Roger Clemens

HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

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HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan is urging voters to keep “known steroid users” out of Cooperstown.

A day after the Hall revealed its 33-man ballot for the 2018 class, the 74-year-old Morgan argued against the inclusion of players implicated during baseball’s steroid era in a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The letter from the vice chairman of the Hall’s board of directors was sent Tuesday using a Hall email address.

Read the full text of Morgan's letter here. 

“Steroid users don’t belong here,” Morgan wrote. “What they did shouldn’t be accepted. Times shouldn’t change for the worse.”

Hall voters have been wrestling with the issue of performance-enhancing drugs for several years. Baseball held a survey drug test in 2003 and the sport began testing for banned steroids the following year with penalties. Accusations connected to some of the candidates for the Hall vary in strength from allegations with no evidence to positive tests that caused suspensions.

About 430 ballots are being sent to voters, who must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, and a player needs at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.

Writers who had not been covering the game for more than a decade were eliminated from the rolls in 2015, creating a younger electorate that has shown more willingness to vote for players tainted by accusations of steroid use. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens each received a majority of votes for the first time in 2017 in their fifth year on the ballot.

Morgan said he isn’t speaking for every Hall of Famer, but many of them feel the same way that he does.

“Players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid abuse, known as the Mitchell Report, should not get in,” Morgan wrote. “Those are the three criteria that many of the players and I think are right.”

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were inducted into the Hall of Fame in July. They were joined by former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, who were voted in by a veterans committee.

Some baseball writers said the election of Selig, who presided over the steroids era, influenced their view of whether tainted stars should gain entry to the Hall.

Morgan praised BBWAA voters and acknowledged they are facing a “tricky issue,” but he also warned some Hall of Famers might not make the trip to Cooperstown if steroid users are elected.

“The cheating that tainted an era now risks tainting the Hall of Fame too,” he wrote. “The Hall of Fame means too much to us to ever see that happen. If steroid users get in, it will divide and diminish the Hall, something we couldn’t bear.”

© 2017 by The Associated Press

Clemens replacing Castiglione in radio booth during Sox series in Houston

Clemens replacing Castiglione in radio booth during Sox series in Houston

Roger Clemens will replace Joe Castiglione in the radio booth when the Red Sox head to Houston to face the Astros on June 16, per WEEI's Rob Bradford.

MORE RED SOX NEWS

Castiglione will be absent for the three-game series, giving the Red Sox Hall Of Famer the chance to sit in with Tim Neverett and participate in his first-ever Red Sox broadcast.

Clemens pitched for the Red Sox from 1984-96 before leaving Boston for the Toronto Blue Jays. The seven-time Cy Young award winner also pitched for the Astros from 2004-06.

DiSarcina takes over Lovullo's role as Red Sox bench coach

DiSarcina takes over Lovullo's role as Red Sox bench coach

With the departure of Torey Lovullo to his own managerial gig with the Arizona Diamondbacks, so went the cloud hanging over John Farrell’s head manifested by fans and media. Or said cloud at least shrunk a bit.

Still, that also left a hole by Farrell’s side as his right hand man and bridge between him and the Red Sox players.

Enter Gary DiSarcina.

The Malden, Mass., native raised in Billerica, Mass., was the Lowell Spinners manager from 2007-2009 and with Pawtucket in 2013 -- the same year he was name the Minor League Manager of the Year by Baseball America. He then left Boston to rejoin the team he played for, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, to serve as Mike Scioscia’s third base coach.

In DiSarcina’s previous run with Boston, he was able to work with some of the players part of the Red Sox “youth movement” and witnessed their growth from the days he was their skipper.

“I can pinpoint Xander [Bogaerts] for example, [The Angels] played [the Red Sox] in 2014 and he had a rough -- I thought -- some rough actions out there, rough year out there,” DiSarcina said. “You could tell he was working on things and just wasn’t quite comfortable at shortstop. The next two years he’s just really taking off. He’s making plays now.”

DiSarcina mentioned how he spoke to 18-year MLB shortstop Alfredo Griffin -- now the first base coach for the Angels -- and he expressed how Bogaerts is making the “subtle plays”.

“Tough little hops you can take for granted,” DiSarcina said. “But you know as a former infielder that they were difficult hops and plays.”

DiSarcina spent parts of 12 seasons in the bigs, all with the Angels, so he hasn’t experienced being in the first base dugout at Fenway. However, he was a big Boston fan in his youth and even recalls heckling Roger Clemens -- when he was on the Red Sox.

“I understand that it’s a daily passion,” DiSarcina said. “From the writers, the papers, he talk shows and I think you have to embrace it. When players embrace it -- I think of Mike Napoli and Kevin Millar, those guys embraced the town, embraced the people -- [they] didn’t take it personally.

“You can’t take it personally. I think that helps me a little bit, as well as being in the major leagues a player and a coach for 15 years.”

And in case you’re wondering, though the two crossed paths in their playing careers, DiSarcina never told Clemens about the day he heckled him at Fenway Park.

Probably for the best.