed that he used steroids unknowingly. Not that I believe him, but that’s all we can say definitely happened.

  15. rayburns - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    If not now, when?

    At some point in time, it comes down to a group of people making a stand and saying that the Hall of Fame should mean something other than a numbers game and popularity party. Does it mean that the past is ignored? No. But you can’t rewrite history, you can only acknowledge it and hope to never repeat it.

    I have no problem with today’s sportswriters drawing a line in the sand and saying that certain athletes should not be allowed into the Hall of Fame, the actions of past sportswriters, or even current sportswriters who’ve had an epiphany, notwithstanding.

    The way that any institution maintains its ‘purity’ is by constantly growing to acknowledge new customs. It doesn’t try to rewrite the past, or hide behind tradition, it moves forward. Is there a double standard regarding certain people who are in the Hall of Fame and people who are being kept out, certainly there is. But rather than knuckling under to naysayers who think that two wrongs will eventually make a right, the Hall has said “no more’.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      But rather than knuckling under to naysayers who think that two wrongs will eventually make a right,

      Nice strawman as no one is arguing this.

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        Bullshit. That’s EXACTLY what you are arguing. You and many others seem to think that because there are bad people and cheaters already in the Hall that we need to continue purposely putting bad people and cheaters in the Hall. There is no denying it, because it’s EXACTLY what you are implying.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        When have I ever argued that two wrongs make a right?

    • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      This is the single most thoughtful and insightful statement ever made about the current HOF voting situation. It should be stickied to every HOF discussion.

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        rayburns’ statement, is what I was referencing.

    • American of African Descent - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      So then why aren’t you lobbying that the racists and the druggies of the past should be removed? Because I cannot see any logical consistency, braddavery’s ranting notwithstanding, in arguing that one group of suspected cheaters and otherwise immoral people deserve to be in the hall of fame given their on-the-field contributions, while another group of suspected cheaters (who are allegedly immoral because they cheated) does not.

      You cannot rewrite the past — the 90s and 00s happened. And the players who played the best during that time period deserve to enshrined for a host of reasons, not the least of which is that there are already immoral people in the hall of fame, and immorality has not disqualified people in the past. We should not start enforcing the morality clause now.

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        If the HOF wants to remove them, that’s their choice. I would think drudging up proof of players from the past’s drug use would be nearly impossible and it will never happen. Of course, blatant racism should be looked at and any player/coach/owner should be possibly removed. But again, proof is needed and dead people can’t defend themselves, so good luck with that. No one is “rewriting” the past. They are writing the future by trying to keep the HOF clean of cheaters. I’m satisfied in knowing that your and others twisted opinions on the matter are the minority and cheaters will not be voted in any time soon.

      • American of African Descent - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        There are enough players who have admitted to using amphetamines who are still alive that you could really decimate the HOF. A guy like Ty Cobb — let’s take the racism accusations out of it — who sharpened his spikes to maim opponents and who killed a man could be removed. . .

        Tom Yawkey and Happy Chandler could also be removed given their stance of black players . . . and I haven’t even given this much thought. Are you sure you would want to open up this can of worms that immoral people should not be in the HOF? Because you would start having to axe a lot of people. Where’s the fun in that?

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:28 PM

        I don’t care if they remove players. Go right ahead. If you are waiting for an argument from me, you’ll be waiting a long time. Remove any scum, I’m all for it.

      • American of African Descent - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:44 PM

        I’m pleased that you’re displaying some logical consistency, even though I would go the other way, admit Bonds, Clemens, and Palmero, and also keep Ruth and Cobb.

  16. ezthinking - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    It’s a museum with an unfortunate VIP section that is filled with great players and marginal players. Look at the full list and realize the HOF is a joke of an ‘honor.’ Go for the museum, skip the plaques.

  17. stevem7 - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Today’s HOF Ceremony highlights the fact that the BBWAA needs to be removed as the vehicle for deciding Hall entrance. Writers have too much bias, are keeping players out of the hall based on RUMOR instead of fact, and have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to do the right thing.

    • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      So who should do the voting, unbiased and perfect players? Unbiased and perfect fans? What the heck do you want, a free-for-all? People can complain all they want about the voting process, but unless you want the Hall of Fame to look like the All-Star game lineup or the yearly Silver Slugger team, it’s pretty much the best we can do as of right now. I mean Jesus, how awful of the sport writers to at least ATTEMPTING to show some restraint while casting their votes, right?

      • DJ MC - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        Your strawman about the players aside, there are plenty of people in baseball that should be involved. Hell, there are plenty of people within the baseball media that are artificially blocked from the vote.

        Why don’t members of the broadcast media get to vote? Why don’t writers ineligible for the BBWAA but otherwise meeting the requirements get to vote?

      • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        How the hell would I know. My point is, no matter who votes, the outcome will not be more unbiased. Every person has bias. Just because you want to make the decision on who votes doesn’t mean the outcome will be a better option. Some of you people are just control freaks and simply want the people voting who will vote for your players you want inducted. Sorry that a handful of players aren’t being voted in that you think are deserving. Boo freaking hoo. Cry in your sleep about it.

      • DJ MC - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:32 PM

        The larger and more varied the population, the less likely it is that questionable traits will take over the entire group. Works in biology, should work in Hall of Fame voting, too.

  18. bills399 - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    there are racists from many races in the hall of fame Craig, what’s your point?

  19. bills399 - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    umm detroitfanatic, of course you know mickey mantle and babe Ruth and they told u they would have taken steroids right? See they hit what they hit half drunk and they were still 2 of the all time greats. they didn’t need steroids. players do steroids so they can try to even come close to mantle and Ruth. what a stupid statement

    • cktai - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      Except as mentioned before, babe ruth did take steroids. He injected testosterone from sheep testicles. The fact that they were less effective does not change the fact he actively tried to enhance his performance with steroids.

  20. mudhead123 - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Braddavery has extreme anger issues. Must be awesome to watch sports with you

    • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:45 PM

      Yeah. I’m SO angry. lol

  21. bills399 - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    if clemmens career ended a couple of years after the redsox ( because he was basically shot) he doesn’t make the hall. if bonds doesn’t juice he doesn’t get 3000 hits, doesn’t hit 500 home runs, wins 1 league MVP. stop sitting on their laps. if they didn’t juice they go down as good players who had a few great seasons. doesn’t make them hall of famers.

    • American of African Descent - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      Oh that’s so sad. You don’t seem to realize Bonds doesn’t have 3,000 hits, and had earned multiple MVPs before most people believe he started using.

      Please do not voice an opinion before you’ve done all of your homework.

    • DJ MC - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:23 PM

      You know Bonds had 411 homers at age 33, before anyone has claimed he started cheating, right? Unless you think he was set for an almost unprecedented collapse, he was going to coast to around 550, and had a good chance at 600+.

      As for Clemens, he accumulated 81 WAR just with the Red Sox. A couple of mediocre seasons would have probably increased that slightly, while also drawing his counting stats up (likely 3000 innings and strikeouts, 200-plus wins for those who care, still a fantastic career ERA and adjusted-ERA). He would have gone in the Hall no matter what else happened.

  22. mudhead123 - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    You do LOVE caps

    • braddavery - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      You are obsessed. Have anything to add about the actual topic, or will you just continue to critique others’ posting habits? It doesn’t matter to me. Some people are easily entertained. To each their own.

  23. scoobies05 - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    with the exception of mcgwire, who simply wasnt good enough, they all belong in. baseball knew it was going on and turned a blind eye towards it until they had no choice but to act. cheating has always been a part of baseball. you cant just decide this cheating is bad but this other cheating is ok

    • soxpower - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      Mcgwire Belongs He won a world series,12 time allstar ,ROY, and GG . Thats hall of fame in mind. Numbers are decent but what i hate about baseball and love about football is that football is about wins and mgwire has got his ring. Now with roids he doesn’t belong

  24. soxpower - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    BEFORE U LET THE CHEATERS IN Let Minnie Minoso, BIll Pierce, Lee Smith, Roger Maris, Jack GLasscock,Jim Kaat,TIm Raines, Jeff bagwell. THEN LET THE CHEATERS IN.

    I can’t believe u guys wanna let the cheaters in right away yet PETE ROSE AND SHOELESS JOE JACKSON (both top 50 players of all time) have been punished for 30 and 80 years . Punish the cheaters for 50-60 years so they can’t see their induction. Thats a fair punishment.

  25. barrywhererufrom - Jul 28, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    I want to see the positive tests on players in the HOF for steroids. Once I do I want that player out..don’t give me the bs that these guys were racists or equate greenies with roids that increases muscle mass and strenght and recovery from workouts. Boy those greenies made those warning track fly balls go out of the park. They really made Roger Clemens throw 90 plus into his forties. Yes you were able to play when you took them. But it didn’t change HOW you played. Pudge Rodriguez was never the same hr hotter. Neither was Brady Anderson or Alex Gonzalez or Juan Gonzalez or Manny Ramirez..please stop.with the silly comparisons. We know you want your favorite player in the hall. The whole era is tainted. My team the Yankees are knee deep in that crape. It makes me sick. Every time a balllplayeer is hitting the first thing that comes to your mind is roods. That is the legacy of braun..a rod..Mcguire..sosa etc..don’t penalize the hall of framers now for something they didn’t do..finally don’t let anyone in who had a positive test..enough is enough..Parr of the reason we love the game because it hasn’t changed as much as the other sports..lets keep that link

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 29, 2013 at 7:39 AM

      You don’t trust birth certificates or news reports, but give you a sheet of paper with chemical breakdowns happening within some guy’s urine, and that’s all you need?

      Barry Barry Barry…

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