Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mike Piazza & the Ethical Hall of Fame Debate


Mike Piazza is in the Hall of Fame, this much we know and this none of us can really change. For better or worse the first player to be linked or suspected of steroid use that played in the steroid era is in the Hall of Fame which has caused a stir around Major League Baseball. Did Piazza use and should he be in the Hall of Fame? These are just a couple of the questions that I am going to attempt, key word being attempt, to answer today in this blog post.


Before the comments and emails come flooding in I am well aware of Piazza’s autobiography where he admitted to using androstenedione and I am well aware that it was added to Major League Baseball’s list of banned substances in 2004. Andro is a muscle-building compound that was long banned by the International Olympic Committee before it was added to MLB’s banned list. Should he be punished for doing something that wasn’t illegal at the time? I think not, personally. That’s like locking up all the people in California, Colorado, Seattle etc. for smoking marijuana before it was made illegal in those states. It’s irresponsible and, in my opinion, not plausible.


It is worth mentioning that drug testing and Piazza’s home run power, or lack thereof, definitely had a direct correlation between each other. Piazza hit 33 home runs in 2002, the year before drug testing was talked about and before it was implemented in 2004 (and punishable in 2005), and that number dropped to 11 in 2003. Granted Piazza stayed injured for much of 2003 but that is also a side effect of prolonged steroid use per Jose Canseco, especially when you stop taking them. Piazza never went on to hit more than 22 in a season after drug testing was implemented but it is also worth mentioning that Piazza turned 35-years old in 2003. Playing behind the dish for 140 games a season takes a toll on your body, especially your lower half, so it could be chalked up as a coincidence and Mother Nature intervening rather than steroid use.


In the end we will never know EVERYONE who did steroids, either once or for a prolonged period of time. We will never know if someone in Cooperstown already had used steroids in the past and we’re likely to never know in the future if the BBWAA is electing steroid users into the Hall of Fame. This is why we must elect them all, suspicions or not, or none at all. With Piazza in I think that question just got answered, you have to elect them all now. Especially when you almost elected Tim Raines, an admitted cocaine addict that admitted to using cocaine DURING GAMES. There’s a fine line here people and many of you are jumping back and forth between it.

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