David Ortiz’s gets first promised HOF vote! And the band went ta-ta..ta-ta! (h/t Abbott-Costello)
Ortiz does not argue when someone calls him this because he believes it to be true, that he is a Hall of Fame-caliber player despite his position and positive drug test, a pair of variables that individually have torpedoed past candidacies and in concert portend doom. Ultimately, however, Ortiz may be prescient. The designated-hitter wall is soon to fall. Even if Ortiz retires at the end of his current contract in 2014 – and seeing how he’s hitting this postseason, with five more home runs added to his already long playoff résumé, why would he? – by the time he’s eligible for induction, the Baseball Writers Association of America will have taken out retroactive justice on 13 classes with a known PED user. Considering he’s got 14 more tries after that first year, and the voting bloc will skew younger and likely more progressive annually, a tipping point will arrive whereby the BBWAA gatekeepers begin to realize what’s inside their gates feels emptier than it ought.
I receive the privilege of a Hall vote for the first time this year, and I can say unequivocally that five years after he retires I will vote for Ortiz, unless the ballot is stuffed with 10 superior candidates on account of my colleagues’ choice to blackball others linked to PEDs. Ortiz is one of his generation’s great hitters, and while such statements about other hitters have led to dubious inductions, Ortiz’s numbers support his candidacy.
...Numbers aren’t the true issue for Ortiz. When The New York Times reported Ortiz tested positive for a PED in 2003, he denied having taken it. While there was a loophole – reportedly eight of the 104 players on the list from the survey testing had used 19-nonandrostenedione, a tainted supplement – it never has been confirmed Ortiz was one of the eight. And considering mere PED speculation left this year’s class empty, the presence of a positive, no matter what caused it, may initiate a death blow before his candidacy even begins.
I will not cast one of those votes. I will vote for PED users, even though I find such use ethically wishy-washy, particularly when the players during the testing era agreed to a collectively bargained drug program. Even before then, players say, there was an implicit understanding that using steroids was seen as a distinct advantage, one that plenty of players actively chose not to gain because they felt it would compromise their integrity and the game’s as well. PEDs work. Studies putting steroid era numbers up against other eras try to argue otherwise, but doctors and players agree that PEDs’ inherent advantages – from faster recovery to greater muscle growth – are neither mirages nor vacuous.
Posted: October 26, 2013 at 03:13 PM | 35 comment(s)
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