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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Kenny Lofton blasts A-Rod, MLB cheaters in Hall of Fame rant

“I just don’t like it. It pisses me off when they still talk about the guys who did PEDs still have the opportunity to get in. You cheated the game,” Lofton told The Post in a phone interview. “Look at somebody like Pete Rose not in the Hall of Fame. I’m not saying what Pete Rose did was right, but his numbers that he put up were real numbers. If it’s all about numbers, guys who cheated the game shouldn’t be in. PED guys piss me off. I just get irked every time I hear people talk about it.”

Lofton also has a specific problem with former Yankees teammate Alex Rodriguez, who was suspended in 2014 for his PED involvement, serving as one of the game’s top television analysts for Fox and ESPN.

“You’ve got Fox having a guy who got caught with PEDs doing the World Series. I can’t even watch the World Series now,” said Lofton, who played with Rodriguez in 2004. “That’s sad, you have a game that I love, I played 17 years in it, and you have Major League Baseball allowing a guy that knowingly cheated the game twice, and he’s the face of baseball, doing the World Series. That is not cool.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 94 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: kenny lofton

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   1. The Duke Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:09 AM (#5818954)
I agree. That is not cool

I always thought Lofton should get in - now I really hope he does
   2. Captain Supporter Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:12 AM (#5818955)
Its certainly not hard to understand why a guy who actually had to play against people who were cheating would feel this way. I'm with Kenny.
   3. John DiFool2 Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:22 AM (#5818959)
Rose probably chugged more bennies than there are stars in the sky.
   4. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:38 AM (#5818964)
Rose probably chugged more bennies than there are stars in the sky.


And lived with a steroid dealer near the end of his career!
   5. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:46 AM (#5818967)
This is too bad. I used to like Lofton.
   6. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:50 AM (#5818969)
And lived with a steroid dealer near the end of his career!


I don't understand why this isn't a much bigger deal than it is.
   7. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:56 AM (#5818971)
I don't understand why this isn't a much bigger deal than it is.


When were anabolic steroids made illegal to purchase/use/sell, etc.?
   8. McCoy Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:12 AM (#5818983)
The became a schedule III drug in 1990. Before that you still needed a prescription to use them and it was most certainly illegal for some guy if the street to sell them to anyone.
   9. Rusty Priske Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:36 AM (#5819000)
Did Lofton ever go on the D.L.?

If so, I don't believe that he didn't use steroids.
   10. . Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5819006)
He's of course 100% right and I fully support him.
   11. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: February 28, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5819012)
“You’ve got Fox having a guy who got caught with PEDs doing the World Series. I can’t even watch the World Series now,” said Lofton, who played with Rodriguez in 2004. “That’s sad, you have a game that I love, I played 17 years in it, and you have Major League Baseball allowing a guy that knowingly cheated the game twice, and he’s the face of baseball, doing the World Series. That is not cool.
Oh do #### off. So he should be blackballed entirely?

I don't understand why this isn't a much bigger deal than it is.
Because Rose apologists need to ignore it. And Rose opponents don't really need to beat this drum because Rose's other transgressions are a bigger deal and are keeping him out of baseball and the Hall. For now.
   12. Traderdave Posted: February 28, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5819015)
Of all the people to cite as clean & deserving, he picks the Keith Richards of greenies?
   13. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 10:21 AM (#5819022)

Did Lofton ever go on the D.L.?

If so, I don't believe that he didn't use steroids.


Huh?
   14. . Posted: February 28, 2019 at 10:21 AM (#5819023)
So he should be blackballed entirely?


Not necessarily, but it wouldn't offend any serious precept if he was.

I hope people here don't seriously think we should take their word on baseball norms over someone like Kenny Lofton's. That is much more deserving of the "Oh do #### off" treatment.
   15. Traderdave Posted: February 28, 2019 at 10:24 AM (#5819025)
And lived with a steroid dealer near the end of his career!


I don't understand why this isn't a much bigger deal than it is.



I vaguely recall reading many years ago that Rose thought he was too old for steroids but heartily recommended them to younger players. No idea where I read that, but I do recall it.
   16. BrianBrianson Posted: February 28, 2019 at 10:46 AM (#5819033)
Is Kenny Lofton a complete idiot?

No.

Did Kenny Lofton play Major League Baseball in the 1990s?

Yes.

Therefor, Kenny Loften used steroids.

Getting DL'd is one motivator, but it's far from the only one.
   17. Booey Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:04 AM (#5819040)
“To see somebody who cheated the game blatantly is doing the World Series? Come on, people. You’re basically telling kids nowadays that it’s OK to cheat the game of baseball. It’s OK to cheat. You will still get a job being a commentator, being the face of baseball. I don’t see how that flies with anyone.”


Because ARod already served the lengthiest suspension in MLB history (right?). If we're going the "Think of the children!" route, isn't offering someone a chance at redemption after they serve their time a worthwhile message to send kids as well?

Some people just want blood, and no amount of punishment is sufficient.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5819042)
This is too bad. I used to like Lofton.

I don't understand this sentiment. I get not being too worked up about steroids, but if you were a clean MLB player of the 1990s, it makes total sense to be pissed at all the guys who cheated.

Why would that perfectly natural respond make you dislike Lofton?
   19. BrianBrianson Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5819049)
if you were a clean MLB player of the 1990s


If my aunt had scaly skin, poisonous breath, and eleven heads, she'd be the Hydra.
   20. Booey Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5819050)
if you were a clean MLB player of the 1990s, it makes total sense to be pissed at all the guys who cheated.


Sure, but it's also really easy to retroactively speak out about something decades later after public opinion has shifted. It seems unlikely to me that a player who was in the league as long as Lofton didn't know or at least strongly suspect some teammates who were using, and I don't remember him - or virtually anyone else - speaking up about it back then when it might've made a difference.

The whole "after-the-fact" outrage is a big part of what's always been so irksome about the PED debates.
   21. Rusty Priske Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:28 AM (#5819052)
Did Lofton ever go on the D.L.?

If so, I don't believe that he didn't use steroids.

Huh?


How is this unclear? Before the crackdown, even the players who were not trying to get a strength advantage used steroids to try to heal from injury quicker. Anyone who didn't wasn't doing their best to help the team.

While the effects of steroids on becoming a better baseball player are anecdotal at best, the effect of steroids on hastening the healing process are quite well documented.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:44 AM (#5819059)
One of the unfortunate things about the PED debates was how quickly many of the steroid apologists here went from "Innocent until proven guilty and you have no proof that guys like Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, etc. are using", to defending the proven/admitted cheaters like A-Rod and accusing guys like Kenny Lofton of being users with no evidence, simply because they have the audacity to criticize the cheaters.
   23. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5819062)
Let's not let Pete Rose's extensive history of PED use distract us from the fact that he also cheated by using a corked bat.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5819064)
Sure, but it's also really easy to retroactively speak out about something decades later after public opinion has shifted. It seems unlikely to me that a player who was in the league as long as Lofton didn't know or at least strongly suspect some teammates who were using, and I don't remember him - or virtually anyone else - speaking up about it back then when it might've made a difference.

The whole "after-the-fact" outrage is a big part of what's always been so irksome about the PED debates.


Well, this is super common in all kinds of situations (see Harvey Weinstein and many famous actresses who could have spoken out decades ago). People lack the moral courage to speak out, and risk retaliation, while they're in the middle of their career. They only speak out once the threat is gone. That's less than optimal, but it's still better than not speaking out at all.
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5819072)
Sure, but it's also really easy to retroactively speak out about something decades later after public opinion has shifted. It seems unlikely to me that a player who was in the league as long as Lofton didn't know or at least strongly suspect some teammates who were using, and I don't remember him - or virtually anyone else - speaking up about it back then when it might've made a difference.

While this is a fair comment, I have a hard time criticizing a guy for keeping his head down, playing the game professionally and not ratting out his teammates. Especially when he was a journeyman just trying to stay in the league (Lofton played for something like 9 teams in his final 6 seasons).

FWIW, Lofton has been making comments like this for at least a few years -- you can find them with a simple Google search. But he wasn't saying it publicly during his playing career.
   26. TDF, trained monkey Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5819073)
One of the unfortunate things about the PED debates was how quickly many of the steroid apologists here went from "Innocent until proven guilty and you have no proof that guys like Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, etc. are using", to defending the proven/admitted cheaters like A-Rod and accusing guys like Kenny Lofton of being users with no evidence, simply because they have the audacity to criticize the cheaters.
Kenny Lofton is right to be pissed he didn't get a full vetting for the HOF. He's a better player than many who waltz in.

But here's just a partial list of people he played with over his career:

Ken Caminini
Manny Ramirez
Juan Gonzalez
Barry Bonds
Alex Rodriguez
Gary Sheffield
Jhonny Peralta

Where was his outrage during his playing days?
   27. alilisd Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5819074)
While the effects of steroids on becoming a better baseball player are anecdotal at best, the effect of steroids on hastening the healing process are quite well documented.


Got any such documents?
   28. Cleveland (need new name) fan Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:11 PM (#5819078)
Rants like this are uninteresting in themselves, but they provide a great opportunity to turn the conversation into interesting PED related discussions. Its too bad that reporters are not interested in doing real reporting.

If you have an athlete discussion PEDs, ask him questions like

(1) why do players differentiate between steroids and greenies even though they are both banned as PEDs (we know what BBTF posters say on this issue, but do we actually have athletes on record discussion this?)
(2) what was the protocol for anti-steroid guys on teams with players they suspected to be using steroids to help them win. If Lofton was actually against people using steroids, was he willing to hurt his teams chances of winning by doing something to get the players to stop. If not, isn't he being hypocritical by complaining now when he benefitted at the time.
(3) did management do anything to suppress drug use or did they encourage it. If management didn't try to suppress it, why should the players not use drugs

Edit: corrected minor error
   29. BrianBrianson Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:16 PM (#5819085)
"Innocent until proven guilty and you have no proof that guys like Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, etc. are using", to defending the proven/admitted cheaters like A-Rod and accusing guys like Kenny Lofton of being users with no evidence,


The evidence against Sosa is exactly as strong as the evidence against Lofton.
   30. Baldrick Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:18 PM (#5819087)
One of the unfortunate things about the PED debates was how quickly many of the steroid apologists here went from "Innocent until proven guilty and you have no proof that guys like Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, etc. are using", to defending the proven/admitted cheaters like A-Rod and accusing guys like Kenny Lofton of being users with no evidence, simply because they have the audacity to criticize the cheaters.

As a dabbler in PED apologism (I've mostly tried to avoid PED threads since...like 2004 or so, but it's hard to completely avoid them, and I've often found myself nodding along a bit more with the anti-anti-PED people), this characterization feels very accurate and fairly damning.
   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5819090)
I think it's fair to wonder how much Lofton knew about, say, Manny Ramirez's PED use when they played together in Cleveland. I don't think it's fair to assume he knew anything, certainly not with enough certainty to speak out about it.

I'm not even sure that Lofton overlapped with some of these guys when they were using. For example, he played with Caminiti for 20 games as a rookie during the 1991 season. According to the Mitchell report, Caminiti began to research using steroids in 1993 and began using in 1995.
   32. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:28 PM (#5819095)
The evidence against Sosa is exactly as strong as the evidence against Lofton.

Yes, and innocent until proven guilty is the appropriate approach for both.

(Although I'm not sure that the quoted statement is true. Sosa was reported by the NYT to have been on the list of guys who tested positive in 2003, but I'm not sure how much faith I put in that reporting. Manfred has also claimed that there were false positives on that list, so even if he was on it, it's not ironclad proof. But it's still more than we have on Lofton, who apparently is suspect because he might have been on the DL at some point.)
   33. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5819100)
I don't understand this sentiment. I get not being too worked up about steroids, but if you were a clean MLB player of the 1990s, it makes total sense to be pissed at all the guys who cheated.

Basically for the reasons in [20]. Lofton was part of a union that actively fought PEDs testing. Someone like Frank Thomas (maybe just him?) gets to criticize roiders today because he spoke out against it when he was playing. Lofton did not, I'm not a fan of the after-the-fact moralizing.

And the comparison to the Weinstein victims is really unfair. Lofton didn't endure a trauma here. He wasn't going to get blackballed for speaking out. It was simply more convenient for him to wait until after he retired to start mouthing off.
   34. ajnrules Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:39 PM (#5819103)
I'm sure Lofton is also upset that he got less than 5% of the Hall vote while Bonds and Clemens both stayed on the ballot.
   35. Rough Carrigan Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5819105)
Of course, what does Frank Thomas pitch on TV these days? Pills to enhance your testosterone production.
   36. Booey Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5819107)
Sosa was reported by the NYT to have been on the list of guys who tested positive in 2003


It's even less than that; an anonymous source TOLD the NYT that Sosa's name was on the list. The NYT reporters never actually saw the infamous list themselves.
   37. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:52 PM (#5819114)
In addition to being on the leak of the 2003 tests, Sosa lost a ton of weight after they started testing for steroids. Some people’s bodies just can’t put on a ton of muscle without the help of steroids and Sosa could very well have been one of those people.
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5819115)

Basically for the reasons in [20]. Lofton was part of a union that actively fought PEDs testing. Someone like Frank Thomas (maybe just him?)


Rick Helling was the primary voice pushing for the union to take the lead on the issue.
   39. Red Menace Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5819117)
Someone like Frank Thomas (maybe just him?) gets to criticize roiders today because he spoke out against it when he was playing.


Does anyone else think it's weird that Thomas is spending his latter days shilling for dubious testosterone boosting supplements?

edit: coke to Rough Carrigan
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 01:01 PM (#5819118)
And the comparison to the Weinstein victims is really unfair. Lofton didn't endure a trauma here. He wasn't going to get blackballed for speaking out. It was simply more convenient for him to wait until after he retired to start mouthing off.

Yes, but the damage the Weinstein victims, or potential victims, could have prevented was so, so much greater. The risk to them was greater, but the cost of their silence to others was even greater still.
   41. . Posted: February 28, 2019 at 01:02 PM (#5819119)
One of the unfortunate things about the PED debates was how quickly many of the steroid apologists here went from "Innocent until proven guilty and you have no proof that guys like Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, etc. are using", to defending the proven/admitted cheaters like A-Rod and accusing guys like Kenny Lofton of being users with no evidence, simply because they have the audacity to criticize the cheaters.


Yep, perfectly said. The lurch from enthusiasm to the polar opposite enthusiasm in such a short period of time is breathtaking.(*) Again, to some degree the enthusiasms aren't fully about baseball.

(*) Mirroring the one from "You don't have to spend to compete and you're a sucker if you do" to "If you don't spend, you aren't competing."
   42. . Posted: February 28, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5819120)
And the comparison to the Weinstein victims is really unfair. Lofton didn't endure a trauma here.


He very much suffered a professional one.
   43. base ball chick Posted: February 28, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5819124)
Cleveland (need new name) fan Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:11 PM (#5819078)

If you have an athlete discussion PEDs, ask him questions like

(1) why do players differentiate between steroids and greenies even though they are both banned as PEDs (we know what BBTF posters say on this issue, but do we actually have athletes on record discussion this?)


- the 2 i have talked to don't
one of them was furious that he wasgiven shttt by teammates for refusing to use amphetamines even though he told them that they made him play WORSE

- the others, like lofton, want to pretend the greenies PEDs they themselves used were not actually enhancing their performance and they just took them to go along with the others, you know, like smoking or drinking or playing cards - yeah, that's it


(2) what was the protocol for anti-steroid guys on teams with players they suspected to be using steroids to help them win. If Lofton was actually against people using steroids, was he willing to hurt his teams chances of winning by doing something to get the players to stop. If not, isn't he being hypocritical by complaining now when he benefitted at the time.


- frank thomas, the guy who is now shilling testosterone boosters on tv, said hehad that problem.
but he never said why he did nothing about it

i would guess that a player on even a bad team would keep mouth SHUT to not et the rap as a rat - as well as make sure he had a job

you can stand up against something politically unpopular like vietnam - just lose your HOF case like ted simmons
but if you are not generationally great with a secure contract, well then, we all know who happened to the oakland catcher who took a knee during the anthem


(3) did management do anything to suppress drug use or did they encourage it. If management didn't try to suppress it, why should the players not use drugs


of COURSE they encouraged it

goodness gwaaashuuus

they told players to "get bigger" and pointed them to the trainer roid dealers
they brought IN trainers to talk to the team to teach them how to cycle properly

at the Box the astros players (in 03/04) as shown on the jumbotron were all drawn as cartoon characters ALL looking like the hulk in some kind of armor
can you picture lil craig biggio drawn as the hulk? and they had a lefty reliever (?mike magnante?) maybe a little skinnier and an inch smaller and he looked absurd in that cartoon

pls
   44. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 28, 2019 at 01:29 PM (#5819133)
The most frustrating facet of the steroid situation is how so many people treat it as a binary thing. You either were totally clean, or you used "steroids" and are a dirty cheating bastard.

Every player such as Lofton and Thomas used supplements and other enhancements. They pushed the limits, and went as close to the line of "legal" as possible. Many intentionally or unintentionally crossed this line.

They all benefited with better living through chemistry.

Now some want to throw stones from their glass houses.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5819137)
Every player such as Lofton and Thomas used supplements and other enhancements. They pushed the limits, and went as close to the line of "legal" as possible. Many intentionally or unintentionally crossed this line.

How do we know that?

That seems to be just as big an assumption as saying Sosa used steroids b/c of the way he looked.
   46. BrianBrianson Posted: February 28, 2019 at 01:34 PM (#5819138)
@32 - right, but that evidence against Sosa is that some unnamed attorney said that Sosa was named in the 2003 report as testing positive for something (but they couldn't remember what). The people in this thread concluding it's likely Lofton used based on circumstances is just as good as far as evidence goes.
   47. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5819142)
I used to like Lofton.


I still do, but I used to, too.

I'm not a huge fan of his Pete Rose take, and I'm okay with steroid users getting in the Hall of Fame, even while I don't particularly like the fact that they were using steroids. But I loved Lofton as a player and am sympathetic to his anger over being rejected for the Hall. He deserved a longer look.

I also can't stand A-Rod and do agree with Lofton's take that it's a bit weird that A-Rod is a very public face of MLB broadcasts. I don't think he should be banned from baseball entirely, but I don't really want him representing baseball so overtly to the public. Anything that gets A-Rod off my TV is fine with me.
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 01:52 PM (#5819148)
Anything that gets A-Rod off my TV is fine with me.

Have you seen him on Shark Tank? Insufferable.
   49. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5819151)
I'm starting to think Sosa's HoF vote totals have less to do with steroid taint and more to do with his breaking the social taboo of continuing to appear in whiteface.
   50. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 28, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5819158)
One of the unfortunate things about the PED debates was how quickly many of the steroid apologists here went from "Innocent until proven guilty and you have no proof that guys like Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, etc. are using", to defending the proven/admitted cheaters like A-Rod and accusing guys like Kenny Lofton of being users with no evidence, simply because they have the audacity to criticize the cheaters.
I don't think of myself as a steroid apologist, but I certainly think a much higher percentage of players were (and still are) using than most people seem to.

A-Rod came up many years back, before any whiff of steroid suspicion about him became public, and I said at the time if I had to guess, I would say it was more likely than not he was a user. Almost got shouted down here because I had no evidence of any kind. My only point was that considering I thought a high percentage of players were using, it was quite likely that A-Rod, a powerful home run hitter, was one of them.
   51. Cleveland (need new name) fan Posted: February 28, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5819159)
- the 2 i have talked to don't
one of them was furious that he wasgiven shttt by teammates for refusing to use amphetamines even though he told them that they made him play WORSE

- the others, like lofton, want to pretend the greenies PEDs they themselves used were not actually enhancing their performance and they just took them to go along with the others, you know, like smoking or drinking or playing cards - yeah, that's it


Its interesting that even if they don't differentiate between the two PEDs, their public comments ALWAYS do. When criticizing PED users, they always talk about steroid users. They also never criticize amphetamine users. Lets get them on the record about why their public comments only ever mention steroids.

i would guess that a player on even a bad team would keep mouth SHUT to not et the rap as a rat - as well as make sure he had a job


I wasn't really asking why they didn't publicly call out users, but why did/didn't they privately confront them? If it was so adherent, why the silence (if they kept quiet)? Was it just being a good teammate and not wanting to make a scene (even in private) or just possible that winning was more important.

of COURSE they encouraged it


Again, we know the answer about management, but the discussion of why they blame the players for doing what management was asking them to do would be interesting.
   52. TDF, trained monkey Posted: February 28, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5819164)
Lofton didn't endure a trauma here. He wasn't going to get blackballed for speaking out. It was simply more convenient for him to wait until after he retired to start mouthing off.
Unless I missed something, he waited 11 years after he retired to say something. If this is such a scourge on the soul of the game, where was he when he was a star, or in the twilight of his career, or at any point since he quit playing in '07? Did he think speaking out against PEDs would hurt his HOF chances???
   53. . Posted: February 28, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5819176)
He put his trust in the writers to distinguish him from the cheaters when doing the HOF voting. That trust was misplaced, but he bit his tongue. Then, he finally saw a chronic, perpetual cheater being offered up by MLB as a major public face of the sport and couldn't hold his tongue any longer.

Makes perfect sense, and good for him.
   54. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 03:05 PM (#5819178)

@32 - right, but that evidence against Sosa is that some unnamed attorney said that Sosa was named in the 2003 report as testing positive for something (but they couldn't remember what). The people in this thread concluding it's likely Lofton used based on circumstances is just as good as far as evidence goes.

Like I said, they are both innocent until proven guilty. There's some pretty weak evidence against Sosa, there's literally no evidence against Lofton other than the fact that he played in MLB.
   55. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 03:14 PM (#5819187)
Unless I missed something, he waited 11 years after he retired to say something. If this is such a scourge on the soul of the game, where was he when he was a star, or in the twilight of his career, or at any point since he quit playing in '07? Did he think speaking out against PEDs would hurt his HOF chances???

Kenny Lofton thrilled about Tribe Hall of Fame, but still dreams of Cooperstown (Jan 27, 2010)

Lofton, 42, does know one thing. He never used steroids and he thinks that should be taken into consideration.

"I was a guy who never did it," said Lofton. "Never tried to do it. Never wanted to do it.

"But again, I played against guys who were obviously doing it, so my competition level had to be at a certain level to be able to compete with those guys who were, what you call, cheating.

"I was not a cheater. I hope they take a look at that and see what I did during that period and take it into account."


Kenny Lofton says playing in the steroid era killed his Hall of Fame chances (Feb 23, 2013)

In that article, he called for stronger penalties for users and the release of the 2003 list of names, in addition to lamenting his own exclusion from the HOF.

"Now we're to a point where players are still doing it," he said. "The punishment is not severe enough. They're keeping Pete Rose out of the game because of the severity of what he did, but you see guys cheating consistently over and over, but they still have a chance to be in this game. This is not right.

"They need to say if you're cheating, you're out of the game for a year or two. And that's it."

...

There is a school of thought among some BBWAA voters that says since so many players were using steroids during that period, the playing field was level and that it is all right to vote for players associated with steroids. Especially since testing wasn't introduced until 2003.

"That's wrong. They cheated and they knew they were cheating even if there wasn't testing," said Lofton. "There is still a quote-unquote secret list out there. If people want to find out who was cheating, they need to release that list. Maybe that would make it easier for the writers to vote.

"Everybody wasn't cheating in the game. Every year we have over 700 players in the big leagues. We've only had a couple of names publicized off that list. Why not let all them out?"


It looks like he tried not to be outspoken until after he was one-and-done for the HOF but saw suspected or admitted steroid users doing better in the balloting.
   56. . Posted: February 28, 2019 at 03:19 PM (#5819193)
Kenny's ABs in a pulsating Kingdome against prime Randy Johnson in Game 6 of the 1995 ALCS when Unit kept trying to brush him back were Tony Montana level of cojones.
   57. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 06:39 PM (#5819320)
I was surprised to see that Lofton wasn't in the HOM considering that people here talk him up and players who put up comparable career value, like Manny and Raines, went in on the first ballot. And it's not like Lofton was a compiler -- he had fewer career PA than either of those guys. Nor is it a matter of having a lower peak -- Lofton has the best n-year peak of those three guys for any n<13.

Looking at the discussion of his candidacy, it seems like people discounted the advanced fielding stats that like Lofton so much. Lofton has 108 Rfield, while Raines has -7 and Manny has -129. If you don't have much faith in modern fielding stats then you might be more inclined to elect Raines or Manny.

But consider Lofton vs. Vlad Guerrero, who is also in the HOM but wasn't a first ballot guy. Lofton had 8.8 more WAR over a career of roughly the same length. They have similar peaks although Lofton's is better. Even if you want to discount the advanced fielding stats and just assume that they were both average fielders for their positions, that leaves them as basically players of equal value in equal playing time. I'm not sure that I disagree with the outcome and it's consistent with how the BBWAA actually voted. But it was surprising as Lofton's case is exactly the type of HOF omission that I thought the HOM was intended to correct.
   58. The Duke Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:53 PM (#5819343)
I don’t think a lot of employees of Enron ( or Theranos today) knew there was bad stuff going on. There’s no reason to believe Kenny Lofton or any other player knew of or about steroid use. We laugh at larussa when he says he thought it was weight-lifting but most people are blissfully ignorant. All my friends drank and smoked dope in high school, often right under their parents nose, and none of them knew. Why is he a bad guy now for speaking out? We all know more now than we did then.

And I don’t get the greenie argument. Players then and now don’t believe the logic that this was unfair. Whether it is or not doesn’t matter - players don’t think it matters so why would he be outraged about them.

More like him should speak out - it’s never too late.
   59. base ball chick Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:24 PM (#5819350)
BrianBrianson Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:16 PM (#5819085)

"Innocent until proven guilty and you have no proof that guys like Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, etc. are using", to defending the proven/admitted cheaters like A-Rod and accusing guys like Kenny Lofton of being users with no evidence,



The evidence against Sosa is exactly as strong as the evidence against Lofton


- PREACH IT!!!

sosa has not been dammmed with the faintest of evidence - he has been excommunicated and relegated to the garbage disposal of history with exactly ZERO evidence except - oh look, he worked out.

and NO he didn't turn into a stick figure in 2004. or 5. or any other year of testing. or after he was blackballed. unless you are sick, you don't just lose 30 lbs of muscle just like that if you keep working out after you stop the roids


snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 01:01 PM (#5819118)

And the comparison to the Weinstein victims is really unfair. Lofton didn't endure a trauma here. He wasn't going to get blackballed for speaking out. It was simply more convenient for him to wait until after he retired to start mouthing off.


- you forgot - and he didn't get in the HOF - before he started the mouthing off big time

Yes, but the damage the Weinstein victims, or potential victims, could have prevented was so, so much greater. The risk to them was greater, but the cost of their silence to others was even greater still


not many people are willing to give up their livlihood and career just to protect other woman

and HOW many women spoke out against bill cosby and were scorned and called liars because of all the women who were WILLING to have sex with him and it took a MALE comedian speaking out against this travesty for anything to happen
   60. base ball chick Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:41 PM (#5819356)
The Duke Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:53 PM (#5819343)

I don’t think a lot of employees of Enron ( or Theranos today) knew there was bad stuff going on. There’s no reason to believe Kenny Lofton or any other player knew of or about steroid use.

- that is not exactly a good comparison
the vast majority of people who work in a company are not exactly higher ups. and they have ZERO idea about any financial anything. get real
- the higher ups sure did but it took whatshername to blow the whistle

- these guys are together more than most married people are and don't tell me that they had noooooooooo idea
pls
sometimes people IGNORE stuff but they know all right


We laugh at larussa when he says he thought it was weight-lifting but most people are blissfully ignorant. All my friends drank and smoked dope in high school, often right under their parents nose, and none of them knew.


those parents didn't WANT to know

you can't miss the smell of marijuana and you can't hide it and you can't hide the signs neither

the parents want to believe that their kidz are little precious who are sin free and wouldn't NEVAH do that

and they weren't supervised or checked neither
   61. Booey Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:44 PM (#5819370)
those parents didn't WANT to know

you can't miss the smell of marijuana and you can't hide it and you can't hide the signs neither

the parents want to believe that their kidz are little precious who are sin free and wouldn't NEVAH do that

and they weren't supervised or checked neither


This. When my former stepdaughters were stumbling in at all hours as teenagers with slurred speech, glazed eyes, and reeking of weed or beer, it was blatantly obvious what they'd been doing. Some parents just choose to pretend they don't notice.

So yeah, I actually do think The Duke's example is a good comparison to pre-testing PED use, just not for the reason I think he intended it to be...
   62. Blastin Posted: February 28, 2019 at 10:16 PM (#5819380)
I like TV A-Rod (not so much on Shark Tank, but when he's talking baseball).

I genuinely don't care about the cheaters, weirdly. I just... never did. I care about cheating literally only when fellow amateur runners cut courses. I'm like, dude, just finish or quit. Story out today about Johnny Manziel's wife running a half-marathon in 1:58, which is fine, except she would have had to run the last four miles in 17 minutes and, no. That stuff I hate.



I also don't have a problem with what Kenny is saying. No idea if he's clean or not, but I can see being mad.
   63. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 28, 2019 at 10:52 PM (#5819386)
JAHV:
I used to like Lofton.


I still do, but I used to, too.



One of the all-time great one-liner comics.

The steroid blame in baseball is like Bigfoot, blurry. That's the problem.
   64. Booey Posted: February 28, 2019 at 10:53 PM (#5819387)
I genuinely don't care about the cheaters, weirdly. I just... never did.


This is me exactly. It just...doesn't affect my enjoyment of the game in any way, shape, or form (same with salaries; I've never understood why so many people get miffed at how much players are paid). In the pre-testing era, if MLB itself didn't think PED use was a big enough offense to be worthy of punishment, well then, why should I care either? And for players in the post-testing era, if they want to play with fire and risk lengthy (and expensive) suspensions, that's on them.
   65. Bhaakon Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:14 PM (#5819394)

The steroid blame in baseball is like Bigfoot, blurry. That's the problem.


Well, more like the Zapruder Film. Real enough, but squint hard enough and you can find guilty parties all over the place.
   66. Tony S Posted: March 01, 2019 at 08:08 AM (#5819416)
Steroids were/are a real issue in baseball (and other pro sports), but all the self-righteous mock outrage about them hasn't allowed much room for a rational discussion, unfortunately. Everybody quickly retreats into his camp of "punish those filthy cheating players" or "what's the big deal".

Before the formal bans, steroid use was an institutional problem in baseball, not an individual one. MLB would pay lip service to steering clear of PED's, but tacitly the players knew that PED's were a ticket to getting an edge over the competition, and if the other guy is using, I'd better use too if I want to keep my paycheck coming in. For a marginal player, PED use could be the difference between a Triple-A career and a couple years in the Show. And the institution of MLB (owners and players) turned a blind eye to this, nudging and winking at steroid use while taking a (weak) public stand against them. It was a situation ripe for exploitation. We can all wax self-righteous about "cheaters", but when several million dollars are at stake, and when my employer is strongly hinting that it's not just OK to cheat, it's recommended for career advancement, I'm not sure that the self-righteous elements here wouldn't have done the same thing.

I am fully sympathetic to Kenny Lofton and Frank Thomas and others who perceived (correctly) that non-users were developing a distinct disadvantage within the game. I just think their outrage is better directed at MLB, the institution, for abetting and allowing that situation, rather than at individual players who were just dealing with the reality of their environment.

Now, if baseball had adopted a strong anti-steroid policy, and enforced it, and made sure that players understood that messing with PED's would be the end of their careers (whatever their status within the game), and a player still went ahead with using PED's, THEN it becomes an individual problem, not an institutional one, and THEN everyone's justified in piling on the individual player. Baseball is closer to that scenario now than it was during Lofton's time, though it's hard to know how much of that is PR and how much of that is reality.

All that said, I'm not all that concerned with PED's and their effect on on-field records and such. What makes steroids so insidious is that it puts players in a position in which they have to choose between having a baseball career or having their long-term health. It's appalling that 20-year-olds are forced to make decisions like those, and the main reason steroids should be cleansed from the game is to remove that completely unnecessary situation.

   67. TJ Posted: March 01, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5819437)
“You’ve got Fox having a guy who got caught with PEDs doing the World Series. I can’t even watch the World Series now,” said Lofton, who played with Rodriguez in 2004. “That’s sad, you have a game that I love, I played 17 years in it, and you have Major League Baseball allowing a guy that knowingly cheated the game twice, and he’s the face of baseball, doing the World Series. That is not cool.

Oh do #### off. So he should be blackballed entirely?


No, the traditional BBTF punishment should suffice- take away his children...
   68. Booey Posted: March 01, 2019 at 11:19 AM (#5819475)
Tony S (#66) - Well said.
   69. . Posted: March 01, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5819487)
It's perfectly fine to not have cared about 'roiding BITD, but that personal stance has nothing to do with any of the points Lofton is making.
   70. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 01, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5819514)
No, the traditional BBTF punishment should suffice- take away his children...

But he has sired so many!
   71. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 01, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5819525)
same with salaries; I've never understood why so many people get miffed at how much players are paid).


I'm in the same boat, there. I'm certainly aware of which players are highly paid, but in 50 years of watching baseball, I don't think I've ever thought in the middle of a game about how much money a specific player may be making.
   72. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 01, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5819529)
I don't think I've ever thought in the middle of a game about how much money a specific player may be making.
Two words: Jason Heyward.
   73. BrianBrianson Posted: March 01, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5819543)
66 is almost flawless, though it could use the phrase "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't competin'"
   74. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: March 01, 2019 at 03:18 PM (#5819546)
66 is good, except below I'd say it's still 90% PR, and thus it's still the case that it's mostly an institutional problem.

Now, if baseball had adopted a strong anti-steroid policy, and enforced it, and made sure that players understood that messing with PED's would be the end of their careers (whatever their status within the game), and a player still went ahead with using PED's, THEN it becomes an individual problem, not an institutional one, and THEN everyone's justified in piling on the individual player. Baseball is closer to that scenario now than it was during Lofton's time, though it's hard to know how much of that is PR and how much of that is reality.
   75. BrianBrianson Posted: March 01, 2019 at 03:51 PM (#5819549)
It's hard for any sport. The world's top bridge player just got suspended for using steroids.
   76. SoSH U at work Posted: March 01, 2019 at 03:52 PM (#5819551)
66 is good, except below I'd say it's still 90% PR, and thus it's still the case that it's mostly an institutional problem.


What is this based on?

   77. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 01, 2019 at 04:03 PM (#5819560)

I didn't care that much about the cheaters BITD, and I'm sure I will cheer for Robinson Cano without reservation this year despite his positive test last year.

But striving for an honest assessment of Kenny Lofton's career, it's hard to ignore PEDs. I mean, if you believe he had 68.3 bWAR and 62.4 fWAR then he should probably be in the HOF anyway. And if you think that many of his peers had their offensive stats inflated by PEDs, then you'd have to think that Lofton, playing in a cleaner era, would have been worth more simply by virtue of a lower league average. And especially if you think that guys like McGwire, Bonds, Manny etc. shouldn't be in the Hall (as many writers apparently do), then you should really give additional consideration to supposedly clean guys like Lofton.
   78. Booey Posted: March 01, 2019 at 04:04 PM (#5819561)
#75 - Is that story real? PED's would help a bridge player...how?

(also pretty surprised they actually bother testing for PED's)
   79. BrianBrianson Posted: March 01, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5819562)
They're testing for PEDs because they want it to be a demonstration sport in some upcoming Olympics.
   80. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: March 01, 2019 at 04:12 PM (#5819563)
#75 - Is that story real? PED's would help a bridge player...how?
Stamina and focus?
   81. BrianBrianson Posted: March 01, 2019 at 04:19 PM (#5819565)
then you should really give additional consideration to supposedly clean guys like Lofton.


No, you shouldn't, because your suppositions about who's supposedly clean is basically rumour, misinformation, and the reading of chicken bones.
   82. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 01, 2019 at 04:26 PM (#5819566)
I mean, if you believe he had 68.3 bWAR and 62.4 fWAR then he should probably be in the HOF anyway.
Isn't that like saying "if you believe he played in 2103 games and batted .299 with 622 stolen bases?"
   83. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:29 PM (#5819600)
No, you shouldn't, because your suppositions about who's supposedly clean is basically rumour, misinformation, and the reading of chicken bones.

So do some of their suppositions about who's dirty, but it hasn't stopped them from keeping out Sosa.

Isn't that like saying "if you believe he played in 2103 games and batted .299 with 622 stolen bases?"

Poor wording on my part. I meant if you believe he was actually worth that many wins above replacement and aren't haircutting the defensive metrics, which many people seem to be doing with respect to Lofton.

But I also don't consider WAR to be a statistic the same way that hits or stolen bases are -- when Lofton was first eligible for the HOM in 2012, he had 65.3 bWAR and Jim Edmonds had 67.9 (according to the thread at the time). Today, Lofton is at 68.3 and Edmonds is at 60.4 even though neither one played another game. bWAR and fWAR are calculations that change over time based on some combination of new data, new methodologies and whimsy, so I can understand people who treat them with some amount of skepticism.
   84. BrianBrianson Posted: March 01, 2019 at 07:03 PM (#5819610)
Right, but it's utter bullshit Sosa isn't in the Hall. Hell, even if you're anti-steroids, where the evidence against Sosa is that he hit more than 60 HRs in a season.
   85. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: March 01, 2019 at 08:33 PM (#5819624)
I genuinely don't care about the cheaters, weirdly. I just... never did. I care about cheating literally only when fellow amateur runners cut courses. I'm like, dude, just finish or quit. Story out today about Johnny Manziel's wife running a half-marathon in 1:58, which is fine, except she would have had to run the last four miles in 17 minutes and, no. That stuff I hate.
She and her friend apparently actually ran at a 14:20 minutes per mile pace, as shown by her times over the first 6.4 miles. That's actually pretty fast, if you're walking. But it's slower than I walk to the subway in the morning, and I'm not even the fastest walker in NYC. (To be fair, I walk faster than 99% of people even in NYC, and thus 99.9% of people nationwide. It's rare that someone passes me.)
   86. Adam Starblind Posted: March 01, 2019 at 09:31 PM (#5819633)
The evidence against Sosa is exactly as strong as the evidence against Lofton.


Lofton started off skinny and morphed into a wrestler, hit 60 HR in a season twice, and gave a lawyerly answer to Congress about whether he used?
   87. Booey Posted: March 01, 2019 at 09:52 PM (#5819638)
Lofton started off skinny and morphed into a wrestler, hit 60 HR in a season twice, and gave a lawyerly answer to Congress about whether he used?


Sosa actually hit over 60 HR in a season 3 times. But all of that still just amounts to assumptions rather than evidence.


(of course I think Sosa used, but it's never been proven to any kind of reasonable standard)
   88. SoSH U at work Posted: March 01, 2019 at 10:20 PM (#5819643)
Sosa actually hit over 60 HR in a season 3 times


And led the league in homers twice. But never in the same season.
   89. BrianBrianson Posted: March 01, 2019 at 10:28 PM (#5819645)
Lofton started off skinny and morphed into a wrestler, hit 60 HR in a season twice, and gave a lawyerly answer to Congress about whether he used?


No, but I smoked a couple blunts and then my Ouiji Board told me Lofton used Steroids, which is just as strong as far as evidence goes.
   90. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 03, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5819881)

Sosa reportedly (according to the NYT) tested positive in 2003. I don’t put a ton of stock in that reporting, given some of the issues that have been noted about that list. But it’s more than anyone has against Lofton, which is just spite and the need to win internet arguments.

For what it’s worth, Sosa isn’t in the HOM (yet) and they don’t count steroid use against a player. He’s a borderline candidate; I’d probably vote for him if I had a ballot but his exclusion isn’t a travesty. Lofton was arguably a more valuable player but was one-and-done.
   91. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 03, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5819886)

And that stuff about Manziel’s wife is nuts.
   92. BrianBrianson Posted: March 03, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5819897)
Sosa reportedly (according to the NYT) tested positive in 2003.


Go and read the story. An anonymous lawyer told the NYT that he remembered seeing Sosa's name on the list, but didn't remember in what context. It's the same quality as the evidence against Lofton.
   93. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 03, 2019 at 09:08 PM (#5819945)
Brian, you’re being quite disingenuous here. First of all, it was more than one lawyer who spoke to the Times. Second, “didn’t remember in what context” is incorrect. They didn’t remember what substance he had tested positive for, but:

Sammy Sosa, who joined with Mark McGwire in 1998 in a celebrated pursuit of baseball’s single-season home run record, is among the players who tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the drug-testing results from that year.


That’s the “context”. Now, there is additional context that Manfred has said there were some false positives on that list so we shouldn’t put much stock in it. (And that Sosa was also caught cheating by using a corked bat. That’s not an offense that should keep him out of the HOF but it does perhaps give us some insight into his respect for the rules.). That is more than there is against Lofton, and I don’t understand why people continue to dispute that point.
   94. Adam Starblind Posted: March 04, 2019 at 06:52 AM (#5819960)
Lofton started off skinny and morphed into a wrestler, hit 60 HR in a season twice, and gave a lawyerly answer to Congress about whether he used?


No, but I smoked a couple blunts and then my Ouiji Board told me Lofton used Steroids, which is just as strong as far as evidence goes.


No, it isn't.

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