Sunday, July 26, 2009

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My friend John Matthew says he stopped reading after the first sentence. Here's the first sentence:

"The stat geek Bill James, who has made a fortune taking credit for having invented on-base percentage, last week revealed to the waiting world his position paper on steroids in baseball, which, essentially says that there is no harm in steroids and steroids have had no harm on baseball."

For the whole thing, go here and scroll down.

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At Monday, July 27, 2009 1:43:00 AM, Blogger JavaGeek said...

By Phil Rogers

Bill James has said he believes steroid users like Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa will eventually be inducted into the Hall of Fame? But should they be?

James, a leading statistical analyst who has become a historian by comparing eras, made the point about Bonds, etc., during an appearance on "Chicago Tribune Live'' on Tuesday night. He wasn't asked the direct question that voting members of the BBWAA must deal with, so I followed it up in an e-mail.

James responded Thursday afternoon. He said:

"Had you asked the question I would have dodged it. I was trying NOT to talk about that; I was trying to focus on what will happen, not what should.

The steroid users do not deserve the condemnation they have received. There was a culture established in baseball which

1) Put immense pressure on players to play as well as they could play,
2) Made sure they understood that PEDs could help them play better,
3) Made PEDs easily available,
4) Did nothing to discourage their use, and
5) Offered immense rewards for success.

That was a very unfortunate situation, but [Sammy] Sosa did not create that culture. Mark McGwire did not create that culture. They simply made the obvious choices within that framework. It is not anything that requires moral outrage.

Whether or not you want to honor those players. . ..I'll leave that up to you. I can see it either way.

But if you don't honor them, who do you honor, from that generation? If you pass by Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, A-Rod, McGwire, Sosa, [Rafael] Palmeiro, [Andy] Pettitte and all the others from that generation who have been linked to steroids, who is left?

There is a player. . ..I can't give too many clues. . ..but a player from ten years ago who

a) is the most obvious steroid user in the world, but
b) has never been publicly linked to steroid use.

Do we put HIM in the Hall of Fame, because he somehow avoided being Outed as a steroid user? I don't know. I don't see it.''

Yes, Bill, that's the dilemma.


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