Tuesday, August 09, 2005
I'm reminded of this hearing more and more about how people do not want to vote for Rafael Palmeiro for the Hall of Fame because he now has a positive steroid test, or because he may have perjured himself before Congress. To me, this is trying to rechalk the batters box in the seventh inning. They're part of the game; "greenies" have long been part of the game.
Let me put this differently: It's 2003. Suppose I know the Yankees are using steroids. It's not being policed by MLB. I run the Red Sox. Will I go out of my way to discourage the use of steroids? Will I ask questions about, say, Todd Walker if he shows up with 30 extra pounds and 'ripped'? No, and if he does this and hits 35 home runs will I give him a smaller contract because I suspect he got muscles from a bottle? Did any baseball writer not vote for Bret Boone for MVP in 2001 because of the suspicion he had juiced up?
As Jayson Stark points out, nobody kept Gaylord Perry out. Did he "cheat the game"? Yes; what he did was illegal at the time he did it. But there's a difference between suspecting Gaylord doctored baseballs and knowing it.
If you keep Palmeiro out, isn't that ex post facto? Your comments, sanctimonious or not, welcome.