Is 'Roid Rage Affecting the Sportswriters Who Vote Players into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

So Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn made it into Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. That's an exceptionally rare honor but it's one that both players deserve fully.

Not so for Mark McGwire, the home-run-bashing, low-average slugger for the Oakland A's and St. Louis Cardinals who made a truly pathetic spectacle of himself a few years back during a ridiculous and illegitimate Congressional hearing on the dread menace of steroids in sports (as former Reasoner Matt Welch, now of the LA Times, put it eloquently, "Congress has no business examining baseball's urine"). I never liked McGwire or the teams he played for, and his blubbery performance (in every sense of the word) was embarrassing to say the least. Yet as Gene Lyons and others point out, McGwire, who used performance-enhancing substances during his career, has never been charged with, much less found guilty of, breaking baseball's rules at the time he was playing. (Things have changed since then.)

Just based on his stats, which are excellent, but not immortal-level excellent, I don't think McGwire deserved entry on a first-round ballot. It's not clear whether McGwire will get into the Hall in a later vote, though it's quite possible. ESPN this morning gave a list of five comparable players who had to wait pretty long stretches, including a 10-year span for old Dodgers slugger Duke Snider, who is roughly similar in profile to McGwire. For the record, Tony Gwynn says he should.

I'm not sure anyone should care too much about that outcome. But it is worth recalling the larger context of this debate, which has a lot to do with the way drugs are discussed, debated, and vilified throughout society. As I wrote in March 2004, when "the steroids are killing the national pastime" was in full bloom,

There's a double standard when it comes to drugs that I think stems more from a reflexive distaste for pharmaceuticals as somehow being "unnatural"--as if there's anything pristine about the rigid and highly contrived diet and exercise regimens that pro athletes undertake. There's an unexamined sense that if you use "drugs" (though not vitamin supplements, which are "natural," right?) to become better at something, you're cheating. Even in sports where the suspect substances are not officially or completely banned (MLB, for instance, bans steroid use if the player doesn't have a prescription and various 'roid-like supplements are still not officially banned).

More here.

Bonus highlight reel: A defense of 'roid-ripping, Viagra-poppin' former slugger Rafael Palmeiro.

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  • ||

    Entry in the Baseball Hall of Fame has been watered-down year after year. Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwinn each received 98 % of the sportswriter's votes, which is a higher % than what Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, and Joe Dimaggio received.

    Let Mark McGwire wait until "War on Steroids" dies down and be inducted by the Veteran's Committee.

  • ||

    Pete Rose sez:

    I never used any god damned steroids, I was born this ugly.

  • ||

    Nick,

    Thank you for pointing out the deficiencies in McGuire's numbers. Whatever your opinion on steroids and I think mine is different than yours, I think you have to agree that numbers in the steroid era don't mean the same as numbers in the non-steroid era. Even if you think steroids make no difference for eligibility, there is no way you can say that McGuire's roid aided 568 homeruns in the liveball era of small stadiums means the same as other members of the 500 homerun club like Frank Robinson or Mickey Mantle. You have to discount the guy's numbers to take into account the era in which he played and the fact that he used steroids. What are his numbers? He is a career .263 hitter, who frequently struck out, couldn't run, played no defense to speak of, was injured for years on end, and once had a string of three years where he hit under .240. Yes, he did hit a lot of homeruns. But I think the era and the use of steroids ought to knock off at least 20% of those homeruns. If you knock off 20% of the homeruns, you end up with a guy who never hit more than 56 homeruns in a season and finished with under 500 homeruns. Those are not Hall of Fame numbers.

    I would vote for Bonds before I ever voted for McGuire. Bonds was one of the top 30 players of all time before he ever touched steroids and after he took them was the greatest hitter since Babe Ruth. McGuire was Dave Kingman before he took steroids. He really did steal greatness. I hope he never gets in.

  • creech||

    It's America's Calvinist nature to suggest that hard work - lifting weights, running, a diet regimen, etc. - is admirable for sports success but taking performance-enhancing drugs is the easy way out. Even better equipment -
    e.g. titanium drivers, composite vault poles -
    isn't frowned upon. So one can always quibble over the stats from era vs. another.
    What numbers could the Babe or the Mick have put up if they had taken care of their bodies?

    And what are some of the voters thinking when consensus Hall of Famers such as Tom Seaver and
    Mike Schmidt, to name just a few, don't get 100% of the votes?

  • ||

    John,
    I agree about McGwire's mediocrity, but I would give him a little more credit. He was a major star before he took on Ruthian proportions. I should point out that (1) he played 10 years, put up good numbers, won a gold glove despite injuries and won a world series, all before the juice, (2) he has the all-time best career homerun to at bat ratio, (3) most homeruns as a rookie and six consecutive all-star appearance before the juice, (4) the excitement he caused with the HR chase helped baseball back from the ugly strike and ensuing bitterness with the fans and (5) he ushered in the home run era (the "lively ball" era was apparently in the 1920's) but played half of his career in the big stadium days.

  • Timothy||

    Nobody ever remembers that in Ruth's day there was no such thing as a ground-rule double: balls that bounced out were homeruns.

  • ||

    We always hear how the greats of old would clean up if they trained like today's athletes, but no consideration is given to the improvements and complexities of today's pitchers. Without getting his ass in shape, and maybe even with, I doubt the Babe would even be able to make a major league squad these days.

  • Gimme Back My Dog||

    He is a career .263 hitter, who frequently struck out, couldn't run, played no defense to speak of, was injured for years on end, and once had a string of three years where he hit under .240.

    You mean like first ballot HOF'er Reggie Jackson? (except for the injury part)

  • norbizness||

    If McGwire gets in, so should Dave Kingman.

  • ||

    So much focus on McGwire is really discrediting the achievements of two outstanding ballplayers. Ripken and Gwynn are the ones really getting the shaft here; this should be their time to shine.

  • ||

    Let me make clear that I don't think the Federal Government has the legitimate power to regulate, much less criminalize, the use of steroids. Having said that, a guy who engages in activity which gives him a substantial edge over competitors, unless the competitors are also willing to violate the law, and subject themselves to possible criminal sanction, is not a guy who should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    I might vote to induct Bonds, if I had the ballot, given he put up monster performances before it became clear he was on the juice, but I don't think the same can be said about McGwire. No doubt there will be some players inducted from this era who used steroids, but have slipped below the radar; I highly suspect a few prominent pitchers, especially since pitching would appear to be the activity that would be most enhanced from steroid use, and it would not necessarily be evident in a dramatic change in visible body composition. The fact that some guys gained an edge by being willing to violate a stupid and illegitimate law, and and went discovered, however, is not a reason to look the other way with guys whose actions are pretty evident. I may change my mind if we learn at some later date that a majority or near majority of players were using steroids, but until then, it would be preferable to not give the ultimate recognition to the guys who gained an advantage because they were more willing to take the risk of engaging in criminal behavior.

  • ||

    You mean like first ballot HOF'er Reggie Jackson? (except for the injury part)


    Reggie hit 500 homeruns in an era when many fewer of them were hit. Also, Jackson was an outfielder of decent skill. Lastly, Jackson was one of the most dangerous post season players ever. McGuire in contrast was terrible in every post season he played in. I think Reggie gets the nod, but I would agree that Jackson is a bottom tier Hall of Famer. He is not one of the true greats.

    Lamar,

    The two big things that Mcguire has going for him besides the homeruns are his slugging percentage and his on base percentage. The guy really had a great eye and walked a lot. Of course both of those stats had a lot to do with him hitting homeruns. If he hadn't been such a power threat people wouldn't have walked him so much. I think he is better than Dave Kingman. That is not fair, but I really think the steroids both extended his career, he was considered washed up and injury prone when he left Oakland and turned into Babe Ruth in St. Louis, and greatly increased his numbers. After you discount for all of that, he is a real borderline guy.

  • ||

    Make that "went undiscovered". Sheesh.

  • ||

    "{especially since pitching would appear to be the activity that would be most enhanced from steroid use,"

    Really? How so? I look at skinny guys like Pedro Martinez and Mariano Rivera who throw tremendous fastballs and other big guys who can't get it above 90 and think that extra strength doesn't really help a pitcher much.

  • ||

    So much focus on McGwire is really discrediting the achievements of two outstanding ballplayers. Ripken and Gwynn are the ones really getting the shaft here; this should be their time to shine.

    That's not how our society works, brains. People love bad news. You can get a lot of mileage from analysis and condemnations of what went wrong. Good news & nice stories don't have much shelf life unless there's some amazing drama involved, like the subway rescue a few weeks ago. Even that didn't have much legs.

  • ||

    John, the purpose of steroids is to speed the healing of damaged muscle tissue. Now, this may be put the purpose of adding muscle tissue via more intense strength training, resulting in much larger muscle mass. Think Bonds, and possibly, Clemens. However, a smaller man might also benefit from steroid use, to speed the faster recovery of tissue damaged by the extreme stress of pitching, and it would not necessarily result in a visible change in body type. Relatively small guys like Rivera and Martinez could definitely gain substantial benefit form steroid use, and it may not result in a visible change in body mass. Relief pitchers, with the daily stress they endure with minimal recovery time, would be certainly aided by the use of steroids, and it would not be necessarily observable.

  • Skip Oliva||

    It should bother libertarians that many writers expressly based their no votes for McGwire on the fact that he took the Fifth before congress -- in an investigation that Congress had no constitutional right to bring in the first place.

  • ||

    Skip,

    That doesn't bother me a bit. There is a differnce between the public and the private sphere. McGuire had every right to take the fifth and the government should never be able him to sanction him for doing it. Just because the government isn't free to draw conclusions, however, doesn't mean the rest of us can't make up our own minds and enforce any social stigma, like not making the Hall of Fame, we want.

    Will Allen,

    Good points. I never really thought of it that way, although I refuse to believe that my all time favorite pitcher, Rivera ever used steroids. I just couldn't face the horror.

  • ||

    Skip, the Fifth Amendment was written to keep citizens from being subject to criminal sanction because they were forced to incriminate themselves, or refused to do so. Nobody is proposing, to my knowledge, that McGwire be subject to criminal penalties. The Fifth Amendment protections have no bearing on whether sportswriters can legitimately make reasonable inferences, based upon observed behavior, and thus allow it to inform their HOF ballot.

  • ||

    Speed is the most over-rated thing in baseball (except perhaps things like "leadership" and "character") and I say this as someone whose whole baseball strategy is batting first and stealing bases.

    Basically: baserunning and fielding are overvalued compared to their statistical significance. Batting average is quite overvalued compared to OBP: the .263BA and 200 strikeouts are relatively meaningless if you have a high OBP and a lot of HRs.

  • ||

    John , I have no direct evidence that Rivera used steroids. I just know for a fact that a hard-throwing relief pitcher would be especially aided by their use, and it would not necessaily result in an observable increase in muscle mass.

  • ||

    Yes the moneyballers have arrived. I agree with you about OBP being more important than batting average. I totally don't buy the fielding and speed are not important threory. They get discounted by numbers guys like moneyballers because it is hard to quantify their impact. If a great centerfielder makes a catch that an average centerfielder wouldn't have made, it is impossible to ever know how many if any runs that prevents. Same way with speed. A fast base runner who ends up on third instead of second, totally changes the dynamic of the next hitter, but how do you measure that? It is pretty hard. Further, fielding is part of the game. I think players ought to be judged on every facit of the game and those that ran well and play great defense, all things being equal are better players than those that don't.

  • ||

    Likewise, bunting is WAY WAY OVERRATED and really a bad strategy except in very certain situations. A team is given 27 outs to spend in a 9-inning game: it's up to them not to waste them. You send pitchers to bunt, or you bunt in late-game, tie-score situations; you don't tell Alex Rodriguez to bunt when there's a man on second and no outs.

  • Gimme Back My Dog||

    Reggie hit 500 homeruns.....

    First off, Reggie was not superior to McGwire on defense. Reggie played a quarter of his games at DH and the vast majority of the rest at RF--the two least important defensive positions. McGwire played at 1B, slightly more important than RF, and even won a Gold Glove (I know, Gold Gloves aren't a great metric, but winning one says you are at least above average defensively)

    That said, I didn't mean that McGwire's record was as impressive as Jackson's. The point I was trying to make was that low batting averages and high strikeouts are typical for home run hitters. Killebrew is another HOF'er with these kind of numbers.

  • ||

    actually, John, speed and fielding ARE quantifiable; the numbers show just how much more valuable Ozzie Smith (a totally mediocre batter) was because of his fielding compared to other players; other players regarded as great fielders, like Dave Concepcion, don't come close.

    I think players ought to be judged on every facit of the game and those that ran well and play great defense, all things being equal are better players than those that don't.

    But all things are NOT equal; Scott Podsednik's speed doesn't make up for the fact that he can't get on base. Aramis Ramirez's power and OBP -DO- make up for the fact that he's slow as molasses and a merely average fielder.

  • ||

    Actually, for most of his career the Babe was around a fit 215 pounds, most of it muscle. The majority of pictures and recordings of him come from the fat end of his career, but he was quite in shape until the end of the 1920s.

  • ||

    Unless you are a pitcher or a light hitting shortstop playing in the national league, bunting is a pretty useless skill. No one who can actually hit, will be asked to bunt more than a handful of times a year. Also, it is not a particularly difficult skill. Most sacrifice bunts are successful. It is not like being a great bunter is akin to hitting .300 or something.

  • Gimme Back My Dog||

    the moneyballers have arrived

    Not to nit, but really you mean that the SABRmetricians have arrived. Moneyball is simply a business concept that, given limited resources and a zero sum game, you maximize your efficiency by spending your resources on undervalued commodities.

    The true moneyballers have already moved on from OBP and are using customized defensive stats to find the undervalued players.

  • ||

    Why do you people think McGwire struck out a lot? He finished top-10 in the league only once or twice, and never struck out more than 150 times in a season.

  • Gimme Back My Dog||

    Also, it is not a particularly difficult skill.

    You wouldn't know it watching today's big leaguers trying to bunt.

  • ||

    Why do you people think McGwire struck out a lot? He finished top-10 in the league only once or twice, and never struck out more than 150 times in a season.

    People seem to have McGwire confused with Adam Dunn (who, by the way, is a perfect example of why low BA and high strikeouts are not as important as people think they are).

  • ||

    "actually, John, speed and fielding ARE quantifiable;"

    To some degree yes, but they are not as quantifiable as hitting numbers are and thusly underrated. Yes, speed doesn't make up for not getting on base. But, being a great fielder at an important position, like shortstop or catcher, can make up for not being a great hitter. All I am saying is the fact that McGuire played a relatively easy defensive position and his gold glove to the contrary was never considered an elite defensive player at the position, in contrast to say Kieth Hernandez and Don Mattingly who really were great 1st baseman, means that he has to produce more offensive numbers than someone who could play great defense.

  • ||

    I know walks are finally getting valued in the way they should have for decades, but is anybody yet publishing the median number of pitches a hitter "consumes" per at bat? Guys who foul off a ton of pitches would seem to be extremely valuable, especially over the course of a long season, in that they aid the wearing out of opposing pitching staffs. Perhaps this corellates so closely with walks that it is not worth measuring, but it is something I've wondered about.

  • VM||

  • ||

    Will,

    I think the professional baseball people look at that. The Yankees won four world serieses with that philosophy. It blunts the effect of great starting pitching. If I have good starting pitching and a great bullpen. I can use good starting pitching to stay in the game and wear down your great starting pitching and take my chances against your inferior bullpen. That is pretty much how the Yankees beat the Braves in the 1996 World Series despite the Braves decided advantage in starting pitching.

  • ||

    After the debate on McGwire's stats has subsided, can we agree that his ridiculously low HOF vote count has more to do with asshole sportswriters exercising their self-righteousness than anything else?

  • VM||

    Will:

    apologies - forgot this link:

    #Pit/PA: Number of Pitches Faced per Plate Appearance

    GLossery of terms

    for example:

    That statistic is at the end of the row

  • ||

    kevin, I have little regard for sportswriters, but I wouldn't have voted for McGwire. Does that make me a self-righteous asshole?

  • ||

    Will,

    I would guess also that pitches taken correlates pretty closely to number of walks. IF you are a free swinger can't walk off the island kind of player, you are not going to take many pitches. If you walk a lot, you by definition are going to take at least four or five pitches most atbats.

  • ||

    Regardless of what you think of McGuire, the sportswriters who vote for the HOF are an embarassment. Eleven voters didn't vote for Gwynn despite his having a career .338 batting average. This whole "no one can be a unanomous hall of fame elctee" is just gabage. These people didn't vote for Steve Carlton and his 329 wins because he wasn't nice to reporters during his career. Something like 8 of them didn't vote for Hank Aaron. I guess because they were just racist bastards. It is getting to the point where the HOF needs to start stripping people of the right to vote or redo the system.

  • ||

    Thanks, VM. Sheesh, 2.8 pitches per plate appearance? Ugh. Until Morneau and Mauer arrived (and make no mistake, it still is a real problem), watching the Twins would drive me nuts because they would have so very many crappy at-bats, subjecting the opposing pitching staff to as little stress as possible. They would play the Yankees in the playoffs, and the contrast bewteen a lineup of very, very, professional hitters, and a bunch of undisciplined guys could not be more stark.

  • ||

    I would have voted for McGwire. It seems the only thing he is guilty of is being ahead of the curve.

  • ||

    Oh, absolutely, the HOF voters should get ripped almost every way possible, but not for giving McGwire only a 23% total.

  • VM||

    Will -

    that's one of the really fun things about beisbol. (and reason #555,622,316,225 why America kicks ass!).

    And I share yours and Kevin's suspicion of the jock sniffer reporters.

  • ||

    To some degree yes, but they are not as quantifiable as hitting numbers are and thusly underrated. Yes, speed doesn't make up for not getting on base. But, being a great fielder at an important position, like shortstop or catcher, can make up for not being a great hitter. All I am saying is the fact that McGuire played a relatively easy defensive position and his gold glove to the contrary was never considered an elite defensive player at the position, in contrast to say Kieth Hernandez and Don Mattingly who really were great 1st baseman, means that he has to produce more offensive numbers than someone who could play great defense.

    Well, you don't see -me- extolling the virtues of Gold Gloves w/r/t HOF induction: they're unimportant.

    And yeah, being a great fielder at one position does make up for being a bad batter there: that's the nature of a game. A career .265 first baseman won't have a long career, no matter how good they are at fielding; however, a career .265 catcher will stick around the major leagues much longer.

  • :-||

    In the end it's opinion (however justified with the manipulation of statistics), not objective reality, that decides who gets in. I think about it as much as I think about who will win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress: not much. It's important to the players, not me.

  • ||

    Didn't Ted Williams once win the triple crown, but not the MVP, because a few sportswriters left him off the ballot altogether? Williams had awful relations with the press, but his teammates almost unanimously loved him, in contrast to Bonds, who is roundly despised by teammates and media types alike. Now, Bonds' pre-juice performance is so ridiculous that he should get in as slam dunk anyways, but I could see a guy who was a marginal HOF candidate being rightly kept out because his teammates pretty much hated him throughout his career. Yeah, "chemistry" is usually vastly overrated, but not being able to function at all in a team setting over a long career is not meaningless.

  • downstater||

    "I never liked . . . . the teams he played for, . . ."

    you lost me right there.

    Go Cards!

    my .02 - the indignation toward mcgwire really drives me nuts - especially here in stl - as no one who watched the game with their eyes open in '98 would seriously think that he wasn't on roids - yet everyone was cheering for him then.

    "oh! we've been deceived!"

    my ass, people. you knew it at the time. you knew it and you loved it!

    also, mcgwire was an above average first baseman. but i'll take our current first baseman any day of the week over any first baseman of all time.

  • ||

    Will Allen,

    Ted Williams didn't get the MVP in 1941 despite hitting .406 and having like 33 homeruns. Granted he lost it to Dimaggio with his 56 game hitting streak, so the vote is not as big of a joke as it is made out to be. What was disgraceful about it is that he lost because several Boston writers left him completely off of their ballots. If they had just put him second to DiMaggio, Williams would have won. They left him off because they didn't like him and were childish jerks. Red Sox never like to admit how badly the fans and the Boston media treated Williams when he actually played.

    There is a great story about Bear Bryant. Someone asked him for $10 once to help bury a sportswriter whose family couldn't afford the funeral. Bear gave the guy a twenty and told him to bury two.

  • ||

    downstater, I love baseball, but I may have been one of the few fans who was not all that interested in the McGwire/Sosa home run race, and had zero interest in Bonds' season record performance, because it was so obvious that the game had left it's historical context, due to steroids, along with other changes.

  • ||

    Downstater,

    I always thought Mcguire was on roids during 1998. But I recall being in the minority on that and having a lot of people who should have known better tell me that he was all mom and apple pie. But these were pobably the same people who thought the Dowd report was a frameup and Pete Rose never bet on baseball. There is no accounting for the stupidity of people when it comes to sports.

  • ||

    Nobody ever remembers that in Ruth's day there was no such thing as a ground-rule double: balls that bounced out were homeruns. - Timothy



    I thnk that changed between the time Ruth started and finished his career, didn't it? If you are going to be picky, if the Babe was playing now, a few of his "singles", "doubles" and "triples" would be counted as homers, because in his time, what would today be walk-off home runs were not counted as roundtrippers. When the baserunner who scored the winning run tagged home, the game was over, and the other runners didn't score. What today would be a walk-off grand slam could have been anything from a single to a HR, depending on the score before the winning clout. We tend to divide baseball into periods based by rules changes: pre-1900 v. post, "dead ball" v. "live ball", pre- and post-expansion, pre- and post-color barrier, pre- and post-night ball, before and after the mound was lowered. Heck, spitballs and other doctored-ball pitches used to be legal, and players who used the spitter before it was oulawed were grandfathered in! The use of various chemicals is just another of these rules changes that have to be taken into account.

    What I always found amusing about the steroids mess was that the players' union frustrated MLB's attempts to test for the use of "illegal" performance-enhancing drugs. There was a period when using steroids without a prescription or via a fraudulently obtained scrip was against purported state and/or federal "law", but was effectively not against MLB rules. If McGwire used steroids before the union and MLB agreed to limit them, I'd give him or any other player who did the same a pass. Merely breaking a "victimless crime" "law" doesn't count as a disqualifier in my book, or we'd have to pitch all the potusers out of out HsOF, not to mention anybody who drank booze during alcohol Prohibition. Baseball has now outlawed non-therapeutic use of amphetemines and other "uppers." Jim Bouton's Ball Four reported how the Yankees - Mickey Mantle included - used to "greenie up." Christy Matthewson will be pretty lonely in Cooperstown all by himself.

    As for judging players' worth, consider this idea:

    Slugging average's significance

    Long after it was first invented, the slugging percentage gained new significance when baseball analysts realized that it combined with on-base percentage (OBP) to form a very good measure of a player's overall production. A predecessor metric was developed by Branch Rickey in 1954. Rickey, in Life Magazine, suggested that combining OBP with what he called "extra base power" would give a better indicator of player performance than typical Triple Crown stats. EBP was a predecessor to slugging average.

    Allen Barra and George Ignatin were apparently the early adopters in combining the two modern-day statistics, multiplying them together to form what is now known as "SLOB" (Slugging × On-Base). Bill James applied this principle to his Runs Created formula several years later (and perhaps independently), essentially multiplying SLOB × At-Bats (the actual formula for Runs Created is: RC = [(Hits + Walks)(TotalBases)] / [AtBats + Walks]). In 1984, Pete Palmer and John Thorn developed perhaps the most widespread means of combining slugging and on-base average: OPS. "OPS" simply stands for "on-base plus slugging", and is a simple addition of the two values. While less accurate than SLOB and Runs Created, OPS is extremely easy to calculate, and has become the unofficial shorthand form of player evaluation in recent years. - Wikipedia's entry on Slugging Percentage



    I'm a firm believer in using some metric that combines OBP and SLG to determine a batter's worth. Mr. Rickey famously had 5 keys for judging baseball talent, and gave double-weight to one of them - speed. It is important that it be baseball speed, though. Your fastest man may not be your best baserunner, if he doesn't know the tricks for rounding corners efficiently, or which lead is suitable on what count with x number of outs and Whosis on the mound, and when and against which fielders he should try to take an extra base. You can be the fastest fielder on the diamond, but you've still got to break on a fly ball in the right direction. The benefits of some baseball attributes are unquantifiable, however. How many runs did the threat of Roberto Clemente's great arm save, because runners wouldn't challenge it and try to take an extra base? If a pitcher is known for a great pickoff move, not only will fewer players attempt to steal against him, he'll get more force outs at 2B, ATBE, because baserunners will take more conservative leads.

    Kevin

  • ||

    Orel Hershiser is no longer eligible for election by the BBWAA. This surprised me.

  • ||

    After the debate on McGwire's stats has subsided, can we agree that his ridiculously low HOF vote count has more to do with asshole sportswriters exercising their self-righteousness than anything else?

    Voting = self-righteousness. The Hall Of Fame asks them to vote, if they wanted objectivity there'd be no point in voting.

    Once you understand the concept of "the subjective theory of value", the objective conclusion is that voting is never an objective act.

  • ||

    Damn! I thought this was a story about Preparation H.

  • ||

    If the BBWAA is going to get all pissy over steroids, perhaps they should also get a whole shitload of asterisks for all the HOFers who played prior to 1947 (no blacks) or 1950 (no appreciable number of hispanics). Or all the HOFers who used greenies during the 1960s and 1970s. Or all the HOFers who were violent racist assholes (e.g., Ty Cobb). Or all the HOFers who played from the 1970s to present (due to "unnatural" technological advancements in physical training and skill development)

    If I had a vote, I would dismiss all concerns save performance. Let McGuire, Bonds, and the rest into the HOF, and let history judge them.

    And fer crissakes, let Pete Rose in already.

  • ||

    this damn site is eating my comments, I guess, I wrote a 10,000 word essay about the merits of Mark Mcgwire.

    The short point was, I have often made the Dave Kingman comparison myself. The reaction is laughs and neg reps. Oh well, the guys on Sportsline and other sports boards thought I was "an idiot" when I said cops shouldnt be using tasers on athletes who commit no crimes.

  • ||

    cgee - Check this out:

    AP Report: Bonds Failed Amphetamine Test

    Looks like "greenieing up" is one baseball tradition Barry supports.

    Kevin

  • Nike Dunk Shoes||

    thanks

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