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James off-base about steroids and Hall
The stat geek Bill James, who has made a fortune taking credit for having invented on-base percentage, last week revealed to the waiting world his position paper on steroids in baseball, which, essentially says that there is no harm in steroids and steroids have had no harm on baseball.
Mind you, this is coming from a guy who is employed by the Red Sox as a special assistant to GM Theo Epstein: "One of the characteristics of the steroid era was that we had several dozen players who continued to improve beyond the normal aging time frame, so that many of them had their best seasons past the age of 32. … But what does it mean? It means that steroids keep you young. … Well, if steroids keep you young, what's wrong with that?"
James goes on to say that he believes the Baseball Writers Association will eventually come to the same conclusion - that steroids didn't enhance performance, merely prolonged it, and that they will eventually vote all of the steroid cheats - Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro - into the Hall of Fame where they belong, ignoring evidence that the performance of some steroid users actually improved over time. He also said steroid users will be called "pioneers" in the future, when everyone in America, he said, will be on the drugs.
This is just what Bud Selig needs as he desperately tries to enforce and enhance baseball's drug policy and hold the game up as a model for young kids. I can only suppose James also agrees with Carl Everett that dinosaurs never existed and men never walked on the moon. Then again, didn't he just tell us a couple of years ago that teams would be more successful bringing their closers into the game in the seventh inning, and that bullpens-by-committee were the way to go? Obviously, the resident baseball stat geek wants to make sure all big stat players, however performance-enhanced those stats were, are properly enshrined in Cooperstown.