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Should alleged steroid use be a ticket to Hall of Fame?

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa are eligible for this year’s Hall of Fame ballot and it will be interesting to see if the drug allegations against these MLB players will carry consequences similar to cyclist Lance Armstrong’s alleged doping or Pete Rose who wagered on sports.

Should Hall officials and/or the fans block this year’s former MLB stars from reaching baseball’s Cooperstown or simply ignore the fact that doping and steroids may have enhanced their statistics?

If these players are put on the Hall of Fame ballot, and are elected into baseball’s shrine, should there at least be an asterisk by their names, on their plaques or statues at least informing future fans who visit the Hall to at least question their listed achievements?

Pete Rose and the 1919 World Series Chicago White Sox (Black Sox Scandal) were banned for life when they gambled on the sport. Alleged doping cost Lance Armstrong 7 Tour de France titles and rich advertising contracts worth millions.

Will Major League Baseball allow these players on the Hall of Fame ballot despite their alleged doping to enhance their performance? Will there be any consequences or will baseball simply take an “anything goes” attitude on drugs, while continuing to harshly punish gambling?

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27 Comments

  1. McGwire is also up for the Hall. I don’t think the writers will vote for those who used roids. These players will just drift in the wind for many years like Rose.

  2. readingmike94

    Ted the heat over the Ed Wells op-ed piece must have got to you this isn’t a fact based discussion piece it is a series of questions with no input from you. BTW Armstrong was found guilty of steriod use by the US anti-doping agency and by the tour officials so it isn’t alleged.

    • Ted Biondo

      As far as your comment, readingmike94, I have had the most positive comments that I have ever received. People have called, talked to me personally, positively commenting on the column and that one like it was long overdue. Your comment is the first that has even hinted that I would take heat because of a negative reaction for the column. A lot of people are fed up with being called racist. I used facts based on research, contrary to your comment, while Mr. Wells used emotion coupled with no data to back up his position – enough said.

  3. Actually, ReadingMike, it is alleged in Armstrong’s case. There was no trial of Lance Armstrong, simply a finding of “guilt” based mostly on hearsay and dubious testimony of other supposed dopers, along with circumstantial evidence. He never has actually failed a drug test.

  4. Ted Biondo

    Monkey, you are exactly correct. Mr. Armstrong never tested positive for drug use. It was as you stated – circumstantial evidence, which is why I used the term alleged.

  5. You could always put an “*” next to their name, to signify that their achievements had mitigating circumstances.

    • Ted Biondo

      I agree Snuss, and we can put an asterisk after Pete Rose’s name for gambling. At least all his records were done by hustle and skill. No reports of roids or doping on him. These guys would never have achieved their supposed achievements without help. Rose did none of that!

  6. Anyone who thinks Lance Armstrong is not guilty of doping has not read any articles detailing the mouuntain of evidence against him. If you have read the evidence, a lot of which is direct testimony, and still believe he’s innocent then you’re just a jingoistic denier. An American trouncing those dirty Euros at their own sport is just too good a story for some people to give up. Marion Jones and Jackie Joyner Kersee never failed a drug test either. I wonder why I didn’t see the same outpouring of support for them when they were stripped of their medals. Hmm…. And direct testimony from 26 people shows that not only did Armstrong use illegal methods himself he required his teammates to do the same thing. That makes him a bigger cheater than any of the baseball players mentioned above. Of course all 26 could be “supposed dopers” who just admitted to the charges just for the chance to smear dear Lance, which of course would make their testimony “dubious”.

    • Ted Biondo

      You missed my point azguy. The point was Pete and Lance were stripped of everything regardless – the same is due to these baseball (players?) or we have no standards left! You have taken one word ‘alledged” and changed the entire point of the post – again!

  7. Sorry Ted, I agree with you on that the players should not be allowed into the Hall of Fame. The baseball writers will determine that, not Hall officials or the fans. And their is no indication that many of the writers will change their minds about keeping the cheaters out of the Hall. My comments were directed more at Monkey who seems to want to believe that Armstrong was railroaded.

  8. So, to use azguy’s example, If I am accused of a crime in which there is not a single shred of physical evidence that such a crime was actually committed, I must be guilty, just because my competition says so. How can you argue with such logic?

  9. Good lord Snussy, people are convicted of crimes all the time with no physical evidence. Many times on the word of one or maybe two witnesses. If a prosecutor had 26 witnesses don’t you imagine that the defense would just plead guilty and ask for mercy? And most of the people who testified against Armstrong were his teammates, not his competitors. And the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency produced hundreds of emails, financial records, and analyses supporting the charges against Armstrong. I would think that comes under the heading of physical evidence. Are you really saying that Armstrong is not guilty and should be able to retain his tour titles? Or is this just another instance of you trying to be Ted’s loyal wingman?

  10. JRM_CommonSense

    Many successful criminal prosecutions rely largely on circumstantial evidence, and civil charges are frequently based on circumstantial or indirect evidence. With enough circumstantial evidence, you can be convicted of murder!

    If it walks like a dog, talks like a dog, and craps like a dog, chances are , it is a dog!

  11. I think that basing a case on PURELY circumstantial evidence is a dangerous precedent. In this case, his competitors may be slandering him. How do you prove a negative (I didn’t do it)? His drug tests were clean, and there are no records of drugs or syringes being found in his possession. For all we know, this story is a total fabrication by a bunch of jealous rivals.

    To use jrm’s analogy, we have a dog, but we haven’t seen any illegal “crap” in the yard (a scatological reference?), only the statements by others that there was illegal “crap” in the yard.

  12. To clarify the analogy, let us assume we are talking about our neighbor’s yard.

    Using these brilliant powers of Liberal deduction, although there is no sign of “crap” in the neighbor’s yard, since we have a dog, this unseen “crap” must have been from OUR dog. So you assume our dog is guilty of taking a dump on the neighbor’s yard, even though the neighbor never saw our dog on his property, or found any EVIDENCE of such a visit, based only upon the say-so of some dog-hating passers-by.

    At least in circumstantial cases, there has to be SOME indication that a crime was committed, such as a person or property missing.

  13. JRM_CommonSense

    Someone out there needs to do some research and understand what circumstantial evidence is and how it works.

    Secondly, that someone needs to recognize that many of the the people who testified against Mr. Armstrong were his teammates from several of the teams he has ridden with over the years, not his competitors.

    “If it walks like a SNuss, talks like a SNuss, uses the word Leftist or socialist in every post like a SNuss, and spreads crap like a SNuss, it is definitely a SNuss!”

  14. If it posts like a troll, acts like a troll, smells like a troll, and has it’s head stuck where the sun doesn’t shine, it must be jrm. Please go back under your bridge, before you scare some little children.

    • Ted Biondo

      Ok guys, you are getting close. Any more of this, and I’ll simply remove your comments. Stop attacking each other and stick to the post, at least in general. Snuss, JRM at least said something concerning the post before he slammed you. JRM, you have a knack for getting under people’s skin, intentionally rather than just discuss the issue, you go after the person with your “Somebody out there, ” and then proceed to say their stupid. I’m sure you are smart enough to discuss the issue without egging people on. Snuss, you just slammed, no comment on the post.

      If posts simply disappear in the future, simply blame me, Ok?

  15. readingmike94

    1. should there be a special mark by the deadball era players? pitchers who used a spitter? pitchers who pitched before the mound was changed ie bob gibson? should there be a mark by players who played before baseball was intergrated?
    2. sammy took the 5th and never tested positive for steriods
    3. if lance is innocent and the case against him is by those with sour grapes or other drug users etc isnt that the same arguement and logic that barry and roger used?
    4. steriods were not banned by the collective bargin argeement there was nothing forbidding it in fact it got the tacit nod from owners etc so now that they saved the game as some claim they are suppose to be punished?
    5. just because a person had the drug tests in his garage and there was a technicality shoud ryan not be punished?
    6. ted you actually make the case for government regulation and activist courts the market the players could not be trusted could not self regulate themselves they used drugs the owners did not stop it so they needed regulation to ban steriods there was no regulation forbidding steriod use how is this different from those courts that created the right to privacy it is implicit so you are saying it is implicit these players cheated and so they should not be in the hall etc

  16. JRM_CommonSense

    Drew Peterson was convicted of murder on hearsay evidence!

    Direct evidence is when a witness claims they saw the crime take place!

    Circumstantial evidence requires some inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact!

  17. Generally, hearsay evidence is inadmissible, or can’t be used as proof. An attorney objects when hearsay is offered; the court rules on whether the evidence comes in or not.
    Read more at: http://criminal.lawyers.com/Criminal-Law-Basics/Criminal-Law-Trials-The-Hearsay-Rule.html

    BTW, there WAS a body found in the Peterson case, so a crime was known to have been committed.

  18. JRM_CommonSense

    “Drew Peterson was arrested for Savio’s murder in 2009, under an Illinois law passed in direct connection with this case. The “hearsay law” allowed judges to admit hearsay evidence in first-degree murder cases if prosecutors can prove a victim’s death was directly connected to a defendant’s efforts to prevent them from testifying.

    As a result, letters and recalled conversations where Savio said she worried Drew Peterson would kill her were admitted as evidence.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/06/drew-peterson-verdict_n_1862245.html

    “Direct evidence is when a witness claims they saw the crime take place!”

    In the Armstrong case, the direct evidence would have been the testimony of his teammates that siad the witnessed him doping. But we will never know for sure, be cause Armstrong decided not to fight the case in court and therefore decided to give up his titles. He made the choice when he knew he would have to refute the direct evidence of his teammates. By default he then sealed his place in history.

  19. Or, it may have been that Armstrong felt it wasn’t worth the expense of a drawn-out legal battle debating over what he said vs. what they said, which would have accomplished nothing, except enriching the lawyers.

  20. JRM_CommonSense

    And yet he gave up everything. His titles, his association with his charity, his standing in the athletic community, and his chance to set the record straight. But I bow to your legal expertise. Done here!

  21. truth hurts

    Please please please does anyone really think that sosa, Mguire, or any of the other people accused of taking steroids are innocent?

    I don’t have to have a PHD in pharmacology with a cup of urine from any of these guys to confirm what watching pictures from each season shows.

    There is plenty of pictures showing them “mysteriously” being able to bulk up in less than a few months with them claiming it was all “from training”.

    Then when the sosa/mcguire rivalry was over how fast mcquire alone dropped several sizes in less than 6 months.

    That is only one example off the top of my head.

    If this all was “legal and above board” like all there fans claim, why isn’t the military doing the same thing with the same results? HMMMMMMM

    Though all this known scandal in baseball it reveals a truly sad state the players of today have fallen into.

    Lets look at one famous player that has records that still stand even today….Babe Ruth.

    Here is a man who drank too much, ate too much, caroused with women too much, partied too much had a relatively low paycheck (even by the standards of his day), had to have a job for income in the off season, no “advanced” equipment/trainers, mostly basic hotel rooms, traveled by BUSES that no wear near the luxeries todays players had, and yet STILL SET RECORDS THAT STAND TODAY.

    Todays players have every technicological training aid, travel comfort only dreamed about by the babe, advance medical care, hundreds (begining players) to multi million dollar contracts, no work required (except maybe training) in the off season, and comforts at stadiums that never existed in the Babe’s time.

    But they feel the need to take perfomance enhancing drugs and yet (the true definition of IRONY) STILL DON’T BREAK ALL THE RECORDS OF THE OLD TIME PLAYERS.

    But what is sadder than even all this is that fans put up with the doping, charging $25+ dollars to sign a child’s baseball, bad behavior, illegal drug use (darryl strawberry ring a bell), betting on the game (Mr rose) and even defend it as “part of the game”.

    Guess the fall of rome is comming true here in america

  22. readingmike94

    Before I start I like Babe Ruth but… he did not play against african-american ball players, he did not play with latin-american players. In fact babe ruth made more money than the president of the united states at that time.
    Secondly if you look into baseball history the early 1900s there was widespread gambling and it tool a great commissioner of the game to eliminate it. Look at McGraw and other early managers look back into recollections of the early history of the game and see the cheating.
    thirdly they traveled by train they did not have day night games and the travel was not as extensive
    lastly if the arguement is fall of rome look at the positive side baseball is intergrated, it is now a world wide sport teams sign players from japan, korea etc. baseball has become a game of statistics and data. you no longer go by gut instinct or ‘by the book’ you look at data, numbers to see what the player has done historically. you can plot every ball hit by the player and arrange defense according. let’s look even deeper at baseball in the babe’s time football was not a major sport, there was no nba, there was no women professional leagues. players are no longer held capitive by the whim of the owners there is a collective bargining agreement and free agency, curt flood opened the gates for players. baseball realized they had a problem and the new cba developed by players and owners put in place a tough drug policy.

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