Inducting Javy into Braves HOF a bit hypocritical

I like it when a member of the Braves hierarchy, typically JS, introduces Hank Aaron as the real HR king. But if you’re going to say that, shouldn’t you think twice before inducting Javy Lopez, who all but admitted to using PED’s,  into the team’s Hall of Fame?

You either cheated or you didn’t. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re in the record books or a nice guy —  both of which apply to Javy. It also shouldn’t matter whether you’re talking Cooperstown or the bowels of Turner Field.

“Well, everybody seen players getting big, hitting the ball harder, home runs and stuff. All of a sudden – boom — they got the big contract and everybody’s like, ‘You know what, did that, it worked for him, why not do it?’ . . . I mean, how can I explain this? It’s like if you’re going to race cars, if you’re going to race a car and some people are using nitro in the fuel [Lopez laughed], and you see them winning all the time, and you’re
using regular gas – you know what? If they’re using nitro and they’ve been winning, well, I’d be stupid enough not to use nitro, too.”

That was Javy circa 2010. Sounds like an admission to what most of us already assumed after a 32-year-old Javy hit 43 homers in 2003 after hitting just .233 with 11 HR’s the year before. You’ll recall that was his free agent year, and he was rewarded with a 3-year, $23.5 million contract.

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10 Comments on Inducting Javy into Braves HOF a bit hypocritical

  1. pepefreeus // February 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm //

    I might feel more like this if Javy had piled up Hall of Fame numbers and/or established the career record for homers by a Catcher (which is currently held by a guy I am deeply suspicious of, while we’re talking about this.)

    To me, at least, taking PEDs is one thing but using them to dramatically warp the record books (as Bonds, Clemens and the other leading miscreants did) is the real offense.

    Besides, this ship already sailed. David J is in the team HOF and he was listed in the Mitchell Report. As much as I love him, if he’d piled up HOF numbers, I would be opposed to him being elected. I like Sheffield more than most of you guys but I feel the same about him. Even though he has the numbers (and I believe he had the raw talent) he shouldn’t get into Cooperstown. Anything short of that, for him, Dave or Javy, is all okay with me.

  2. Jack Straw // February 25, 2014 at 5:27 pm //

    This makes me miss Gary Carter, which I did not think was possible.

  3. Pepefreeus: You do realize that by taking steroids he affected the outcomes of games, championships and other recorded events, right?

    Just because he didn’t crack the Top 50 in all-time home runs doesn’t mean that his contributions weren’t important. Butterfly effect. Yadda yadda.

    It’s my personal opinion that rampant steroid use in baseball is the product of an environment that MLB allowed (and maybe even encouraged) to manifest. It was all like “hey, everyone hates us because we tried to cap salaries and the 1994 World Series was cancelled and HEY LOOK MARK MCGWIRE AND SAMMY SOSA”. When your job and livelihood is on the line, management is turning a blind eye (or in the case of Tony La Russa, likely encouraging steroid use) of course you’re going to “use the nitro.” Just like players in the 70′s were “using greenies.” Obviously I’m not going to compare steroid users to amphetamine users directly. But those players had a leg up on their contemporaries just as steroid users had a leg up on their contemporaries. It wasn’t fair, but it was an encouraged lifestyle. Everybody knew. When Steve Wilstein broke the news, baseball ignored it.

    To punish the players for playing in an environment encouraged by MLB is ridiculous. To paint them as monsters is revisionist (McGwire and Sosa were voted Sportsmen of the Year and trust me, *everybody* knew something was up)

    If having steroid users in the Hall of Fame “taints” the hall. It will be deservedly so.

  4. pepefreeus // February 28, 2014 at 6:05 pm //

    Greenies (which I don’t for a second believe were all actual amphetamines) were widely in use and their effect weren’t remotely comparable to those of steroids. Not even close. That’s a lazy and (frankly) stupid assertion that’s made by a lot of people who ought to know better.

    As for the thing about steroids affecting games…yeah, I understand that. I’ve never been in favor of stripping users of their records or awards on a post facto basis but that once we know what they did, we not further reward them by electing them to the Cooperstown Hall of Fame, which is Baseball’s highest honor. Anything short of that is pretty much okay with me.

  5. The point is that those players were gaining an advantage on their opponents (and teammates in the case of players competing for jobs) to the detriment of their teammates and contrary to the rules of the game. If you think that’s okay because you consider it small potatoes compared to steroids, then you’re missing the point completely.

  6. pepefreeus // March 5, 2014 at 1:18 am //

    Are you talking about greenies? The consensus is that they were so widespread that almost nobody gained a significant advantage from them.

    Additionally, they ARE small potatoes compared to steroids and HGH. Even if everything that fell under the rubric of the term “greenies” were actual, clinical amphetamines (which I seriously doubt) they still didn’t layer on pounds and pounds of artificially grown muscle.

  7. “The consensus is that they were so widespread that almost nobody gained a significant advantage from them. ”

    My point is the same can be said for steroids.

  8. pepefreeus // March 5, 2014 at 6:08 pm //

    It can be said but I don’t think it’s true.

  9. “My point is the same can be said for steroids.”

    Except that greenies had little to no effect on how the game was played and on performance,as opposed to steroids, which is the true definition of a performance enhancing drug. A.250 line drive hitter wasn’t suddenly going to become a .280 power hitter thanks to greenies. With steroids, that type of transition became commonplace. It’s ludicrous to compare steroids,a body altering drug, with a narcotic whose effect on players was akin to numerous servings of Red Bull and caffeine.

  10. pepefreeus // March 6, 2014 at 3:50 pm //

    Precisely.

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