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The continuing attack on Jeff Bagwell

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
Jeff Bagwell

Let us begin with this tweet from ESPN's Pedro Gomez on the intertwined subjects of Jeff Bagwell's Hall-of-Fame candicacy and his whispered (and thoroughly unproved) use of possibly-performance-enhancing drugs:

When it's pointed out to Gomez that Bagwell did, in point of fact, deny using PEDs, he comes up with this:

Even though Gomez's stated reason for suspecting Bagwell of PED use is roundly disproven, he decides to, in essence, stick out his tongue and appeal to his own misplaced authority. (You may recognize this approach to argument from its formal title, "Rhetorical Techniques of the Chastened Pre-Schooler.") As Hall-of-Fame voting privileges go, it's a dereliction of duties.

It's one thing to not vote for Bagwell because you find his numbers lacking (it's a stance I would strongly disagree with, but it's at least defensible), but it's something else to do what some voters these days seem to be doing. That is, tsk-tsk contemporary players while holding up the amphetamine users of the 1960s and 1970s as paragons of virtue, pretend anyone has any idea as to what kind of difference PED use made on the field of play, and then tar an entire generation of players because of innuendo and the occasionally provable misdeeds of others. But it's an entirely different thing to do what Gomez is doing, which is to wield proudly an opinion at odds with basic facts.

So what is Gomez left with? This: A player nebulously suspected of PED use in some "eyeball test" quarters must deny having done so in order to earn Gomez's vote, but even if he does deny it he won't earn Gomez's vote. That's the "logic" to be drawn from his recent comments.

The Hall of Fame is a wonderful place, but it deserves better gatekeepers than Gomez.
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