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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hall of Fame Announces Changes to Voting Process for Recently Retired Players, Effective Immediately

Those Hall of Fame eligible voters will now be required to complete a registration form and sign a code of conduct.

We are so ######.

BBWAA members earn a Hall of Fame vote from its organization, which is independent of the Hall of Fame, by maintaining 10 consecutive years on a baseball beat. Those Hall of Fame eligible voters will now be required to complete a registration form and sign a code of conduct. The names of those BBWAA members casting Hall of Fame ballots will now be made public with the election results; however, an individual’s ballot will not be revealed by the Hall of Fame.

Repoz Posted: July 26, 2014 at 11:59 AM | 109 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 26, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4758028)
I will be very disappointed if the BBWAA code of conduct places "Don't sell your ballot to Deadspin" higher than "Don't molest kids, mmmkay."
   2. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: July 26, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4758033)
Candidates for Hall of Fame election who receive votes on at least five percent of ballots cast had previously been eligible to remain on the ballot for a maximum of 15 years of consideration by the BBWAA. Going forward, the maximum years of consideration for a player who meets that criteria is now 10 years. Candidates would then move to the Era Committee system for review in perpetuity. Three candidates presently on the BBWAA ballot in years 10-15 will be grandfathered into this system and remain under consideration by the BBWAA for up to the full 15 years. Don Mattingly (15th year in 2015), Alan Trammell (14th year in 2015) and Lee Smith (13th year in 2015) will be eligible to remain on the BBWAA ballot for a maximum of 15 years of consideration.

This is f*cking awesome. Only guys who have been on the ballot at least 10 years are grandfathered in, so McGwire is off the ballot in just two more years, and the class of cheaters (Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa) get only 8 more.

Cry all you little biatches, cry.
   3. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: July 26, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4758042)
Uh-oh.
   4. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 26, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4758043)
Yep, just as expected the Hall of Fame responds to the backlog with a shortsighted "solution" that is going to backfire.

Probably the Bud pushed for the new 10-year role out of earnestness to get the roiders and suspected roiders off the ballot ASAP, realizing that the farther removed from their playing careers we get, the less the voting body is going to be inclined to exclude them out of irrational roids hate.
   5. Wahoo Sam Posted: July 26, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4758044)
The changes to eligibility are obviously a way to clear the ballot of "dead weight" to make room for candidates who are not stained by the PED era. The big winners here are Raines, Schilling, (maybe) Lee Smith, and any players coming in for the next few seasons who might have lost votes because writers would have used some of theirs on Bonds/Clemens.

It will be very interesting to see how Manny is handled, but also Thome and Pudge. My guess is that Manny will get very little support (less than 20%) and fall off the ballot like Palmeiro. Thome and Pudge will not get in on first ballot but have to wait 1-3 years like Piazza and Bagwell.

There are a number of players who will benefit from this rule in coming years, like Helton, who is not under suspicion (AFAIK) and will probably get a slow growth of support over several years. I still don't think he'll make it via the BBWAA, but a VC may look at him.

Had this rule been adopted 2-3 years ago, Jack Morris would have been elected. Much to the consternation of all here.
   6. Wahoo Sam Posted: July 26, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4758046)
#3 --- Tim Raines will be a big winner here. Probably the biggest. He has three more years now to get back over 50% (he was already there once) and climb to the 75% he needs. I think it happens. It would be much better if he had 4 more years to do it, but at least he won't have to lose a lot of votes to the PED guys.

The consequence here might be that voters drop their support for Clemens, Bonds because they know there's no way they will get to 75% in 8 years.
   7. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 26, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4758049)
Tim Raines will be a big winner here. Probably the biggest. He has three more years now to get back over 50% (he was already there once) and climb to the 75% he needs.


I don't see how this will help him. He'll need as many years as possible to get the votes, as the next three ballots are going to have the following players on them:
Bonds
Clemens
Johnson
P.Martinez
Mussina
Schilling
Bagwell
Smoltz
E.Martinez
Biggio
McGwire
Piazza
Sosa
Griffey
M.Ramirez
I.Rodriguez
Guerrero

All of them can be on the ballot longer than Raines, so it's not like the PED guys are going to disappear before Raines' time is done.

The consequence here might be that voters drop their support for Clemens, Bonds because they know there's no way they will get to 75% in 8 years.


If they were voting for them before, I'm not sure why a shortened time on the ballot would make them give up.
People still vote for Trammell, Mattingly, and Smith, even though they don't really have a hope of making it in before their time is up.
If you think EVERYONE will stop voting for PED users....no chance.
   8. Hank G. Posted: July 26, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4758057)
Had this rule been adopted 2-3 years ago, Jack Morris would have been elected. Much to the consternation of all here.


Why? He would have still gotten the same 15 years.
   9. Hank G. Posted: July 26, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4758062)
I would have rather seen changes that clear the logjam by getting deserving people in rather than pushing them off the ballot.

1. No limit on number of players voted for.
2. If no one reaches 75%, the two receiving the most votes are inducted.
3. Blank ballots are discarded and not counted in the percentage.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: July 26, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4758064)
#3 --- Tim Raines will be a big winner here. Probably the biggest. He has three more years now to get back over 50% (he was already there once) and climb to the 75% he needs.


To me he's clearly the biggest loser. Unless this rule change is accompanied by a concomitant change in voters' attitudes, I don't see how this does anything except snuff out the slow-burning candidacies of future players similar to Morris, Rice and Blyleven. At best the voters will accelerate the whole "it's nearly his last chance, I'll be more generous this time" process and it will not negatively affect his chances. I don't understand how it would actually help Raines.
   11. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 26, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4758068)
The math couldn't be simpler. Barry Bonds' 2014 support + Tim Raines' 2014 support = 80%. Since no writer votes for Bonds AND Raines, Raines is in, Bonds gets 0%, and the ballot problems are all solved.
   12. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 26, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4758073)
This is killing a spider in your bathroom by setting your bathroom on fire. There are players on the ballot who could make it in years 11-15 who will now be off after 10, and there will be players in the future off after 10 who would have made it in years 11-15. This is certainly a change that favors the "small Hall" people (you know, people who want the Hall of Fame to be something it hasn't been since the first few years), but it dumps a lot of worthy players into the trashbin of history.

But hey, at least you can clear Bonds and Clemens off the ballot sooner!
   13. John DiFool2 Posted: July 26, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4758076)
Good news, if any (unless the waiting period for the Limbo between electing groups is now more than 5 years) is that these guys will get shots with the VC much more quickly than they would have.
   14. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: July 26, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4758077)
The overwhelming majority of guys who can't make it in 10 years don't really belong in there anyway. I would argue that a lot of guys should probably get dropped off even sooner.
   15. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 26, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4758079)
This is killing a spider in your bathroom by setting your bathroom on fire.

But what if, as Woody Allen said in "Annie Hall," the spider in your bathroom is the size of a Buick?

This is all about killing the spider of steroids by setting the Oakland A's bathroom on fire so that Bud Selig's reputation can rise like a phoenix from the ashes. And that, my friends, is how you create a great metaphor.
   16. bobm Posted: July 26, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4758080)
There are players on the ballot who could make it in years 11-15 who will now be off after 10, and there will be players in the future off after 10 who would have made it in years 11-15.

My analysis, based on the Lahman database, of BBWAA electees in years 11-15 on the ballot:

      Last  First YoB
      Rice    Jim  15
     Vance  Dazzy  15
  Blyleven   Bert  14
     Kiner  Ralph  13
Maranville Rabbit  13
    Sutter  Bruce  13
     Terry   Bill  13
     Lemon    Bob  12
  Hartnett  Gabby  11
  Heilmann  Harry  11
    Snider   Duke  11
   17. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 26, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4758085)
This is f*cking awesome. Only guys who have been on the ballot at least 10 years are grandfathered in, so McGwire is off the ballot in just two more years, and the class of cheaters (Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa) get only 8 more.

Cry all you little biatches, cry.


Yawn. The steroids players were/are never getting elected by the BBWAA anyway.
   18. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 26, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4758086)
Speaking as someone who has spent far too much time researching/writing about the Hall of Fame's BBWAA voting process, this is a really stupid decision. When you cut back the BBWAA's ability to vote you just give more power to the VC to determine who goes into Cooperstown. And whatever you think of the BBWAA, it's a ton better than the BBWAA. Dumb move.
   19. Wahoo Sam Posted: July 26, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4758091)
#18 --- I suppose you mean "it's a ton better than the VC" ... I agree, but they sure make some egregious mistakes (Blyleven, Whitaker, Trammell, Raines)

If you look at the most recent expansion era VC ballot, there were two types of players rejected by the BBWAA who made it: accumulators and short career/high peak guys. Examples are Concepcion, Garvey, Simmons, and Quisenberry in the second group. If the HOF is more liberal with who they put on the VC (I know that's assuming a lot), I think we could see more players get in via the VC route in the next 10-15 years. Whitaker will be eligible in 2016 and I don't see why the VC nominating committee wouldn't put him on their ballot, since Quisenberry and Simmons each only had 1 year on the BBWAA ballot, same as Sweet Lou. Trammell would be eligible in 2019 and he certainly comps well to Concepcion. Would a VC in 2019 (for the 2020 Class) want to elect the Tigers' DP duo? They might feel like it would be a popular choice. BTW, it would be Jeter going in that year via BBWAA.

Quite clearly, the VC has been reluctant to induct any players, and under the current system they've only elected Ron Santo and Deacon White. Never has the VC elected a player who was only on the BBWAA ballot just one season.
   20. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 26, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4758092)
My analysis, based on the Lahman database, of BBWAA electees in years 11-15 on the ballot:


Thanks, I was just about to ask that question. Obviously, there are no inner circle guys there; I would call Snider the best of them. If none of them were in the Hall, I really don't think its reputation would be any worse.
   21. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 26, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4758096)
From an overall perspective, this means that the board specifically considered the crowded ballot issue and the steroids issue, and I infer from Forbes Clark's statement that they are fine with the way the BBWAA has dealt with the steroids players, with the only thing they need to correct is the result of that in the form of the crowded ballot issue. Forbes Clark:

"The Board is committed to keeping the policies and voting procedures of the Hall of Fame relevant,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the Board of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “We believe the BBWAA has done an excellent job of honoring the criteria advanced by the Hall of Fame – player’s record, contributions to the teams on which the player played, character, sportsmanship and integrity – to determine individuals who belong in the Hall of Fame by the highest threshold, a 75 percent majority. The Board believes these changes are necessary to ensure the integrity of the voting process moving forward.”


If there is another way to read this let me know. They could have acted to specifically clarify the character clause but did not.
   22. Wahoo Sam Posted: July 26, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4758100)
They could have handled it in a way that didn't penalize players who are on the ballot and might get 11-15 years out of it. They could have simply increased the number of players a voter could choose.
   23. Obo Posted: July 26, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4758101)
Those Hall of Fame eligible voters will now be required to complete a registration form and sign a code of conduct.

Any chance this eliminates some of the blank ballots? Not because the voters would be violating the code of conduct, but rather they simply won't be bothered to do the paperwork. Has Jeter's chance at 100% just gone up a tick?
   24. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 26, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4758105)
My analysis, based on the Lahman database, of BBWAA electees in years 11-15 on the ballot:

Last First YoB
Rice Jim 15
Vance Dazzy 15
Blyleven Bert 14
Kiner Ralph 13
Maranville Rabbit 13
Sutter Bruce 13
Terry Bill 13
Lemon Bob 12
Hartnett Gabby 11
Heilmann Harry 11
Snider Duke 11


Either your list is wrong or I'm misreading something (or the statement from the HOF in the full article is wrong). Because your list has 11 such players and the HOF in its statement says there are 13:

Of the 115 BBWAA electees, 102 (89%) have been elected in years 1-10 and 13 (11%) have been elected in years 11-15.


   25. Sleepless in Munich Posted: July 26, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4758109)
Why does the HOF hate Tim Raines?
   26. jdennis Posted: July 26, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4758114)
The clear winner here is... The veterans committee. Way more important now.
   27. alilisd Posted: July 26, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4758124)
Like many, my first thought was of Raines. It seems like a big blow to his chances, but perhaps there is some cause for optimism. He is still third on the backlog, and it seems possible, perhaps likely, he'll be second after the next ballot. Then in year nine Griffey and Bagwell go in leaving Raines not only the top backlogger, good for a bump, but in his final year of eligibility, good for a further bump. Enogh? Perhaps not, but not entirely out of the realm of possibility, IMO.
   28. alilisd Posted: July 26, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4758129)
Blank ballots really aren't much of an issue, afaik, but I am hoping the requirement to register will trim some of the fringe voters who are less informed.
   29. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 26, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4758133)
[Tim Raines] is still third on the backlog, and it seems possible, perhaps likely, he'll be second after the next ballot.

Raines is fourth, and that's a tenuous fourth. On the 2015 ballot, Raines is not just behind Biggio, Piazza, and Bagwell, but also Pedro, Randy, likely Smoltz, and conceivably but probably not Sheffield. So the writers will have to elect at least four players for Raines to be second on the '16 backlog, a total they most recently reached in 1947.
   30. toratoratora Posted: July 26, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4758138)
This is a terrible idea. The thing to do is eliminate blank ballots and open voting past the ten player limit.
Instead of giving more people chances, this is going to limit things. Typical knee jerk reaction.
   31. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 26, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4758147)
I wouldn't have minded a plan to cut some guys from the ballot, but it should have been tied to progress. If a guy's just hanging around at 15-20 percent for 8 years, sure, cut 'em loose. But if a Raines or, well Morris, are making steady progress toward election, then there's no reason to cut off their period of eligibility.

There were some good potential fixes out there. The Hall managed to make things worse.

   32. bobm Posted: July 26, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4758152)
Either your list is wrong or I'm misreading something (or the statement from the HOF in the full article is wrong). Because your list has 11 such players and the HOF in its statement says there are 13:

Of the 115 BBWAA electees, 102 (89%) have been elected in years 1-10 and 13 (11%) have been elected in years 11-15.


Here is my analysis of the data at http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/hof.shtml

                Inducted As:
        Voted By   Manager Pioneer/Executive Player Umpire Grand Total
           BBWAA         0                 0    110      0         110
      Centennial         1                 5      0      0           6    
    Negro League         0                 5     21      0          26
      Old Timers         1                 5     24      0          30
         Run Off         0                 0      3      0           3
Special Election         0                 0      2      0           2
        Veterans        21                18     80     10         129
     Grand Total        23                33    240     10         306


Maybe the discrepancy is in the 5 "run off" and "special election" players.

ETA: I guess they also count Red Ruffing (at least 15 years and ballots) and maybe Gehringer. Gehringer was not on that many ballots, just years. The other players were Clemente, Gehrig and Appling.

Ruffing
Hall of Fame
1948 BBWAA ( 3.3%)
1949 BBWAA (14.4%)
1949 Run Off ( 2.1%)
1950 BBWAA ( 7.1%)
1951 BBWAA ( 4.0%)
1952 BBWAA ( 4.3%)
1953 BBWAA ( 9.1%)
1954 BBWAA (11.5%)
1955 BBWAA (23.9%)
1956 BBWAA (50.3%)
1958 BBWAA (37.2%)
1960 BBWAA (32.0%)
1962 BBWAA (45.0%)
1964 BBWAA (70.1%)
1964 Run Off (91.5%)
1966 BBWAA (68.9%)
1967 BBWAA (72.6%)
1967 Run Off (86.9%)

Selected to HOF in 1967
by BBWAA in Runoff Election

Gehringer
Hall of Fame
1936 BBWAA ()
1945 BBWAA ( 4.0%)
1946 Final Ballot ( 8.7%)
1946 Nominating Vote (21.3%)
1947 BBWAA (65.2%)
1948 BBWAA (43.0%)
1949 BBWAA (66.7%)
1949 Run Off (85.0%)

Selected to HOF in 1949
by BBWAA in Runoff Election

ETA: Thanks, Ray.
   33. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 26, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4758157)
Christina K:

Another way of thinking about this new tweak is that it means we’ll have that much less time to put up with sportswriters yammering about the immorality of the PED scourge they either failed to discover during its heyday, or retroactively want to employ to punish people they suspect used PEDs. Think Jeff Bagwell, a slam-dunk Hall-worthy great, subsequently smeared by more than a few chuckleheads without much in the way of evidence or even rumor. Now, Bagwell has to endure just six more years of that kind of nonsense, while known users such as Mark McGwire (two years) or Sammy Sosa (eight to go) won’t have to worry about their past being brought up every December for too much longer. For me, that’s less of a big deal. The PED story has long since become more about the public posturing of people who want to sound off on the subject. I’d agree, seeing less of that is a good thing. But I don’t see how taking a generation’s greats off the ballot sooner makes for a better Hall of Fame.

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/50062/new-hall-voting-bad-news-for-raines-others

   34. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 26, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4758161)
This is a terrible idea. The thing to do is eliminate blank ballots and open voting past the ten player limit.


How does that get Bonds and Clemens and the like off of the ballot sooner? Because that's what they're going for here.
   35. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 26, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4758163)
I don't see much difference in 10 years vs 15 in the abstract (current players already in the queue aside; I'm talking about new candidates); this will just compress the voters' current thinking such that it will have to evolve more quickly (within 10 years as opposed to 15) but, as noted above, only a small number of players got in from years 11-15 anyway, and this won't necessarily mean that those players *wouldn't* have gotten in if all the BBWAA had was 10 years.

Since voters knew they had 15 years to work with they worked with 15. Now they'll know they only have 10 years to work with so they'll work with 10. 15 years is probably too long to be on the ballot anyway.
   36. Bhaakon Posted: July 26, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4758193)
This is a terrible idea. The thing to do is eliminate blank ballots and open voting past the ten player limit.


Honestly, I don't think this would solve the problem. For one thing, the people not voting for Bonds, Clemens, and their ilk wouldn't vote for them regardless of the number of slots on the ballot. For another, there have been seasons in which it was perfectly defensible to vote for none of the candidates without having to make a ridiculous 'stand' on PEDs.

Personally, I don't think it's a good idea to vacillate the rules around because of a short-term problem, but if I did, I certainly wouldn't shorten the consideration window for the PED class. If anything, they need a longer period of candidacy to gain some perspective and hash out some sort of de facto guidelines for considering their records (but, again, I don't think it's a particularly good idea to tinker with the rules for a short-term problem).

The code of conduct is another matter, and, I think, a reasonable response to LeBatard giving away his ballot. As much as we gripe (sometimes legitimately) about the way the BBWAA elections work, the free transferring or selling of ballots is another level of corruption entirely.

   37. Walt Davis Posted: July 26, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4758203)
I'm confused. It's 10 years for everybody or, as some posts above imply, if you're above 50% after 10 years, you stay on?
   38. cardsfanboy Posted: July 26, 2014 at 08:05 PM (#4758221)
I'm confused. It's 10 years for everybody or, as some posts above imply, if you're above 50% after 10 years, you stay on?


It's 10 years for everybody, except those on the ballot who have already passed 10 years, then it's 15 years.
   39. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 26, 2014 at 09:57 PM (#4758241)
Honestly, I don't think this would solve the problem. For one thing, the people not voting for Bonds, Clemens, and their ilk wouldn't vote for them regardless of the number of slots on the ballot.


I agree with this. As I said in the other thread the problem isn't the process, it's the electorate. Without a change there (and I don't know what change would do the trick) everything else is just window dressing. Getting rid of the ten man limit makes sense but is not really going to make a difference. Sure Biggio probably gets in this year instead of next but he's going anyway. I don't think anyone has ultimately been kept out because of that.

My hope here is that the change to ten years actually increases the amount of consideration guys get. That voters, knowing they have a shorter window, actually give more consideration earlier in the process to guys like Raines or Trammell but I suspect the only impact of this is to get guys off the ballot sooner.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: July 26, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4758243)
It's 10 years for everybody,

Then how in the world could this possibly help Raines? He's got 3 ballots to make up 29% of the vote. It will be tough to gain any substantial ground next year, can make some real progress in 2016 and 2017 but I don't think I can see him gaining 20+% in those two years. Gets him to the VC faster I suppose.

It may be the death knell for Walker -- not that he had much chance of ever being elected but now surely anybody debating among, say, Raines, Schilling, Mussina, Edgar, Walker, Mac, Sosa, etc. for the last 2-3 spots on the ballot is going to at least strongly consider not "wasting their vote" on Walker and the other low vote totals.

That said, I think I'm in favor of the rule in principle. I don't see any reason why a group of voters really needs 15 years to sort out a candidacy. Of course if the notion was to be "fair", the grandfather clause would probably include, say, anybody who's been on for at least 5 years.

But I don't see that it solves any of the current problems. The backlog issue will have been sorted out by Bonds's final 2022 ballot. The easiest solution to the backlog was to expand beyond 10 names, something the HoF should be looking to do anyway.
   41. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: July 26, 2014 at 10:52 PM (#4758259)
Then how in the world could this possibly help Raines? He's got 3 ballots to make up 29% of the vote. It will be tough to gain any substantial ground next year, can make some real progress in 2016 and 2017 but I don't think I can see him gaining 20+% in those two years. Gets him to the VC faster I suppose.

Unless the HOF makes a change to the Vet Comm then Raines and others won't be on the VC ballot any faster since as it stands right now you have to retired 20 years before your eligible. If the HOF changes this from 20 years to 15 than the changes aren't so bad.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: July 27, 2014 at 12:15 AM (#4758278)
Ugh, you might be right. I was taking this as suggesting they'd move to the VC sooner: "Candidates would then move to the Era Committee system for review in perpetuity." But of course that's not what it says.

Honestly, I don't think this would solve the problem. For one thing, the people not voting for Bonds, Clemens, and their ilk wouldn't vote for them regardless of the number of slots on the ballot.

Depends on what you think "the problem" is ... or problems are.

There is the problem of Bonds and Clemens not being in the Hall of Fame. I agree there's no change to the voting rules that would achieve this with the possible exception of removing the character clause which would cause a huge kerfuffle and quite possibly be ignored by the voters anyway (using a "but I don't believe Bonds would have posted HoF numbers without roids" argument if necessary).

That is not the backlog problem. Their continuing presence on the ballot is part of the backlog problem but the "PED guys" are not eating up a huge percentage of votes. Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro accounted for less than one ballot slot combined ... they are clogging the ballot no more or less than Lee Smith is. The backlog problem is that a massive number of qualified candidates have hit the ballot at the same time. Remove those 5 guys from the 2014 ballot and Biggio was still only 11th in career WAR, Piazza 12th, Kent 13th and McGriff 14th.

Expanding the ballot isn't about Bonds et al, it's about Raines, Schilling, Mussina, Edgar, Walker, etc. Possibly it would also send the message that the voters should vote for more players -- although there's no evidence the HoF wants to send that message.

Anyway, the PED backlash is not the cause of the backlog. Oddly, the backlog problem might be worse if the PED backlash hadn't been so successful. But unless you believe Bagwell is really losing 21% of the vote due to vague, not widely publicized roid rumors, the strongest connection between PEDs and the backlog is that, sure, maybe Biggio was held back last year by just a handful who suspect he was on roids.
   43. Howie Menckel Posted: July 27, 2014 at 12:27 AM (#4758279)

"(using a "but I don't believe Bonds would have posted HoF numbers without roids" argument if necessary)."

that's a McGwire Sosa problem, not a Bonds Clemens problem - not in terms of claimed endorsement of results, but just what the sentiment is...
   44. TJ Posted: July 27, 2014 at 01:40 AM (#4758291)
Two things I am hoping to see made public:
1. The "code of conduct" BBWAA voters need to sign.
2. The names of BBWAA members who resign their right to vote because they have to sign this code of conduct.

Three things I hope are included in this code of conduct:
1. Any voter who refers to fans who criticize their vote as "stat geeks", "numbers freaks", "living in their mother's basement", etc, will lose their right to vote. (AKA "The Dan Shaugnessy Rule".)
2. Any voter who uses their ballot as their personal soapbox will lose their right to vote. (AKA "The Murray Chass Rule".)
3. Any voter who is the only voter to cast a vote for a player loses their right to vote. (AKA "The Whoever the Hell Voted for Aaron Sele Rule.")

   45. Booey Posted: July 27, 2014 at 02:06 AM (#4758294)
Anyway, the PED backlash is not the cause of the backlog.


It's not the ENTIRE cause of the backlog, but Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, and possibly Sosa and Biggio all would've been elected already if not for the steroid backlash (plus Palmeiro, but he's off the ballot now anyway). Maaaybe Piazza and Bagwell too, though I think that's less likely. How is all of these players still being on the ballot rather than in the Hall not contributing to the backlog?
   46. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 27, 2014 at 02:30 AM (#4758297)
It's not the ENTIRE cause of the backlog, but Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, and possibly Sosa and Biggio all would've been elected already if not for the steroid backlash


Without the steroids backlash, Biggio is farther away from election than he is right now. He'd have been no better than the fourth-best BBWAA candidate in 2013 (Clemens, Bonds, Sosa, plus Piazza and Schilling with him), and we already know he was well behind the three that went in this year. He would not have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer in a steroids-free world.
   47. Booey Posted: July 27, 2014 at 02:43 AM (#4758299)
#46 - Maybe Biggio was a bad example, but the point about the others still stands. Bonds and Clemens would've been first ballot for sure. I'd guess McGwire and Sosa would've squeaked in as the third selection on their first ballot as well. Palmeiro may have taken a couple ballots, but he'd be in now too. Hard to say with Bagwell; we really have no idea how many voters are snubbing him due to PED suspicions, but he debuted before the ballot glut, so if it's a lot he might've been cleared out by now as well.
   48. jwb Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:58 AM (#4758310)
bobm, Ray: You're missing Ted Lyons (11) from your lists. He didn't get any votes in 1947, but he did in 1945 and 1946.
   49. bobm Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:50 AM (#4758321)
You're missing Ted Lyons (11) from your lists. He didn't get any votes in 1947, but he did in 1945 and 1946.

Lyons played in 1946. BB REF describes his election in 1955 as his 10th year on the ballot.

                                    
                                    
Rk             Name  YoB Votes %vote
1      Joe DiMaggio  4th   223 88.8%
2         Ted Lyons 10th   217 86.5%
3       Dazzy Vance 16th   205 81.7%
4    Gabby Hartnett 12th   195 77.7%


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/27/2014.
   50. bobm Posted: July 27, 2014 at 08:00 AM (#4758324)
[48], [49]

From http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_Hall_of_Fame_balloting,_1947

Members of the BBWAA now had the authority to select any players active in 1922 or later, provided they had not appeared in a major league game in 1946.


ETA: From http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_Hall_of_Fame_balloting,_1948

The 10-year members of the BBWAA had the authority to select any players active in 1923 or later, provided they had been retired since 1946.
   51. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4758342)
Getting rid of the ten man limit makes sense but is not really going to make a difference. Sure Biggio probably gets in this year instead of next but he's going anyway. I don't think anyone has ultimately been kept out because of that.

Possibly not yet but it could ultimately affect Palmeiro, Sosa, Walker, etc. we know that there's a crowd effect and with those players starting lower (than they would without a ballot limit) they might not have time to rise up. Who knows if they would have, of course.
   52. toratoratora Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4758348)
Personally, I don't think it's a good idea to vacillate the rules around because of a short-term problem, but if I did, I certainly wouldn't shorten the consideration window for the PED class. If anything, they need a longer period of candidacy to gain some perspective and hash out some sort of de facto guidelines for considering their records (but, again, I don't think it's a particularly good idea to tinker with the rules for a short-term problem).


Agree.
The backlog is going to be an issue going forward and I think the Hall just took the worst way out.
Maybe the "steroid"* players won't get in. maybe they will. But there needs to be a conversation/evaluation on this and it needs to occur over a long enough period of time to hopefully let the emotions die down a little.
I'd like to see the furor die down a bit as the "steroid era" dwindles into the past where there can actually be a discussion instead of hyperbole and around the horn shouting from all sides. That would be, oh I dunno, a rational response.
Instead, they decide to jettison the players after ten years and turn the selection over to a proxy committee (What, you can't see the possibility of that deck getting stacked?)and giving them the control.
(Just an observation of life in general but knee-jerk responses and rule changes usually don't work out so well. Not to get all political, but the Patriot Act is a terrific example of this...or, to keep it in MLB, the proposed anti shifting rules changes.)
Let the writers vote. Throw the ten person limit away. Let them vote for as many as they think are eligible (Or increase the voting limit to 15. Hell, 20). Give them 15 years to percolate. Heck, maybe make that twenty as well (I prefer to err on the side of conservatism in these sorts of things). Give each and every player who deserves discussion the time for a true dialogue to occur. If it gets a little jammed up, no big deal. By expanding the vote, you'll allow other players to linger and be fully vetted. It's fair.
Or we could let Joe Morgan and pals have the decision making power.
Cuz yeah, that'll work wonderfully.


*I should state here that I don't really care that much about steroids. I'm neither a moralist, nor an apologist. I don't buy the "they weren't against the rules" argument. They were against US law, which AFAIK, supersedes MLB rules. Equally important to me, the players knew they were into shady ####.That's why they hid the use. Unlike greenies and creatine, which were prominently available in locker rooms, players tried to cover up the use of roids and PED's pretty much from go.That in itself says something.
That said, I also think that damn near every player took them(and that likely many players still do. It's not as if Arod and crew were failing drug tests) which,in a twisted way, levels the playing field. If they were all roiding, then measure who excelled in a era where loaded hitters went against loaded pitchers, examine them against their peers and elect the ones who excelled.
Lastly, I find it absurd that the writers are getting all holier than thou re roids. They were in the locker rooms. They watched what was going on. Either they were complicit or they were ignorant or they are so bloody incompetent that they shouldn't have jobs. To wring hands and act judgmental ex post facto is moral cowardice and a repudiation of their abject professional failure. And to act as if this is all on those bad bad players while failing to knock the Owners/GM's/Managers (Can we say La Russa?) in any way shape or form is ludicrous. In fact, it's somewhat reprehensible.
So here's my thoughts. Either all steroids guys can go in, or no one from the era can. Players, coaches, managers, owners writers-the whole kit and caboodle. Cuz all their asses are equally responsible and they all should be held to the same standard of accountability.
Being unable to distinguish between who did, and who didn't,use, and unwilling to engage in slander or specious speculation, I'm electing to follow the first course.
   53. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4758355)
Possibly not yet but it could ultimately affect Palmeiro, Sosa, Walker, etc. we know that there's a crowd effect and with those players starting lower (than they would without a ballot limit) they might not have time to rise up. Who knows if they would have, of course.


Sure, but that doesn't ease the backlog, it adds to it. Maybe Biggio gets in last year if there is no 10 man limit, but I doubt it. Were there any gizmo votes with 10 men and no Biggio? But without a 10 man limit, Palmeiro is likely still on the ballot, Sosa probably remains, and Walker will not drop off.
   54. Scott Fischthal Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4758361)
This is killing a spider in your bathroom by setting your bathroom on fire.


Nah, it's like killing a spider in your bathroom by releasing more spiders.
   55. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4758367)
Sure, but that doesn't ease the backlog, it adds to it. Maybe Biggio gets in last year if there is no 10 man limit, but I doubt it. Were there anyT gizmo votes with 10 men and no Biggio? But without a 10 man limit, Palmeiro is likely still on the ballot, Sosa probably remains, and Walker will not drop off.


There were a couple with 10 who left Biggio off. I doubt it was enough to make a difference, but it did cost him votes, and obviously cost other guys with varying levels of support as well.

   56. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4758378)
Unlike greenies and creatine, which were prominently available in locker rooms, players tried to cover up the use of roids and PED's pretty much from go.


Baseball's PED descent from the candidness of yesteryear to the cloak and dagger secrecy of steroids isn't exactly linear.

1981: Pete Rose lies, under oath, on the witness stand in court (Q: "Are you denying now that you have ever taken any greenies or Dexamyl?" Rose: "What is a 'greenie'? Is that a... what's a greenie?").

1995: Padres GM Randy Smith tells the LA Times, "We all know there's steroid use, and it's definitely become more prevalent... I think 10% to 20%." Another general manager in the AL is quoted saying, "I wouldn't be surprised if it's closer to 30%, although most people will say it's about 5% to 10%. We had one team in our league a few years ago that the entire lineup may have been on it."

2009: Catcher Lou Merloni recalls, "I'm in spring training, and I got an 8:30-9:00 meeting in the morning. I walk into that office, and this happened while I was with the Boston Red Sox before this last regime, I'm sitting in the meeting. There's a doctor up there and he's talking about steroids... He spins it and says, 'You know what? If you take steroids and sit on the couch all winter long, you can actually get stronger than someone who works out clean. If you're going to take steroids, one cycle won't hurt you; abusing steroids, it will.' He sat there for one hour and told us how to properly use steroids while I'm with the Boston Red Sox, sitting there with the rest of the organization. And after this I said, 'What the heck was that?' And everybody on the team was like, 'What was that?' And the response we got was, 'Well, we know guys are taking it, so we want to make sure they're taking it the right way.' ... Where did that come from? That didn't come from the Players Association."

John Rocker reports a similar team-sponsored spring training seminar while with the 2002 Rangers, and paraphrases the doctor's advice: "Look guys, if you take one kind of steroid, you don't triple stack them and take them 10 months out of the year like Lyle Alzado did. If you do it responsibly, it's not going to hurt you."
   57. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4758381)
There were a couple with 10 who left Biggio off. I doubt it was enough to make a difference, but it did cost him votes, and obviously cost other guys with varying levels of support as well.


But that's my point. maybe, maybe Biggio gets in, but Palmeiro certainly stays on as well, so a net 0 in the backlog. How many guys vote for 10 but leave off a guy who just misses? It can't be more than a small handful. And for every Biggio it may put over the top, there's a whole bunch who fell off but wouldn't have.

Mind you, I'm not arguing against eliminating the 10 man limit: I think it is the good and fair thing to do. But it won't reduce the backlog. If anything, it will increase it.
   58. Chris Fluit Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4758383)
The only way this rule makes sense is if you also increase the ballot to 15 (or even 20) names. Sure, give them a shorter time to be inducted but also make it more likely for them to be inducted during the time.
   59. Chris Fluit Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4758384)

There were a couple with 10 who left Biggio off. I doubt it was enough to make a difference, but it did cost him votes, and obviously cost other guys with varying levels of support as well.


That's enough. Biggio missed by 2 votes.
   60. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4758386)
That's enough. Biggio missed by 2 votes.


OK, I thought it was more like 7-10. So OK, Biggio gets in, but Palmeiro stays. No net effect on backlog.
   61. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4758391)

OK, I thought it was more like 7-10.


Same here.

So OK, Biggio gets in, but Palmeiro stays. No net effect on backlog.


I think the hoped-for effect of increasing the ballot size is the message it sends to the electorate about the number of reasonable candidates out there who are being ignored by the small-ballot voters. The best way to make serious headway on the backlog is to see more guys putting down 10-plus names (or close to it), which a larger ballot might foster for several reasons (psychologically, it's probably more difficult to write down only 3 names on a ballot with 20 open spaces than one with 10).

   62. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 27, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4758394)
I think the hoped-for effect of increasing the ballot size is the message it sends to the electorate about the number of reasonable candidates out there who are being ignored by the small-ballot voters. The best way to make serious headway on the backlog is to see more guys putting down 10-plus names (or close to it), which a larger ballot might foster for several reasons (psychologically, it's probably more difficult to write down only 3 names on a ballot with 20 open spaces than one with 10).


OK, I can see that.
   63. jayjay Posted: July 27, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4758403)
Lou Merloni was not a catcher so I can't believe any of the rest of that.
   64. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 27, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4758405)
See how steroids warp the record book?
   65. Ziggy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4758411)
The Hall of Fame instituting short-sighted rules is pretty common. I think that's exactly the behavior we'd expect from them.

There is a silver lining (of sorts) to all of this: there will be better players for the VC to consider, so they're less likely to elect more of the Ray Shalks of the world.
   66. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 27, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4758416)
The Hall of Fame instituting short-sighted rules is pretty common. I think that's exactly the behavior we'd expect from them.

Yeah, but generally their short-sighted rules changes deal with special committees or the VC. This is the biggest change they've made to the BBWAA voting since the 1960s.
   67. alilisd Posted: July 27, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4758427)
29: I misspoke. Yes, he's fourth now, but I believe he'll be third next year. I am taking an optimistic view, to be sure, but I don't see any reason Martinez and Johnson aren't in. Smoltz may do well, but surpassing Raines would surprise me. He may, but he also may end up more like Mussina and Schilling. Who knows? I also think Biggio has to go in. If he moved to within a fraction of a percentage with three being elected, he cannot help but pick up that fraction with only two new players going in. The following year Griffey and at least Piazza go in, and Raines has a big chance to improve with only one big name debuting. The following year there is no one comparable debuting to those who have, and who will, debut from 2012-2015.

This is admittedly an optimistic take on it, but is it really outside the realm of possibility?
   68. Lassus Posted: July 27, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4758478)
They did Maddux, Cox, and Glavine first at the induction, and now every last Braves fan is leaving the ceremony. Nice planning for Frank Thomas, dopes.
   69. MelOtt4 Posted: July 27, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4758531)
I think the ten year rule should be treated like a second 5% rule. If a player is below a certain percentage than they are removed from the ballot, if they are above that number than they stay on the ballot.

What might this mean for the veterans committee?
   70. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 27, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4758545)
Yes, he's fourth now, but I believe [Raines]'ll be third next year.

In 2016, Raines figures to be behind Piazza and Bagwell and Griffey.

The new rules effectively give Raines one and only one shot to go in: 2017. Yes, Biggio, Pedro, Randy, Griffey and likely Piazza will be out of his way by then. There are no incoming slam dunks in '17 thanks to steroids, but Manny, Vladimir, I-Rod and Posada are a four-man wave who are each likely to get immediate mid-tier support. The jockeying makes it seem that Jeff Bagwell will still be lingering, likely in the 60-65% range by then, which could dilute Raines' "farewell push." Raines badly needs to be no worse than second behind Bagwell by then. It will have been 34 years since the most recent candidate to be elected from as far down as the third slot in the backlog (Don Drysdale, 4th in 1983). Even 2nd-place-to-induction jumps aren't common--in the last 30 years, there's been Roberto Alomar (who got a spitting penalty), and then you have to go to Tony Perez and Ferguson Jenkins and Catfish Hunter. And all of those happened before the candidate crush.

But Raines might not be second in 2017, he might be third behind Smoltz. Piazza HAS to clear out. Trevor Hoffman might create another 45% Lee Smith spot. And despite Bud's fondest wishes, the underlying logic of the rule changes might spark a little more, rather than less support for Bonds and Clemens. I think with this ballot, and with these voters, Raines really needed that 12th or 13th year.
   71. alilisd Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4758589)
He will be behind Griffey and Piazza in votes, but not in backlog position as they will both be in. Bagwell may be too, but that's hardly necessary for Raines to make a big jump in 2017, his final year.

I think you're overstating the likely performance of the 2017 debut class. Manny is more likely to miss 5% than to receive "mid-tier support." Posada will not receive any strong level of support in his first year. Pudge mat get dinged for PED by association, and even if he doesn't, catches generally struggle early. Iuerrero is no threat as a first ballot guy, though he should do well. I don't see any of them threatening to derail a push for a top, if not THE top, backlogger who is also in his last year.

Smoltz is problematic. What do you see as jockeying in regards to Bagwell? I feel he's done quite well considering.
   72. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4758621)
By jockeying, I mean that the horses that are already galloping on the track (Biggio, Piazza) and the fresh horses that are going to jump onto the track ahead of him in 2015 and 2016 (Randy, Griffey, Pedro) will probably delay Jeff Bagwell's eventual induction for a few more years. But Bagwell has six years. The postponement won't kill him, but it'll hurt Tim Raines.

The Schilling-Mussina-Bonds-Clemens group complicated the middle of the HoF ballot, and have stalled or driven several backloggers' percentages down. Vlad-Manny-Ivan-Posada are likely to have a similar if lesser effect in 2017. Again, if Raines had more time, this wouldn't be significant.

Raines' electoral problem for 2017 is that he needs a series of things to break his way, and none to break against him. Something as simple as Mike Piazza getting just 72% in 2016 could doom him. He definitely doesn't need four newbies sucking up 200-250 ballot slots in his abrupt last year of eligibility.
   73. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4758638)
Raines' electoral problem for 2017 is that he needs a series of things to break his way, and none to break against him. Something as simple as Mike Piazza getting just 72% in 2016 could doom him. He definitely doesn't need four newbies sucking up 200-250 ballot slots in his abrupt last year of eligibility.


Exactly. For instance, it's possible nothing hurt Jack's chances of getting in via the writers more than Bert coming up a few votes short in his 13th try.** If Blyleven makes it that year, Jack's got two years as the top backmarker among SPs before the deluge hit, rather than just one.

* Other than not being worthy, of course.

** This is kind of delicious for Morris supporters such as Heyman and Chass who responded to Blyleven's election with such venom. They might have played a large role in Jack coming up short.

Oh, and I'm wondering if Timmy is feeling like it's 1987 all over again, where he's the getting the biggest screw job for stuff completely out of his control. That SOB has simply never been able to catch a break.
   74. toratoratora Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4758715)
Baseball's PED descent from the candidness of yesteryear to the cloak and dagger secrecy of steroids isn't exactly linear.


True. But there weren't fishbowls full of steroids in plain sight for consumption in locker rooms.
Instead, from what I've read, groups of players kinda clanned together and did them either individually or in small groups and were somewhat furtive about it. (Kinda like the potheads when I worked in restaurants. Everyone knew who they were, what they were about, but we all pretended everything was kosher and above board) Torre talked about the Clemens group in the Yanks clubhouse for instance. Same thing with the A's.
A few teams may have discussed using roids ala the purported Sox meeting, but they weren't openly providing them and the players were concealing the evidence of their use. McGwire had creatine on his locker shelf. He didn't have deca's on display.
The players used sub rosa, which is different behavior than they way they used greenies. They were aware of the potential for stigmatization. Heck, I'm old enough to remember Wilbon and Kornheiser talking on PTI when they found the creatine in McG's locker. It was fascinating because Wilbon thought it was no big deal, that steroid use in baseball would be largely ignored by the public, in large part because no one gives a damn when an NFL player tests positive. Kornheiser vehemently disagreed. He thought that MLB placed a certain "sacred" status on its records and history and that steroid use would be a huge deal.
Of course that's how this has played out.

Personally, and I've said this before, I'm not entirely sure that's a coincidence either. I see the owners as having used this issue to damage the union, who have since given in to an increasing series of concessions that would never have occurred pre scandal. Prior to the congressional hearings, the Union had been on a thirty plus year winning streak. Now, they keep getting creamed. That the players have born almost 100% of the blame for this, yeah, color me skeptical as to the purity in the way the story has been spun. With all the other potential factors impacting the offensive explosion, to single out the one thing that makes the union look awful and splits them seems mighty coincidental.

But I digress.
I just wanted to back my comment that it's my perception that players hid their use of roids in a way that they didn't conceal other things.
   75. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4758720)
I would have rather seen changes that clear the logjam by getting deserving people in rather than pushing them off the ballot.

1. No limit on number of players voted for.
2. If no one reaches 75%, the two receiving the most votes are inducted.
3. Blank ballots are discarded and not counted in the percentage.
1) Yes.
2) Hell no.
3) Eh, no.

The first makes sense, because even in the absence of the anti-steroids idiocy, there's going to be more of a backlog because there are more teams.

The third is misguided; I understand the general idea, but it misses the point. Yes, there are enough deserving players that not voting for anyone is stupid. But there are plenty of stupid votes, and there's no reason to single out blank ballots to ignore. And in theory, there could indeed be years with no deserving players. What they need to do is boot the voters who return blank ballots as a protest, not just automatically discount all blank ballots. (Plus, has it ever happened that blank ballots have kept a candidate out? I don't think so. So it won't accomplish anything.)

The second is very wrongheaded. Yes, it would "clear out the backlog." But it would do so by severely diminishing the honor of the HOF. There's no reason on earth why a candidate who gets 55% of the vote should be excluded when someone gets 80% and someone else gets 75%, but inducted when nobody else does. If we don't think that 75% of the current electorate is a good standard, then we should attack that directly, but consistently. Lower the threshold, give an IQ test to voters, whatever. But once we've settled on a particular set o voters and a particular required percentage, then everyone should have to meet that.
   76. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4758722)
I am mystified as to what actual problem this is supposed to solve. The "backlog" is not a problem in the first place, and this doesn't solve it.

(I mean, I assume what it's actually intended to do is get rid of the obviously-qualified steroids suspects sooner so that the HOF looks less stupid each year for excluding them. But that can't be the official justificiation.)
   77. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:59 PM (#4758728)
I should state here that I don't really care that much about steroids. I'm neither a moralist, nor an apologist. I don't buy the "they weren't against the rules" argument. They were against US law, which AFAIK, supersedes MLB rules. Equally important to me, the players knew they were into shady ####.That's why they hid the use. Unlike greenies and creatine, which were prominently available in locker rooms, players tried to cover up the use of roids and PED's pretty much from go.That in itself says something.
1) They weren't all against US law.¹
2) Even if they were, who said US law applied?²
3) The players did not seem to cover anything up.


¹ See, e.g., THG.
² What if the players used them overseas, in the offseason?
   78. Walt Davis Posted: July 27, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4758756)
Like David, I simply don't see what rationale there is for the 10-year limit. As I said I don't have a problem with it in principle but it doesn't address any current problem and may even make current problems worse.

How is all of these players still being on the ballot rather than in the Hall not contributing to the backlog?

2 paragraphs above the bit you quoted: Their continuing presence on the ballot is part of the backlog problem but the "PED guys" are not eating up a huge percentage of votes.

People don't seem to understand what the backlog problem is. There is no problem with there being deserving HoFers in the backlog -- this is standard practice. It is not that many voters don't realize that a Tim Raines should be in the HoF -- this is a standard problem. Those are/were both handled fairly well by letting guys be on the ballot for 15 years.

The new "backlog" problem is that there have never been so many that even a full 10-man ballot can't cover them. We have likely never seen so many full ballots before. I believe 2014 set the record for names per ballot.

So, the backlog problem is that there are 11-12 carryovers with legit cases and 2-4 legit guys are being added in most future years -- not including the PED guys -- and therefore legit candidates like Walker get "artificially" low vote totals such that there's virtually no chance of them building the momentum to make it and may even fall off the ballot in the near future.

Now expanding the ballot to, say, 15 slots is not likely to get Walker into the HoF anyway but it might help Mussina and Schilling a whole lot. The point isn't that Raines wouldn't still be in the backlog and might not be any higher in the backlog rank -- the point is that he might not have lost 6% last year (although likely would have lost some based on ballot history). He might have a more realistic chance of eventual election.

And again, the anti-PED backlash has been so severe these guys are not eating up a lot of votes. Palmeiro is now off the ballot, not a concern at all. Sosa at a mere 7.2%, McGwire at 11%.

On the topic of Raines's rank -- his chances are now so slim not so much because of his rank in the backlog (that doesn't help) but because of his sub-50 vote total. He has to add 24% in three years now. That has not commonly happened. It would be a lot more likely to happen if he was, say, #2 in the backlog but even then it's hardly guaranteed.

Given 2 1st ballot guys and Smoltz next year plus a probably sizeable jump for Biggio (often happens with guys who are close), Raines will be lucky to be back above 50. Even if Griffey and Piazza clear out in 2016, he'll be lucky to be at 60. Even if he's at 60, a last ballot bump of 15 is a big ask -- not impossible under the circumstances but he'll have just the one shot at it.

In short, Raines would have an excellent shot at being elected by his 12th-13th ballot but now he doesn't have the luxury. As others have noted, he's likely got only one legit shot in 2017 and I think that's a longshot.

It's obviously hard to predict because we don't know how voting patterns might change with a 10-year limit. But ... Dawson was above Raines current %age pretty much his entire time and, once his ballots started clearing, he was at 57% and it took him 3 ballots to add 20%. Rice's voting history is not dissimilar and it took him 4 ballots to get from 59.5% to 76.5%. Morris was at 53.5% in 2011 and might have just made it if not for sharing his last ballot with Maddux, Glavine and Thomas but he was 7 points ahead of where Raines is now. Blyleven took 4 ballots to get from 47 to 79, just missing the year before. Cepeda was at 59.6% on his 14th ballot and just missed at 73.5% despite passing the guy ahead of him in the backlog (Niekro).

Raines probably will get a big bump in his last year even if he enters the ballot at #2 in the backlog behind Bagwell (I think Raines will be #2 or #3 as I'm nowhere near sure about Piazza, Smoltz also a wildcard) but it'll be his one and only shot. A Cepeda, Morris, Bunning and year 13 Blyeleven fate seems very possible.

Compare this to him coming out of the 2016 ballot with 60% and having 6 years left on the ballot -- virtually a lock to make it. I certainly can't see any way that this change helps Raines. It doesn't doom him but it sure doesn't help.
   79. Ziggy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 09:22 PM (#4758765)
The "what problem is this supposed to solve?" question is a very good one. We should make sure that we know whose "problems" we're talking about, however. If it is the HOF making these rules, the "problems" are institutional problems for the hall. I'd guess that the code of conduct is the big issue for them - the Deadspin thing was probably seen as a serious problem by them; the hall depends for its legitimacy (in the eyes of most people, I don't know just how much legitimacy it's got around here) for the process by which players are elected to be a serious one. If the process is in doubt, the hall itself is in doubt. (Comparable, I think, to gambling in the sport itself.)

So which of the hall's problems is the 10 year thing supposed to solve? Maybe they're worried about more "no one gets elected" years, which, absent a VC pick or two, would take a cut out of the hall's budget (losing their big weekend), and it would reduce the museum's visibility. The induction weekend is the only time of the year that the hall is likely to get any national coverage, for example. Maybe they saw that the BBWAA can't be relied upon to elect players every year, and so made up a rule that would make more players (and better ones) available for the VC to elect, with its (historically) lower standard.
   80. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:35 PM (#4758787)
I just wanted to back my comment that it's my perception that players hid their use of roids in a way that they didn't conceal other things.

Pete Rose's aforementioned perjury... or the media's reluctance to delve into Willie Mays' distribution of amphetamines to other players... or the institutional attempt to quash and deny the contents of Jim Bouton's "Ball Four"... or multiple 1960s and 70s players still peddling the standard fiction of "I tried one pep pill, once, one terrible day, in a moment of confusion and weakness, and was immediately flooded by regret"... behavior like that suggests that the perception of steroid use being uniquely surreptitious doesn't entirely mesh with the reality.
   81. Booey Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4758803)
#80 - Exactly. Players weren't open about amps either, at least not with the general public and media. Maybe they were amongst teammates, but that's basically how Canseco, Caminiti and others described roid culture in the clubhouse too - players shared dealers, injected each other, had teammates who were "workout buddies", etc. I don't see much difference.

Hiding roid use (or amps) from the media or public isn't evidence that the players knew it was cheating. Is it really a shock that people tend to be careful who they talk to about illegal activities, regardless of whether they personally feel it's wrong? I don't remember players talking openly about recreational drug use or hook ups with underage groupies either.
   82. DanG Posted: July 28, 2014 at 12:52 AM (#4758822)
The "what problem is this supposed to solve?" question is a very good one.
Just more fiddling while Rome is burning. So we're looking at eight more years of ballotgeddon rather than 13. Nice job, truly a well thought-out solution!

Once again, the HOF is side-stepping the main issue: the status of the "steroid cheaters". Should the "character clause" in the rules be interpreted so as to disqualify certain players? Or is it being widely misapplied by voters? [crickets] Answer.[/crickets]

The Hall refuses to give a straight answer because taking a position on either side would create acrimony and enemies. The only way out is to get the controversial players off the ballot ASAP. That is the purpose for this new rule.

Bonds and Clemens are not getting elected anytime soon. More than 25% of the voters have decided to permanently blackball them. The HOF also sees this, but if they were to try and ban these players from the ballot altogether, they would be seen as arbitrary and heavy-handed. Likewise, if they tried to dictate to the voters that they have to vote for these "cheaters". So they have to let it play out; this new rule is about all they dare do to curtail this nightmare.

See, the new rule was done with no consideration of making it easier or harder to get players elected. As with all HOF rule changes, it's a reaction to a situation that is making the HOF uncomfortable. It's an attempt at damage control. It's all about PR and trying to look good in the eyes of the suckers, the baseball public at large.
   83. Sunday silence Posted: July 28, 2014 at 06:30 AM (#4758848)
Equally important to me, the players knew they were into shady ####.That's why they hid the use. Unlike greenies and creatine, which were prominently available in locker rooms, players tried to cover up the use of roids and PED's pretty much from go.That in itself says something.


Can I just say that this is just the dumbest, most illogical argument in this whole sh!tstorm....

PEDs provided a COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE to those taking them. No one is going to make public whatever advantages they are getting, and they are certainly not going to tell you what exact concoction they are using if it gives them an advantage over competitors. They might share that knowledge with their teammates or friends.

But take a look at other competitive endeavors and tell me if the proof is in the pudding.

Does Kentucky Fried Chicken tell you whats in their secret recipe? Why would they?

"THey must be doing something illegal, the wont tell us the secret."

Is IBM or Lockheed going to tell you what their profit margins are? Or whom their ventors are?

"Well they must be doing something illegal if its secret."

What about athletes who compete in other sports? Are they going to tell you their training methods? Or how they built their race car? Or how they built their bobsled?

Ditto companies and market share, or future business strategy, roll out dates, manufacturing costs. That's all part of competition. Doesnt make it illegal.

I remember one time calling up Jolly old St. Nick about selling a collection of civil war books to him. Andy was very professional book dealer in this area so he was the first guy I thought of. I wanted to ask him if I could just read him off the titles and he could quote me a price over the phone, because the collection was in So. Carolina and didnt know if it was worth lugging it up here. Andy wouldnt do that, he had to see the books in person. Well of course, he needed to look at the condition of the books. But how about a ball park estimate? No way.

Well why should he? It's just good business practice. He quotes some number on the phone then I will run to the next guy and take a better offer. But if I bring the books to him, then I've sort of committed myself.

Does that mean Andy is doing something illegal if he wont quote a price on the phone?
   84. Sunday silence Posted: July 28, 2014 at 06:38 AM (#4758849)

See, the new rule was done with no consideration of making it easier or harder to get players elected.


Right, because if they made the voting threshold higher or lower it would change the conditions necessary to get in and would be seen as either cheapening the honor or making it harder to get. Which seems unfair.

Limiting the years of eligibility is sort of the same thing, makes it harder to get in, but only by a bit. Only a few players will probably lose out this way.

Very clever, HoF.
   85. toratoratora Posted: July 28, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4758931)
Can I just say that this is just the dumbest, most illogical argument in this whole sh!tstorm....

Werll gee, thanks. If you note the original post, you'll see it's not an aregument at all but a side bar comment attached to a sidebar. It's not even remotely my principle point. It's also total hyperbole
PEDs provided a COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE to those taking them. No one is going to make public whatever advantages they are getting, and they are certainly not going to tell you what exact concoction they are using if it gives them an advantage over competitors. They might share that knowledge with their teammates or friends.

Yeah right. Cuz players won't talk about new workout routines, batting stances, grips on pitches. Heck, every year players show up in the "Best shape of their lives" and happily expound on how and why to anyone who asks.


Responding to the comments:
1-David-I was aware of the US only weakness when I made the original post. Not being up to date on how other nations approach steroids/CDS, I make no statement other than to say that of course that your jurisdictional comment was on point.
2-I wasn't making a statement of fact when I wrote this. I was expressing my perception. If someone doesn't agree with that, fine. No big deal. I'm entitled to my opinion same as anyone else is. I merely noted that things like creatine and greenies were visible in locker rooms. Roids weren't. It's my impression that players were less open about their use for whatever reason. As mentioned above, I directly compared it to how players in other workplaces use recreational drugs. I also noted that there seemed to be groups of players on certain teams who linked up and used together.
3-All that said, this is all a tangent detracting from the main thread. I made a post re the rule changes. As an addendum, I made some comments expressing my perceptions of steroids, which are really that I don't care. How this is turned into a sidebar thread is beyond me. I tend to think, like most people I suspect, that I'm being kinda easonable here. I don't get mad at players who used and I don't sit in moral judgement of them either. Personally I tend to think that most used and those who didn't were either to scared or to stupd to, with few exceptions. No skin of my back.
So with all that said, I'm not gonna detract from the main thread anymore and engage on this.
Happy Baseball everyone.
   86. Sunday silence Posted: July 28, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4759123)

Yeah right. Cuz players won't talk about new workout routines, batting stances, grips on pitches


they talk about stuff that everybody already knows about. Everyone knows Carew had 5 batting stances or whatever it was. Or that so and so throws a split finger fastball.

They dont tell you stuff that is secret so that it confers an advantage. Is that so hard to understand? Do you get the KFC example? Does any of that make any sense to you?
   87. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 28, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4759163)
Canseco writes extensively about teaching many teammates how to use steroids. Caminiti told SI that he began taking them after watching other players' regimens. Palmeiro blamed Tejada for his positive test. Players tipped off teammates about when surprise tests were coming. Players pooled their money to buy group shipments. The New York Times has written about "an environment in which information about steroids was readily shared among players, agents and doctors," and as noted elsewhere, multiple baseball teams held seminars in which doctors instructed entire rosters on safer methods for using the drugs. The persistent, unkillable premise that steroid use was kept uniquely secret in the clubhouse as compared with amphetamines simply isn't true.
   88. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 28, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4759176)
I believe 2014 set the record for names per ballot.

Wow. No. Recent decades have had the fewest names/ballot in the Hall's history. 2012 set an all-time low of 5.10 names/ballot.

Then 2013 boosted it up to 6.60/ballot - the most since 1999 & second-most since 1991. But still far fewer than the record (9.87 in 1936 -- but it was high as 9.52 in 1955 and last over 8/ballot in 1983).

Then in 2014, we had 8.39 names/ballot - which is the most since .... 1960. And with strong ballot rookie crops coming up still.

So it was the most names/ballot in decades. Last time there were that many names/ballot, it was an entirely different electorate - I don't think anyone is left from the 1960 electorate still alive to vote.

Added bonus: even back around 2010 or so when there was a lot of empty space, that was less a matter of the candidates being so much weaker than they were in the 1960s/70s, but more about the BBWAA being more hesitant to vote for many guys. It was actually a strong backlog when the ballots were only half-empty, so no its an absurdly strong backlog.
   89. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 28, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4759194)
Palmeiro blamed Tejada for his positive test.
That would not be correct.
   90. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 28, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4759216)
So it was the most names/ballot in decades. Last time there were that many names/ballot, it was an entirely different electorate - I don't think anyone is left from the 1960 electorate still alive to vote.


And entirely different rules (for the most part). Until 1958, voters were instructed to vote for exactly 10 names, rather than up to 10 names. That mindset might have carried over into the 1960 election, but the 2014 election stands out when considering the current ballot instructions and established voting habits.

   91. alilisd Posted: July 28, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4759222)
By jockeying, I mean that the horses that are already galloping on the track (Biggio, Piazza) and the fresh horses that are going to jump onto the track ahead of him in 2015 and 2016 (Randy, Griffey, Pedro) will probably delay Jeff Bagwell's eventual induction for a few more years


Gotcha. Thanks.

Raines' electoral problem for 2017 is that he needs a series of things to break his way, and none to break against him. Something as simple as Mike Piazza getting just 72% in 2016 could doom him. He definitely doesn't need four newbies sucking up 200-250 ballot slots in his abrupt last year of eligibility.


Yeah, I'm probably underestimating the impact of coming debut candidates as well as being overly optimistic on his chances. Cheers!
   92. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 28, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4759229)
Re: #89--
True, Palmeiro blamed a purported B-12 shot from Tejada, so it doesn't fit the premise (despite both players failing steroid tests). Withdrawn.
   93. toratoratora Posted: July 28, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4759261)
Canseco writes extensively about teaching many teammates how to use steroids. Caminiti told SI that he began taking them after watching other players' regimens. Palmeiro blamed Tejada for his positive test. Players tipped off teammates about when surprise tests were coming. Players pooled their money to buy group shipments. The New York Times has written about "an environment in which information about steroids was readily shared among players, agents and doctors," and as noted elsewhere, multiple baseball teams held seminars in which doctors instructed entire rosters on safer methods for using the drugs. The persistent, unkillable premise that steroid use was kept uniquely secret in the clubhouse as compared with amphetamines simply isn't true.

(Gack-keep getting sucked back in)
Hell, a union official warned ARod and he still failed the test (IQ as well as roids).

I agree that use was pretty much an open secret,never suggested otherwise. Owners pulled clauses from contracts. GM's discussed whether a player used pre trade. Players certainly shared info/workout methods/trainers. All that is undeniable.
I do think it was cloaked from the general population and reporters in ways that greenies and creatine weren't. That is, unless there's a reporter who had full knowledge and sat on the story. And no, I'm not talking Piazza's backne. That's not a story. That's specious speculation.
What's so tough about this?
Players openly took greenies in the locker room.They had freaking fishbowls full for anyone who wandered by. They had creatine on their locker shelf.
Nobody had deca's or anabolic steroids sitting out in plain sight. Nobody was out there shooting up in front of their locker (Well, that we've heard, yet)
This shouldn't be controversial at all.
It's simply what happened.
I choose to interpret that lack of openness as hiding.

I don't damn em for using and I don't judge em at all for it.
If I came from some godawful poor third world nation and someone said take this and you could make enough money that not only won't you ever have to worry, your kids kids won't have to work, I'd have been first in line.
Hell, I grew up in the burbs and I might have taken that deal and that's ignoring the peripheral attractions like fame and females.

What I do think sucks is that I'd like to see some time go by, maybe let the emotions cool, the hub-bub die down, the older reporters retire and younger ones come in who judge more by accomplishments than rumor.The ten year limit hurts that, instead potentially letting a handpicked committee make the final call on these guys, which just blows.
I'd like to see the ballot expanded to fifteen or twenty players, let as many as need be loiter while a real conversation goes on.
If anything, I was hoping they'd go the other way and let players stay eligible longer.

Kneejerk, I also was thinking no blank ballots, but the fact is that while it may not happen anytime soon, I can conceive of a time where a person might legitimately think there are no real HoF'ers on the ballot and honestly believe that a blank ballot was the proper thing to turn in.
   94. Ron J2 Posted: July 28, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4759267)
#89 Nope (this is old ground for us) Palmeiro never claimed it was the B-12 shot.
   95. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 28, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4759287)
#89 Nope (this is old ground for us) Palmeiro never claimed it was the B-12 shot.


Maybe not but the Mitchell Report sort of characterizes Palmeiro as having done so on pages 104-105:

Congressional investigators looked into the issue because Palmeiro told them that he had used injectable vitamin B12 provided to him by his Orioles teammate Miguel Tejada and that this might have been the reason for his positive steroid test.276


But this seems to be conflicted by Footnote 276 below. Quoting again from the MR:

According to the House Committee’s report, Tejada told investigators that he generally brought injectable vitamin B12 with him to the United States when he returned each season from the Dominican Republic.277 Tejada said that he gave vitamin B12 to three teammates during the 2005 season, Palmeiro and Players A and B. In his own interview with the congressional investigation, Player A said that he injected Tejada with vitamin B12
approximately 40-45 times during the 2004 season and approximately 30-35 times during the 2005 season until July, when he decided to stop doing so.278 Larry Bigbie, a former Orioles player who we interviewed in our investigation, confirmed that he observed Tejada injecting himself with vitamin B12 in the clubhouse restroom.279

The report that four players on a major league team were self-administering an injectable substance should have been a cause of concern, even if the players said that the substance they were injecting into themselves was vitamin B12. Indeed, the presence of syringes in a major league clubhouse, by itself, should have been a cause of significant concern.

During the summer of 2005, Tejada met with representatives from both the Players Association and the Commissioner’s Office, who told him he should stop injecting himself with vitamin B12 and take the vitamin in pill form instead.280

276 Id. at 19-20. During the arbitration challenging the positive steroid test, Palmeiro had testified about receiving the vitamin B12 but did not assert that he believed it was the reason for his positive drug test. Id. at 11.

277 Id. at 25.

278 Id. at 30. Player A gave the investigators a vial of the vitamin B12 that he had received from Tejada, which was tested and found not to contain any banned substances. Id. at 31.

279 Bigbie also told us that he had conversations with Palmeiro while they were both playing with the Orioles in which Palmeiro asked him about his source of steroids and human growth hormone (the source was Kirk Radomski) and how the substances made him feel. Bigbie said that Palmeiro denied in those conversations that he had ever used performance enhancing substances himself.

   96. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 28, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4759293)
Washington Post, Sept. 2005:
"Palmeiro, 40, named Tejada in both his arbitration hearing with MLB and in the House Government Reform Committee's investigation into whether he committed perjury when he told the committee that he had never used steroids... In his arbitration hearing, sources said, Palmeiro mentioned the B-12 shot but did not offer it as a defense of his positive test. But in an interview during the perjury investigation, Palmeiro did point to the substance as a possible culprit."

Washington Post, Nov. 2005:
"Palmeiro maintained he has never knowingly used steroids and that he is not certain what caused him to fail his test, though he believes it was a shot of vitamin B-12 that was supplied by Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada. "I'm not exactly sure how it got into my body," Palmeiro said. "I suspected it was the B-12." Palmeiro detailed his use of the B-12 shot, but relieved Tejada of any responsibility. Palmeiro said he only brought up Tejada's name when asked under oath during an arbitration hearing."
   97. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 28, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4759307)
Reviewing Congress's report of the Palmeiro dustup I'm forced to conclude -- from Palmeiro's own testimony -- that the conclusion that Palmeiro blamed Tejada is a fair one.

(Unless the argument is that Palmeiro ultimately blamed "the vial of B-12" but not actually Tejada, which I find to be hair splitting and not very useful.)

But you have to follow it through. During the June 2005 arbitration hearing Palmeiro did not blame Tejada:

Mr. Palmeiro also testified that in mid-April 2005, his Baltimore Orioles teammate, Miguel Tejada, gave him a vial containing what Mr. Palmeiro believed was liquid vitamin B-1264 and one syringe.

...

Mr. Weiner further explained that Aegis Labs tested the vial of Tiaminal B-12, 50,000 and found the vial contained no steroids or precursors.75

During the arbitration, Mr. Palmeiro was questioned extensively regarding the B-12 he received from Mr. Tejada and whether the B-12 could have led to Mr. Palmeiro’s positive steroid test. When asked whether Mr. Tejada would have any reason to give Mr. Palmeiro a substance containing steroids, Mr. Palmeiro answered, “I wouldn’t think so. I mean that’s why I got it from him. I didn’t suspect that he would be on anything. I mean he’s Miguel Tejada, he’s a teammate. He’s like a brother to me.”76 As part of his testimony, Mr. Palmeiro explained that he thought Mr. Tejada may have offered the B-12 because Mr. Tejada saw that Mr. Palmeiro went through a stressful spring training and that Mr. Tejada may have seen that Mr. Palmeiro was “tired and rundown.”77

...

Mr. Coonelly and Mr. Weiner each questioned Mr. Palmeiro as to how the stanozolol could have entered his body. Mr. Palmeiro testified that he had “no idea” and “no explanation” for how stanozolol entered his urine.82 Further, Mr. Palmeiro stated, “I have never ever in my life used any type of steroids, any drugs, anything that’s illegal,”83 “I have never used an illegal steroid,”84 “I have never used an illegal drug in my life,”85 and “[y]ou know, like I said before, under oath twice now, I have never taken steroids in my life. I have no idea how this got into my system.”86

When asked whether Mr. Palmeiro believed his positive test was a result of taking the B-12 provided by Mr. Tejada, Mr. Palmeiro responded, “I don’t know that, no.”87

...

Throughout the arbitration process, Mr. Palmeiro was represented by Mr. Weiner and the Players Association, not private counsel. The Players Association did not argue the substance in the B-12 vial taken by Mr. Palmeiro resulted in his positive test result.101 In fact, Mr. Weiner argued just the opposite, stating in closing arguments, “The Players Association does not contend that the B-12 shot that Mr. Palmeiro took caused his positive test result. We have no evidence to suggest that. As a matter of fact, all of the evidence that exists runs in the other direction.”102

...

Attached to the arbitration documents was a Polygraph Examination Summary by W. Ronald Lilly of Lilly Polygraph Services, dated June 14, 2005.106 Mr. Lilly administered a polygraph examination to Mr. Palmeiro on June 13, 2005. The arbitration documents included the following two questions:

Q: When you received that B-12, did you know that it contained a steroid?
A: No.
Q: When you received that B-12 this past April, did you know that it contained a steroid?
A: No.107


*****************

But the above begins to be contradicted later by Palmeiro himself:

On August 23, 2005, Mr. Palmeiro’s attorneys sent to the Committee, via facsimile, additional documents relating to the polygraph examination.109 The documents included all questions posed to Mr. Palmeiro during the June 13, 2005, polygraph examination. In addition to the two questions cited in Lilly’s Polygraph Examination Summary, Mr. Palmeiro was also asked the following:

Q: Did you unknowingly receive a B-12 supplement that contained a steroid?
A: Yes.

Q: Do you recall ever secretly doing anything that would have caused shame or dishonor to your family?
A: No.
Q: In the past year, did you ever seriously think about violating your personal beliefs by doing something
unlawful?
A: No.
Q: Are you the kind of person who would lie in order to protect someone involved in an unlawful activity?
A: No.110


***************************

And Palmeiro continues later to sing a different tune than he did at his arbitration hearing:

On August 25, 2005, Committee staff conducted an in-person interview of Rafael Palmeiro.124

According to Mr. Palmeiro, during the initial telephone conversation, Mr. Orza asked him if there was a substance he may have taken by accident.143 Mr. Palmeiro stated that although he recalled the B-12 he took earlier in the season, he did not mention the B-12 to Mr. Orza during this conversation.144 Mr. Palmeiro stated that a few days later, he informed Mr. Weiner of the B-12.145 Mr. Palmeiro noted that he initially did not
want to disclose the identity of the player who gave him the B-12,146 but that Mr. Weiner insisted that he needed to disclose the source of the B-12. Mr. Palmeiro stated that within that week he told Mr. Weiner that Miguel Tejada was the source of the B-12.147 Mr. Palmeiro stated that after telling Mr. Weiner that Mr. Tejada was the source of the B-12, Mr. Palmeiro knew the Players Association discussed getting another vial of
B-12 from Mr. Tejada to have it tested.148 According to Mr. Palmeiro, Mr. Tejada never mentioned to him that the Players Association asked for a vial of B-12.149 In fact, according to Mr. Palmeiro, after he took the B-12 from Mr. Tejada in April 2005, the two never discussed the issue again.150

According to Mr. Palmeiro’s account:
• He received the B-12 vial in mid-April 2005.151
• He and Mr. Tejada were near their lockers in the clubhouse when Mr. Tejada offered the B-12.152 It was the first and only time that Mr. Tejada, or any other player, offered B-12 to Mr. Palmeiro.153
• Mr. Tejada said he had taken B-12 because it gives him energy,154 and Mr. Palmeiro assumed Mr. Tejada believed Mr. Palmeiro needed a boost after a long, hot spring training.155
• Mr. Tejada removed the B-12 and a syringe from his locker during the conversation and Mr. Palmeiro then put both items in his own locker. 156
• Mr. Palmeiro did not ask Mr. Tejada where he obtained the B-12 and had no knowledge of whether Mr. Tejada offered B-12 to other players. 157

Mr. Palmeiro stated he was not concerned about receiving the B-12 and a syringe from Mr. Tejada because he had experience with B-12 shots when he played for the Texas Rangers.158 According to Mr. Palmeiro, he received B-12 shots when he played for the Rangers.

...

Mr. Palmeiro explained that when Mr. Tejada offered the B-12, it “wasn’t a big deal accepting it, even accepting it from a teammate,”164 and that “ [w]hen he gave me the B-12, I believed that it was a B-12. I didn’t believe anything other than that, and that is really why I took it.”165
Mr. Palmeiro described his relationship with Mr. Tejada as “close,”166 that the two men are “pretty good friends,”167 and that he feels like Mr. Tejada is like a “brother.”168 In Mr. Palmeiro’s opinion, Mr. Tejada is a “really good, genuine family guy” and “really happy.”169 Mr. Palmeiro explained that he never had concerns in the past that Mr. Tejada was taking performance-enhancing drugs.170 Mr. Palmeiro stated that Mr. Tejada called him the first day his suspension was announced and left him a supportive voice mail.171 On Mr. Palmeiro’s first day back after his suspension,

...

Contrary to Mr. Palmeiro’s defense during his arbitration, Mr. Palmeiro informed Committee staff that it is his belief that the B-12 injection resulted in his positive test for steroids. He stated:

A: My best guess would be the B-12, it could have been contaminated, but I can’t prove it. It could have been something else. It could have been
something else, any other supplement that I took. But my best guess would be the B-12.
Q: You believe it was the B-12?
A: I believe it was, but I wish I could prove it.179


* * *

Q: How in your mind do you think this was contaminated? What do you think? Do you think it was inadvertently not B-12 but a steroid? 172

A: No, I’m not sure. I don’t know how to answer that, because obviously I didn’t take the proper steps to look into it, but when I got it, I feel sure that it was B-12. And I’m not saying that that’s not what it was. I’m just saying that could have been what got me contaminated. I can’t say for sure that is what it was, but that is the thing I can pinpoint to that is different than anything else that I have done in the past.180


* * *

Q: [W]hat you are saying here is that you believe, your best guess is that your positive test was as a result of that B-12 shot?
A: That is my guess.181


Committee staff questioned Mr. Palmeiro about the discrepancy between the arbitration proceedings and the interview with Committee staff concerning Mr. Palmeiro’s belief that the B-12 caused his positive test result. Mr. Palmeiro stated:

"I know, but that is because the way that I understood it was I could not prove what did it. But when I think back on it, my best guess would be the B-12. Now, I may be wrong. It could be something else. But if I have to guess, if I have to pinpoint something, that is the logical thing.182"


During the arbitration proceeding, Mr. Weiner stated, “The Players Association does not contend that the B-12 shot that Mr. Palmeiro took caused his
positive test. We have no evidence to suggest that. As a matter of fact, all of the evidence that exists runs in the other direction.”183 In the Committee staff interview, Mr. Palmeiro was asked about Mr. Weiner’s statement:

Q: So do you disagree with that statement?
A: I disagree with what he is saying. He is speaking on the Players Association behalf; but I feel that the B-12 was probably the thing that might have done it. I could not prove it. I have no way of proving whether you know this was an unintentional thing that I did or something that somebody did to me. I couldn’t prove it.184



Ok, so.... how is it not fair to conclude from that that Palmeiro in effect blamed Tejada? Palmeiro ultimately settles on the B-12 he got from Tejada as his best guess for how the steroids got into his system. Is that not strong enough to characterize it as "blaming Tejada"?

I'm open to hearing how I'm wrong here.
   98. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4759360)
Since Palmeiro was blaming Tejada for inadvertently steroiding him with what was supposed to be a squeaky clean vitamin shot, I shouldn't have included it in a list of players openly sharing steroids or steroid info, even if few people take that story at face value. It's off-premise.
   99. Squash Posted: July 28, 2014 at 11:35 PM (#4759492)
1) They weren't all against US law.¹
2) Even if they were, who said US law applied?²
3) The players did not seem to cover anything up.


¹ See, e.g., THG.
² What if the players used them overseas, in the offseason?


1) The ones being used by players were very predominantly against the law, and those that weren't would quickly become against the law once the guvmint learned about them.
2) The vast majority of players who were busted/named were US citizens who bought them from dealers in the US and used them in the US. If there were tons of players who bought them legally in Mexico or the DR or wherever and used them only in Mexico or the DR or wherever one of them surely would have used this as a defense by now.
3) Come now.
   100. Sunday silence Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:22 AM (#4759499)
So you are OK if non US baseball players took steroids in non US jurisdiction; but US players shooting up in the US should be banned/punished? What about US players shooting up outside the US? or non US players shooting up in the US? Isnt this a double standard?

what about ball players who smoke pot in Colorado vs those that do in states where it is banned? Same standard?
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