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Monday, January 31, 2022

Doug Glanville: Why I’m glad Barry Bonds wasn’t elected to the Hall of Fame

I don’t see why this distinction cannot be made who took PEDs and also had a record-setting impact. If we want to recognize PED users in the Hall, we can build them an exhibit, or even their own wing. We should acknowledge all of our history, both glorious and ugly. Like I am, with my paper, they can be in the Hall—as a fixture and as a recognition of their accomplishments. But I don’t see why they need a plaque.

What we celebrate—what we enshrine—should have a different set of criteria. We cannot treat induction into the Hall as simply an act of historical graduation—automatic entry into the Hall because the numbers are in record books—especially when the inductees did not stand on the shoulders of their predecessors so much as trample them into the ground with glee.

This is how society too often frames history: The winners tell the stories and end up on the pedestal. But how they get there matters, and if we put PEDs on a pedestal, it is one built with bricks etched with the names of many players left in their wake who also have compelling stories to tell.

Every record that Bonds broke was against another player. Bonds faced pitchers, just as Roger Clemens faced hitters. And the fact that so many baseball players—myself included—had to consistently try to beat out people who had a constant advantage is not something I can brush off simply because their final numbers made our eyes pop out of our heads.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 31, 2022 at 01:02 PM | 57 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: barry bonds, hall of fame, peds

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   1. The Duke Posted: January 31, 2022 at 01:53 PM (#6063204)
Couldn’t have said it better. Hooray for Doug for making the broader point and moving beyond the “he would have made the Hall without it “ argument. That’s never really been the issue for those that vote no.

He also tackles the “is it a shrine or a museum”. It’s really two different things. The plaque room is a shrine - the rest is a museum. There ought to be a place for the PED guys in the latter but not the former.
   2. dejarouehg Posted: January 31, 2022 at 02:15 PM (#6063207)
I didn't read the article but the issue of players complaining that "every record that Bonds broke was against another player. Bonds faced pitchers, just as Roger Clemens faced hitters. And the fact that so many baseball players—myself included—had to consistently try to beat out people who had a constant advantage is not something I can brush off simply because their final numbers made our eyes pop out of our heads...." rings completely hollow.

If a player has a complaint, speak with his union leadership Orza and Fehr who were vociferous in their refusal to allow this to be a divisive issue amongst players. Rick Helling voiced his concerns and was basically told to stuff it. Kenny Rogers told his wife that if was ever killed by a line drive, to be prepared to sue the game. Reggie Jefferson openly accused Piazza...crickets.

And please define, "so many?" I don't buy it.

Personally, I've come full circle, though I completely agree with his two-tier solution. I'd put Bonds in the Hall because I thought he was the best player in the game who already had a hall-worthy career by 99. (Don't feel similarly about Clemens.)

And let me know when Glanville campaigns to have IRod, Bagwell and the others removed. It's a mess and everyone has a role. (But, can't we all agree that Selig should not be in the Hall?)
   3. Karl from NY Posted: January 31, 2022 at 03:13 PM (#6063217)
Honestly, Selig does belong. We don't like what he did but his job was to do that stuff and he did it well. We don't like the publicly extorted mallparks, but that was his job. We don't like stuff like realignment or expanded playoffs or dispersing the separated leagues, but that's what his employers wanted. He played cronyism with ownership of the Brewers and Expos/Marlins/Red Sox, but again that's his job. He cleaned up steroids eventually, if belatedly. The tied All-Star Game and ensuing "this time it counts" was silly, but that's a minor blemish.

He presided over humongous increases in revenue; maybe he was riding the rising tide of everything else in the 90's, but the guy in charge gets the credit. As a commissioner, he really did do his job. I'd point to the strike as the only thing he really failed on.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: January 31, 2022 at 03:15 PM (#6063219)
That’s quite the high bar for starring pitchers, dejarouehg. Clemens was already above 100 WAR by 99.

But I agree with your first point. If these clean guys didn’t like the conditions they were playing under, they should have brought them up with the union at the time.
   5. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 31, 2022 at 04:39 PM (#6063231)
Glanville is usually a good read, interesting guy and always knowledgeable. Though I appreciate his comments, I must disagree with his proposal.

As both 2 and 4 pointed out, if you didn't like it at the time, you should've done something about it. It was common knowledge that a significant portion of MLB players were roiding at one time or another and there were ample opportunities for a player or groups of players to address the issue. It takes courage to swim against the tide but calling it out now, after the fact, seems pissweak to me.
   6. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 31, 2022 at 04:42 PM (#6063232)
I can appreciate Doug's argument. But PEDs wouldn't have turned him into Manny Ramirez.
   7. Hombre Brotani Posted: January 31, 2022 at 05:57 PM (#6063254)
As both 2 and 4 pointed out, if you didn't like it at the time, you should've done something about it. It was common knowledge that a significant portion of MLB players were roiding at one time or another and there were ample opportunities for a player or groups of players to address the issue. It takes courage to swim against the tide but calling it out now, after the fact, seems pissweak to me.
This is where I am as well. Now that baseball can no longer make money off Bonds the player, now that other players aren't getting a slice of revenues generated by the selling of his merch, now that columnists are done writing their odes to his play, now that there are no consequences left, everyone's suddenly Spartacus about the issue.

It seems to me Bonds' great crime wasn't PEDs -- Ortiz's induction shows how easy an issue it is to sidestep if only people want to -- it was breaking the most important career record in American sports. If Bonds had retired at 754 homers, his plaque would be in the Hall right now, collecting its fifth year of dust.
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: January 31, 2022 at 06:13 PM (#6063258)
If Bonds had retired at 754 homers, his plaque would be in the Hall right now, collecting its fifth year of dust.


What's keeping dinger-less Roger out?


   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 31, 2022 at 06:17 PM (#6063260)
It seems to me Bonds' great crime wasn't PEDs -- Ortiz's induction shows how easy an issue it is to sidestep if only people want to -- it was breaking the most important career record in American sports. If Bonds had retired at 754 homers, his plaque would be in the Hall right now, collecting its fifth year of dust.

Nah, his great crime was being a huge #######. Dude was domestic violence central. No one GAF about him getting screwed on the HoF.
   10. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 31, 2022 at 06:40 PM (#6063263)
I wish it was Bonds' domestic violence that is what is keeping him out of the hall. What a nice world that would be to live in.
   11. Stevey Posted: January 31, 2022 at 06:42 PM (#6063264)
Nah, his great crime was being a huge #######.


What's gotten all the other huge ####### in?
   12. villageidiom Posted: January 31, 2022 at 06:44 PM (#6063265)
As both 2 and 4 pointed out, if you didn't like it at the time, you should've done something about it.
That's an even more pissweak argument than what Glanville is doing. "It was illegal but you didn't stop it at the time, so you should accept it now"??? Come on.

Even the players who "took a stand" against PEDs at the time refused to name names, and that's because the names they knew were their own teammates. If 30 teams are doing it, and you rat out your own team, now 29 teams are doing it. That's the nature of competitive sports and the disincentives therein for someone to take that stand. Truly taking a stand on PEDs along the lines that people suggest would have required the first one doing so to quit MLB. Like, if Rick Helling named names, he would be unemployable on his own team and untradeable to any other. He could either quit and name names, or stay in and name names then be released and nobody would pick him up. That's asking a lot. Not saying that someone shouldn't have taken that stand, but it's obvious why nobody did.

It's easy to say Glanville should have done something about it at the time, but whether he should have or shouldn't have, or did or didn't, does not make the behavior he had a problem with any less wrong. Your argument isn't about what is right or wrong; it's about Glanville shutting up about it.

And I guess that's the thing that ultimately gets me. Bonds isn't in the HOF because the people who think steroid use doesn't matter haven't sufficiently convinced the voters who think otherwise of their argument. At this point the arguments in either direction boil down to "you're stupid, shut up" which is no way to win people over. People seem a lot more pleased with making those arguments than with the voting results those arguments have achieved.

AFAICT the argument for Bonds is "he's one of the greatest players ever, and certainly the greatest players of our time, so it's foolish to keep him out", which the "lawbreaking < character" crowd hears as so it's OK to lack character if you can hit the ball which is not a convincing argument at all. To them such an argument indicates a lack of character on the part of the person making the argument. It's not a winning argument.

If I were trying to convince a writer that Bonds deserved enshrinement, I'd take this approach:

1. Obviously in terms of baseball performance, he's a lock. It comes down to the character clause.

2. The argument against him on character is that he used illegal substances. That is, he broke the law to gain a competitive advantage. Many players did this, but Bonds is different.

- Bonds absolutely used illegal substances. There is evidence and testimony, including his own, that confirm this.

- Bonds has testified under oath that he didn't knowingly take steroids. That is, he used what his trainers gave him, but he wasn't aware it was illegal. Whether he's lying about his knowledge at the time we'll never know, but there's nothing in the testimony of others that's sufficient to conclude he was lying. His trainers knew it was illegal, but they didn't let on to him that it was.

- Bonds continued to perform at a high level for a few years during the MLB/MLBPA testing program, with no reported positive tests.

- These facts are different from many of the other players who were under PED suspicion. Some have tested positive; some never played in the testing era; others have admitted use; others have substantive testimony and/or other evidence against their innocence or ignorance. Bonds might not be different in the sense of PED usage, but he is different in the sense that there is no evidence that Bonds knowingly broke the law. And this is not to suggest Bonds didn't know the law, as much as it is Bonds assumed his trainers were not breaking the law nor having him do the same.

- In a question of character, this is absolutely a material difference. Knowingly breaking the law, vs. assuming people working with him weren't breaking the law? That's absolutely a material difference in character.

- Is "putting trust in the wrong people", in the sense of character for the sake of HOF worthiness, enough to keep someone with Bonds' credentials out of the Hall of Fame? No. Simply no. Others? Sure, you could make that argument. But this isn't about them, or steroid users in general. It's about him, and his specific case, and the evidence we have. There's not enough there to wipe away everything else he did - including in the period before he started putting trust in this set of wrong people.
   13. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: January 31, 2022 at 06:50 PM (#6063266)
Bonds had retired at 754 homers, his plaque would be in the Hall right now, collecting its fifth year of dust


I think it's more that if Bonds hadn't broken Aaron's record, and McGwire hadn't broken Maris' record, and Sosa hadn't averaged 60 HRs a year, and Clemens hadn't been possibly the greatest pitcher ever, and so on, that they'd have plaques.

And for the sluggers at least, this is aided by the high offense era in general. Silly balls lifted lots of boats. (Not Clemens', of course.)

When Bonds became Superman he wasn't playing baseball anymore. He got 120 intentional walks one year. One thing that people are reacting to is that some of these guys, and especially Bonds, broke baseball in ways that have no precedent since Ruth started hitting with an uppercut. If Mac had just been Harmon Killebrew, and if Sosa had just been Orlando Cepeda, and if Bonds had just been Frank Robinson (which he basically was prior to 99), I suspect that the moral furor and pearl clutching would be somewhat less dramatic. Not just about these players in particular, but about PEDs in general.
   14. Adam Starblind Posted: January 31, 2022 at 06:58 PM (#6063267)
Glanville was 28 in 1999. It’s a little harsh to expect the guy to have been Rosa Parks or shut up.
   15. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 31, 2022 at 06:58 PM (#6063268)
That's asking a lot. Not saying that someone shouldn't have taken that stand, but it's obvious why nobody did.


Yes it is asking a lot. It takes courage to swim against the tide.

My issue is with everyone sitting back, accepting it, THEN coming out 15 years later and complaining about it. I'm not suggesting the behaviour was "any less wrong" but at the time other players had a chance to interfere. If there were a lot of them out there not juicing, then they should've got together and bumped up the concerns to the higher ups and gone from there.

It's like saying, "hey you know Harry that old guy in the office in the 80's who used to pinch all the women on the arse 40 years ago, well we should've done something about that! That bastard!
   16. Adam Starblind Posted: January 31, 2022 at 07:05 PM (#6063271)
. but there's nothing in the testimony of others that's sufficient to conclude he was lying.


It just seems like bu11####.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: January 31, 2022 at 07:08 PM (#6063272)
That's an even more pissweak argument than what Glanville is doing. "It was illegal but you didn't stop it at the time, so you should accept it now"??? Come on.


He didn't have to name names. He belonged to a union. That union should have been interested in protecting its members, a group which includes both those who didn't juice or those who only did so because they felt pressured to keep pace. Yet Helling was seemingly the only person in that union who ever raised the issue.

If Glanville was raising these issues with the union back then, and his concerns were falling on deaf ears, then opine away now (but he certainly makes no mention that he was addressing this issue when he was playing). But if he was like most other guys who said nothing then to fix what he finds so terrible about that era, I'm just not that interested in his take on the unfairness of it all now.
   18. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 31, 2022 at 07:56 PM (#6063276)
Good for Glanville. Bonds is rightly in the Hall of Merit, and that's enough.

He also tackles the “is it a shrine or a museum”. It’s really two different things. The plaque room is a shrine - the rest is a museum. There ought to be a place for the PED guys in the latter but not the former.

Exactly.
   19. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: January 31, 2022 at 08:31 PM (#6063280)
It's interesting seeing all the gnashing of teeth over Bonds compared to all the odes to "future Hall of Famer Von Miller" making it back to the Super Bowl today instead of "disgraced PED cheat Von Miller" in light of Miller's own failed PED test then failing another test a few years later by cutting a deal with the specimen collector letting him submit someone else's pee.
   20. Ron J Posted: January 31, 2022 at 08:50 PM (#6063284)
#12 No. The substances we have clear evidence of him using were not illegal at the time. You can put that down to sloppy drafting of the laws and that there was never any intent to make designer drugs legal, but there really isn't much dispute on this point.

There is some -- "oh he was using before the cream and the clear" but I don't find the evidence compelling.
   21. The Duke Posted: January 31, 2022 at 09:18 PM (#6063287)
You can’t expect ballplayers to blow whistles like that. My memory is shot but the guy who blew the whistle on the Astros incurred a load of blowback - a lot of people were happy - but in public he got whipped. It’s a very hard thing to do.

It’s also true that employees have a hard time saying that about their companies. They have families, a career, a reputation. Most companies have anonymous whistleblower lines which in my experience work really well unless the CEO or his mistress is the target. In that case you have to go outside or to the Board (with a threat to go outside ). In the case of baseball you can’t easily go to the press because many of the press are cozy with the teams so it’s a hard thing to do.

Many will deny these work but companies have learned that corruption or illegality charges that make it to the press cause far more damage than honestly pursuing them internally and self-reporting to the relevant agency. Penalties for self-reporting are far less egregious than if you are found out.

Say what you will about what Glanville did at the time but what’s he’s saying now is well thought out.
   22. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 31, 2022 at 09:22 PM (#6063289)
What's keeping dinger-less Roger out?
Is that true? I know one of the side effects of steroids is some…shriveling, but I didn’t know they could make your dinger fall off!
   23. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 31, 2022 at 10:14 PM (#6063296)
FWIW, Doug Glanville was on the MLBPA executive committee that negotiated the drug testing policy, wrote a book in 2010 which included arguments on why he thinks PED players shouldn't be in the Hall, and got his start in writing after a 2007 column he wrote about PEDs in baseball.
   24. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 31, 2022 at 11:59 PM (#6063302)
- Bonds absolutely used illegal substances. There is evidence and testimony, including his own, that confirm this.
There is, of course, no such evidence or testimony. Especially not his own.


EDIT: Well, actually, there's evidence he used amphetamines. But I assume that's not what you mean. You mean steroids (not illegal ones), but hearsay and conjecture, pace Lionel Hutz, are not evidence.
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 01, 2022 at 12:38 AM (#6063304)
Game on!
   26. Jack Sommers Posted: February 01, 2022 at 12:47 AM (#6063305)
I don't think it's possible to see one argument for or against that I haven't already read here over the last 15 years.

Has anyone ever actually been convinced to change their minds on this issue by the debate points of another primate ?
   27. Adam Starblind Posted: February 01, 2022 at 06:44 AM (#6063307)
. There is, of course, no such evidence


Last time when challenged on this statement you backed off and said their wasn’t any admissible evidence at trial or some such.
   28. Ron J Posted: February 01, 2022 at 07:47 AM (#6063310)
#27 So what do you think is evidence that Bonds used illegal substances? I've seen the allegations in Game of Shadows and don't find those compelling.
   29. jmurph Posted: February 01, 2022 at 07:51 AM (#6063311)
I don't think it's possible to see one argument for or against that I haven't already read here over the last 15 years.

Has anyone ever actually been convinced to change their minds on this issue by the debate points of another primate ?

I think I'm historically with the majority here (as in, let the guys in the Hall, it was a complicated era that is difficult to parse, etc.), but every time someone tries to blame it on Bud Selig and Tony LaRussa I get a little less sure of that (because those are such bad arguments, it makes me question the entire stance).
   30. Mefisto Posted: February 01, 2022 at 08:52 AM (#6063316)
Last time when challenged on this statement you backed off and said their wasn’t any admissible evidence at trial or some such.


I don't think DMN did that. I'm the one who keeps using "admissible evidence" because the word "evidence" has both a colloquial and a technical meaning and I want to distinguish those. I'm pretty sure DMN always uses the technical meaning without the qualifier.
   31. Adam Starblind Posted: February 01, 2022 at 09:32 AM (#6063320)
#27 So what do you think is evidence that Bonds used illegal substances? I've seen the allegations in Game of Shadows and don't find those compelling.


There's a difference between "evidence" and "compelling evidence." And I read Game of Shadows about 15 years ago, so I couldn't tell you whether it's compelling or not. But I do recall Anderson's records. Those are evidence. And it's also silly to dismiss the shape of his career--not to mention the shape of his body-- as "not evidence."

I don't think DMN did that. I'm the one who keeps using "admissible evidence" because the word "evidence" has both a colloquial and a technical meaning and I want to distinguish those. I'm pretty sure DMN always uses the technical meaning without the qualifier.


If I'm misremembering, then he's just wrong.
   32. Lassus Posted: February 01, 2022 at 10:07 AM (#6063322)

- opens door labeled 2008, dusts off chairs, pulls out popcorn -
   33. Rally Posted: February 01, 2022 at 10:35 AM (#6063324)
#31, the shape of Bonds’ career is unique. We’ve got a ton of other roiders, both proven and suspected, and none of them have shown the same pattern.

My conclusion is that you need something other than steroids to explain what Bonds was able to do.
   34. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 01, 2022 at 11:03 AM (#6063327)
He didn't have to name names. He belonged to a union. That union should have been interested in protecting its members, a group which includes both those who didn't juice or those who only did so because they felt pressured to keep pace. Yet Helling was seemingly the only person in that union who ever raised the issue.


Frank Thomas did as well.
   35. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 01, 2022 at 11:05 AM (#6063328)
My conclusion is that you need something other than steroids to explain what Bonds was able to do.
Doesn't this go without saying? Out of the (easily) thousands of baseball players using steroids who have played AA ball or better, only Bonds was able to hit like Bonds. That doesn't mean steroids didn't help him very significantly though.
   36. Adam Starblind Posted: February 01, 2022 at 11:28 AM (#6063333)
#31, the shape of Bonds’ career is unique. We’ve got a ton of other roiders, both proven and suspected, and none of them have shown the same pattern.

My conclusion is that you need something other than steroids to explain what Bonds was able to do.


I take your view (though I don't agree), but that's not the same as saying there isn't any evidence.
   37. Adam Starblind Posted: February 01, 2022 at 11:32 AM (#6063334)
Doesn't this go without saying? Out of the (easily) thousands of baseball players using steroids who have played AA ball or better, only Bonds was able to hit like Bonds. That doesn't mean steroids didn't help him very significantly though.


Right, and his otherworldly performance coincides in time with his dramatic change in physique and the accounts in Game of Shadows and elsewhere. Disagree about whether the whole picture is convincing, but there isn't "no evidence."
   38. LargeBill Posted: February 01, 2022 at 12:02 PM (#6063340)
33. Rally Posted: February 01, 2022 at 10:35 AM (#6063324)
#31, the shape of Bonds’ career is unique. We’ve got a ton of other roiders, both proven and suspected, and none of them have shown the same pattern.

My conclusion is that you need something other than steroids to explain what Bonds was able to do


Sure, Bonds late career was unique, but other players had late career power surges (not as ridiculous, but still out of the norm). Even Hank Aaron had unusual power production in his mid to late 30s. At 39, he hit 40 homers in 392 ABs.
   39. Darren Posted: February 01, 2022 at 12:36 PM (#6063344)
Personally, I've come full circle, though I completely agree with his two-tier solution. I'd put Bonds in the Hall because I thought he was the best player in the game who already had a hall-worthy career by 99. (Don't feel similarly about Clemens.)


Through age 34, Clemens had more fWAR than any pitcher in history. From age 35 (when he was accused of starting juicing) to the end of his career, he had the 4th most of any pitcher. 8 of his 9 highest WAR totals came in that first portion of his career.

Meanwhile, through 98, Bonds had the 9th most WAR of any position player through age 33. For 99 and after Bonds had the highest WAR total for anyone from age 34 on, by 7 WAR! 4 of his 5 best seasons were his age 36-39 years.


If anything, Clemens's track record prior to alleged PEDs was more dominant than Bonds's, and his falloff afterward more consistent with a normal career progression.
   40. The Duke Posted: February 01, 2022 at 12:46 PM (#6063351)
26. I’m anti-PED but I’m more open to discussing an issue where someone used HGH or something in the context of injury recovery. Petitte is a case in point. Using these substances simply to recover from injury but not using when you are competing or training seems like a line I could draw. Who doesn’t want someone to come back from TJS in 14 months vs 18 months?

The reality is you can’t figure that kind of stuff out other than player admissions. Is that really the only time Petitte used? If he were close I’d be ok with him going in.
   41. gehrig97 Posted: February 01, 2022 at 01:13 PM (#6063356)
This is an exceptional piece by Glanville. I have always thought --still think-- Bonds and Clemens should be in. But damned if Glanville didn't make me reconsider my position, if only for a bit.
   42. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: February 01, 2022 at 01:56 PM (#6063367)
I'm pretty sure DMN always uses the technical meaning without the qualifier.


Yeah. Nieporent's Bonds/PED posts have always been good, but he seems to look at it from a legal standpoint, mostly. Other guys, like Glanville, or Andy, don't see it that way.

Bonds is rightly in the Hall of Merit, and that's enough.


I remember calling you out on this on like ten years ago. The HOM is a cool internet project for the people who are into it, but anything that suggests that a player being in the HOM is analogous to his being in the HOF is silly at best.

My conclusion is that you need something other than steroids to explain what Bonds was able to do.


Well, the narrative always was that he was obviously very gifted to begin with so adding PEDs to that turned him into a baseball cyborg.
   43. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: February 01, 2022 at 02:30 PM (#6063372)
There are some who object to Bonds' inclusion only if he used steroids, or can be reasonably shown to have used steroids (hence the evidence talk), or used steroids after a particular time, or somesuch.

I prefer a much simpler course: I simply don't care if a player used steroids. It doesn't seem to indicate to me a lack of character. Neither, for that matter, does throwing spit balls, or corking bats, or stealing signs. Someone with a bad character is a bad person, they are, qua person, bad. But cheating at a baseball game doesn't seem to rise to the level of making someone a bad person, or even standing as any indication of it. It's just a game.
   44. dejarouehg Posted: February 01, 2022 at 10:28 PM (#6063435)
SoSH & Darren: You are both correct and I am wrong - Clemens, notwithstanding his 4 final ordinary years in Boston, certainly did merit being in the Hall based on his career prior to that. I should have reviewed the numbers rather than rely on my fading memory of his fading in Boston and the dramatic turnaround in Toronto.

I would, however, like to amend my statement that I think he should be kept out of the Hall for being a pathetic, lowlife d-bag who tried to pin his PED use on his wife. (Am I misremembering that? It is possible.)

Perhaps there's a place where he and Ryan Braun can go play catch together.
   45. Ron J Posted: February 02, 2022 at 12:26 AM (#6063446)
#44 There's also the Mindy factor, though he's largely gotten a pass on that. Christina Kahrl doesn't particularly care about the PED allegations but does find that issue disqualifying -- even if there's zero chance Clemens will ever be prosecuted for it.
   46. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 02, 2022 at 04:13 AM (#6063452)
even if there's zero chance Clemens will ever be prosecuted for it.
Prosecuted for what? AFAICR, there's no allegation of any criminal behavior; both Clemens and McCready denied that there was any underage sex.
   47. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 02, 2022 at 05:55 AM (#6063453)
Well, the narrative always was that he was obviously very gifted to begin with so adding PEDs to that turned him into a baseball cyborg.


The other part of the narrative was that Bonds' IQ as a hitter went through the roof as he aged. There have been a handful of guys with power surges in their late 30s, but Bonds is unique for combining that with unreal contact skills and plate discipline as an older hitter. Winning batting titles at 37 and 39 wasn't just about power.
   48. Lassus Posted: February 02, 2022 at 07:38 AM (#6063457)
Prosecuted for what? AFAICR, there's no allegation of any criminal behavior; both Clemens and McCready denied that there was any underage sex.

I, too, am shocked, SHOCKED there is gambling going on here.
   49. Ron J Posted: February 02, 2022 at 11:23 AM (#6063475)
#46 Right. And the people who bring it up don't believe them. It's kind of a theme with Clemens. He's a guy that a lot of people are content to believe the worst of.
   50. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 02, 2022 at 11:58 AM (#6063481)
SoSH & Darren: You are both correct and I am wrong - Clemens, notwithstanding his 4 final ordinary years in Boston, certainly did merit being in the Hall based on his career prior to that. I should have reviewed the numbers rather than rely on my fading memory of his fading in Boston and the dramatic turnaround in Toronto.


It sorta seems like you still haven't reviewed the numbers. 745 IP at a 130 ERA+, good for 18.2 WAR is not *ordinary* for anyone other than an elite pitcher. The IP may be a little lower than you'd want for that timeframe, but he clearly was still the best pitcher on the team.
   51. alilisd Posted: February 02, 2022 at 03:09 PM (#6063531)
Bonds, broke baseball in ways that have no precedent since Ruth started hitting with an uppercut. If Mac had just been Harmon Killebrew, and if Sosa had just been Orlando Cepeda, and if Bonds had just been Frank Robinson (which he basically was prior to 99), I suspect that the moral furor and pearl clutching would be somewhat less dramatic.


A quibble, but through 1999 Bonds was much more Willie Mays than Frank Robinson.
   52. alilisd Posted: February 02, 2022 at 03:15 PM (#6063535)
33. Rally Posted: February 01, 2022 at 10:35 AM (#6063324)
#31, the shape of Bonds’ career is unique. We’ve got a ton of other roiders, both proven and suspected, and none of them have shown the same pattern.

My conclusion is that you need something other than steroids to explain what Bonds was able to do.


Agree, it was multi-factorial. There were environmental factors in baseball, IMO, with a proliferation of smaller parks, and most likely a juiced ball. His hinged elbow pad I honestly believe was a huge factor for him. It both allowed him to hang over the plate with impunity, thus denying the pitcher the outside third of the plate, and allowed him to pull the inside pitch down the line without hooking it foul. By preventing him from straightening his arm it reduced the effect of the hook on the ball hit down the line. Combined with his extraordinary batting eye and plate discipline, and with some PED use, his HR rate skyrocketed once he committed to showing the world McGwire and Sosa were not the face of the game.
   53. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 02, 2022 at 07:17 PM (#6063586)
It sorta seems like you still haven't reviewed the numbers. 745 IP at a 130 ERA+, good for 18.2 WAR is not *ordinary* for anyone other than an elite pitcher. The IP may be a little lower than you'd want for that timeframe, but he clearly was still the best pitcher on the team.

Even the innings drop is about half due to the strike; Clemens was in the AL's top 10 in IP in '94 and '96. He missed maybe a dozen starts between '93 and '95.
   54. base ball chick Posted: February 03, 2022 at 10:55 PM (#6063782)
12. villageidiom Posted: January 31, 2022 at 06:44 PM (#6063265)

- Bonds absolutely used illegal substances. There is evidence and testimony, including his own, that confirm this.


- he most certainly did NOT admit to using any illegal steroid. he would have gone straight to federal prison - remember, the FEDS were trying him and spent millions trying to get him in prison for using steroids. for some bizarre reason, they didn't care about amphetamines even though that is just as controlled and illegal as testosterone.

- i want an actual quote from the trial where BLB states that he used any steroid, illegal or not
   55. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: February 04, 2022 at 09:20 AM (#6063804)
The IP may be a little lower than you'd want for that timeframe,


The strike and the lockout. Clemens was 10th in IP in the AL from 1993-96. And 6th in WAR.
   56. Mefisto Posted: February 04, 2022 at 09:26 AM (#6063806)
i want an actual quote from the trial where BLB states that he used any steroid, illegal or not


There is no such quote. What people rely on is this:

1. Bonds admitted that Anderson gave him substances called "cream" and "clear" (he said he didn't know what they were).
2. BALCO used those terms to refer to the steroids it gave to athletes.
3. Therefore Bonds admitted using steroids.

The problem from a legal standpoint is that the Feds couldn't produce any evidence that the stuff Anderson gave Bonds was the same stuff BALCO provided, nor that Bonds knew what they were. It was a big hole in the evidence.
   57. Buck Coats Posted: February 04, 2022 at 11:31 AM (#6063817)
Did Bonds admit that he used substances called "cream" and "clear"? I was under the impression that he just said he used arthritis cream and (clear) flaxseed oil. That's pretty different.

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