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Monday, November 22, 2021

Vaccaro: Why I won’t vote for PED-cheat Alex Rodriguez on Hall of Fame ballot

But there is no vacuum. There is no bubble. These games happen in real time, and in real life, and are not immune to the vagaries of the real world. We know, as a matter of record, that Alex Rodriguez confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs early in his career. And we know — again, on the record — that Rodriguez either continued to use or re-engaged in their use after MLB instituted steroid legislation in 2003.

It is why the box next to Rodriguez’s name on my Hall of Fame ballot will remain unchecked when I send it in next month.

There is something heartbreaking about that, because watching Rodriguez in his prime was about as good as baseball is capable of being. He did everything, and did everything well. He could carry a ballclub by himself for a month. It was impossible to take your eyes off him. There are a handful of players in each generation you can say that about.

A talent like that belongs in Cooperstown.

And if he’d merely left the drugs alone after coming clean in 2009 — two years after he lied in Katie Couric’s face, and in America’s, swearing he’d never touched them — this could be an entirely different conversation. There still might be Draconian voters for whom that would be an unforgivable sin. But he might have a shot at changing their minds.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 22, 2021 at 10:48 PM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alex rodriguez, hall of fame, peds

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Hombre Brotani Posted: November 22, 2021 at 11:01 PM (#6054143)
That's now how I'd vote, but this is a perfectly reasonable take, and I understand it.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: November 23, 2021 at 12:24 AM (#6054160)
I feel like the headline saves me the trouble of reading the article.

And if he’d merely left the drugs alone after coming clean in 2009 — two years after he lied in Katie Couric’s face, and in America’s, swearing he’d never touched them — this could be an entirely different conversation.

Is this courtesy extended to Bonds and McGwire and Palmeiro (and Sosa although we have no real evidence he used to being with ... and Clemens)? As far as we know they didn't use after PEDs were actually made illegal (and testing began). At worst, they lied to Congress not St Katie's face ... surely the former is the lesser sin.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 23, 2021 at 12:33 AM (#6054161)
Is this courtesy extended to Bonds and McGwire and Palmeiro (and Sosa although we have no real evidence he used to being with ... and Clemens)?
The Thibs Tracker has Vaccaro voting for Bonds, Clemens & Sheffield, among others, but not Sosa, last year.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: November 23, 2021 at 12:37 AM (#6054163)
s this courtesy extended to Bonds and McGwire and Palmeiro (and Sosa although we have no real evidence he used to being with ... and Clemens)?

If you're really curious about the answer to that question, you should have read the article.

I'm not really sure where I'd come down on Arod, but like Hombre I don't have a problem with drawing the line with him.

   5. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 23, 2021 at 07:24 AM (#6054175)
Among the 10 or so players with some-to-obvious HOF case to make, how would people here rank them in terms of how troubling their PED situation is? This is different from ranking them on how HOF-worthy their overall case is.

And it looks like that as the BB/RC situation get resolved one way or another this year, the ARod situation comes just in time to take its place for the next 10 years...
   6. Rough Carrigan Posted: November 23, 2021 at 07:41 AM (#6054178)
How dare he lie to Katie Couric? What did he think he was, someone in the entertainment business pushing a piece of crap movie saying it was wonderful?
   7. Rally Posted: November 23, 2021 at 08:47 AM (#6054195)
He didn’t vote for Sosa, had two empty ballot spots. Maybe he just looked past the 600 homers and decided Sosa wasn’t any better than Bobby Abreu. Contemporaries, same position, same production. Bobby was an all around offensive threat while Sammy’s value was concentrated in the homers.

He didn’t vote for Manny, which is very consistent with his take on A-Roid.
   8. The Duke Posted: November 23, 2021 at 08:57 AM (#6054200)
Who’s Katie Couric?
   9. sanny manguillen Posted: November 23, 2021 at 09:55 AM (#6054215)
Sammy still has the unfortunate image of the doctored bat against him.
   10. Rally Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:04 AM (#6054219)
I’ve never withheld my mock vote from Bonds, Clemens, and their ilk. But most of the time I have not voted for Sammy. I don’t have any objection to him getting in, and I realize he’s gotten a raw deal: always lumped in with the roiders despite very little or no evidence against him.

The problem I have is just about every time I fill out a mock ballot, there were 10 guys who were better than Sammy. The ballot crunch has abated in recent years and I might have had a spot for him last year.
   11. reech Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:45 AM (#6054236)
And we know — again, on the record — that Rodriguez either continued to use or re-engaged in their use after MLB instituted steroid legislation in 2003.

^^^^
This


   12. JJ1986 Posted: November 23, 2021 at 11:47 AM (#6054246)
I might withhold a vote from A-Rod because it's 2021 and the dude is whining that the Astros rely too much on analytics.
   13. dejarouehg Posted: November 23, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6054249)
Who’s Katie Couric?


If you're interested in an NSFW prank, look up Katie Couric & Amy Shumer.
   14. dejarouehg Posted: November 23, 2021 at 11:54 AM (#6054251)
I realize he’s gotten a raw deal: always lumped in with the roiders despite very little or no evidence against him


I'm a huge Sammy fan. Couldn't disagree with you more. It's not a raw deal. He used and is exhibit 1A on the benefits of roiding up.

Bonds, being exhibit 1, is much more of a tragedy since he was probably the best player in the sport prior to the time he is widely considered to begin using.

I still can't understand the objection to HGH though.
   15. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 23, 2021 at 12:05 PM (#6054253)
Who’s Katie Couric?
A unit of measurement for the weight of fecal matter.
   16. Booey Posted: November 23, 2021 at 12:07 PM (#6054254)
#14 - We all "know" Sammy used, but what's the actual evidence? All I've heard is that an anonymous source said his name was on a list of failed tests that's never been revealed to the public. Beyond that, all we have is the physical "evidence" (he just LOOKS like a PED user and his homers doubled once he bulked up), and the "guilt by association" link (the other 2 guys who broke the single season HR record were credibly linked to PED's, so he had to be using too, right?).

If that's all there is, that's...well, not much.
   17. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: November 23, 2021 at 12:13 PM (#6054255)
There's the Congressional hearing where he had a translator, which caught him no end of flak. Though I always thought Sosa caught a bad rap for that -- it's one thing to speak conversational English well enough to tell your teammates to look out for the pitcher's slider or to tell reporters after the game that you're just trying to take it one game at a time and help the team win, it's another to trust those language skills when you're in front of a freaking Congressional sub-committee and testifying on pain of perjury.
   18. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 23, 2021 at 02:24 PM (#6054288)
I speak pretty good French, but you better believe I'd want a translator there if I got hauled in front of the National Assembly in Paris.
   19. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 23, 2021 at 02:29 PM (#6054290)
Anyway, the problem with Sammy, at least for me, has less to do with roids and more to do with era. He's a sub-borderline guy who only really gets talked about because he happened to be playing at the exact moment that made his greatest skill look far greater than it was. Whether that was steroids or the ballparks or the ball or all three doesn't really matter to me. We was very good, but not quite great.

Sometimes I think about the guys who might have broken Maris' record if they'd played in the 90s and 00s, and there tend to be a lot of very good players sprinkled in among the greats. George Foster probably would have done it. Jim Rice. Frank Howard. In the end, Sosa is closer to those guys, in my mind, than he is to Bonds or Griffey or some of the other slugging outfielders of his own era.
   20. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 23, 2021 at 02:42 PM (#6054293)
Sosa is iffy on the merits. I guess I'd vote for him, but if you go back to last year's mock-ballot and I didn't, well, I wouldn't be surprised.

I'm also really tired of anti-steroid articles. We've been subjected to so much sanctimoniousness over the past couple decades that I've sort of reflexively started liking steroid users more for the fact that they used steroids.
   21. Jesus Luzardo Maraschino Posted: November 23, 2021 at 03:05 PM (#6054299)
George Foster probably would have done it. Jim Rice. Frank Howard.


Hey that's HOFer Jim Rice!

I remember going to a Giants Cubs game in SF (maybe 1995 or 1996?) before I knew anything about steroids (I was high school and an A's fan). When Bonds and Sosa were talking before the game it looked like they were about 3 feet thick from their chest to their back. I couldn't believe how huge they were.
   22. Greg Pope Posted: November 23, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6054312)
All I've heard is that an anonymous source said his name was on a list of failed tests that's never been revealed to the public.

Not only that, but IIRC, they were testing for a whole lot of things, many of which weren't even banned substances.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: November 23, 2021 at 04:40 PM (#6054319)
#3 and others: Good on him, he has been consistent. I'm OK with somebody not voting for Sosa on the merits, especially back in the day of crowded ballots.

Yes, the "evidence" against Sosa is that he was named by the NYT as being on the list. Per the NYT, this required two people "familiar with the list" to name Sosa. Even if that was the case (the NYT's track record on due diligence on sources is not great), there are numerous issues. First, this occurred several months after ARod had been named by SI. Why did it take so long to find these two people who would confirm? Did they find the first person shortly after the SI article broke then spent 3-4 months calling around to various lawyers and finally found a second? Next, the sources did not have the list in front of them at the time they confirmed Sosa's (and other?) names ... did they possibly confuse Sosa with Manny or Ortiz? Next, as with any such anonymously sourced articles, how many other players were named by source #1 that you couldn't get confirmed or whose presence on the list might have even been denied by other sources? (i.e. is either source actually reliable?) Next, there were apparently numerous false positives on the list although MLB/MLBPA only made a big deal over Ortiz.

To this day, as far as I know, nobody in the media has seen a legit copy of the list. It's basically all "lawyers" (are we sure about that?) going off their memory of the list from several months prior. It's just crappy "evidence."
   24. base ball chick Posted: November 23, 2021 at 05:53 PM (#6054340)
Booey Posted: November 23, 2021 at 12:07 PM (#6054254)

#14 - We all "know" Sammy used, but what's the actual evidence?


- ok here's yer "evidence"

1 - he put on a lot of muscle weight after being skinny at age 20 because we all know it is not physically possible for any man to put on any muscle weight after age 20 without shooting up. except for now - i've read about at least 4-5 guys who have put on 20 lbs of muscle since last season but the truth is now different from what it used to be

2 - he don espicka da inlis perfeck especially in front of congress (everyone else speaks like a college professor of English literature)

3 - someone said that someone said that they heard that someone read his name on a list, don't know what the supposedly positive test was for, but hey - accused = guilty

4 - he played loud hispanic type music in the clubhouse even after a loss. therefore he did drugs

what more evidence do you need?
   25. Booey Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:57 PM (#6054435)
#19 - I don't think Foster, Rice, or Frank Howard are good comps for Sosa. Those guys remind me more of Juan Gone, Albert Belle, and Carlos Delgado.

Give Sosa strike credit, and he squeaks over 60 WAR. He's more in the boat with Killebrew, McCovey, Stargell, and Billy Williams. He doesn't need to be on par with Bonds and Griffey as a slugging outfielder to be a valid HOFer any more than those guys had to be on par with Mays, Aaron, Mantle, and F Robinson.

Edit: Also, who are the other slugging outfielders of the era that you think Sosa is clearly behind? Manny, I suppose, but Sammy is right on par with Vlad and Sheffield. I can't really think of any others...
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 24, 2021 at 08:45 AM (#6054452)
- ok here's yer "evidence"

1 - he put on a lot of muscle weight after being skinny at age 20 because we all know it is not physically possible for any man to put on any muscle weight after age 20 without shooting up. except for now - i've read about at least 4-5 guys who have put on 20 lbs of muscle since last season but the truth is now different from what it used to be

2 - he don espicka da inlis perfeck especially in front of congress (everyone else speaks like a college professor of English literature)

3 - someone said that someone said that they heard that someone read his name on a list, don't know what the supposedly positive test was for, but hey - accused = guilty

4 - he played loud hispanic type music in the clubhouse even after a loss. therefore he did drugs

what more evidence do you need?


Hey, he didn't take Rick Reilly's "If you didn't take steroids, then piss in this cup" test!
   27. sanny manguillen Posted: November 24, 2021 at 09:07 AM (#6054454)
- ok here's yer "evidence"


Again, you can't talk about Sosa's evidence without talking about the doctored bat. It was very public and went straight to credibility, which impacts every other argument about him.
   28. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 24, 2021 at 07:44 PM (#6054542)
Again, you can't talk about Sosa's evidence without talking about the doctored bat.
Players have been tinkering with bats for decades. If caught, the penalty was a brief suspension. It’s not disqualifying, and doesn’t enhance the skimpy (or non-existent, depending on your POV) evidence of PED use.
   29. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: November 27, 2021 at 10:16 AM (#6054774)
A-Rod borrow Chico's soap and no give back.

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