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Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

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Steroids Newsbeat

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Son of former Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd hit with 80-game suspension - CBSSports.com

On Wednesday, Braves Double-A catcher Chris O’Dowd was disciplined under the minor-league drug program. Here’s MLB’s statement on the matter in full:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Atlanta Braves Minor League catcher Chris O’Dowd has received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Testosterone metabolites of exogenous origin, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of O’Dowd, who is currently on the roster of the Double-A Mississippi Braves of the Southern League, is effective immediately.

This is notable because, as the Associated Press and many other outlets have noted, Chris O’Dowd is the son of former Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd, who stepped down last year after some 15 seasons on the job. The elder O’Dowd is presently an analyst for MLB Network.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 11, 2015 at 08:11 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: steroids

Monday, May 11, 2015

Nick Cafardo | Sunday Baseball Notes: While stars take hits for steroid use, others know they’ll never be found out - Sports - The Boston Globe

I bet there are still players taking steriods. I bet there were players who took them in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

“What bothers me is the hypocrites,” Segui said. “I see them on TV sometimes criticizing people who took steroids. I say, ‘What a minute . . . maybe the public doesn’t know what you did, but I know what you did.’ Those are the ones that bother me. Just keep your mouth shut.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 11, 2015 at 06:14 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: steroids, sunday notes

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jenrry Mejia tests positive for stanozolol, so what is it? - NY Daily News

Not a smart decision.

Four Major League Baseball players have tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol since March 27, the most recent being Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia. The others are David Rollins of the Mariners, the Braves’ Arodys Vizcaino and Ervin Santana of the Twins.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2015 at 09:01 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: steroids

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Neyer: Ortiz isn’t a bad guy—or a Hall of Famer

Look, you can believe that Ortiz wasn’€™t “€œcheating”€ or not. But without naming names, shouldn’€™t we assume that players were gobbling up just about anything they thought would make them better baseball players? Especially if their pals were doing the same thing? It does seem that Ortiz has internalized the standard excuse, that drugs were to “€œsustain workouts”€ instead of, you know, help him hit the ball 20 feet farther than before. But there’€™s every reason to think that players a dozen years ago just didn’€™t care what they were taking, until there were drug tests that actually mattered. In this respect, Ortiz was probably no different than . . . oh, maybe half the guys in professional baseball a dozen years ago.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 31, 2015 at 02:55 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox, steroids

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Alex Rodriguez Is Not Going Away. Sorry.

We get it. Alex Rodriguez is worse than Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Idi Amin combined.

Hank G. Posted: February 18, 2015 at 01:06 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, arod, beating a dead centaur, steroids

Monday, February 09, 2015

Commish: Don’t surmise PED use

Asked what he would tell the Hall of Fame about how it should handle the PED era, Manfred replied: “The only piece of advice that I’m comfortable giving is that I think that everyone should keep in mind the difference between players who tested positive and were disciplined on the one hand, and players where somebody has surmised that they did something on the other. And I think, based on what you read in the media, sometimes those lines get blurred. And I think it gets really important to keep that distinction in mind.

“I think it’s unfair,” Manfred said, in answer to a follow-up question, “for people to surmise that Player A did X, Y or Z, absent a positive test, or proof that we produced in an investigation, or whatever. I just think it runs contrary to a very fundamental notion in our society, that you’re innocent until somebody proves you’re guilty.”

The commissioner said he would not include players named in the Mitchell report among those he believes are unfairly accused.

“I think the Mitchell report produced evidence of use,” Manfred said.

For anyone who asked for guidance, I think this is the best we’re going to get. I’m very glad to see this out there, and it’s a sentiment I agree with.

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: February 09, 2015 at 03:12 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, peds, steroids

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Judge to MLB: Turn over Bosch payment documents - NY Daily News

A federal judge in Miami ordered Major League Baseball to turn over documents detailing any payments it may have made on behalf of Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch to an attorney representing Lazaro Collazo, the former University of Miami pitching coach accused of distributing testosterone and human growth hormone.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2015 at 10:10 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: steroids, tony bosch

Friday, January 09, 2015

Curt Schilling: Bonds should get in HOF; Clemens, A-Rod shouldn’t

Follow the logic. I dare you.

Schilling said that Barry Bonds, baseball’s all-time home runs leader, should be elected. Bonds hit eight of his 762 home runs off Schilling in his career. Schilling said that he think Bonds was a Hall of Famer before suspected PED use.

On Roger Clemens, winner of 354 games and seven Cy Young awards, Schilling said, “No, he cheated.”

He also said that New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez should not get into the Hall. “Oh God, no. I think there is a belief that what he did, he did his entire career,” Schilling said about Rodriguez.

gehrig97 Posted: January 09, 2015 at 03:36 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: steroids

Friday, January 02, 2015

Two quibbles with Bill Deane’s HOF election predictions

Apparently, Neyer believes that one or more of Johnson, Martinez, or Biggio used.

Hank G. Posted: January 02, 2015 at 07:42 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, steroids

Friday, January 20, 2012

Source: A’s interested in Manny Ramirez

Just BillybeingBilly.

The Oakland Athletics are “very interested” in making Manny Ramirez their designated hitter next season, a source told ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com.

Ramirez, 39, has been working out in Miami since December and has plans to have open workout sessions for clubs interested in his services at the end of January.

Last week, ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com reported that the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays had a look at Ramirez batting in an indoor cage.

“The Orioles and Blue Jays saw Manny work and Baltimore liked what it saw, but Oakland has been the team that has expressed the most interest, even before having him work out,” the source said.

Ramirez, a .312 lifetime hitter with 555 home runs and 1,831 career RBIs over 19 seasons, was reinstated by Major League Baseball from the “voluntarily retired” list after the Dominican player opted to leave the game instead of serving a second suspension for violating the league’s banned substances policy in 2011 while playing for the Tampa Bay Rays.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:22 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rumors, steroids

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ryan Braun pleads case to special panel Thursday trying to avoid 50-game suspension

I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to play this game, and I am appalled that you would begin a three-member panel inquiry with a topic like that!

Ryan Braun, the National League’s Most Valuable Player, pleaded his case Thursday before a three-member panel that will decide whether he faces a 50-game suspension for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone.

The appeal came just two days before Braun will accept his MVP award at the New York Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s dinner Saturday night at the New York Hilton, sources familiar with Braun told the Daily News.

A decision by the panel, which includes MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner, MLB executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred and independent arbitrator Shyam Das, is not expected to come before Braun accepts his award. It was unclear if the hearing would continue into Friday.

...The Milwaukee outfielder, however, is playing a game that no major leaguer has won; despite conflicting reports, no player has ever seen a suspension overturned by the arbitration panel, according to people familiar with the process.

It is possible for a player to test positive for a banned substance and see his case dismissed in advance of arbitration because of chain of custody or other issues, without the public ever learning of his positive test. But Braun is past that point, and is looking to the arbitration panel as his final chance to avoid suspension.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, rumors, steroids

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MVP Ryan Braun to speak at dinner

BBWAAH, must we?

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, who faces a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, is expected to speak at a banquet where he will accept his award for being voted National League MVP.

Braun will appear at the annual awards dinner of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Saturday in New York, a spokesman for the player told The New York Times.

“He will be there and he will accept his award,” Matthew Hiltzik told The Times.

...He has not made a public appearance since news of the positive test broke on Dec. 10. Hiltzik told The Times that Braun does not intend to do interviews Saturday. Braun was named MVP on Nov. 22.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 09:14 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, brewers, rumors, steroids

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

BPP: An interview with Robert Creamer

Creamer: His Life and Times. Terrific interview with Womack. (answers shortened here to save site/brain from exploding)

Who’s the greatest baseball player you covered?

Willie Mays. Period.

I seem to remember that Bill James, using his fabulous, desiccated statistics, demonstrated that Mickey Mantle, who was Willie’s almost exact contemporary, was actually the better player, and I’m not equipped to argue with Bill, although I’ll try. And there are DiMaggio, Williams, Musial, Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez – no, wait. I didn’t cover DiMaggio, who retired after the 1951 season — I didn’t start with Sports Illustrated until 1954. But that’s still a pretty impressive collection of players to put Willie on top of.

You’ve written biographies on Casey Stengel and Babe Ruth. If steroids had been a part of the game when Stengel and Ruth were players, do you think they would have used?

Sure. Yes. Absolutely. Hell, for decades before the big scandal about steroids in baseball, clubhouses used to have plates or dishes filled with little candy-like pills players gulped or chewed on routinely. My mind is gone – I forget what they were called.. Uppers? Bennies? I can’t recall. But that was standard. Athletes are always looking for an edge and that was a way to get them fired up. I have never been as upset by steroid use as the moralistic holier-than-thou baseball writers who vote on the Hall of Fame. What a bunch of self-important phonies!

I mean, you’d think all an ordinary player would have to do is take steroids to hit 70 home runs or bat .350. But I think McGwire was telling the truth — he took steroids to hold back distress, to make him physically able to play the game. Steroids don’t make a player good. Think of the hundreds, even thousands of players who have been in and out of the major leagues and who may have dabbled in steroids and think how few have hit 50, let alone 60 or 70 homers.

Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 05:41 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, media, steroids

Jesse Barfield says arm tells all in war for drug-free baseball

Yikes! Greg Luzinski must have been on turanabull from a very young age!

Since Barfield is so familiar with strong arms he thinks it’s a giveaway to which players are on performance enhancing drugs. The giveaway is not when an outfielder suddenly develops a rocket arm. It’s when someone with a rocket arm suddenly can’t throw.

“When you look at guys, you have a pretty good idea of whether they are on something or not. It’s not natural to have muscles growing out of your neck like this,” Barfield said, holding his hands on his neck in a big circle.

Barfield said outfielders using PED’s build up their muscles so much around their shoulders, they can’t throw.

“They can’t get the arm up over the top because of how the muscles are built up,” he said. “It’s not natural. Guys who could throw, suddenly can’t throw.”

Barfield said it was never an issue with the Blue Jays of his era. With Lloyd Moseby and George Bell as his outfield mates, Toronto had one of the finest young outfields in the business.

“As close as we were as a team we would know if anyone was doing anything like that and if they were, we would have . . . stopped it right away.”

Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 04:57 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, history, steroids

Monday, January 16, 2012

CAPUTO: Why I won’t vote for Bonds, Clemens or Sosa for the Hall of Fame

Former Tigers pitcher Jack Morris was named on the second-most ballots - nearly 67 percent.

In the aftermath, Peter Gammons, one of the preeminent baseball writers of all time, talked on MLB Network about how he put Morris on the ballot the first three years he was eligible, but stopped because another baseball writer had displayed extensive statistical proof to him that Morris’ 3.90 ERA was “not because he pitched to the score” but rather because he lost a lot of leads.

Right then I decided this coming year, the first time they are eligible for election to the Hall of Fame, I am not voting for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens or Sammy Sosa.

...Gammons said Bagwell is like a hockey player (whatever that means) and was one of those 10-to-12 hour per day in the weight room guys, who lost weight later in his career (ala Pudge Rodriguez) because he had a shoulder injury that prevented him from lifting. It’s the type of thinking that was prevalent from many baseball writers during the steroids era. Always buying the story. Unfortunately, I was one of them. I’d like to think I’ve learned my lesson.

...But if Hall voters are going to be so picky about the career ERA of Jack Morris, why not about possible PED use?

I strongly feel this: If Morris gets in, it will still be the Hall of Fame.

If Bonds, Clemens and Sosa are inducted, it would become

(Yanks out Rogers’ Dictionary of Cliches ~ Looks for entry form)

the Hall of Shame.

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:40 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, media, steroids, tigers

Friday, January 13, 2012

College Football: Postseason Thread

Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 07:22 AM | 892 comment(s)
  Beats: community, steroids

Stein: Judaism on Steroids

The widespread use of PEDs in baseball is nearly as old as the game itself. In 1889, pitcher Pud Galvin of the Pittsburgh Burghers began endorsing a testosterone supplement made from dog testicles. He won 23 games that season. Anecdotal evidence indicates that baseball legends Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Babe Ruth experimented with testosterone, amphetamines, and sheep testicle extract, respectively. By the 1970s, amphetamine use was rampant, and an increasing number of ballplayers soon began experimenting with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. Cocaine reached epidemic levels in the 1980s.

Jewish sources confirm this human desire for self-improvement, but also discuss the potential moral and medical drawbacks. The most comprehensive study of medicine in the Bible and Talmud remains Biblisch-Talmudische Medizin (Biblical and Talmudic Medicine), published by Julius Preuss in 1911. Preuss, who was a doctor and Hebraic scholar, utilized a rigorous, analytical approach in studying the ancient texts, and this extensive volume reflects a lifetime of serious medical and Judaic scholarship.

Over 18 chapters, Preuss covers anatomy, neurology, psychology, obstetrics, sexual health, Jewish medical rituals, dermatology, and a range of obscure and familiar maladies as discussed in talmudic and biblical writings. He also chronicles ancient remedies, some fantastical, others familiar. For an earache: pour lukewarm kidney fluids in the ear (though melted chicken fat works in a pinch).  A fever calls for radishes; a cold for beets; and cabbage works across the board.  Wine, small fish, and leeks were known to aid digestion. Fred Rosner, who translated Preuss’s tome in 1978, summed up the general health and nutrition advice of the Talmud: “Eat moderately, eat simply, eat slowly, and eat regularly.”

However, the advice is not merely gastronomical. Rabbis throughout Jewish history also experimented with a range of concoctions meant to increase strength and stamina—kosher PEDs.

In tractate Gittin, the sage Abaye recommends a mixture of ground safflower boiled with wine to promote vascular and sexual health. Rabbi Yohanon appears to have been a fan of the formula and offers an emphatic endorsement: “This restored me to my youthful vigor!” Maimonides, in his treatise “The Regimen of Health,” mentions oxymel, refined syrup of roses, and infusion of tamarind as effective means to increase strength and ward off disease.

Of course, Braun was not busted for high levels of tamarind in his system. Regardless of talmudic inspiration, cheating is certainly frowned upon in Jewish law. At the least, steroid use represents a violation of gneivat da’at, deceit; at most, it is downright theft. If steroids influenced Braun’s on-field performance (which, I understand, is kind of the point), then he effectively robbed another worthy ballplayer of the MVP trophy, a spot on the All-Star team, and perhaps a lucrative spot on the Brewers’ roster.

PEDs also violate the biblical prohibition of self-endangerment. Based on the verse “you shall guard yourself rigorously,” rabbis derived a series of laws prohibiting physical or spiritual self-harm. Steroids may qualify as both: Physical consequences of steroid abuse include liver tumors and cancer, jaundice, high blood pressure and increased cholesterol, kidney tumors, fluid retention, and severe acne; men may experience shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, breast development, and increased risk of prostate cancer. Psychologically, steroid abuse can lead to increased aggression, anxiety, and depression.

H/T DSM

JE (Jason) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 07:22 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, steroids

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Steroids Era to consume Hall voters

NOM NOM NOM

“It’s going to be agonizing,” BBWAA general secretary Jack O’Connell said after Tuesday’s news conference, repeating the phrase for emphasis.

Guapo Posted: January 11, 2012 at 10:13 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, steroids

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

MLB.com writers weigh in on 2013 HOF ballot

NEXT YEAR’S ASSHATINESS…TODAY!! (and I didn’t even get a chance to close my scurverzoid HOF notebook up!)

Hal Bodley
I will not vote for anyone linked to steroids. Never! That means Bonds, Clemens, Sosa fall into that category and will not get my vote. I do not feel Piazza, Schilling and Biggio are legitimate first-ballot candidates. So the only candidate at this point I’m certain I’ll vote for will be Morris—in his 14th try. Between now and then I might change my mind and go for Bagwell.

Ken Gurnick
I’m not voting for anybody from the steroid era.

Richard Justice
Voting for: Biggio, Bagwell, Raines, Morris, Fred McGriff, Piazza, Schilling.

Steroids will dominate the conversation because Bonds, Clemens and Sosa will be on the ballot for the first time. Piazza, like Bagwell, has been connected to steroids by nothing more than rumors, and that’s not good enough for me. Schilling is a lot like Morris in that he was at his best when the games meant the most.

Terrence Moore
Beginning in 2013, I’ll consider something even more so than I have before, and they are two words on my Hall of Fame list of rules: “integrity” and “character.” It says voters must take those words into account when selecting Cooperstown, folks. So no Bonds, Clemens or Sosa for me.

Repoz Posted: January 10, 2012 at 04:09 PM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics, steroids

Mattingly: Braun shouldn’t be MVP if PED appeal fails.

Throwing that bogus 4.2% bump in HOF voting weight around already, eh Donnie.

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he hopes that Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is successful in appealing his positive test for a banned substance, but that it would “make sense” to revote on the MVP award, or strip Braun of the award if it is found that he indeed used a banned substance.

“In the end, I hope the appeal it’s something that was a mistake. I don’t want to see anything bad come out of it for him,” Mattingly said.

When asked if a player who tested positive for a banned substance should be stripped of the MVP award, Mattingly answered, “I don’t know. It makes sense though, a little bit. It’s not 10 years later, it’s a month later.”

...Mattingly said he thinks Kemp should’ve won the award in the first place.

“To me Matt was the best player in the game last year,” Mattingly said. “Ryan had a great year too.

“But you guys (the media) always ask me about unwritten rules, about catchers and stuff like that. Then we have the unwritten rules about voting, because he wasn’t on a winning team. You guys gotta get your unwritten rules together.”

Repoz Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:59 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, dodgers, steroids

Monday, January 09, 2012

Stein: Judaism on Steroids

The widespread use of PEDs in baseball is nearly as old as the game itself. In 1889, pitcher Pud Galvin of the Pittsburgh Burghers began endorsing a testosterone supplement made from dog testicles. He won 23 games that season. Anecdotal evidence indicates that baseball legends Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Babe Ruth experimented with testosterone, amphetamines, and sheep testicle extract, respectively. By the 1970s, amphetamine use was rampant, and an increasing number of ballplayers soon began experimenting with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. Cocaine reached epidemic levels in the 1980s.

Jewish sources confirm this human desire for self-improvement, but also discuss the potential moral and medical drawbacks. The most comprehensive study of medicine in the Bible and Talmud remains Biblisch-Talmudische Medizin (Biblical and Talmudic Medicine), published by Julius Preuss in 1911. Preuss, who was a doctor and Hebraic scholar, utilized a rigorous, analytical approach in studying the ancient texts, and this extensive volume reflects a lifetime of serious medical and Judaic scholarship.

Over 18 chapters, Preuss covers anatomy, neurology, psychology, obstetrics, sexual health, Jewish medical rituals, dermatology, and a range of obscure and familiar maladies as discussed in talmudic and biblical writings. He also chronicles ancient remedies, some fantastical, others familiar. For an earache: pour lukewarm kidney fluids in the ear (though melted chicken fat works in a pinch).  A fever calls for radishes; a cold for beets; and cabbage works across the board.  Wine, small fish, and leeks were known to aid digestion. Fred Rosner, who translated Preuss’s tome in 1978, summed up the general health and nutrition advice of the Talmud: “Eat moderately, eat simply, eat slowly, and eat regularly.”

However, the advice is not merely gastronomical. Rabbis throughout Jewish history also experimented with a range of concoctions meant to increase strength and stamina—kosher PEDs.

In tractate Gittin, the sage Abaye recommends a mixture of ground safflower boiled with wine to promote vascular and sexual health. Rabbi Yohanon appears to have been a fan of the formula and offers an emphatic endorsement: “This restored me to my youthful vigor!” Maimonides, in his treatise “The Regimen of Health,” mentions oxymel, refined syrup of roses, and infusion of tamarind as effective means to increase strength and ward off disease.

Of course, Braun was not busted for high levels of tamarind in his system. Regardless of talmudic inspiration, cheating is certainly frowned upon in Jewish law. At the least, steroid use represents a violation of gneivat da’at, deceit; at most, it is downright theft. If steroids influenced Braun’s on-field performance (which, I understand, is kind of the point), then he effectively robbed another worthy ballplayer of the MVP trophy, a spot on the All-Star team, and perhaps a lucrative spot on the Brewers’ roster.

PEDs also violate the biblical prohibition of self-endangerment. Based on the verse “you shall guard yourself rigorously,” rabbis derived a series of laws prohibiting physical or spiritual self-harm. Steroids may qualify as both: Physical consequences of steroid abuse include liver tumors and cancer, jaundice, high blood pressure and increased cholesterol, kidney tumors, fluid retention, and severe acne; men may experience shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, breast development, and increased risk of prostate cancer. Psychologically, steroid abuse can lead to increased aggression, anxiety, and depression.

JE (Jason) Posted: January 09, 2012 at 06:56 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, steroids

Wyers: Suspicious Minds

Rob Neyer wrote an article about keeping an open mind during Hall of Fame voting season... Neyer writes in the comments, in response to a reader saying there’s no more evidence Jeff Bagwell used PEDs than Barry Larkin:

Really? None at all?

Let me suggest a thought experiment, AstroB.

I would like you to assign numbers to two players, representing the likelihood that they used steroids at some point in their careers.

The players are Derek Jeter and Edgar Martinez. Go....

if we look at players who have actually been identified as taking steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs—either through the Mitchell report or suspension by MLB—they aren’t any bigger than the average player. The average PED user was 73 inches tall and 193 pounds. The average MLB player over the same time span was 74 inches, 195 pounds…

What if Neyer wasn’t referring to body type, but position? Designated hitter has different offensive requirements than shortstop and no counterweighting defensive responsibilities. But let’s look at changes in home runs per plate appearance between the two positions in the pre- and post-“steroids” era:

                    SS_HR_PA     DH_HR_PA
        1980-1992   0.011        0.031
        1993-2011   0.017	 0.038
        Difference  0.007	 0.007
The District Attorney Posted: January 09, 2012 at 11:42 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, steroids

Sunday, January 08, 2012

NY Times: Kepner: At the Hall of Fame, Forgetting History and Perhaps Repeating It

What we have are perceptions. It is fundamentally unfair to suspect all muscular players of using steroids. But players could have pushed for testing in the 1990s; management could have aggressively confronted the issue; reporters could have raised more suspicions. We all failed, and now we must decide what the mutated records really mean.

By my count, 33 players over the next five ballots (including the one to be unveiled Monday) could make a realistic case for the Hall of Fame. They may not have a winning argument, but they belong in the conversation. These 33 fall into four categories.

¶ Virtual locks, barring evidence of steroid use: Barry Larkin (2012); Craig Biggio (2013); Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas (2014); Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz (2015); Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman (2016).

¶ Possible, barring evidence of steroid use: Curt Schilling (2013); Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina (2014).

¶ Doubtful, based on playing career, voting track record or both: Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Billy Wagner, Larry Walker and Bernie Williams.

¶ Left out because of performance-enhancing drugs: Based on suspicion, Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza; based on admission, Mark McGwire; based on evidence, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa; based on admission/evidence/playing career, Juan Gonzalez and Andy Pettitte.

That leaves us, in 2016, with 10 new Hall of Famers elected by the writers. Seven reached a significant round number: 300 victories for Glavine, Johnson and Maddux; 3,000 hits for Biggio; 500 home runs for Thomas; 600 home runs for Griffey; 600 saves for Hoffman. Larkin was a most valuable player; Smoltz won a Cy Young Award, and Pedro Martinez won three.

The group is impressive, to be sure, but it only partly covers the era it represents. The Hall of Fame is the cradle of baseball history. However they did it, Bonds, Clemens and the rest made a significant impact. Together - with Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson - they will form the phantom limb of Cooperstown.

bobm Posted: January 08, 2012 at 04:53 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, steroids

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Former Sox flack takes hacks

Dirt gets dug!

It turns out that Fenway dirt isn’t dirt at all. In the infield, it’s a substance called “Turface,” a brick-red clay material that Henry had ordered to match the color of the crushed brick that makes up the warning track in the outfield. I brought this up at a meeting, and we landed on the idea of giving away little plastic bags of the stuff, labeling it authentic Fenway Park infield dirt. “Dirt,” Lucchino said, twisting up his face. “We’re going to give our fans bags of dirt?” His reaction seemed to sink the notion right there. But on the next trip, to New Hampshire, we brought along about 100 little bags of the dirt — which of course had never been closer to the Fenway infield than the dugout. But that didn’t matter. The bags disappeared the instant they were shown off to the admiring crowd.

Players get played!

I said something about how if he [Henry] was socializing with Playboy Playmates, keeping him out of the press was going to be problematic. He simply scoffed and insisted he’d never dated a Playmate.

Nomah’s a space cadet!

I’ll never forget the time, at some point after the space shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, that NASA arranged for two female astronauts to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Sox home game and deliver a brief tribute to their fallen colleagues… I didn’t normally mingle with the players, so it was a bit of a thrill to be sitting wedged among Nomar Garciaparra, Tim Wakefield, and other stars. Nomar curiously watched my interaction with the two women, who were dressed in their bright-blue flight suits, and finally nudged me and asked who they were. I explained that they were astronauts. “Hey,” Nomar replied, “I saw this show on Fox that said we never really went to the moon. The whole thing was faked. Can I talk to her about that?”

“Sure,” I said, eager to witness this conversation.

Coleman diplomatically handled the inquiry from Nomar. “I’ve heard about that,” she said, “but it would have to be an enormous conspiracy.”

“Did you see the show?” he quickly rejoined. “It was really convincing…. I don’t know.”

She hadn’t seen the show and looked plaintively at me as other players began to join the conversation. “Hey,” I said, trying to change the subject. “Cady is going to spend six months on the International Space Station. Talk about training for the big show.”

Intrigued, Nomar asked about the size of the space station. “It’s really big,” Coleman said.

“Is it as big as Fenway Park?” Nomar asked.

“No, not that big,” Coleman replied. Then she started looking around for ways to illustrate the dimensions of the orbiting vehicle.“How far is it from home plate to first base?” she finally asked. About six players yelled in unison: “Ninety feet.”

“It’s about that size,” she told them.

“That’s not big,” Nomar said. “That’s small.”

Me oh Mia!

scotto Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:33 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, media, red sox, steroids

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Future (And Past) of the HOF

It’s all well and good to say that the next three baseball Hall of Fame ballots will be “unprecedented.” I’ve written that a few times, and it sounds good.

Next year’s ballot will include: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Craig Biggio, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza and Kenny Lofton.

The 2014 ballot will include: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Mike Mussina and Jeff Kent.

The 2015 ballot will include: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Gary Sheffield.

Yes, that flood of talent and controversy FEELS unprecedented—and in some ways that’s true. It certainly is a deep run of great players, and a few of them—especially Bonds and Clemens—are connected to PEDs in a way that unquestionably will affect the way the voters judge their careers. I have written before that in many ways the voters—and I am one of them—will be trying to determine the soul of the Hall of Fame.

But, I realize now I fell victim to one of the classic blunders. I overlooked history.

sptaylor Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:47 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, steroids

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