Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tell Me When This Stops Shocking You

Here's the deal: Just about anyone who's anyone in baseball over the past 15 years (at least) has played dirty. In a piece written by someone named, of all things, Mike Schmidt, the Times reveals that Sammy Sosa tested positive for something in 2003.

His name was on the same list as A-Rod's, and it was a list of 104 names. That's an average of more than three players per team. On one test. This is why I have a hard time getting worked up about the players' guilt, have an easier time getting worked up about the ineffectiveness of Commissioner Selig and his cohorts, and think the entire idea of banning someone like Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds from the Hall of Fame is totally absurd. (If you want to keep McGwire out, do it because he was a one-dimensional, career-.263 hitter, not because of the 'roids.)


Blogger Kraig Smith said...

Well, as long as we're arguing the theoretical merits of McGwire's Hall of Fame credentials, I think it's important to note his outstanding career .394 OBP as well as his above average defense...even winning a much-deserved Gold Glove one year. Steroid issue aside, I think it's wrong to label him a one-dimensional player. You must be thinking of Dave Kingman. But for the steroid issue, McGwire would be a first ballot guy.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Spender said...

I don't want to taint the record books with asterisks because the records could eventually look like one of those connect the dots puzzles. Baseball fans - those who care about the stats - will keep the 'real' records in their heads.
Sure, Babe hit 714 bombs but in an era when Hank Aaron wouldn't have been allowed to play in the same league. I revere the Bambino but Hank hit 755 and that's it. McGuire, Sosa and Bonds all beat out Maris' record but... no, they didn't.Not in my mind.
Stats are stats and immutable but for those who truly love the game... we keep the real records in our heads.
Agreed that the Commissioners did a very poor job of policing drug policy but when have they not?
I think that with the recent crack down we are seeing a return to brain over bulk and this can only be good for the fans.

11:12 PM  
Blogger JMW said...

I would say that Kingman was more like a no-dimensional player. But I don't agree about the no-brainer first ballot when it comes to McGwire. (Though I think "first ballot" and the rest of the HOF vocabulary is ludicrous.) If he was above average defensively, it was just above. That OBP was greatly inflated by the absurd walk totals he had during his biggest power years toward the end. And it's not like he brought anything to the base paths. He was also so injury-prone that he only had nine seasons of 450 or more AB. I realize that the 'roids are what's keeping him out of the HOF, but I also think he's overrated because of three or four huge home run years.

2:45 PM  

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