August 20, 2014

“Crushed” Kenny Lofton speaks out against steroids, Hall of Fame voting

With me being off the ballot, what I accomplished during the steroid era meant nothing. You look at the people who voted for the Hall of Fame. I think there might have been 600. They still voted for people who were cheating the game. It boggles my mind that the people you know cheated, who admitted they cheated, are still on the Hall of Fame ballot. That is sad. It’s really sad for baseball. [...] For me to go out and cheat it that way, that’s not respecting the game I love. I just feel the reason these guys cheated was because of the money. They didn’t care about the Hall of Fame. If you would have cared about the Hall of Fame, you wouldn’t have even thought about cheating. It was all about money.

– Former Cleveland Indians outfielder Kenny Lofton, 40, in a recent conversation with Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Lofton, who despite hitting .299 with 2,428 hits and 1,528 runs while making the postseason 10 times, only received 3.2 percent of the vote in one of the  more controversial Hall of Fame seasons ever. He will no longer be eligible for the ballot without an exemption from the Hall of Fame’s veteran’s committee — an excruciatingly slow process to endure.

[Related: On the 2013 Indians starting rotation and narratives]

  • Steve

    I feel for you Kenny, but no one cheated before 2005.

    And regardless of who used steroids, asking the BBWAA to properly evaluate players has always been a bad idea.

  • deuce

    Nobody cheated before 2005? Yeah……

  • Kenny

    I think an objective look at statistics would show albert belle is a no doubt HOFer. Also when one considers that Kenny was playing in an era of roided outfielders, he should probably get more than 3.2%.

    Both hall of famers in my book, for whatever that’s worth

  • Steve

    What rules were broken?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527688311 Matthew Grant Anson

    It’s a myth that there using PEDs wasn’t against the rules pre-2005.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527688311 Matthew Grant Anson

    The fact that Kenny played with cheaters doesn’t make him more worthy of the Hall. A fan favorite does not a Hall of Famer make: his statistics aren’t even close.

  • Steve

    If you mean that at previous points, MLB made grandiose statements against drugs, then sure.

    But not until 2005 did MLB actually collectively bargain with the union a policy that included a list of banned drugs, a testing policy, and a specific set of punishments for violations. Anything short of that is meaningless and for show. And MLB sure as hell knows that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527688311 Matthew Grant Anson

    Steroids were added to the banned substance list in 1991. Using steroids after that point was thus cheating, regardless of the lack of penalties or testing.

  • eldaveablo

    Totally agree, especially with Lofton (and I’m not even an Indians fan). There are a few seasons where I would have taken him over Griffey as my CF. Lofton just wasn’t a HR hitter when that’s what was popular. He was an amazing talent, and deserves another shot in the HOF, and DEFINITELY deserves more than 3.2%.

  • Steve

    Actually they were added in 1971, when Kuhn said that personnel must comply with federal and state drug laws. The reason people dont know this is because strongly worded letters are not equivalent to formally processed laws, and the myth that Canseco was Patient Zero is a fun narrative for sportswriters that allow them to continue to pretend that everything was sunshine and rainbows when they were young.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527688311 Matthew Grant Anson

    Steroids were not illegal in 1971. It was in 1990 that they became a Schedule III.

  • Steve

    Touche. Still doesnt change the fact that the memo that Vincent waved around was meaningless.