A Response to Mr. Pearlman

Mr. Pearlman, here is your response.

What we know about the steroids era and the players who were involved in it are two separate things and considering yourself an arbiter, a judge, a jury and an executioner of who did what on solely circumstantial evidence, with no proof, hard evidence, or even testimony, is a terribly irresponsible use of power.

As Ol’ Hoss Radbourn’s twitter said, saying “This player did steroids, here is my proof,” is what a responsible reporter would do. Saying “I think player X did steroids because Players Y and Z did it too” is what a gossip columnist would write.

Barry Bonds admitted to using the cream and the clear in a leaked grand jury testimony. Roger Clemens was cited in testimony for using HGH. Alex Rodriguez admitted to doing steroids while at Texas. Andy Pettitte admitted to HGH use while in recovery from an elbow injury.

This is evidence–and hard evidence at that. Citing before and after pictures is circumstancial evidence. It is not proof.

Two more points:

1. How can any player prove he didn’t do steroids?

Imagine, if you will, someone starts spreading a rumor that you’re gay. So how do you go about trying to prove you’re not gay? Start acting more hetero? That’s proof that you’re trying to hide it. Start going on dates with more women? You’re coming off too strong to show off your hetero-ness.

How do you talk to the people who started spreading this rumor? Almost anything you say will be used against you. “He said he’s going on a date with this girl Emma, it’s pretty obvious he’s just overcompensating.”

There is no way for a player who is suspected of doing steroids to prove he didn’t do steroids.

2. It’s not the voters’ jobs to judge who did and didn’t do steroids.

If evidence comes to light that he did use steroids, talk can begin of removing his plaque. I’d rather his plaque be removed upon being found guilty of using any performance enhancer than to further instigate any steroids gossip. But voting on suspicion is entirely bullshit and goes against the basic principles of justice.

I hope this answers your question.

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12 Comments

Filed under Baseball Hall of Fame, MLB

12 responses to “A Response to Mr. Pearlman

  1. Agreed! I would go one further and say until steroids are proven to actually enhance performance then voters should stay silent on the matter. The Canseco twins are a perfect example. Both used and both had dramatically different results. How many homeruns did Manny Alexander hit and his name was on the Mitchell report? It’s all a way for a man to judge another human being and feel okay about it.

  2. OdinsBeard

    Ha, you expect a sportswriter to be a responsible journalist.

    • Joe Tetreault

      As a trained but barely practicing journalist, allow me to emphasize responsibility plus journalism equals null results. Journalists are required to report on what they see and understand. Few do either.

  3. Mark

    Mike Piazza took care of #1. He had a press conference flanked by two strippers, then became a born-again christian and finally got married at age 37. That’s all you need to do.

  4. pn

    “Citing before and after pictures is not evidence.

    Actually, it is circumstantial evidence. Certainly, standing alone, it hardly makes a compelling case. But it could be part of a bigger picture tending to establish proof by a preponderance of the evidence (in the eyes of some, anyway). I think it’s playing games to demand that such evidence be completely ignored.

    On the other hand, I hardly care about this issue and place almost no value on baseball’s “sacred” records. And if before-and-after pictures really are all Pearlman is basing his argument against Bagwell on, it’s a pretty weak argument.

  5. giantsrainman

    In general I am in agreement with points. However, you too have become victim to one of the lies the media continues to sell.

    The following statement is simply not true.

    “Barry Bonds admitted to using the cream and the clear in a leaked grand jury testimony.”

    Barry’s grad jury testimony made no such admission. Barry said he was given what he was told was flax seed oil and arthritic cream to use by Greg Anderson one of his personal trainers. Barry did not state that he knew these substances to be “the clear” and “the cream”. In fact Barry said he had never heard before of any substances identified as “the clear” or “the cream”.

    What Barry did say at the time of his testimony is that as a result of the government’s questions he was beginning to to suspect that what he was told by Greg Anderson was flax seed oil and arthritic cream might have been the substances the government was asking about. However, he had no knowledge of this being either true or false.

  6. DodgersKings323

    Let them all in, when i was younger i was bitter and just hated Bonds and the Giants so i was all against it. Now when you step back and realize how many guys were on “greenies” or speed or coke or who knows, players will do anything for an edge, who is to say Babe Ruth would not have tried something? Those old school guys never even played against the best black players so aren’t their stats flawed too? Not to mention MLB turning the other way to steroids and PEDs, you have no choice but to let them in, just let people know it was the steroids era and they can think what they want. Like him or not he is the Home Run King.

    • DodgersKings323

      Know what this reminds me of? Big Ben in Pitt and Kobe, just because people hate who they play for or are jealous of them they automatically call them guilty, take any cheap shot they can at them and the teams they play for, it’s supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Same thing when people defend policies against “terrorists” they automatically use the “T” word, you can’t say for certain if a person is one right at the start.

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