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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Joe Morgan Wants To Keep Steroid Cheats Out Of Baseball Hall Of Fame | MLB | NESN.com

Joe Morgan is serious about baseball’s standards of excellence. The Cincinatti Reds legend and Baseball Hall of Famer wrote a letter to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Monday in which he implores Hall of Fame voters not to induct known steroid users into the sport’s most hallowed place. Esteemed baseball writer Joe Posnanski shared Morgan’s letter on his blog, and the Baseball Hall of Fame sent it to a wider audience.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 21, 2017 at 11:07 AM | 198 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   1. Batman Posted: November 21, 2017 at 11:23 AM (#5579358)
He was the best player on Cincinatti's Bigg Redd Machinne.
   2. wjones Posted: November 21, 2017 at 11:28 AM (#5579362)
Just to be clear, is he ok with unknown steroid users being inducted?
   3. djordan Posted: November 21, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5579363)
#2, Forget it, he's rolling.
   4. TR_Sullivan Posted: November 21, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5579386)
Seriously looking forward to reading this thread and gauging reaction to Morgan's letter.... I received it too this morning
   5. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 21, 2017 at 12:03 PM (#5579393)
Do we also have to remove all the known cheats from the HOF? That could take a while.
   6. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: November 21, 2017 at 12:09 PM (#5579403)
#1 is flat out brilliant.

I understand the want to keep out cheats. I really do, but first we need to define "cheating". Is it a corked bat? Is it pine-tar on teh bill of the pitchers' cap? Is it greenies? Is it Andro? Is it steroids? Is it marajuana? Is it HGH? Is it those that bet on the game (obviously)...etc.

Once that is done then a conversation can happen, but that seems like the first step that has to happen no matter what your view point....
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 21, 2017 at 12:11 PM (#5579404)
It's a really good letter. Everyone should read it.

Do we also have to remove all the known cheats from the HOF? That could take a while.

Morgan addresses this.
   8. dlf Posted: November 21, 2017 at 12:26 PM (#5579422)
I don't have a problem with Morgan's opinion - I don't share it for many of the reasons discussed here over and over during the years - but I respect the POV. I do, however, wish that he didn't purport to speak so strongly for others without naming names. There certainly are some HOFers (e.g. going back to Bob Feller) who have spoken publicly against inducting steroid users; there are others (e.g. Mike Schmidt) who have spoken in favor of it. Without naming names, he gives an impression of quantity that isn't supported by data.
   9. John DiFool2 Posted: November 21, 2017 at 12:27 PM (#5579425)
We almost certainly already have some in there.


And yes Primey for #1.
   10. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: November 21, 2017 at 12:50 PM (#5579459)
I don't have a problem with Morgan's opinion
I don't either.

But when he says something like this:

But it still occurs to me that anyone who took body-altering chemicals in a deliberate effort to cheat the game we love...not to mention they cheated current and former players, and fans too, doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame.


(and quite a few other lines in his letter)

...then I want someone to ask him, on the record: "Mr. Morgan, you played in what could be termed the Amphetamine Era -- are you willing to state unequivocally that you never used amphetamines or "greenies" while you were playing? And if not, can you explain why you draw a line neatly between the two?"

I'm not even saying they are equivalent, but I'm tired of the older generation of both fans and players getting a pass on that issue. If you think that's a worthy and defensible stance, fine, but a) admit it (for those who took them) and b) defend it.
   11. Traderdave Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:07 PM (#5579483)
...then I want someone to ask him, on the record: "Mr. Morgan, you played in what could be termed the Amphetamine Era -- are you willing to state unequivocally that you never used amphetamines or "greenies" while you were playing? And if not, can you explain why you draw a line neatly between the two?"


Just as no drug ingested by Andy's childhood idols is performance enhancing, no substance found in a clubhouse between 1963 and 1984 is performance enhancing. Steroid users/criminals/welfare cheats/insert hated group here are always those guys over there, never the guys near me. It's not one of humanity's most admirable attributes, but is most certainly human.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5579487)
there are others (e.g. Mike Schmidt) who have spoken in favor of it. Without naming names, he gives an impression of quantity that isn't supported by data.


I'm pretty sure Bob Gibson was also in favor of it, pointing out that if they were available when he played, he probably would have done them.

This link here is a selection of quotes from Gibson on the issue.

From that link.

On whether users should be allowed in the Hall of Fame: "Oh, yeah. I think so."
   13. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:21 PM (#5579491)
Please enlighten me as to the gag behind #1. Most BBTF memes are self evident, but not this one.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:22 PM (#5579494)
Please enlighten me as to the gag behind #1. Most BBTF memes are self evident, but not this one.

Cincinnati is mis-spelled in the article.
   15. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:25 PM (#5579498)
Thanks. I was in the same boat as #13.
   16. Omineca Greg Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:27 PM (#5579501)
It's a good letter.

Now, I recognize there are players identified as users on the Mitchell Report who deny they were users. That’s why this is a tricky issue. Not everything is black and white – there are shades of gray here. It’s why your job as a voter is and has always been a difficult and important job. I have faith in your judgment and know that ultimately, this is your call.

Don't like that part though.

"Tricky" is coaxing the last turn on a head of puff pastry 20 minutes early because you want to go home. This goes beyond tricky. I would say it's actually impossible.
   17. dlf Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5579503)
#12 - I'd love to see someone who is far less lazy than me try to track down quotes pro and con from the inductees. I don't think that a poll of those living enshrinees is dispositive on the issue (there are many constituents, of which, those elected are only one) but it would be interesting to know the proportion of the two as well as those in the mushy middle.
   18. Captain Supporter Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:33 PM (#5579510)
The pro steroid people always think they have the definitive argument to demolish the opposition: greenies. But its not even a good argument. In crafting any regulation or law on any subject, you have to draw a line somewhere, even if it is somewhat arbitrary and there is a clear grey area where there are arguments on both sides. So while someone might argue that caffeine is a drug that enhances performance in someway, I have no problem with simply saying, caffeine is okay, but steroids are not. Greenies are in the grey area, but they clearly do not improve performance in the way that steroids turned Barry Bonds from a HOF caliber player to the greatest player that ever lived. So I'd personally take a pass on greenies and say no to steroids.

To make a list of the various types of cheating and then say that unless we eliminate any and all cheaters we can't eliminate any of them makes no sense at all. The Catholic Church dealt with a similar issue by creating mortal and venial sins. Some drugs, like some sins, are worse than others and baseball has an affirmative responsibility to make decisions about them even if they have to be somewhat arbitrary about it.
   19. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:37 PM (#5579515)
Ah, no wonder Mark McGuire can't get into the HOF, writers can't even spell the 'Nati correctly.
   20. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:40 PM (#5579517)
The pro steroid people always think they have the definitive argument to demolish the opposition: greenies. But its not even a good argument. In crafting any regulation or law on any subject, you have to draw a line somewhere, even if it is somewhat arbitrary and there is a clear grey area where there are arguments on both sides. So while someone might argue that caffeine is a drug that enhances performance in someway, I have no problem with simply saying, caffeine is okay, but steroids are not. Greenies are in the grey area, but they clearly do not improve performance in the way that steroids turned Barry Bonds from a HOF caliber player to the greatest player that ever lived. So I'd personally take a pass on greenies and say no to steroids.
I'm not buying it.

Counting stats are held sacred (which specifically why Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa are so reviled). Amps are used precisely, and only, to more quickly recover so you can play more (or more often), giving you the ability to...rack up counting stats.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:41 PM (#5579520)
18. Captain Supporter Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:33 PM (#5579510)
The pro steroid people always think they have the definitive argument to demolish the opposition: greenies. But its not even a good argument. In crafting any regulation or law on any subject, you have to draw a line somewhere, even if it is somewhat arbitrary and there is a clear grey area where there are arguments on both sides. So while someone might argue that caffeine is a drug that enhances performance in someway, I have no problem with simply saying, caffeine is okay, but steroids are not. Greenies are in the grey area, but they clearly do not improve performance in the way that steroids turned Barry Bonds from a HOF caliber player to the greatest player that ever lived. So I'd personally take a pass on greenies and say no to steroids.

To make a list of the various types of cheating and then say that unless we eliminate any and all cheaters we can't eliminate any of them makes no sense at all. The Catholic Church dealt with a similar issue by creating mortal and venial sins. Some drugs, like some sins, are worse than others and baseball has an affirmative responsibility to make decisions about them even if they have to be somewhat arbitrary about it.


I don't disagree with the concept of your argument, a line might need to be drawn, the problem is that the evidence to support the actual performance enhancing isn't really that strong, and many of the substances taken were often just snake oil. With Greenies, it was a clear enhancer, that part nobody can honestly dispute, while HGH and the myriad different forms taken by the users have widely different levels of performing enhancement, to none.

Add in that the nature of PED, requires a lot of work by the user to have any benefit, vs greenies, was simply popping in a pill and the benefit was immediate and required no work from the user. Is there any real evidence that Bonds or Clemens wouldn't have been as great as they were without the PED's? Both were great players before they started using (arguably already had hof resumes) and is it the PED's that helped them put up the great second half of their career, or is it their workout ethic that gave them the great second halfs of their career? We are still in the early part of evaluating whether or not baseball's acceptance of working out leads to longer careers or resurgent tail end of a career.

   22. Rally Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:57 PM (#5579533)
The pro steroid people


That's a semantic attack right there. You can be anti-steroid, believing that players caught deserve a suspension as they do now, while not being in favor of excluding some of baseball's greatest players from the sport's highest honor for what they may or may not have done before an unambiguous punishment process was in place.
   23. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 21, 2017 at 02:05 PM (#5579544)
The whole steroid thing has always been frustrating to me because nobody can say how much of an advantage it gave players. Bonds and Clemens - how much of an advantage would it have to give ether of them before it would render their non-PED versions unworthy of HOF induction? 40% lesser a player? How would you know?
   24. cmd600 Posted: November 21, 2017 at 02:17 PM (#5579558)

I'm pretty sure Bob Gibson was also in favor of it, pointing out that if they were available when he played, he probably would have done them.


Then we have two confirmed users. Tom House and Bob Tufts both have said that steroids were not just available, but widespread (the former) and forced upon players (the latter).
   25. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 21, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5579565)
Greenies were taken in mass quantities by an entire generation of players in order to elevate their play on the field. There is nothing grey about it.

Joe Morgan played in that era. No wonder he is so complicit.

The pro-greenies crowd should be ashamed.
   26. Rusty Priske Posted: November 21, 2017 at 02:30 PM (#5579571)
I am not pre-steroid. I think anyone who gets caught using them now that they are very explicitly banned deserves whatever punishment they get.

I also think that punishing people for using steroids at a time when they were for all intents and purposes tacitly allowed and encouraged is both unfair and hypocritical.
   27. BDC Posted: November 21, 2017 at 02:41 PM (#5579582)
I would be absolutely amazed if there were no steroid users already in the Hall of Fame.
   28. Booey Posted: November 21, 2017 at 02:45 PM (#5579586)
I would be absolutely amazed if there were no steroid users already in the Hall of Fame.


I'd be amazed if there weren't multiple steroid users amongst the last 4 election classes alone.

(Plus at least a few from before that. Probably more than a few.)
   29. bunyon Posted: November 21, 2017 at 02:50 PM (#5579591)
I also think that punishing people for using steroids at a time when they were for all intents and purposes tacitly allowed and encouraged is both unfair and hypocritical.

This is my take. I'm all in favor of trying to keep them out of the game (at all levels, see below). But they were in the game, very much a part of the game, for a long time. We have zero data who used between the 70s and early 00s. Basically, to ensure no steroid users are in, you'd have to say anyone who was a MLBer before testing came to the game can't be a HOFer.

When I was playing high school ball and American Legion ball I knew guys using steroids and was occasionally approached with help delivering them (I'm diabetic so the assumption was that I know all about all kinds of injections which is, obviously, absurd). My point is: high schoolers in the mid-80s had access to this stuff. Do you really think major league players with essentially infinitely more money and connections couldn't get it? They weren't tested so what is the motivation to avoid it?

I hate that MLB had so much of a problem with this but blaming (and penalizing) just a few sluggers and jerk pitchers so we can act like the rest of the game was clean is a cop out.
   30. Traderdave Posted: November 21, 2017 at 02:57 PM (#5579601)
29:

Indeed. I knew guys in high school in the early 80's who used them. I didn't, mostly because the injection thing plus news stories about East German hermaphrodites freaked me out. However I did drink some weird milkshakes peddled by shady dudes with MASSIVE physiques that ran a local nutrition "supplements" store. Too long ago to know if they were andro or something like that but odds are decent they were.

If a high school wrestler in 1984 in a very sheltered suburb where it was difficult to even buy weed knew where to get steroids, I have to conclude they were ubiquitous in sports for a very long time.
   31. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 21, 2017 at 02:59 PM (#5579603)
I would be absolutely amazed if there were no steroid users already in the Hall of Fame.

I think we can all be assured there are steroid/PED/andro/HGH/etc users in the HOF.
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:01 PM (#5579606)
I would be absolutely amazed if there were no steroid users already in the Hall of Fame.


I'm 90% certain Nolan Ryan used, and I'm probably about 20% certain Carlton used....beyond that, it's iffy guessing for me. (Backne guy of course I guess, and Frank Thomas post playing career endorsements have to raise a few questions.)
   33. Traderdave Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:03 PM (#5579610)
Fisk had a heavy workload behind the plate and had a late career surge with the bat....
   34. Rally Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:05 PM (#5579612)
However I did drink some weird milkshakes peddled by shady dudes with MASSIVE physiques that ran a local nutrition "supplements" store.


I tried something like that once and it made me poop funny. That was all I needed to throw the rest out and never try again. Then I started insulin injections. Serious performance enhancer, since without it my performance in every aspect of life would be zero.
   35. Rally Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:08 PM (#5579616)
I'm 90% certain Nolan Ryan used, and I'm probably about 20% certain Carlton used....beyond that, it's iffy guessing for me. (Backne guy of course I guess, and Frank Thomas post playing career endorsements have to raise a few questions.)


Piazza, Bagwell, and Biggio were delayed HOF entry due to rumors. Pudge got in first ballot but wasn't he among those named by Canseco? Between the 4 of them I'd be surprised if there wasn't at least one actual PED user, but I have no idea which one.
   36. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:10 PM (#5579620)
The pro steroid people always think they have the definitive argument to demolish the opposition: greenies. But its not even a good argument.


It's true that there's no comparison: amphetamines were overtly banned by MLB in the 1970s, and steroids were not in the 1990s.
   37. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:12 PM (#5579621)
Piazza, Bagwell, and Biggio were delayed HOF entry due to rumors. Pudge got in first ballot but wasn't he among those named by Canseco? Between the 4 of them I'd be surprised if there wasn't at least one actual PED user, but I have no idea which one.


Piazza's steroids were bad except for the good one that let him hit the 9/11 homer.
   38. Traderdave Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:14 PM (#5579624)
Amphetamines were instrumental in making me a middling varsity wrestler instead of the JV benchwarmer that my not-very-athletic self would have been otherwise.
   39. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:14 PM (#5579625)
I've always had strong suspicions about Bowie Kuhn and Pat Gillick.
   40. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:16 PM (#5579628)
I tried something like that once and it made me poop funny. That was all I needed to throw the rest out and never try again.

You missed out on a massive physique and a lifetime of entertaining poops?? Boy, I bet you've got some regrets.
   41. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:24 PM (#5579633)
Then we have two confirmed users. Tom House and Bob Tufts both have said that steroids were not just available, but widespread (the former) and forced upon players (the latter).

#24, I'm familiar with what House said but does anyone have a link to what Tufts said about steroids? I mostly remember reading about issues about Tufts' Royals teammates using cocaine
   42. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:30 PM (#5579639)
I'm 90% certain Nolan Ryan used, and I'm probably about 20% certain Carlton used....beyond that, it's iffy guessing for me. (Backne guy of course I guess, and Frank Thomas post playing career endorsements have to raise a few questions.)

Cfb, what makes you think Carlton used?
I will say I always strongly felt Thomas did not use but his choice of post playing career endorsements does raise eyebrows a bit
   43. SandyRiver Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:51 PM (#5579652)
Is there any real evidence that Bonds or Clemens wouldn't have been as great as they were without the PED's? Both were great players before they started using (arguably already had hof resumes) and is it the PED's that helped them put up the great second half of their career, or is it their workout ethic that gave them the great second halfs of their career? We are still in the early part of evaluating whether or not baseball's acceptance of working out leads to longer careers or resurgent tail end of a career.


Without disagreeing with your premise, I'd point out some difference between late Clemens, which (after a mid-career stumble) looked much like early Clemens. Post-millennium Bonds (2001-04 in particular) looked like a different universe from what anyone else of the over-35 crowd has ever done, with only Ruth and Williams even getting close for a season or two.
   44. Traderdave Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5579655)
What are his endorsements?
   45. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 21, 2017 at 04:05 PM (#5579664)
What are his endorsements?

Buona Beef sandwiches. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa both endorsed Big Macs in 1998. QED: Players who endorse sandwiches use steroids.

Sorry, Mike Trout and Anthony Rizzo fans.
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: November 21, 2017 at 04:10 PM (#5579672)

Cfb, what makes you think Carlton used?


Carlton was the type of guy who feels like a guy who would try anything, he was also one of the early guys to develop some type of workout routine.

What are his endorsements?


Some type of testerone booster.

I will say I always strongly felt Thomas did not use but his choice of post playing career endorsements does raise eyebrows a bit


Agree, I don't really think he did use, but his overcompensation on being anti-roid during his career could be similar to a politician who hates gay people but gets caught in a gay tryst.
   47. Booey Posted: November 21, 2017 at 04:17 PM (#5579680)
Cfb, what makes you think Carlton used?

Carlton was the type of guy who feels like a guy who would try anything, he was also one of the early guys to develop some type of workout routine.


Are we talking about Steve Carlton, or Carlton Fisk?
   48. cardsfanboy Posted: November 21, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5579682)
Without disagreeing with your premise, I'd point out some difference between late Clemens, which (after a mid-career stumble) looked much like early Clemens. Post-millennium Bonds (2001-04 in particular) looked like a different universe from what anyone else of the over-35 crowd has ever done, with only Ruth and Williams even getting close for a season or two.


Bonds was a world class athlete who consciously decided to sacrifice speed and agility for power, and worked harder than anyone ever, at improving his pitch recognition. His performance changed from one type of player to another, but I'm not sold that it was from the roids as much as it was him being Bonds and making a decision to change to a style that is better suited to the era he played in. Honestly if he tried to stay a well rounded player, his career probably ends 3 years sooner simply because old age was always going to swipe his speed, and playing the game of trying to keep the same speed and agility that you had in your youth has killed many careers. His decision to more or less accept that he wasn't going to have the same speed, so why waste time trying to work out on that, and instead focus on abilities that he could improve at his age, which is mass and muscle.
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: November 21, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5579683)
Are we talking about Steve Carlton, or Carlton Fisk?


Steve Carlton...sorry I didn't even think about the possibility of it being confusing...

I'm fully in the camp that believes that pitchers are more likely to be the ones who used, especially in the nascent days of roids, simply because recovery is the primary thing roids does for the body, and is the most important thing for a pitcher. (as we've seen on this site, in the 1900's pitchers would inject their arms with cocaine and morphine to pitch back to back days)
   50. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: November 21, 2017 at 04:24 PM (#5579690)
I'm not saying it's 100% out of line to believe Steve Carlton used but if he did, it sure didn't help him age well
Carlton Fisk, on the other hand, lasted forever and became less injury prone as he aged. Nevertheless, I'm never view him as a likely user, he could just be an early adopter of working out. Fisk's 1988 was intriguing though, he missed time to injury but put together a superb year that is easy to overlook due to missed time
   51. Walt Davis Posted: November 21, 2017 at 04:35 PM (#5579708)
Who are the known steroid users on the ballot?

Manny: he tested positive twice under the current system (with re-tests, etc.)

That's the only truly KNOWN user.

Bonds: It is known that he was provided with a cream and a clear substance by Anderson. Presumably these were supplied to Anderson by BALCO and BALCO was shown to have provided cream and clear anabolic substances to other athletes. We can conclude it is highly likely that Bonds used substances that were later banned. All of this before the rule and testing were in place. He played a few years under testing with no steroid problems, he did get dinged for amphetamines.

The "later banned" is an issue that arises in illegal drug contexts a lot. The substances were new, a chemical alteration that had not been seen before. The regs are written with a catch-all to cover any anabolic substance but I'm pretty sure only a biochemist could tell you whether a substance falls under that ban. Conte and the chemist surely knew the substance was illegal and would eventually be added to the banned list and tested for ... would they share that with Anderson? Would he share it with Bonds?

As we know the government spent millions trying to show that Bonds knowingly used and committed perjury ... and failed in the end (upon appeal). The one charge they originally convicted him of was for giving an unclear answer to a question of whether he'd ever been injected by somebody other than his doctor, a question he clearly answered "no" about 3 minutes later.

Anyway by "known steroid cheat" do we mean somebody who knowingly used steroids (seemingly required for "cheating") or just anybody who used? Does it matter when they used? (e.g. I would be rather surprised if Frank Thomas never tried them in his football days; I wouldn't be surprised if Albert used them as he transformed from unheralded high-schooler to late-round pick to superstar ... then possibly stopped using them when he made the majors.)

Clemens: The only actual evidence of steroid use is McNamee's statements and Pettitte's ever-changing stories. McNamee seems to have been found non-credible by every jury that's ever heard him and, under oath, Pettitte provided no useful information. Again the government spent millions to prove something and failed. We really have no choice but to conclude that he is not a KNOWN steroid user. Played a few years under testing without any issues.

Sosa: there's no real evidence here. A reporter for the NY Times spent months calling lawyers (or their staff?) to ask them who was on the list from the original pre-test. Supposedly at least two eventually named Sosa, several months after ARod had been outed. Neither had the list in front of them at the time and were working off of memory. Neither could recall what substance he had supposedly tested positive for. Sosa played a few years under the testing system without any issues.

Ortiz: Basically the same evidence as Sosa except he got MLB and MLBPA to make statements implying it was a false positive or maybe a tainted supplement. Played many years under testing with no issues.

Pettitte: admitted it. Seemed to know what he was doing. In one of his stories, he said he complained to McNamee that McNamee wasn't giving him the really good stuff he was giving Roger.

McGwire: admitted it but is already off the ballot.

Palmeiro: tested positive but already off the ballot.

Giambi: Mostly admitted it (a non-admitting apology as I recall), probably wasn't going anywhere on the ballot anyway.

Sheffield: My memory is vague. The main connection was working out with Bonds but then bailing on it because he wasn't comfortable with what was going on. Did he give a non-admitting apology?

So the only player with an alleged positive test that is a good bet to make it is Ortiz. I doubt this is who Morgan had in mind. The only player (reasonably) known to have used (knowingly or not) that has a chance is Bonds. Morgan likely does mean Clemens who has the same chance as Bonds but is not a known steroid user.

EDIT: Oops .. ARod of course. He definitely broke the rule.
   52. cardsfanboy Posted: November 21, 2017 at 04:39 PM (#5579714)
Using and aging are two different things, I mean Canseco didn't age well either. It's a matter of what you were going for, and Steve Carlton struck me as a guy who would do anything. I put him in the camp of as "likely to have at least tried it." type of person. I mean if Mantle did roids, it's not out of the question to imagine others at least trying. (and only an idiot believes Mantle only did it that one time)
   53. Tony S Posted: November 21, 2017 at 04:42 PM (#5579721)
#26 is my take as well.

Steroids were an institutional problem, not an individual one. Baseball created an environment and a culture which might have given some public lip service to opposing performance enhancers, but in reality steroids were quietly tolerated, if not encouraged, and MLB basked in the revenues generated by the offensive explosion.

To penalize select individual players for simply participating in that culture and doing what was wink-and-nudged at by baseball is something I find deeply hypocritical. If baseball had cracked down hard on steroids during the sillyball era (in practice, not in rhetoric), and individual players STILL found a way to covertly use them, then yes, blame the players. But this was an institutional issue, and making the players bear the brunt of the present-day indignation is, as they say, not a good look.
   54. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 21, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5579722)

Pettitte: admitted it.
As a matter of clarification, did he admit steroids? Or is the "it" that he admitted hGH?
   55. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 21, 2017 at 04:44 PM (#5579724)
I mean Canseco didn't age well either.

In baseball terms, I suppose not, but in the bigger picture, look at all of his accomplishments after his playing career was over.
   56. BDC Posted: November 21, 2017 at 05:05 PM (#5579752)
I'm not saying it's 100% out of line to believe Steve Carlton used but if he did, it sure didn't help him age well

Steve Carlton struck out 295 batters in 304 innings at the age of 38. How the heck better did you want him to age? :)
   57. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: November 21, 2017 at 05:14 PM (#5579771)
My bad, BDC. I was at work and going off of memory. I forgot Carlton was that good for that long. His 1-8 1985 record, followed by his steep 86-88 decline was what I was referencing
   58. Walt Davis Posted: November 21, 2017 at 05:14 PM (#5579772)
Oops ... ARod of course. It will be interesting to see how the BBWAA handles him but he definitely violated the new rule.

The letter itself...

We of course start with "known." If they're "known", Morgan should have no qualms about naming them. He doesn't presumably because most of the people he has in mind aren't "known."

To his credit, he tries to lay out criteria: (1) failed drug tests ... but which ones? Manny obviously out. Are Ortiz and Sosa out or does that one not count? And we still don't actually KNOW their names were on the list ... ironically, we have more faith that Ortiz's name was there since he went to the trouble of trying to get cover for why his name was there. Sosa, under oath, denied ever taking steroids. Bonds and Clemens never failed a test to our knowledge (other than Bonds for stimulants). Technically ARod never failed a test other than the pre-test but we'll count him as being ruled out by this criterion for obvious reasons.

(2) admitted using steroids .... no Pettitte then. Did ARod eventually admit it?

(3) Mitchell Report ... is there anybody left? Was Clemens named in this one? I would put the failure of a proper legal investigation to find anything reliable as far more solid than the hearsay of the Mitchell Report.

So the first question to ask Morgan is whether he wants Ortiz kept out. If he says no, that should leave us with ARod, Bonds and Manny on his #### list. If he wants to add Clemens, he needs to provide support for why and counter the reverse arguments.

He makes reference to the good ol' HoF standards. A key thing overlooked in the standards is that nowhere does it say that failure to satisfy any of these is disqualifying. It says the playing record should be considered as should various character criteria. My understanding is that he character clauses were added to reward people of positive character achievements -- I read that Landis had a particular mediocre player who had been a WW1 hero in mind -- not as a mechanism to ban jerks and cheaters. (Possibly under the assumption that obviously you wouldn't vote in cheaters, murderers, etc.) Obviously the character clauses provide room for somebody to claim Bonds is of such ill character that he shouldn't be in ... but it also provides room for others to argue that his playing record is sufficiently great to overcome his character flaws ... or for the "he was an HoFer before he started cheating crowd."

At one point, he slyly limits himself to "body-altering" chemicals ... which means greenies are OK!!! Whew, that was close!

Alas for his cause, in that same sentence he says "deliberate effort." Oh-oh. The government did its damnedest to prove that Bonds and Clemens were deliberate. Heck, the government did its damnedest just to prove they were deliberately vague in answering questions about legal activities (being injected by somebody other than your doctor) and came up short.

Earlier he says "a day we all knew was coming has now arrived" ... so this is a new problem that has only just arrived? So Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, etc. are fine? Presumably not if we're reaching as far back as the Mitchell Report. Or did it take the HoFers 6 years to realize Bonds and Clemens were on the ballot? Or is it that they passed 50%?

He uses the language "records were shattered". OK, sure, the single season HR record was shattered. That's it. Bonds eventually squeaked by Aaron but that was hardly a shattering. (Hank and his contemporaries however shattered HR records and topped the hit record even ... well, hit tons of HRs.)

In the end, the career statistical achievements of the sillyball era fit in well beside those of the Aaron era. Bonds passed Aaron, ARod passed Mays but not 700. Mac had as many as Robinson, Palmeiro as many as Killer and Reggie, Manny as many as Schmidt, Ortiz as many as Mantle. There is a cluster in the low 600s that the Aaron crew can't match but then it was 16-24 teams, not 30.

People seem to forget that, prior to the 50s, Foxx was second with 534 HR, 180 behind Ruth. Seven players from Aaron's era topped Foxx. Ten players from sillyball did so. That's not radically different, especially given the expansion in the number of teams/players. So let's dispense with the terrifying image of shattered records, shall we?

Near the end he repeats "knew they were taking", "a decision", "deliberate" while also re-emphasizing physical changes. That's fine but there's very little (no) evidence to support "deliberate" for most "known" steroid users. It's a key reason why most sports (including baseball) keep "deliberate" out of their enforcement schemes.
   59. BDC Posted: November 21, 2017 at 05:46 PM (#5579807)
That's true, Grich, when Carlton lost it, he lost it in a hurry and was a shell of his younger self.
   60. Batman Posted: November 21, 2017 at 05:48 PM (#5579812)
Canseco did go 2 for 14 last year for a team that was probably paying him. That's one of the top age-51 seasons in pro ball.
   61. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: November 21, 2017 at 06:41 PM (#5579839)
One of the (many) things that I dislike about the anti-steroid position is that it's an attempt to pretend that something that happened didn't happen. It is, in this way, similar to the asterisk for Maris. Keeping Bonds out of the hall isn't going to un-hit his homeruns, neither will thinking of, or referring to, Aaron as the real record holder. Doing these things is to bracket his achievements, to ask us to proceed without consideration of them. And there is a kind of - I don't know quite the right term for it so bear with me - intellectual dishonesty to it. Sillyball happened, and the honest thing to do is to accept that and move on. Practically every record is a product of its time (including Ruth's! If he had come up in 1895 and played his whole career with a soggy, dirty, misshapen baseball he wouldn't have hit 61 HRs in a season). The records set by Bonds (and Mac and etc) are a product of their times as well. Their times happened to include steroids (whether or not Bonds or any particular person used). And when looking back at their records we understand that, just like we understand that Ruth's record depends on a new clean baseball, and that modern K rates depend on take-and-rake styles of hitting, and Koufax depended on Dodger stadium (and the little deadball era), and that the original Billy Hamilton probably wouldn't have scored as many runs as he did if the fielders had had webbing in their gloves.
   62. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 21, 2017 at 06:43 PM (#5579840)
The Hall seems to have shot itself in the foot here? Ballot came out yesterday, and this is all anyone noticed?

Edit-full ballot:

Barry Bonds
Chris Carpenter
Roger Clemens
Johnny Damon
Vladimir Guerrero
Livan Hernandez
Trevor Hoffman
Orlando Hudson
Aubrey Huff
Jason Isringhausen
Andruw Jones
Chipper Jones
Jeff Kent
Carlos Lee
Brad Lidge
Edgar Martinez
Hideki Matsui
Fred McGriff
Kevin Millwood
Jamie Moyer
Mike Mussina
Manny Ramirez
Scott Rolen
Johan Santana
Curt Schilling
Gary Sheffield
Sammy Sosa
Jim Thome
Omar Vizquel
Billy Wagner
Larry Walker
Kerry Wood
Carlos Zambrano

Seems like the ballot crowding has subsided a bit? I've had over 20 qualified the last few years, this year looks like 17 or 18.




   63. Booey Posted: November 21, 2017 at 07:14 PM (#5579847)
#61 - That pretty much sums up my feelings exactly. MLB - and the HOF - shouldn't favor one era over another. All are equally valuable in telling the story of baseball. We don't need to protect the past from the present (or, I guess, the less distant past, in this case).

Even though integration has rightly been promoted as a great thing (retiring #42, etc), no one seems to think that it invalidated everything that came before. Similarly, cleaning up the game with PED testing and punishments was a good and necessary step...but that doesn't mean that everything that happened the previous 15 or so years didn't count.

It boggles my mind that there are so many fans that think PED fueled records are invalid but pre-integration records are perfectly legit.
   64. Rob_Wood Posted: November 21, 2017 at 07:40 PM (#5579859)
Am I confused? Was this letter distributed by the Hall of Fame (meaning that it literally came from the Hall of Fame)? And Morgan signed it as Hall of Fame Vice Chairman?

I don't know why, but that seems wrong to me.
   65. QLE Posted: November 21, 2017 at 08:03 PM (#5579861)
Seems like the ballot crowding has subsided a bit? I've had over 20 qualified the last few years, this year looks like 17 or 18.


I have it at thirteen myself, and that there are as many I'd vote for on this ballot as there were last time- however, that probably depends heavily on how one considers Kent, McGriff, Sheffield, Santana, Damon, and the relievers (and, on last year's ballot, Posada), as I freely admit there are elements of my taste that differ from many here.

Now is not the time for all my thoughts on the Steroid Wars- let it suffice for now, however, that I do not consider it fair (for reasons already stated and stated far better than I could) to suddenly draw a line here compared to previous issues with substance abuse, especially considering the fact that there are more or less certainly already users in (one of my main suspects among recent inductees hasn't even been mentioned yet), and the fact that the man who represents an institutional failure to deal with the subject is.
   66. The Duke Posted: November 21, 2017 at 09:14 PM (#5579875)
Smart move by Morgan - the mood of complacency was settling in and he’s now basically said if you vote these guys in, we’ll stop coming . The hall and the writers really don’t want that. All morgan has to do is hold 26% of the vote.

I’m with him. His standard seems reasonable

I think if you are going to put them in let it happen after they die if then. I doubt shoeless joe and rose could get 75% even now though. I’m not a big fan of trying to justify an error by pointing to other errors to justify it. That basically leads to no-rules or guidelines. There’s no doubt in most people’s minds, and the stats largely support it, that widespread use of PEDs distorted the game. His position seems perfectly reasonable

My question to Joe is what happens when a previous inductee gets outed with real evidence. Does the Hall have to kick them out ?

   67. Booey Posted: November 21, 2017 at 09:27 PM (#5579880)
His position seems perfectly reasonable


To each their own, but it seems childish and petty and hypocritical to me. It's easy to say they should crack down on cheating AFTER his generation is already in. If retroactive "rules" were keeping him and his teammates and respected competitors out, I suspect Morgan might have a different opinion.

It's just another variation of the "The older I get, the better I was!" mentality with former players, only this time they're grumbling about the younger generation being inferior morally rather than athletically.
   68. Rob_Wood Posted: November 21, 2017 at 09:40 PM (#5579884)
My question to Joe is what happens when a previous inductee gets outed with real evidence. Does the Hall have to kick them out ?


That's your only question??
   69. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 21, 2017 at 10:38 PM (#5579900)
@TR_Sullivan and any other lurking BBWAA members.

How do you feel about the Hall's last several moves and non-moves around the BBWAA voting?
-10 years not 15
-No on 12-man ballot
-No on required public balloting after BBWAA passed it
-The Morgan Letter

Taken together, they mostly seem passive-aggressive to me. They won't provide you explicit guidance on the steroid era. At the same time, they are narrowing your window of time for steroids era candidates, nixing an opportunity for you to give more ballot space to those candidates, protecting the private voters (who are tougher on steroids-era candidates), and then sending Joe Morgan's opinion to you on Hall stationary instead of providing instruction. (I'm assuming that phasing out less engaged voters is a nod to public controversy.)

If I was in your shoes, I'd feel like I'm being pushed around a bit. Do you feel that way?
   70. eric Posted: November 21, 2017 at 10:55 PM (#5579902)
I'm 90% certain Nolan Ryan used, and I'm probably about 20% certain Carlton used....beyond that, it's iffy guessing for me. (Backne guy of course I guess, and Frank Thomas post playing career endorsements have to raise a few questions.)


I've always suspected Carlton, Schmidt and really that era of Phillies.

Carlton aged very well in my mind (league rank in parentheses):

Age IP K K/9
35 304(1) 286(1) 8.47(2)
36 190(2) 179(2) 8.48(1)
37 296(1) 286(1) 8.71(3)
38 284(1) 275(1) 8.73(1)

Age 36 was, of course, 1981. Every single one of those K/9 numbers was a career-high. That run, to me, was the most amazing late-career run until Bonds.

Mike Schmidt of course led the league in OPS+ at the ages 30,31,32,33,34, and 36 (never in his 20's), covering much the same time period as Carlton above.

I recently watched Nolan Ryan's HOF induction speech and who does he thank as much as anyone else? Tom House, his pitching coach with the Rangers, who was instrumental in getting him training properly. Ryan's cumulative K/9 from ages 40-44: 10.60...which is higher than any of his SINGLE seasons before that (he led the league each of those years, of course).

All this is of course not close to proof, but I have no doubt the HOF has been inducting steroids users for probably 40+ years now.
   71. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 21, 2017 at 11:03 PM (#5579904)
So the only player with an alleged positive test that is a good bet to make it is Ortiz. I doubt this is who Morgan had in mind. The only player (reasonably) known to have used (knowingly or not) that has a chance is Bonds. Morgan likely does mean Clemens who has the same chance as Bonds but is not a known steroid user.

EDIT: Oops .. ARod of course. He definitely broke the rule.


Yeah, and as others may have said above, it'd be nice if Morgan would name names, even if it got him blacklisted at Hop Sing's.

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

One of the (many) things that I dislike about the anti-steroid position is that it's an attempt to pretend that something that happened didn't happen.

Not at all. Bonds' record breaking ball is in the Hall of Fame, and there's not a single record book with altered or "asterisked" numbers. It just means that they don't think that Bonds should be honored. Two different things altogether.

It is, in this way, similar to the asterisk for Maris.

That "asterisk" never even existed, other than metaphorically. For many years, the record books simply stated "Most home runs, 154 game season: Babe Ruth, 1927", and "Most home runs, 162 game season: Roger Maris, 1961". No asterisk there, just a simple recognition that apples aren't oranges, and that Maris stood at 59 home runs after the Yankees had completed their 154th official game. The fact that certain sportswriters called that distinction an "asterisk" doesn't make it one, any more than saying that 162 = 154 makes it so.
   72. QLE Posted: November 21, 2017 at 11:17 PM (#5579910)
Smart move by Morgan - the mood of complacency was settling in and he’s now basically said if you vote these guys in, we’ll stop coming .


Who are the "we" in question? Note that he makes this claim without naming anyone specifically as refusing to come- and, if they do have the high moral stance he claims, you'd think that they'd willingly co-sign this.

The hall and the writers really don’t want that.


Why? The evidence we get is that attendance of HOF induction ceremonies seems to be based on the inductees, not on those already inducted, and attendance at every other time of the year has nothing to do with either. That would seem to suggest no meaning as far as the HOF is concerned- and I don't clearly see why this should bother the BBWAA either way.

His standard seems reasonable


Not really- note that paragraphs 9 and 10 seem to contradict one another in terms of understanding the Mitchell Report, and that his "shades of gray" comment in paragraph 10, given its placement compared to everything around it, seems designed to give them a major out to apply this in inconsistent ways (anyone else get the feeling Ortiz will get kid gloves?).

There’s no doubt in most people’s minds, and the stats largely support it, that widespread use of PEDs distorted the game.


If you base your opinions solely on slash lines, perhaps- however, the likes of OPS+ and WAR do well in terms of converting these issues in terms of their own period.


My question to Joe is what happens when a previous inductee gets outed with real evidence. Does the Hall have to kick them out ?


If the HOF got into the business of purging people, would it ever stop? Would we have to purge Cap Anson for his role in establishing the color line, and Landis for his roles in continuing it? How about Tris Speaker and Ty Cobb for their match-fixing charges? Kirby Puckett for being a fraud? Gaylord Perry and Don Drysdale (among others) for spitballing? Basically, if you're sincere about your argument in the third paragraph about prior decisions of the HOF, you're opening the door to a potentially massive purge- and one that I suspect will alienate far more people than the steroids business.
   73. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: November 22, 2017 at 12:49 AM (#5579962)
I don't have a problem with Morgan's opinion - I don't share it for many of the reasons discussed here over and over during the years - but I respect the POV. I do, however, wish that he didn't purport to speak so strongly for others without naming names.


It's not just that he's speaking for other individuals. JoePos seems to suggest in his article on MLB.com that Morgan is the de facto voice of the Hall itself, being the vice chair and a member of the board. Morgan doesn't come right out and say that he's speaking for the Hall itself, but it can be inferred from what he said and how he said it (i.e. using his HoF email address and including his HoF class and title when he signs it) that this is his intent.

Regardless of his opinion, I don't think it's right for him to claim that privilege. If the Hall of Fame wants to issue new or modified criteria for induction, they should do so. It's their museum, and they wrote the criteria. They can change it to say "no PED users, either" if they so desire.

The other complaint I have about his letter itself is his invocation of the morality/character clause as an automatic disqualifier. Evidently Morgan does not feel like this is a hindrance to his old friend Pete Rose's candidacy, for whom he has actively campaigned despite knowing all his character flaws.

But even so, the morality clause is not meant to be a go/no-go gauge. It is something to be considered and weighed intelligently, along with playing ability, sportsmanship, playing record, and contributions to his team. If "playing record" is an automatic in/out, then most of the Negro League players should not even be considered, since we have such sketchy records for them. "Playing ability" should get Josh Hamilton, Bo Jackson and Steve Dalkowski elected straight away, no? Contributions to his team should get Jim "Mr. Marlin" Eisenreich into Cooperstown, should it not?

The voters don't treat any of those other, different aspects of the candidate's case like this, but for some reason using PED's makes one's character flawed, and automatically disqualifies you in Morgan's eyes. Just one of many parts of his argument that does not make sense.
   74. EddieA Posted: November 22, 2017 at 09:13 AM (#5579999)
In the end, the career statistical achievements of the sillyball era fit in well beside those of the Aaron era. Bonds passed Aaron, ARod passed Mays but not 700. Mac had as many as Robinson, Palmeiro as many as Killer and Reggie, Manny as many as Schmidt, Ortiz as many as Mantle. There is a cluster in the low 600s that the Aaron crew can't match but then it was 16-24 teams, not 30.


It's not just the number of teams, it's the DH. Several steroid-era guys wouldn't have reached their big home run milestones without it - Ortiz and Thomas for sure, maybe Thome and Palmeiro. The only Aaron era guy in your era definition late enough to use the DH to add a significant number of HRs was Reggie.
   75. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 22, 2017 at 09:48 AM (#5580016)
My mental list of likely HOF steroid users starts with Kirby Puckett (sudden physical change) and Reggie Jackson (dealer slept at his home). Then comes Ryan, Fisk, and anyone else.
   76. Rally Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:00 AM (#5580022)
In baseball terms, I suppose not, but in the bigger picture, look at all of his accomplishments after his playing career was over.


I would not say Canseco aged poorly. He was a fine hitter (117 OPS+) with the 2001 White Sox at age 36. He didn't play after that because he was toxic at that point. He hit a homerun off a professional pitcher when he was 50. OK, that's defining professional at its margins since the opposing pitcher was probably a guy making $800 a month, but that is still rare among pro athletes.
   77. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:07 AM (#5580030)
My mental list of likely HOF steroid users starts with Kirby Puckett (sudden physical change)

?????

What "sudden physical change" did Puckett have, other than his glaucoma? His stat lines were perfectly consistent from 1986 on to his final year in 1995, with his OPS+ numbers ranging from 119 to 153 and pretty much all points in between.
   78. Booey Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:14 AM (#5580033)
What "sudden physical change" did Puckett have, other than his glaucoma?


Slightly fat to very fat?

His stat lines were perfectly consistent from 1986 on to his final year in 1995


Starting at 1986 is cherry picking, though. He had 0 homers in 557 AB's in 1984, 4 in 691 AB's in 1985, and then suddenly 31 in 680 AB's in 1986. That's a strikingly sudden power development.

Edit: And his power number weren't really consistent from then on anyway. They were up and down. After averaging 28 per from 1986-1988, he dropped down to just 9 homers in 1989 and 12 in 1990 in full seasons, before working his way back up to the low 20's when sillyball kicked in. In fact, I'd put Puckett on the Carl Yastrzemski/Darrell Evans all star team as guys whose power numbers fluctuated all over the map throughout their careers.
   79. kaline Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:15 AM (#5580034)
Molitor, too. Injury-prone, .300 hitter suddenly began playing 158 games and hitting .320+ every year at age 34.
   80. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:18 AM (#5580038)
#73:
The other complaint I have about his letter itself is his invocation of the morality/character clause as an automatic disqualifier. Evidently Morgan does not feel like this is a hindrance to his old friend Pete Rose's candidacy, for whom he has actively campaigned despite knowing all his character flaws.


Rose had absolutely no idea what a "greenie" even was, and said so under oath.
   81. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:25 AM (#5580046)
Re the Primey for #1: I was thinking of a prime because the extra consonants were suggestive of stuttering, which amphetamines are known to produce, and which Roger Daltrey famously mimicked in "My Generation." The thought Joe Morgan stuttering through Bigg Redd Machine was pretty great.
   82. Morty Causa Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:34 AM (#5580053)
Jim Bouton in Ball Four wrote that greenies didn't help. They only gave an illusion. A false sense. Steroids, however, actually build muscle and repair tissue. But, for either, if there are no positive results from taking them, then who cares. It comes down to that. That's the question that should be answered first. Was it cheating? Was an advantage obtained from their use or was it just a placebo-thing really?
   83. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:41 AM (#5580060)
Starting at 1986 is cherry picking, though. He had 0 homers in 557 AB's in 1984, 4 in 691 AB's in 1985, and then suddenly 31 in 680 AB's in 1986. That's a strikingly sudden power development.
You made me look.

It wasn't just HRs either. In '84-85, Puckett had just 63 XBH in 1327 PA, for a .363 SLG; in '86 he had 74 XBH in 723 PA and a SLG was .537.
   84. DavidFoss Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5580066)
Starting at 1986 is cherry picking, though. He had 0 homers in 557 AB's in 1984, 4 in 691 AB's in 1985, and then suddenly 31 in 680 AB's in 1986. That's a strikingly sudden power development.

The story among Twins fans was the 1986 power surge was due to advice given by Tony Oliva in spring training. Puckett was hitting the ball hard, but often driving the ball straight into the ground. He was even getting a fair amount of 'Baltimore chop' type hits off the hard ground in front of home plate at the Metrodome his first two seasons. A coaching session with Oliva led to his leg kick which allowed him to get under the ball more. He hit 8 HR's in 10 games in late April (10 in 14 games) before pitchers adjusted.

That's local anecdote anyways.
   85. Booey Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:48 AM (#5580068)
Molitor, too. Injury-prone, .300 hitter suddenly began playing 158 games and hitting .320+ every year at age 34.


If we're playing the PED guessing game with current HOFers, Randy Johnson is one that would be near the top of my list. He put together a HOF career almost entirely in his 30's, and his late career peak was almost Bondsian: during his streak of 4 straight CYA's from 1999-2002, Unit averaged 258 innings, a 20-7 record, 2.48 ERA (187 ERA+), 354 k's, and 9.6 WAR...at ages 35-38. He even added another 245 inning, 290 k, 176 ERA+, 8.5 WAR season in 2004 at age 40.
   86. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:52 AM (#5580074)
Rose had absolutely no idea what a "greenie" even was, and said so under oath.


The fact that Rose swore to something under oath doesn't carry the weight you may think it does.

He's the biggest liar in baseball history, and he changes his stories as quickly as holes are shot in the previous ones (or there is money to be made).
   87. Tony S Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5580075)
#79 -- Molitor became more durable more or less when he became a permanent DH. He's basically another Edgar Martinez story. Doesnt mean necessarily that he was NOT a roider, but there's a perfectly plausible explanation for his higher level of hitting in the latter part of his career.
   88. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5580077)
Here is the list of everyone that played during the 15 seasons of the "steroid era" (Bash Brothers to Bonds' 73HR, 1987-2001) that made it to the HOF (so far):

Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Craig Biggio
Bert Blyleven
Wade Boggs
George Brett
Steve Carlton
Gary Carter
Andre Dawson
Dennis Eckersley
Carlton Fisk
Tom Glavine
Rich Gossage
Ken Griffey Jr.
Tony Gwynn
Rickey Henderson
Reggie Jackson
Randy Johnson
Barry Larkin
Greg Maddux
Pedro Martinez
Paul Molitor
Eddie Murray
Phil Niekro
Mike Piazza
Kirby Puckett
Tim Raines
Jim Rice
Cal Ripken
Ivan Rodriguez
Nolan Ryan
Ryne Sandberg
Mike Schmidt
Ozzie Smith
John Smoltz
Bruce Sutter
Don Sutton
Frank Thomas
Dave Winfield
Robin Yount

   89. Rally Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:56 AM (#5580081)
The story among Twins fans was the 1986 power surge was due to advice given by Tony Oliva in spring training. Puckett was hitting the ball hard, but often driving the ball straight into the ground. He was even getting a fair amount of 'Baltimore chop' type hits off the hard ground in front of home plate at the Metrodome his first two seasons. A coaching session with Oliva led to his leg kick which allowed him to get under the ball more. He hit 8 HR's in 10 games in late April (10 in 14 games) before pitchers adjusted.


If Kirby played today he'd be just another Statcast success story.
   90. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:56 AM (#5580082)
#86:
The fact that Rose swore to something under oath doesn't carry the weight you may think it does.


One of the key "steroids are different" talking points has been that amphetamines were openly used while steroids were furtive and underground.
   91. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 22, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5580087)
Jim Bouton in Ball Four wrote that greenies didn't help. They only gave an illusion. A false sense. Steroids, however, actually build muscle and repair tissue. But, for either, if there are no positive results from taking them, then who cares. It comes down to that. That's the question that should be answered first. Was it cheating? Was an advantage obtained from their use or was it just a placebo-thing really?

I think the evidence from the Soviet Bloc Olympic athletes proves pretty conclusively that steroids work.
   92. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 22, 2017 at 11:11 AM (#5580107)
Kirby Puckett
Age 22, APPY: 305 PA, 3 HR, 43 SB, 382/438/491
Age 23 CALL: 604 PA, 9 HR, 48 SB, 314/366/442
Age 24 IL: 87 PA, 1 HR, 8 SB, 263/294/325
Age 24 MLB: 583 PA, 0 HR, 14 SB, 296/320/366
Age 25 MLB: 744 PA, 4 HR, 21 SB, 288/330/385

Rest of career 162 average
Age 26-35 MLB: 703 PA, 22 HR, 11 SB, 324/367/500 (OPS+ of 132)

I claimed there was a physical transformation, so I thought I should at least follow that up with some visual examples and weight listings.
His 1985 Topps card
His 1988 Topps card
His 1991 Topps card.
And a beefcake card

His physical transformation is not startling like Barry Bonds' for sure, because Kirby always had that squat shape. But there is a difference in his physique. Which could simply be due to working out by itself, of course. The incredible surge in power in 1986 and the rapid decrease in SB during his peak years does suggest that he weighed more (and not necessarily just because he liked to eat). Here's his weight history per my baseball cards:
1985 and 1987 Topps: 175 pounds
1985 Donruss: 178 pounds (which BBREF has him at)
1988 Topps: 205 pounds
1990 Donruss and Upper Deck: 210 pounds

I don't have anything after that. Not saying it's conclusive evidence of usage, just saying, there was a transformation, and it appears he put on a lot of muscle (he was never lithe, always more like a fire hydrant). But he's always been my first guess.
   93. Booey Posted: November 22, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5580113)
To add to my Randy Johnson post, Unit's also flat out said that he took a bunch of supplements BITD and he has no idea if any of them contained a substance that would be banned today, since there was no reason to pay close attention back then.
   94. Hysterical & Useless Posted: November 22, 2017 at 11:23 AM (#5580124)
Jim Bouton in Ball Four wrote that greenies didn't help.


I believe he said they didn't help him. He was a substance virgin at the time he claims to have tried them, and really didn't know what to expect.

Amphetamines unquestionably improve focus and endurance. You can bear down in those crucial situations, and continue functioning at a high level in the late innings of a long game, or in the late games of a long season.

If the teams were complicit in player usage, calling the players "cheaters" is wrong. Once rules and testing established, this of course changes.

Agree that if no advantage obtained use cannot reasonably be called cheating.
   95. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 22, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5580125)

Molitor, too. Injury-prone, .300 hitter suddenly began playing 158 games and hitting .320+ every year at age 34.
Uh, we know what PED he took for that. It's called "DH."
   96. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 22, 2017 at 11:25 AM (#5580128)
What "sudden physical change" did Puckett have, other than his glaucoma?

Slightly fat to very fat?


So steroids make you fat?

His stat lines were perfectly consistent from 1986 on to his final year in 1995

Starting at 1986 is cherry picking, though. He had 0 homers in 557 AB's in 1984, 4 in 691 AB's in 1985, and then suddenly 31 in 680 AB's in 1986. That's a strikingly sudden power development.


See David Foss's response in #84, and Rally's point in #89. Have any of Puckett's former teammates or opponents ever said that he was a juicer?

   97. Booey Posted: November 22, 2017 at 11:31 AM (#5580136)
So steroids make you fat?


I have no idea. That part was tongue in cheek. :-)
   98. The Duke Posted: November 22, 2017 at 11:31 AM (#5580137)
The real question is does he prevent the list of likely steroid users from getting to 75%. That’s all that really matters and I would think it will have a material impacts on the key guys and likely bleed over into the gray area guys . If so then he will have achieved his limited goal. Thoughts?
   99. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 22, 2017 at 11:34 AM (#5580140)
Jim Bouton in Ball Four wrote that greenies didn't help. They only gave an illusion. A false sense.
That's not what Bouton said in Ball Four. He never said that they didn't help. He said that taking them can be counterproductive. (Consider the following statement: "I've taken steroids, but the trouble with steroids is that you feel so healthy that you can work out too much and get too bulky, and then you lose flexibility and don't play well." That statement is not saying that steroids don't help. It's saying that they're not an unmitigated good, that it's possible that taking them can hurt you if you do it wrong. Well, that's what Bouton said about greenies. Greenies can give you a false sense.)
   100. SoSH U at work Posted: November 22, 2017 at 11:35 AM (#5580144)
If we're playing the PED guessing game with current HOFers, Randy Johnson is one that would be near the top of my list. He put together a HOF career almost entirely in his 30's, and his late career peak was almost Bondsian: during his streak of 4 straight CYA's from 1999-2002, Unit averaged 258 innings, a 20-7 record, 2.48 ERA (187 ERA+), 354 k's, and 9.6 WAR...at ages 35-38. He even added another 245 inning, 290 k, 176 ERA+, 8.5 WAR season in 2004 at age 40.


Do PEDs help you throw strikes? It seems most of Johnson's transformation was a byproduct of dramatically cutting down on the free passes.
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