The Other Side of Steroids

Reader note: The following is based around an email exchange between former Red Sox catcher Joe Oliver and Boston Herald writer Jeff Horrigan. In other words, this is Horrigan’s story.

Boston Herald writer Jeff Horrigan posted this on the Boston Herald’s Clubhouse Insider. For those not interested in reading it yourselves, it is an email exchange between Horrigan and former Red Sox catcher Joe Oliver.

If we are to believe Oliver, he never used steroids. His reaction to the Mitchell report is interesting. He poses the following:

– What if he, and/or other non-steroid users were to file charges against MLB for not doing anything about steroid use in baseball?

Oliver also expresses his anger and frustration for working his arse off and barely hanging on to MLB life all the while competing with others that cheated. Just what rights does Oliver have? Just how much does he expect from MLB? Certainly he has a right to be mad. I would be. A level playing field is the ideal afterall, but how do we police the level playing field?

While I certainly feel for Oliver and his frustration and for all others that tried to play the game the right way, I think Oliver has to look at his own union as well. Maybe he understands this and Horrigan didn’t disclose that part of the exchange, but regardless, MLBPA is just as much responsible in my mind.

This thing is a mess.

Some links and notes of interest:

I missed one player on the list who was in the Red Sox organization, but never had an appearance above A+ ball: Mike Spinelli.

Jose Canseco says Alex Rodriguez should be on the Mitchell report. It is probably ones first thought to dismiss anything Canseco says, but after his book came out, he entered a bizarro kind of existance. He is still a baffoon, but what he said would happen, did happen. So to ignore his claims entirely would be foolish, but still, it’s Canseco we are talking about.

Roger Clemens and David Justice are the 2 biggest names thus far to deny the claims made by the Mitchell report. As I suggested yesterday, Mitchell’s report had a fair amount of documentation, but also had witness testimony. That testimony is only worth what you think it is worth. Are those spilling the beans to be trusted?

ESPN asked a sampling of Hall of Fame voting writers for their opinions on whether or not they intend to vote for Roger Clemens for the HOF. I am stunned by some of the replies. Or better yet, the lack of clarity in the face of the evidence against Clemens and Barry Bonds.

Providence Journal writer Steve Krasner (who has a vote) said this:

“Yes, I would vote for him on the first ballot. If, as Brian McNamee says, he started using steroids in 1998, he already had 213 wins, four Cy Youngs and a 3.00 ERA at the time. Without the steroids he wouldn’t have won 350 games, but I do think he would have been a double-digit winner for many seasons, boosting his win total close to 300, and he was a dominant pitcher, unlike some other pitchers who might have racked up a lot of wins.”

What I wish we could hear/read from Krasner is if he intends to vote for Bonds. Using his logic (which I don’t agree with), Bonds too would have been a lock for HOF at the time he started using steroids. I fully expect to find some documention that Krasner is on the record as saying he will vote for Bonds for the HOF. If not, he is either a moron or perhaps worse (you know what I mean).

ESPN’s Peter Gammons had a table in one of his recent posts which showed Bonds’ stats prior to his steroid use prior to the 1999 season. Here they are:

Games: 1898
At-Bats: 6621
Home Runs: 411
At-bats per HR: 14.9
OPS: 966
Stats Gammons didn’t include for same time period:

Runs: 1364
RBI: 1216
SB: 445
MVP’s: 3