Originally Posted by Carbine
Bonds '93 had a 9.7 WAR,
Trout '12 had a 10.7 WAR.
I really don't care about those type of recent numbers. Bonds batted .336 and led the league in both home runs with 46 in addition to RBI with 123. He also had 126 walks to league the league with an OBP of .458 while stealing 29 bases and playing gold glove left field. The only thing about his game that wasn't elite was his arm. The Giants also won 103 games that year.
Originally Posted by Rose
I was just stating that guilty until proven innocent applies to guys who almost certainly never juiced, Biggio, Bagwell, Piazza etc.
But I agree with you overall. I think Bonds deserves to be in one day, because even if he hadn't juiced he'd be a HOFer. And I make a similar argument for McGwire/Sosa. They might not have made it without steroids (I'm more than too young to remember the start of their careers, much less what they looked like then in comparison to how I remember them looking in the late 90s) But regardless, they saved baseball. Maybe they shouldn't be enshrined because of their records, but the fact that they pretty much saved it says they deserve to be in to me at least.
I agree that it's morally even worse to leave out those guys on that basis without even a direct accuser, but I have less of a problem with those guys not making it than Clemens and Bonds. I'm uncomfortable with all of this. It was bad enough to have an accusation be as good as guilt, but now whispers and pure speculation are the same in some eyes. It's like being accused of being a communist in the 50's, or being accused of murder or child molestation. People have blown this so out of proportion with the individuals they believe were using. I wouldn't say those 3 you mentioned almost certainly never juiced either, but I don't think it's worth discussing whether those 3 did without even an accuser, much less proof or an admission. And leaving them out based on that is taking it a step further.
Problem with McGwire is that there was only a very short period period in his career that he didn't use PEDs during, and that's if you take him at his word.
Originally Posted by Mark McGwire
"I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989-1990 offseason and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again," McGwire said in his statement. "I used them on occasion throughout the '90s, including during the 1998 season."
So, really from '94 on was roids McGwire, assuming he didn't just use them from the '90 continually. Even though '90 was a roid season from him by his own admission, for arguments sake we'll use '94 on. By the way, he hit .235 in 1990, but with 39 home runs, 108 RBI and a league-best 110 walks and actually a gold glove. Anyway, through 1993, McGwire was a career .249 hitter with 229 home runs at age 30. Doesn't look like a hall of famer, more like a Dave Kingman with a better eye. Though McGwire did set a record with 49 home runs as a rookie, a season in which he also batted .289 and had 118 RBI which shows an unusual amount of ability. And also had a season of .268/42/105 in '92. So I can't say for sure that he didn't have a shot at the HOF, but again, Dave Kingman led the league in home runs twice with a high of 48. But for all we know, McGwire used them as soon as he got to the A's, I'd have to see what Canseco says about when McGwire started using them regularly. Not that I take everything Canseco says as a fact.
I wouldn't be surprised if McGwire used them essentially his entire career, he really seems like the biggest steroid abuser in baseball not named Canseco. Just looking at the way he looks now in his late 40's is sad. He looks saggy and at least 10-15 years older than he is. He looks like a mess.
Sosa was a more talented all around player than McGwire. He had power early on, in addition to speed, a strong arm and the ability to hit for more average, but without the discipline to do it consistently early. He may have not been as good as numbers suggest, though. Aside from the lack of discipline at the plate, he was known for a lack of discipline and poor fundamentals elsewhere, such as when stealing bases because 30-30 was a fixation of his, as well as routinely missing the cutoff man.
Problem is there are no reports about when Sosa started taking roids. From what I can find, he was reportedly about 210 pounds in 1998, 222 in 1999 and as high as 236 in 2000. 2002 was when he got pissed at Rick Reilly for challenging him to a drug test(after Sosa said he'd be the first in line when MLB put in a testing policy) and in 2003, he reportedly failed a test. I don't think anyone thinks he was clean during the '98 season, so I'd guess he used from at least '98-'03, possibly before and after.
Pre-'98, he did have two 30-30 seasons, a season in which he hit .300 and a 40 home run season and three 100 RBI seasons. And if you look closer, there was the potential for more. He almost surely would have had another 30-30 season in the '94 strike year when he had 25 home runs and 22 steals. He played all 144 games the following year and had 36 home runs, 34 steals(a more respectable 7 times caught stealing as well) and 119 RBI. In a 162 game season, he was on pace for 41 home runs, 134 RBI and 39 steals. An excellent shot at 40-40. And in 1996, he had played in all 124 games prior to his injury and was on pace for 53 home runs and 131 RBI. So the power he demonstrated in 1998 wasn't completely out of left field for him. But was Sosa clean from 1993-1997?
Either way, knowing how widespread it was, and without knowing just how much they do, I'd vote for Sosa, and even McGwire as well. I'd simply vote for the best players, but I have less of a problem with people not voting for guys they suspect wouldn't have been hall of famers without steroids.