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Thursday, January 09, 2014

Frank Thomas: Steroid users ‘should not get in’ Hall

Asked whether players linked to PEDs should be allowed in, Thomas referenced current Hall of Famers he has spent time with and their vehement stance against steroid users joining the club.

“I’ve got to take the right stance too,’’ Thomas said. “No, they shouldn’t get in. There shouldn’t be cheating allowed to get into the Hall of Fame.’‘

Thomas hit 521 home runs and drove in 1,704 runs in his 19-year career, impressive credentials but surpassed by the gargantuan numbers put up by Bonds (762 and 1,996) and, to a lesser extent, Palmeiro (569 and 1,835), Sosa (609 homers) and McGwire (583 homers).

Yet none of those four got even 35% of the votes due to their close connections with steroids, whereas Thomas was elected on his first year of eligibility with an 83.7% mark.

Bonds and Clemens, regarded as the dominant players of their generation and among the all-time elite, saw their support shrink in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Clemens went from 37.6% to 35.4%, Bonds from 36.2% to 34.7%.

“As to what they did, I don’t think any of us will ever really know,’’ said Thomas, who played football at Auburn and was an imposing 6-5, 250 pounds, “but I can tell you what I did was real, and that’s why I have a smile on my face right now, because the writers definitely got it right.’‘

madvillain Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:10 AM | 171 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: frank thomas, hof, peds, steroids

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   1. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4634363)
He was clean. Just ask him!

Thomas had a massive size advantage over his competition, whether clean or steroids-fueled starting from his time in Auburn's football program. If we're going on the premise that getting bigger with steroids is cheating, then in my view being big at all - whether helped by steroids or not - reduces how much we should be impressed by the player's accomplishments.

Thomas was huge and resented others who tried with the help of steroids to close the massive size advantage he had over them and thereby level the playing field. He called players who finished ahead of him in MVP races cheaters, and those who did not finish ahead of him. He lacks class, and lacks character.
   2. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: January 09, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4634366)
Ray's a bit too strident in his remarks, but on some level I agree that it's bit unseemly for a guy with a natural, god given size advantage to disparage those trying to compete. I really love Frank, and wish he would shut the hell up already. We get it, you won the genetic lottery, now move on.
   3. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4634373)
Is being large even an advantage in baseball? Isn't it a disadvantage? Isn't it a tribute to Frank that he controlled the strike zone so well - considering it was a quite large strike zone? You're not penalizing him for being strong are you? You wouldn't penalize Rickey or Raines because they had a speed advantage?
   4. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4634374)
Is Thomas going to speak out against cheaters like Gaylord Perry being in the Hall?
   5. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4634378)
You're not penalizing him for being strong are you? You wouldn't penalize Rickey or Raines because they had a speed advantage?


If speed was such an advantage Ben Johnson would play baseball!

Wait a second...
   6. AROM Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4634382)
If we're going on the premise that getting bigger with steroids is cheating, then in my view being big at all - whether helped by steroids or not - reduces how much we should be impressed by the player's accomplishments.


Why limit it to size? Dustin Pedroia is small, but he was gifted with freak hand/eye coordination that stands out even among a population of players whose freak hand/eye coordination stands out from the public.

To go a bit further, why should we be impressed by, or reward, any advantages that people are born with? From Lebron James' many talents, to the genius of a Mark Zuckerberg, or the beauty of a supermodel?

Come on Ray, if you really believed what you are spouting here you'd be a communist.
   7. Rusty Priske Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4634384)
I do not believe that Thomas NEVER used steroids.

Though that does not mean he abused them.
   8. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4634389)
I think Frank is wrong, but he has been consistent the whole time and good for him. It is a reasonable stand to suggest you should compete with only your natural ability. I think there is a whole pile of grey area and nuance that he is not accounting for, but just because I disagree with him does not make him bad or hypocritical.

Note: I basically agree with Ray on most things steroids, but I have no idea why he thinks his argument in #1 is even the slightest bit credible and would like to disassociate myself from that specific part of his stance.
   9. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4634390)
Ray's intelligence gave him an unfair advantage over his less bright classmates in law school. I'm sure he was perfectly fine with any efforts they might have made to level the playing field by cheating.
   10. BrianBrianson Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4634394)
What about the ones who're already in?
   11. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4634397)
You know, all things considered, it's a wonder Bergeron never stuck in Montreal.
   12. MikeTorrez Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4634399)
Funny how Frank has nothing to say about Gaylord Perry...

   13. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4634407)
Funny how Frank has nothing to say about Gaylord Perry...


The man is allowed to have an opinion on steroids without addressing every issue regarding the Hall of Fame ever. He doesn't have to address the Black Sox scandal, Pete Rose, Hal Chase, Corked Bats, Scuffed/Spit balls, AMps, or whatever else is on your list just to give his opinion on steroids.

Funny how many people only apply the "he had nothing to say on X" when they agree with what the person in question said, only with those they disagree with. Funny indeed.

And again for the record I disagree with Frank on the issue.
   14. Ron J2 Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4634408)
Since we know that the steroid era started in 1993 (and that steroids only affect home run rates), it seems reasonable that we could look at guys who played regularly in 1992 and 1993 and suss out the users from the change in their home run rates.

I figured out the home runs per 450 balls in play (AB+SF-SO) for everybody who had 300+ PAs in both 1992 and 1993. Listed by the guys who showed the greatest increase in 1993. Excluding Colorado players for an obvious reason (Dante Bichette was #9)

Also including the bottom 5 (so we can see who came off steroids in 1993)

Phil Plantier   +32.8
Kevin Mithcell  
+17.9
Pete Incaviglia 
+17.2
Ken Griffey     
+16.4
Ron Gant        
+15.6
Matt Williams   
+14.8
Frank Thomas    
+14.5
Eric Davis      
+14.4
Bobby Bonilla   
+13.6
Chili Davis     
+13.4
Kent Hrbek      
+13.4
Rafael Palmeiro 
+13.3
Caraig Biggio   
+12.9
David Justice   
+12.7
Tim Raines      
+12.7
...             .....
Lou Whitaker     -8.9
Ray Lankford     
-9.2
Jeff Blauser    
-10.2 
Ryne Sandberg   
-11.3
Rob Deer        
-23.3 
   15. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4634413)
Kent Hrbek


Of all the players in the "era" if someone put a gun to my head and said I had to pick a player who was steroid free, and if I was wrong they would kill me, I would pick Hrbek.

Dude had Hall of Fame natural talent and basically zero interest in working hard in the off season, in conditioning or anything like that. He had a good time playing, and when his time was up he moved on having a good time with the rest of his life.
   16. bunyon Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4634417)
Eh, I don't know. I think you might get shot in the head. Hrbek was supposed to be a big wrestling fan, right? And even did some exhibitions after he retired?

I'm going to post this even though I'm basically pulling it out of my behind.


Point is, I can imagine steroids would appeal to a guy with no interest in training: LOOK! A MAGIC PILL!

Anyway, as a teammate of Puckett's and Morris's I'm pretty sure he was a steroid user. :)


Also, to the point, I agree with Ray though less stridently. OTOH, if a player were clean and knew a lot of cheating was going on, I can see how it would really piss them off. So, Big Hurt's behavior re steroids makes sense that way, too.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4634422)
Funny how Frank has nothing to say about Gaylord Perry...


Or Hitler for that matter.
   18. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4634425)
Eh, I don't know. I think you might get shot in the head. Hrbek was supposed to be a big wrestling fan, right? And even did some exhibitions after he retired?


Yep. I assume he was a fan of Dusty Rhodes and Playboy Buddy Rose.
   19. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4634426)
Point is, I can imagine steroids would appeal to a guy with no interest in training: LOOK! A MAGIC PILL!


Based on his family history and such I really don't think it would appeal to him. Of course anyone could have used from the 1960s on (OK you could argue even earlier, but I have my doubts), but if I had to pick someone it would be him. I am glad I don't have to choose anyone though.
   20. zonk Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4634431)


Why limit it to size? Dustin Pedroia is small, but he was gifted with freak hand/eye coordination that stands out even among a population of players whose freak hand/eye coordination stands out from the public.

To go a bit further, why should we be impressed by, or reward, any advantages that people are born with? From Lebron James' many talents, to the genius of a Mark Zuckerberg, or the beauty of a supermodel?

Come on Ray, if you really believed what you are spouting here you'd be a communist.


SSSSHHHH!!!!

I have been painstakingly bookmarking Ray's admonitions to Frank Thomas over last 24 hours for later use in the OTP threads. I'll kindly ask you not to scare him off because this is good stuff.
   21. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4634432)
Of course I agree with Frank Thomas -- it's one of the reasons why he's always been one of my favorite players, in fact. Ray's argument in #1 is simply embittered incoherence, and frankly beneath him. (I don't use that phrase idly, either. I mean it. Ray's a smart enough guy whom I have a fair amount of intellectual respect for, yet the argument he's proffered in #1 is so stupid -- and easily leads, as AROM pointed out, to an endorsement of "Harrison Bergeron"-esque communism via reductio ad absurdum -- that it isn't worthy of him or us. It's pure tantrum.)
   22. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4634436)
Gaylord Perry was good in the beginning, but he went too far.
   23. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4634438)

The man is allowed to have an opinion on steroids without addressing every issue regarding the Hall of Fame ever. He doesn't have to address the Black Sox scandal, Pete Rose, Hal Chase, Corked Bats, Scuffed/Spit balls, AMps, or whatever else is on your list just to give his opinion on steroids.


I agree with that. My problem though is that if he's then asked about Perry et al people with Thomas' views of steroids have argued an opposite view of cheating with respect to those folks.

Having said that I have no problem with Frank's position re: PEDs nor any problem with him laying it out there. I don't agree with him but it's a reasonable POV.
   24. homerwannabee Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4634459)
Ray said "in my view being big at all - whether helped by steroids or not - reduces how much we should be impressed by the player's accomplishments."



Well than, if you are going to say because Frank Thomas was 240 pounds that his accomplishments are less impressive, than the reverse also has to be true as well. A person like Ichiro Suzuki who only weighs 170 pounds should have his accomplishments considered "More Impressive" since he weighs much less than the average MLB player.
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4634460)
Funny how Frank has nothing to say about Gaylord Perry...

Why do some feel everyone must view every type of "cheating as the same"?

Most people don't hold cheating on you wife, cheating on your taxes, and cheating at golf to be of equal moral import (cue the wag saying that cheating at golf is much, much worse). Why must steroid cheating and spitball/scuffing cheating be considered the same?
   26. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4634465)
Why limit it to size? Dustin Pedroia is small, but he was gifted with freak hand/eye coordination that stands out even among a population of players whose freak hand/eye coordination stands out from the public.


It's limited to size because nobody claims that players having laser surgery are cheating.

It's limited to size because steroids relate to size, or to aiding workouts, which also relates to size.

And I think that if it's ok to give players "steroids discounts" then we should be applying "size discounts" as well, and then, frankly, Thomas's accomplishments don't look nearly as impressive.
   27. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4634467)
Thomas is too young to be this annoying.

And his quote about "never really knowing what they did" is instructive. If you will never really know, how can you punish them?
   28. simon bedford Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4634473)
because thomas is myopic in his view of what constitutes "cheating" when it comes to baseball, minimizing it to only steriods? i take issue with it, it comes down to cheating , and being in the hall, if people think its ok to partake in other pharmaciticals and be in the hall, or break the rules and be in the hall, or flat out cheat...i think its impossible to draw a line on cheating and say "well i can accept this much cheating but no more!" and frank thomas should shut up.
   29. Ray K Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4634483)
because thomas is myopic in his view of what constitutes "cheating" when it comes to baseball, minimizing it to only steriods?


Because PED use and cheating comes in different forms and it doesn't make a lot of sense to use a "one sit fits all" approach.

First of all, is PED use "wrong" or is it "cheating" ? Two different things, and anti-PEDers can fall into either camp.

"Wrong" is a subjective position, and I guess it implies that artificially enhancing your God-given (or DNA-given, if you prefer) talents with chemicals or other artificial enhancements could be "wrong" depending on where you draw the line. By this standard, it is perfectly reasonable to lump PED users today and amp users from earlier days in the same category.

But "cheating" has a different connotation and involves getting an unfair competitive advantage. In this case, steroids are still "cheating" but amp users from earlier days are not because they were made available to all players by the team doctors. They might still be "wrong", but it's a more difficult case to make that they are "cheating".

Same thing with Lasik. Perfectly legal and affordable, and available to everyone. Not cheating.

Edit: and the thing is, the players clearly KNEW that steroids were cheating because they actively hid their use from other players. Nobody hides working out in the gym or getting Lasik.
   30. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4634494)
Ray's intelligence gave him an unfair advantage over his less bright classmates in law school. I'm sure he was perfectly fine with any efforts they might have made to level the playing field by cheating.


This might shock you, but I would in fact be, and was, fine with others cheating in school. I simply did not care. It's not something I worried about. Cheaters take tremendous risks, and if they get caught they suffer potentially large penalties.

But none of that applies to the '90s steroids players, since they took no "risks." There was absolutely no reason to believe two decades ago that every other drug taken to enhance performance including amps was fine, but the '90s drug of choice would be a bridge too far. There was absolutely no reason to believe that taking steroids would, many years later, result in one being branded a cheater and would tarnish one's career and reputation and candidacy for the Hall of Fame. NOW the risks of steroids use are clear, but people who retroactively brand these players cheaters while being fine with amps use are dishonest and without integrity.

Mark McGwire has more integrity on this issue than any of his detractors.

(Though, back to your example, it's not clear to me how one "cheats" in law school. At least back when I was in law school there was only one exam for each class, and the exam was at the end of the semester and represented your entire grade for the class, and it was in essay form. I'm not sure how one cheats on such an exam. And the professor was present for it, which meant you couldn't have an imposter take it for you. But here's a newsflash: in real life people "cheat" all the time.)
   31. Dale Sams Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4634500)
So using a supplement you could have bought at GNC and wasn't outlawed by baseball is cheating?
   32. Dale Sams Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4634504)
But here's a newsflash: in real life people "cheat" all the time.


In trial law, I would think you're almost expected to try. Not on a level that will result in a mistrial or an appeal being granted...but up to that.
   33. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4634505)
Phil Plantier +32.8
Kevin Mithcell +17.9
Pete Incaviglia +17.2
Ken Griffey +16.4
Ron Gant +15.6
Matt Williams +14.8
Frank Thomas +14.5


Yeah, if steroids is why players in the 90s were hitting so many home runs, and Thomas saw a big increase in his home runs going from 24 to 41... how could that have happened unless he was a user?
   34. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4634507)
Of course I agree with Frank Thomas -- it's one of the reasons why he's always been one of my favorite players, in fact. Ray's argument in #1 is simply embittered incoherence, and frankly beneath him.


Well, I feel the same way about the arguments you make on the topic despite the fact that you're a smart guy, so the feeling is mutual, I assure you.
   35. Don Malcolm Posted: January 09, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4634518)
Well, Ray D. is often quite similar to a Stalinist, but those of us who've actually studied political science know that there are so many flavors of socialist thought that we wouldn't be quite so amateurish as to lump all Commies into the same gulag, even if it has been a fine old American tradition to do so.

I happen to agree with Ray that it's extremely unseemly for Frank Thomas to be making these remarks, especially at this time. He was not elected to political office, he was elected to the Hall of Fame. He's entitled to his opinion, of course. But Ray is absolutely right that these are tactless remarks. It's almost as if Big Frank is winking at the portion of the BBWAA constituency that he so assiduously cultivated--the portion (still not completely quantifiable) that will never vote for anyone even remotely associated with PEDs.
   36. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 09, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4634531)
Is Frank against Tommy John surgery and Lasik surgery? Those sure as hell are cheating in my book. Using LASERS ON YOUR EYES!!!! A DEAD GUY'S LIGAMENT!!!
   37. EddieA Posted: January 09, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4634540)
Frank's ungracious comments reek of sportsmanship.
If talking about comparing grandiose numbers, Frank doesn't even make the 500 club much less hit as many HRs as Williams, Matthews, and McCovey without help by the DH rule change and the high scoring era - nor does he play 19 years.
   38. Manny Coon Posted: January 09, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4634543)
I'm still not sold on 90's steroid use as being "cheating" because it wasn't really in the rules at the time and was so widely used. Sure buying them could be illegal, but in some cases, I'm sure player could get them legally; for example when Sosa said he didn't do anything illegal, that doesn't mean he didn't buy them legally over the counter in another country, the legality of the stuff Bonds was using was also vague.

Steroids are illegal now, but I don't see any good reason to punish people for rules the were put into the place after the fact, amphetamines are also illegal now and retroactively punishing people who used them about be pretty ugly. Punishing guys with only vague accusations like Piazza or Bagwell, but not Thomas because he complains more seems crazy, after all Palmerio complained really loudly right up until he got caught.
   39. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4634548)
His remarks might be unseemly (someone get the fainting couches and ice cream), but he gets points for expressing his consistent opinion in pretty much the same way he has for as long as I can remember.

We whine when sports figures are bland and boring, speaking only in cliche, we whine when they are hypocrites, changing positions to fit what they think we want to hear, and I guess we also whine when athletes are consistent, forthright, and seemingly honest in their opinion.

If he spent a big chunk of his acceptance speech talking about steroids, then that would be more unseemly, but people are really that upset he is putting forth his honest opinion about a subject that clearly dominated the voting process he was part of, which is also a subject he has been outspoken on previously? Really?

What exactly are athletes allowed to have opinions on and speak about when they are elected? Is it only bland cliches?
   40. Joey B. Posted: January 09, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4634550)
I love how some of the pro steroid peanuts in the peanut gallery now hate Thomas when just a few years ago he was one of their all-time favorites.

You go Frank, tell these peanuts how it is.
   41. JL Posted: January 09, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4634585)
Sure buying them could be illegal, but in some cases, I'm sure player could get them legally; for example when Sosa said he didn't do anything illegal, that doesn't mean he didn't buy them legally over the counter in another country, the legality of the stuff Bonds was using was also vague.


There is a part of me that would love to see Sosa say just that: "I bought these legally in country X and used them under the guidance of a doctor in that country. They were not against the rules and I never bought or used them illegally, either in the US or any where else. Mu use of these substances complied with the law and with the rules of MLB at the time." I am sure there would be outrage, but I would love to hear the reasoning.
   42. ThickieDon Posted: January 09, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4634589)
#12: Solid post.
   43. Ray K Posted: January 09, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4634591)
There is a part of me that would love to see Sosa say just that: "I bought these legally in country X and used them under the guidance of a doctor in that country. They were not against the rules and I never bought or used them illegally, either in the US or any where else. Mu use of these substances complied with the law and with the rules of MLB at the time." I am sure there would be outrage, but I would love to hear the reasoning.


I would love to hear that, too. Then we can stop talking about him when he falls to 1% on the subsequent HOF ballot.
   44. ThickieDon Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4634593)
Ron J2 is right - all players started using at the same time and the effects all became apparent at the same time.

Frank Thomas 'roided.
   45. ThickieDon Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4634600)
Jack Morris abused steroids, too. He pitched 293 innings in 1983 and needed the 'roids to stave off injury. If not for 'roids he wouldn't have gotten much past 200 wins, let alone 250, which is his main claim to fame.

Jack Morris = 'roider
   46. ThickieDon Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4634603)
Regarding Thomas's acceptance speech and freedom to voice his opinion, I would prefer if he came clean and admitted he 'roided during his speech rather than continue the lyin' charade.

He's worse than Palmeiro or Clemens.
   47. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4634606)
I do not believe that Thomas NEVER used steroids.

Though that does not mean he abused them.


Honestly, it wouldn't stun me if part of his vehement stance against them was because he'd been pushed to use them while playing football at Auburn. I'd be surprised to find out that he'd used them while a MLB player though.
   48. guajolote2 Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4634607)
It's amazing that a guy who was as big as McGwire and also played major college football in the 80s (at Auburn no less) never got painted with the steroid brush. Not that I think he should have been, just amazed he never was, given the way so many in the press operate.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4634608)
Well, Ray D. is often quite similar to a Stalinist, but those of us who've actually studied political science know that there are so many flavors of socialist thought that we wouldn't be quite so amateurish as to lump all Commies into the same gulag, even if it has been a fine old American tradition to do so.

Ray certainly shares one major trait with Stalinists: A tendency to denounce people who disagree with his premises in language that attempts to strip them of any sense of honesty or decency. His closest literary antecedent in the left wing political world would be Mike Gold, whose name and style of political engagement I'm sure you're familiar with.

-----------------------------------------------------------

His remarks might be unseemly (someone get the fainting couches and ice cream), but he gets points for expressing his consistent opinion in pretty much the same way he has for as long as I can remember.

We whine when sports figures are bland and boring, speaking only in cliche, we whine when they are hypocrites, changing positions to fit what they think we want to hear, and I guess we also whine when athletes are consistent, forthright, and seemingly honest in their opinion.

If he spent a big chunk of his acceptance speech talking about steroids, then that would be more unseemly, but people are really that upset he is putting forth his honest opinion about a subject that clearly dominated the voting process he was part of, which is also a subject he has been outspoken on previously? Really?

What exactly are athletes allowed to have opinions on and speak about when they are elected? Is it only bland cliches?


No, it's only when they spout opinions that differ from the BTF consensus on pretty much any hot button subject from steroids to sabermetrics.
   50. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4634614)
Maybe a little off topic(or not) but there's a pretty interesting article that I linked from ESPN. Its quite long but worth the read.


http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/10261642/mlb-hall-fame-voting-steroid-era
   51. Jacob Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4634624)
There's also this: http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24402757/sure-frank-thomas-will-accept-the-blame-for-the-ped-era
   52. ThickieDon Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4634626)
Thomas's HR/FB percentages are way more suspect than Barry Bonds's.
   53. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4634629)
Honestly, it wouldn't stun me if part of his vehement stance against them was because he'd been pushed to use them while playing football at Auburn. I'd be surprised to find out that he'd used them while a MLB player though.


As surprised as we were to learn that vehement denialer Rafael Palmeiro was a user, I guess.
   54. JE (Jason) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4634631)
Gaylord Perry was good in the beginning, but he went too far.

This is so wrong: Obviously, Perry is in the Hall because he never went too far.
   55. JE (Jason) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4634656)
Some of you will enjoy this:

During my first year of part-time law school, I had open-book exams in Con Law and Crim Law on consecutive days. For some reason that semester, I kept my notes for these two classes in one binder.

Since these were the days before the Internet was ubiquitous, I was photocopying the New York Times' extended excerpts of major Supreme Court decisions. Well, the US v. Lopez case (gun-free schools) had just come out -- one of the most noteworthy rulings of the 90s -- so naturally I added the excerpt to my Con Law notes.

Well, I survived the 24-hour, take-home essay assignment on Con Law and then headed to my in-class final for Crim Law, which consisted of 30 or so multiple choice questions and seven essays, of which we had to answer four.

And wouldn't ya know, one of the essays asked the following: You are Justice David Souter and decide to dissent on [drum roll] US v. Lopez. Write the dissenting opinion.

My jaw dropped and I sat there in a dumb silence for a good two or three minutes. I had pretty much Souter's entire dissent in my notes. Would it be plaigirism to copy it? After all, this was an open-book exam.

Now this isn't such a dilemna when you have an opportunity to talk it over with a friend or two but that obviously wasn't possible. So I managed to re-arrange a few words but kept everything else pretty much identical.

And here's the kicker: The professor only gave me 8 of 10 points for that ############# essay! Maybe I should have called Souter to complain à la Thornton Melon/Kurt Vonnegut?
   56. Ron J2 Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4634658)
Thought I'd repeat the study for 1993-94 (since it was another big HR increase year)

Jeff Bagwell     +31.8
Gary Sheffield   
+23.3
Kevin Mitchell   
+22.1
Kirk Gibson      
+20.6
Matt Williams    
+19.9
Todd Hundley     
+19.1
Tony Phillips    
+18.7
Tim Wallach      
+17.8
Ray Lankford     
+17.3 
Andre Dawson     
+16.0
Shane Mack       
+15.8
Albert Belle     
+13.6
Frank Thomas     
+13.2
Wade Boggs       
+12.8
Kenny Lofton     
+12.2
Ivan Rodriguez   
+11.2
...
Craig Biggio     -11.0
Rickey Henderson 
-11.8
Phil Plantier    
-12.4
Kent Hrbek       
-15.3
Juan Gonzalez    
-13.5
Rick Wilkins     
-25.0 


And yeah, the problem with 1994 is that it was a shortened season. Matt Williams or Jeff Bagwell were not good bets to continue the pace they'd set.
   57. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4634659)
Honestly, going to Law School is punishment enough for cheating.
   58. Booey Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4634660)
Edit: and the thing is, the players clearly KNEW that steroids were cheating because they actively hid their use from other players. Nobody hides working out in the gym or getting Lasik.


A lot of accounts tell the opposite; that steroids were an open secret and players talked about them with other players, injected each other, shared dealers, etc.

Besides, even if players DID hide their use, that doesn't necessarily mean they knew it was cheating. Steroids are ILLEGAL. Is it really hard to understand why people might keep quiet about illegal activities? Most recreational drug users I've met don't think they're doing anything morally wrong but they're still careful who they tell about it.
   59. SteveM. Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4634666)
Well, Ray D. is often quite similar to a Stalinist, but those of us who've actually studied political science know that there are so many flavors of socialist thought that we wouldn't be quite so amateurish as to lump all Commies into the same gulag, even if it has been a fine old American tradition to do so.


After spending my vacation reading Robert Conquest's The Great Terror: A Reassessment, I will say this is a pretty big insult. On the other hand, its Ray.....
   60. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: January 09, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4634668)
I see the link I posted already made the rounds. I even perused the "newsstand" before posting, figuring it would be here. Just flat out missed it.
   61. Bob Tufts Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4634686)
I'm still trying to figure out how so many team doctors were openly passing out amphetamines to players. I never saw this at any level or with either the Giants, Royals or Reds organizations from 1977 to 1983 - the unusual coffee pots with amps, etc.

And I am saddened that Frank Thomas is using the Goose Gossage "pull up the HOF drawbridge behind me" attitude as he is inducted. I salute his career accomplishments, but...does his red line against steroid use mean that people who used pre- 1990 ASCA are out? Those who used before MLB made it illegal are out?
   62. Jick Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4634688)
JE/#55 - Very funny stuff. It reminds me of the (probably apocryphal) story that Graham Greene anonymously entered a Graham Greene parody contest and earned second place.
   63. vivaelpujols Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4634690)
I agree with most of what Ray says, although I don't think Thomas' size really has anything to do with anything. People act as though steroids are a magic pill that automatically make you better at baseball, and maybe that's true, but there's an inherent risk-reward system in using steroids in that they can adversely effect your health. Isn't that why people are claiming it's a workplace safety issue? People don't want to have to use steroids to compete because they don't want to risk their health. But I think players are well within their right to risk their own health as long as they aren't actively convincing others to use. Those players are taking the risk in exchange for the potential reward and I don't see why players shouldn't be able to make that choice.

Also I have a really hard time categorizing pre-testing steroid use as cheating since it wasn't actually against the rules in baseball. If the only argument is federal illegality that also applies to a whole bunch of other substances, like cocaine (and cocaine can definitely be used as a performance aid). I'm sure a lot of the amphetamines used were also illegal.

Even beyond all that I think Thomas' comments are unseemly in that he's already been elected to the HOF and is still crucifying players for the choice they made that had absolutely zero effect on him (if he never made the HOF because his numbers were comparatively deflated - like Fred McGriff - I would be more understanding). Give it a ####### rest dude.
   64. EddieA Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4634692)
Matt Williams or Jeff Bagwell were not good bets to continue the pace they'd set.


Bagwell probably would have finished exactly that pace as he was unlikely to get another PA. 1994 was a home run crazy year, with 6 of the top 45 AB per HR seasons.
   65. Squash Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4634704)
Besides, even if players DID hide their use, that doesn't necessarily mean they knew it was cheating. Steroids are ILLEGAL.

Just fyi (and I'm sure you/we/us know this), but it's a really hard time convincing anti-roid people that something that has to be acquired illegally isn't automatically cheating. In fact I would say something that has to be acquired illegally (steroids are not Schedule 2 drugs i.e. completely controlled/illegal, but the manner in which they were used/acquired in MLB was illegal) is automatically cheating, because players who don't want to break Federal law are put at a disadvantage. That's pretty much the exact definition of cheating: to break a rule or law usually to gain an advantage at something (Webster).
   66. Ron J2 Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4634709)
#64 Yeah, sloppy wording on my part. But I think the shorted season is a partial reason for 6 of the top 45 AB/HR seasons. It's a reasonable bet that players will regress to something approaching their career norms in those extra PAs.
   67. JL Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4634711)
That's pretty much the exact definition of cheating: to break a rule or law usually to gain an advantage at something (Webster).


So what about my hypothetical about Sosa? If he acquires and uses the PEDs legally in another country when they are not against the rules in MLB, has he cheated?
   68. BDC Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4634713)
I don't particularly agree with Thomas, but I don't see anything hypocritical or malicious in what he's saying. He's expressing his professional standards. Why not?
   69. Manny Coon Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4634723)
Just fyi (and I'm sure you/we/us know this), but it's a really hard time convincing anti-roid people that something that has to be acquired illegally isn't automatically cheating. In fact I would say something that has to be acquired illegally (steroids are not Schedule 2 drugs i.e. completely controlled/illegal, but the manner in which they were used/acquired in MLB was illegal) is automatically cheating, because players who don't want to break Federal law are put at a disadvantage. That's pretty much the exact definition of cheating: to break a rule or law usually to gain an advantage at something (Webster).


So anyone with illegally acquired amphetamines as cheating was well? Was Bonds not cheating if "the clear" was not yet illegal? (I'm still sure about this, I've read different things about it)

The problem is that the standards for what is cheating is very arbitrarily applied, often with very little evidence (Piazza and Bagwell) or very unreliable evidence (Clemens), and with punishments that were not specified in advance.
   70. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4634727)
My jaw dropped and I sat there in a dumb silence for a good two or three minutes. I had pretty much Souter's entire dissent in my notes. Would it be plaigirism to copy it? After all, this was an open-book exam.

Yes, of course.
   71. Huck Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4634729)
It's amazing that a guy who was as big as McGwire and also played major college football in the 80s (at Auburn no less) never got painted with the steroid brush. Not that I think he should have been, just amazed he never was, given the way so many in the press operate.


Yes, and this is the part of Ray's argument I agree with - the absurdity of the PED witch hunt and screwed up thought process of some of the writers. It's ridiculous that a large number of voters have decided to blackball Piazza and Bagwell because they had big muscles and hit a lot of home runs, but voted in Thomas, who had bigger muscles, hit more home runs and played tight end at Auburn, simply because he spoke out against PEDs a few times. It wouldn't be surprising if Thomas did have some help developing his size and strength - folks I know who played major college football during this time period have said that not taking really wasn't an option if you played a power position and wanted to stay in the program.

I don't really care who used and would vote in all of them. But I can't stand the writers who say they will only vote for "clean" players and think they are somehow qualified to make that determination (absent a failed test).
   72. madvillain Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4634733)
He's expressing his professional standards. Why not?


Indeed, it's the opposite of the BTF groupthink (that seems to have been broken a bit this year thank goodness) that "a lot of players were using and since we can't know with omnipotence where to put each on what side of the ledger we should just assume everyone was using and have no historical penalty for those that were caught".

Frank is saying there were guys that were clean and they're are guys that "did it the right way" and we should not lump them in with everyone. I don't think it's that outrageous of a stance.

As for the Auburn football and steroids stuff, Frank has talked about how the S&C coach at that time in Auburn was vehemently anti-roid and that is partially what formed his stance on them.
   73. ThickieDon Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4634736)
Failed test only means they took drugs.

Palmeiro would have hit the same amount of home runs, gaining the same amount of fame and career accolades, regardless of drugs.

Is there a rule that says suspended players can't be in the Hall?
   74. Bob Tufts Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4634739)
THG was classified by the FDA as an illegal steroid on Jan. 20, 2005 when the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 took effect. Was taking THG prior to this time cheating?



   75. madvillain Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4634761)
THG was classified by the FDA as an illegal steroid on Jan. 20, 2005 when the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 took effect. Was taking THG prior to this time cheating?


No, and it wasn't cheating when guys took ephedrine in spring training before it was banned. I believe your point is that the line is arbitrary and that's indisputable but nonetheless it is a line and the powers that be in MLB have to draw it somewhere.

Look at the NFL and adderall, it's a banned substance unless you have a script for it, so now players are getting scripts for it. That doesn't mean the NFL should just give up trying to ban it. Players will seek an advantage through any means necessary that's certainly true. But just because we can't perfectly classify every substance as cheating / non cheating doesn't mean we can't ban certain stuff, imperfect as it may seem.
   76. Ron J2 Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4634771)
And just for giggles, there was a big drop in HR in 2007. Therefore we should be able to tell who came off steroid by the guys who saw the greatest decrease in HR/450 balls in play in 2007.

Travis Hafner  -30.0
Jacque Jones   
-23.2
Bill Hall      
-22.5
Aramis Ramirez 
-21.8
David Ortiz    
-19.4
Mark Teahen    
-18.6
Rich Aurelia   
-18.5
Frank Thomas   
-18.4
Albert Pujols  
-17.2
Adam LaRoche   
-17.1
Carlos Delgado 
-16.0
Jim Edmonds    
-15.2
Jermaine Dye   
-15.2
Mike Piazza    
-15.1
Andruw Jones   
-14.9
Nick Swisher   
-14.6
Ray Durham     
-14.2 


And the guys bucking the trend:

Prince Fielder +21.5
Alex Rodriguez 
+15.4
Jeremy Hermida 
+15.3
John Buck      
+13.8 


EDIT: I swear I didn't know that Frank Thomas would be the only guy to make all 3 lists
   77. thetailor Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4634778)
I'm amazed how much time is spent over here talking about Ray (RDP). Positive, negative, speculative, or otherwise. It's like one in every eight threads I read here devolves into Ray arguing with someone on a nasty personal level or people debating Ray and overlooking more reasonable statements that were under their nose on the same topic.

To wit, Misirlou in #2 I think stated it brilliantly:

Ray's a bit too strident in his remarks, but on some level I agree that it's bit unseemly for a guy with a natural, god given size advantage to disparage those trying to compete. I really love Frank, and wish he would shut the hell up already. We get it, you won the genetic lottery, now move on.

What's the point of debating some absurd notion of a "size discount"? Nobody in their right mind would think that was normal. However, I think a legitimate question exists as to how we should treat individuals who have attempted to reduce that God-given gap.
   78. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4634789)
The only reason to brand steroids users cheaters is that the steroids user got big "unnaturally" and thus allegedly had an "unfair advantage." Well, if being big is an advantage -- and it is -- then whether the advantage was arrived at "fairly" or "unfairly" is not material. The underlying issue is not how the advantage was arrived at, but is the fact that there was an advantage. Just like hitting 30 home runs in Dodger Stadium is more impressive than hitting 30 home runs in Coors, Dustin Pedroia's 20 home runs are more impressive than Thomas's 40. Thomas's 40 may add more value but now we've established that the HOF isn't really about value but is also about whether we should be impressed by your achievements. And since Thomas was a huge man, his achievements in that light are not all that impressive. He was arguably the biggest sized hitter of his generation, or at least in the top 3. And I again maintain that it is shameful of him, given the size advantage that he knew he had, to try to pull the ladder up from smaller players who through steroids were trying to close the size advantage he had over them and thus level the playing field.
   79. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4634797)
The only reason to brand steroids users cheaters is that the steroids user got big "unnaturally"


I have heard numerous other things about steroids. Sprinters take steroids, and it is not to get big. Workouts (supposedly) can be done harder and with less down time and there is also some "healing" effect to some of these PEDs.

Big is hardly the beginning or end, and you know it.
   80. Ray K Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4634798)
@78 Troll much?
   81. madvillain Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4634804)
@78 -- Lebron James and Calvin Johnson should have to play with one hand tied behind their back. Usain Bolt is a reall ####### for having such quick twitch legs, he should have one amputated and become like the blade runner, now that will level the playing field.

That we can't discern between genetic advantage and chemical advantage is absurd.
   82. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4634807)
I'm amazed how much time is spent over here talking about Ray (RDP). Positive, negative, speculative, or otherwise. It's like one in every eight threads I read here devolves into Ray arguing with someone on a nasty personal level or people debating Ray and overlooking more reasonable statements that were under their nose on the same topic.
Familiarity breeds contempt?
   83. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4634808)
I have heard numerous other things about steroids. Sprinters take steroids, and it is not to get big.


Ah. So the Steroid Outrage has been because players got too fast and stole too many bases?

You're not serious.

Workouts (supposedly) can be done harder and with less down time and there is also some "healing" effect to some of these PEDs.


Right. I covered that above. Steroids make for more effective workouts, and the point of working out is often... to get big... which is the only thing the crusaders are upset about. They're not upset at Mark McGwire for stealing 12 career bases.
   84. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4634815)
Steroids make for more effective workouts, and the point of working out is often... to get big... which is the only thing the crusaders are upset about.


The point of a workout is to get "big" only if you train to get "big". You can train to get strong without training to get big.

Do you even lift, bro?
   85. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4634818)
After spending my vacation reading Robert Conquest's The Great Terror: A Reassessment, I will say this is a pretty big insult
That is quite literally my second favorite book of all time (#1 is Gibbon's Decline and Fall). Probably read it all the way through seven or eight times. Conquest writes with the prose style of a poet, and it shows through even though he's dealing with some of the most agonizingly horrific historical material of the 20th century. Can't recommend this book enough.

And yes, it is an insult to Ray to even joke about him being a Stalinist. Unfair and tasteless, every bit as much so as calling someone a "Nazi" without very good reason would be.
   86. ThickieDon Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4634847)
I want batted ball data from before 2002.
   87. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4634855)
After spending my vacation reading Robert Conquest's The Great Terror: A Reassessment, I will say this is a pretty big insult

That is quite literally my second favorite book of all time (#1 is Gibbon's Decline and Fall). Probably read it all the way through seven or eight times. Conquest writes with the prose style of a poet, and it shows through even though he's dealing with some of the most agonizingly horrific historical material of the 20th century. Can't recommend this book enough.


Totally agree with your assessment of Conquest, but even more than The Great Terror I'd recommend his Harvest of Sorrow on the terror famine of the early 1930's.

And yes, it is an insult to Ray to even joke about him being a Stalinist. Unfair and tasteless, every bit as much so as calling someone a "Nazi" without very good reason would be.

The point about Ray isn't that he's a "Stalinist" in the same sense that the actual Uncle Joe was. Of course not. But if you're also acquainted with the writings of Mike Gold and innumerable other hack writers in the old Commie magazines like The New Masses and (of course) the Daily Worker, you'll see rather remarkable similarities in their style of attacking opponents. As they might say themselves, it's "no accident" that Ray and those hack writers share much of the same language of vituperation and shaming, with "dishonest" being one of their favorite words.

Another common meme of Ray's is to attack people who agree with him on a major point for not making their agreement 100%. Witness how he deals with anyone who tries to distinguish between Clemens and Bonds: Instead of acknowledging that they're trying to make a distinction within the framework of trying to separate fact from fiction, he'll simply repeat that anyone who tries to make such distinctions is a "witch hunt enabler" and scarcely distinguishable from the likes of Murray Chass. The Commies used to call this "deviationism", while their modern right wing counterparts talk about "RINO"s. The politics may be diametrically opposed, but to anyone who's even mildly acquainted with the history of political arguments on the far Left and far Right, the style of argument is virtually the same.

None of this is to say that on some subjects he can't be calm and respectful, but when you hit certain buttons, if I close my eyes I know where I've heard that kind of language before.

   88. ThickieDon Posted: January 09, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4634862)
During my high school baseball career, I never worked out and I generally never conditioned and I barely ever worked on my swing or even practiced. I was half the size of most of the guys on the team but I could hit the ball a lot farther than all of them and with much more consistency.

Eventually I simply stunk at hitting and quit baseball.

SCIENTIFIC CONCLUSION: Bonds's or Thomas's size is irrelevant.
   89. EddieA Posted: January 09, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4634885)
Usain Bolt is a reall ####### for having such quick twitch legs, he should have one amputated and become like the blade runner, now that will level the playing field.


I liked that one - being a double blade runner could get him a 18 second 200/ 38 second 400 from the weight reduction in the lower extremities. His unfair advantage is the big feet/long legs/while still having quick nerve response.
   90. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4634892)
As they might say themselves, it's "no accident" that Ray and those hack writers share much of the same language of vituperation and shaming, with "dishonest" being one of their favorite words.


Says the guy who brands steroids users as cheaters. I think there's a hint of a dishonesty accusation in there, don't you?
   91. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4634899)
@78 -- Lebron James and Calvin Johnson should have to play with one hand tied behind their back. Usain Bolt is a reall ####### for having such quick twitch legs, he should have one amputated and become like the blade runner, now that will level the playing field.


Procrustes is intrigued by your ideas and would like to sign up for your newsletter.

Ah. So the Steroid Outrage has been because players got too fast and stole too many bases?

You're not serious.


I was pushing back on your notion that the ONLY reason for steroids was to get big. Which in and of itself is totally not serious. Strong helps. Fast helps. If anything, big hurts* because of the larger strike zone and additional stress put on joints.

But don't let any of that stop you, you are totally on a roll.

* "big hurts", the Big Hurt. Did you see what I did there? Did you?
   92. Bob Tufts Posted: January 09, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4634911)
I am waiting for the botox, lip and breast implant comments and how tis type of enhancement is ruining civilization.

Let it go, Ray. You're not defending a client, merely a theory. You do not need to be so aggressive.
   93. Sunday silence Posted: January 09, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4634966)
Edit: and the thing is, the players clearly KNEW that steroids were cheating because they actively hid their use from other players. Nobody hides working out in the gym or getting Lasik.


this is dumb shi!t reasoning because people hide playbooks, or pitching tendencies, or fly ball tendencies, or how much money they are making, or who they are banging all the time.

Jeezus, stupid by even BTF standards.
   94. Bob Tufts Posted: January 09, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4634976)
this is dumb shi!t reasoning because people hide..... who they are banging all the time.


Actually, no. I had the "joy" of hearing Al Holland publicly play an audio tape of a sexual encounter with a woman who was not his wife during spring training - and there was a video sex tape given to Mike Sadek as a "present" for his remarriage.

And players did openly disclose and discuss their salaries as a measuring stick of their abilities.





   95. Sunday silence Posted: January 09, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4634982)

That we can't discern between genetic advantage and chemical advantage is absurd.


I understand your pt that we (well most of us) aspire to see a "natural" competition. But it is damn hard to discern the difference between genetic and chemical is it not?

WHere do you come out on someone with a higher than normal testosterone?
Or Oscar Pistorius? (before the killing/murder whatever)
or Casey, the kid in the wheel chair trying to make the pro golf tour?
or taking medicine for diabetes? or lasik surgery? or having a shot to calm your nerves?

etc. etc. You see a clear line, I am not so sure. Ultimately, we are all made up of chemicals. so on some ultimate level, this argument starts to break down. I realize that's pushing things a bit, but there are for instance women in basketball, that probably have freakish hormonal imbalance, is it fair? Is it clearly unfair?

********

You know I really dont find it interesting to see what Frank Thomas has to say about steroids in baseball. He has an opinion, it's not outrageous, it's defensible.

Has anyone asked Frank Thomas what he feels about Piazza's case for the HoF? Or his treatment by certain writers? How does he feel about amphetamines? Etc.

I mean these headlines about what Frank Thomas thinks. they really dont mean anything of important unless he has something of insight into the overall situation, and the overall conundrum that is PEDs/the PED era.

I realize he doesnt have to have an opinion, but if doesnt have one. Then all this is so much useless stuff.
   96. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 09, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4634990)
The man is allowed to have an opinion on steroids without addressing every issue regarding the Hall of Fame ever. He doesn't have to address the Black Sox scandal, Pete Rose, Hal Chase, Corked Bats, Scuffed/Spit balls, AMps, or whatever else is on your list just to give his opinion on steroids.


This is true but the issue here is that Thomas said this:

There shouldn’t be cheating allowed to get into the Hall of Fame


So yes, in this specific instance it is extremely relevant what Thomas thinks about Gaylord Perry and I hope that at some point a media member asks the question.
   97. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4634992)

Ray's comments during this HOF season have simply been pathetic. All of this time we have heard from the pro-steroids crowd that we should be celebrating the accomplishments of the great players of this era rather than trying to tear them down, and we have been told what a tragedy it will be if none of the great players from this era are enshrined in the HOF. Ray's attacks on Thomas put the lie to that argument--as soon as the voters actually voted someone in, Ray was there to do exactly what he accuses the writers of doing to *his* heroes.

Seriously man, stop it.

By the way, watching the early-career footage of Thomas that's been on t.v. the last couple of days, I've been struck by how athletic and lean he looked relative to later in his career. This is not an argument in either direction since he did get bulkier over time, although it does contradict the silly "he must have been roiding ever since he played football at Auburn" point.
   98. Sunday silence Posted: January 09, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4634994)

Thomas was huge and resented others who tried with the help of steroids to close the massive size advantage he had over them and thereby level the playing field.


Can you explain to me again: what is it when a pitcher doesnt have his best stuff and the catcher is trying to "frame" his pitches to get the call?

Was that cheating or trying to level the playing field?
   99. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4634995)
That we can't discern between genetic advantage and chemical advantage is absurd.


To follow on from #95. Melatonin output often decreases in people as they get older. So some people take Melatonin supplements.

Is that unfair? Do those that don't have to take them to get a good nights sleep have a genetic advantage? Do those that take them have a chemical advantage over those that do not?

Note: I have recently started taking melatonin and my sleep has gotten much better. I recommend it (after talking to a doctor, blah blah blah). I have a chemical advantage over you fools! Bwah hah hah.
   100. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 09, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4634996)
Well, if being big is an advantage -- and it is -- then whether the advantage was arrived at "fairly" or "unfairly" is not material.


I'm guessing Ray feels that stilts should be perfectly acceptable in the NBA.
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