The one where even low-badge numbered Bill Livingston starts to see the light. (92 - Against B/C~ 75 - For B/C)
I used to declare myself an “absolutist” on such players. Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch first raised many of the issues that have come to trouble me. ESPN’s Dan LeBatard was another who made me reconsider my stance. After all, how can you invoke an absolute standard when lack of drug testing encouraged an “anything goes” attitude?
...Before steroids, there were amphetamines. Bottles of “speed” were reportedly placed in players’ lockers in years gone by, to help them get through the marathon season. Wasn’t that artificially inflating the numbers, too?
Before pharmacology led to better play through chemistry, Babe Ruth’s numbers and those of a lot of other Hall of Famers were enhanced by baseball’s policy of racial segregation. Those players didn’t create the working conditions, as did the steroid users, but they still faced only white men between the white lines.
...With so many players of the 1990s and the first years of this century, you really have no proof of who took what. I had my suspicions about the impressive physiques of several Indians players in the glory days of the 1990s. Manny Ramirez eventually tested positive twice elsewhere. Albert Belle, from all evidence, was more of a retro-cheat, corking his bats. That’s almost an “Awww, how cute!” transgression, given what was going on.
I never mentioned the names of the Tribe players I suspected, whether the banned substance was amphetamines or steroids. That was because I lacked proof. After the legal system barely laid a glove on Bonds and Clemens, what’s a voter to do?
As many as 10 names can be on a ballot, and I intend to max mine out. The names of some of the suspected drug abusers will be on it. They’ll probably be blackballed for years.
Posted: December 14, 2012 at 07:46 PM | 20 comment(s)
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