Miami Lists of PED Users Released

Major League Baseball released a statement today in the wake of yet another link between the best players in the game and performance enhancing drugs, “We are always extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance-enhancing substances. These developments, however, provide evidence of the comprehensive nature of our anti-drug efforts.” Since the release of the ‘Mitchell Report’ in 2007, the MLB anti- doping program has done what it has seen to be the right decision in the battle against illegal performance enhancing drugs.

Screenshot2013-01-29at10.11.36AM_crop_exact

“In a list by an anti- aging clinic in Miami, Florida,” Miami New Times reports, “prominent ballplayers were on it, such as Alex Rodriguez, Gio Gonzales, Nelson Cruz, Bartolo Colon, and Melky Cabrera.” The names were on records Miami New Times said were given to it by an employee who worked at Biogenesis of America before it closed last month. Miami New Times reported that the records show the firm sold performance-enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone, testosterone and anabolic steroids.

It is now up to the MLB Commissioners office to determine whether these accusations, evidence based or not, are fact or fallacy  All we do as baseball fans is wait. We wait for decisions and we now wait for judgement. Will their punishments be strict, fair? How will PED testing be changed because of this test? Now we wait. All I know is that A-rod, if linked, should never be allowed to be on the Hall of

Fame ballot after his career is over. This would be the SECOND TIME in 5 years he would be linked to PEDs. Let’s hope Major League baseball does the right thing here.

 

Lets Talk Hall of Fame for a Second…

The 2013 Hall of Fame vote came out and as we know, nobody got in. This puzzles most fans of baseball as to why the 7-time CY Young Award winner and the all time home run king didn’t get more than 40% of the BBWAA votes. They now have fourteen years of eligibility left to get into the HOF and as one can assume, they will get in. As will Houston Astro Craig Biggio, and eventually Mike Piazza and Curt Shilling as well. As for players like Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Tim Raines, and Lee Smith, though some deserving, might not get as lucky.

Lets talk about the 2014 Hall of Fame ballot; Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, and Luis Gonzalez will be on the ballot for the first time and I am pretty sure we can make assumptions as to who will be voted in. Maddux, Mussina, Thomas and Glavine will for sure imgresearn 75% of the vote but as for the second base all time leader in home runs, Jeff Kent, will have to wait a few years. Kent is for sure in the same class as Biggio when it comes to HOF possibilities, but I am sorry to say that Luis Gonzales, a career .283 avg with 2,500 hits, although a great player, just doesn’t cut it.When you take the history of the Hall of Fame you see recurring trends in voting. Two of the best players of all time are not going to “first ballot” Hall of Famers but lets look at all the other incredible players who weren’t first ballot either:

  • Jimmie Foxx, 7 years on the ballot
  • Hank Greenberg, 9
  • Rogers Hornsby, 5
  • Eddie Mathews, 5
  • Harmon Killabrew, 4
  • DUKE SNIDER, 11
  • JOE DIMAGGIO, 5

Shame on the voters for making Duke Snider and Joe Dimaggio wait that long to get in the hall. But, that is the nature of the

imgres-1beast in this incredibly biased, judge and jury, way of voting that has perpetuated from the crop of BBWAA voters.

Oh, and one more thing. I want us to take a look at Kenny Lofton:

Lofton is one of six players in history to have 100 home runs and 600 stolen bases and four of the other five were first-ballot Hall of Famers (Ty Cobb, imgres-2Lou Brock, Joe Morgan and Rickey Henderson), and Tim Raines, another guy who should be in the Hall, is the other. While Lofton might not be the offensive equal to any of those guys, he was an underrated offensive player and a stellar defensive center fielder.

I’m not saying he’s a Hall of Famer. The case is close and if he never got in, it wouldn’t be an injustice, but it should be considered for more than just this year. The injustice here is that he received just 3.2 percent of the vote and is now off the ballot.

If you’re going to penalize “steroid guys” for inflated numbers, then you can’t penalize those who didn’t post inflated numbers. The voters can’t have it both ways.

But, of course, being judge and jury, the writers have the final say.

Billy Hamilton’s Influence

Could Billy Hamilton Change Baseball?

There have been few minor league baseball players to ever get the type of national media attention that Billy Hamilton received in 2012. The Cincinnati Reds minor leaguer had a solid season, but unlike other young newsmakers, no one is calling Hamilton an elite prospect. What grabs the attention is the amazing speed, but is speed enough to change the game at the pro level?

Baseball has seen its fair share of speedsters, from Ty Cobb to Maury Wills to Rickey Henderson. However, baseball has evolved to the point that most teams limit how often they run and try to steal bases. Last season, Mike Trout led the majors in stolen bases with only 49. In the 1980s, a player would need at least 100 to compete for that title.

In 132 minor league games last season, Hamilton stole 155 bases. He was caught 37 times. These numbers pretty much suggest that every time Hamilton is on base and no one is directly ahead of him, he is stealing. While so far it is working and grabbing headlines in the minors, can he really pull this off in the majors?

Scouts agree that they have never seen a player quite like Hamilton. He has elite speed, quickness and timing that makes him nearly impossible to contain. The problem is, he is a career .289/.364/.389 hitter with just seven home runs in four minor league seasons. He also does not have a set position, as he has played infield and outfield at times. While he has the speed, all of his other skills seem to be just below MLB-level.

Cincinnati figures to be in the playoff hunt this season, and possibly for years to come. If he is going to break in with the MLB club, he is going to have to earn it. He has totally baffled and frustrated pitchers in the minors while on the basepaths, but MLB players are supposed to be fine tuned enough to block that all out. If Hamilton is given free reign to run, he could make baseball a running game again. With steroids pretty much eliminated and power numbers down, speed could become an extremely valuable skill again.

It will be interesting to see how much freedom Hamilton receives when he does make it to the majors, but he has the potential to be a game changer and an exciting prospect to have on your fantasy baseball roster. Pitchers are not used to a guy trying to swipe close to 100 bags a season in this era.

A big thank you to Fanduel.com for this article. They are a very profitable and well put together fantasy sports website that has been mentioned in The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Sports, and Sports Illustrated. Check out what they have to offer.

Hall of Fame Voting

The job of the Hall of Fame is to tell the story of the history of baseball, the records, players, fans, or the bad: the cheating, the betting, the racism, and the steroids. The crop of players on the ballot this year include notables, some linked to steroids and some who are not, such as Mark McGwire, Larry Walker, Rafael Palmeiro, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, and Sammy Sosa. To be inducted into the Hall of Fame, one must have his name on 75% of the ballots casted. All indications conclude that there will be no inductees into the Hall of Fame for 2013, the first time since 1996 that there will be no one inducted.

In American law you are innocent until proven guilty; In baseball, you are guilty until proven innocent.

The Hall of Fame is a museum and its job is to preserve the history of baseball. It is our job as fans of baseball to interpret each and every player and tell his story of how and why he deserves to be in the Hall. The steroid hunt is the 21st century witch-hunt and the view of the media and the people is when one man has big arms hitting home runs, he must’ve been doing steroids– If he has a bad year after that he must be off of them. Jose Bautista hit 54 home runs in 2010 and the first thing that came into everyone’s mind was “Well, he must be juicing. He must be cheating.” When in fact he changed his swing ever so slightly. Bet you didn’t think Melky Cabrera was going to be caught during the 2012 season, subsequently after he won the All- Star Game MVP award. There is no justice in baseball and what needs to be done is to take this era of players and vote them in accordingly and after all is said and done, move on and clean baseball and rid it of this awful epidemic that has taken over the purest of all sports.

The question here is why? Why are players such as Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Larry Walker placed into the category of the steroid Hall of Famers? Why does the greatest home run hitter of all time and arguably the greatest pitcher of all time have no future in this Hall of Fame process? The answer is simply this: Baseball is based on the principle of purity, if you can’t play by the rules there is no mercy and sadly for Piazza, Biggio, and Walker, they are stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Would it be good or bad for baseball to ignore steroids all together and take these stats, tainted or not, and enshrine these men into the Hall of Fame? Should there be an “asterisk” next to the name of anybody suspected of steroid use? The words “linked”, “accused”, “suspected”, are all terms we have heard for so long and the time is finally now to settle this argument once and for all. Have these men been positively identified as steroid users, and thusly, did the steroids improve their statistics. Until one of these players has been proven guilty of these offenses, in my book, they are clear to be voted in and have no restrictions in doing so. On the other hand, players such as Alex Rodriguez, who has come out and said that he had taken steroids and Manny Ramirez, who has been punished for his steroid use are not rightfully valuable of the highest honor in the game of baseball.

Take Pete Rose for example. He holds the record for the most hits of all time, 4256, and sadly he will never be in the hall of fame because he was caught cheating. He knowingly broke the rules of baseball and fixed games for the betterment of himself. The argument that I am making here is that he knowingly broke the rules of baseball; he was KNOWINGLY doing something wrong that changed the outcome of the game. Just because everyone was doing steroids doesn’t make it right and just because Major League Baseball wasn’t doing a damn thing about it doesn’t make it right either. They knew, and they didn’t care. Ratings were up and the popularity of baseball had skyrocketed during the “Steroid Era” and now look what it has done. The purest of all games and the purest of all the Hall of Fames is at a crossroad and who is it up to now to fix. What does the Hall of Fame mean if the all-time home run king and a 7-time CY Young award winner do not get elected in? You tell me.