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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:44 AM

 

Should cheaters go into the Hall of Fame?

Well, here it is. Three of the men most closely connected with the steroid scandal that swept through baseball are now up for their initial run at the Hall of Fame. Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds have made their debut appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot, and their fates are now in the hands of sports writers and pundits across the country.

Mark McGwire, another big figure in the steroid scandal, has come up on the Hall of Fame ballot twice now, notching 24 and 20 percent of the vote respectively. You need 75 percent of the vote to get into the Hall of Fame, and while McGwire has had a Hall of Fame career, his admitted steroid use was the major reason he hasn't gotten into the Hall.

Of the three current nominees, Bonds is the only one who has admitted to steroid use, though with the added caveat that he didn't know at the time what he was being given. Sosa did test positive for steroid use in 2003. Clemens however has denied steroid use and never tested positive for steroids. But there is a lot of circumstantial evidence along with witnesses that say Clemens did indeed take steroids.

So the question becomes should we allow cheaters into the Hall of Fame, even though they have some amazing careers? We are, after all, talking about the man who holds the record for most home runs, a man whose pitching career was amazing, and another who single handedly pulled the lowly Cubs up to being contenders.

Personally, I don't think they should go into the Hall. As I mentioned earlier, Sosa tested positive for steroid use. That should automatically disqualify him. As for Bonds, I don't buy his contention that he didn't know what was going into his body. Not to mention the fact that since he ended his career he has shrunk considerably, all the signs of a person discontinuing the use steroids. As far as Clemens, well, despite his denials, despite having never tested positive, even despite the fact that he beat a perjury charge that centered on steroid use, I feel that there is too much evidence, too many witnesses to his use, to feel comfortable putting him into the Hall. Not to mention that if you look at pictures of Clemens over time, you see one tell tale sign of steroid use, his jaw muscles getting bigger.

Frankly, I think any player with any possible connection to steroid use should be banned for Hall consideration. Perhaps that will make other players reconsider whether or not they want to cheat.

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Should cheaters go into the Hall of Fame? (Original post)
MadHound Nov 2012 OP
Sheldon Cooper Nov 2012 #1
sarisataka Nov 2012 #2
MadHound Nov 2012 #3
Sheldon Cooper Nov 2012 #8
rurallib Nov 2012 #4
MadHound Nov 2012 #5
rurallib Nov 2012 #14
MadHound Nov 2012 #16
MineralMan Nov 2012 #6
MadHound Nov 2012 #7
MineralMan Nov 2012 #9
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #10
bluedigger Nov 2012 #11
MadHound Nov 2012 #12
bluedigger Nov 2012 #19
Capt. Obvious Nov 2012 #13
SidDithers Nov 2012 #15
Blue_Tires Nov 2012 #20
dembotoz Nov 2012 #17
MadHound Nov 2012 #18
Blue_Tires Nov 2012 #21
Blue_Tires Nov 2012 #22
Spike89 Nov 2012 #23
The Link Nov 2012 #24
Berserker Nov 2012 #25
WilmywoodNCparalegal Nov 2012 #26
socialindependocrat Nov 2012 #27
Jersey Devil Nov 2012 #28
riqster Nov 2012 #29
byeya Nov 2012 #30
Blue_Tires Nov 2012 #31

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:49 AM

1. Proven cheaters like Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa? Yes.

Clemens might be a different story, though. While I strongly suspect that he did in fact juice, if he's never tested postive and also beat a related perjury rap, I think you have to let it go. If he gets voted in, he gets voted in.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:55 AM

2. Clemens sounds a lot like

Lance Armstrong, circumstantial evidence and some witness statements but no concrete proof.
I agree, let it go until conclusively proven.

For the others, offer them a deal. Are they willing to have their records made using steroids voided in exchange for an MLB endorsement based on their career achievements, less those years...

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:58 AM

3. Frankly lots of players haven't tested positive,

 

And yet later admitted to using steroids. Also the reason that he beat the perjury rap is he had a great lawyer going up against a weak, hamstrung prosecution. But the fact of the matter is that there are multiple witnesses to his steroid use, and if you look both at his stats, and more importantly pictures of him over time, you can see that he was using something, muscles, especially jaw muscles, bulging out when they shouldn't be.

I think a statement needs to be made to the next generation, namely that even if you are suspected of steroid use you will pay the consequences at some point.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:26 AM

8. I don't really disagree with anything you said, but I still believe in due process.

As I mentioned, I feel pretty sure that Clemens juiced. But he hasn't been conclusively 'convicted' so I say let him take his shot at the HOF. If the baseball writers want to police admission by consistently voting him down, I'd have no problem with that.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:09 AM

4. the baseball hall of fame is already full of cheaters

Let's start with Gaylord Perry. Do I need to explain how he greased the skids to the Hall?
Whitey Ford? Razor spiked Ty Cobb? Players like Mickey Mantle who took all sorts of pain killers that had who knows what effect?

I used to be a huge baseball fan. The strike of '93(?) and the resultant spike in homers to bring the fans back. The owners and brass of baseball had to know and approve of it.

To your present question - baseball has always been notorious for individuals doing anything they can to get an edge. Hence they have often been at the cutting edge of designer drugs. There has also been some truly creative ways to alter the field or the ball during play - and it continues every year. (note how groundskeepers at Wrigley Field mowed the grass a little higher when Sandburg played second).

So as for McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Clemens - after thinking about it for a while, I say why not. Their cheating was probably more public, more blatant, and {horrors} destroyed some of the games sacred numbers. But they put up some huge numbers and more importantly for baseball - they put fannies in the seats which is the bottom line.

Recently I have thought that baseball should let players dope themselves to high heaven, just announce before the game what each player took. You could hear the play-by-play announcer say something like "With the wind blowing out Barry has taken 2 reds and a bennie today hoping for a four homer game. This could be fun, fans!"

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Response to rurallib (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:15 AM

5. You know, if it wasn't for other considerations, I would agree with you,

 

But steroid use in the majors leads directly to steroid use at the high school level. Yes, I know that there are cheaters in the Hall, like you said. But their abuses were little known at the time and aren't well known now. However the steroid abuses are indeed high profile, and an example needs to be made.

Frankly I think all of these players should be stripped of their awards and records, including Bonds homer record.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:48 AM

14. The use of athletes as heroes is a sign of a sick society to me

football players, basketball players etc. Makes no difference.
While steroid use may be high profile, the kids eventually get in on the latest trends in cheating. With the internet the delay in picking up on the latest trends is nano seconds.

Throughout the drug scandals in football and in baseball, those who profit by it the most - the owners and brass - have had to have known.

But guess what - THEY WERE MAKING HUGE BUCKS - so they ignored it. Football really needs to face up to the head trauma issue.

And I used to be such a sports nut

Just out of curiosity - should Pete Rose be in the Hall?

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Response to rurallib (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:52 AM

16. No, Rose shouldn't,

 

Sorry, but you don't gamble on the team you're playing on and walk away clean.

I do agree with you about the owners profiting.

And while the kids eventually get in on the latest cheating trends, we don't need to be introducing it to them via the pros doing it, and the kids need to see that it doesn't pay. As it stands, some freshman in high school is looking at Bonds seeing that he cheated his way to wealth and fame, with no negatives. There should be some sort of disincentive.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:17 AM

6. In the real world, it doesn't really matter all that much.

The majority of people aren't even interested.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:20 AM

7. Oh, I don't know.

 

I remember weeks, months of running flamewars around here a few years back, mostly based around Bonds actions.

But even if that weren't the case, some folks are interested in this, and you are free to ignore it at your whim.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:28 AM

9. Yes, but still only a small percentage of DUers cared.

It's really a sports story, I think. Of course I could ignore it, but didn't choose to do that.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:39 AM

10. Indeed and belongs in one of the sports groups

not in GD

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:40 AM

11. I've changed from no to yes.

I don't condone their actions, but they are products of the baseball culture of the times, just as the players of the Sixties and Seventies with their amphetamine laced coffee were, and you could go on and on back through the history of the sport. If their use was documented and proven, by all means point it out, but there is little point in conducting witch hunts and compiling black lists based on hunches retroactively.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:45 AM

12. I'd agree, except for one thing,

 

What was used during the sixties and seventies didn't come out until decades later. The steroid use, especially by Bonds, was an ongoing controversy, and well known by everybody, including kids. This sets a bad example for kids coming up in the sport, and we've seen a spike in steroid use among high schoolers as a result.

We need to turn that around, and banning even suspected dopers from the Hall would be a good start.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:09 AM

19. "banning even suspected dopers" would send a message all right.

I think due process and the rule of law is a more important principle that doing it "for the kids".

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:45 AM

13. Yes

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:51 AM

15. If Joe Jackson isn't in, then I don't think the steroid cheats should be in either...nt

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:33 AM

20. Buck Weaver should get reinstated posthumously before Jackson...

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:54 AM

17. isn't baseball and other pro sports just a little too self important?

hall of fames are nice i guess

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Response to dembotoz (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:56 AM

18. How so?

 

The same can be said of other cultural endeavors, including opera, painting and classical music.

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Response to dembotoz (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:36 AM

21. Go hate America in some other thread, you hipster beatnik!!

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:43 AM

22. I take a small measure of pride being one of the first on DU to point out

how juiced up Bonds and the others were back in '03, and I took a surprising amount of flaming for it....

For the longest time, I would have said "keep them out", but the 'high octane' era of baseball (about 1995-2006) had so, so many dirty players...I'd say let them in (not on the first ballot), with some kind of asterisk or notation about the PEDs...

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:03 PM

23. Let 'em in

The most persuasive argument against voting in the best players from an era that has already past--that it sends the wrong message to kids about cheating--really doesn't hold that much water. For us older fans, Bonds, Clemens, et al may be relevant, but the high school kids and college players are much, much more influenced by today's players and even the stars on the verge of making it.

Baseball has done the right thing by trying to tighten down on PEDs, but if you want to make a difference for the kids today, the most effective path is to police the minors, the current rosters, even the college teams and heavily promote the bans and problems that hit their peers and real role models.

Quite frankly, keeping retired superstars out of the HOF isn't going to change the fact that kids already know they made $millions and millions, competed at the highest levels, and were among the most famous (and adored) people in America while they played. Kids are more concerned with winning a roster spot, getting signed to a major league contract, etc. The HOF is really something that only enters into the thinking late in a player's career.

As to fairness--well, that ship sailed long ago. It should be obvious that a pretty substantial percentage of Major League players were using PEDs. Of course, the advantages mostly turned AAA players into roster-fillers on big league clubs or gave 35-year old guys a shot at one more contract. Perversely, knowing that Clemens pitched against an array of juiced monsters in some ways makes his accomplishments even more impressive, the same goes for Bonds having to face enhanced pitchers who still had ~100 MPH stuff in August.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:07 PM

24. There are a LOT of PED users in the Hall.

 

Amphetamines were widely used in baseball. Are there different levels of cheating?

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:18 PM

25. Should cheaters go into the Hall of Fame? NO

 

What else in this life can you cheat at get caught and still be awarded?
Into the hall of fame HELL NO
What kind of message are we sending the youth?

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:23 PM

26. Sure!

If it is a Cheaters' Hall of Fame...

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:32 PM

27. NO, Cheaters only have one option - go into Republicant politics! n/t

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:36 PM

28. It matters to those who truly appreciate the art that is baseball

Sure, you can fool some by linking the names of the cheaters to the truly great, but for those for whom baseball is a fine art there can be no confusion. Sosa, Bonds, Clemons, McGuire can never be mistaken for Willie, Splinter, Mickey, Babe, Duke, the Yankee Clipper and others who really were the best.

It's ironic to me that Willie Mays, my personal hero as a kid and surely one of the greatest players of all time, is Barry Bonds' godfather. Borrowing from Lloyd Bentsen (since this is a political board after all), all I have to say is: Barry, I saw Willie Mays play and you're no Willie Mays.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:07 PM

29. Not if they have been proven guilty

Like Pete Rose. If they are only "suspected", I say let 'em in. Due process is a central tenet of our national structure.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:11 PM

30. None of the Black Sox were convicted but to protect the intergrity of baseball they were

 

barred from playing.
These three need to be kept out of the Hall of Fame along with Pete Rose.

There doesn't have to be a court decision for Organized Baseball to take action.

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Response to byeya (Reply #30)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:28 PM

31. It would have been impossible to convict them anyway...

Since there was nothing illegal about tanking some baseball games...

That "trial" was an engineered PR stunt to reinforce public faith in pro baseball...

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