People should keep in mind that not all eras of Major League Baseball are equal.
Would greats like Ruth, and Gehrig have been as good if they had to play against Black and Latino ballplayers?
We can't answer that question anymore than we can answer what the 90s would've been like without player juicing...
I became enamored with Negro league baseball at a point in my life. rest assured, it wasn't a league packed with Josh Gibsons, Satchel Paiges, Hank Aarons & Jackie Robinsons. there were a lot of filler players too.
while I have every confidence that many white players wouldn't have had careers if MLB was integrated from the start, none of the greats would have been made less great by the presence of Black & Latino players.
This isn't to take away from what the pre-integration HOF'ers did. They deserve to be in the Hall based on their performance in their own era.
My point is that they were the best of their era the same way Bonds and Clemens were the best of their own era.
It's a mistake to treat all eras of baseball as equal.
The real question that comes into play here is, are Barry and Roger one of the best ever at their positions?
According to the numbers, they both are.
We have guys, like Dale Murphy, whom no one has voted in, even though he was undoubtedly the best player in baseball for several years in the 80s.
Barry's numbers say that he was pretty much top 5, if not the best player ever.
Clemens numbers say that he was probably a top 30 pitcher ever.
Sadly, steroids put a cloud over everything, and force us to wonder - would they have joined that company if they hadn't taken the drugs?
the HOF has always had the philosophy that a player is considered within the context of their own time. for example, no player of today will ever be considered as great as Willie Mays, because he is now equal parts extraordinary ball player and legend.
and I understand the philosophy of, this was the steriod era of inflated production, and only the best of this era get in. but if that is the mentality being used, then the old milestones, that once equaled a stamped ticket to the Hall, shouldn't apply to these guys.
500 HRs is not good enough anymore. you need at least 650 HRs. Peace out Sosa. 3K hits, sorry Biggio, whether you used or not, in this era, PEDs helped guys muscle routine line drives passed defenders. 36K hits is the new standard, and you don't cut it. 3K strike outs once assured a pitcher got in the Hall, in this era it's 38K strike outs. Adios Smoltz
the problem is, the folks I hear, who are echoing your opinion, are arguing these guys are a HOF lock, because they achieved the old milestones.
they want the best of both worlds.
Mike Piazza and Ivan Rodriguez should get in eventually. McGwire and maybe Sosa shouldn't get in.
no way would Bonds, at 36 yrs old, have hit 70+ HRs in a single season. nor would he have surpassed Ruth and Aaron. he was a great all around ball player before the roids, and I'm positive he would have had a HOF career without the juice. but he wouldn't have been the all time power hitter. he would have had 500+ HRs and would have been known as a plus OFer.
Clemens would have been a HOFer. but he wouldn't have been among the all time stats leaders. his numbers were trending downward from '91-'95, then in '96, at the age of 34, he suddenly starts putting up numbers like he did in the mid-80's and manages to pitch at that level for 9 more years.
the answer to your question is an easy one. No
Last edited by weird-O; 01-11-2013 at 09:27 AM.
yep, I totally agree with you on this. for a juiced up slugger, McGwire was unimpressive, and Sosa was nothing but a bat in the heart of the order. on his best day, he was an average RFer. that's not enough for the HOF
and here's an interesting conversation that discussed your other point on the radio.
one of the HOF voters was on MLB radio. he asked "is Biggio a better second baseman than Alomar". the consensus was, "no way", "and Alomar didn't get in until his 2nd year on the ballot."
I'm laughing my arse off reading all the educated young sabermetricians hand-wringing about the fact that Bonds and Clemens being soundly rejected for the HOF.
Bagwell and Biggio are temporary casualties. That will be remedied.
In today's sports world it is getting harder and harder to point out guys that kids should look up to. They are out there but they seem to be overshadowed by guys who make bad choices or are just pure a-holes. I like a situation where bad guys finish last for a change.
I do think the deserving steroid users will get in eventually but I think guys like Palmeiro never will and shouldn't. Raffy never hit more than 22 homers or so before the steroid era exploded then all of a sudden he hits 35 or more every year. If you take his early career production and extend it over his entire career he is not a HOF in my opinion. Another problem I have with him was he was never the best first baseman in the game for any year throughout his career. Probably never even top 3. To me that means he is not a HOFer.
Just my opinion and in the end I really don't care who makes it. The players who cheated have already been punished and I can give my son the life lesson I want. What happens next does not matter to me.
he hit 26 HRs in his 4th full season (1991). using that as his average, and adding the ~10 he hit per season in the 3 seasons before he starting hitting 25/yr, that's 400 HRs and 3K hits. also in '98 & '99 he won both the gold glove and silver slugger awards. thats a HOF career.
I think the next year was just an anomoly for Raffy. His average was way off too. Then back to great power again. I also look at the fact he was only a 4 time all-star. While the all-star game has its shows most years he was not even one of the top 2 1B in his league.
I think stats alone don't make you an all-star I look at stats vs your peers when you played. Smaller parks as well as better equipment also contribute to an increase in HRs. Steroids were not the only reason. I think Raffy is very close but not quite there in my opinion. But I wouldn't think it was a travesty if he did make it. Of course now it seems he never will.
Look at Babe Ruth's numbers from his age 36-39 seasons. The age 39 season was a definite decline year, but he had health problems.
Look at Ty Cobb's 36-40 seasons.
Also, look at Hank Aaron's 36-39 seasons.
In baseball, age isn't always a predictor of success - sometimes a player just knows how to play.
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