Tracy Ringolsby makes a point that I find to be eminently reasonable:
There is a strong feeling among some that amphetamines actually enhance performances over a broader base than steroids. What it all underscores is that over time, athletes, in any sport, are always looking for ways to gain an edge on the competition. When one advantage becomes commonplace or is outlawed, the search intensifies for a newer and better aid.
With the advancements in science over time, the methods for gaining that edge have become more sophisticated, which makes it more difficult to detect the usage. As a result, in evaluating greatness of athletes — in baseball and other sports — it is always wiser to evaluate who were the elite of their era, and not try to draw firm statistical comparisons from one era to another because the conditions change so drastically.
That’s why to blindly eliminate anyone even suspected of using steroids from Hall of Fame consideration is inconsistent from previous evaluations.
Good point. Of course, how one can overlook steroids yet still find Mark McGwire lacking is a bit curious, but maybe like me Ringolsby is a “discounter” when it comes to known PED users (i.e. we don’t bar them, but we grade them downward).
Oh, and John Franco gets Ringolsby’s vote. I can’t say I recall seeing him get any other support. I’m not gonna go crazy about this. I don’t like it when unworthy candidates get bona fide campaigns behind them like Jack Morris is getting, but I think the random votes to random people like Franco are kinda fun. I’m just waiting to see if Lenny Harris gets a vote.