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Rich Gossage would purge all of the modern home run records if he were in charge

Jul 28, 2014, 9:17 AM EDT


I once actually committed an act of journalism. I interviewed Hall of Fame relief pitcher Rich Gossage. It took place in January 2010 and it was a fantastic experience. Gossage was polite, accommodating, expansive and interesting. Most of all, his answers seemed very thoughtful. He wasn’t spouting off talking points or cliches. He was thinking about his answers and explaining himself.

The topic: mostly PED users and the Hall of Fame. Like most former players, Gossage was unhappy with the scourge of steroids. But he also struck a very realistic tone at the time, noting how complicated the matter was. His money quote, given in response to what he and other Hall of Famers might do if/when it is discovered that a current member of the Hall of Fame used PEDs, was this:

“I don’t really know what I’d do. We’d have to find out all the facts. It’s a big dark cloud. I don’t know what the scenario would look like“

He added that how the Hall of Fame voters treated guys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, saying “if they let in some of those guys, I guess things are different.  What I said about integrity yesterday still stands, but as for the Hall, we’d have to see how the writers handled it. I can only speak for what I believe.” He concluded by saying that he had no problem with cocaine users such as Dave Parker or Tim Raines being inducted.”

In the past four years Gossage’s tone on the matter has shifted from one of personal disapproval — here’s what I believe, but it’s not all up to me, as it were — to one far greater certainty and stridence. He spoke to the New York Post over the weekend, slamming PED users and arguing that all of the pre-PED home run records should be restored. He said “are you f***ing kidding me?” regarding PED guys and then offered a lot of nonsense about Ken Griffey Jr. and great home run hitters’ aging patterns (note: Hank Aaron, like Bonds, had some of his best seasons late in his career).

I don’t know what has changed with Gossage over the past four years to change him from a guy who, while believing what he believed about PEDs, did not believe he had a monopoly on wisdom on the matter to a guy who is so damn certain and, if you put him in charge, would purge records from the books. But given my previous interaction with him, it’s somewhat disappointing.

  1. chc4 - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    So wait, Gossage’s viewpoint disappoints you yet your opinion is the right one? It’s an opinion. There is no absolute right or wrong. Don’t be so self righteous.

    • Old Gator - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      Read it again. Craig said that the shift in attitude, not opinion, from circumspection to stridency was disappointing. Hey, it’s only Craig’s opinion – don’t be so judgmental.

      • chc4 - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        Read what I said again. I think people have the right to whatever opinion they want. Not for me to judge. Craig is the judgmental one. If you don’t agree with him you’re wrong. Can’t stand people like that. Irony is he claims to be tolerant.

        While you’re at it read what he said again too. Craig clearly states the he (Craig) is disappointed in him (Goose) based on what he said. Not sure how you can interpret it any other way.

      • dcarroll73 - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        Well actually, chc4, you can if you look at the meaning of ‘disappointed’. Craig isn’t stating that Gossage is wrong; he is saying that his previous emphasis was more to his liking.
        As a personal aside, I am both a Yankee fan and a Giants fan (for over 60 years) so I think this gives me a good view of things pertaining to Gossage and Bonds. Skinny Barry could have mashed Goose, and larger Barry would have taken his pitch so far that the guys in McCovey Cove would have needed cigarette boats instead of kayaks. Goose always scared me as a Yanks fan. You knew it was either a strikeout or an HR. It made watching a game somewhat tense.
        Beyond my personal reservations about Goose, I think he is exhibiting the typical rose-colored nostalgia. Does he really think that greenies didn’t boost those older guys’ numbers? There is plenty of indication that changes to the ball or the mound height has had as much to do with different offensive or defensive dominance as steroids (which if anything could help both – e.g. Bonds and Clemens.)
        I am REALLY sick of this garbage, and the idiotic HoF 15yrs-to-10yrs thing will only guarantee it drags out through Vet voting and more arguing – most likely until the end of my days. I live in NY’s Hudson Valley, but until they admit Bonds, the only thing that will get me to Cooperstown is the opera.

      • Old Gator - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:48 PM

        “I don’t know what has changed with Gossage over the past four years to change him from a guy who, while believing what he believed about PEDs, did not believe he had a monopoly on wisdom on the matter to a guy who is so damn certain and, if you put him in charge, would purge records from the books.”

        That’s how. And when you go around calling people “self righteous,” yeah, you’re being judgmental of their opinion. Unless you were hit in the face by a hockey puck, it’s hard to figure out how you got a different mouth on each side of yours.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 28, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        That all said, I disagree with Craig. Factors like A-Rod’s second bust, and other revelations, arguably rightfully led Goose to become more hardline. It’s at least understandable.

  2. paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Interesting note from David Laurila in his latest Sunday Notes post.

    “From recent off-the-record conversations, I am becoming more and more convinced the ban on amphetamines has had a major impact on home runs and on run production overall. While many point to steroids and [are they serious?] defensive shifts, insiders I’ve talked to feel “no-greenies’ gives pitchers – who are throwing harder than ever – a distinct advantage. Hitting a baseball is easier at peak mental acuity, and starting pitchers work every five days while for hitters it is an everyday grind.”

    Still noteworthy that offensive production did not change when steroid testing began but decreased when amphetamine testing began….and that MLB players request TUEs for amphetamines at twice the rate of the general population, and that such requests more than doubled when amphetamine testing began.

    So….sure Goose, the PEDs of choice for your generation (which also included steroids) were fine, it is the dang PEDs of the kids today that are the problem.

    • dsaverno - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      Why wouldn’t peak mental acuity help pitchers too? Don’t you think relievers, pumped up on greenies, would come out and shut the door even better? How about a starter lasting an extra inning or two because of the pick-me-up he got from the pick-me-up?

      • gerryb323 - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:49 AM

        I believe the point is since pitchers have 4 days in between to recover, they are closer to peak, mentally than position players (who play every day). Obviously that wouldn’t include relievers, but I would think one would also be closer to their peak after pitching 1 inning than after playing 9 the day before.

      • jarathen - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:54 AM

        We’re also talking about the focus required to see a pitch, recognize it, and react in a split-second.

      • paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:03 AM

        It probably does, but pitchers don’t have to try to hit pitches, they just have to throw them…the level of focus required is not the same.

    • yahmule - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      Well, there you have it. A completely speculative comment by David Laurila with nothing to back it up except what “insiders (he’s) talked to feel.”

      Give me a break.

      Baldfaced lie that “that offensive production did not change when steroid testing began but decreased when amphetamine testing began.”

      • someguyinva - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:32 AM

        Best as I can tell, steroid testing began in 2003, and amphetamine testing began in 2006.

        Per Baseball Reference, runs per game increased slightly between 2003 and 2006, and have dropped every single year since 2006.

      • paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        First, the comment is based on comments from people in the game.

        Second, through time, there continues to be data consistent with amphetamines having a greater effect than steroids on offensive production in baseball, mostly because there is still no evidence that steroids had a systematic effect on offensive power.

        I know you hate this information, but in 1993 the HR rate increased overnight from 1 hr/40 PAs to 1 hr/30 PAs and stayed at that level until amphetamine testing began. For steroids to be a primary cause in the data, you have to believe 1) that a large group of players suddenly started taking steroids at the same time, 2) that the same proportion of players used steroids with the same effects for 15 years in a row with neither an increase or decrease in steroid use during that time, 3) that steroid testing did not affect the number of players using steroids, and 4) 4 years after steroid testing began, the number of players using steroids started to decline (or the effects of steroids started to decline) and did so at a relatively continuous rate for the next few years.

      • paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        Why are calling facts a “bald faced lie”? If you believe that, feel free to look at scoring or HR rates when steroid testing began versus when amphetamine testing began. As soon as you provide the data that it is not true, I’ll stop saying it.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 28, 2014 at 6:03 PM

        There were other factors besides roids.

        First, Baseball Prospectus has done some well-documented work about how expansion benefitted hitters.

        Second, the ball was “enlivened” somewhat.

        Third, maple bats.

        Fourth, Citizens and other bandboxes.


        OTOH, per what I said elsewhere, Jim Bouton said that greenies had nowhere the effect of roids.

        I think I’ll take that word first.

      • linhsiu - Jul 28, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        “Greenies” were around before 1993 [you don’t seem to point that out…that is not ignoring facts though…]

        So lets go with new theory… “Greenies” that were being used starting in 1993 were better than ones before 1993… that stats prove that…

    • tmc602014 - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      I didn’t realize it was 1993, but I remember the media and fan speculation that MLB had introduced a “juiced ball” to increase offensive production and therefore fan interest. Odd that in those relatively modern days no reporters speculated on other possible causes. Good post Mr. Plimpton!

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      OTOH, Jim Bouton, who arguably was in a good position to know, says that greenies had nowhere near the effect of roids.

    • mpzz - Jul 29, 2014 at 10:40 PM

      Anyone who thinks that “greenies” that basically keep you awake better than caffeine, compare to steroids, which made Bonds, Sosa and McGwire into super-human versions of themselves, is an utter fool.

  3. Old Gator - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Given that he was being interviewed by the New York Pestilence, I’d check with him first to be sure that his comments were being accurately reported before becoming disappointed.

    • 22yearsagotoday - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      NY Post’s best use is as a liner for the litter box.

      • Old Gator - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        I’m glad you didn’t imply it could substitute for bog roll. They use pretty cheap ink.

      • dcarroll73 - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        I think my cat would retaliate by taking out the oriental rug if I insulted him with the Post.

    • sabatimus - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      I was going to say basically this myself. NYP is pure garbage.

  4. badger80 - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    Relief Pitchers don’t belong in the Hall of Fame. It’s a travesty that they’re even included on the ballot.

    • nbjays - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      No relievers in your HoF, huh? Even though it is a well-established position now? Mo Rivera supporters will be very disappointed in your Hall of Fame.

      Shall also we leave off anyone who played any significant time as a DH? Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz fans will not be happy.

      Tell you what, since shortstop was also not an “original” baseball position, you better leave those out of your Hall, too (sorry Jetes). Oh, and pitchers who throw overhand, since that is a modification of baseball’s original rules.

      Or you could just bring your Hall of Fame into the modern era of baseball.

      • 22yearsagotoday - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        The great Mariano Rivera renders your argument against relief pitchers being in the Hall of Fame spurious at best.

      • wjarvis - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        Relief Pitchers aren’t as valuable as starting pitchers because they just don’t throw anywhere near as many innings. Even Rivera was trying to be a starting pitcher, when he didn’t succeed they sent him to the pen.

        To me that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t induct relief pitchers, just that you should induct a lot fewer.

  5. netyank - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Goose– does that mean that those pitching records will also be wiped out too? Also, if you follow that line of logic, then any accomplishments arising out of that PED use will also need adjustment. WS wins, championships, etc. Where does it end?

    • chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      You know Gossage probably doesn’t read this right?

      • clydeserra - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:34 AM

        or has thought that far ahead

  6. mt10425 - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    I’m with Goose completely!

  7. yahmule - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Great pitcher and a great guy. I will always love him for telling Joan Kroc she was “poisoning the world with her cheeseburgers.”

  8. jarathen - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    The stewards of baseball are the owners, players, media, and fans, and it is up to all of them to ensure the game is being played as fairly as possible. NONE of these groups should be let off the hook for encouraging ridiculous power numbers in a bald attempt to save face after the ugly strike and turning a blind eye to obvious changes to the makeup of the game.

    You don’t whitewash history to erase mistakes; you acknowledge them as such and move on. I won’t draw any melodramatic parallels, but let’s just agree that the past should not be swept away as it is found uncomfortable to look at. These games were played, teams won and lost, records were broken again and again. It happened.

  9. yahmule - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Craig Calcaterra: note: Hank Aaron, like Bonds, had some of his best seasons late in his career.

    Very disingenuous even by Craig’s thin standards. Aaron did have great seasons from the age of 37 to 39, but they were in line with previous great seasons from his career.

    Bonds’ seasons from 36-39 far exceeded the numbers he put up in his prime.

    • someguyinva - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      Bonds’ seasons from 36-39 far exceeded the numbers he put up in his prime

      I guess it’s all in how you define “far exceeded”, but I’m not sure I agree with you here:

      • 18thstreet - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        Plenty of great players had great year late in their careers:

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 28, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        Killer Killebrew only had an OPS+ of above 100 at age 36; all other years were below.

        So, @18th, you actually “prove” the case against Bonds rather than disproving it.

    • Glenn - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      Aaron had great seasons late in his career because it coincided with the move out of the pitcher’s era of the late sixties/early seventies and he moved to a hitter’s ballpark.

    • gatorprof - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      Yeah, but Aaron didn’t have a sudden up tick in power production late his in career that hadn’t been there all along. Two quick comparisons put this to bed.

      1) Hank Aaron’s first 40 HR season was at age 23, 44 HRs. Barry Bonds’ age 28, 46 HRs. Aaron had 2 more 40 HR seasons (and a 39 HR season) by up to his age 28 season.

      2) Barry Bonds’ top 4 OPS+ seasons were age 36-39. Aaron’s were 25, 29, 25, and 37.

      Craig, your comment only tells part of the story and is misleading. Yes, Aaron was a freak of nature in that he had two really good seasons after age 35 (averaging above his career OPS+), but was a fairly consistent power hitter during his entire career. Bonds was a chemically enhanced freak of nature who suddenly became a dominant power hitter at age 35.

      • someguyinva - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        Would you agree that Bond’s freakishly high walk totals contributed, at least in part, to his top 4 OPS+ seasons?

      • gatorprof - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        Yes, but his top 4 years for SLG are still 36-39. More information….3/4 and 4/5 top HR years are 36-39. Ditto for BB and batting average.

      • someguyinva - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:27 PM

        There’s rather a consistency to Bonds’ Total Bases per year; after 2001 (411 TB) and 1993 (365) he had ten years where his total bases were somewhere between 292 and 336, and might’ve had an 11th in 1994 (his age 29 season, right in the middle of the traditional prime years) were it not for the strike, although he was on pace for 365 TB again in 1994. He also had 12 seasons where his hit total was somewhere between 144 and 159.

        What changed from year to year is the ABs, as his walk totals skyrocketed. If TBs are consistent, but ABs drop, then SLG is going to go up, obviously. One of the more impressive things to me about his career is that as BBs increased, the outs he made decreased, and so his rate stats like SLG and OBP and BA all went up.

      • dcarroll73 - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        someguyinva, Thank You for stating this. Bonds continued to hone his batting eye such that he did take the walks when forced to. He became the reincarnation of that old Honus Wagner story, “when the ball is over the plate, Mr. Wagner will let you know.” There were games in which he saw nothing over the plate, and if the team needed it, he take a ball just off and park it in the Cove.
        For everyone who believes his numbers are inflated, how about a counter-argument? Without collusion, how long could Bonds have been an extremely productive DH (ideally for my Yanks)? He would have made Ortiz look like a slap-hitter. Those extra numbers that he was illegally denied more than cancel out any inflation in my opinion.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 28, 2014 at 6:13 PM

        Wow, who’s more naive or disingenuous, Someguy or Dcarroll?

        Someguy is certainly proving Twain right about lies, damned lies and statistics.

      • someguyinva - Jul 28, 2014 at 7:16 PM

        What lies are my statistics telling, SocraticGadfly?

        yahmule’s of the opinion that Bonds’ age 36-39 seasons “far exceeded” the rest of his career; I disagree with that opinion, and have been attempting to show that he had a pretty long sustained period of high production throughout his career.

        Did he hit more HRs in age 36-39 seasons? Sure; I haven’t disputed that.

        Did he put up better numbers in age 36-39 seasons? Yes, but I’m of a belief that it was due to more than just hitting HRs.

        I’m not a PED apologist, nor am I a purist when it comes to the game. I don’t care who used PEDs, be they steroids, HGH, amphetamines, or whatever. Athletes are there to entertain me, and that’s all; let them put all the substances they want into their bodies, and I’ll keep watching as long as the sport is entertaining to me. I don’t care if guys in the earlier eras didn’t have the same advantages as today’s players, not just with PEDs, but also better training, diet, health care, injury treatment, equipment, travel, lights, groundskeeping, you name it. Everything about the game today is different than it was then, save for the 90 feet between the bases.

        Barry Bonds is the best baseball player I’ve seen play the game, and the fact that he used PEDs matters not one bit to me. Did they add a few more home runs to his career totals? Maybe, but how many outs did he make against pitchers who were also using PEDs? In the end, I just don’t care.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 28, 2014 at 7:52 PM

        The worst of Bonds’ 36-39 had an OPS+ of 231. That exceeds the best of his 35-and-under years, his age-28 206, by 12 percent.

        But, let’s go better. Let’s compare the full 36-39 to his best four before that. To be fair, I’ll do nonconsecutive years on the pre-35. And, he had a 188 OPS+ at age 31 as well as age 35, which avoids the issue of age 35 also being in his PED years.

        Total OPS is 1,031 in the Golden Years vs. 768 for four non-consecutive 35-and-under.

        Bonds did 33 percent better.

        Dunno about you, but I call that significantly better.

        If you don’t, there’s no sense discussing more.

      • wjarvis - Jul 28, 2014 at 7:55 PM

        He didn’t just become a dominant HR hitter after the age of 35, He was top 10 in the league in HR 9 times between the ages of 23 and 34, with seasons leading the league once, 2nd twice, 3rd once, 4th three times, and 9th twice. During that time he was also top 10 in stolen bases 8 times and was one of the best defensive LF. He then became much stronger, but also much slower.

        2001 is obviously an outlier since he hit 24 more HR than he did any other season. I can’t explain that season, but PED’s alone can’t explain that either. However, 2000 and 2002-2004 where not that much different from most of his earlier seasons. I’m going to compare 2002-2004 with 1992-1994 (his best early 3 year period, the strike season mean that games played is much closer too)

        1992-1994: G 411, PA 1760, H 450, TB 913, HR 117, XBH 219
        2002-2004: G 420, PA 1779, H 417, TB 917, HR 136, XBH 222

        All of those are pretty similar, but here is why the rate stats are so different even though he had comparable results per plate appearance.

        1992-1994: PA 1760, AB 1403, 578 BB
        2002-2004: PA 1779, AB 1166, 327 BB

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

        Someguy says:

        Barry Bonds is the best baseball player I’ve seen play the game, and the fact that he used PEDs matters not one bit to me. Did they add a few more home runs to his career totals? Maybe, but how many outs did he make against pitchers who were also using PEDs? In the end, I just don’t care.

        I guess we can also not care about:

        1. Corked bats
        2. Spitballs and their cousins

        Just for starters. Give me time, I’ll think of more.

      • wjarvis - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:35 PM

        whoops screwed up the number of walks in the above post, obviously should be 578 in 2002-2004 and 327 in 1992-1994.

  10. chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    A lot has happened in baseball vis-a-vis PEDs between 2010 and today. It’s possible that those items (Braun, Alex, Biogenesis, etc) have shaped Gossage’s new opinion.

  11. pete2112 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    We all know Craig is a PED apologist, or in some cases a PED non-believer, as I’m pretty sure he thinks Bonds and others from the era never did them or if they did, they had no benefit to their personal production as athletes. So it doesn’t surprise me one bit that he would be all over Gooses’ comments.

    And Craig, you’re really going to compare Aaron’s to Bonds late in their careers? Beyond their output in their later respective careers, I don’t know if you’ve forgotten what Barry looked like at that point but it appeared he could have been in the WWE whereas Hank looked like a guy who was nearing the end.

    • yahmule - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      The dishonesty constantly displayed by the PED apologists is probably a big reason why the hard feelings about that era will never die.

      • pete2112 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        Agree 100%.

      • paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        Oh GFY. I use facts to support my opinion rather than whatever it is you are using.

        Feel free to provide any evidence whatsoever that league-wide production changed in concert with what we know about steroid use throughout history. Repeatedly denying facts doesn’t make them not true.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 28, 2014 at 6:14 PM

        That, combined with their general “big Hall” attitude, is why I have little respect for ESPN’s baseball staff.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      If you can ever find an example of me saying I didn’t think Bonds used steroids I will send you a crisp $100 bill. Maybe a $1,000 bill.

      If you can find an example of me saying they had absolutely no benefit I’ll do the same. The benefits are often — almost always — overstated, but I do not deny PEDs’ existence or that they do have at least some effect.

      And please point out to where I said that Bonds’ and Aarons’ late career output were achieved by the same or equivalent means. I’m merely refuting Gossage’s statement in the article that Bonds’ late career power numbers were unprecedented and/or by themselves evidence of something unnatural or sinister. Aaron was as clean as a whistle. His power numbers did, however, go up in his late 30s. There are many reasons for this — Atlanta Fulton County Stadium for the most part, with expansion being another reason — but it is an absolute fact.

      Likewise, while Bonds clearly did PEDs and they clearly helped him, his numbers are not pure drug creations. They were aided by the fact of double-expansion during his prime, smaller ballparks, body armor, smaller strike zones and — some argue, but I’m not sure — perhaps an altered baseball in 1993 and beyond.

      If you’d care to refute any of this be my guest. If you’d rather just stamp your feet and grunt “Bonds bad! Aaron good!” be my guest too. Just admit that’s what you’re doing.

      • dsaverno - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        I’ll take a wrinkled $100 if you don’t make me look for anything. That seems fair. Plus, Barry Bonds is sinister–he is left-handed.

      • gatorprof - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        “Aaron was as clean as a whistle. His power numbers did, however, go up in his late 30s.”

        His power numbers were “up” during his whole career.

      • 22yearsagotoday - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:05 AM


      • pete2112 - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        I have to say Craig that’s the most candid response to PED’s and Bonds I’ve ever seen from you. It’s very refreshing.

        Having said that, when it comes to Bonds and his late career numbers (mainly between 2000-2004) and more specifically his single season home run record in 2001, I feel it’s completely tainted and I can’t see how anyone could see otherwise. The record belongs with Maris.

        I do agree that his career numbers weren’t a complete product of a drug, which is why it’s very frustrating as a fan or for me at at least as Bonds had all the talent in the world without having to introduce PED’s into his body and yet he did it and unfortunately he’ll never admit to it, which will just keep this at a boiling point indefinitely.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 28, 2014 at 6:22 PM

        @Pete .. But, throughing Frick’s asterisk aside, Maris did have 8 more games. And, per Craig, he had the benenfit of expansion, which has been shown to benefit batters more than pitchers.

        If we want to go that route, then Babe Ruth in 1927 is the record-holder.

  12. bkbell3 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    With quick recovery a main component of ped use do people believe that pitchers didn’t use and benefit from peds also?

    • pete2112 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      I totally believe pitchers use/used PED’s. Clemens is a no doubter in my opinion and Pettitte admitted to it, so of course they used them.

    • jwbiii - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      50 MLB players have been suspended for PEDs; 22 were pitchers.
      434 MiLB players have been suspended for PEDs; 275 were pitchers.

      • bkbell3 - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        Someone should give those numbers to gossage. Thanks for the info, i didn’t know the number was so high.

  13. realgone2 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:41 AM


  14. mlbfan8898 - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Really Craig….(Rich) Gossage? Did you just hear about him for the first time after researching this article? Are you going to write an article about (George) Ruth?

  15. rbj1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Darn right Goose. Baseball was invented with a dead ball. Time to kick out all those “live ball” records.

  16. Steven Keys - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    Popular tack of today’s savvier PED apologist tries to sell the line that this issue is too “complicated,” short on “facts” and “(un)certain” to hold anyone who’d not tested positive, liable or suspect for use of PEDs, even as their appearance and unusually productive performance strongly suggests otherwise.

    Opposing appeasement will likely get you labeled a self-righteous purist (“monopoloy on wisdom”). But that a person (Gossage) would become more clear, more “certain” in their view of a subject (PEDs & rec-drugs), especially one near & dear to their life-experience, seems not unusual.

    Keep in mind that HOF and MLB – Elias record-book status are not rights (revocable license?) such that their denial or retraction requires as carefully a constructed case that persuades a trier of fact ‘beyond reasonable doubt (crim) or by ‘preponderance (civil)’ in order to arrive at a fair, logical opinion on such action. That likely won’t stop one whose name is ever removed (“purg(ed)”) from a record book of claiming their property or due process right was violtated, litigious we can be.

    Many fans today, young and old, are demanding more “certainty” in our baseball record book and seek the men who have the wherewithal to give it such. That mood may be what Goose is reflecting.

    I do like your opening line, Craig.

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