Mike Schmidt is not yet convinced that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens took steroids

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Mike Schmidt says an awful lot I agree with in this interview with Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.  He doesn’t like it when people are accused of using PEDs without evidence and he hates the guilt-by-association that is so common when the topic comes up. What’s more, he has no problem with Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens being in the Hall of Fame.

Yep, we’re really on the same page here. But I don’t think even I’d go this far:

“I would not have a problem with Bonds or Clemens,” Schmidt said at Phillies camp. “Here we are convicting them of PED use and we don’t know anything more than we read.”

Schmidt said he’d need to see “a legitimate failed test” to bar a player from election to the Hall of Fame.

“I don’t think anyone that failed a legitimate test should be in,” Schmidt said. “But I’d need to see a legitimate test to know if what we’re talking about was actual fact.”

I’ve read Game of Shadows. I think it’s safe to say that Barry Bonds took steroids, and I think we can say so without a test result.  Clemens may be a bit more dicey, but I don’t think I’d choose to die on Roger Clemens Didn’t Take Steroids Hill in these PED battles we tend to have.

But really, I’d rather err on the side Schmidt is erring on than to fall in with the “eyeball test” crowd.

Matt Shepard to be the Tigers new full-time play-by-play guy

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Fox Sports Detroit has named Matt Shepard their new full-time play-by-play guy for Tigers games. Shepard will work with analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson, who will split time.

This is the move in response to former longtime announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen getting suspended and later fired following an in-booth altercation in Chicago last September. The two of them, who weren’t exactly friends, reportedly fought over a chair, with conflicting reports of how serious the fight was. An anonymous witness said Allen put Impemba in a choke hold. Allen recently gave an interview in which he denied that and said it was only some pushing and shoving. Either way, it ended their 16-year team-up for Tigers games.

Shepard has worked for Fox Sports Detroit for nearly 20 years, doing fill-in play-by-play for the Tigers — he replaced Impemba for the last few weeks of last season — and for Detroit Pistons games. Gibson has been a part time analyst for the network for the past couple of seasons, splitting time with Allen. Morris has done Tigers, Blue Jays and Twins games over the years, sometimes even splitting time between the Twins and Tigers, which is rather unusual.

Shepard is pretty good at his job. While Tigers fans liked and were familiar with Impemba, there won’t be a falloff in quality. Gibson makes some good analytical points and has a surprisingly sharp and biting sense of humor about him, but his gruff and monotone delivery is not everyone’s cup of tea. You get used to it. Morris is not my cup of tea — he tends to do a lot of the “back in my day” stuff former players often do — but I’m pretty sure he could recite the dictionary on TV in Detroit and a lot of Tigers fans would tune in. Such is life.