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Here's the story:

This is an interesting story, particularly if you see it as I do, that sports is a metaphor for society and that this seems to indicate, for the first time in a long time, that cheating is not acceptable.  While the analogy between Bonds and Clemens and Sosa and the TBTF banks is not perfect, it does seem to me to say something.


Was Bonds, et al.'s use of steroids cheating and the refusal of the hall of fame correct

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| 77 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:00:27 PM PST

  •  yep, cheating (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anna shane

    I hope neither ever gets in.  I think it was wrong for some not to vote for anyone, I think Morris deserved to get in.

    "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man.'" J. R. Robertson.

    by NearlyNormal on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:05:14 PM PST

  •  CYA by the sports writers (5+ / 0-)

    It's just a way for them to pretend they didn't self-censor reporting on the steroids while it was happening.

  •  Not only rejected. (0+ / 0-)

    The Hall of Fame shouls have a special recognition for the frauds like them.

    Preparing for the Mayan doomsday prophecy by hastily trying to get in the good graces of snake-bird god Q’uq’umatz

    by dov12348 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:08:03 PM PST

  •  Refusal to take responsibility (6+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately, I don't see this steroid debate in the same positive light.  

    We all KNEW that Bonds was on steroids.  It was obvious.  It was obvious McGuire was on steroids.  (less so with Clemons).  But the entire baseball community stood by and said very very little, if anything at all.  

    These writers who are rejecting them for the Hall now, are the same ones who were excitedly writing stories as records were being shattered.  

    Where were the angry articles back then? Where were the promises to not let these people into the HOF back then?  

    I would challenge any of these voters to show me evidence of their vocal opposition to steroids in the sport in the late 90's early 00's.  Where are their articles demanding testing?

    This is an example of an industry passing the buck onto individual actors.  This is like sending a handful of soldiers to jail for committing acts of torture, or saying that the financial crisis was a few bad actors.  

    We have a habit of standing by while we know wrongs are committed, and then when everything falls apart we pass the responsibility off to the fewest number of individuals we can.  

    Sure, these players cheated, but we cheered them on as they did it.  We gave them millions upon millions of dolalrs as they did it.  We put them in a system which incentivized them to cheat, and didn't really care that they did.  And now, way after the fact, we want to pretend that they did it on their own and that we are shocked, shocked!, that it happened.  

  •  If he admits it and apologizes, let Bonds in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I might also note that Sosa was rejected as well.

    In the case of Sosa and Clemens - no, they don't get in. Without steroids, neither would have the numbers to get in. Clemens in his last 2 years with the Red Sox was done - a good 5 mph off his fastball, couldn't get past the 6th inning, a .500 pitcher at best. Then, magically, he shows up in Toronto with more power, more stamina, and with his steroid years gets to 300 wins. Sosa as well - didn't field well and the big home run numbers came from steroids.

    Regarding Bonds, I think he was one of the top 5 of his generation even before the steroids. Great player who likely would have had Ken Griffey Jr career numbers or better even without the steroids. But, I would like to see him admit what he did and apologize for lying about it before he gets in.  If he does that, I'm good, and I would hope that racism or his negative manner don't keep him out - after all, even Ted Williams was a jerk to most of the media and the public until much later in his life, and it didn't keep him out.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:18:42 PM PST

    •  Let him in in 100 years if he does that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Bonds never got along with the writers when he played. Even if he hadn't used steroids, 26% of 'em would have came up with an excuse to keep him out on the first ballot.

      Sending a guy, who hit a home run every 9 at-bats when he was 38, to the hall of fame sends the message that it's OK to cheat.

      i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

      by bobinson on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:00:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bonds deprived us of the chance to find out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Great player who likely would have had Ken Griffey Jr career numbers or better even without the steroids.
      I don't think the voters can decide what might have been. IMHO either steroid use is a disqualifier, or it isn't. For all players. Bonds shouldn't get any special exception.
    •  Actually Bonds numbers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      put him top 5 of all-time (arguably #1 all-time) and pretty much blow Ken Griffey Jr. away. My favorite Bonds stat is 514 stolen bases and more walks than strikeouts 18 seasons in a row !!-  (Griffey did only once.) Bonds was also MVP a ridiculous 7 times.

      •  Exactly, and steroids didn't do most of this (1+ / 0-)

        the stolen bases, the golden gloves, the 480 homers that he hit prior to 2001 when he likely began taking steroids, etc. - with all of this, I see a Hall of Fame career regardless of the steroids.

        Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

        by absdoggy on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:20:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  That is the side of the steroid mess that (0+ / 0-)

      tends to be overlooked... everybody looks at the  home run hitters... but a lot of marginal career AA/AAA pitchers had very similar turnarounds to the one Clemens had after leaving Boston... one example was Mike Remlinger... who had spent the bulk of his professional baseball career in the Mets farm system going back and forth between Binghamton and Norfolk... the Mets gave up on him and then he miraculously turns up  with the Braves and the 89-90 MPH fastball he had in AAA was all of a sudden a 94-95 MPH fastball and he was in the show cashing very large checks...

      Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

      by awesumtenor on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:23:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Baseball won today. (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe set up a separate room for them.  Heck, rent a storefront across the street from the Hall and display effects of the roid users in the Not - So - Much - Hall of Fame and make money on the whole rigamaroll, yeah capitalism.  

  •  Honestly, the bigger issue is the other guys (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Freakinout daily

    Guys like Craig Biggio, who I don't think anyone "knew" was taking steroids. But somehow he didn't get in either, despite achieving the usually-automatic (non-steroid user edition) milestone of 3000 hits.

    And then there's the issue of writers refusing to actually objectively analyze the candidacy of players like Tim Raines. If you want an issue that mirrors our current societal issues, it's this -- the media's ability to obfuscate/dictate reality if and when it chooses. The Internet is helping us make huge strides on that front, but we've still got a long long way to go.

    •  Craig Biggio should have gotten in (0+ / 0-)

      On his first try.  Not only did he have a Hall of Fame caliber career, he's about as squeaky-clean as they come.  Plus an all-around good guy, by all accounts.  After retiring from the Astros, he took an extremely lucrative, prestigious the coach for his kids' high school baseball team.  His job duties included mowing the field and repainting the lines.  Sad that he didn't get in because of the questionable qualifications of Bonds, Clemens, etc.  Hope he makes it next year.

  •  The problem will occur when (0+ / 0-)

    the writers induct a player who nobody thinks took steroids in their career but actually took them...there are rumors that at least one current HOF player used them

  •  They should be out; Pete Rose should be in. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim M, Santa Susanna Kid

    Judging by performance on the field, there is no way Pete Rose ought not to be in the Hall.  His 4256 career hits may be the single greatest individual accomplishment in all of sports, and he did it unaided by drugs.  He's not in because he gambled on the game, and was otherwise an execrable human being.  But Rose was one of the greatest players ever, and not to have him in the Hall diminishes the Hall and the game itself.

    As to Bonds, etc., we do not know whether they were honestly among the best, and we will never know.  To achieve the lifetime home run record while using steroids is simply fudging the numbers.  Let Bonds in?  Let Sosa in?  Then there is no reason not to let in the likes of Pancho Herrera and Marv Throneberry.  Who knows what they might have done on 'roids (well, Throneberry would have dropped the needle, but whatever...).  To reward people for what are essentially made-up numbers also diminishes the Hall.

    The American Indian: Fighting Foreign Terrorism Since 1492.

    by penguins4peace on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:23:01 PM PST

    •  A Lifetime ban is a LIFETIME ban. (0+ / 0-)

      Rose knew the penalty when he placed the bets. I was a boy when Rose was playing, he was our generation's Mickey Mantle. I STILL think he should stay out.

      I just wish they would just declare that PEDs are lifetime bannable as well, and then kick these other guys out, too.

      "Nothing happens unless first a dream. " ~ Carl Sandburg

      by davewill on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:18:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Hall of Fame is a joke (5+ / 0-)

    and the Baseball Writers are clueless, self-important a-holes.

    You can't tell me it's about "character" when Ty Cobb is in--a boisterous racist and perhaps one of the biggest a-holes ever to walk the planet.

    You can't tell me it's about "integrity" when Gaylord Perry is in.  And don't give me, well, there's cheating and then there's cheating.  Bull spit!

    And it's kind of hard to tell me its about performance on the field when Gil Hodges, Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose aren't in.

    What the Hall is all about is a bunch of self-important pricks holding others to standards that they, themselves, could never meet.

    If the Hall of Fame is ever to be worth anything, Gil Hodges has to be in.  Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose have to be in.  Marvin Miller has to be in.  Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens (both, just FYI, had Hall of Fame numbers before they juiced--not that that should really matter).  Otherwise, the Hall of Fame and the Baseball Writers are complete jokes and ought to be met with derision when they are considered at all.

    The players in the 60s and 70s were doing uppers ("greenies") like they were M&Ms and sleeping with underage girls.  The Hall didn't treat players from that era like they were lepers.

    The Hall of Fame is a joke.  The baseball writers are pricks.  And I don't much care what they do.  But just don't tell me its about character when Ty Cobb is in there and don't tell me its about integrity when Gaylord Perry is in there.  Don't tell me its about anything other than a bunch of useless a-holes trying to make themselves feel that they and their opinions matter.  They don't.  A crapload of people paid real good money to see Bonds play, even when everyone knew he was juicing.  No one's ever paid a dime to see a sportswriter.

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

    by costello7 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:24:10 PM PST

    •  Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and admitted it, and it's still in the record books. Of course with 9 walks and 2 hit batters it might be the worst no-hitter ever pitched.

      I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

      by jhecht on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:52:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm tipping because I agree with your take on (1+ / 0-)

      the powers that be, but the Hall itself is awesome cool and I would recommend to anyone to go check it out. Even it you only mildly like baseball it will get to you.

      As for the steriod age, put 'em in with an asterisk. They were juicing and so was everyone else, pretty much. The people they were competing with were part of it and still they rose to the top.

      Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall. Period.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:08:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have mixed feelings (1+ / 0-)

    I'm not going to lose any sleep about who does and doesn't make it into the Hall of Fame (for the record, I have actually been there not just once but twice...when I was a kid and again a few years ago, so I can be susceptible to its charms).

    I'm overall in agreement with other commenters that many of the players already in the Hall of Fame were certainly not nominated because they were models of probity. If the only thing that mattered was personality we'd see more average performers who were nice and decent fellows in the Hall and fewer jerks with big numbers. The fact is its the numbers that matter.

    Barry Bonds was actually my neighbor part-time during his final few seasons. I live about a mile or so from AT&T Park. During baseball season he rented an apartment in my building. I would run into him occasionally. usually in the elevator or the lobby of the building. When he was by himself he was actually tolerable (we once talked about his dog. He had a Yorkie and yes the image of a huge macho fellow walking such a frou-frou pet is more than mildly amusing, particularly in real time). But when he was surrounded by his entourage he couldn't be bothered talking to the common folk. And his entourage was nothing to write home about either; one of them accidentally set off the entire building's fire alarm system more than once doing...well it's not clear what exactly other than it was something he shouldn't have been doing. So yeah, he was kind of a prick. But if he hadn't been doping perhaps he'd have hit "only" 730 homers instead of 756. That's not exactly a minor league accomplishment. All the performance-enhancing drugs in the world are no substitute for talent; whatever his personal shortcomings, Bonds and the others clearly had that. I realize that there are plenty of good arguments to counter that but I have to come to rest someplace.

    •  Tend to agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      costello7, sfbob, Santa Susanna Kid

      Bonds probably hit the ball farther as a result of steroids, but what he really had much more than other players was a great eye and the ability to be selective about pitches and then hit the ones he picked very well. Steroids don't affect that.

      •  He might have played longer (1+ / 0-)

        I've needed to take other, legal forms of steroids by prescription for various medical issues. They take a toll. One of the biggest issues with steroids is that they increase the likelihood of muscle tears and other injuries. You can deal with the muscle spasms--another frequent side effect of steroid use-- by taking extra potassium but I don't think there's much to be done when it comes to the potential for skin and muscle damage and hypogonadism (lower levels of naturally-produced testosterone). There's also liver and kidney toxicity to consider. And of course the mood swings.

        It's entirely possible that he'd have bested Hank Aaron even without steroids, but would have taken an extra season or two to do it.

  •  I can't believe on a liberal web site (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    how many people have fallen for this right wing slant on steroids and baseball. If there was a cream or injection people could take to boost their intelligence or artistic talents, would it be banned? What is the harm here; that players are going to put up gaudy statistics. Oh! The horror. How do you think players who played in the early 1900's felt during the live ball era of the late 20's and early 30's? Did they call it cheating or progress. I don't see where fear of advancements in sports medicine is any different from fear of stem cell resarch. You should also consider there are plenty of players in the Hall of Fame who used a steroid called cortisone. Where's the hue and cry over that? And if using steroids is cheating, than tell me when Barry Bonds faced Roger Clemens, who had the advantage? You're not keeping players who used steroids out of the Hall of Fame, you're only keeping out those who were caught.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:48:32 PM PST

    •  AND keeping out players on "guilt by association" (4+ / 0-)

      There's no evidence Mike Piazza or Craig Biggio used steroids.  None.  But they played in the era and there are "suspicions".

      What a load of crap!

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

      by costello7 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:14:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Brain bleach warning (0+ / 0-)

        Some nattering nabob on MLB Network "analyzed" Piazza's back hair and acne this morning.

        After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I switched over to Morning Schmoe. Lower ick factor.

        Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

        by susanala on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:07:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm OK with the vote (0+ / 0-)

    More time is needed for more truth to come out about the steriod era.  There is no need to rush into anything.  If we ever get more of the story, maybe then we can sort through the (self-inflicted) wreakage and start to induct some of these players.  There will be plenty of blame to spread around.  At this point, I'm thinking that the best hitter, best pitcher, best manager, best league official - Bonds, Clemens, LaRussa, Selig and Miller - deserve to be held out forever since each had enough power to stop or at least slow down the abuse and each received outsized benefits from steriod abuse.  I'm not sure who the nominees from the media, owners, and the players association would be but I wouldn't mind a scapegoat there either.  

    I'm not willing to let this generation's cheaters in just because baseball missed the last generation of cheaters.  The amphetamine abuse was not made public in the same way the steriod abuse has been.  Just because mistakes were made in the past - an organization should continue to make them?

    I'm OK with Rose being on the outside, because what he did was directly in violation of the integrity of the game.  

    I'm OK with the less-than-stellar character guys in there since character and talent are not always found together.

    I'm not OK with Edgar Martinez not getting any support.  Like it or not, the DH has been a legitimate position in the American League for nearly 40 years, and it is beyond the time to recognize the best retired player at that position.  This is as bad as the Pro Football Hall of Fame not recognizing the greatest punter - Ray Guy.    

    •  Funny (0+ / 0-)

      I'm NOT OK with Rose being on the outside, because no player--on the field--maximized his abilities more.  I'm NOT OK with Ty Cobb being in--that's kind of like saying "I don't have a problem with the KKK".  And I'm quite OK with Edgar Martinez not being in.  He was a mediocre talent at best.  Ray Guy, on the other hand, was the best ever.

      As for something being "public"--you couldn't be more "public" about cheating and breaking the rules and laughing about it than Gaylord Perry; he wrote a book about it.  And, actually, thanks to Jim Bouton's "Ball Four", everybody knew about the behavior of that era's "stars" before they were voted into the Hall.  But people "forgive" the Mick, because they liked him, and nobody "forgives" Barry Bonds because they didn't.  The Hall voting has less "integrity" than a high school election for Prom King and Queen.

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

      by costello7 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:24:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, they rejected everybody else too! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Dang, (0+ / 0-)

    so my Barry Bonds rookie card is still worth nothing? ;/  SSK

    "Hey Clinton, I'm bushed" - Keith Richards

    by Santa Susanna Kid on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:25:57 PM PST

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