Must-click link: What the writers were saying about PEDs in 1998

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As we await the Hall of Fame voting results — due in just under a half-hour now — you would be wise to click over to TYU, where Moshe Mandel has hopped into the wayback machine to find what baseball writers — the notable ones, many of whom are now leading the anti-steroids crusade — were saying about it all back when Mark McGwire was hitting bombs and chicks all dug the longball.

The short version: everyone brushed it off at the time. We know that generally speaking — after all, no one got on the anti-PED train until 2002, really — but it’s quite illuminating to see what the writers actually had to say on the topic. Then? Eh, who cares? Now? If someone doesn’t give the secret anti-steroids handshake they’re considered a fellow traveler.  And people think I’m crazy when I say that the 1990s represented the peak of enlightenment of Western Civilization.

Hall of Fame results in just a few minutes, my friends. If you need me, I’ll be up in a bell tower, awaiting the coming fury.

Umpire ejects Adrian Beltre for moving on-deck circle

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As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.

Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.

Video: Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford hits an inside-the-park grand slam

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Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.

Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.

Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:

Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.

Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.