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Thread: Article: Hall of Fame Flap Brewing?

  1. #21
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    So because a cheater has already been admitted, we should open the door to all of them? That's a pretty thin arguement. I could care less if Perry got kicked out of the Hall, but his spitball rates at about a 1 on baseballs scandal meter. The steriod cheats made the embarasment of the 1994 strike look like a funny little sidenote in the games history. These guys did significant damage to the game. They knew there would be consequeces if they got caught.
    To me, an important distinction is whether mechanisms exist for the officials on the field to do something about it or not. Umpires are hardly unaware of spitballs and corked bats and the like, and when they choose not to enforce those rules it is questionable for others to go about trying to correct this choice after the fact. On the other hand, umpires should not be tasked with trying to determine whether a player has an illegal substance in his body or not. I don't think it's fair to suggest someone of hypocrisy if they choose to view these differently. "Between the white lines" versus not, matters to me.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManWinter View Post
    Biggentleben, Jack Morris did not pitch MLB in the 60's. A 17 year career started in 1977.
    Never said he did. I'm saying if he pitched in the 1960s, no one would EVER consider him a HOF pitcher.
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  3. #23
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    Ugh. Where to begin.

    First, amphetamines weren't "cheating" when Aaron used them, because they weren't banned by MLB until 2006, 15 years AFTER steroids.

    Second, amphetamines aren't performance enhancers. They don't make you stronger or faster, they just make you less tired.

    Third, the "Guilty until proven innocent" rationalization is beyond silly. If you cheat, you shouldn't get in. If Bonds cared about the Hall of Fame, he shouldn't have cheated, and he'd be in today. Now he can buy a ticket like everyone else if he wants to get in. Same for the rest of the 'roid morons.

    Rewarding dishonesty is always a bad idea. So is patting someone on the back for injecting themselves with dangerous chemicals. Nice messages for America's youth: 'Cheat and abuse your body! See you when you and your shriveled grapes get voted in!'.
    Except that every sport has them considered performance enhancers, and they've always been illegal without a prescription in the form that was utilized in baseball. Greenies aren't your old Excedrin. They're concentrated amphetamine, and ABSOLUTELY a performance enhancer. You do realize that there are more evidenced research studies done that find steroids do NOT enhance quick twitch performance (basically hitting or throwing a baseball). There are plenty of other studies that state that steroids actually slow down quick-twitch reactions, so they make a baseball player worse, not better. Not every person responds the same to every drug, but to claim amphetamines are not enhancing and steroids are as a blanket statement is simply incorrect.
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  4. #24
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
    How on earth can you make that claim?
    As easily as someone can claim anyone currently in the Hall is clean...
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  5. #25
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggentleben View Post
    Except that every sport has them considered performance enhancers, and they've always been illegal without a prescription in the form that was utilized in baseball. Greenies aren't your old Excedrin. They're concentrated amphetamine, and ABSOLUTELY a performance enhancer. You do realize that there are more evidenced research studies done that find steroids do NOT enhance quick twitch performance (basically hitting or throwing a baseball). There are plenty of other studies that state that steroids actually slow down quick-twitch reactions, so they make a baseball player worse, not better. Not every person responds the same to every drug, but to claim amphetamines are not enhancing and steroids are as a blanket statement is simply incorrect.
    Yup, Bonds, MM, and SS all fought through the disadvantage of steroids to get their tree trunk arms around on those fastballs at a suddenly record-setting pace. Way to triumph over adversity!

    Unbelievable. If you want to think there's moral equivalency between Mays/Aaron and the roid freaks, have at it. You're making the argument that using a publicly illegal drug (a character issue) is the same as using a league-banned substance (a rules violation). It's the same mistake that most of the Pete Rose defenders make at some point.

    And the semantics of performance-enhancing vs. -altering aside, there are medical journal studies showing that amphetamines have either minimal or even no detectable effect on most kinds of athletic performance.

    On the other hand, steroids had an incredibly easy-to-detect effect on the roid users. They became ridiculously muscular and began hitting more homers at a phase in their careers where most players begin to hit fewer, or retire.

    Bonds, for the record, tested positive for amphets too, about 10 minutes after they started testing.
    Last edited by LaBombo; 01-10-2013 at 02:34 PM.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    Yup, Bonds, MM, and SS all fought through the disadvantage of steroids to get their tree trunk arms around on those fastballs at a suddenly record-setting pace.

    Unbelievable.
    And Ken Caminiti lost his life due to steroid use. Many players went downhill after reported steroid use, just like many improved. You want to see only those who gained from the drugs, just like only seeing those who are mentally ill and attack someone will confirm a bias someone has against the mentally ill. Neither is correct.
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  7. #27
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    I'm sure Caminiti's problems with cocaine abuse had nothing to do with it, it was the steroids.
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  8. #28
    Here's my take on the players that used or are suspected of using PEDs. The voters for the HOF will make sure they stay on the ballot until at least one "clean" player is elected. For pitchers that happens next year when Maddox and possibly Glavine get in. For hitters, it will happen after Ken Griffey Jr. is elected. (And possibly Jim Thome if he decides 2012 was his last year.) I think this is how the BBWAA makes its stand.

  9. #29
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggentleben View Post
    And Ken Caminiti lost his life due to steroid use. Many players went downhill after reported steroid use, just like many improved. You want to see only those who gained from the drugs, just like only seeing those who are mentally ill and attack someone will confirm a bias someone has against the mentally ill. Neither is correct.
    Caminiti experienced a huge power spike in the same years (including his MVP year) the other roid users did, so swing and a miss there. His death, if anything, is an indirect argument against your apparent desire to ignore the cheating (a distinction you have ignored in every post) of the roid candidates.

    Why endorse a deadly drug by rubber-stamping the HOF bids of some of the most notorious steroid abusers in sports? The mental illness analogy is an incredibly sad effort to create the illusion of victimhood in a discussion where none exists.

  10. #30
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    I don't have a problem with the result of yesterday's vote as much as I do the reasoning (or lack thereof) behind it. When you read some of the published explanations for ballots, it's hard not to come away feeling like the process is completely broken.

    For example, you've got Wallace Matthews saying things like "You can argue that I should have voted for Jack Morris (I have in the past but wasn't feeling it this year)....

    Really? He wasn't "feeling it"? Last I checked it was the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Wallace Matthews' Feelings.

    I read another guy who said that he "needed more time" to decide on Biggio. More time? Don't they get these ballots months before they're due? If you can't do the job in the time alloted, step aside and give it to someone who can.

  11. #31
    Remember, when McGuire and Sosa were banging HR's the emphasis was how are the balls being juiced. At least among us naive people there was no assumption there were HR pills.

  12. #32
    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post

    Unbelievable. If you want to think there's moral equivalency between Mays/Aaron and the roid freaks, have at it. You're making the argument that using a publicly illegal drug (a character issue) is the same as using a league-banned substance (a rules violation). It's the same mistake that most of the Pete Rose defenders make at some point.

    And the semantics of performance-enhancing vs. -altering aside, there are medical journal studies showing that amphetamines have either minimal or even no detectable effect on most kinds of athletic performance.
    Ohhhhh... so all those guys using greenies were doing it just for recreational purposes! OK.

    Look, 'roids and greenies did not have the exact same effect, but to argue that either of them aren't PEDs is pretty silly. There are reasons players took both drugs. They may not be the SAME reason, but both involved "enhancing performance." Steroids were taken to make a guy stronger and greenies were taken to give a guy more energy, get him through a long season, etc. And don't even bother with the "greenies ddin't aid performance" crap. I took them in the 70s and all I was doing was playing HS baseball. They certainly didn't turn my sorry skills in to MLB skills, but they made me better than I would have been without them (I worked 10 hour days in construction that summer).

    If Mays took greenies and it helped them with their focus through a long season, didn't that put a pitcher who didn't use them at a competitive disadvantage? If Aaron used greenies and that allowed him to retain the necessary energy to keep hitting HRs later in a long season, should there be a * next to his HR record because he had a chemical advantage Babe Ruth didn't have?

    Just because their bodies didn't transform in to bigger versions of themselves doesn't mean they didn't give make themselves better through modern chemistry (or at least what passed for modern in their time). And they knew they were breaking the law, too. That lack of "moral character" in an effort to perform better tells me all I need to know about whether they also would have taken steroids if they had been as readily available to them in their day as they were to Bonds, et al.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

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  13. #33
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManWinter View Post
    Remember, when McGuire and Sosa were banging HR's the emphasis was how are the balls being juiced. At least among us naive people there was no assumption there were HR pills.
    I remember Sosa. Not sure about this other guy. Nevermind that both of them have admitted to andro and creatine, both of which were available at your local GNC at the time.
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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    So because a cheater has already been admitted, we should open the door to all of them? That's a pretty thin arguement. I could care less if Perry got kicked out of the Hall, but his spitball rates at about a 1 on baseballs scandal meter. The steriod cheats made the embarasment of the 1994 strike look like a funny little sidenote in the games history. These guys did significant damage to the game. They knew there would be consequeces if they got caught.
    Bogus! These guys SAVED baseball in 1998. The game was dull and boring, then came history assaults on the homerun record books. Hell, MLB should give them medals for putting their long-term health at risk in order to revitalize the fans' interest in the game. (not really, but I would still argue they helped the game despite the HoF mess they have caused) and YES! it did make the strike look like a "funny little side note in history" That's the whole point!

    "Rewarding dishonesty is always a bad idea. So is patting someone on the back for injecting themselves with dangerous chemicals. Nice messages for America's youth: 'Cheat and abuse your body! See you when you and your shriveled grapes get voted in!'.

    So you're against rewarding dishonesty, yet are totally cool with completely ignoring how hypocritical MLB and all of the baseball writers are? How many of the HoF writers were gushing over how awesome 1998 was, and how insane Barry Bonds was during the end of his career? Some of them even voted for his MVP's and Roger's Cy Young Awards. Yet now they pretend to be abhorred about how awful these guys are for the game and their cheating ways. Sure, some of them didn't know what was going on in 1998 (neither did I, but I was a 9 year old kid, not some beat writer in the clubhouses seeing how ripped these guys actually were with all their backne and swollen heads) but other people close to the game (players, coaches, GM's owners, writers) HAD to have known what was going on, yet did nothing. Maybe the commish even knew, yet did nothing. Why? Because it helped bring interest back to the game. Now MLB is turning their backs on these players, scolding them for their wrong doings. The whole thing is a joke.

  15. #35
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
    Ohhhhh... so all those guys using greenies were doing it just for recreational purposes! OK.

    Look, 'roids and greenies did not have the exact same effect, but to argue that either of them aren't PEDs is pretty silly. There are reasons players took both drugs. They may not be the SAME reason, but both involved "enhancing performance." Steroids were taken to make a guy stronger and greenies were taken to give a guy more energy, get him through a long season, etc. And don't even bother with the "greenies ddin't aid performance" crap. I took them in the 70s and all I was doing was playing HS baseball. They certainly didn't turn my sorry skills in to MLB skills, but they made me better than I would have been without them (I worked 10 hour days in construction that summer).

    If Mays took greenies and it helped them with their focus through a long season, didn't that put a pitcher who didn't use them at a competitive disadvantage? If Aaron used greenies and that allowed him to retain the necessary energy to keep hitting HRs later in a long season, should there be a * next to his HR record because he had a chemical advantage Babe Ruth didn't have?

    Just because their bodies didn't transform in to bigger versions of themselves doesn't mean they didn't give make themselves better through modern chemistry (or at least what passed for modern in their time). And they knew they were breaking the law, too. That lack of "moral character" in an effort to perform better tells me all I need to know about whether they also would have taken steroids if they had been as readily available to them in their day as they were to Bonds, et al.
    You contradicted your entire pointless argument about greenies vs. roids with the single sentence bolded above.

    So they made you "better" by reducing fatigue. By that silly, nonsensical standard, SLEEP would be an unfair competitive advantage. Or just not having a demanding job. So you're seriously comparing that to making massive alterations to human physiology with constant chemical usage. Bit of a stretch.

    As silly as that is, it isn't what makes your argument pointless. And neither is your bizarre implication that once one cheater is in, there's no reason to keep others out.

    No, what makes it pointless is that you're equating the use of a substance that was banned by Major League Baseball to the use of a substance that was not banned. Apples/pianos comparison. Major League Baseball set the acceptability standard for the former. You're setting the standard for the latter. Attempt to defame players like Mays and Aaron all you want with your ridiculous equivalencies and sad little conjecture that they 'would've cheated'. The roid freaks violated MLB rules, the amphet guys didn't.

  16. #36
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm3319 View Post
    "Rewarding dishonesty is always a bad idea. So is patting someone on the back for injecting themselves with dangerous chemicals. Nice messages for America's youth: 'Cheat and abuse your body! See you when you and your shriveled grapes get voted in!'.

    So you're against rewarding dishonesty, yet are totally cool with completely ignoring how hypocritical MLB and all of the baseball writers are? How many of the HoF writers were gushing over how awesome 1998 was, and how insane Barry Bonds was during the end of his career? Some of them even voted for his MVP's and Roger's Cy Young Awards. Yet now they pretend to be abhorred about how awful these guys are for the game and their cheating ways. Sure, some of them didn't know what was going on in 1998 (neither did I, but I was a 9 year old kid, not some beat writer in the clubhouses seeing how ripped these guys actually were with all their backne and swollen heads) but other people close to the game (players, coaches, GM's owners, writers) HAD to have known what was going on, yet did nothing. Maybe the commish even knew, yet did nothing. Why? Because it helped bring interest back to the game. Now MLB is turning their backs on these players, scolding them for their wrong doings. The whole thing is a joke.
    You failed to justify your defense of the roid cheaters, so you changed the subject and made up a stance on it for me?

    My post was addressing the unworthiness of the roid cheats for the Hall. If they vote Selig into the Hall, I'll be just as unhappy, and not just for his role in the steroid trainwreck. Good luck finding anything in what I wrote that implies otherwise.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post

    No, what makes it pointless is that you're equating the use of a substance that was banned by Major League Baseball to the use of a substance that was not banned. Apples/pianos comparison. Major League Baseball set the acceptability standard for the former. You're setting the standard for the latter. Attempt to defame players like Mays and Aaron all you want with your ridiculous equivalencies and sad little conjecture that they 'would've cheated'. The roid freaks violated MLB rules, the amphet guys didn't.
    Amphetamines were still illegal unless you had a prescription (hey, just like steroids!) before 1971. I doubt all MLB clubs got a team prescription to legally allow them to brew a cup of coffee with greenies in them for the whole team to enjoy. Also, it's pointless to say something is illegal in MLB if there wasn't any testing until the early 2000's. Sure, steroids were illegal after 1990 in the eyes of MLB but they did nothing to enforce the rules.

    And yes, greenies enhance performance. Say you're tired and worn out at the end of the season so you're at 80% but you pop some pills to get you back to 100%. That's boosting performance above your natural state. Say steroids take you from 80% at your fatigued state to 120% of your normal, unenhanced state. Either way, both enhance performance beyond what is your current natural state. I'll admit steroids probably help more than greenies, but to compare greenies to a full night sleep is just silly. Sleep is not a competitive advantage because it's 100% legal in the eyes of MLB and federal law. Nice try though.

  18. #38
    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    The thread has predictably become another debate about the worthiness of 'roid users in the HOF and that really wasn't what my article intended to focus on. Rather, it is the contention among some writers that this issue and the resulting failure to elect anyone to the HOF this year necessitates changing the voting to, say, allow voters to list 15 players on their ballot. Can I suggest, since none of us are going to convince others to change their minds on 'roid issues, that we focus on the voting process, instead?

    I understand that the HOF will need a steady influx of live inductees. I think they'll have them, but if that's really the only (or best) reason to change the rules for how the voting takes place, think about this... Leave the ballot limit at 10 players, but with the caveat that every year the top vote getter, regardless of what % of the vote he gets, is declared elected to the HOF. In addition, naturally, any OTHER player who gets 75% or more is also elected. Solves that problem a lot simpler than letting voters name 15 players on their ballot and doesn't come with all the other potential side effects of increasing to 15.

    Would Biggio's election this year come with a stigma attached to it? Yeah... but no more so than if he only got 75% because writers were allowed to vote for 15 guys. Anyone who gets elected as a result of a change in voting rules will enter somewhat tarnished, but I'd argue that getting the most votes, even if it's fewer than 75%, may be more significant in future years than getting 75% has been in the pre-roid era of voting.
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  19. #39
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Jim, I believe on your first point, the #1 thing that needs to be done is to publish all ballots. There are grandstanding reporters who have announced they did or did not vote for certain guys (or for anyone), but, by and large, most BBWAA guys aren't owning up and sharing their ballots. I think being accountable for the BS vote may reduce that BS vote significantly. If you're voting for Aaron freaking Sele, you should be ridiculed for it. If you're denying Craig Biggio or Jeff Bagwell the HOF, you should have to answer for why you chose that. Writers making assumptions and becoming moral police on players without accountability for their own morals in voting is complete BS in my opinion.
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  20. #40
    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggentleben View Post
    Jim, I believe on your first point, the #1 thing that needs to be done is to publish all ballots. There are grandstanding reporters who have announced they did or did not vote for certain guys (or for anyone), but, by and large, most BBWAA guys aren't owning up and sharing their ballots. I think being accountable for the BS vote may reduce that BS vote significantly. If you're voting for Aaron freaking Sele, you should be ridiculed for it. If you're denying Craig Biggio or Jeff Bagwell the HOF, you should have to answer for why you chose that. Writers making assumptions and becoming moral police on players without accountability for their own morals in voting is complete BS in my opinion.
    I totally agree. All ballots should be public, as should the identity of those eligible voters who fail to cast a ballot.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

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