Friday, August 15, 2014

Hall of Fame

On my ride to work today I heard sports broadcasters musing about the Red Sox Hall of Fame induction held last night.  Joe Castiglione--the long time radio voice of the Sox, Nomar Garciapara, Pedro Ramirez, and Roger Clemens were inducted.

The announcers were discussing whether Clemens should have been inducted. Some may think that the essence of the debate was related to whether a player who left the Sox for Toronto and New York for many years should be in a hall dedicated to Red Sox success.  That, however, was not the issue.

The discussion centered on whether Clemens, long suspected of using drugs to enhance performance, should be permitted the honor. He was not inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in his first year of eligibility and many suspect that the reason he did not make it (and did not come close) was because he is suspected as a cheater.

The case is complicated because despite a good deal of evidence Clemens was found not guilty.  This verdict is seen by many as akin to OJ Simpson being found not guilty of murdering his wife and Ron Goldman. Yes, that was the verdict, but nearly everyone who has studied the case thinks that OJ was the perp.  Nearly everyone who looks at the evidence against Clemens thinks he was taking the performance enhancing drugs.

So, do you keep a player out of the hall of fame because of this.  While I am adamant that Pete Rose should not be allowed into the Hall of Fame because of his behavior betting on the game, I am not sure about Clemens.  My feeling is that he should not be in the Red Sox hall because he only played a few years in Boston and often was a nemesis.  But depriving him of entry because he did drugs, not cut and dry for me.

I am not a druggie if you exclude coffee and beer.  I have, however, often found it reprehensible to identify some drugs as okay and others as problematic.  It has seemed to me that the drugs that are okay are sold by companies that have the okay, and drugs that are not okay are sold by Charlie who lives in the duplex over by Nostrand Avenue.  And while you would think that the companies that have the okay are more honorable and considerate than Charlie, I am not buying it.  I think the best bet is to check out what BOTH the drug companies and Charlie are peddling. The point is that I am not sure if what Clemens was using was much different than what others might be using legitimately.  If he was using a substance that had been specifically banned then a punishment is in order, but that the substance might have given him a greater advantage than some other product not banned, I just am not sure.

Believe me, I am no fan of Roger Clemens. And Barry Bonds--identified similarly as a user--is also not the kind of guy I would like to dine with.  And if I had to lean one way or another I would not allow either into the hall of fame because of their consumption AND because they clearly are lying about having taken the drug.  Yet what Bonds and Clemens did can not be equated--regardless of a jury's decision--with what Pete Rose did by betting on games when he was a manager.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Zeke Regarding Clemens. To quote you Clemens played "only a few years in Boston". In his 12 years with the Red Sox he won more games than Sandy Koufax did in 12 years with the Dodgers. I agree he's probably lying about steroid use, but who knows when he started using. He may have had a Hall of Fame worthy career before taking his first shot. Which he was never convicted of. That must count for something in the argument. His detractors had their day (many days) in court. I'll finalize how I'd vote on the day I get to vote.Take care. Gene