I have a question. When were steroids OFFICIALLY banned from use in MLB? I mean, codified by MLB and agreed to by MLBPA.
And a second question. Wikipedia seems to indicate that Selig launched an investigation into steroid use in MLB in 2006............yet, there is no indication that that investigation ever yielded results. What happened to that investigation?? It was only supposed to go back to 2002 in it's research, so it wouldnt have involved the dark years of the late 98-01 when McGwire, Sosa and Bonds where on their tear.
I'm now reading about widespread use of steroids as far back as the early 70s. Obviously, the steroids werent as good back then, but it's use and the use of amphetamines was common.
I'm inclined to let the juicers in. So, I would say McGwire, Bonds, Clemens.
One thing this whole controversy has convinced me of: that the BBWAA should NOT be the sole judging body. This has become the official stamp of greatness in baseball and there are too many petty writers who have axes to grind. Not just on the steroid issue; on favoritism for pet players or dismissing players they dont like. I'd favor a new system of deciding who gets in the Hall.
Illegal drugs have always been illegal. Steroids? Is that 1973? Faye Vincent reminded all the players that these drugs were illegal in 1991.
Players openly took amphetamines in the 60, 70, and 80s. No player considered it against the rules, no one considered it cheating.
Players secretly have been taking steroids for decades. Everyone considers it cheating. Players doing things in the dark basically are admitting they know they cheating.
If everyone agrees that 500 dollars goes into free parking prior to a Monopoly game, that's not cheating or immoral.. even though it's against the rules.
If someone steals 500 dollars from the bank... that's cheating.
You are absolutely right that the whole voting process needs to be revamped. Right now it is a complete joke and a lot of voters are voicing their frustration about clarity on the steroid issue. Voters are all over the board on the voting this year. No clear cut favorites. I don't think anyone is getting in the year.
IMO McGwire is not a HOFer without steroids. IMO he benefited the most from steroids. His entire career is just based on homeruns and 583 home runs during the steroid era is not impressive. 600 is probably the new 500 for guys that played in that era. I put Bonds and Clemens in before I put McGwire.
If McGwire ever gets in, I want to see a small video that plays next to his plaque that has him making his statements to congress during the hearings and also when he went on TV and finally admitted the use.
I recognize there are cheaters in the Hall of Fame, but I will not vote for anyone who hid behind the players union to cheat.
In 2001 Bud Selig tried to implement drug testing in the major leagues, he was successful in the minor leagues. Congress said he couldn't because it had to be in the CBA. In 2002 the players almost went out on strike, if Selig would have insisted on drug testing, they would have.
The players would have thrown the 2002 season under the bus to prevent peanalties for drug testing.
Feb 2003, Steve Belcher died. He was found to have an over the counter PED in his system. A drug that would have been tested for and would have been illegal if Selig had his way.
March 1st 2003, drug testing with no penalty begins.
March 2004. Congress had to get involved. Fehr and the players make fools of themselves trying to answer questions in which there are no honest answers. I will not vote for players attached to steroids.
My vote:TrammellSchillingBiggioRaines Martinez.
Martinez is the only one that is not a no brainer among the four.
As a protest vote. I have zero problem with any writer who withholds the 2002 players from the ballot this year. They were a big part of the problem.
I can't see ever voting for anyone who tested positive for steroids. Hall of Fame should not be for cheaters....
Mike PiazzaCraig Biggio Tim Raines Edgar Martinez Allan Trammell
Also a pretty good blog post by Victor Rojas on how/why the voting system should change:
No one got voted in and no one got 70%
Biggio 68%Morris 67%BagwellPiazza
I figured no one would get in. Too many new names and voting all over the board
Oh, and as a write in.....Josh Paul.
Did amphetamines increase the ability to play baseball? Answer, YES.
Amphetamines are cheating. So what if "no PLAYERS considered it cheating". There were players that refused to take them that were at a disadvantage that wasnt due to others natural ability to play the game. There is no way that "no players considered it cheating". I'm sure there were ones that did.
Still no hard evidence when steroids were banned and the union wrote off on it....................looking for chapter and verse.
It's cheating according to whom?... NOT THE PLAYERS... NOT THE LEAGUE.... NOT THE DOCTORS.... NO ONE.
If you want to play retro-police to suit your warped morality, go right ahead. Wise people don't fall for it.
In the 90s everyone knew steroids were cheating... That's why they were done behind closed doors with no witnesses.
In the 70s everyone knew amphetamines were not cheating... that's why they were handed out on team buses.
--Still no hard evidence when steroids were banned and the union wrote off on it....................looking for chapter and verse.--Then you are not looking. Illegal drugs are illegal. Dave Parker was fined, The union never wrote off on suspension.... which is a great reason to hate the union. In 1991 Faye Vincent reiterated they were illegal. Which they were. However because of the corrupt players union... and it was corrupt... no penalties could be attached.
Just because you could not penalize someone with suspensions for steroid use, or test for steroid use, doesn't mean it wasn't cheating. IT WAS CHEATING. The only penalty that could be enforce happened today. God bless the writers that didn't vote for Bonds and Clemens.
If the players union wasn't so corrupt, maybe Willie Mays Aikens would not have spent over 10 years in prison. Baseball tried to stem his cocaine use in 1984... the union wouldn't let them. But it was still a crime. It was still baseball illegal.
I am disappointed that E. Martinez, A. Trammell, L. Smith and F. McGriff did not get in. I am glad that any supposed PED user did not get in on the first vote.
I spoke to Percy again but just for a short time, he was busy trying to get his high school baseball golf fund raiser together for Monday the 14th, he mentioned he wanted Lee Smith and Trammell to get in and he would not vote for anybody that he knew that used PED's.
HOF needs to change the voting process and I mean like today, if not, they will be looking at no one possibly getting voted in for next year as well. That is going to hurt the HOF financially when no players are getting elected. I assume that is a pretty big weekend for them and that whole town.
Frank Thomas,Tom Glavine, Gregg Maddux, Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina get added in next year. The voting is going to be all over the place once again. The first 3 on this list should be considered a slam dunk.
Twice in four decades... I don't think it's that big of a deal.
Biggio likely gets in next year. Maddox and Glaven get in next year. Not voting for Trammell and Rains is ignorance that will never change. Voting for Morris is ignorance that will never change.
I don't think the system is broken.
The process seems fine to me, if anything they might open the vote from 10-15 to let more players get a chance at the 5% to stay alive. Each writter gets to select a player his way, that is better than the committee telling them to vote only by stats or longivity only. The Rules are there and it is up to the players if they want to get in, to stay withing the guidelines.
Next year we will have up to 3-4 players that that have not been linked or rumored to PED's that have a chance to get in on the first vote, that leaves only 6-7 spots a chance to get in. I think it will be hard for any of this years first time nominees to get in for 2014.
I think the only sub 5% that is Hall of Fame debatable is Bobby Grich. Jim Fregosi didn't get five percent.
Kenny Lofton is not a hall of fame player. He's very very good, but not hall of fame. What good is leaving these players on the ballot for 10 years? :)
Lofton, Williams, Lofton, Wells fall short. So does Mattingly and Murphy. I don't understand the point of having them on the ballot for 15 years.