Friday, November 30, 2012

PEDs and the HOF

I once lost $100 to my colleague Craig Wolf when Mark McGwire failed to reach the Hall of Fame by his second year of eligibility.  I was naive.  I was foolish.  I was wrong.

But I don't think I was wrong about McGwire's Hall-worthiness; I was wrong about baseball writers' ability to judge players without prejudice.

Sure, McGwire (and Bonds and Clemens and etc) used PED's.  But so did a huge chunk of the guys they was competing against (just like Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt, and Whitey Ford before them).

We don't compare pitchers' ERAs in 2012 with those of the dead-ball era because stats fluctuate between eras.  But dominance among peers remains the best indicator of Hall-of-Fame worthiness and during the "steroid era," when PEDs were largely legal.  The playing fields were level.

Anyway, my opinion doesn't matter for much, so read Jonah Keri's more in-depth Hall argument for the most dominant "performance-enhancers" just recently eligible for induction.


  1. Let'em in! Why? Because there's a lot of players that got away with "using", and will get in with praise of not using; Can they really draw a line? If so, does players like Tim Beckham get in, if he ends up having a HOF career when he gets to the show?

  2. you are wrong again. The playing field was level ONLY if all the players were enhanced, which was not the case.

  3. Most PEDs don't make you stronger; they allow you to recover faster (i.e. workout twice as much, twice as hard). And they were available to everyone, so every person could make that choice. It wasn't "cheating" then because it wasn't banned - it was a personal medical decision.

    And should we deny guys like Mantle, Mays, or other possible PED-users because not every player in the 60s popped "greenies?"