The San Francisco Chronicle’s Scott Ostler has a rip-roarer of a column today about the imminent collision between the Hall of Fame and steroids:
I heard a local radio talker say he’s sure Kent was never a juicer because Kent isn’t that kind of guy. This radio talker is being grossly underutilized. With such psychic intuition and character judgment, he should be chief justice of the United States.
I’m not saying Kent did steroids. I’m saying anyone who claims to know what Kent did or didn’t do, vis a vis steroids, is spouting like a sheared-off fire hydrant.
Furthermore, why are Henderson and Rice exempt from steroids suspicion? Because they played in the era before steroids were invented? I know pro athletes from the ’60s and ’70s who ‘roided up royally.
Yes, Ostler is clearly trying to stir the pot, but the implication that Steve Garvey and Maury wills are Hall of Fame worthy notwithstanding, it’s some pretty good stirring. Indeed, he’s is the first big paper columnist I can recall make the very obvious point that the BBWAA are and will continue to very obviously pass steroid judgment in a willy-nilly fashion, holding rumors of PED use against some, ignoring hard evidence against others, and when uncertain, using a “I just liked the cut of his jib” approach.
(thanks to Neate Sager for the heads up)