Ken Rosenthal on D&C: ‘I am wavering’ on voting PED users into Hall of Fame

August 07, 2013 - 7:18 am

Fox Sports baseball reporter Ken Rosenthal joined Dennis & Callahan Wednesday morning to discuss more of the fallout from the Biogenesis suspensions, and even though Alex Rodriguez has had nothing go his way of late, Rosenthal is not ready to make the blanket statement that the embattled Yankee star will never make the Hall of Fame. '€œI'€™m not prepared to look into the crystal ball and tell you what people are going to think 20 years from now,'€ Rosenthal said. '€œWe'€™ve seen that people who have used performance-enhancing drugs '€” admitted or confirmed '€” have had a hard time getting in. That'€™s been the case so far. But I can only speak for myself. I have not voted for any of these guys, but at the same time I reconsider it every year. I am wavering, to some degree, because I'€™m not comfortable with none of these guys being in the Hall of Fame. '€œThere'€™s a part of me that continues to wonder if over time a lot of voters positions will soften, and ultimately some of them will get in. so I can'€™t make a statement on A-Rod one way or another right now. Do I believe that most likely he has no chance? Yes. That'€™s what I believe.'€ One factor in the public'€™s perception of Rodriguez could be what comes to light during the arbitration process during his suspension appeal. Rosenthal noted that everything that goes on during that process '€” which will include MLB presenting all of its evidence against A-Rod '€” is supposed to be confidential. However, given how the Biogenesis scandal developed the last seven months, with leaks coming relatively regularly, private information remaining that way is far from a given. '€œThat'€™s an issue the Players'€™ Association has had, and frankly I'€™m on the Players'€™ Association side,'€ Rosenthal said. '€œWe don'€™t necessarily as the general public have the right to know everything. We don'€™t have that right. The players have rights, and that'€™s to confidentiality. It'€™s frustrating, and obviously we want to know as much information as possible, but when you talk about due process '€” and that'€™s a key process in this whole thing '€” due process involves in this case, according to the collective bargaining agreement, confidentiality.'€ Rosenthal also spoke to the bigger idea that the players, for the first time on a wide scale, are speaking out against their peers'€™ use of PEDs. He noted that there is someone '€œon an almost daily basis'€ calling for a cleaner game, which is a far cry from the days of Barry Bonds. Ryan Braun'€™s successful February 2012 appeal of a positive test '€” when the Brewers slugger got away on a technicality '€” was turning point in the players'€™ collective feelings. As it turns out, Braun was suspended anyway, though it was the result of the Biogenesis investigation, not a positive test, just like Rodriguez and the other dozen players removed from the sport for the rest of the season. Rosenthal said even though commissioner Bud Selig is so proud of being tough on PED users, the balance between suspensions for positive tests and suspensions for other evidence may be what it takes from now on. '€œYou could look at it one of two ways,'€ Rosenthal said. '€œOne, the testing process is not as comprehensive as you would like it to be. And I would say realistically, that'€™s always going to be the case. You'€™re never going to catch all the cheaters by testing. There are so many ways these guys could beat tests '€” from timing, the usage, with using drugs that get out of the system quicker, masking agents, undetectable substances '€” that'€™s just the reality of it. '€œThe other way to look at it is to say, well, OK, baseball recognizes that the testing process has flaws, and we'€™ll have to take such measures as the Biogenesis investigation from time to time when presented with information to make the program more complete.'€ Following are more highlights from the conversation. To listen to the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at On the idea of a lifetime ban for a first positive test, and why that may not be realistic: '€œCan the penalties be more stringent? Absolutely. But when these penalties were first [implemented] at 50, 100, lifetime '€” this is for the testing '€” most of us thought, '€˜Hmm, that'€™s pretty stiff. That'€™s going to deter players.'€™ And obviously there are certain players who continue to use the substances. If you went to whatever extreme you want to go to, I would suggest there are still players who will cheat because of their level of desperation. '€œMany with the union believe that the more effective deterrent is the feat of getting caught. That fear has increased, you would think, due to the improved testing and due to the randomness of it and all that, and the HGH testing now. So while it'€™s a great idea in theory to make it one strike and you'€™re out, I don'€™t know if in reality it works as well as you would like it to work.'€ On whether the Red Sox can make a run at the World Series: '€œ[Jake] Peavy helps. In my view, they needed another starter, there'€™s no question about that. '€¦ To get to where you'€™re talking about, they need [Clay] Buchholz. At some point you have to have a rotation that perhaps can match Detroit'€™s rotation, and right now for the Red Sox, given [Jon] Lester'€™s inconsistency, Buchholz'€™s absence -- and while [John] Lackey has been really good and [Ryan] Dempster is OK, they need Buchholz to be Buchholz. '€œIf they can get that, yes, they may be a team equipped to win that World Series, and hey, we may have [Xander] Bogaerts come up and be Manny Machado, too. If all this happens, yes, but Detroit is a really good team. I don'€™t see Oakland as being quite at that level. I'€™m not sure any other team in the league is at that level, other than perhaps Tampa Bay. And Tampa Bay remains a really interesting contender. Red Sox-Tampa would be a great ALCS. But keep in mind, you have to beat Detroit'€™s rotation, and that'€™s tough to do.'€