Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bill Madden shows the hypocrisy of MLB when it comes to steroids and the Hall of Fame

New York Daily News columnist Bill Madden is really down on steroids. After all, he called A-Rod the "Whitey Bulger of baseball" and has said when it comes to his MLB Hall of Fame vote that "I will never vote for any player known to have used steroids."

Yet it seems like his outrage on PEDs is very selective. After all, he recently exhorted the Mets -- twice -- to sign known PED users, cynically writing that "there is one other added advantage in signing Biogenesis clients" Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta" -- "Both of them have demonstrated they know how to beat a drug test."

And this Sunday, Madden wrote that the Mets ought to sign 40-year-old Bartolo Colon, another Biogenesis client who tested positive for PEDs in 2012. Oh, and Madden thinks they ought to give the obese pitcher a two-year deal! Yet Madden never noted that 1) Colon is a known PED user, 2) Given how well Colon has pitched at his age and weight, he is very likely still using, 3) If he were to get suspended again for PEDs, he would face a 150-game suspension, which could cripple the Mets, and 4) Even if he weren't suspended, the only way somebody over 40 is going to be pitching the way he had is if he's using steroids. Not to mention that there was none of Madden's usual outrage over PED use. Guess he saves that for A-Rod and Barry Bonds.

Then Monday, after managers Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa, and Bobby Cox were all elected by MLB's Veterans' Committee to the Hall of Fame, Madden praised their "integrity and character" and claimed that Marvin Miller was not elected to the hall in this election because of his opposition to PED testing. Madden writes:

You want to know why Miller, who missed by only one vote in the last Expansion Era election three years ago, didn’t come close this time? You probably need to look no further than his repeated statements prior to his death in November 2012, decrying the players union’s agreeing to drug testing.

Almost to a man, the Hall of Fame players have condemned the alleged steroids cheats — Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens et al, who have obliterated their records or passed many of them on the all-time lists — and Miller’s adamant stance against taking measures to clean up the game has diminished him despite all his accomplishments on their behalf.
Let's review. Madden doesn't even note that Torre, LaRussa and Cox were the top three managers of the Steroid Era, all of whom immensely benefited from PED users on their team. Lest we forget that Roger Clemens will not be elected to the Hall of Fame anytime soon because of PED use, but Joe Torre, who he played under for two of Torre's four rings, gets elected unanimously. (Torre also had nine of his 2000 WS Champion Yankees named in the Mitchell Report.)

Not to mention that Tony LaRussa was manager of the Oakland A's when Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire helped get the whole steroid era going in the first place, or that LaRussa was McGwire's manager in 1998 when he beat Roger Maris' home run record. And that Bobby Cox managed, among others, David Justice and John Rocker, PED users.

I think its a real disconnect with baseball -- and with Madden. Why are PED users kept out of the Hall of Fame when the managers who benefited from their PED use elected unanimously on the first try? Why does Madden claim (wrongly, I believe) that Miller was excluded due to his stance on this issue and not even note that the managers he praises benefited from players' steroid usage?

I contend that the only way to get PEDs out of sports is for teams and managers to suffer the consequences, not just the individual players. Yet we're supposed to believe that three of the smartest managers in the game had no idea what their players were doing. Child, please.


Kevin said...

We were surprised by Bill Madden too, as we thought he is an advocate for Miller. Regardless, here's another irony: how well would Torre, Cox, and LaRussa have managed without free agency?

Kevin said...
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