Sammy Didn’t Make It In, But When Do We Welcome Him Back? And Other Bullets

sammy sosa kissIn case you missed yesterday’s super-sized edition of the BN Podcast, it’s not too late (it’s never too late (I think that’s a song line)), as you can tune in here. And then you can subscribe via iTunes, so you never miss a future episode. On to the Bullets …

  • A day after the Hall of Fame voters opened their arms to no one, despite the availability of one of the most stacked ballots in history, the national conversation figured to be all about that non-event. Jayson Stark says it, if not the best, then the most plainly, that what happened yesterday is insane, and something needs to change. The Hall is supposed to be a museum, Stark says, and no one should be taking an eraser to an era. It happened, let’s deal with it. I’m inclined to agree – when I take my kids to the Hall in a decade, I want them to see what there is to see from the 90s and early 2000s. Heck, the 90s is when I grew up – and I did it on baseball.
  • Commissioner Bud Selig said he was not unhappy with the result, when speaking at an owners’ meeting. “The Hall of Fame is the greatest honor a player can get. A very small percentage of players. Next year, I think you’ll have a rather large class, and this year, for whatever reasons, you had a couple of guys who came very close. This is not to be voted on to make sure someone gets in every year. It’s to be voted on to make sure that they’re deserving. I respect the writers as well as the Hall, itself. This idea that this somehow diminishes the hall or baseball is ridiculous, in my opinion.”
  • Sammy Sosa, who received just 12.5% of the voting, indicating that he’s never going to make it in by way of the voters, released a statement after the results were released: “It has been a moment of great honor for me to have my name on the ballot for the first time along with some of the game’s greats. Even if we weren’t inducted on our first time, we are still winners and there is always a next time. God has blessed me with a beautiful family, great career, and I know He will determine my future in the years to come. Baseball has been very, very good to me. Kiss to the heavens.”
  • Jon Greenberg yesterday tweeted, appropriately (if cynically): “Forget the Hall of Fame, what does Sosa have to do to get invite to Cubs Convention? Not like he ever made team any money, right?” I hate saying that “coming clean” is the only way Sammy will be welcomed back with open arms, but it might be the case. Part of me hates saying it that way, because I hate standing in a position of accusation when I don’t definitely truly KNOW something with 100% certainty. I do feel like, at some point, I’d like to be over all that ugliness, and just be able to enjoy remembering Sammy as a great Cub to watch.
  • Of course, it’s fair to wonder whether Sammy even wants to come back and be a part of the Cubs’ world.
  • Jesse Rogers says the voters got it right with Sammy Sosa, largely because, until the Steroid Era and the associated increase in numbers, Sammy wasn’t on his way to a Hall of Fame career.
  • The Tribune looks ahead to next year’s even more stacked ballot, which adds Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, and Mike Mussina, among others.
  • Kerry Wood’s now annual Winter Warm-Up event is January 18, and it’s an opportunity to be served drinks by Cubs players (for charity). If you’re going to be around for the Convention anyway, check it out.
  • Former Cub Kosuke Fukudome is headed back to Japan on a three-year deal with the Hanshin Tigers.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

117 responses to “Sammy Didn’t Make It In, But When Do We Welcome Him Back? And Other Bullets”

  1. Carew

    Never Too Late-Three Days Grace

  2. Clark Addison

    Big Mac was welcomed back by the Cardinals, so why can’t we do the same for Sosa? We all loved him a dozen years ago, and as you stated, for a long time he was the prime reason to watch the Cubs.

    1. hansman1982

      Ya, there weren’t many fans that were too upset about his production when he was here.

      Sure the corked bat was embarrassing but comeon, it’s been 10 years.

    2. Darin Fred

      BIg Mac was welcomed back by the Cardnals fans because nobody ever explained to them that Big Mac took PED’s ìn a SLOW enough voice for them to understand. Always remember, you must speak slowly and give visual aids when speaking to Cardinals fans. :-)

      1. Cubbie Blues

        You can explain it to them but you can’t help them understand it.

        1. hansman1982

          I watched Nova last night and they said that humans alive today (Europeans moreso than others) have Neanderthal genes in them. Clearly Cardinal fans got the lion’s share.

          1. Jeff

            Oh No, just ask a cardinal fan and he will tell you they wear them Levi jeans, they don’t know anything about them designer Neanderthal Jeans.

            1. hansman1982


          2. Cubbie Blues

            They bred with lions? ewww

            1. Stinky Pete

              I think you’re lyin’.

    3. kmr1453

      I always thought Cubs’ fans were upset at Sammy because he walked out on the team.

      The Cubs organization and fans should welcome him back. Sammy was baseball. He was a key reason baseball came back strong after the strike year. Whether or not, you believe he juiced, the league turned their eyes away and allowed it to happen. He was used by MLB to get the fans back to enjoying the game. We owe Sammy our love.

  3. al

    I enjoyed watching Sammy hit home runs but that was before I had any idea that baseball was the American equivalent of cycling.

    1. OlderStyle

      Ouch. As a cycling fan I have to say that most people are only aware of a fraction of the problem of peds in sports if you think cycling is the dirtiest. It’s been made the scapegoat by media but don’t think football, basketball, hockey, soccer, track and field, gymnastics, weightlifting, wrestling and just about any other you can think of is really any cleaner.

      1. hansman1982

        Ya, if you want a sport to go after for PED’s, go after football. There guys take them and the increased size, strength and speed seriously injuries people.

        On a side note: I am really sick of people comparing steroid users to horrible racists and guys who bet on their teams.

        1. OlderStyle

          I’ve been a cycling fan for many years, almost as long as baseball fan. The superhuman feats of the 90′s were astonishing. After some of the scandals starting breaking I did a lot of reading on the subject. I think in general, well-informed cycling fans have a different perspective on peds than fans of more mainstream sports.
          People tend to think of the old 70′s steroid stereotype of a 90 lb weakling bulking up and then kicking sand in the bullies face. The truth is since the late 80′s there has been an explosion of performance enhancing drugs that not only dramatically boost cardiovascular performance, build lean muscle mass, but also aid recovery times and burn fat, etc. A peds user doesn’t always “look” like Lyle Alzado or an anorexic gaunt-faced Tour winner.
          So, yeah, those types of stereotypes are ridiculous.

      2. al

        “There have been allegations of doping in the Tour de France since the race began in 1903.”

        Everyone cheats but some cheat less than others is not compelling.

        1. OlderStyle

          wow. “some cheat less”? Does this mean the sports you think are cleaner? And you’re basing this conclusion on a wiki snippet and some media soundbytes? So, in a cheating continuum cycling is “none more black” and tennis or soccer is eggshell? I’m consulting my Magic 8 ball right now and it says… “don’t count on it”.

          1. al

            “…a wiki snippet…”

            I cited a source that you are unwilling or incapable of refuting. Little matter. Enjoy your cycling.

            See ya.

      3. TheRiot2

        Golf anybody ?

  4. Luis

    I don’t like the “erase of an era” argument, because eventually players like Maddux or Griffey Jr. will be elected. A Hall of Fame with Maddux but without Clemens will be a statement about the Steroids Era, not an erase of it.

    1. Spriggs

      Agree… also, there will be wings, sections, or at least displays in the Hall of Fame devoted to these players and the era. I don’t know anyone who goes to the Hall just to see the plaques.

    2. DCF

      it would be a statement, but a very questionable one IMO. Nobody ever took the trouble to investigate how much roids real can do to a player, how widespread they really were, who really took them and when. Ostracizing at least a sizeable part of a generation, including some of the best players ever (like Bonds), based on hearsay and some old people’s gut feelings feels pretty messed up to me.

    3. Spoda17

      Agreed Luis. This was pretty much the point I was making yesterday. The Stark article makes it an absolute that in order to admit the era happened these guys must be [elected] into the HoF. They are already in the museum, and the 90s and early 2000s is well represented in the museum. The history is, and always will be there. The point of contention is whether these guys should be elected into the elite group of hall of famers.

      The intent is not to pretend the 90s didn’t happen, the debate is the election.

    4. Can't think of a cool name

      In my opinion, Griffey’s injuries scream of steriods. .

  5. Spriggs

    I thought the new ownership would have welcomed him back by now – in some way. I think it’s kind of small of Cubs Nation in general to turn their backs on him so completely. Nevermind the HRs, heck, I paid just to see him run out to his RF spot in the first inning.

    1. hansman1982

      I was “that kid” that would do his hop during backyard home run derby…granted I was 16-17 at the time.

      Yes, I was and still am a giant nerd.

      1. BluBlud

        I would do the whole stance thing. Wide legs, knees in, hands high and way back behind me. Things swing and hop out the box. They may not admit, but I bet there is not a single Cubs fan from that the late 90′s to the early 2000′s that hasn’t donre that at least once.

        1. BluBlud

          edit button. I really need to start proof reading.

  6. Pete

    Bring Sammy back to this Cubs Convention then have a Sammy Sosa day at Wrigley next summer!

  7. JB88

    I’ve never enjoyed Jesse Rogers. He has always seemed out of his element as a reporter—strikes me as more of a fanboy than someone with any real knowledge of the game.

    With that disclaimer, I think any of these revisionist arguments are so ridiculous to make/read. First, it would be awesome to know when these reporters believe the steriod era began. Was it 1998? Before? Because looking at Sosa’s numbers, before his crazy run that started in 1998, he had already hit 207 HRs and had 199 SBs. And he was 28 years old. Even assuming he had never taken steriods, I think it wouldn’t be a stretch for Sosa to have ended up in the 300 HR, 300 SB club. He probably would have ended up with over 400 HRs w/o steriods. He had made

    Is that first ballot HOFer? Maybe not, but Rogers overstates his position that Sosa wasn’t on his way to being considered for the HOF.

    1. BluBlud

      I completely agree with this post. I feel though, the moment they decided to cheat the game, they eliminated themselves from consideration. Bonds was definitely a HOFer before the roids. However, he put a worse stain on the game then Pete Rose. If Rose can’t get in, then neither should Sosa, Bonds, McGuire, Clemons, Pettite or anybody else associated with PEDs.

      1. JB88

        They didn’t cheat the game. Nothing they did was prohibited by MLB. MLB shouldn’t be able to profit from its own complicity and then act sanctimonious (which is how Selig’s comment comes across to me) when the perpetrators are up for the highest honor.

        1. BluBlud

          I don’t belive that the MLB runs the hall, so they really have no say so. I believe it’s the Baseball Hall of Fame.

          1. JB88

            You are correct that MLB doesn’t run the HOF, which is why the portion of my post dealing with the MLB focused on Selig’s quote. But MLB absolutely profited from those acts and, frankly, I think it is a joke that Selig or some other deputy commissioner stand up and address the media and say that they are disappointed with the vote, that, while the Steriod Era is a black mark on the game, nothing these players did was illegal, the 1998 HR Race, in some ways, saved baseball after the Lockout, and that these players’ memories and records deserve an asterick, not whiteout. That all of baseball is guilty of what occurred and that these acts still must be remembered, but put in context.

            All of that said, I also wrote something similar to my above comments (i.e., MLB was complicit in the Steriod Era and now acts sanctimonious about it) in the thread yesterday blasting the BBWAA for these omissions, the gist of which was: the writers are also hypocrites because they ignored the steriod use throughout that era and now seek to punish the men who they wrote about glowingly and whose efforts enhanced their livelihood.

        2. mjhurdle

          Weren’t Steroids added to the banned substances list in 91?
          If so, then what they did was in fact prohibited by MLB.
          There was no testing until 2003 (or 2004?), but that doesn’t mean they were legal in baseball. Just because the player’s union fought testing and the owners did not mind the results of the steroid use does not change the fact that they were banned.
          I do agree that Selig choose to not make testing an issue because it was benefiting game and should take his share of the blame, but we shouldn’t give the players the excuse that “nothing they did was prohibited by MLB.”

          1. JB88

            I hadn’t recalled that, but after doing a bit of Googling, you are correct.

            The defense attorney in me is struggling to come up with a good analogy to defend the player’s actions. I think the long and short of it is that, while you are absolutely correct that what they did was technically prohibited by MLB, it was, in essence, a victimless crime and one that MLB never even cared to prosecute. Sure the integrity of the sport was harmed and their are a host of players who maybe didn’t make the game or succeed in the way that they might have (I’m talking fractional points, though) if there weren’t steriod users, but my main problem is the manner in which players are, after the fact, being punished by both MLB and the writers who profited greatly from the players’ acts.

            People forget how harmed the game was by the lockout. MLB was hemorrhaging fans. If that had continued, the secondary industries around the game, including the media, would have contracted. With the explosion of baseball popularity, more slots came to exist for the media and other secondary businesses associated with baseball. So, where is the punishment for MLB, the owners, or the writers? I think that’s my biggest beef with this after-the-fact sanctimonious outcry by MLB and the writers.

            1. mjhurdle

              i agree 100% with you point that the players are taking all the punishment for something that was (if not openly at least behind the scenes) encouraged by both the owners and the media.
              And now that it has blown up, the same owners and media that were profiting and encouraging the actions try to act like they too were the victims.
              That doesn’t change my opinion that known PED users should not get in, but i do wish there was some sort of punishment for the media and owners for their involvement in this.

          2. King Jeff

            Not 100% sure, but I think anabolic steroids were banned in 91, the players then started taking HGH and andro, which weren’t banned until later. The truth is that steroids have been used regularly since the 70s and 80s, and there is no way to distinguish who used and who didn’t in that time period.

      2. Darwin Fred

        I agree completely.

      3. hansman1982

        well then Jeter is out of the HoF for the HBP a year or two ago that actually hit the bat.

  8. OregonCubsFan

    I have to disagree with Jesse Rogers logic. Because Sammy wasn’t on his way to the hall pre steroids assumes that he was not going to improve without steroids. We can’t say for sure when the steroids started (though we can make educated guesses) and we definitely can’t say for sure what his career would have been like sans steroids (assuming he actually did steroids). His career did seem to be on the upswing before his miraculous increase in hat size – perhaps he would have been a consistent 40/100 guy. Perhaps we would be considering a guy who had 502 HRs right now. We just don’t know.
    The only justification for not letting Sammy in (and Bonds, and McGwire, and Palmero…) is because they did steroids. We can’t eliminate players on speculation on what might’ve been the case. The numbers – as well as the excitement they generated during their playing days – would justify one of the largest HOF classes ever. The question remains – does steroid use exclude them from electio to the hall? If so, take their names off the ballot. If not, elect them in and move on.

  9. JB88

    I’ve never enjoyed Jesse Rogers. He has always seemed out of his element as a reporter—strikes me as more of a fanboy than someone with any real knowledge of the game.

    With that disclaimer, I think any of these revisionist arguments are so ridiculous to make/read. First, it would be awesome to know when these reporters believe the steriod era began. Was it 1998? Before? Because looking at Sosa’s numbers, before his crazy run that started in 1998, he had already hit 207 HRs and had 199 SBs. And he was 28 years old. Assuming (1) he took steriods and (2) that, based on that first assumption, he never took steriods and then engaging in a bit of speculation, myself, I think it wouldn’t be a stretch for Sosa to have ended up in the 300 HR, 300 SB club. He probably would have ended up with over 400 HRs w/o steriods. Like Bonds, Sosa had the natural talent to put up some pretty special numbers w/o enhancement. Probably not Top 10 numbers, but possibly top 25 HR numbers and likely top 10 HR+SB numbers.

    Is that first ballot HOFer? Maybe not, but Rogers overstates his position that Sosa wasn’t on his way to being considered for the HOF even with the speculation that Sosa took steriods.

    1. JB88

      Sorry for the double post. The website froze up on me, so I edited my post some more and hit resubmit. Appears that the first post went through after all … Doh.

    2. ETS

      Jesse you’re out of your element! So you have no frame of reference, Jesse. You’re like a child who wanders in in the middle of a movie and wants to know-

  10. jrshipley

    I remember Sosa fondly. He played with a love of the game, the team, and the fans. His homerun production was matched by his energy and exurberance. He wasn’t a perfect personality, but the images of his smile and his sprint onto the field stick in my mind the most. If he used PEDs perhaps he should be excluded from having a plaque in the hall. He should not be excluded from having a fond place in our memories as a great Cub.

  11. MichCubFan

    Who cares if players juiced during the steroid era? The league didn’t do anything to stop it anyway. If anything they helped make the game popular again after the strike in ’94 and the slow years that followed. The game might not be doing as well as it is right now if Sosa and McGwire hadn’t tried to out juice each other into the record books.

    It is a great way for sports writers to try and feel important.

  12. ETS

    it’s sad we have to talk about sammy – either sign someone or let’s start spring training. I have gone too long without baseball!!!!!

  13. BluBlud

    I dont know, Maybe my hate, and I do HATE for Clemons and Bonds is clouding my judgement on this, but I just don’t see any justification for these guys, unless they are willing to go in as steroid users. Maybe put a placard over their plaque that says “STEROID USER.” Sammy has never disgraced the game publicly the way these 2 have. As much as I love Sosa, I know that electing him would mean electing Bonds and Clemons. I take more pleasure in seeing those two Disgraces left out then I would seeing Sosa get in. I know the Halls mean alot to both of them, so I feel the punishment is justified.

    1. ETS

      for what it’s worth, Sammy also corked a bat.

      1. BluBlud

        I not even talking about what they did on the field. I’m speaking more to the fact of what’s happened after they retired. These guys have disgraced the game, and have played us fans for idiots. We know the truth. We may not have concrete evidence, but we know what really happened. Not having concrete evidence may get you out of legal trouble on a technicality, but it won’t change the opinion of the people.

        1. hansman1982

          Throw them in a lake…if they float they were steroid users!

          1. Cubbie Blues

            No, no. What else floats in water?

      2. JB88

        And about 10-15 HOF pitchers used foreign substances to alter their pitchers. Cheating or doing anything to find an edge is part of baseball.

        1. King Jeff

          Everyone who went into the HOF before the breaking of the color barrier didn’t play against the best competition. Cap Anson and Kenesaw Landis(the commissioner of MLB who is credited with “cleaning up the game”) are both in the HOF and they fought tooth and nail their whole careers to keep African-Americans from playing in MLB with little justification. The steroid guys are a blight on the game, and some of history’s most blatant and unjustified racists aren’t? This sudden moral stance that the BBWA is on is pretty ridiculous, especially considering how much the steroid era actually did for MLB’s popularity and viability after the lockout.

    2. JB88

      I hate Clemens and Bonds also, but they belong in the HOF. I hate Ty Cobb for the racist POS that he was, but I respect him as one of the greatest players of all time. I don’t believe it is the BBWAA’s duty to judge the player as a person in determining his place in baseball history.

      1. blublud

        I actually disagree. I don’t think stats should be the only important consideration when getting into the Hall of Fame. I think character towards the game, the way they played the game, the inpact they had on the game should all be the measures we go by, with stats included in. For instance, Yao Ming’s NBA stats in a short career don’t suggest he’s a basketball Hall of Famer, but his impact on the game in China, Asain Americans and other Asian countries suggest to me he is a First Ballot Hall of Famer. Same concept should apply in baseball.

        1. JB88

          Technically, all of those things already apply, but stats have always trumped everything else. And it should continue to do so here.

          But baseball is full of unsavory characters. Men who broke countless laws, who were outright racists, who cheated while playing the game, and who generally did not possess the type of character that we would wish espoused by society in general. The baseball HOF is made up of drunks, druggies, philanderers, racists, cheats, and, in some cases, straight up criminals. But that doesn’t change the stats they left or the “impact” they had on the game.

          1. hansman1982

            I’m fairly certain that in order to be a Yankee superstar from 1925-1950 you had to be all of those.

  14. BigPappa

    I think the steroid users (and Pete Rose) shouldn’t be voted into the Hall until after they are dead so they can’t profit from their cheating

    1. ETS

      Ask Melky if he profited off of it.

  15. SouthernCub

    Its not the “roids” or even the corked bat incident that bothers me the most about Sammy, its the fact that he walked out on his teammates and left the clubhouse during a game.

    1. aCubsFan

      Exactly. Walking out on his teammates is why Sosa doesn’t belong at the Cubs convention or ‘brought back’ into the Cubs fold. Just like Carlos Z. could never have pitched for the Cubs again. Both were cancers in the clubhouse and don’t ever deserve to be mentioned again or seen again with the Cubs.

      1. SouthernCub


  16. cubbieswschamps2015

    off subject I know but does anyone know what the status is of the cubs Dominican academy? Did they actually build it?

  17. MI6

    In a couple of years admit McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Clements as a group. McGwire and Sosa’s home run race reignited interest in the sport at a time when it was in trouble. The accomplishments of this group, while tainted, are real none-the-less. Let us not forget that it took willful disinterest on the part of all of baseball for this to have happened.

    1. Spriggs

      I wonder how many current HOFers would show up for that ceremony. That would be interesting.

      ps… also, don’t forget about the players union’s responsibility in this mess. Both parties took “willful disinterest” — including some of the outspoken player reps (like **cough** GLAVINE).

  18. AB

    Bobby V. was on the local sports station this morning and he made some great points:

    -What happens to pitchers and batters who were non-steroid users whose career win/loss totals, runs scored, RBIs that were affected positively or negatively by being on the same team or competing against guys like Bonds or Sosa??

    -the HOF needs to take the ballots out of the hands of the BBWAA. They only reason they vote is because when the hall was established before cable TV, baseball writers would be the only individuals not paid by organizations to watch every game of the season and get a chance to see all the other teams in the league. Obviously that’s not the case anymore.

    1. Cubbie Blues

      win/loss totals, runs scored, RBIs are all team stats and “should” have absolutely no bearing on HOF votes.

    2. JB88

      To Valentine’s first point: HOF voting has always been based on a measure of a player’s statistical accomplishments measured across the era and across the historic accomplishments of players throughout MLB history. There are certainly outliers in the steriod era, but you can still tell that Greg Maddux and Craig Biggio, for example, belong in the HOF. Water always finds a level; same with talent. But I think it is still possible to determine who is a HOFer even amongst those who weren’t confirmed or speculated steriod users.

  19. Clark Addison

    The issue is not so much the HOF vote, but Cubs management turning its back on the player who made them millions of dollars in his heyday. A lot of the people filling the stands today became Cubs fans because of Sosa.

    Invite him to the convention, have him throw out a first pitch, and retire number 21.

    1. Brian

      Unless I am mistaken, Sosa never played for any of the current owners, management, or with any current player on the roster. So, noone currently owes him anything.

      1. blublud

        Yeah, but they owe it to us fans. While I may be against the HOF induction, I definitely think Sammy should be honored by the Cubs. He deserves some kind of recognition. I know that Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Ron Santo, Adre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg are legends, but Sammy has a legitimate claim as the greatest Cubs performer of all time. It is time to bring him back.

        1. King Jeff

          I agree that he was a great performer, but he walked out on his team because he didn’t get his way. That’s worse to me than any needle he stuck himself with or any bat he corked.

  20. rizzasrto

    the problem I have with all of this HOF non-sense is the fact that baseball is a breakdown of eras, so in my opinion HOF’s should be voted upon era by era dead ball, live ball, expansion era/lower mound, and steroid or long ball era. not to mention the improvements in technology. i know its hard to do but we need to setup comparing era to era

  21. rizzasrto

    edit: stop comparing

  22. Andy

    That Sosa quote is a joke…right? “Baseball been very very good to me…Kiss to the heavens.” That is hysterical.

  23. mjhurdle

    I don’t mind the vote yesterday. While i agree there are compelling arguments on both sides of the issue, i don’t feel like any wrong was done yesterday by not including any of the ‘PED’ candidates.
    As i have seen other posters mention, just because the players themselves are not inducted, does not mean that their accomplishments are going to be absent from the HoF. The history of baseball in the 90′s and early 2000′s will still be represented, the players involved simply won’t be honored as HoFers.
    And just because other cheaters are in the HoF does not mean that we should then open the gate to everyone. That logic boils down to the same as when one of my daughters tries to steal some candy before dinner, and when i tell her no she says her sister already did it so she should be able to as well. Not saying that there aren’t good arguments for letting the players in, just that this is one of the more popular ones, and one of the weakest ones in my opinion. What has happened in the past in not relevant to the decision being made today about whether or not you allow someone that choose to consistently violate MLB policy into the HoF.

    The biggest reason why i approve of what the voters did yesterday is that it is not permanent. While right now i feel these players should not get in, if someone makes the argument and changes mind, then this can be addressed in future votes. But if they had voted them in, then it is done, with little to no chance of ever being undone. With an issue as divisive and unclear as this one is, i tend to agree to error on the side of patience.
    Just my two long-winded cents.

    1. JB88

      I want to preface my following response to your analogy by saying that I, personally, have gone back and forth on the induction question before I settled on admitting the players. So I totally understand the angle of denying the players HOF admission.

      Now, that said, I don’t agree with your analogy. To me, the more accurate analogy would be this: You’ve banned candy from your household, but have looked the other way your daughters’ entire life while they possessed candy, have seen them eat candy and done nothing to punish them, and, have even encouraged behavior that would only result as a byproduct of them eating candy. Now, years after your daughters stop living with you and stop eating candy, you disown them because they ate candy. Heck, even my revision of your analogy isn’t complete, because you can’t fully capture the means by which you (the owners/media) profitted from your daughter’s eating candy.

      To me, to capture this analogy in its proper context you’d need to craft it through a corporate fraud lens (where the owners and shareholders aren’t divested of the profits that were earned illegally). My point—as I unsuccessfully tried to articulate in a previous posts—is that this isn’t a simple case of suggesting that one cheater should be allowed into the HOF because other cheaters were previously allowed in. Rather, it seems that MLB and the writers wish to effectively erase an entire generation of baseball, off of which they profitted phenomenally, because they now wish to claim that the means by which they received those profits were unsavory and somehow sullied the reputation of baseball.

      Yes, the means were unsavory. Yes, the means eventually sullied the reputation of baseball. But neither MLB, the writers, or anyone else associated with the game who turned a blind eye to and encouraged that behavior are morally equipped to act as judge, jury, and executioner.

      1. mjhurdle

        I guess this is where we disagree, because i do not think that anything that happened in that time has any relevance to the decision that is made today (or yesterday).
        I look at the decision in a vacuum so to speak. Either these players cheated and gained an advantage thus violating the requirements for the hall, or they didn’t.
        whether or not the voters were involved in letting other ‘questionable’ players in is not considered in my thinking, because i don’t see the relevance.
        I am not saying that all the voters are voting their conscience. I am sure that many of them are seeking to repair and protect their own reputation and distance themselves from something they don’t want to admit they were a part of.
        But, while i condemn the hypocrisy of the voters that think this way, that still doesn’t affect the issue of whether a player that is a known PED user should be honored in the HoF.
        I feel that the players made a choice to seek a prohibited competitive advantage over other players and thus are then responsible for the results of their actions. The right or wrong of that is not linked to the owners and media turning a blind eye to their PED use.
        To me the strongest argument for the players is not the credibility (or lack thereof) of the writers or the other cheaters already in the Hall; but rather the fact that none of us know how widespread the PED use was. If it was as rampant as some have theorized, then the competitive advantage gained by the players was negligible. If you look at it in the light of “everyone was doing it, then they were simply doing what they had to do to get on the same level as everyone else.” then to me that is easier to accept. But the point is that i KNOW that some players used and gained advantages of that. And i do NOT know how widespread the use across baseball was. So at this time, i could not vote for the players that made that choice.
        But as i said, i am still open to changing my mind if the appropriate facts or arguments come to light.

        1. JB88

          I appreciate all that. I guess my only qualm with the idea that the players did anything wrong is that you basically banned something and did nothing to determine if someone was using that banned substance and the government encouraged or took a blind eye to anyone doing the prohibited act.

          If there is a crime without any semblance of an investigation or any notion of a punishment, is it really a crime to do it?

  24. CubsfaninAZ

    The BBWAA has become such a hypocritical group, they all knowingly covered baseball during this boom of PED’s, voted all these men to Cy Youngs, MVPS, and so forth, now to turn around and act like they were completely ignorant to Baseballs PED use, when they profited just as much from the Steroid Era as anyone, is ridiculous. These PED users, whether you like it or not, saved Baseball. They are the reason all the clubs now are getting these huge lucrative TV deals. So to sit here and still rake in the money for their accomplishments while banning them from the Hall is simply stupid. They in no way disgraced the game, they brought the game back, they reminded people why they should go watch a game at a stadium. I don’t get the writers, they wanna keep these guys out, but they dont want to reward anyone who didnt do it. They usher Rickey Henderson in( who played with the Bash Brothers, Canseco and Mcguire, hit a huge amount of homers for a leadoff/speed guy, and then tried to keep playing till he was 50 but baseball had to show him the door! How do you not question him? Then keep a guy like Biggio out? How do you tell Mark Grace that he didnt hit a enough home runs for his position to be considered a true Hall of Famer, then tell all these guys they hit to many and were cheaters? Maybe Mark Grace should have juiced up so he coulda got more than 4% of the vote! Because write now Mark Grace and Pete Rose are the only two hitters to lead an entire decade in hits and not be in the Hall of Fame, Rose will be in eventually, but Gracie got dropped out of the Convo already. Not only did Grace lead the decade of the 90′s in hits, but also in doubles and sac flies. So since he didnt cheat, and just hit a ton of doubles and sac flys he’s out! Its this obsession with home runs that everyone has, that led to the Steroid Era. No one gets into the hall of fame as a hitter unless they get to play for 20 years and collect 3,000 hits. Grace could have gotten close to that had he extended his 16yrs to 20 yrs, but Grace is an old school athlete and no one had to show him the door! He understood baseball was going younger and he didnt want to be a DH on some crappy team just to get to Cooperstown. If I was a player in the MLB right now I’d start a boycott against every sportswriter who turned in a blank ballot. Just to say to the writers not to play on your high horse with us! Most people understand Clemens, Bonds, Sosa not getting in first time as a punishment, but guys like Bagwell, Biggio, Piazza who were never in anyway linked to the accusations, shouldnt be treated guilty until proven innocent. Its America still right, where your supposed to be innocent until PROVEN guilty. Also former players and writers , dont act like past Generations werent tainted! Most the guys you love were so jacked up on “greenies” so they could play night in and night out! Baseball Hall of Fame is full of cheaters who did what it took to get a edge on their competition! They act like no one knows this!

    1. blublud

      I don’t think Biggio got denied because of steroids. I think Biggio will eventually get in. I also don’t think Mark Grace got denied bacuase of steroids. Both of these men, I believe will get into the HOF at some point.

      I do remember reading somewhere that Piazza was connected to steroids, and even admitted to some reporters that he did so. So, while it may not be true, the cloud is still hovering.

      Bagwell, I’m not so sure on. I have never heard of him being connected. He was a 30/30 first baseman, which is unheard of. He had over 400 HR’s and I’m pretty sure he had 1500 RBIs. He should be a first Ballot HOF

      1. hansman1982

        The problem is too many writers still think “1st Ballot HoFer” means the same it did 50 years ago.

        That and those dang blank ballots undoubtedly kept Biggio out.

    2. Internet Random

      Wow. I agree with almost all of this.

      (Don’t be afraid to use paragraphs next time.)

    3. SouthernCub

      WOW! Awesome. Like the voice inside my head. While we’re at it,can we also talk about Dale Murphy and lets say…….Kirby Puckett. One is in the HOF the other has basically been ignored. I challenge anyone to place their #’s side by side and tell them apart from one another. Not sure what the deal is here, is it because they (BBWAA) felt sorry for him because of his injury?!

      1. Spriggs

        Really? I guess that would depend on what stats you pick. Seems pretty easy to tell apart a difference of almost 200 career HRs and about 50 points of lifetime batting average.

  25. mjhurdle

    The voting standards themselves make this a much more difficult issue as well.
    From :
    “5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

    By adding the ‘integrity, sportsmanship, and character’ parts to the requirements, they open the doors for this debate.
    If they had simply made it about player record, abilities, and contributions, then i don’t think anyone would have any ground to stand on when deciding to leave these players out.
    But by adding them, they opened the door for people to decide that using PEDs showed a lack of character, or integrity, or sportsmanship.

    1. King Jeff

      “integrity, sportsmanship, character”

      You can pretty much disqualify half of the members of the HOF by using this standard.

      1. mjhurdle

        true. My point was more that, because those words are included, it opens the door to the debate.
        If i was a voter, i would struggle with voting for PED users because of those words.
        It wouldn’t matter what other voters had done, or even what i myself had voted earlier if i feel now that what they did violated those words.

        If the vote was supposed to be solely about a player’s abilities, then it would be much simpler and i would have no problem voting for any of the controversial candidates on the ballot.

    2. Internet Random

      Well and good, so long as you recognize that, that logic argues to exclude Willie Mays as much as it does Barry Bonds.

  26. cubzforlife

    My older daughters now 19 and 23 were lucky enough to see Sammy have two and three home run games. I saw Billy and Ernie hit homers as a kid but thought at the time that was what players did not realizing how hard it was. Sammy was the man and I too hope the Cubs bring him back in the fold and recognize his greatness. As a side note we all also attended game five in 2003. Like everyone else that night I thought we were going to a World Series.

  27. Curt

    why is no one listening , listen to yrselves it’s not an era, it wasn’t illegal in baseball , let me repeat was not illegal in baseball, how do you go back after selig and the rest if MLB management condoned this going on they knew what was going on and at a time when baseball needed a huge lift they looked the other way and after they got caught and embarrassed then they went back and tried slapping hands and passing judgement.why do these players deserve anything but enshrinement baseball said it was ok now it’s not so u don’t get in, I don’t see what the argument for keeping them out is, if the stats are good enough let them in if not you don’t get in. this is yr fault bud selig you knew and bc it helped baseball you let it go on but when you git busted acts like he didn’t know what was going on. let them in and deal with it.

  28. Internet Random

    Public Service Announcement: Saying “roids” instead of “steroids” is a lot like saying “Frisco” instead of “San Francisco”. People who know anything about the topics mock people who say those things.

    If you don’t think saying “steroids” makes you sound enlightened enough, please go with “anabolics” or “AAS”.

    1. DarthHater

      Some of us just mock everybody anyway, so [shrug]. ;-)

    2. Diesel

      Internet random may I ask, but are you from northern California? I happen to be and it is very common here to refer to san Francisco as frisco.

      1. TWC

        Um, really? Maybe for you Yuba City types…

        1. DarthHater


        2. hardtop

          the hells angels refer to the area, and their chapte,r as frisco. not that criminal motorcycle organizations are necessarily the authority on colloquialisms.

          1. DarthHater

            Well, EVERYBODY mocks the Hells Angels . . .

        3. Drew7


      2. Internet Random

        Nope. And I note that you say Northern California and not SF.

        There are some fringe suburbanites around here that will say “Chi-town”, but hardly anyone who lives in the city will say that with a straight face.

  29. Muck

    “it’s not too late (it’s never too late (I think that’s a song line))” Never Too Late by Three Days Grace

  30. clark addison

    Mark Grace belongs in the Hall of Good, not even the Hall of Very Good.