Originally Posted by spawn
How can you state positively that it didn't hamper his lifestyle? What frame of reference are you going by? Raines said
his cocaine habit didn't help his stats. Also, he was 23, admitted his drug use, and got treatment for it. His stats dropped in '82, and at the end of the season he sought treatment for his addiction. So, no, I don't think he should get the same treatment as the steroid group. It's apples to oranges.
You can't really say (some of) his stats dropped in '82 without giving a frame of reference. In '81 he played 88 games; '82 was his first full season with 156 games played. He also had 647 AB in '82 - by far the most in his career. That's a pretty big jump in workload. Of course Raines would say that drugs didn't help his stats...it's an easy excuse. Of note in that article was the mention that he stopped drinking too. Like Oil Can, he probably went out drinking all night and then needed cocaine to prop him up to play next day's game.
Sure, amphetamines are a recreational drug (with major benefits to performance in the right doses) while steroids are performance enhancers only. But it's more like a green apple to a red apple comparison rather than apples to oranges. It's still illegal, and it's still cheating. The character clause keeps getting brought up as the reason these players aren't getting in - how can that clause be ignored for a player who was high during games?
Don't get me wrong - I love, love Tim Raines. My favorite Sox player in the 90s after Frank. On the other hand, I think Barry Bonds was the one who ruined a baseball era. He just took the PED use too far; if he hadn't been so obvious about it and putting up Nintendo numbers, Congress probably wouldn't have gotten involved thus embarrassing the sport. So sometimes I feel torn about this issue, but sick of doing mental gymnastics about what type of cheating is acceptable and what kind isn't, whose body types or numbers look suspicious, etc.
I keep saying this - somebody, whether it's the Commissioner or the Hall of Fame itself, needs to give some type of guidance on this issue. For example, any player named in the Mitchell Report, or any player who tested positive after testing was implemented is not eligible for the Hall. Or they are eligible, but PEDs will be mentioned on their plaque. Or they'll get a smaller plaque. Anything.