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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bob Ryan: I’m not voting for Bonds, Clemens, or Sosa

Bob Ryan: Toxic Ballot Avenger…or just another junko partner?

There is, I believe, a very real chance that no one will be elected this year. I find this fascinating because of the 37 names on the 2013 ballot, I consider 21 to be quite legitimate candidates (Woody Williams? Ah, I don’t think so). What the ballot lacks is a drop-dead newcomer, although there should be one were it not for the fact that he, too, is under suspicion.

I am speaking, of course, of Mike Piazza, who may very well be the greatest hitting catcher of all time, but who, despite the lack of any concrete evidence, is regarded as a cheater by some because he flunked the Eyeball Test. See? This is why the drug issue is so insidious. Unless a McGwire or Palmeiro ’fesses up, we’re all guessing, however well-educated those guesses are. There is no reason to avoid voting for Piazza, whose overwhelming credentials include 427 homers, 1,335 RBIs, .922 OBP, 12 All-Star Games), other than the fact that he looked like a steroid guy.

Jeff Bagwell’s résumé is similarly persuasive (449 homers, 1,529 RBIs, .948 OBP), but, he, too, failed to pass the Eyeball Test. He went from 41.7 percent of the vote two years ago to 56.0 last year. Obviously, a few voters revised their opinion of his candidacy upward. Understand that going from 56 percent to the needed 75 in one year is not likely.

...The Morris candidacy has become extremely controversial, his advocates being old-line baseball sorts who view him as the quintessential gun-slinging Ace of the Staff (14 Opening Day starts) and his detractors being Sabermetric zealots who decry a 3.90 career ERA that would be the highest ever to be so enshrined, and who discredit the notion that he pitched to the score, thus accounting for an inflated ERA. I wasn’t always a yes man. But I became one several years ago and I hope he gets in.

Summing it up: Yes to Bagwell, Biggio, Martinez, Morris, Piazza, Raines, and Schilling. Sorry to anyone else not named Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, McGwire, and Palmeiro.

Repoz Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:39 AM | 62 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Darren Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4325413)
old-line baseball sorts vs. sabermetric zealots! Maybe someday the zealots will realize that it's opening day starts that really matter for HOF pitchers.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4325415)
Well, it's not the worst ballot. I'd say it's a very good ballot for a ballot with Morris and no roiders. You've got Raines and Schilling and Martinez. If he had Trammell, I'd almost be tempted to say, fair play, much better than the median.
   3. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4325416)
despite the lack of any concrete evidence, is regarded as a cheater by some because he flunked the Eyeball Test. See? This is why the drug issue is so insidious.

I agree, it's unfair that Sosa is treated this way...oh.
   4. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4325420)
I agree, it's unfair that Sosa is treated this way...oh.

Plus, unless I missed it, Palmeiro has never "'fessed up". Doesn't he continue to deny?
   5. Xander Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4325423)
Palmeiro tested positive for steroids. A little different than Sosa.
   6. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4325424)
Palmeiro has a failed drug test. The evidence against Sosa is he hit a bunch of HRs and English is his second language.
   7. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4325454)
Except for Morris and not Trammell, a great ballot! Someone who actually gets it!
   8. LargeBill Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4325466)
Lousy reasoning keeps this from being a good (or great) ballot as some have described it. Basically, Ryan doubled down on stupid with his explanations. He accused folks who question Morris' qualifications of using new age stats against him. AFAIK, ERA has been an accepted stat from well over 100 years. Not exactly new age or complicated. One does not have to WAR or other recently developed stats to recognize that Morris doesn't fit with the pitching greats. Actually, it is folks defending their vote for Morris who go to great lengths to come up with justification. Opening day starts is a cute thing to cite on a HoF plaque, but it is your actual performance that should put you in not what day your manager sent you to the mound.
   9. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4325470)
Palmeiro has a failed drug test. The evidence against Sosa is he hit a bunch of HRs and English is his second language.

Yes, I get the difference, but the author doesn't seem to. Or is using lazy shorthand, I guess.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4325490)
A ballot that Andy will mostly agree with. (Can't remember his stance on Sosa) At least he is strong in his conviction that there should be more than a whisper campaign to avoid voting for someone. Do not agree with him in the slightest on Sosa, but I don't expect there to be a ballot or voter that I'm 100% in alignment with either. Good ballot for the most part even if I disagree with his reasoning.

Of course the Morris vote really diminishes the quality of the ballot, but that ship has sailed.
   11. Danny Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4325497)
5. Social media assassin (Templeusox) Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4325423)
Palmeiro tested positive for steroids. A little different than Sosa.

6. AJM Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4325424)
Palmeiro has a failed drug test. The evidence against Sosa is he hit a bunch of HRs and English is his second language.

While not as solid evidence as MLB announcing it, the NYT reported that Sosa failed the 2003 test.
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4325502)
A ballot that Andy will mostly agree with. (Can't remember his stance on Sosa)

I had both Sosa and Clemens on my HOM/HOF ballot, as well as Bagwell and Piazza. If there's any real evidence that any of those four were juicers, I've yet to see it produced.
   13. boteman Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4325505)
Bob Ryan should stick to his Golden Snow Shovel contests.
   14. Morty Causa Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4325509)
When it comes to making a logical case based on evidence he's all over the place. Too, what groups Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa? It's almost like the Tinkers to Evers to Chance ditty. What evidence is there against Clemens--one thoroughtly discredited accuser. What's the evidence against Sosa? Nothing at all, so far.

Too, Morris and Raines are not good choices. There are better players to choose.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4325524)
When it comes to making a logical case based on evidence he's all over the place. Too, what groups Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa? It's almost like the Tinkers to Evers to Chance ditty. What evidence is there against Clemens--one thoroughtly discredited accuser. What's the evidence against Sosa? Nothing at all, so far.


I think the evidence for Clemens is strong enough that a voter can legitimately feel qualified in not voting for him(it's not strong enough for me to say he's guilty, but there is a reason a trial has 12 jurors, it doesn't take as much convincing for everyone) I do not think there is enough evidence to put Sosa in that light, but I understand the innuendo is pretty strong in regards to Sosa. It's enough of a distinction going from Sosa to Piazza that I can see the line being drawn there. I think it's a silly distinction, but it's there.

Too, Morris and Raines are not good choices. There are better players to choose.


Agree on Morris, what are the better choices than Raines though? Someone has mentioned Trammell, beyond that who? I wouldn't put Walker or Edgar in before Raines, Lofton's case is too defense numbers oriented to trust, so who is he leaving out?
   16. Karl from NY Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4325531)
Sosa also had the corked bat. That's enough to establish him as willing to cheat, so steroids isn't a far leap from there. I'm not sure I believe that argument, but plenty of bloviators do.
   17. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4325539)
Even if he never used PEDs you could disqualify Sosa as a cheater just on the corked bat thing if you wanted to.
   18. Morty Causa Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4325546)
What is the evidence against Clemens? Then ask yourself, what taints that evidence, and when you take both into account, what are you left with?

First, I should say I don't think Raines makes the cut on principle, not just comparatively. But there are some not in the HOF who are better than he is--this is not to say that I think they should be in. Raines's value depends too much on baserunning and on aggregation over a long career. Walker is better. More value over a more concentrated time span. Edgar too, Trammell, McGwire, Palmeiro, Keith Hernandez. Not to mention Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa. But, yeah, the cut for a corner outfield is, or should be, above Raines. If it really mattered to me, I should add.

EDIT: Not to mention guys who are no longer on the ballot.
   19. Danny Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4325552)
Even if you don't care about PEDs or corked bats, you could easily leave Sosa off your ballot.

There are 9 guys on the ballot who (IMO) clearly have a better case than Sosa: Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, Trammell, Raines, Schilling, Biggio, Walker, and Piazza. That leaves Sosa contending with McGwire, Edgar, Palmeiro, and Lofton for the 10th spot on a full ballot, and I think Sosa only comes out ahead there if you focus on consecutive-years peak.
   20. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4325562)
What is the evidence against Clemens? Then ask yourself, what taints that evidence, and when you take both into account, what are you left with?
This presumes we have to apply the strict falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus standards of the courtroom to the evidence against Clemens. That strikes me as an altogether too common mistake made by people who are hashing out the question of whether to consider someone a steroid cheat or not. I for one do not need proof beyond a reasonable doubt -- this isn't a criminal case we're talking about, it's election to the Hall of Fame -- I need something that satisfies my understanding of the 'preponderance of the evidence.'

I'm willing to grant that people are going to apply that standard in different ways, hence I'm not about to get all huffy towards those who come down on this differently from me, but I consider Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, and Palmeiro to be well above such a preponderance, and Sosa right on the line. (As a conservative who also remembers the general caliber of the NY Times' sports reporting in other matters, I'm not inclined to grant them oracular status.) Bagwell and Piazza are safely on the other side: whispers and the plaintive bleats of Murray Chass ain't even close to being enough.

It's a messy moral calculus to be sure, but it's the best I can do to satisfy my conscience. Luckily, it doesn't matter one way or another because I'm just some damn schlub, not a BBWAA voter.
   21. Morty Causa Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4325573)
This presumes we have to apply the strict falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus standards of the courtroom to the evidence against Clemens.


It presumes no such thing. It merely asks the basis for your conclusion, and what conduces against that, and how you reconcile the two. The only thing it presumes is that you are using reason and some evidence.

You didn't answer the questions It has nothing to do directly with particular standards of legal proof. What is the evidence against Clemens--and what contravenes its veracity? Forget about legal standards of proof. Is it enough that someone make accusation? Is that it?
   22. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4325576)
Bob Ryan:
I consider 21 to be quite legitimate candidates

So I left three spots blank.

There is, I believe, a very real chance that no one will be elected this year.

Jeepers, Bob... y'think?
   23. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4325588)
I've enjoyed Bob Ryan at the Globe for many years, so it makes me sad to see such intellectual inconsistency from a smart guy. He seems to be arbitrarily applying standards of PED abuse. He claims 21 people are worthy candidates - but leaves several slots blank...then bemoans the fact that nobody may earn induction next summer. He dings the sabermetric community for using newfangled stats to wonk its way into opposition...then uses ERA as the example. He used to not vote for Morris...but now does.

I really think nobody is getting in, and it is not just because of all of the contradictions present between voters. It's also because of all of the contradictions within many individual voters.
   24. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4325600)
...The Morris candidacy has become extremely controversial, his advocates being old-line baseball sorts who view him as the quintessential gun-slinging Ace of the Staff (14 Opening Day starts) and his detractors being Sabermetric zealots who decry a 3.90 career ERA that would be the highest ever to be so enshrined, and who discredit the notion that he pitched to the score, thus accounting for an inflated ERA. I wasn’t always a yes man. But I became one several years ago and I hope he gets in.
So, is he acknowledging that the zealots proved Morris did not pitch to the score?

In any case, has anyone ever compiled a list of HOF pitchers and their Opening Day starts?

(I love seeing Opening Day and Spring Training capitalized. Wheeee!)
   25. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4325603)
This presumes we have to apply the strict falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus standards of the courtroom to the evidence against Clemens. That strikes me as an altogether too common mistake made by people who are hashing out the question of whether to consider someone a steroid cheat or not. I for one do not need proof beyond a reasonable doubt -- this isn't a criminal case we're talking about, it's election to the Hall of Fame -- I need something that satisfies my understanding of the 'preponderance of the evidence.'

I'm willing to grant that people are going to apply that standard in different ways, hence I'm not about to get all huffy towards those who come down on this differently from me, but I consider Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, and Palmeiro to be well above such a preponderance, and Sosa right on the line. (As a conservative who also remembers the general caliber of the NY Times' sports reporting in other matters, I'm not inclined to grant them oracular status.)

This is the best summary of a no vote for certain players that I've read in quite a while. Preponderance v. Reasonable doubt works very well for me.

As for the NYTimes' reliability, I think questioning it is something people of all political persuasions can get behind.
   26. Morty Causa Posted: December 15, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4325610)
"Preponderance of the evidence" still requires--oh, never mind. This was Ray's and Nieporent's baby. I'll leave it to them, if they are interested. But preponderance of the evidence does not equate to deciding it however you want to.
   27. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 15, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4325623)
This presumes we have to apply the strict falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus standards of the courtroom to the evidence against Clemens.

The BBWAA prefers to use a different Latin principle to arrive at its conclusion, which is taken from Hannibal: aut viam inveniam aut faciam. ("I will either find a way, or I will make one.")
   28. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4325631)
@26--of course. I don't see where I suggested otherwise.
   29. Morty Causa Posted: December 15, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4325632)
   30. Walt Davis Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4325679)
While not as solid evidence as MLB announcing it, the NYT reported that Sosa failed the 2003 test.

Well ... the NYT had a reporter (Michael Schmidt I believe) who would regularly call and call and call lawyers (or paralegals or personal assistants in charge of copying or ...) who had seen the list until he could get two to say (or not deny or whatever) the same name. Sosa's name was released by the NYT something like 6-12 months after the first big names suggesting it took a lot of calling. To my knowledge, nobody at the NY Times has ever claimed to have seen the actual list of names.

I need something that satisfies my understanding of the 'preponderance of the evidence.'

But what is that evidence in Clemens' case? It's nothing other than the word of McNamee and one conversation with Pettitte. McNamee has changed his story plenty of times so no reasonable person can consider him reliable. And Pettitte himself has said he may have misunderstood the conversation.

I will come back to the basic point though. What everybody needs is some minimal evidence that these people broke the rules. Steroid use was not against the rules of baseball during most of Bonds/Clemens careers and, once steroids were against the rules, they were (to our knowledge) clean.

Even if they shot up with roids every day for 15 years pre-testing, they didn't cheat.

Why is that so hard for people to understand?

If steroid use concerns you, your problem is with MLB and the MLBPA ca 1990-2003 so exact your revenge on MLB and the MLBPA ca 1990-2003 ... good luck with that.
   31. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4325758)
I will come back to the basic point though. What everybody needs is some minimal evidence that these people broke the rules. Steroid use was not against the rules of baseball during most of Bonds/Clemens careers and, once steroids were against the rules, they were (to our knowledge) clean.

Even if they shot up with roids every day for 15 years pre-testing, they didn't cheat.

Why is that so hard for people to understand?


I am fairly certain that MLB does not have a rule on the books that prevents you from abducting an opposing player, and keeping him bound and gagged in your basement for the duration of a game. I would still consider that cheating.
   32. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4325763)
And after baseball follows up specific complaints from its own employees about a rise in kidnaping by running television ads saying that "chicks dig the AWOL," and when teams strike clauses from contracts that would have punished abductors for abducting, and if team doctors conduct in-house seminars for players instructing them on the safest methods for breathing through a mouth gag, and when Bud Selig tells Congress he was against performance enhancing detention and took dramatic steps to stop it ten years ago (which nobody had noticed), that'd be an ideal comparison to how actual MLB actually handled actual steroids.
   33. JJ1986 Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4325772)
I am fairly certain that MLB does not have a rule on the books that prevents you from abducting an opposing player, and keeping him bound and gagged in your basement for the duration of a game. I would still consider that cheating.


This didn't work out for Harpo and Chico.
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4325786)
Why is that so hard for people to understand?


It's a matter of principle. Just because it's not against the written rules, it's potentially against the spirit of the game. (Mind you, I cannot fathom how making yourself better to improve your teams chances of winning is against the spirit of the game, but still somehow that is one perception)

   35. Srul Itza Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4325805)
It's a matter of principle. Just because it's not against the written rules, it's potentially against the spirit of the game.


The Spirit of the Game, for over 100 years, has been, "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't competin'."

Scuffed balls, corked bats, binocular toting spies stealing signs, watered-down base paths, altered batter's boxes and catcher's boxes and pitcher's mounds, and whatever you could get away with, have always been the order of the day, because "It ain't cheatin' if'n you don't get caught."

That is why baseball is the true National Past-time of this wonderful jay-walking, tax-evading, smuggling, drug-using, Prohibition ignoring, "rules are made to be broken" nation of ours.*


*Edit: One of my favorite example is how Oklahomans are proud of their nickname being Sooners -- meaning people who cheated by sneaking in early.
   36. Knock on any Iorg Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4325820)
@32 - Wilson Ramos is not amused.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4325855)
against the spirit of the game.

Which in addition to spitballs, etc. brings us back to greenies which apparently were within the spirit of the game.

Or standard painkillers, etc. It might of course be nothing more than a dodge, but almost all of the players who have admitted use say they did so to overcome injuries and stay healthy. Doing everything you can to take the field is absolutely within the spirit of the game.

I am fairly certain that MLB does not have a rule on the books that prevents you from abducting an opposing player, and keeping him bound and gagged in your basement for the duration of a game.

Alfonso Soriano is available.

Also, if they are in uniform at the time of the abduction, they may violate Rule 3.09:

Players of opposing teams shall not fraternize at any time while in uniform.

Granted, that would perhaps be an overly generous definition of "fraternize."

The current CBA does include:

Players may be disciplined for just cause for conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of Baseball including, but not limited to, engaging in conduct in violation of federal, state or local law.

Kidnapping is against the law in almost every state ... and given at least one of the players involved probably crossed state lines, it might be a federal case.

I have no idea how long this clause has been in there but I'd imagine it's been in there for some time. Steroid use without a prescription would of course be a violation of the law ... yet I don't think (pre-testing) that any team ever sought to discipline a player for illegal steroid use. They haven't, to my knowledge, sought any discipline for players convicted of DUI or spousal abuse either. They did (try to) discipline some coke users in the 70s-80s though.

Anyway, I think we can all agree that the abduction of ordinary citizens would not fall under the character clause in the HoF voting criteria.

   38. Suff Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:51 AM (#4325887)
I'm not sure Palmeiro knowingly did steroids, either. His story was that he got a tainted B-12 shot from Miguel Tejada, who (I think I recall) was in the Mitchell Report as someone who was masking PEDs in his "B-12 shots," which would line up with Palmeiro's story, if one were inclined to believe him. Given that he was going to get to 3,000 hits and had easily surpassed 500 HR by the time he wagged his finger at the hearing, it seems reasonable that, even if he were lying to Congress, the only way he would fail a drug test was that he unknowingly injected them.

So, yes, he failed a drug test, but his denial is plausible.
   39. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:22 AM (#4325893)
re:#38 - Tejada also pled guilty to lying to Congress in his 2005 interview. I sometimes wonder if it is possible that Palmeiro was the only guy in MLB who didn't know that "B-12" was clubhouse slang for a steroid injection. At the very least, the criticism for throwing Tejada "under the bus" seems a tad unfair.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:26 AM (#4325895)
His story was that he got a tainted B-12 shot from Miguel Tejada

This is not quite true. He was (reportedly) asked if he'd done anything unusual along those lines and he said he'd gotten a B-12 shot from Tejada. Palmeiro never claimed the shot was tainted.

The media did its usual fine job. This was the ESPN story. Note the first paragraph:

Rafael Palmeiro said a vitamin he received from Miguel Tejada might have caused the positive test for steroid use that led to the first baseman's suspension

OK, looks a bit like him throwing Tejada under the bus. But, the second paragraph seems to give the "facts" as relayed to them by the source:

Palmeiro said he received vitamin B-12 from Tejada, a person familiar with Palmeiro's unsuccessful grievance hearing to overturn the suspension told The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the proceedings were secret.

So, even in the initial "controversy", all that is actually "quoted" is Tejada saying he received B-12 from Tejada. "Tainted" is not attributed to Palmeiro in this story nor is any claim that the shot from Tejada may have caused the test. Maybe he did say that but you can't tell from this mess.

Later in the story:

Beattie said that Palmeiro would issue a statement denying that he accused Tejada of giving him a substance that may have caused a positive test.

and ...

His lawyers, Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw LLP, issued a statement Thursday night saying they "are disturbed about the misleading reports being leaked by unnamed sources who claim knowledge of the investigation."

"Rafael Palmeiro has never implicated any player in the intentional use or distribution of steroids, or any other illegal substance, in any interview or testimony," the statement said.


Finally ....

According to the AP's source familiar with the investigation, Palmeiro listed the B-12 as a possible reason for the positive test but did not make any definitive accusation.

which could mean just about anything.

In short, clear as mud.

It would also be interesting to know how much was found. Palmeiro claimed he was clean when tested 3 weeks later, presumably he was clean in any tests prior to that (don't know if there were any) but I don't know how long these things take to clear the system. It's possibly like the Contador case in cycling. At his appeal, Contador suggested it was tainted beef. The ICU (or whoever) claimed that he had blood doped using his own plasma, plasma taken during the offseason when he was roiding ... near as I can tell they presented no real evidence of this.* The appeal panel didn't find either of those very plausible and suggested it was most likely a tainted supplement. The one thing everybody seemed to agree on was that the amount detected was trivial and couldn't be performance-enhancing. He got suspended two years and his TdF title stripped.

* They claimed to have found tiny bits of plastic in his sample which they claimed is common with stored blood (and may well be for all I know). While this might be evidence that he was blood doping, he wasn't accused of blood doping he was accused of roid use. As far as I know they presented no evidence of offseason roiding or that the roids got there via plasma.

EDIT: "Tainted" is not attributed to Palmeiro in this story nor is any claim that the shot from Tejada may have caused the test. Oops! Edit failure. As I later noted in my own post the story does claim Palmeiro listed this as a possible reason (acc to the source). It was deeply enough buried I missed it the first time then meant to go back and correct that bit.
   41. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 16, 2012 at 03:48 AM (#4325912)
Steroid use was not against the rules of baseball during most of Bonds/Clemens careers and, once steroids were against the rules, they were (to our knowledge) clean.

Steroids became a controlled substance in the US in 1990 and were against MLB rules since 1991. Both Bonds and Clemens played a majority of their career after 1991. If they used steroids after 1991, they cheated. If they did so after 1990 they broke the law.
   42. DFA Posted: December 16, 2012 at 03:53 AM (#4325914)
I am impressed that Ryan is voting for Martinez. That more than anything is what seems inconsistent. But I think the notion of looking for 100 percent consistency is as foolish as counting crows, unless you want to let anybody in.
   43. cardsfanboy Posted: December 16, 2012 at 08:11 AM (#4325929)
Steroids became a controlled substance in the US in 1990 and were against MLB rules since 1991. Both Bonds and Clemens played a majority of their career after 1991. If they used steroids after 1991, they cheated. If they did so after 1990 they broke the law.


And when MLB goes after pot smokers and the like, then it's an apt comparison.

As to 1991... I really hope you aren't talking about that bogus "cover my ass, because I'm an asshat memo" from Fay Vincent, that didn't and couldn't ban steroids?
   44. cardsfanboy Posted: December 16, 2012 at 08:13 AM (#4325930)
I am impressed that Ryan is voting for Martinez. That more than anything is what seems inconsistent. But I think the notion of looking for 100 percent consistency is as foolish as counting crows, unless you want to let anybody in.


Why is that inconsistent... I think Martinez is by far the weakest candidate on his list,(note I block out all votes of Morris to prevent rage) but not sure where the inconsistency comes from.

I do think, he needs to realize that obp and ops are two different stats though.
   45. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4325997)
Ok, Bob, you don't want to vote for two of the top 15 players of all time, I'm done reading your self-important articles.
   46. Booey Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4326024)
While not as solid evidence as MLB announcing it, the NYT reported that Sosa failed the 2003 test.

Didn't this report basically amount to "an anonymous source says that Sosa's name appeared on a list that's never been revealed to the public?"

Not only is that not SOLID evidence, it's not evidence at all.
   47. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 16, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4326118)

Didn't this report basically amount to "an anonymous source says that Sosa's name appeared on a list that's never been revealed to the public that also contains more names than the number reported to have tested positive?"

Not only is that not SOLID evidence, it's not evidence at all.


FTFY
   48. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 16, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4326124)
Didn't this report basically amount to "an anonymous source says that Sosa's name appeared on a list that's never been revealed to the public?"

Not only is that not SOLID evidence, it's not evidence at all.
Yeah, this was my recollection, too. Honestly, if I had to guess, I'd say that Sosa was a PED user. But it would be a GUESS. That's not anything approaching evidence. That's a rumor about a rumor, regardless of whether it appeared in The Paper Of Record™ or not.

Besides, there are far better reasons to not vote for Sosa for the Hall of Fame. For example, because he speaks Spanish and used an interpreter during his Congressional testimony.
   49. Danny Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4326134)
Some people don't seem to understand the difference between evidence and proof.
   50. Morty Causa Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4326142)
Some people don't seem to understand the connection between evidence and proof.
   51. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4326253)

"While not as solid evidence as MLB announcing it, the NYT reported that Sosa failed the 2003 test."

If he did not indeed fail it, that seems like as good a moneymaker as there is - arguably the richest news organization in the country, and clearly your name has been slimed by it.

And if Sosa couldn't have sued for various legal reasons, I would think that expressing anger at that legal limitation from the mountaintop would have been the play there.

Whatever one thinks of the NY Times' newsgathering efforts, one can assume that their attorneys don't allow idle speculation in an actionable case to slide right through...

   52. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:22 PM (#4326268)
IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that an honestly mistaken report of someone being on that list would not be actionable. And you certainly don't have to be a lawyer to see that things other than idle speculation can sometimes turn out to be untrue.
   53. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4326270)
Just the fact that Sosa didn't sue is basically an admission of guilt. After all, Roger Clemens took the BBWAA up on their "if it were me and I was falsely accused..." proposal, checking every suggested box and jumping every legal hurdle, and that's why he's going to reap the rewards of the writers' sincerity next month.

How much money did Clemens (plus Andy Pettitte and Brian Roberts) collect after the L.A. Times published a false account of Jason Grimsley's statements to the feds, and a U.S. attorney said the story was significantly inaccurate, and a U.S. magistrate branded the report's "manufacturing of facts" as "irresponsible," and the Times issued a public apology? That defamation case was as good a moneymaker as there is.
   54. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4326355)
IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that an honestly mistaken report of someone being on that list would not be actionable. And you certainly don't have to be a lawyer to see that things other than idle speculation can sometimes turn out to be untrue.


For a news media organization to defame a public figure requires "actual malice" in the United States. In practice it's basically an impossible standard to meet.
   55. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4326364)
For a news media organization to defame a public figure requires "actual malice" in the United States. In practice it's basically an impossible standard to meet.

It's something on the order of a willful disregard of known fact(s), and even though what the Times did to Sosa was pretty sleazy, it's hard to see how it could be sued successfully. I think that principle was set down by the Supreme Court nearly 50 years ago in the Sullivan case, IIRC.
   56. bachslunch Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4327572)
Steroids became a controlled substance in the US in 1990 and were against MLB rules since 1991. Both Bonds and Clemens played a majority of their career after 1991. If they used steroids after 1991, they cheated. If they did so after 1990 they broke the law.

--if "controlled substance use" (with or without possible performance enhancing benefits) is the issue, amphetamines have been a controlled substance in the US from 1970 on. Since that date, Mike Schmidt has admitted to their use and Willie Mays has been implicated in their use via John Milner's court testimony. And despite this, nobody cared enough to keep them out of the HoF.

--if "cheating" is the issue, Gaylord Perry and Whitey Ford threw illegal pitches during their careers and John McGraw grabbed base runners belts to impede their progress while playing in the field. And despite this, nobody cared enough to keep them out of the HoF.

--if "against MLB rules" is the issue, there was no formal testing in place with clearly codified penalties for positives re steroids until 2005. For players who tested positive after that time, one might possibly have an argument.

--regardless, no known or suspected steroid user is on the Banned List for PED use.
   57. Ron J2 Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4327632)
were against MLB rules since 1991


Really, really old ground for everybody, but the guy that wrote the memo you're indirectly referencing was 100% clear that it didn't apply to members of the PA (as Vincent said in an interview with Maury Brown, at the time their primary focus was cocaine and the PA wasn't giving any ground on that front). It wasn't within his powers to do so.

That's not to say he couldn't discipline for use that was a matter of public record (as for instance he could discipline a player who was busted for coke), but that's it. First offense would likely have required some form of counseling but it was also probable that MLB would get the right for on demand testing for the remainder of a player's career.

It's also worth noting that the same memo references amphetamines. Indeed. treats them exactly the same way.
   58. Ron J2 Posted: December 18, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4327639)
#40 As DMN has pointed out on many occasions Palmeiro never fingered the B12 shot. He was asked for a list of things like shots around the time of the test. The Tejada shot was the only semi-plausible explanation. As I recall it, Tejeda's B-12 was tested and found to contain B-12.

Incidentally add this to the list of circumstances that make me look like a steroid user. B-12 (doctor's orders).

EDIT: No bacne. My outbreak was mostly on my thighs.
   59. dlf Posted: December 18, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4327665)
But what is that evidence in Clemens' case? It's nothing other than the word of McNamee and one conversation with Pettitte.


There was also the needle McNamee kept in the Miller Lite can for several years which had traces of both Clemens' DNA and a banned chemical (can't remember if it was hGH or steroid). The prosecution presented a witness who testified that because of the small amount of human DNA on the needle, it would have been impossible for McNamee to have contaminated the sample. I don't recall whether the defense directly contested that fact or presented its own expert to argue that the sample was contaminated or just relied on their many other times showing that McN was a serial liar who admittedly fabricated evidence while serving as a police officer.
   60. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4327676)
I'm glad to see all the self-righteous writers berating the Eagles and NFL over the news that Andy Reid's son Garrett had 19 vials of steroids in his room at the time of his death. G. Reid's postition: volunteer strength and conditioning coach for the Eagles.

Wait, are they crickets I hear?
   61. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: December 18, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4327694)
All of this stuff surrounding steroids and the HOF has changed my mind some and made me very sympathetic to the cases of Pete Rose and even Joe Jackson. Not so much for reinstatement, but for the HOF itself (I see no reason why they should be connected). While their crimes are, I believe, qualitatively different, their qualifications are the same. I've come to believe that it's the qualifications that matter.
   62. Morty Causa Posted: December 18, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4327774)
No honoring society just looks at qualifications only.

I mean, we all know that just as to what happened on the field, they qualify. So, what would it be that the HOF would confer on them anyway that they don't have already if it isn't something extra-dimensional? Are they just rubber-stamping what we all know? If so, why would it be such a big deal?

Because apparently it is.

There's something else involved.

No honoring system honors those who compromise the integrity of the thing they are set up to honor. That would be absurd. Suicidal even.

Somehow, I think you and ohthers really want to say either what Shoeless and Shoe in Mouth did was not that bad--it didn't compromise baseball's integrity--or it's time to forgive them for having done so. (Of course, you know that hasn't pass muster historically.) So, which is it? Because what they did does strike at the heart of what makes baseball matter. You can't make them greater without making baseball seem less.

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