Nomar Garciaparra thinks proven PED users should be booted from the Hall of Fame

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Former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra spoke at length with Jesse Spector of Sporting News. One of the big topics they touched on was the inclusion of players proven or implicated to have used performance-enhancing drugs getting into the Hall of Fame. Nomar thinks they should be booted out if they have been proven to have cheated.

From Spector’s column:

For me, I don’t understand why you can’t go back. If you find that out and you find out the truth — you can’t go off assumptions, but when you find out the truth, why can’t you take a person out of the Hall of Fame if you found out he was taking PEDs? I don’t see why that’s so horrible to do. Or, if they had an award, I know they do it in the Olympics, they take away gold medals and things when they later find out. I don’t see why that’s so hard. I mean, they took away the Heisman Trophy, as well. There’s a lot of different ways people can go about it and say that it can still be done.

Using an eraser on baseball history opens up a pandora’s box. Once you get the steroid cheaters out, is that it, or do you go after amphetamine users? Spitballers? What about other morally-questionable inductees — the wife-beaters, the racists, the drunks? By itself, Garciaparra’s wish certainly makes sense, but unfortunately it raises more questions than it answers.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.