While Jay Jaffe (below) takes a statistical look at Tim Raines, Scott Long of Baseball Toaster is taking a harder look at what else might factor in to Raines’ Hall of Fame possibilities. Long (full disclosure: a friend and writing partner) opens up the can of worms that is Raines’ known drug use.
In this winter of our steroidal discontent, it’s worth noting that Raines’ use of cocaine, a powerful stimulant, likely gained some performance benefit from the use of the drug. Faster reaction time, amplified sensory awareness, and energy are all known, proven effects of cocaine use. Is it any stranger to say that Raines’ HoF case was boosted by performance enhancers than it is to say that Mark McGwire’s might have been?
While I believe that Raines’ HoF case is solid, I think the issue bears some thought. If the voters have drawn a line in the sand on performance enhancers, how can that not be taken into account with someone like Raines. Here’s hoping that the voters note it, then note that he was a Hall of Fame player with or without the boost.