Results tagged ‘ Rafael Palmeiro ’

The Exception?

manny-ramirez.jpgAlright…with Manny Ramirez retiring suddenly this past week to avoid a second suspension for failing a drug test, it begs the question: HOF?

Taking steroids out of the equation, this guy is a first-ballot HOF-er.  I would argue that he was the greatest righthander hitter in baseball from 1995-2008, and one of the greatest pure hitters in baseball history.  Sure, he was a complete spaz and couldn’t field a lick, but when you hit like that it doesn’t really matter.  During the mid-1990s he and Jim Thome provided potency to the Cleveland Indians, then he and David Ortiz teamed up as perhaps the most dominant 3-4 combination since Ruth-Gehrig.  Even his stint with the Dodgers (before the first suspension that signaled the end of his career) was incredible.

Some of the career stats: .312 BA, .411 OBP, .585 SLG, .996 OPS, 2,574 H, 555 HR, 1,831 RBI.

He was always a favorite player of mine (when not tormenting Twins pitching, of course) for just his pure hitting ability.  The guy didn’t give a lick about anything, but he was blessed with the ability to hit a baseball really, really hard with surprising frequency.

Of course, much like Andy Pettitte, the steroid issue will cloud Manny’s candidacy.  Like Pettitte and, say, A-Rod, Manny is a confirmed steroid user.  That being said, he didn’t make up ridiculous stories in his defense (e.g. Barry Bonds), didn’t become a jerk about it (e.g. Roger Clemens), didn’t refuse to speak about the past (e.g. Mark McGwire), didn’t blatently deny his usage (e.g. Rafael Palmeiro), and didn’t forget how to speak English when questioned (e.g. Sammy Sosa).  Basically, he just got caught and served his time.

My feeling on the matter right now is that I would put Manny in the Hall, but not after a few years of “punishment waiting” sitting on the ballot.  Perhaps I am being too sentimental and should be harder on the guy, but at least he didn’t deny, deny, deny and make baseball look like a bunch of guys trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

Time will tell.

Skirting The Truth

arod_popeye.jpg

With all the current controversy surrounding Alex Rodriguez’s leaked positive drug test from 2003, I just wanted to put in my two cents worth: I think he is still (while not outright lying) trying to cover up a large portion of his steroid involvement, or at least make it seem much more benign than it really was.  The only thing different with A-Rod is that, once he was caught, he opened himself up to a live press conference (more accessibility than guys like Mark McGwire or Rafael Palmeiro, for example).  He allowed himself to be put through the wringer and now hopes that his answers will prove satisfactory to warrant some forgiveness.  I, however, do not believe that he is portraying himself in the correct light based on two portions of his recent comments:

First, he has not (to this point, and likely ever) given what I would consider a decent explanation for why he continued to take steroids.  All he says is that he was “young, naive, and stupid”, but to me that is a cop-out.  You can’t tell me that when A-Rod saw his HR numbers surpassing 50 (in 2001 and 2002), up from his usual low-40s number, he didn’t realize it was because of the substances he was injecting into himself.  Sure, Rodriguez may say that his rookie year in Seattle and his 2007 Yankees campaign were his two greatest seasons in the major leagues, but that is strictly a matter of opinion.  I think that A-Rod knew EXACTLY what he was doing (taking steroids).

Also, we are all forgetting that MLB DID actually have a steroid “policy” in place before 2003.  Basically, the policy stated that all substances deemed illegal outside the game were also illegal within the game.  The steroid that A-Rod tested positive for, Primobolan, has never had an approved prescription use.  Also, by itself it is a rather weak steroid, so it is often used in conjunction with other products (such as HGH, perhaps, the other substance that A-Rod tested positive for in ’03…hmm).

Thus, there are two many loose ends and fishy coincidences here for me to completely believe A-Rod’s claims.  Plus, in 2007 (when under the steroid allegations of Jose Canseco) Rodriguez told Kate Couric point-blank that he never used steroids.  Either he was a great liar, then, or a complete idiot.  He wants us to believe that “idiot” line, but I lean towards the “liar”.

The “Rocket” Fizzles!

roger_clemens_liar.jpgBesides all the fallout of the Alex Rodriguez steroid admission, which I will discuss on this blog in more detail in a later post, it was also recently announced that a federal judge dismissed basically all of Roger Clemens’ “defamation of character” lawsuit against former personal trainer Brian McNamee, who said in last year’s Mitchell Report that he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone.

For once, I think the U.S. justice system got things right!!  McNamee was promised federal immunity for his contributions to George Mitchell, and that is exactly what he is getting right now.  So, in essence, Clemens isn’t able to screw him over for just telling the truth.

As you will likely find out by reading my upcoming blog posts about steroids in major league baseball, I am a huge proponent of holding everyone (players, managers, trainers, commissioner Selig, etc.) accountable for the Steroid Era of 1994-2003.  Thus, I think that Clemens is getting EXACTLY what he deserves.  Whereas most players (Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, etc.) have completely disappeared following steroid accusations, Clemens (because he is a jerk…just ask Mike Piazza about that) decided to lie through his teeth and fight it tooth and nail.  So far, though, he’s not winning and I’m all for that.

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