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.
Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.
While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.
Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.
Cooperstown, here he comes.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.
Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.