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2020 Baseball Hall of Fame Class

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Della9250, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    His ban applied to the players. The problem was that there was no way to enforce the ban. That is where the collectively bargained agreement came in. There was no drug testing, and would be none, until the union agreed.
    bigpern23 likes this.
  2. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Right, which is why I described it as feckless. A player would literally have to be caught in the act, I suppose, to face any discipline. But it was against the rules and, obviously, players all knew it was cheating or they wouldn't have bothered to go to any lengths to conceal their use.
  3. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Because they were illegal?
  4. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    I've said this a billion times. I said it at the Herald, I said it here. It's up to MLB, which controls the Hall of Fame, to declare the PED-era guys ineligible. Letting the writers do it is chickenshit in the extreme. If a guy's on the ballot, he's eligible and should be judged according to his record as a player. Of course, MLB knew its audience. There are a great many baseball writers who like being judge and jury. Well, I didn't and I still don't. I was a juror following the judge's instructions, or more accurately, lack thereof. They didn't change the records. They didn't give World Series to teams that lost but were clean (not that there were any). So I don't see the PED frenzy except that 1. baseball worships its dead past, which is why young people love the game and 2. This country's attitudes towards "drugs" is sick beyond belief, particularly since I'll bet the average HoF voter takes three or four prescription drugs ballplayers aren't supposed to.
    sgreenwell and JC like this.
  5. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I'm fine with banning everyone in Houston management with knowledge of the cheating from the HOF.
  6. Regan MacNeil

    Regan MacNeil Well-Known Member

    You also have to ban everyone who ever had an at-bat during the trash can banging.
  7. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I agree that MLB is chickenshit and never addressed it. But if they had, we'd still have ended up in the same place we are. They can't declare all players from an era ineligible. They would have to retroactively close the Hall down to new players sometime in the 1990s, and not have any new inductees going forward. But if they said, "just ignore it, don't exclude anyone," you'd still have had writers ignoring whatever guidelines were given, and I am guessing you'd be in the same situation with many players Bonds, Clemens, etc. sitting on the outside today.

    I don't fault the writers the same way that you do, although maybe at this point the BBWAA should say it doesn't want to be involved. Even in a real jury situation, you don't just have to just follow the judge's instructions. You are free to vote your conscience and nullify those instructions. That is exactly why we have juries and not mechnical means for judging people.

    I think it is legit for someone to see what Barry Bonds did as cheating and not know how to deal with it, because while there was a ton of evidence that Bonds used, you could never be absolutely sure about Ken Griffey Jr. (to use a guy everyone seems to assume didn't use), for example. For that person, no matter how they try to deal with it, it is an impossible situation. ... even if MLB hadn't been so inept and chickenshit.

    On the second part of your post, I think you need to make a distinction in your argument about attitudes toward "drugs." These three situations all relate to drugs: a guy serving a long prison sentence for selling drugs, a reporter taking a fistful of prescription pills every day, and a baseball player using substances that give him unnatural abilities. In the case of the guy in prison, I personally think it's ridiculous, but won't bog down the post with why. I also don't think it's my business what pills someone swallows every morning. Make those choices for yourself.

    In the case of the athletes, though, what they are doing directly impacts -- and is being done because of -- the sports they play for a living. And that is the distinction. I believe in free speech. It doesn't mean that I equate a college student at a rally making a provocative speech against the government (think it should be an absolute right) with a spokesman for a large company publicly saying provocative things that the company doesn't like (not an absolute right). If you want to express those views freely, find a different job.

    So go back to 1998 or 2004. I think Rafael Palmiero or Jason Giambi or Gary Sheffield should have been free to use HGH or a BALCO steroid cream if that is what they wanted. ... but if they wanted to be MLB players, they knew that they gave up that right, the same way people with all kinds of jobs have limits on their behavior because of the job. Of course they had no reason to use those substances except for the advantage it gave them as baseball players, which is why the context is what matters.
  8. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Strange but true, before 2001 Basic Agreement, MLB had no real drug policy at all except to ignore them. Anyone popped in a drug test after that has indeed only themselves to blame. Before that, well, it gets murkier. I firmly believe that a large part of animus towards the users of that era among BBWAA members stems from how many of the latter went all-in on lyric prose poems about the McGwire-Sosa homer race.
    sgreenwell likes this.
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    It had a policy. Laid down in 1991 by Vincent and again in 1997 by Selig. The memos they sent saying steroids are illegal and make sure your players know it. ... Let's be honest, everyone knew it wasn't kosher. .. .and FORMALLY, baseball had addressed it, even if they only addressed it so far.

    Until the collective bargaining agreement you are talking about, they couldn't do any drug testing, so they had a rule... but it couldn't be enforced. How much that is due to MLB wanting to keep its head in the sand vs. the union fighting testing is a matter of debate. Both are probably true. But I don't think it's fair to say that there was no policy at all except to ignore them. There was a policy and a rule. It was just pretty unenforceable until both sides agreed on testing.
    bigpern23 likes this.
  10. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    You are technically correct, but a rule without an enforcement mechanism isn't a rule, it's a wish. The truth is that MLB was so intent on breaking the players' union in the early '90s it didn't bother to try and see if the union would accept drug testing. After the '94-'95 strike debacle, the owners then were just worried about their balance sheets and attendance problems. It wasn't a priority for anyone except for the silent player objectors to PED use. Those guys were in an impossible spot, since of course the only users they could rat out were their own teammates.
  11. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    As level a playing as any other era in baseball. The pious, naive writers who were to stupid to write about it when it was happening now get to take it out on the players. Selig was complicit in this and he’s in the hall.

    It’s laughable that people think cheating started in 1990.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  12. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    The Union’s position on testing and usage shows that the majority of players, making the majority of money, were ok with steroid and PED use. The players wanted it more than the owners and commissioners.
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