Kenny Lofton would like to let everyone know that he did not ever use, or even consider using, performance-enhancing drugs.
“I just went out there and did what I had to do. I was not a cheater,” he told the Associated Press. Lofton made the comments during an announcement that he had been selected for induction into the Cleveland Indians’ Hall of Fame. The speedy outfielder is hoping for induction into a more prestigious hall – the one in Cooperstown, and it seems he’s hoping the steroid angle will increase his chances.
“I was a guy who never did it (steroids), never tried to do it, never wanted to do it but I played against guys who obviously were doing it,” he said. “My competition level had to be at a certain level to be able to compete with those guys who were cheating.
“I was not a cheater, so hopefully they’ll take a look at that and see what I did under that period and hopefully they take that into account.”
In the current voting climate, this actually isn’t a bad strategy (though it hasn’t worked for Fred McGriff ), and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see other borderline candidates try it.
As for Lofton’s case, he had a .299/.372/.423 line in 17 seasons. He was a six-time All-Star, won four Gold Gloves, stole 622 bases (leading the league five times), scored 1,528 runs and notched 2,428 hits. That might be good enough to get in on it’s own merit, especially if voters remember just how good he was during the first decade of his career.
You be the judge as to whether doing it in the steroid era should make a difference.