Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Preview

Ken Davidoff is no fool. Davidoff knows that if he sticks his microphone in front of burly former Yankees closer Goose Gossage, he’s going to get something good. Gossage is a legend and a Hall of Famer as well as the go-to guy for PED-related anger among former players.

So that’s exactly what Ken Davidoff of the New York Post did: he engaged Goose Gossage in a spirited debate about the nature of PEDs.

To Davidoff’s eternal credit, he gives Gossage rope before following up when the retired closer attempts to dismiss greenies as fundamentally different from steroids. An excerpt:

KD: Do you feel the same way about guys who used greenies?

GG: Oh, You’re not even talking about the same. …I used greenies. I’ve done them. I didn’t have to get up unless I drank a case of beer and stayed up all night. I might take a greenie just to stay awake in the bullpen. But it wasn’t a performance-enhancing drug.

KD: It was illegal, though, right?

GG: Yeah. Does the crime fit the punishment? Are you saying that greenies and steroids, you’re talking about aspirin and whatever.

The back and forth continues but these quotes underline a fundamental difference in the way many people — not just former baseball players — rationalize their actions. “Sure, it’s bad, but not as bad as doing what THAT GUY did.”

Judging by this essential BP column from earlier this week, Gossage isn’t wrong. Just self-serving in a mostly harmless way. Good on him for at least owning his greenie usage.

But Davidoff’s point is a salient one: what makes Gossage think he wouldn’t have done better stuff had it been available to him? One they addressed later in the conversation, which you should totally click through and read.