Monday, July 23, 2007

Gaylord Perry, Barry Bonds, and the Hall of Fame

Gaylord Perry is in the Hall of Fame, in spite of having admitted doctoring baseballs. In other words, Perry has admitted to using performance enhancing substances, even though he put them on the baseball and not in his own body. Now maybe his admission, in 1991, was a mistake. But if it wasn't a mistake, what happens to the popular argument that Barry Bonds should be excluded from the Hall of Fame because we have evidence that he as used steroids. Can anyone argue that Perry should be in the Hall of Fame but Bonds should be excluded?


John Salmon said...

Well, Jim Bouton makes exactly that argument-that altering one's body is more egregious than altering the ball-which Whitey Ford also admitted to, and Don Drysdale said Don Sutton did...just to mention a couple HOF pitchers.

Bouton's argument is, laughable, to be sure. Cheating is cheating. Certainly Bonds shouldn't face a HIGHER standard than other cheaters-assumimg he did in fact do so.

It's a non-issue, anyway-at 43 Bonds, presumably clean, is till one of the besty hitter sin the game. Quite clearly, PED's didn't make his career.

The IdeaJuicer said...

I don't think the argument that all sins are created equal works here. If so, nobody would be in the Hall of Fame. Willie Mays missed stepping on third base one time, but scored anyway. That's cheating so he's out. George Brett has pine tar too high on the bat -- cheating and no HOF for him. There is a huge difference between "cheating" on the field, out in the open, to gain a small advantage on a single play (where you can be caught and punished - as Gaylord Perry was) and using illegal substances to modify your body to gain an unfair advantage every day and on every play; just as jaywalking and murder are both against the law, but not deserving of the same sanctions.

It's too bad that a number of players (and their records) will be forever tainted, but to me it doesn't seem undeserved.

Anonymous said...

The problem is Gaylord Perry looked like he was throwing the spitter every pitch. Have you ever seen him prepare to pitch.
If you were a batter you would be distracted looking for the spitter on every pitch.