In January 2010, Rich Gossage made some pretty sharp statements in support of the idea that PED users should not be in the Hall of Fame. I interviewed Gossage right after that and asked him what he thinks should be done if it was found that an existing member of the Hall was later found to have used PEDs during his playing career. This is what he told me:
“I don’t really know what I’d do. We’d have to find out all the facts. It’s a big dark cloud. I don’t know what the scenario would look like.”
In the past 35 months he has figured it out. Here are his comments about that subject now:
“They cheated. They (expletive) cheated. I believe that, hey, there’s gotta be a paddle for these guys’ asses. This is the last step of punishment there for them. If a guy gets into the Hall of Fame and we find out later he was cheating, kick him out!”
Alrighty then. And dudes, you should all be lucky that Gossage didn’t catch you juicing when he played:
“I saw guys go from Barney Fife to Lou Ferrigno from one season to the next. It made me sick. It made me sick. It made me sick for Roger Maris, sick for all the guys who set the records that fell. Just sick.”
Not sick enough to say anything then, of course. But maybe it took him three years to get mad about that too.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.