Anybody who loves the game hates the fact that steroids became so
pervasive in the sport, but for a 20-year period, I think most of the
elite players were using performance-enhancing drugs, and within the
context of that time — when baseball wasn’t doing anything to stop the
growth of drug use — this was what the sport was. And we don’t know
exactly who did what . . . I think in order to have a consistent standard when considering the
steroid-era players, you either have to vote for no one at all, or set
aside the steroid issue and just vote for the best players of the era.
— Buster Olney, explaining why he voted for Mark McGwire for the Hall of Fame and why he will vote for him and for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez when they come on the ballot.
Unless the writers who think differently either (a) explain their clairvoyance in knowing who did and who didn’t do steroids; or (b) admit that they are totally fine with voting for steroid users who managed not to get caught, I can’t see how they can approach the matter any other way.
Pirates first baseman John Jaso hit for the cycle on Wednesday night against the Cubs, becoming the first Pirate to do so since Daryl Ward against the Cardinals on May 26, 2004. Jaso’s cycle is the first to be hit at PNC Park. It’s also the third cycle of the 2016 season, as Jaso joins Freddie Freeman and Rajai Davis.
Jaso singled in the second inning for his first hit. He smashed a three-run homer in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. He hit an RBI double in the fifth to push the Cubs’ lead to 5-1. Then, in the seventh, Jaso hit an RBI triple to make it an 8-4 game.
Coming into Wednesday night, Jaso was hitting an adequate .259/.342/.384 with six home runs and 35 RBI in 416 plate appearances. He’s been limited mostly to right-handed pitching as the Pirates have used David Freese and Josh Bell at the position as well.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 30 games with a single to center field in the bottom of the sixth inning of Wednesday night’s win against the Phillies. Prior to that at-bat, he had grounded out, been hit by a pitch, and walked.
Freeman entered Wednesday night batting .382/.477/.673 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 24 runs scored over his past 29 games. Though his numbers are lacking compared to National League MVP Award favorite Kris Bryant, Freeman will get some top-five votes. On the season, he entered Wednesday hitting .307/.404/.576 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, and 99 runs scored in 673 plate appearances.
Freeman’s 30-game hitting streak is the longest such streak in the majors this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info. He has also reached base safely in 46 consecutive games.