Now, briefly, since Adam Rubin of ESPN, among others, are already releasing their proposed HOF ballots, I'll submit mine, even though I am of course not a BBWAA member.
1. Randy Johnson
2. Pedro Martinez
3. Craig Biggio
4. Jeff Bagwell
5. Mike Piazza
6. Mike Mussina
7. Tim Raines
8. Curt Schilling
9. Alan Trammell
10. Jeff Kent
Fans note two missing names, of course.
Well, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens get on my ballot when they:
A. Give at least a halfway sincere confessional. I don't know more than halfway sincere, but I want that. Feel free to throw Bud Selig and owners under the bus if you want.
B. Some "how I did it" explanation as a practical matter to help refine the testing process in some way and provide a bit more insight on how prevalent (or not) PEDing was and still may be.
That said, do I expect either leopard to change its spots enough to do that? Er, no!
And, it's not just players. I've said similar about the managerial Three Amigos — managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox, and especially the first two — who entered Cooperstown last summer. I suspect they knew more about some of their players than they have let on.
As for greenies vs. roids? Apples vs oranges, and more, as I've blogged before.
One outtake from there, per the piece it links to?
Ken Davidoff makes a good argument for distinguishing between steroids use prior to and after baseball’s formal adoption of drug testing in 2005. I give Davidoff credit for taking a nuanced stand on what I consider to be a complex issue, and for successfully resisting my instinct to paint everyone as either a steroids hawk or a steroids dove. But I don’t agree with Davidoff’s selection of 2005 as a cutoff date. Baseball first explicitly banned steroids in its 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Moreover, the non-prescription use of prescription drugs has been banned by baseball since 1971 . ... But if Davidoff is looking for a bright line date to distinguish between tolerable and intolerable use of anabolic steroids, I’d suggest that he use the date February 27, 1991 – that’s the date that federal law placed anabolic steroids in Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act, making non-prescription possession of anabolic steroids a federal crime.
The author of that piece also tries to disentangle prescription amphetamines from over-the-counter diet pills. There are no over-the-counter steroids.
It's otherwise not a perfect standard, but, in broad outlines, I'm far from alone in holding to it.
Second note: Some may not like Curt Schilling. Fine.
It's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Saintly.
We have a virulent racist, in Ty Cobb, who was part of the inaugural class and is still on baseball's top 30 or so all time players. We have a racist owner who started the Yankees on their route to fame in Jacob Ruppert and another, more genteel one, who probably kept the Red Sox held back, in Tom Yawkey.
And worse, as I've blogged before, including the cheating with the ball of the likes of Gaylord Perry and Don Sutton.
We also have two highly alcoholic managers in Joe McCarthy and John McGraw.
At the same time, we've got more saintly players than Schilling on my lists ofbatters and pitchers who are in the Hall but shouldn't be.
And, speaking of, Rubin gave me a laugh by saying he'd vote in Edgar Martinez and Lee Smith if he could.
Uh, no. Both would immediately enter my list of players who need to be voted back out. Martinez is a borderline no. Smith isn't even close.
Way to demonstrate your lack of baseball knowledge, Adam.
So, no, Craig Calcaterra, other than the fact that Rubin fills out all 10 slots, this is not a more-or-less perfect ballot, especially not if Gar and Big Lee are his two standbys. (I've already Tweeted Craig I'll eat his hat if John Smoltz breaks 50 percent this year.)