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January 5, 2011

Rafael Palmeiro on being snubbed by HOF voters

Just spoke to Rafael Palmeiro about being named on just 11 percent of Hall of Fame ballots, meaning only 64 voters felt he deserved first-year induction.

“Not good actually, it’s disappointing, really disappointing that it was only 11 percent,” Palmeiro said in a telephone interview. “I wasn’t expecting to be going in this year with the feedback I have gotten throughout the last few weeks or so. But I thought more voters would look at my overall career and put more emphasis or weight on what I have done and not just on a positive [drug] test at the end of my career. There was a message there to be sent, and it was received.”

He said he thought “maybe 25 percent” of the vote this time “would have been a number more realistic” instead of an 11 percent tally that was 16th overall among candidates. Palmeiro, who had 569 homers and 3,020 hits, finished behind players such as Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy and Don Mattingly.

“I think, obviously, without this stupid test, the positive test, I felt strongly about going in in the first year with 500-plus home runs and 3,000-plus hits,” Palmeiro said. “I think it would have been hard for voters to look at my career and say I should not go in on the first time around.”

Because he was named on more than 5 percent of the ballots, he will be eligible again in 2012 and for 13 years after that, assuming he maintains the 5 percent minimum.

“I am grateful for the 11 percent and that I will stay on the ballot for another year. I’ll go through this process again, and I will probably be disappointed and hurt again. But it is what it is.”

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 3:18 PM | | Comments (30)


Well, Raffy, you should have told the truth when you testified before Congress. The problem is not in our stars....or maybe it is?

Sorry to say that this is the start of the HOF voting era that will be rife with controversy, and filled with parsing through a lot of bawdy, specious speculation. It will be a period without satisfying answers,only open-ended questions that float interminably.

The only possible redemption might be found one day, by a truly great ballplayer who emerges, and closes the book on this era by eclipsing its records. It won't nullify the questions, but it will at least render them as footnotes of history, instead of its benchmarks.

500 HRs and 3000 hits should qualify. Not voting him in raises questions about the meaning of the HOF. Palmeiro did not owe this to steroids. He has none of the signs, his performance was too consistent over too long a time, his hard work is well documented, no supplier has come forward. In light of the fact that Miggy was exposed as an extensive steroid user, Palmiero's surmise that he might have gotten steroids in a "B-12" shot he got from Miggy should be given some credence.

I'm disapointed that Raffy didn't get elected into the HOF. I've believed his story the whole time and will continue to believe his story. Raffy is a classy guy that never got in trouble on the field or off the field, I really hope he gets elected in

Stupid drug test? I guess Mr Palmero was a rhodes scholar by allowing "vitamin B" to be injected in his body.

Good luck Raffy. Once an Oriole, always an Oriole. You made a mistake and you didn't handle it well, but you were a hell of a ballplayer and gave us a lot of great memories at Camden Yards.

Steroid users have no place in the Hall of Fame. One positive test is enough to cast doubt on every statistic and achievement, and despite what Raffy would argue there is no separating what were "honest" numbers versus the ones captured through cheating.

Palmiero should be grateful that he made millions playing a game for a living, and leave it at that. It might even behoove him to accept responsibility for his actions and show remorse. That's what grown-ups do when they do something wrong.

I still loved him as one of my two alltime favorite Orioles, the other being Eddie Murray.

Another reason I will never visit the Hall of Fame as long as the stupid voters make it a contest for upstanding citizens instead of the greats who played the game. Cobb, Ruth , and others were roughnecks, drunks and nasty guys and they're in there because they could play. Raffy was one of the 5 best of his era in my opinion. He, McGuire and especially Pete Rose should be in there. Pete played hard, drug free and all he did was bet. Never on his own team losing. I see nothing wrong with that. He was too much a winner and hustler to ever consider not going all out to win. Another example of a now , second class operation in Cooperstown.

Remember, Rose has never appeared on the ballot. So you can't blame that one on the writers. just saying.

Does Gaylord Perry deserve to be in the HOF, even though he was a cheater who doctored the baseball? What about Ty Cobb, who was a world class jerk? What about the rampant amphetamine use in the sixties and 70s? Saying that guys who used steroids should definitely NOT be in the HOF is short sighted at best. It needs to be taken on a case by case basis...the bottom line is whether or not the writers voting believe that it helped them achieve at a higher level. My hunch is that the cloud over the "steroid ERA" will be lifted as people start to pay credence to the fact that MLB did nothing to stop it for a long time, especially in light of the fact that two of the more notorious offenders, McGwire and Sosa, basically saved baseball in the summer of 1998.

Raffy should have been a first ballot HOF member. His numbers are about many who are already in. I believe his story. His numbers are too consistent - he didn't "blowup" in size or numbers. He was just one heck of a player. He deserves to be in the HOF!

It's pretty simple, really. If the voters decide that the steroid eras players cannot get into the Hall, then neither does Raffy.

If they decide that they can get in, so does Raffy.

Sosa, McGuire, Bonds, etc etc etc. The voters have to make a all-encompassing decision about the players of this era.

I think the issue will blow over. You cant take away 3000 hits for a positive test in 2005. I don't think Raffy gets the same scrutiny as McGuire in that people will start to realize Raffy wasn't suspected of using his entire career. He will get in, but the writers will make him squirm first. It will take a few more years, but everyone on the planet knows he will get in eventually, which is why we are still talking about it.

You deserve everything you're gettin Raffy..nobody to blame but yourself!!

Anyone who believes his "excuse" is completely delusional.

It's not just the lying, it's trying to pass the buck and blame an Oriole's teammate for allegedly slipping it to you without your knowledge. Not likely!

If steroid users are not going to be allowed in the hall of fame, that means that Brian Roberts has no chance of being elected, because Brian Roberts is a known steroid user.

Wonder if he ever stopped to think that his whining and crying sheds more negativity on his HOF rejection. Perhaps, he should keep his mouth shut and let his statistics speak for themselves and then in about 10 years time he may get elected. I'll be interested to see how BBWA will deal with Bonds, when he becomes eligible!

With 569 home runs and 3,020 hits, Mr. Palmeiro's career statistics are cpmparable to Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Eddie Murray. However, they were inducted into the HOF on the first ballot. Besides the positive drug test, Mr. Palmeiro will be remembered for corking his bat, being regarded as club house "poison," contributing to ill will on the Orioles, and playing a role in driving MIke Mussina from the Orioles to the Yankees. Good riddance!

I am with Ed on this one. just watch if this liar & cheat ever gets elected to the hall,it will be as a Texas Ranger. I hope you all have a happy and healthy new year. cant wait for the season to start,my prediction... 87 wins and in the wildcard hunt!

Oh really Ed,amazing,I never heard any of those things mentioned before.Would love to know what your "so-called" sources are.Knew several people ,one who was the elevator operator at Camden Yards who knew Raffy very well,and said he was a first class guy.Peter Angelos drove Mussina to the Yankee's,anybody who thinks differently is just plain stupid.

I'm sorry Raffy was not elected to the HOF this time around. Everything about him says "no steroids", but he did fail a test. For all of the "he's full of it" folks out there, Raffy was re-crucified for "throwing a team mate under the bus". Later, this team mate, (Miggy) gets tied up in more steroid accusations and character flaws then you could shake a stick at. Threw him under the bus? or just told the truth?

Go O's!
Go Raffy! (Cont'd)

How do you "Anti Raffy" folks feel about the comment of the great "never met an Oriole I didn't hate" commentator Jon Heymann with his statement that he WOULD vote for Aroid because "he would have been a HOF'er without steroids"? Say What? What kind of logic is that? Whatever, it's flawed, and it probably always will be. It's obvious some members of the BBWAA think they are GODS!

Go O's!

For those who think no steroid user should ever be in the HOF, what about all the players who used (abused) amphetamines during the 60's, 70's, and 80's? Should all their accomplishments be viewed with suspicion? Or should we all get off our high horses?

I am not an oriole's fan, but it is a sad day when a great player like Palmeiro is snubbed so badly by the writers. He was not bulked-up, and his positive steroid test is questionable. Shame on the writers.

It strikes me as odd that Mcguire got more of a vote than Raffy did first time around. I remember being genuinely surprised that he had tested positive at the time that it happened.

Just reading the story yesterday about how Tejada was being a classy guy by paying for Simon's lawyers, perhaps he should really be a classy guy and tell the truth about what was really in the vial that he gave to his team mate. I still find it hard to believe that after all that had happened during that time frame that Palmeiro would have been dumb enough to knowing take a steriod. With all that has come out since concerning Tejada I am sure there was more than B12. So Tejada time for you to come clean about all this for the sake of your team mate.

Come on, Raffy even admitted taking performance enhancing drugs in a commercial. You dont think those Viagra pills boosted his performance? (Sorry, too easy of a joke)

Numbers say he should get in? The whole point is that those numbers have been a lot easier to post in the steroid era. I've never seen the stats but I would like to know what Raffy's numbers were from the 7th inning on. I just never remember him being very clutch when it came time to win a ballgame like an Eddie Murray, Frank Robinson, or Brooks Robinson was. I always felt like Raffy racked up stats early in ballgames or when games were already out of hand, without establishing himself as a winner. Then he lied. People don't forget that. I just don't think he was anywhere near as good as the other players of the past that put up his numbers. He was a very good ballplayer though and seemed like a nice guy. I was sorry to see him bring himself down.

Actually Patrick,
Palmeiro was outed by Canseco in his book, along with teammates Pudge and Juan Gone. Thats why he was selected by Congress to begin with, probably.

Thats also the team that Arod actually admitted to using for 3 years with.

Some people point to Raffy's sudden power surge and then power consistency to say he was a likely long time user. Others point to the consistency to say he wasn't a long time user. So i guess it depends what you want to believe.

I've wondered why would a man in his mid 30's need viagra ? Could be prolonged steroid use

I'm not delusional and I have believed him from day one. I wouldn't trust Tejada in the least and everything that has surfaced since the test has backed his story.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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