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Are Jeff Bagwell Accusers Justified For Using Hearsay?

In the midst of the ridiculous debate about Jeff Bagwell that's swirled around this Hall of Fame vote, a fascinating small debate took place between two titans of the baseball blogosphere: Craig Calcaterra and SB Nation's own Rob Neyer.

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Calcaterra, who was a lawyer in a former life, thinks voters should ignore anything they couldn't print in their own newspaper for voting decisions. Neyer, however, comes back with the idea that hearsay can't be ignored, even if voters decide to ignore it.

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Last year, Jeff Pearlman implicitly called out Bagwell for steroid use in a locker room he deemed filthy with juicers. In addition to Bagwell, guys like Luis Gonzalez, Ken Caminiti and Daryl Kile all passed through that era and all have varying levels of whispers about their taintedness.

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Those whispers may be enough to derail Bags, which is infuriating. I've led the British Hammer (if I use it enough, the nickname will stick) take the lead this year on bashing the stupid writers not voting for Bagwell. But, it still annoys the crap out of me.

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What we know is Bagwell was a big weight lifter who put on a lot of muscle through his career. He used androstenedione before it was banned (as did Mark McGwire) and was teammates with an admitted steroid user in Caminiti. He also suffered an early end to his career due to an arthritic condition in his shoulder.

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Do the writers voting against him know all that? Do they know half of that? Or, is the very suggestion that he might have used all they need to know. Circumstantial evidence is damning in the eyes of HOF voters.

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It's not in my eyes, because I don't care if Bagwell used steroids. There was a time when I was idealistic enough to be disappointed with the thought, but now, the only players who it should reflect negatively are the ones who used after it was banned. If I were a HOF voter, that's my thinking. Unfortunately, I am not a voter nor look to be one in the future. So, we have to go through this silly debate every December and January for the next decade. Ugh.

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.