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November 27, 2012 | By Bill Shaikin
Barry Bonds owns the most cherished record in baseball, and more than twice as many most-valuable-player awards as anyone else. No pitcher has as many Cy Young awards as Roger Clemens. Under ordinary circumstances, the Hall of Fame debate would involve whether Bonds or Clemens might become the first player to get 99% of the votes in his election. However, with the residue of the steroid era sprinkled over ballots on their way this week to about 650 voting members of the Baseball Writers' Assn.
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SPORTS
April 23, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
The number that matters most is not 500. The number that matters most is 0. That is the number of major league players that have hit more home runs this season than Albert Pujols. He got a mighty sweet serenade in the visiting clubhouse in Washington on Tuesday night after he hit his 500th home run. But the Angels are not paying him a quarter-billion dollars for reminders of how great he was when he played for the St. Louis Cardinals. INTERACTIVE: Compare salaries on Angels, Nationals If that really is the classic Pujols back at-bat, that would be a big swing toward an October different from the last two, when he and the Angels stayed home and the Pujols-less Cardinals advanced deep into the playoffs.
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SPORTS
August 23, 2009 | BILL SHAIKIN
You could walk right past the sign without noticing it. It is a small rectangle, black letters on a yellow background, not at eye level but at waist level. It sits at the entrance to, but not within, one of the display areas at the Hall of Fame. It is 101 words, a tentative and uneasy first draft of a sad chapter in baseball history. Its title: "Performance-Enhancing Drugs." This is not the preferred subject of conversation for Jeff Idelson, president of the Hall of Fame.
SPORTS
January 10, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
OK, I get it: steroids are bad and cheating is worse. What I don't get is why Hall of Fame voters have decided to draw this line at this time. Long-time members of the Baseball Writers Assn. of America, who sit as judge and jury to decide who gets in the Hall and who doesn't, voted this week to enshrine pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine and slugger Frank Thomas in Cooperstown. Fine. All three are deserving and the Hall is much richer with their inclusion. Passed over again, however, were Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro.
SPORTS
March 28, 2008 | Bill Shaikin, Times Staff Writer
MESA, Ariz. -- The most reliable fans in America migrate here every spring, supporters of a team celebrating a complete century of failure. They bask in the informality of training camp, savoring a conversation or two with the men wearing the uniform of the Chicago Cubs. Derrek Lee, the Cubs' All-Star first baseman, hears from the fans about last year's playoff flop, this year's chances, how to pronounce the last name of Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome. And steroids?
OPINION
April 4, 2010 | By Robert Lipsyte
It's the allegory, stupid. It's a brand-new ballgame, sports fans, and I'm not sure how to watch it. In this opening season of the post-steroid era, I feel like a betrayed spouse determined to make the relationship work, struggling to balance experience against hope. Are my guys really clean now? If not, can I live with it? And I can't shake the feeling that baseball isn't baseball anymore; it's just another fading allegory for everything else. In 1954, deep into the Cold War, a leading historian of our national character, the French-born Jacques Barzun, famously declared, "Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball."
SPORTS
January 7, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
The Hall of Fame shut its doors to the living last year. That was a metaphor, or so we were told. No breathing inductees, and down the slippery slope to irrelevance. Nonsense then, absurdity now. One year after the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America didn't elect anyone, the Hall of Fame is poised to welcome what might be the largest induction class in its 75-year history. Greg Maddux will be elected when the tally of the votes is announced Wednesday, and he will challenge Tom Seaver's record 98.84% of the ballots.
SPORTS
July 10, 2007 | Bill Shaikin, Times Staff Writer
In a few days, or a few weeks, a home run record will fall. "I don't want you to jinx me," Alex Rodriguez said. Not that home run record, the all-time one, the one Barry Bonds will claim with five more homers. With six more home runs, Rodriguez will become the youngest player in major league history to hit 500. So, just as Bonds is a few days or weeks from breaking Hank Aaron's record of 755, Rodriguez could be a few years from breaking the record Bonds is about to set. "Now you're going to double-jinx me," Rodriguez said.
SPORTS
January 19, 2008
From the year with no World Series to his stoppage of the All-Star game to the steroid era, Bud Selig has never had an answer for any of baseball's problems. By making Selig commissioner for life, baseball has let all its fans know that it has no intention of changing anything. D.S. Adam Newhall
SPORTS
February 28, 2009
Instead of calling it the Steroid Era, it should be called the Selig Era. Mark Cortes Northridge :: I'm glad the Dodgers signed Orlando Hudson. I'm not sure it makes the team any better, unless he can pitch every fifth day, but I love hearing Vinny refer to him as "O Dog." Rich Minahan Huntington Beach
SPORTS
January 7, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
The Hall of Fame shut its doors to the living last year. That was a metaphor, or so we were told. No breathing inductees, and down the slippery slope to irrelevance. Nonsense then, absurdity now. One year after the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America didn't elect anyone, the Hall of Fame is poised to welcome what might be the largest induction class in its 75-year history. Greg Maddux will be elected when the tally of the votes is announced Wednesday, and he will challenge Tom Seaver's record 98.84% of the ballots.
SPORTS
July 15, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
NEW YORK - Barry Bonds was here. His is the name that evokes all that went right, and so very wrong, for baseball during the steroid era. His spirit was here Monday, the day before the All-Star game, when baseball's premier slugger declared Bonds' single-season-record 73 home runs null and void. "In my opinion, 61 is the record," Chris Davis said, "and I think most fans agree with me on that. " Roger Maris hit 61 in 1961. Bonds bettered that once, Mark McGwire twice, Sammy Sosa three times.
SPORTS
July 11, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
John Rocker, the hard-throwing left-handed reliever who often opened his mouth and inserted his foot while playing in the majors, was at it again this week, saying baseball was more entertaining and a better game when players were using performance-enhancing drugs. Rocker, whose rants in the past were sometimes racist and usually offensive, told a CBS Sports Radio show on WRKR-FM in Cleveland on Tuesday that people were getting their money's worth when the players were juiced. “Honestly, and this may go against what some people think from an ethical standpoint, I think it was the better game," Rocker said of the steroids era. "At the end of the day when people are paying their $80, $120 whatever it may be, to buy their ticket and come watch that game, it's almost like the circus is in town.
SPORTS
July 3, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
If politics make strange bedfellows, so does the law. In his final years as baseball commissioner, Bud Selig has devoted enormous amounts of time and energy toward ridding his sport of steroids. Selig has another battle on his hands now. The city of San Jose has sued Major League Baseball , challenging the sport's cherished antitrust exemption in an effort to become the new home of the Oakland Athletics. In an indication of how seriously MLB takes this matter, the league put out a news release Wednesday, announcing it had hired prominent San Francisco attorney John Keker as its lead counsel.
SPORTS
January 10, 2013 | Steve Dilbeck
The Hall of Fame remains standing. There is no storming of the gates, no frenzied pitch-forked mob, no cries for a John McClane rescue. Checked with representatives of the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America, who confirmed that they actually will come back and do this little Hall of Fame voting thing again next year. Must be tough news for the indignant. For the morally outraged. For all those who cannot conceive that the baseball writers would fail to vote in Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens, or anyone else.
SPORTS
January 9, 2013 | By Houston Mitchell
Roger Clemens wasn't surprised that he wasn't voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, and used Twitter to share his thoughts on the results, which were released Wednesday morning. "After what has been written and said over the last few years, I'm not overly surprised. Thanks to all the teams I've worked with and to fans and friends for all the fantastic letters, voice mails and texts of support over the last few years. To those who did take the time to look at the facts … we very much appreciate it. " No players were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame this year in a vote that seemed to be a response to the steroid era. Home run king Barry Bonds was named on only 36.2% of the ballots, Clemens on 37.6%.
SPORTS
June 14, 2008
Jeff Kent needs to stop talking about how much better it was when he was young. Between a canceled World Series and the steroid era, his generation of ballplayers has done more to destroy baseball than any other since the 1919 World Series. David Bedell Torrance Joe Torre is Grady Little without the great personality. At least with Grady, we got a great one-liner every so often. Ruben Longoria Grand Terrace It just may be a coincidence, but doesn't it seem that the Dodgers and Lakers' seasons end in the same month every year?
SPORTS
October 28, 2006
What with all the controversy over the brown smudge on Kenny Rogers' pitching hand, may I make the following suggestion to prevent this from happening in the future? MLB only has to place a sign in the dugouts at all stadiums that reads: "Pitchers must wash hands before entering the field." STEVE MIRKIN North Hollywood I agree with Bill Plaschke that playing the World Series in wintry weather degrades the game of baseball. But why not return to a 154-game season?
SPORTS
January 9, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. - - Barry Bonds was baseball's home run king, winning a record seven most-valuable-player awards. Roger Clemens' blazing fastball earned him a nickname, "The Rocket," and a record seven Cy Young Awards as the top pitcher in his league. None of that mattered Wednesday. Two of the most decorated players in the sport's history, perhaps the best in a generation, were roundly rejected from their sport's Hall of Fame. In their first year on the ballot, the celebrated - and vilified - stars were turned away in an election that was a referendum on the game's steroid era. For only the second time in 43 years, the Baseball Writers' Assn.
SPORTS
January 9, 2013 | By Mike DiGiovanna
Rich “Goose” Gossage cut an intimidating figure on the mound with his sinister-looking Fu Manchu mustache and blazing fastball, and at 61, he can still fire a few high, hard ones, as he showed after Wednesday's Hall of Fame vote, in which players from the steroid era were shut out of Cooperstown. “I'm glad nobody who is tied to performance-enhancing drugs got elected,” said Gossage, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008 after going 124-107 with a 3.01 earned-run average and 310 saves from 1972 to 1994.
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