The Steroid Era Suspicion Continues
About a week ago, the baseball world celebrated as four players were selected to be the Class Of 2015 inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame, which will take place next July. Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio were all elected into Cooperstown, but one pitcher of that era doesn’t seem to think all those players were clean.
Patrick Sargent of GoLocalWorchester wrote an article on Saturday about a statement former Yankees’ pitcher Tanyon Sturtze made on his Facebook page about this year’s inductees and the era that they played in:
"“The HOF inductees were exactly what everyone thought would be this year and all deserve it but we need to be careful. I think this group had some guys in it that def (inetly) took something along their career to help their production, and if that’s the case we need to open it up to others who are suspected of the same. We want to be fair but their are guys with better numbers then these inductees and are getting snubbed because of the same accusations.” (h/t Go Local Worchester)"
Sturtze pitched with the Yankees from 2002-2004, going 11-5 with a 5.26 ERA in 110 combined appearances as a starter and reliever. His time in New York, however, is more known, for his involvement in the Jason Varitek–Alex Rodriguez brawl at Fenway Park in July 2004. Sturtze was suspended three games for his role in the incident.
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While I disagree with the way that Sturtze went about it, he does bring up a valid point regarding suspicion and keeping people out of the Hall Of Fame. That case is brought up often with cases like Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell, where players who have the numbers and have no proof of a positive steroid test are left off writers’ ballot solely on suspicion of PED use.
On my IBWAA ballot, I voted for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, and will continue to do so. It is tough for Major League Baseball to alienate an entire era of the history of the game. In this case, at least four players of this generation got into the Hall Of Fame and are worthy of enshrinement. Sadly though, whether it’s from former players or writers, the suspicion will always be there about the Steroid Era.