Steroid era hall of fame baseball candidates

Jonah Hall:

Interesting to think about how the baseball writers’ view of the steroid era, the importance of walks, the overrated nature of wins, and the new, more accurate measurements (OPS+) will impact what the Hall of Fame means in 20 years.


Lyon Keating:

Yes, I agree that a whole set of new numbers is going to come about and change the requirements for who gets into the hall of fame and I have no problem with that.  That’s just the priorities of the game changing and managers, fans, and fantasy baseball nerds understanding what really makes you win.  However, I do have a whole problem with the fact of not voting someone into the hall of fame who is from the steroids era.  The problem should not be laid on the players but upon baseball for not having a harder stance on drug use and testing.  For those players who did get caught then, yes, that should definitely be a factor in who they were as a player, Rafael Palmero, for example…God, what a deutsch!  Really though, to assume everyone in baseball was on steroids, although that probably is the case, you can’t vote them down because what if they were pure?  We scoff at people in our society, or we should scoff at people, who stereotype and this is no exception.  What utter big deutsches we would be if we assumed somebody took steroids and treated them as such and they in fact didn’t.  It is much more healthy and correct to let a few in the hall who did then label one as an user who didn’t.  C’mon baseball get your act together and get some good leadership towards these type of policies.

This is also coming from someone who doesn’t think Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame if indeed they have conclusive evidence that he did in fact bet against his team.  That is purely corrupt as he intentionally tried to play down his talent in order to make money.  At the heart of steroid users they are trying to up their performance.  Why would you put a steroid user into the same category as someone like Pete Rose?  Not that anybody did, but I feel all them falling under the description of cheaters is wrong.  Plus, what about all the social pressures that make athletes take steroids to be better that start as early as high school.  My career was stopped short, not the only reason, when it was assumed that the team I was on would take certain drugs to benefit the team as a whole.  I just didn’t take baseball that seriously but if I was more into it I’m sure I would have participated.  The type of enduring schedule to play as many games as those guys do leads the players to take steroids so they can play most of the games.  If no drugs were used to uplift your energy and health it takes to play the game, most players probably wouldn’t make it past 100 games or so in the season or their careers would be significantly shorter.  Writers and fans and everyone need to ask certain questions and ponder these thoughts and use some cognitive, critical thinking skills before they make the outlandish decision to ban anyone from the steroid era to the Hall.


Jonah Hall:

I agree with most of you said.  I see it as a three-way punishment.  Who is guilty for the steroid era?  1) The players that took steroids.  2) MLB, for looking the other way and basically condoning the use of steroids as long as they were making money off of it.  3) The casual fans: for being shamefully addicted to homerun hitters and lots of run-scoring, rather than giving a shit about the actual game, the things that make it such a great game.

The homerun is a spectacle.  The complete-game shut-out doesn’t mean nearly enough to the casual fan.  The thing is, baseball was dying in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Its popularity was at an all-time low in 1994 following the strike.  After that, homeruns (the summer of 1998, McGwire and Sosa chasing history) brought the casual fan back to the game.  I’m putting it a little bit simplistically, but I think if you go see a game (not necessarily the A’s or Giants, but any random team, and you sit there at that stadium, and look around you, you’d see a small percentage of baseball fans who love the game and care about what is actually happening on the field.  I’d say maybe 25%.  The other 75% enjoy other aspects of being there: you’re outside and the weather is nice, you can take your kid, you enjoy looking at realy green grass and really brown dirt, you really like beer, you want to take your girlfriend, you want to go with your boyfriend, you want to hang out with your friends, etc.  I’d guess that most of the 75% of those people enjoy seeing someone hit a baseball really far.  But that not many are that excited about seeing a really well pitched game, unless it involves a ton of strikeouts.  I could be wrong, but I think that has been a significant factor in MLB looking the other way for as long as it did.  Only in this age of “accountability” (propaganda about accountability more than our govt, or now our corporations, actually taking responsibility for anything), in this age of accountability, we want our sports “pure,” as if they ever were “pure” to begin with.


Lyon Keating:

Oh my god we’re all to blame!  Poposterious!!!  What a crazy idea you have;)  Pretty much sums it up I feel, but I would ultimately blame the managment of the MLB first, then the fans, and then the players….Yes, I always love a complete game shutout but really I like to see some scoring really and I am a pretty avid fan.  I am always for the DH and raising and lowering the mound in order to get offensive numbers up more than down, but not out of control either way I suppose.  And some people don’t call me a traditionalist for the DH part of the game, but I call National League freaks non traditionalists because they support the game being changed to a specialized sport while keeping in only symbolically the same.  Pitchers have always hit yes but they used to be actually pretty good hitters not the lame ass duck hitting athletes they are today.  So, in essence I feel that the DH, even with the pitcher not hitting, is a more traditional approach to the game than stupid randy johnson or anyone else trying to pick up a bat that you wouldn’t even put in to pitch hit in a high school game


Hop on Pop:

What about Wrestlimg….. Is that a sport ???? (hee hee)My point is that MLB and everything connected to it is first and foremost a giant business in the Entertainment sector of our economy. Thus it’s primary function is to entertain us thus making a profit.  It is secondary a sport.   This is my reasoning for allowing all player to be considered in the Hall of Fame…
Using Bonds as an example. I will have to admit I enjoyed every home run he hit in his “drug years” Just like I enjoyed every strikeout that the”evil” looking relief pitcher on the A’s (who came back from surgery with a blazing but sometimes wild fast ball–Billy Koch?). Surgery is just one area in the field of modern medicine. I remember you explaining to me that specific surgerys can put 3-5 more miles on your fastball for a couple of years. Noboby blinks on that account.

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