Ryan Howard vs. Rich Harden

If you happened to catch Ryan Howard’s at-bat against Rich Harden in the first inning, you probably thought RyHo looked awful. Pitch F/X makes him look even worse.

Howard struck out on three consecutive sliders from Harden. Have a look. Click the image for a larger version.

Thanks to Brooks Baseball for the chart.

The 9,923,984th Steroid/HoF Article

For those of you tired of my PED spiel, feel free to click the red X at the top right of your browser (assuming you’re a PC user) and go back to scouring the Interwebs for the Erin Pageviews peephole video. But the war wages on: I must FJM as many stupid, incessantly boring, relentless “OMFG STEROID USERzs R  BAD” articles written by pseudo-intellectuals employed by various mainstream media companies.

Someone, somewhere, some time will get it. The light will switch on and they will realize, “Damn, that was freaking stupid. Why’d I even do that anyway?” Car keys will be jingled and their attention will be diverted from drug use in baseball, and the hot air the sportswriters have been blowing will exit the Internets faster than a movie crowd on the premiere of Gigli.

The perp this time is Terence Moore of Fanhouse. You can see his picture to the left of his column. His eyes are squinting, if not completely shut. Either way, it serves as a metaphor to his recognition of real issues in Major League Baseball.

No steroids guys in Cooperstown.

What constitutes a guy as a “steroids guy”? What about women? The 1976 German swim team?

Seriously, though, if you’re not going to allow “steroids guys” into the Hall of Fame, then what of users of amphetamines like Mike Schmidt and Mike Cameron? Spitballers and ball scuffers and Gaylord Perry?

No Roger Clemens. No Barry Bonds. No Mark McGwire. No Sammy Sosa. No Rafael Palmeiro. No Alex Rodriguez.

Alex Rodriguez admitted to using steroids. Okay. I can sort of understand the argument there, but it’s still wrong by a million miles. Barry Bonds failed a test for amphetamines, so you have to ban Schmidt and others as well. Mark McGwire used androstenedione which was legal both under baseball’s rules and under U.S. law at the time. Sammy Sosa corked his bat, so you’d have to sweep out about a quarter of the Hall of Fame. Palmeiro failed a test for steroids. Nothing really on Clemens besides a Congressional hearing that went nowhere.

Terence, you have A-Rod and Palmeiro. Can’t really make a case against anyone else without substantial evidence.

Nobody within a syringe of evidence showing they were artificially enhanced during any portion of their playing career.

Smart, my man — smart. When unable to meet standards… lower the standards! The mantra of the U.S. education system.

I don’t care that Ty Cobb was a racist (and possibly worse)

Since anti-PED people often argue from a perspective of integrity and character, you should care that Ty Cobb exemplified many qualities of a person we despise.

But, no, Cobb’s racism shouldn’t keep him out of the Hall of Fame and nor should any player’s suspected or found drug use.

The Hall of Fame is not supposed to espouse any particular viewpoint. It is supposed to be a historical account of the great game of baseball. To attempt to keep Bonds and Clemens and McGwire — all deserving players — out of the Hall of Fame is to attempt to rewrite history; to pretend that their careers never existed.

Twenty years from now, we are going to look back on writers like Moore and wonder how we ever allowed them the privilege and power of espousing these close-minded and intolerant viewpoints to the masses.

that Mickey Mantle joined others as prolific drunks

Speaking of drunk, didn’t Babe Ruth drink alcohol during Prohibition? Prohibition lasted from 1920-33; Ruth’s career spanned 1914-35 and I find it hard to believe he never once drank in those 14 years during his playing career. So, Ruth was consuming a banned substance.

Most will react to that as “Eh, who cares? It was a stupid rule.”


Also, how is being a “prolific drunk” somehow a lesser offense than being someone who uses anabolic steroids for the purpose of enhancing athletic performance? The latter seems almost noble while the former seems embarrassing.

that Gaylord Perry spit his way into Cooperstown

If Moore didn’t include this sentence, his logic could have been at least defensible since he could say that he only cares about players who used illegal substances that enhanced performance. But to not care about Perry’s offense in putting an illegal substance on the baseball to enhance his performance as a pitcher is to have entirely contradictory logic when throwing barbs at steroid users.

They’re already in the Hall of Fame. I can’t do anything about their entries

You can write articles about how they don’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, sort of like what you’re doing now. You can try to change public opinion, sort of like what you’re trying to do now.

I can do something about Clemens, Bonds and the rest.

It’s always entertaining to read these sportswriters who fancy themselves as David going up against the steroid-loving Goliath. Like they’re doing something noble.

Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds need to be stopped! They have already sullied the integrity of the game during their playing days. Baseball had a lot of integrity before.

What Black Sox scandal? What hundreds of ball-scuffers and bat-corkers? What amphetamines users?

The point is, in contrast to most of the other Halls of Fame in amateur and professional sports, Cooperstown is more about quality than quantity.

This is an unprovable statement. May as well have never written it.

Mostly, I don’t care that you’re innocent until proven guilty under the law of the land. 

You don’t care that it’s a fair and logical and rational way to allow accused parties to defend themselves and their reputations?


Imagine that got passed around and everyone started to believe it. Writers and radio show hosts and TV commentators started talking about it, and suddenly, you’re guilty before you’ve even had a chance to address the issue.

Fanhouse fires you and there are no other publications that want to hire you because of your baggage.

And you have no way to defend yourself because, hey, “innocent until proven guilty” is freaking stupid, right?

Empathy, Terence. Try it.

And if somebody slips across Cooperstown’s city limits before folks discover he was guilty of steroids use, no problem. Baseball should do what college football once did to Billy Cannon when he was in its Hall of Fame and later was arrested by the feds on counterfeiting charges: Just kick the guy out.

This is funny because Terence apparently has a Hall of Fame vote. In the above paragraph, he says “Baseball should do…”

Major League Baseball can’t tell the Hall of Fame what to do; the HoF is privately owned. The HoF could put up religious propaganda and NFL memorabilia and a disco ball. Sure, they’d lose a lot of paying customers, but they could. Bud Selig can’t walk in and tell them what to do.

Secondly, earlier in the article, Moore says that he can’t do anything about Gaylord Perry being in the Hall. Yet, in the above paragraph, he has no problem with retroactive punishment: “Just kick the guy out.” So if Terence wants to remain logically consistent with keeping drug users out of the Hall of Fame, he should not be so lethargic to past offenses.

The difficult part is convincing others that Jackson, Rice, Telander and I have it exactly right, because we do.

It seems to be that the more confident a person is that he is right, the more likely he is to be wrong. See: Bush administration re: WMD’s in Iraq.

Honestly, no one is “right” as it pertains to this issue. It’s not a right or wrong thing. There is no such thing as a “right” set of morals, despite what Bible-thumpers claim.

Telander wanted the group to form a committee to develop guidelines for evaluating players from the Steroids Era when it comes to Hall of Fame voting.

Yes, the same group of guys who last year gave Edinson Volquez (not a rookie) three second-place votes for NL Rookie of the Year … should form a committee. Great. Grand. Wonderful.

Go on.

We’re left with the likelihood that a slew of cheats will be immortalized in bronze forever.

The appeals to emotion are so akin to Republicans using the terrorism scare as a tactic to get votes in elections during the Bush administration.

This isn’t life or death. Even if everybody mentioned in the article is 100% undeniably guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs, where does their offense rank among all offenses?

Certainly Brett Myers’ assault on his wife in Boston is much, much worse. His contributions to the Phillies’ 2008 World Series championship will be mentioned, even just in passing, in the Hall of Fame. Where are the articles campaigning for his removal from baseball history?

The reality is that using performance-enhancing drugs is a very minor offense. Using it affects only the user and no one else. Murder, rape, assault, theft, etc. are all offenses exponentially worse and there are some guilty parties enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Furthermore, if PED’s do indeed enhance performance, where is the evidence? Nowhere is there a study that shows a statistically significant correlation between steroid, HGH, or amphetamine use and increased performance in any facet. For every Barry Bonds there is an Alex Sanchez. In fact, for every Bonds there are likely a hundred Sanchezes.

As a Hall of Fame voter, I’m a strict constructionist. To me, the key words in those rules are “integrity” and “character.” You don’t have integrity or character by using steroids.

There was a bunch written before this but none of it really noteworthy, but for some context, you may want to go ahead and read what was written before this. Stuff about the Constitution and interpretation. Yawn.

Remember above, when I wrote, “Since anti-PED people often argue from a perspective of integrity and character, you should care that Ty Cobb exemplified many qualities of a person we despise”?

Moore doesn’t care about Cobb and does indeed argue from a perspective of integrity and character.

How many contradictions are there in Moore’s argument now? Three? Four?

Loose constructionist see the key words in those rules as “record,” “ability” and “contributions.” To them, it sort of matters that a guy used steroids, but they mention he still had to swing, throw, run and catch at a high level.

Well, yeah. Give me steroids, give me a world class trainer, and give me any amount of time that you want. I will never, ever hit even 1% as well as Barry Bonds hit because I don’t have his talent or his intellect or his physical capabilities.

These blockhead mainstream sportswriters grossly overestimate the impact that performance-enhancing drugs have on an athlete. To boot, they use absolutely no science and argue entirely from an emotional, irrational perspective. And yet, they’re so sure, so confident.

This is simpler: Just listen to Jackson, Rice, Telander and me.

Just like I should have listened to people about Y2K. Like I should listen to Darren Daulton about 2012.

The more confident you are that you have all the answers, the more likely it is that you have no answers.

This is turning into a cult. “Follow me. Listen to me.”

It’s become more about being right than doing what’s right.

Tool had a great song called “Aenima” about L. Ron Hubbard and his cult of Scientology, but I think some of the lyrics apply here.

Some say the end is near.
Some say we’ll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will.
I sure could use a vacation from this
Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of