Mulligan wrote:Joe Posnanski takes one of our local deep thinkers to task ...*I don't know if you ran across this column by Hall of Fame voter Pat Caputo, but I bring it up because in it he says he will leave Craig Biggio off his ballot because … well, I had a hard time coming to grips with his precise reasoning. I'll quote what seems to be the key paragraph:
"Biggio is far less suspected [than teammate Jeff Bagwell] because of his smaller frame, but he was on those [Houston] teams and reportedly close to those players [admitted PED users Ken Caminiti and Andy Pettitte and suspected user Roger Clemens], and his power numbers did suddenly and magically rise at one point of his career (not just home runs but doubles) and before the Astros moved into a more hitter's friendly ball park. Again, I am very skeptical about there being any 'magic' involved."
OK, a few things. Biggio's "jump" in doubles and homers happened between 1992 to 1993, more than a decade before Roger Clemens or Andy Pettitte came to Houston, and two or three years before Ken Caminit's power surge and the time when he admitted using steroids. So that bit of logic seems just a little bit specious. It also happened when he turned 27, which is precisely when A LOT of people make a big power jump -- George Sisler, Buddy Bell, Al Simmons, Joe Rudi, Stan Musial (From 19 to 39 homers? What's up?), Brooks Robinson, etc.
But perhaps more to the point: Do you know who else played with Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens? Yeah. Derek Jeter. And he also played with Jason Giambi. And he also played with Alex Rodriguez. And he also played with Gary Sheffield. Hmm. And between 1997 and 1999, his home runs more than doubled, his slugging percentage was 150 points higher, very interesting, very interesting indeed ...
… or no. Actually not interesting. At all. Terrible. Shameful. Not interesting. Look: If you don't want to vote for Craig Biggio, don't vote for him. If you don't want to vote for him because you suspect him of something that you have absolutely no proof, hey, it's your vote, and you have a right to cast it your way as long as you have it. But to publicly charge someone with something without even the slightly bit of evidence beyond counterfeit timelines and amateurish statistical analysis should be beneath a Hall of Fame voter … or anyone else.
It's downright delightful to watch all the writers who have HOF votes heap scorn on the same players they praised for saving the game in the late 1990s.