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Thursday, January 05, 2012

On Lynn Henning’s Hall of Fame ballot, Alan Trammell gets nod but not Jack Morris

1. Barry Larkin (best bet to win)
2. Tim Raines
3. Alan Trammell
4. Edgar Martinez
That’s a tight group made tighter by the fact one guy who deserved to be there has been, perhaps wrongly, suspected of having had some help. Jeff Bagwell played most of his career during a period when steroids and human-growth helpers weren’t, in fact, a violation of baseball’s rules…

But I’m open to new arguments and evidence. Bagwell’s case is particularly troubling, because of timing and lack of evidence, and a year from now he very likely will get a vote. It’s a matter of discussing, researching, thinking.

So in other words, even though there’s no evidence Bagwell used PEDs, he’s waiting for more evidence….that he didn’t do PEDs.

On the other hand, at least he didn’t vote for Morris.

TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 05, 2012 at 04:32 PM | 91 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rumors

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   1. Bob Tufts Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4029759)
I'm now convinced that the BBWAA HOF voters are further away from the intellectual mainstream than the birthers. 9/11 truthers and the "moon landing was faked" contingent.
   2. The District Attorney Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4029773)
Oh, c'mon. He says he'll very likely vote for Bagwell next year. (I don't know why, but who cares.) He voted for Trammell. He didn't vote for Morris (and he's from Detroit). YAY!, I say.
   3. jingoist Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4029782)
Bob; you left out the grassy knoll folks; Iraqi weapons of mass destruction folks, to say nothing of the "Pete Rose is just mis-understood" folks
   4. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4029783)
The mix of good and stupid makes my head hurt. Oh well.
   5. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4029784)
Also FTFA:
Lou Whitaker should have been retained on the ballot and deserves to make the Hall of Fame
   6. DL from MN Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4029786)
vote for Bagwell next year. (I don't know why


Because then he can go in with Biggio.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4029788)
I'm now convinced that the BBWAA HOF voters are further away from the intellectual mainstream than the birthers. 9/11 truthers and the "moon landing was faked" contingent.


I have mostly stayed out of PED and/or HOF discussions so I guess I haven't been bombarded with as much unfair slandering of Bagwell as others, but isn't it about a million times more likely that ANY weight-lifter baseball player from the 90's did steroids than that the moon landing was faked? I don't think it requires some outlandish paranoia to think that Bagwell was juicing...
   8. DL from MN Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4029789)
Yeah - I like this guy's ballot. He recognized that Trammell and Whitaker were the stars of that team. He can decipher which guys deserve it, he just wants to wait a little while longer to gain more confidence that the players were clean.
   9. Mark Armour Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4029798)
Its funny that people have suspicions with Bagwell, but not with Martinez, another guy who looked like a body builder by mid-career.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4029805)
This is one of the best ballots I've seen. Really surprised he didn't pick Morris. Didn't he see Morris pitch to the score all those years?

I think his stance on Bagwell is fairly reasonable (I think Pos had a good column last year saying the "wait and see" approach was justifiable), however, what evidence is going to come out to exonerate him? And how long do you wait before you finally say "well, there's nothing on the guy, let's let him in." You also have to wonder why Larkin and Edgar don't get the same treatment. Heck, Alan Tramell played the tail end of his career in the PED years, and we've seen there really isn't a profile of a PED user. If baby-faced Mormon good guy Wally Joyner can use PEDs, anyone can.
   11. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4029806)
Also, the comments on his article are bashing him for not voting for Morris. I wonder if I should write a counter to them or just ignore them.
   12. Bob Tufts Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4029808)
he just wants to wait a little while longer to gain more confidence that the players were clean.


As said below the exceprt "So in other words, even though there’s no evidence Bagwell used PEDs, he’s waiting for more evidence….that he didn’t do PEDs."

How do your prove a negative from almost twenty years ago in the absence of tests? With seances, tarot cards and divining rods? The only outlandish paranoia in this case is coming from the BBWAA HOF voters, who obviously fear that they will induct a 'roider (and who says that they have not already?) and have decided to keep out people that have not used just to make their point.
   13. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4029817)
Hey, there's no evidence Barry Larkin used PEDs either. That's pretty suspicious.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4029818)
How do your prove a negative from almost twenty years ago in the absence of tests? With seances, tarot cards and divining rods?


Exactly.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4029822)
It's not really about proving a negative, as much as avoiding a positive after the fact. It's not the way I would do it of course, but it's somewhat defensible as long as Bagwell is retained on the ballot(although the influx of upcoming names may end up hurting him massively because of the wait and see approach) 15 years is a good amount of time for something to come out, or for a persons view to soften/harden on an issue.
   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4029826)
I don't like the fact that he's not (yet) voting for Bagwell, and I like even less the fact that as a steroid discounter, he's going to vote for Bonds and Clemens next year. But I do like his four choices for this year, and I particularly dmire any Detroit writer who sees through the Morris hype.

And what I like even more is that even though I disagree with much of what he writes, he spells out his reasons and clearly has given it a lot of thought. I only wish I could say the same about every writer.
   17. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4029844)
But why Bagwell? As I pointed out in an email I sent, is he going to give the pitchers of the era the same "guilty until proven innocent" treatment - after all, more pitchers have tested positive than hitters.
   18. Bob Tufts Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4029851)
it's somewhat defensible as long as Bagwell is retained on the ballot


No. Is it right to slander someone with baseless charges for two years and defend it by saying say "it's OK, he has thirteen more years of crappy BBWAA votes to go through" when these voters still demand proof that Bagwell didn't use illegal PED's?

Now you're 35 years away from the supposed scene of the crime looking for clues.
   19. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4029853)
But why Bagwell? As I pointed out in an email I sent, is he going to give the pitchers of the era the same "guilty until proven innocent" treatment - after all, more pitchers have tested positive than hitters.

Yeah, that's one thing that makes no sense. But perhaps if the dog doesn't bark in the coming year he'll vote for him the next time around and give him a shot at going in with Biggio.
   20. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4029856)
No. Is it right to slander someone with baseless charges for two years and defend it by saying say "it's OK, he has thirteen more years of crappy BBWAA votes to go through" when these voters still demand proof that Bagwell didn't use illegal PED's?

But he also says that "a year from now [Bagwell] very likely will get [my] vote," so even if it's not what we'd like to hear, at least he's not pulling a Bryant Gumbel.
   21. Zipperholes Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4029859)
How do your prove a negative from almost twenty years ago in the absence of tests? With seances, tarot cards and divining rods?
As said in the post you quoted, he's looking for confidence, not "proof." What form might this take? I don't know, people naming names while saying Bagwell wasn't a user? A better understanding of just how many players were actually using during his career?

If one believes that electing a user is worse than making a non-user wait a few years, putting a moratorium on the induction of all players from the generation is the perfectly sensible approach to take. (Not that Henning is doing exactly that.)
   22. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4029860)
I don't like the fact that he's not (yet) voting for Bagwell, and I like even less the fact that as a steroid discounter, he's going to vote for Bonds and Clemens next year


That kind of gets at the heart of the problem, doesn't it? Bonds and Clemens are tainted with real evidence of steroid use, but the silly "discounters" will vote for them anyway. Bagwell is NOT tainted with any real evidence, yet the discounters will count him as a user anyway and will NOT vote for him.

So you have a non-tainted player getting hurt more than the tainted players.
   23. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4029862)
The argument seems to be "I think Bagwell's a HOFer on the merits, but I want to take a little time to investigate things personally before inducting him into an institution that doesn't ever kick anyone out, and he'll still be there next year."

As these things go, that's not really all that bad.

I think Bags is an obvious HOFer, but another year won't hurt, and if it gives them the "Killer B's" narrative then hey, that's cool.
   24. DL from MN Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4029863)
It would be a better story for Bagwell to get 60% this year. Then they can induct Bagwell and Biggio together. These are writers after all.
   25. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4029864)
If one believes that electing a user is worse than making a non-user wait a few years, putting a moratorium on the induction of all players from the generation is the perfectly sensible approach to take. (Not that Henning is doing exactly that.)


Exactly. You can't take someone out of the HoF, so unless the person is in their last year or in danger of slipping past 5% you should vote no if you're unsure.
   26. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4029870)
It was perhaps one thing for people to be bothered about steroids use years ago. But given all that we have learned about this issue in the past decade -- how many players were users, what they were using, when, how they obtained it, what the culture was -- to still be bothered by it now, or to still be trying to sort through users and clean players and steroids discounts, is, to use Bob's reference, craziness on the order of the birthers and 9/11 truthers.

To even care anymore about whether a player was a user seems to be evidence of a mental disorder.
   27. Zipperholes Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4029873)
Exactly. You can't take someone out of the HoF, so unless the person is in their last year or in danger of slipping past 5% you should vote no if you're unsure.
Also, the players could have helped clear up this mess by having the courage to name names (and by not obstructing efforts to curb use at the time), which they've refused to do. It might be impractical to expect them to do this, and I'm not going to sanctimoniously say they should have because I don't know that I would. But don't complain when we don't build a statue in your honor.
   28. cardsfanboy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4029874)
No. Is it right to slander someone with baseless charges for two years and defend it by saying say "it's OK, he has thirteen more years of crappy BBWAA votes to go through" when these voters still demand proof that Bagwell didn't use illegal PED's?

Now you're 35 years away from the supposed scene of the crime looking for clues.


It's not slander.

I do not agree with him, but his point of view is not as horrible as some are making it out. I think he's 100% wrong here, but at the same time he's being open about stating that he is willing to change his mind, that he's not saying that Bagwell used, just saying that a bodybuilder baseball player in the 80's and 90's, is probably going to have some suspicion attached to their name, and that he wants a little more time to see if any whispers come out in the open.
   29. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4029877)
But no one is saying "I heard ( ) and I want to check it out", or "I'm not sure he's a HOFer, so another year to reflect on it is warranted". Henning said there's "one guy who deserved to be there has been, perhaps wrongly, suspected of having had some help". And, "Bagwell’s case is particularly troubling, because of timing and lack of evidence, and a year from now he very likely will get a vote. It’s a matter of discussing, researching, thinking."

He thinks Bagwell's deserving; he also apparently has no information that makes him think Bagwell did use. What more "researching" does he need to do? Is he going to dig until he does find something, then say "See, I was right!"?
   30. BrianBrianson Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4029881)

I have mostly stayed out of PED and/or HOF discussions so I guess I haven't been bombarded with as much unfair slandering of Bagwell as others, but isn't it about a million times more likely that ANY weight-lifter baseball player from the 90's did steroids than that the moon landing was faked? I


Yes. Probably most of the players in the late 90s and early 2000s were using steroids. What's stupid is holding that against some of them and not others. The brew ha ha over saying Bagwell probably used is dumb - of course I think he probably used, just like I think about every other MLB player from that era. I also think everyone hear probably jaywalks, speeds, and so forth. Maybe someone doesn't, but most do, and if you take offence about it you're nuts.
   31. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4029885)
Yes, his reasoning is unfortunate at best. He's basically waiting to see if real evidence of use emerges. He doesn't have any now.

And next year he won't vote for Sosa, either.
   32. Shoebo Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4029891)
Why doesn't anyone suspect Edgar ?
   33. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4029896)
Why doesn't anyone suspect Edgar ?


Because this entire thing is insane and has no reason to it?
   34. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4029901)
Bagwell is NOT tainted with any real evidence, yet the discounters will count him as a user anyway and will NOT vote for him.

By the vast majority of no voters who are impacted by suspicions of steroid use, Bagwell is getting "bright lined" out, not discounted out.(**) Few if any are saying, "I suspect his numbers"; they're saying "I suspect him."

(**) And that's why bright lining is so insidious -- its "mission" has engulfed mere "suspects." He won't admit it, but that's in large part why Andy's been so vocal about the smears against Bagwell (which isn't to say there isn't a lot of pure good faith there as well). Because their sanction -- automatic bar -- is so severe and unforgiving, bright liners have to be extra showy about their need for "proof" and so theatrical when it doesn't meet their standards.
   35. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4029928)
I don't like the fact that he's not (yet) voting for Bagwell, and I like even less the fact that as a steroid discounter, he's going to vote for Bonds and Clemens next year

That kind of gets at the heart of the problem, doesn't it? Bonds and Clemens are tainted with real evidence of steroid use, but the silly "discounters" will vote for them anyway. Bagwell is NOT tainted with any real evidence, yet the discounters will count him as a user anyway and will NOT vote for him.

So you have a non-tainted player getting hurt more than the tainted players.


Yeah, though in Henning's case he'll likely come around about Bagwell, and better late than never. But that said, the idiocy of "steroid discounting" is perhaps the one thing about steroids we agree on.

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

By the vast majority of no voters who are impacted by suspicions of steroid use, Bagwell is getting "bright lined" out, not discounted out.(**) Few if any are saying, "I suspect his numbers"; they're saying "I suspect him."

(**) And that's why bright lining is so insidious -- its "mission" has engulfed mere "suspects." He won't admit it, but that's in large part why Andy's been so vocal about the smears against Bagwell (which isn't to say there isn't a lot of pure good faith there as well). Because their sanction -- automatic bar -- is so severe and unforgiving, bright liners have to be extra showy about their need for "proof" and so theatrical when it doesn't meet their standards.


What you call showy and theatrical might more simply be described as wanting to see evidence that goes beyond speculation and false accusations that later get recanted. Which is what the "case" against Bagwell has amounted to up to now. I'm not sure what's so terrible about supporting a form of "punishment" for a crime against baseball, but at the same time wanting to make sure you're "punishing" the right people.

And I'll say this again: If either "your" side by persuasion, or the passage of time by itself, succeeds in shifting the consensus on steroid use to the point that it's seen in a less transgressive light, then I'll be perfectly fine with accepting that shift in opinion, even if I haven't been persuaded myself. So what you call "bright line" may very well turn out to mean nothing more than a delay, to the point in time when honoring a Bonds / Clemens / A-Rod wouldn't split the baseball community right down the middle, as it would today.
   36. sunnyday2 Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4029930)
That kind of gets at the heart of the problem, doesn't it? Bonds and Clemens are tainted with real evidence of steroid use, but the silly "discounters" will vote for them anyway. Bagwell is NOT tainted with any real evidence, yet the discounters will count him as a user anyway and will NOT vote for him. So you have a non-tainted player getting hurt more than the tainted players.

The last statement here is true but I don't see how "discounting" is to blame. He's not discounting Bags. What's hurting Bags is the wait and see attitude. Just 'cuz it's the same voter, it's still a different argument.
   37. Bob Tufts Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4029934)
OK, let's take Henning at his word.

Has he done any research into whether Bagwell used illegal PED's - or is he merely being passive/aggressive and waiting for others to do so.

If his strategy is to sit on his posterior and wait for news, it's an incredibly disingenuous position.

   38. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4029936)
The last statement here is true but I don't see how "discounting" is to blame. He's not discounting Bags. What's hurting Bags is the wait and see attitude. Just 'cuz it's the same voter, it's still a different argument.

But it's not that Henning's internal consistency isn't defensible (if you're a steroid discounter), it's the irony of a writer who obviously cares about steroids saying that he's not going to vote against a player with zero credible evidence against him, while at the same time saying that he will vote for two players where the evidence is far more concrete. It just goes to demonstrate the lethal mix of "steroid discounting" combined with giving credence to speculation and dubious "evidence".
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4029937)
OK, let's take Henning at his word.

Has he done any research into whether Bagwell used illegal PED's - or is he merely being passive/aggressive and waiting for others to do so.

If his strategy is to sit on his posterior and wait for news, it's an incredibly disingenuous position.


That it is, though its one (somewhat) saving grace is that his position appears to have an expiration date of January 2013.
   40. cardsfanboy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4029942)
I don't get why waiting 7 years to vote for Bagwell is massively worse than waiting the minimum 5 years to vote for him. All he is doing is just giving a little more time to see if something pops up. If nothing does, then he votes for Bagwell, why is that such a big deal?

I would have a problem if every writer thought this way of course, because it would lead to Bagwell being removed from the ballot. But as pointed out, nearly every player who has made 40% in his first ballot eventually goes into the hof, the reasons that people wait to vote for the second, third, or 15th year is varied. Henning has his reason, I may not agree with them, but at least it's nothing as silly as thinking that Morris/Rice/Sutter actually belong in the hof.
   41. sunnyday2 Posted: January 05, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4029950)
I love that he says Bags case is particularly troubling because of the lack of evidence. I mean, what does tat mean? You'd think they'd be troubled by guys who used, buy, no, we're troubled by guys who didn't. They're so tied up in knots, it's laughable.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: January 05, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4029964)
I don't get why waiting 7 years to vote for Bagwell is massively worse than waiting the minimum 5 years to vote for him. All he is doing is just giving a little more time to see if something pops up. If nothing does, then he votes for Bagwell, why is that such a big deal?

It's (probably) not a big deal in terms of Bagwell's HoF fate. But it's not a logical stance, it's not being universally applied and he's not making clear what the standards are. In short, it's not "fair" and that annoys people.

In theory, there's no problem with the "I'd like to wait and gather as much information as I can." But, c'mon, Bagwell's been retired for 7 years now. The Mitchell Report was, what, 8 years ago? Baseball's got its testing program, Congress got its time in the limelight, tne NYT apparently got tired of calling lawyers and getting them to "not say no" when reading a list of names, and even with Bonds and Clemens on trial, they're on trial for technical lying stuff.

In short, nobody is investigating this now. Nobody's been investigating it for 5 years. Nobody is looking into Bagwell, nobody has the right to.

Ironically, about the only way we might find out more about Bagwell's use is if he does get elected -- then the roaches will come out of the woodwork to tell their stories (true or not).
   43. The District Attorney Posted: January 05, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4029965)
Neyer:
You might not believe this, but in some quarters one is actually mocked for taking more time for discussion, research, and thought.

Drugs are hard, man. Cheating is hard. Circumstantial evidence is hard.

It's hard, so most people just don't bother with any of it. It's either all good, or all bad. Seems like most Hall of Fame voters simply will not vote, no matter the circumstances, for any player who's been attached to steroids. Seems like most bloggers and fans of bloggers, no matter the circumstances, give a free pass to every player who's ever cheated.

Well, you know. That's one way to live your life. The easiest way, probably.

I remain unconvinced that it's the best way, or the most interesting way.
   44. sunnyday2 Posted: January 05, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4029966)
You wrote:

But it's not that Henning's internal consistency isn't defensible (if you're a steroid discounter), it's the irony of a writer who obviously cares about steroids saying that he's not going to vote against a player wiounting" combined with giving credence to speculation and dubious "evidence".th zero credible evidence against him, while at the same time saying that he will vote for two players where the evidence is far more concrete. It just goes to demonstrate the lethal mix of "steroid disc

To which I reply:

1) Yes, internaL consistency is lacking.

2) The "irony" you speak of is the same issue...of Henning using one argument here and another there.

3) So the POINT is as SugarBear and others say, that bright lining in itself is problematic--at least as practiced--in the demand for proof of a negative. Prove that you don't beat your wife. There's a reason this sort of evidence can't be required in a court of law. It can't be done. It presumes guilt. This is not the American way. It's the Salem witch trials. I heard a rumor that you did X, prove that the rumor is false.

So, granted, it's not bright-lining per se, it's the extremes that its practitioners go to. Henning's action re. Bags would be no less objectionable in the absence of his intentions re. Clemens or Bonds. Hennings is not a "discounter" per se, he is a voter who sometimes discounts. I could just as easily say he is a "bright liner" who sometimes discounts as you saying he is a discounter who sometimes applies a bright line. Thje irony runs both ways.

(Head, meet wall.)
   45. cardsfanboy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4029975)
Henning isn't even saying he isn't going to vote for Bagwell if evidence comes out, all he is doing is staying in a holding pattern and collecting his thoughts on the matter. This month he isn't comfortable voting for Bagwell, in the future he thinks he will eventually be ready to vote for him. Even though he says the numbers are good enough for the hall, it's possible that he just doesn't "feel" like a hofer to Henning or a lot of other things that is making him hold off on the vote. He's an AL writer, and it wouldn't surprise me if writers in one league consistently undervalue the impact guys had in the other league(you know how many people on these boards seem to think Biggio wasn't regarded as a future hofer until his 3000th hit. That is just an absurd concept to me, a fan of the NL Central, but at the same time, I also thought Sandberg was massively ahead of Alomar/Whittaker by the feel criteria, because I never really saw much of the others---turns out that isn't the case, but it's still sometimes difficult for me to accept that Alomar and Whitaker are clearly ahead of Ryne)

   46. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 05, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4030017)
Bagwell is NOT tainted with any real evidence, yet the discounters will count him as a user anyway and will NOT vote for him.

It's the exact opposite -- and, again, Bagwell isn't getting discounted out by suspicious voters, he's getting bright lined out.

There's one simple way to a bright liner and a discounter. If someone says they don't want to make a "mistake" by voting a user in, they're a bright liner. Why? Because a discounter wouldn't care about "wrongly" voting a user in; they'd care only about wrongly voting in someone whose use meant that their numbers weren't really Hall of Fame worthy..

And basically no one is saying the latter, and everyone who's "troubled" about Bagwell's steroid use is saying the former.

   47. Something Other Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4030025)
I'm now convinced that the BBWAA HOF voters are further away from the intellectual mainstream than the birthers. 9/11 truthers and the "moon landing was faked" contingent.
Er, those are "intellectual mainstream" positions.

What puzzles me about people declining to vote for Bagwell is that of the players you might suspect, an obsessive weightlifter isn't one of them. Bagwell looks like a guy who lifts a lot of weights. He doesn't look like some weird, roid-fueled freak with his entire vascular system visible beneath tissue-paper thin skin, if that's what roid-fueled freaks indeed look like. He looks like a power hitter who hit the weights and added a bunch of home runs by becoming stronger.
   48. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4030026)
I don't get why waiting 7 years to vote for Bagwell is massively worse than waiting the minimum 5 years to vote for him. All he is doing is just giving a little more time to see if something pops up. If nothing does, then he votes for Bagwell, why is that such a big deal?


Because voters are supposed to be voting for players they think are qualified. What this writer is doing is basically "I would vote for him now, but I suspect he's a wife beater. Let me wait a year or two to see whether evidence surfaces showing that he's a wife beater. At that point, he'll fail the character clause."

It's one thing to all of a sudden think the character clause is relevant, and to refuse to vote yes on the basis of something the player has done that goes to character. But this is the writer refusing to vote yes based on the character clause despite conceding that Bagwell has not failed the character clause.

And I agree with SugarBear: Andy will loudly scream that what this writer is doing is wrong -- but this is where the Andys of the world have brought us.
   49. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4030041)
And I agree with SugarBear: Andy will loudly scream that what this writer is doing is wrong -- but this is where the Andys of the world have brought us.


To elaborate: If one feels that "juicers" have no place in the Hall of Fame, then a natural extension of that is to withhold votes for players you suspect are juicers even though you concede there is no evidence -- because you know that once a player is in the Hall of Fame he can't be kicked out, and you don't want to make the mistake of putting someone in who you feel may later be proven to be a juicer.

It's a natural extension of Andy's position. And is why it's so ridiculous to listen to Andy complain about writers such as Henning, and for Andy to complain that the crusade he led didn't stop where he wanted it to stop.

It's as silly as the co-conspirator who says "Hey, were were just supposed to rob the bank. Nobody was supposed to get hurt!"

   50. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4030043)
And I agree with SugarBear: Andy will loudly scream that what this writer is doing is wrong -- but this is where the Andys of the world have brought us.

You forgot to mention my causing the market to crash in 2008. Your master will not be pleased.
   51. Walt Davis Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:29 AM (#4030073)
Good lord, I've got to defend Andy.

Sorry, applying a bright line to suspected steroid users, in the absence of any evidence, is not a "natural extension" of Andy's position. It is applying a quite different level of evidence than Andy is.

To be obvious ... I can quite comfortably hold that people who have been convicted of murder beyond a reasonable doubt should go to prison while those suspected of murder but with reasonable doubt should not. And that standard has held pretty well for a long time now without sliding all the way down the slippery slope.

You might not believe this, but in some quarters one is actually mocked for taking more time for discussion, research, and thought.

Discussion, research and thought are all perfectly reasonable things.

Now, who's doing the research on Bagwell? Is there an anti-Lederer out there for Bagwell? Why has it taken them seven (or more) years to finish the job? Are they still not ready to reveal any of their findings to the public eye? If somebody's paying their daily expenses, I think that somebody is being taken for a ride.

Or ... does this "research" by the vaunted HoF voters consist of spending 10 minutes on the internet sometime between sleeping off the Christmas hangover and starting the New Year's one to see what dirt they can find on Bagwell ... while, for some strange reason, not bothering to look for dirt on Edgar ... or Larkin ... or Dawson ... or Conlin (oops!)

Nobody is doing the research. The thinking goes on for 5 minutes and, surprise!, closely resembles last year's thinking. Whatever discussion's going on is likely at a lower level of insight than our yammering here.
   52. Squash Posted: January 06, 2012 at 03:18 AM (#4030140)
Yes. Probably most of the players in the late 90s and early 2000s were using steroids. What's stupid is holding that against some of them and not others. The brew ha ha over saying Bagwell probably used is dumb - of course I think he probably used, just like I think about every other MLB player from that era. I also think everyone hear probably jaywalks, speeds, and so forth. Maybe someone doesn't, but most do, and if you take offence about it you're nuts.

This is pretty much where I'm at, other than the proto-usage of the British spelling of "offence". :) Do I think Bagwell used? Well yeah, probably. Everyone was using, he looked exactly like a prototypical user, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc. I would be more surprised to get conclusive proof that he didn't use than conclusive proof that he did. What I object to is that if you didn't care in 1997, you don't get to pretend you care in 2012. Everyone knew what was going on and they didn't care. So to punish them 15 years after the fact b/c the current mainstream demands that someone must be punished reeks of intellectual dishonesty. Let these guys in. Then change the rules officially and punish anyone found to be breaking them after that. But you don't get to pretend after the fact that you actually cared all those years ago because your current readers are demanding a pound of flesh.
   53. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 06, 2012 at 06:39 AM (#4030163)
This is not the American way. It's the Salem witch trials. I heard a rumor that you did X, prove that the rumor is false.



It sure seems like the American way to me.
   54. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 06, 2012 at 07:53 AM (#4030169)
Good lord, I've got to defend Andy.

Sorry, applying a bright line to suspected steroid users, in the absence of any evidence, is not a "natural extension" of Andy's position. It is applying a quite different level of evidence than Andy is.

To be obvious ... I can quite comfortably hold that people who have been convicted of murder beyond a reasonable doubt should go to prison while those suspected of murder but with reasonable doubt should not. And that standard has held pretty well for a long time now without sliding all the way down the slippery slope.


The bright line philosophy inevitably leads to people keeping Bagwell out based on mere suspicion because the entire emphasis of the philosophy is that a steroid user does not belong in the Hall of Fame. To circle back to your murder analogy, a bright liner sees admitting someone, then finding out he's a juicer, to be the functional equivalent of executing an innocent man. And just as our system of justice builds in measures to prevent that, even if it means guilty people sometimes walk free, the procedures cobbled together by bright liners to prevent juicers going in inevitably lead to non-juicers getting swept up by their reach.

To reiterate, that's why Andy repeatedly is among the loudest, most theatrical voices in the "Oh, the injustice Bagwell's suffering" chorus. He needs to convince everyone (including himself?) that he won't overcompensate to keep juicers out. And perhaps he won't. But there's no question the bright liner writers will and are -- inevitably so.

   55. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 06, 2012 at 08:41 AM (#4030173)
I don't get why waiting 7 years to vote for Bagwell is massively worse than waiting the minimum 5 years to vote for him.

Why wait only 8 years? He's got 13 more years on the ballot after this. Hell, then he goes to the VC, no need to rush anything. You never what could come out in 50 years.
   56. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 06, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4030176)
Good lord, I've got to defend Andy.

Sorry, applying a bright line to suspected steroid users, in the absence of any evidence, is not a "natural extension" of Andy's position. It is applying a quite different level of evidence than Andy is.

To be obvious ... I can quite comfortably hold that people who have been convicted of murder beyond a reasonable doubt should go to prison while those suspected of murder but with reasonable doubt should not. And that standard has held pretty well for a long time now without sliding all the way down the slippery slope.


The bright line philosophy inevitably leads to people keeping Bagwell out based on mere suspicion because the entire emphasis of the philosophy is that a steroid user does not belong in the Hall of Fame. To circle back to your murder analogy, a bright liner sees admitting someone, then finding out he's a juicer, to be the functional equivalent of executing an innocent man. And just as our system of justice builds in measures to prevent that, even if it means guilty people sometimes walk free, the procedures cobbled together by bright liners to prevent juicers going in inevitably lead to non-juicers getting swept up by their reach.

To reiterate, that's why Andy repeatedly is among the loudest, most theatrical voices in the "Oh, the injustice Bagwell's suffering" chorus. He needs to convince everyone (including himself?) that he won't overcompensate to keep juicers out. And perhaps he won't. But there's no question the bright liner writers will and are -- inevitably so.


All you're really doing with all this psychobabble gibberish about my motives is trying to make it impossible for any juicer to be excluded from the Hall of Fame. There is absolutely no standard you would support that would exclude even a confessed juicer from that honor. If there is, I've yet to hear any of you describe it. Even if every Murray Chass and Bryant Gumbel on Earth renounced their dubious standards of evidence and adopted my standards of proof, that still wouldn't satisfy you, because all you care about in the end is seeing Bonds & Co. in Cooperstown. With the sole exceptions of gamblers, you want the Hall of Fame to be a glorified Hall of Statistical Merit.

Now that's a perfectly honorable position (which is more than some people here will grant for mine, but whatever), but it's not the only position that fits that description. But in order to prevent yourself from acknowledging that, you continue to jump through all these hoops to lump me with the Gumbels.

I'll continue to hold to two convictions. No juicers should be in the Hall of Fame, and the standard of proof should be credible evidence on the BALCO level, credible firsthand testimony by witnesses who will stand up and repeat their charges under oath**, or a positive test that can't been explained by plausible extenuating circumstances***. Rumors don't cut it, cap sizes don't cut it, statistics alone don't cut it, muscles alone don't cut it, and this sort of "evidence" doesn't cut it, either.

And if that doesn't cut it for you, well, sorry 'bout that. You can keep up with the personal insults and "slippery slope" crap as long as you like, but you're only preaching to your own little choir.

**which leaves out the sole accusation against Bagwell, which was quickly recanted

***which leaves out Braun for the time being







   57. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 06, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4030197)
the standard of proof should be credible evidence on the BALCO level, credible firsthand testimony by witnesses who will stand up and repeat their charges under oath**, or a positive test that can't been explained by plausible extenuating circumstances***.
In other words, the accused have no right to defend themselves, or try to prove the evidence false/tainted?
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4030211)
In other words, the accused have no right to defend themselves, or try to prove the evidence false/tainted?

Isn't that what a defense normally consists of; trying to prove the evidence presented against you false?
   59. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 06, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4030231)
the standard of proof should be credible evidence on the BALCO level, credible firsthand testimony by witnesses who will stand up and repeat their charges under oath**, or a positive test that can't been explained by plausible extenuating circumstances***.

In other words, the accused have no right to defend themselves, or try to prove the evidence false/tainted?


Of course they should, which is exactly why I'm withholding judgment on Braun.
   60. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 06, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4030237)
All you're really doing with all this psychobabble gibberish about my motives is trying to make it impossible for any juicer to be excluded from the Hall of Fame.

That's a feature, not a bug, if you don't think juicers should be automatically excluded. It should be imposssible for a juicer to be excluded for juicing alone. We should assess all the evidence available to us and make the best judgments we can. Bright lines and ultimate, automatic penalties don't work in the real world and we need look no further than the Bagwell situation to understand why.

   61. AROM Posted: January 06, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4030250)
It's the exact opposite -- and, again, Bagwell isn't getting discounted out by suspicious voters, he's getting bright lined out.


You are correct in this. Bagwell had a relatively normal career progression. How do you adjust that? You'd just have to assume he'd been a juicer his whole career, or at least 1994 on. There's no baseline to estimate what his career would have looked like without steroids.

For McGwire it's a bit easier, assume his late career numbers would have looked like his 1988-1992 averages: 239/355/480, 34 homers per year. Replacing his 1995-1999 stats with that costs him 114 homers, and with 469 homers he's not going in*.

Bonds is even easier, since the available evidence indicates he didn't start until 1999, when he had already put up a career worthy of Cooperstown. Just add a normal decline phase to that (maybe Griffey's finish with more walks) and you're done.

With Bagwell, if you accept the premise that his performance was steroid enhanced, you won't be able to find any consensus as to how it helped him. Once again, we're faced with the silly concept that steroids only help you hit homers. The circumstantial evidence (being a teammate of Caminiti, playing in the "steroids era" applies just as much to Biggio. How do we know his 3000 hits aren't tainted? But the rogue bright liners only want to focus on the one who hit for power.

*I'm not advocating any of this. I vote for McGwire. Plus, it doesn't account for aging, increased run scoring environment, his move to a less extreme pitcher's park, or Canseco's assertion that he started roids in 1988. Just that it could be done.
   62. The District Attorney Posted: January 06, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4030263)
Bonds is even easier, since the available evidence indicates he didn't start until 1999, when he had already put up a career worthy of Cooperstown. Just add nothing to that
Fixed. You could zero out every one of his "steroid seasons", and Bonds would still easily be in. He is only out if you think PED are in the gambling-on-games category, so bad for baseball that they should result in a ban even if there's zero evidence of relevant on-field effect.

Ditto Clemens.
   63. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4030275)
Fixed. You could zero out every one of his "steroid seasons", and Bonds would still easily be in. He is only out if you think PED are in the gambling-on-games category, so bad for baseball that they should result in a ban even if there's zero evidence of relevant on-field effect.

Ditto Clemens.


Correct, and I would vote for both eventually. I do think they deserve to stew for at least a half-dozen ballots for all the shame they brought to baseball.
   64. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 06, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4030278)
All you're really doing with all this psychobabble gibberish about my motives is trying to make it impossible for any juicer to be excluded from the Hall of Fame.

That's a feature, not a bug, if you don't think juicers should be automatically excluded. It should be impossible for a juicer to be excluded for juicing alone.


Well, sir, you're perfectly entitled to that opinion.

We should assess all the evidence available to us and make the best judgments we can.

Which is exactly how I approach any steroid accusation directed against any player.

Bright lines and ultimate, automatic penalties don't work in the real world and we need look no further than the Bagwell situation to understand why.

No system is perfect, but Bagwell's been on the ballot for exactly two years counting 2012. We're already seeing what looks like a likely uptick in his vote totals, and Henning may not be the only one who adds to that total in 2013.

It's interesting to note that we've heard predictions from everyone from Bill James on down about how in 5 years or 10 years or 20 years or 50 years, miracle drugs will be everywhere and we'll look back on this era as some sort of a variant of the Salem Witch trials. Since I don't have access to the newspapers or websites from the future, it's hard to know what to say about those crystal ball efforts.

But it's funny how the other possible scenario is ever discussed: That as time passes, more voters like Henning will learn to distinguish credible evidence from the bogus variety, and start applying this distinction to their HoF votes. I have no idea how many writers, either old or new, will follow that path, but on the surface it doesn't seem any less likely than any great sea change in opinion about the inherent immorality of juicing. Since the "death penalty" analogy has been brought up, you might consider that jurors in capital cases who vote "not guilty" in a particular trial aren't voting against the death penalty per se.

   65. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 06, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4030281)
Well, sir, you're perfectly entitled to that opinion.

I know, but I was doing more than expressing an opinion. I was noting that you were accusing me of making impossible that which shouldn't be impossible.
   66. Poulanc Posted: January 06, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4030284)
I do think they deserve to stew for at least a half-dozen ballots for all the shame they brought to baseball.



Do people actually think this? That Bonds and Clemens have brought shame to baseball?
   67. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4030307)
There is absolutely no standard you would support that would exclude even a confessed juicer from that honor.


Correct. Because "juicing" is not a crime, just like amps, and was ingrained in the culture of the game.

And my position does not lead to voters withholding a vote for Bagwell on the basis that, well, nothing has come out yet, but let's just wait. YOUR position leads to that. If "juicers" should not be in the Hall of Fame, why take the chance that you're letting one of them in when you vote for Bagwell?

I'll continue to hold to two convictions. No juicers should be in the Hall of Fame,


Except for Mantle, right? You conceded last week that he juiced, but dismissed it by saying that the steroids didn't work. "Some steroids those were." So I guess "some steroids those were?" provides a valid exception for players?

and the standard of proof should be credible evidence on the BALCO level, credible firsthand testimony by witnesses who will stand up and repeat their charges under oath**, or a positive test that can't been explained by plausible extenuating circumstances***. Rumors don't cut it, cap sizes don't cut it, statistics alone don't cut it, muscles alone don't cut it, and this sort of "evidence" doesn't cut it, either.


Such as McGwire's refusal to answer questions under oath in 2005? You concluded him guilty on the basis of that.
   68. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4030313)
Ditto Clemens.

Correct, and I would vote for both eventually. I do think they deserve to stew for at least a half-dozen ballots for all the shame they brought to baseball.


Baseball brought the shame to Clemens. Remember the Mitchell Report?
   69. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4030322)
Well, sir, you're perfectly entitled to that opinion.

I know, but I was doing more than expressing an opinion. I was noting that you were accusing me of making impossible that which shouldn't be impossible.


You read "accusing" when all I meant was "noting". I've never accused you of hiding your position. My only problem with you is that like Ray-Ray, you seem to refuse to admit that there's any legitimate take on steroids and the Hall of Fame other than yours.
   70. AROM Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4030329)
When the 2007 BTF ballot came around, Andy had no reservations about McGwire being guilty.

McGwire is an arguable HOM choice, even with a sizeable steroid discount, but an absolute never for the HOF. There is nothing worth honoring in that man's career. He made his choice and he's stuck with it (no pun intended).


Post #55 in this thread:
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   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4030330)
Do people actually think this? That Bonds and Clemens have brought shame to baseball?

I do, yes.

They were all-world talents who had no need of PEDs, who nevertheless felt compelled by their egos or greed or whatever to cheat. They coupled this cheating with being lying, duplicitous ######## about said cheating, and all around unpleasant, angry individuals.

Instead of being heroes to be exalted, they turned themselves into a freak show. That has hurt baseball.

Baseball brought the shame to Clemens. Remember the Mitchell Report?

What did the Mitchell report say about Clemens that turned out to be untrue?
   72. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4030341)
My only problem with you is that like Ray-Ray, you seem to refuse to admit that there's any legitimate take on steroids and the Hall of Fame other than yours.

No, I believe the bright line position can be held in good faith and is so held by you and others.

It's just that it can't be applied in real life by real people without intolerable (and inevitable) distortions and excesses, and runs aground on its internal contradictions.

   73. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4030353)
Baseball brought the shame to Clemens. Remember the Mitchell Report?

What did the Mitchell report say about Clemens that turned out to be untrue?


I think there's a good chance McNamee is lying about the central claim, but even if he's not, that's not what I meant. What I meant is that Clemens was going along fine until Bud Selig commissioned a report to dig up dirt on the players of his own league.
   74. Poulanc Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4030355)
They were all-world talents who had no need of PEDs, who nevertheless felt compelled by their egos or greed or whatever to cheat.


What role do you feel that everyone else connected to baseball played in bringing shame to MLB? What about other users? Teammates that may not have used, but knew of the use? Managers and coaches that knew what the players were doing? Owners? Journalists that turned a blind eye?

In this specific example, should Bagwell be allowed to stew for a few years because of his role in bringing shame to baseball? Or do you assume he had no knowledge of what his own teammates and opponents were doing?

Instead of being heroes to be exalted, they turned themselves into a freak show. That has hurt baseball.


I'd argue that we turned them into freak shows.
   75. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4030363)

What role do you feel that everyone else connected to baseball played in bringing shame to MLB? What about other users? Teammates that may not have used, but knew of the use? Managers and coaches that knew what the players were doing? Owners? Journalists that turned a blind eye?


They all share blame. Unfortunately, there's no mechanism to bring them all to account.

In a sense, Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Palmeiro, etc. are taking the blame for the whole sordid episode. That isn't the ideal outcome, but their punishment is so relatively light (delayed or denied HoF admission) that it doesn't bother me much.

Once someone refused to come clean and lied or dissembled under oath, well that's their own damn stupidity.
   76. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4030380)
Unfortunately, there's no mechanism to bring them all to account.

Bud Selig's candidacy for the Hall of Fame can be loudly and definitively rejected -- that's one way. As the chief enabler of the Steroid Era, it should be.
   77. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4030402)
When the 2007 BTF ballot came around, Andy had no reservations about McGwire being guilty.

McGwire is an arguable HOM choice, even with a sizeable steroid discount, but an absolute never for the HOF. There is nothing worth honoring in that man's career. He made his choice and he's stuck with it (no pun intended).


It's good you included that quote, because the link you gave is nothing but a composition sheet for an e-mail. You might want to back up and try it again.

I had no reservations then because McGwire had had a chance to deny Canseco's repeated firsthand charges, and refused to do so, either under oath or outside the hearing room. It was later disclosed that McGwire would have admitted his use during the hearings, had he been granted immunity. Had he not been guilty, there's still a chance that he might have refused to testify without immunity, but the combination of the book and the stonewalling led me to what McGwire subsequently confirmed to be the correct conclusion.

But remember this: If it had turned out that McGwire would have denied Canseco's accusations, then the case could have continued in two different ways: With an Alger Hiss-like bluff** by McGwire, which subsequently collapsed; or with a vindication of his innocence.

In the first case, to vote him in in 2007 would have presented the HoF with a fait accompli, which could have been reversed only by an unprecedented voiding of a previous vote. But in the second case, the only result would have been a delay in his induction, not a permanent blackball.

Of course there could have been a third scenario, which would have been a continuing verbal duel between McGwire and Canseco, with no way of determining the truth beyond accepting the word of one or the other.

And in that case, I would've taken McGwire's word, for the same reason I don't consider Canseco's testimony against any of his other former teammates as conclusive evidence by itself.

**In 1948, during a congressional hearing, the former Communist Whittaker Chambers accused Alger Hiss of being a Communist agent. Hiss dared Chambers to repeat his charge without congressional immunity. Chambers did so immediately during a Meet The Press interview, and by the time it was all over, Chambers' story was vindicated to the satisfaction of pretty much everyone without an ideological stake in perpetuating the myth of Hiss's innocence.

   78. AROM Posted: January 06, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4030472)
   79. AROM Posted: January 06, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4030485)
Probably half of the names on the current HOF ballot have used steroids to some extent. Besides McGwire and Palmeiro, none of us know who. Had they been called up before congress and asked under oath, some among them might have admitted it, some may have lied (though after seeing the efforts to pin perjury on Bonds/Clemens they'd have to be exceptionally dumb) and most would probably take the 5th as McGwire did.

Why was McGwire put in that position when other great players were not? Because he broke a record, that's all. I find this process both unjust and disgusting, and that's why I can't accept using steroids as a reason to keep someone out of the hall.

I'm perfectly fine with steroid testing and the punishments put in place. When Ryan Braun's career is done, if he's a very borderline HOF case and somebody thinks 50 more games during his prime would have made a difference, then that's the only situation where I'm OK with steroids making a difference in the vote.
   80. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 06, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4030496)
Why was McGwire put in that position when other great players were not? Because he broke a record, that's all.

And how does that explain the presence of Palmeiro and the absence of Bonds at those same hearings, which took place four years after 73*?
   81. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4030537)
Bud Selig's candidacy for the Hall of Fame can be loudly and definitively rejected -- that's one way. As the chief enabler of the Steroid Era, it should be.

That's as big a no-brainer as there is. Writers from the era can be rejected too, if they turned a blind eye.
   82. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4030552)
And how does that explain the presence of Palmeiro and the absence of Bonds at those same hearings, which took place four years after 73*?


Andy, are you seriously arguing that McGwire hitting 70 had nothing to do with why he was in front of Congress that day? That Sosa having dared to hit more home runs than Maris had nothing to do with why he was in front of Congress that day?

Bonds wasn't there because he was under investigation for having hit 73 home runs... I mean, for perjury.

And AROM points out another reason it is disgusting to hold McGwire's 2005 testimony against him. Most other players weren't put in the position of being subpoenaed to a witch trial.
   83. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 06, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4030582)
And AROM points out another reason it is disgusting to hold McGwire's 2005 testimony against him. Most other players weren't put in the position of being subpoenaed to a witch trial.

I can hold McGwire's testimony against him all I want. What I can't say is that any non-testifier is "better" than MM.
   84. zenbitz Posted: January 06, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4030591)
PRIOR to testing

Since we don't know:
a) who ALL was using
b) when they were using
c) how much they were using
and especially
d) we have no idea a/b/c actually effect performance (although if we had a/b/c would could *attempt* to extract it from the data)

The only fair and reasonable "steroid discount" is effectively OPS+ and ERA+ (or your stat of choice).

WHICH by the way would probably leave ALL the HR records with Ruth.
   85. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 06, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4030617)
Why was McGwire put in that position when other great players were not? Because he broke a record, that's all.


And how does that explain the presence of Palmeiro and the absence of Bonds at those same hearings, which took place four years after 73*?

Andy, are you seriously arguing that McGwire hitting 70 had nothing to do with why he was in front of Congress that day? That Sosa having dared to hit more home runs than Maris had nothing to do with why he was in front of Congress that day?


I'm only saying that the records are not a one-size-fits-all explanation. What records had Palmeiro broken? Frank Thomas also testified. What records did he break?

And even more to the point: If those records were all that mattered, then why did it take Congress more than six years after McGwire's 70 and Sosa's 66, and more than three years after Bonds's 73, to get around to holding hearings? Your continuing insistence on simplistic explanations that border on nudge-nudge conspiracy theories is one of the reasons I find you hard to take your arguments seriously.
   86. AROM Posted: January 06, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4030710)
OK - Saying he was called before congress for breaking a record is a little simplistic. But they certainly choose a bunch of big name players known for hitting homeruns. Plus Curt Schilling.

Why didn't they want to talk to Manny Alexander?
   87. CrosbyBird Posted: January 06, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4030802)
All you're really doing with all this psychobabble gibberish about my motives is trying to make it impossible for any juicer to be excluded from the Hall of Fame. There is absolutely no standard you would support that would exclude even a confessed juicer from that honor. If there is, I've yet to hear any of you describe it.

I'll use the word "respect" rather than "support," but I'll give you three standards that I would respect completely.

1) Absolute bar for any known PED user (confession or failed test). This means that you'd reject known amphetamine users if you were voting today.
2) Absolute bar for any known PED user after baseball's official policy change.
3) Rejecting borderline players that are known PED users.
   88. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4030808)
1) Absolute bar for any known PED user (confession or failed test). This means that you'd reject known amphetamine users if you were voting today.


I'd respect this position as well.

   89. Something Other Posted: January 07, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4031393)
Jeff Bagwell played most of his career during a period when steroids and human-growth helpers weren’t, in fact, a violation of baseball’s rules…
Anyone know the exact years?
   90. Gonfalon B. Posted: January 07, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4031402)
Bagwell: 1991-2005
Steroid rules: 2005-present

From 2002-2004, players were tested, but the only penalty for a first positive was "treatment," and no players were to be named. The penalties were significantly upped in 2006.
   91. Something Other Posted: January 07, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4031414)
thanks GB

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