Advertisement:

Tuesday Talking Points: Spring training backfields and Hall of Fame voters

Tuesday Talking Points: Spring training backfields and Hall of Fame voters

Happy Tuesday. It had not occurred to me until Sam shared it on Sunday, but we are now closer one the calendar to spring training than we are to Game 7. That's a strange thought because there's a very big part of me that's not ready to let go of winning the World Series just yet.

Either way, spring training is coming, and game tickets went on sale just a few days ago. And with that came the new ticket prices and saw that, in some cases, they had practically doubled. This did not stop many from lining up to buy them, however. There's been little grousing over this, and that's hopefully because enough of us recognize that the Cubs are a different product than they were even just a few months ago.

I won't lament this uptick in the prices of spring training tickets because it's not an argument worth having when lines are forming in the wee hours of the morning to snatch them up, but I will make a recommendation.

I went last year for the first time, and for as much as I enjoyed the experience of going to Sloan Park and watching the games there, I found that I greatly preferred walking to the back fields that are just beyond Sloan. Thanks largely to John's spring training guide last year, I was aware of what was available back there and knew to take advantage when I trekked to Arizona last March.

For all of the fun and pizzazz that is Sloan Park, the back fields are a toned down, simplified, no-frills chance to watch a lot of very good baseball. The players designated to minor league camp play back there, and there is often more than one game going on at a time. Last year, I was able to go and watch both the Double-A and Triple-A teams play at once. I stood next to Carl Edwards, Jr. I sat on metal bleachers next to a large group of Cubs minor leaguers and watched their compatriots play. No announcer, no scoreboard, no vendors, no distractions. Baseball was the whole show.

And it's all free. There's no charge other than the walk around the players' building.

Of the things I experienced while with my son at spring training last March, that's the part of it that stands out. It was simple and unadorned, and I loved it. So for whatever it's worth coming from me, make it a point to head to those fields if you're going this spring.

But we have miles to go and time to wait until we get there. Maybe it's a good memory to have, though, as it's still very early in January and I'm watching the cruel reemergence of one of baseball's most frustrating traditions: Hall of Fame voting.

I have no beef with the men who do the voting in general, and I think I've been plain that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens belong the the Hall. It's the moral posturing of some of the voters that gets to me. I noted some of my feelings on this when Bud Selig was inducted last month, but recently, it's one voter in particular who has my ire up.

Murray Chass.

The man turned in his ballot completely blank. And to make it more insufferable, he noted on the bottom that it was intentionally so. And then to make it even more insufferable, he wrote a blog post rationalizing his decision. Well, sort of. What he really did was complain about Selig getting in and lament the impact it will have on the rest of the Hall.

I won't take shots at Chass, but the thinking that drove him to turn in his ballot entirely blank is deeply flawed. Without defending the actions of players like Bonds and Clemens who used PEDs to augment their careers, what Chass has done is more damaging to the rest of the players on the ballot. He's burning down the forest to spite a couple of trees. The rest of the players, guys like Mike Mussina and Edgar Martinez, need a certain percentage of votes to remain on the ballot, and he threatens that because of feelings regarding the actions of entirely different players.

Voting---or not voting---based on perceptions of a player's character is slippery anyway. To suggest that what Bonds did is morally reprehensible to the degree that he should be denied entry to the Hall of Fame in spite of holding the single-season home run record and the career home run record is madness when you consider some of the players already enshrined. Holding them all to a nebulous moral standard will only create more problems than the one people like Chass think they are solving.

And finally, voters like Chass are happy to cast stones because of the supposed moral unfitness of a few baseball players, but I wonder who many of his ilk would be able to comfortably apply the same moral standard to themselves.

A Hall of Fame without players like Bonds and Clemens tells and incomplete story and might not be one worth visiting. I'm comfortable with allowing for some separation of the man and his performance on the field. I can respect his handiwork on the mound or with the bat without needing at the same time to feel like he was a good person. Embrace what's good about the game, like spring training back fields, but accept that baseball is not---and never was---a bastion of morality.

Comments

Leave a comment
  • I have been told that there has been a new Super Bowl Champion each year since SBXX. To me, it is wild tale like Big Foot. Same holds for the 2016 World Series Champions. Each fall will be interlude until the Cubs do it again.

  • fb_avatar

    I hate the whole, "There has been a new superbowl champion each year since X" as a bogus thing.
    1. They allow so many teams in so the odds of having a different team win the championship is greater. In baseball each league gets 4 teams (3 division champions, 2 Wild-cards and WC teams have to play eachother). Fewer spots means that it is less likely that a team will come out of nowhere and win it all. The same teams tend to win the divisions in both sports. But an additional divisional champion gives them a larger pool to pick from.

    2. While baseball is subject to flukes it is far harder for one dominant player to take over the game in baseball. For all the talk about how football is a "team" game while baseball is an "individual" game imagine if the Cowboys had to give the ball to EACH of their players on the field before they could hand it off to Elliott again? Or, better yet, imagine if Pittsburgh had to hand the ball off and throw it to each player before they could give it to Bell/Brown again. This happens in baseball. Not only in the batting order but the pitching rotation. It is very hard to advance in the playoffs without at least 3, and preferably 4, really good pitchers. You can't simply lean on one guy.

    3. The NFL's single game eliminations make it very difficult to repeat in a different way than in baseball. Baseball is different because an inferior team has a hard time beating a superior team 3-4 times. In the NFL it is just the "crap-shoot" of an elimination game right off the top. Because of this it is not uncommon for a good NFL team to lose in the playoffs simply because someone got hurt at an inopportune time. This happens in baseball too, but because of the reasons listed in #2 as well as having every game as an elimination game it makes it more frequent in the NFL.

  • This is not even close to being true. The 49ers, Cowboys, Broncos, and Patriots all have won back to back Super Bowls since Super Bowl XX.

  • In reply to Teddy KGB:

    Lions fan here, so I am only vaguely aware of this super bowl, but I think the gag is the bears last won a super bowl in '85 or super bowl XX

  • In reply to Cincycub:

    Haha thanks for pointing that out. Must've been the insomnia cause I usually don't have humor that simple fly over my head.

  • In reply to Cincycub:

    Yep, I don't recognize any SuperBowl after XX as being legit.

  • Murray Chass is a pedantic baseball dinosaur with a skewed view of both the game and the Hall of Fame. Truth be told I wasn't a fan when he was a relevant, active baseball writer for the New York Times in the 80's and 90's and now he's just a windbag that thinks he's right and everyone else is wrong. His blog piece about his blank ballot and his allusions to Selig, Bonds and the steroid issue was bad enough but he did a 40 minute interview with Casey Stern yesterday on MLB Network Radio that showed that this was not really about steroids and those players at all but instead that he feels that he is far smarter than those who run the game, that run the HoF and frankly nearly all of his peers. Essentially he was yelling at the whippersnappers to get off his lawn but trying to hide behind moral superiority. At one point he asked Stern and co-host Brad Lidge how many legit HoF candidates were on this year's ballot to which Stern replied 8 and Lidge replied 9. Chass then took a smug stance and told them that was the difference between them and that he had far higher standards than they did.

    Listen, I have some pretty mixed feelings about the steroid era and who should go in. My issues are less with the moral aspect and more with the effect on the players who chose not to use and the consequences for them but that's a discussion for another day. So yeah I get some of the HoF arguments about the steroid era even if I don't always agree but that's not what was happening here. This was a pompous jerk who felt that he was bigger and better than the game. No one is bigger and better than this game. If this guy still has a HoF vote next year the BBWAA is more worthless than anyone ever suspected. Sorry for the rant. This guy just plain teed me off.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Take a second to read the "About" section on his blog. It's very revealing of his character and his stance on baseball, including advanced statistics.

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    Thanks, I hadn't read that but I am familiar with Chass. I don't doubt his love for the game but I do doubt his motives. This guy claims to have no ego, he said it again in that interview yesterday, but he has a huge one and I don't think much of what he writes anymore is actually about baseball, not really. Gotta love the bit about his blog not being a blog though.

  • fb_avatar

    I'm not sure I disagree with Mr. Chass. I do not see a Hall of Fame caliber player on this years ballot. Although I am one that believes we put too many people in as it is. I like the way this guy voted. Musina and Martinez were never "stars", no one ever said lets go catch the Cubs because Moose is in town. They were very worthy of the Hall of Great, not the Hall of Fame. I understand people believe this to be strictly a data driven decision. I believe the data should be part of it, but I also don't believe we should re-write history and make kids think that guys like Tim Raines were stars of their day. As for the steroid era - at least Mr. Chass is consistent.

    In summary we will never all agree on what makes a Hall of Famer. I only ask that people be consistent.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jordan Dutcher:

    Pedro Martinez wasn't a "star"? By one definition: did the players and fans of his time consider him a star? Well, he made it to 5 consecutive all-star teams. And, no, he wasn't going because he was the only good player on a bad Red Sox team. But this is an admittedly not terribly strong argument for him--I am suspicious of any argument that includes the phrase "All-Star Game appearances--but it does indicate that he was well thought of in his time.

    But he also had a 4 year stretch where he won 3 CYA and was runner up the other year. Then 2 years later he was runner-up again followed by a 3rd and 4th place finish. He was absolutely a star of his day. And there was a stretch of multiple years where he was considered the best pitcher in baseball.

    If you think he is not worthy of the Hall Of Fame then there is an argument to be made on that account. But to say that Martinez wasn't a star is categorically wrong in my mind.

    I also believe the Mussina and Raines were stars, though that is a tougher argument to make.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Not Pedro, Edgar... He was referring to jared's mention of him possibly not remaining on the ballot, along w/mussina.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Milk Stout:

    Oops.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Ha ha. It happens.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Milk Stout:

    Mussina got me onto pitchers so my mind went to Pedro.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yes - My apologies. I did mean Edgar and not Pedro. I should have used a full name.

    I agree Pedro was a star. He was fabulous. Statistically he is close. I think there are cases to be made for many guys. I just don't believe this particular voter is crazy for holding to the standard that he does. This is why we have as many voters as we do, so we can get a good cross section of baseball fans. If every voter behaved the same, then we'd have ESPN. Same message spewed by different "experts" in suits.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jordan Dutcher:

    Edgar is an interesting one as he was mostly a DH for his career. But he was an outstanding hitter.

    There are very few undeniable HOF players. Most players have some kind of flaw that can be latched onto.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Edgar Martinez is an interesting case. The only player in the HoF so far with more than half his appearances at DH is Frank Thomas at 56.6% but I don't think there's a single doubt that Big Papi is getting in and 87.9% of his PA were at DH while Martinez sits at 71.7%. Ortiz compiled 50.5 fWAR over 20 seasons while while Martinez compiled

  • In reply to TC154:

    Oops to continue...Martinez compiled 65.5 in 18 seasons. Ortiz has a career OPS of .931 while Martinez has an OPS of .933. Yes Ortiz hit a lot more HR but Martinez was more valuable as a player at least when judging by WAR. I find it hard to say Big Papi belongs if martinez doesn't and I firmly believe Ortiz should and will get there. Martinez should too.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I've never quite understood the narrative that Big Papi is a slam dunk, no doubt HOFer. His counting stats are fine ... but his advanced stats are rather unexceptional by Hall standards - even for Big Hall devotees. His JAWS slash line has him at 55.4 / 35.0 / 45.2 . By way of comparison, John Olerud (John Olerud?) is 58.0 / 38.9 / 48.4. Viewed this way, Ortiz's career is virtually indistinguishable from that of one of the worst writers inductees of the past few decades: Tony Perez - 53.9 / 36.4 / 45.2. He only has 4 seasons of 5+ bWAR (including 2016) and Fangraphs credits him with only 3 seasons of 5+ fWAR on his way to a career total of 50.5. In the land of 1B/DH, these are borderline numbers at best.

    Basically, if I understand it correctly, at the end of the day, Ortiz's candidacy is really based on his record as a post-season hero for WS winners. Now, up until recently, as a Cubs fan I pretty much ignored post-season success since it wasn't relevant for my heroes ... but I may change my mind in the coming years. As it is though, Ortiz is a HOFer only if you give a lot of weight to his 369 post-season PAs. Otherwise, the Hall already has one Tony Perez, it doesn't need another one.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BrockWasOverrated:

    Joel makes a great point so I don't need to rehash that, but I will answer your question.

    If I am picking a HOF team and my choice for DH is between peak Ortiz and peak Martinez, I take Peak Ortiz.

    Since you keep berating the point that Martinez had the longer peak and his overall career was better, why does he come up short in all the major counting stats? Ortiz must have been pretty "decent" to pass him by large amounts in Homers and RBI's which are pretty important when looking for a DH.

    I do agree w your basic premise that Edgar deserves to be a Hall of famer, but I stand by my statement that if Edgar is a HOF'er, Ortiz is a no brainer.

    I am not even bringing up his gaudy post season numbers or his part in breaking the red sox curse( you remember any of those walk off hits he had in that remarkable 3-0 series deficit they came back from?), but you can't completely ignore them either.

  • In reply to BrockWasOverrated:

    There are really two separate arguments here; 1) Does David Ortiz belong in the HoF? 2) Will Big Papi make it into the HoF?

    The answer to number 1 is complicated as you could make a decent case against his inclusion both via the numbers and the failed drug test if you really wanted to. You really have to look at intangibles, consistency and, as you say, postseason play, to put the "for: case over the top but those factors are right there for voters. The answer to number 2, however, is not in doubt. David Ortiz might have a questionable case but "Big Papi" is one of the legends of the game, won 3 World Series, a WS MVP, a 10 time All Star and slashed .315/.401/.620 with a wOBA of .419 and 38 HR in his final season at 40 years of age. This is a guy that played the majority of his career in the AL East, arguably the most scrutinized division in MLB, maybe in all sports. I've followed the Red Sox nearly as zealously as I've followed the Cubs for 45 plus years and from my observation, and the numbers plus the intangibles, I can guarantee you that Big Papi is going the HoF and it will be on the first ballot.

  • In reply to BrockWasOverrated:

    TC154:
    "David Ortiz might have a questionable case but "Big Papi" is one of the legends of the game, won 3 World Series, a WS MVP, a 10 time All Star and slashed .315/.401/.620 with a wOBA of .419 and 38 HR in his final season at 40 years of age."

    Yeah, as I said hours ago: "Basically, if I understand it correctly, at the end of the day, Ortiz's candidacy is really based on his record as a post-season hero for WS winners." I get the mechanics. But if you take a step back and look at his numbers - and not his name - there's not a whole lot to distinguish him from a dozen other 1B/DH types that are never going into the HOF. As far as I'm concerned, I'm willing to give him a whole season of 6 fWAR (IOW his best season) for his postseason career of 369 PAs. That may truly nudge him over the line for me, but without that ... no.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TC154:

    Ortiz is #22 all time in RBI and Edgar is #121 and like you say Ortiz hit a lot of homers and is in the magical 500 HR club. ( if you hit 500, your pretty much a lock in the hall unless your name is Sosa or Palmeriro)

    I think the statement should be if Edgar Martinez is a Hall of Famer, then Ortiz is a slam dunk. I don't think its 100% fair, but post season success matters and Ortiz being a HUGE part of breaking the curse in Boston along w another ring cements his case for enshrinement.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    OK, you are the GM participating in a draft of historical players whre you get to select a player's entire career. Your turn comes and both Edgar and Big Papi are still on the board. Whom do you take first? You want the Hall of Famer, right?

    Before you choose, just remember that in Ortiz's best 4 season stretch in 2004 - 2007, he averaged just over 5 fWAR. That was the true peak of his career - other than his last hurrah in 2016, he had no other seasons above 4 fWAR. In contrast, Martinez averaged 5 fWAR over a 12 season stretch: 1990 - 2001 - and that includes his injured season in 1993 as well as the strike shortened 1994. Do you really want Big Papi instead of Edgar? Seriously?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Brock...: That is a false choice. I want a HOF. But couuldn't they both be HOF. It would be like asking, "you are the GM participating in a draft of historical palyers where you get to select a player's entier career. Your turn comes and both Koufax and Gibson are still on the board. Whome do you take first? You want the HOF, right?" Or change the names to Williams and DiMaggio. Or try Mantle and Mays. Insert the names of any two HOF players you like. Sometimes it might be easy to choose, which is why I wish we had a "tiered" HOF to acknowledge that not all HOF are created equal. But often it comes down to who/what we value.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Joel:

    I was replying to Jim's statement that: " ... if Edgar Martinez is a Hall of Famer, then Ortiz is a slam dunk." My point was, if anything, it should be the other way around: if David Ortiz is a Hall of Famer, then Edgar Martinez is a slam dunk.

    As it is, I do indeed believe that Ortiz is a very borderline candidate (see above comment) ... but that wasn't what I was talking about here.

    BTW, for some reason there's no reply button for Joel's comment, so I hit reply for Jim's original comment - I hope this gets published in the right spot.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Brock: It seems like after a while there are no "reply" buttons. But I have seen times where there is no "reply" buttons and some people have replied. It is almost like if you are already in the conversation you can reply but if you are a newcomer to it we have to do it this way. Either way, it has been like this for a while which is why we put the name of the person we are responding to at the beginning.

    Personally I have no problem with both Ortiz and Martinez being a HOF. Given my preference I like Martinez but that may have some personal preference involved. And I did read your entire post and saw the bit about how Martinez may be even more deserving (I say "may be" because I don't want to get into an argument about more/less worthy not because I disagree with you). But my point stands that your hypothetical is a false choice.

    My choice of Koufax and Gibson was very intentional. A friend of mine and I were discussing once about 10 years ago "Who would you rather have on your team? Bob Gibson or Sandy Koufax. We decided we would go with the guy with the better ERA+ since it is equalized for ballpark (or at least it is tried) and would deny Koufax an unfair advantage from pitching in a pitchers' park like Dodgers Stadium. Interestingly, Koufax career ERA+ was 131. Gibson's ERA+ was 127 (pretty darn close). It came down to "Do you value an incredible flash of brilliance or a more sustained stretch of dominance, though not necessarily as brilliant. As our criteria dictated we went with Koufax, but it led to an interesting discussion about the value of "peak" performance vs long term effectiveness. And if we eliminate Gibson's last 2 years which were a significant drop off, his ERA+ was 133. Koufax didn't pitch into his decline. He stopped for health reasons. But his effectiveness wasn't really hampered during his career.

  • In reply to Jordan Dutcher:

    Tim Raines was an over 6 fWAR player 5 times in his career and averaged 3 fWAR over a 22 year career. Baseball Reference lists the most similar player to Raines as Lou Brock who is in the HoF and who never exceeded 6 fWAR and only compiled 5 fWAR twice. Now that said I personally am not sure Brock belongs but if he does then so does Raines. That makes him a worthy candidate which Chass disagrees with. I strongly believe that if Raines played his prime years for the Yankees, Dodgers or other big market team instead of Montreal he would be in.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TC154:

    I suppose this is true. The same could be said for Alan Trammel and Jack Morris of Detroit. There will always be guys left off that maybe they should have been in. It makes this process fun to discuss, but I'd rather that than have guys like Lou Brock get in. That is just me. At the end of the day it is just a fun topic to discuss right?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TC154:

    +100

    Anyone who doesn't think Tim Raines isn't a "star" or Hall of famer needs to go back and watch the tape. He not only has the numbers ( data) he also passed the eye test the way he could take over a game all by himself.

    Raines retired as a .294/.385/.425 (123 OPS+) hitter with 2,605 hits, 170 home runs, 808 stolen bases, 69.1 WAR and far more walks (1,330) than strikeouts (966). He won World Series titles with the 1996 and 1998 Yankees. He was also a very important part of many very good Montreal Expos teams in the 80's. He's also the franchise leader in many categories. For my money, he and Gary Carter are the greatest expos of all time.

    During his peak from 1981-87, Raines hit .310/.396/.448 (135 OPS+) while averaging 195 hits, 116 runs and 82 stolen bases per 162 games. During that seven-season stretch, he led baseball in hits (1,202), times on base (1,772) and triples (63), was second in runs (719) and steals (504), third in on-base percentage (.396) and doubles (296), fourth in WAR (38.4) and fifth in batting average (.310).

    Raines also was one of the best leadoff hitters of all time. If he played in an era different then Ricky Henderson, I believe he would already be in the Hall. The differences between Raines and a no doubt HOF'er Tony Gwynn is basically batting average. ( a stat modern analytics don't favor as much as its predecessors )
    Raines drew a lot of walks -- 86 per 162 games. That helped give him a mighty career OBP of .385 but also limited his hit totals. Over their long careers, Raines got on base almost exactly as often as Tony Gwynn (3,977 times vs. 3,955) while making just about the same number of outs (6,670 vs. 6,661). But Gwynn's lifetime batting average was 44 points higher (.338 vs. .294), and he sailed into the Hall on the first ballot

    I really hope for baseball's sake they get it right and vote Raines in.

  • In reply to TC154:

    It's pretty clear how I feel about Brock's worthiness, right? :) He was a poor fielding, barely above average hitting (109 OPS+), LF whose gaudy SB totals provided far less value than people think when taking a depressed run environment in context where a 75% SB success rate is just barely above break-even.

    In any case, a bbref similarity score below 900 isn't so similar. The fact that Brock and Raines had a highest similarity of 863 basically means that they were really unique players - which they were.

  • In reply to Jordan Dutcher:

    How are Bonds, Clemens, Rodriguez and others not hall of fame worthy?

  • I went to an actual ST game last year because I hadn't seen the new stadium yet. No desire to see another. I'll stick to the backfields.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    That's how I felt. Next time I'm there, I'll happily stick to the backfields.

  • I think I am going to skip reading Chass's blogpost so that I don't start off the day in a bad mood. I'm sure he thinks he is clever and making a moral stand when in actuality he is being the opposite.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    He is being moral and making a clever stand?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Or is he being amoral?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    He being neither clever or moral.

  • There are multiple reasons to question Bonds' candidacy, the one that no one is talking about are the charges from his ex-wife that he beat her during their marriage. It's pretty obvious he used steroids during the steroid testing era and if you add woman beater to his resume then it's very understandable how HOF voters could legitimately leave Bonds off their ballot.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ericccs:

    Then let's boot Ty Cobb out of the Hall of Fame. He was hardly as mild-mannered as his nick-name "Georgia Peach" insinuates.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    A lot of the stuff about Ty Cobb had proven to be exaggerated or completely false. While he was very likely a racist product of his era and environment, he actually was a Jackie Robinson supporter. I'm not sure if that helps/hurts. I just think it's unfair to make him the poster child for awful human beings in baseball when there are far better examples, Anson, Speaker, Landis, etc.

    http://baseballguru.com/bburgess/analysisbburgess02.html

    https://www.detroitathletic.com/blog/2012/08/30/five-myths-about-ty-cobb/

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to danlab21:

    I read the baseballguru one and it tried to be even-handed and I commend the writer for that. But saying someone was just a "garden variety racist" to me doesn't excuse their behavior.

    I am fine with calling Anson, a great Cub player though they weren't yet called "the Cubs" in his time his team eventually became the Cubs, a bigger racist. The main reason I bring up Cobb is he had some famous incidents of bad character. I do not mean to single him out as "the worst" but simply that his incidents are some of the most famous (or infamous).

    I don't advocate that we kick out Cobb--or Anson, or anyone else--but simply that I want the HOF to be based on "between the lines" exploits and not include their "off-field" exploits.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    There were also other stories of him "sharpening his cleats" to injure middle infielders. He also apparently beat up a fan and was suspended, I believe. The fan had evidently said something he didn't like.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    And, don't forget, Shoeless Joe didn't invite Cobb to the Field of Dreams because "no one could stand the guy while he was alive". So, there's that!

  • In reply to danlab21:

    Some was exaggerated and false but a lot was true.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Thanks Dan.
    Joel, please check out a list of logical fallacies before you take stands like this. I like you. I don't want you to look ridiculous

  • In reply to ericccs:

    Like I said above, I think the moral gauge for a Hall of Famer is a tough line to draw. Bonds' case is especially interesting because he was such a profound talent on the field while being such a profoundly bad person off of it.

    For whatever it's worth, he seems to have found his zen in retirement.

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    I think "the moral gauge for a Hall of Famer" no longer exits. If they can put Selig in the HoF. Then the steroid era players should be in.

    There is no way that Selig did not know what was going on. He just ignored it because a lot of money was coming in.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    You know that how? Huge difference between suspecting and knowing. I don't think Bud was using.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    He knew it. How could he not of known. Or maybe he thought the ball was juiced lol. He chose to look the other way and let it play out.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    He did what the owners and ensuing revenues said. They needed to come back after the strike, but they didn't need to go full blind eye, but it is what it is.

    Nobody knows for sure who did what, and who didn't. You almost have to let them all in based on lack of information.

  • In reply to ericccs:

    I don't think that a player beating his wife violates the integrity of the game, but rather that of the individual player. I'm not saying that it shouldn't carry weight in factoring in the character cluase, but gambling and PED's violated the integrity of the game and the outcome of those games, no way that a known user should be enshrined.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I respect this view as many feel the same way. My dad held the same view for years as well. However, I disagree.

    Here is my opinion. The HOF is no more than a museum of baseball. There is no way that Bonds, Clemens, Rose, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, et al should not be in the HOF. If they want to create a new wing and call it the "Steroid Era" and put them in there with Bud Selig--go ahead. But to wipe our an entire era makes little to no sense in the history of the game. Put the details on their plaque too. Shame them if they feel appropriate. But those guys were the fabric of baseball for 10-20 years. It's an important aspect to note players of all era's.

    The writers turned the other cheek on the booze hounds as well as the cocaine and greenie users, so at least be consistent in how the HOF should be voted. Kick them all out or let them all in telling their story. Just my 2 cents.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Well, there is a distinct difference between the benefits of greenies/cocaine and PED's. One makes one more alert the other can make one superhuman.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Illegal drugs which were used to get amped up to play a game. How is that not affecting the game on the field or a Performance Enhancing Drug? Versus PED's that may have been against the law in the US but were not banned by MLB. Just a lot of inconsistency in monitoring the use of drugs (approved or not)

    They both were used to improve performance from what I know.

    On a separate note, how about pitchers who got to pitch during either the dead ball era or the high mound era. Their statistics are skewed because of that era of play. I think the Steroid Era could be included in those types of discussions.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Drugs to amp one up might improve performance, but it's a question of degree. PED's did a lot more than that.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rbrucato:

    I can't say I completely agree or disagree w the greenie argument, but I am totally against anyone who believes cocaine is a performance enhancing drug. Anyone whose done any can tell you if anything, it makes it harder to see straight and hit a baseball.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    You need to do more research

  • In reply to ericccs:

    Off the field character has no bearing on the vote. The character clause was written for on field performance.

  • fb_avatar

    Can we please leave whether we "thought this guy was a swell guy and good role model" out of the discussion for the Hall of Fame. I went to the Hall of Fame and would like to go again, but I can't bring myself to get too excited about it as the all-time MLB hits leader, HR Leader and CYA winner leader have been informally excluded because they didn't fulfill someone else's model of "good citizenship." I believe that most allegations of Bonds using steroids refer to AFTER the time period that I consider him to already have been a HOF player. People who only focus on him in the very late-90's and early 2000's forget just how awesome he was for the 10-15 years before that. As for Pete Rose I am not advocating that he be inducted because he was a great person. I think he was one of the best baseball players to ever play the game. Whether you want to talk data OR just simply talk to "old-timers" about who was good they will almost all put Rose in that category--though they may not have liked him as a person. Similarly with Clemens. I remember watching him growing up and he was a phenomenal pitcher.

    For what it's worth, I think A-Rod should be in the HOF. Let me decide how I will explain this to my daughter if we ever go back. Or even if there is any explaining to do. If she looks at his plaque and says, "Daddy, what do you remember about Alex Rodriguez?" I would say, "He was a great SS who could field and hit and hit with power." "What do you remember about Barry Bonds?" "He was the greatest hitter I ever saw. He could hit home runs and draw walks and almost never struck out." "What do you remember about Pete Rose?" "He had more hits in MLB than anyone, although a guy named Ichiro had more professional hits. But he was nicknamed Charlie Hustle because he tried harder than anyone else on the field."

    Usually this "live and let live" philosophy is unpopular in HOF discussions but it is what I believe.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    There is a whole can of worms here that I don't want to open, not because it's not a valid discussion but rather because it's a very large subject that is so colored by nuance that there aren't a lot of wrong answers. Suffice it to say the character clause in the HoF voting has been applied inconsistently and you could also debate who gets to decide character. Again, I would prefer to do neither. Instead I'll just very broadly give my opinion of the steroid issue and what, if any, effect it should have on the HoF.

    I used to be steadfast in my stance that steroid users should not be admitted, period with no exceptions. I no longer believe that as I don't think anyone has any idea of how many players used PEDs and the idea of arbitrary decisions without all the facts feels wrong to me. I'm not going to go so far as to say that steroids should not be considered in a voting decision but it certainly shouldn't be the deciding factor. Like Forrest Gump that's all I have to say about that. As far as my general stance on that era here's why I hate it; it was not fair to players who didn't use for whatever reason. Maybe they didn't want to subject their body to them, maybe they felt it was cheating or what have you they were not playing on a level playing field and that's wrong. Some got less money than they might have because 36 year olds on PEDs were getting big contracts, sometimes guys didn't even make it to the show because guys at their same talent level used and they didn't. I have a big problem with that and I have a big problem with Bud Selig and other executives of the era but that problem really has nothing to do with the HoF. Let guys in on the merits. Let the moral arguments be had on blogs and in bars.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TC154:

    Very well put. It sounds like we have similar, though not necessarily the same views (I will not presume that you necessarily agree with everything I posted). Once again, I have been a fool to "rush in where angels fear to tread." Thank you for phrasing many of the things I believe in a more palatable form.

  • In reply to TC154:

    TC, not calling you out. Just commenting along the same lines of your PED portion of your post. I played in the minors in the late 80's and early 90's. In the off-season workouts, I can say for a fact every player was taking something to enhance their performance. Every single one. Some methods were approved and others not. Organizations sent manuals to your home outlining your off-season workouts with weights, cardio, and throwing programs. So this was when the weight training took off in a serious manner in baseball. Naturally guys would use supplements to aid and offset their workouts/recovery. The biggest steroid user I witnessed left the season before as a skinny 170 lb OF who hit .240 with no power. He came back the next ST weighing 225 lbs looking like a "greek god" with acne all over his back. We all knew and commented about it. He still couldn't hit and didn't increase his power and was released 2 years later. The drugs do not make the player is my point and I think that gets missed by nearly all who comment on the effect of PED's legal or banned.

    I still have yet to see a 30-something dude take an 8 week cycle and go hit .330 with 40 bombs. Or start blowing 100 MPH off the mound. These guys vilified by many are still the greatest players of their generation and their performance between the lines speaks for itself. The game is hard. I don't see any scrubs that all of a sudden become an HOF player from allegedly taking PED's.

    I know my view will have critics and I am ok with that. There is no evidence on the overall numbers of who used and who didn't. That type of data would make it easier to take a definitive stance on.

    Love your last sentence, BTW, about the moral arguments. Agree.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    rbrucato, I appreciate your insight as a player. I know from reading your posts over the years that you know a lot more of the workings of this game than I do. I certainly respect that. I do want to separate the issues of whether these guys belong in the HoF or not from more of the general implications of PEDs. I have a sour taste in my mouth over the steroid era but I've come around to the fact that when you're talking about guys like Bonds or Clemens their achievements define them steroids or not. Longevity is something that was effected though as players were playing longer and putting up solid numbers longer due to the recovery aspects aided by PED's. I can see how that could make for fewer opportunities for younger players. I also have spoken to ex-players and guys that have worked in the industry over the years and they talk about the unfairness of it all. One guy, who I am not going to name, played in the Cleveland organization and claimed that he saw guys improve from PED's and get to MLB, not as stars but as fringe roster guys, that he thought were less talented than him but were using and therefore leapfrogged him in the system. Like you mentioned he said he took supplements etc. but refused to cross that steroid line for health reasons. I've also heard ex players in the media express similar sentiments with Brad Lidge being one of those. Those arguments resonate more with me than the ones about keeping Bonds and the like out of the HoF. Again though you would know more about this than I do so no argument from me.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Nice reply. The separation of arguments makes sense. I understand that argument as well. As you wrote, there are certainly some guys who felt screwed because they didn't go into the "illegal" substances realm. The blame goes on the rules of baseball. And you mention the longevity aspect to it as well. I think the first found PED users were mainly pitchers and back up IF too which I found ironic. Pitchers I get because of the wear and tear on an arm and body from pitching. Those are solid points.

    Unfortunately baseball turned a blind eye to it and with Selig in I cannot understand why PED alleged users would be out. Bud oversaw this era, let the fans come out in droves, then reversed and became an advocate of drug testing, screwed up the All Star Game, and he got in? Wow.

    FWIW, I was much more sour when I thought a guy on 2B was tipping my pitches or location than I was from what drug he may have taken. LOL.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rbrucato:

    I agree w this 100%. The steroids may help the player, but they don't make the player..

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    "What do you remember about OJ Simpson?"
    He was a great running back.

    The bad things that these players did are just as big a part of who they are as everything else. If your daughter asks you about Sammy Sosa, you're not going to tell her he was a good base stealer with above average power. I don't like the "He was already a HOFer" argument. If someone is a nice guy for 20 years and then they commit some heinous act, we never say, "well he was an established nice guy. Let's not think about the terrible thing because he did that later." All of it was done by the same guy. Why not just vote in 1986-2000 Barry Bonds?
    For what it's worth, I'd probably lean toward inducting the steroids guys if it were up to me. But I disagree that it's a character issue with guys like Bonds and Clemens. Those guys aren't the same as Rose or Cobb. Rose and Cobb were "bad" guys, but they didn't cheat to get ahead in the game. They made poor decisions unrelated to actual play (obviously Rose's situation can be argued). Bond and Clemens and the like did immoral, illegal things that helped them actually become better, which cheated the game and their opponents. It kind of feels like, Did Tonya Harding actually beat Nancy Kerrigan? I mean, she was already really good and she might have won anyway. We don't dislike Harding because she robbed a bank or something. She did something harmful to her opponent which helped her win in a way that she otherwise wouldn't have been able to.
    I don't think the majority of Bonds/Clemens opponents are arguing against them because they were jerks or made a low-character move in juicing.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Kramerica20:

    I think you and I will just fundamentally disagree. I could be argumentative and say that OJ is in the HOF, but that is argumentative as he was inducted 10 years before his other famous "run." And is not really your point and I understand that.

    I guess to me the "moral" line is a fairly fuzzy one for me. I want to, when I go to the Hall Of Fame, to see the players considered to be the best in the game. To exclude someone for a "moral" issue "editorializes" them. Suddenly it creates the impression that Bobby Doerr was even better than Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, etc.

    One option I heard was to put them in a separate room and even include topics for discussion of each player. But this would become unwieldy in a hurry as then decisions would have to be made about whether a player "belongs" on the HOF or in this "kids table" room.

    To me I have no problem, as I have said, with Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Palmeiro being admitted to the Hall of Fame with full membership. But I would also like to see Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson admitted. I would be fine with having their controversy addressed on their plaques, but this, also, could get cumbersome as it implies that they are not "full" members.

  • Maybe Murray Chass and Joe West can have an argument about whether the umps or the writers are the absolute most important part of the game.

    (Players? What are players?)

  • In reply to Gerald:

    Excellent point. I have equal derision for people that put themselves above the game.

  • if they vote in p.e.d. users they must vote in Rose. Plain & simple in my book. Rules are rules. Bend them for 1, bend them for all.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Maybe the Hall could have a cheaters wing compromise.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Essentially that's what has already happened. People have clamored for asterisks or other ways to set these guys apart while still recognizing their greatness. But imagine Bonds gets in. 50 years from now when people talk about him they'll say, "He's the HR king, BUT..." These guys already have a built in asterisk forever. Letting them in doesn't exonerate them from the speculation and visceral reactions.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Kramerica20:

    "These guys already have a built in asterisk forever. Letting them in doesn't exonerate them from the speculation and visceral reactions."

    This I can agree with.

    To me there is a place for that discussion. And it is an enjoyable discussion and one that will never end. As one historian I like, Joseph J. Ellis, put it in terms of the Constitution: Rather than resolving the political conflicts of the nation it simply enshrined them. If the HOF lets them in it enshrines the debate over who should/should not be in.

    To put it in the simplest terms, I believe anyone should be allowed in IF their baseball merits warrant it OR if they did something so extraordinary to improve the game. Some players/execs etc. can fulfill multiple roles. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. But if you qualify as one you get to be in the Hall of Fame.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I tend to agree, though I'm not trying to compare gambling & p.e.d.s, the fan knows what these players did. I still feel that Rose could have been admitted to the Hall yet still be banned from baseball for his gambling. I don't see why it should be all or nothing.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    The issue with Pete Rose and his version of 'cheating' vs what some of the PED users did to 'cheat' and how they are treated somewhat differently is one of the things that bugs me about guys like Bonds and Clemens potentially getting into the HOF.

    And don't get me wrong - I was not a fan of Rose when he was playing or managing - he always seemed to excel betting a team I loved. But Rose is still the all time leader in hits,... and was a core piece on some very good championship caliber teams.

    If he is 'banned' for his version of a rules violation, then why should the others get a pass for a different rules violation?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Well, Rose's "rules violation" is baseball's number one rule which I think does make it a little different since steroids weren't even a banned substance until 1991 and there was no teeth to that ban until testing began in 2003. Gambling had no such ambiguity attached. That said I do believe Rose belongs in the HoF but I don't feel very sorry for him that he isn't. Over the years he has had numerous opportunities to have MLB lift his lifetime ban in some form or another but he squandered them either by lying or just poor behavior. He applied for reinstatement in 1992 and 1998 before ever admitting that he had gambled on baseball. In 2003 Bud Selig was actually considering lifting the ban with the scuttlebutt being that Rose would have to admit he bet on games before any action. When he finally admitted his wrongdoing it was in a 2004 book that he was paid handsomely for.

    Being in the HoF is an honor that you earn. Rose certainly earned it but some of his bad acts put it in jeopardy. Had he been honest and contrite in the years following the ban I strongly believe he would have been reinstated, or at least have had the terms of the ban revisited. He didn't do that and when he finally came clean it was for a big payday. Baseballfans, and America in general, love a redemption story. Rose's would have been one for the ages but he constantly shot himself in the foot. His initial actions resulted in the ban, which may have been a tad harsh even if it was in keeping with MLB's total prohibition of gambling on baseball, but his subsequent and continuing actions have kept him from being reinstated. I want him in the HoF for the sake of baseball and the impact he had on the game. He belong there and the HoF is poorer for lack of inclusion. I don't care for one minute about Rose himself and the honor he wants so badly, not because of the infraction itself but his total lack of personal responsibility in trying to be forgiven and reinstated.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    I agree. The HOF is a separate entity from major league baseball. In my opinion (as you said) admittance to the hall while maintaining banishment from involvement in MLB seems appropriate.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Kramerica20:

    +1000

    With the way technology is and virtually everyone can find out everything negative and positive about professional baseball players in a few seconds, future generations are going to know all about Rose, Bonds, Arod, Clemens, ect .

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    There is no but or need for an asterisk by Bonds name. He is the Home Run king. Baseball did not penalize them while playing why penalize them later.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    It would be a big wing since you need to include amphetamine users, and sign stealers and pitchers that doctored the ball and on and on.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    It would have to be just about steroids era. Amphetamines are not steroids and the pitchers mornd is a different issue and history. Adding old issues is just a smokescreen to the real issue, which Is PED's and the damage that have done to the cherished records and game outcomes. It's a stain on the integrity of the game and better dealt with late than never.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Amphetamines are a performance enhancing drug that was used for decades. It is just as big an issues as steroids or hgh.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I heard a long discussion on the radio about this the other day and the hosts (one a former player but I can't remember who) were drawing a parallel between alcohol use and greenies. They were saying that much of the amphetamine use in baseball was about counteracting the vast amount of alcohol that was being consumed in those days. The player wouldn't name names but he mentioned that one player he knew in the late 80's would drink a case of beer in the clubhouse after a game and need a handful of greenies the next day just to play and he said that was an extreme example but not an isolated incident. That said, while I agree with you that amphetamine use was an issue, I don't think it was nearly the performance enhancing drug that steroids and HGH were/are. Either way none of it has a place in the modern game.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    I can agree with that. Still, I think baseball and the Hall will fare better if they stand on principle. If it's just about the numbers the game and the HOF will be diminished.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    What is your opinion on guys already in the hall who used or were tied to PEDs?
    Or on guys who might have? Should we just suspect everyone?

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Not much can be done if users are already in, but that doesn't justify adding known roiders. I don't think one can assume use either. The ones that everybody knows kind of drew the short straw.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I can see your thinking, but isn't that flawed? Essentially you're saying that if we know for a fact that they used, like with Bonds, Clemens, Canseco, then they can't get in. But if they only maybe used... those guys are safe. It ends up rewarding guys who used but weren't as good as the all time greats.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    In a perfect world you would be correct.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    What rule is there to not vote for PED users?

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    None.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    No, MS, Rose gambled, even as a manager. It is a very, very, very slippery slope from gambling on your team to win (which Rose finally admitted) to throwing a game as manager to cover gambling debts. Gambling and baseball players/managers simply cannot coexist. To affect the game with PEDs (about which I can see both sides) is one thing, gambling is quite another.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    How would you feel about the Cubs WS victory if it came out that Cleveland threw the Series because of gambling (not that there's a shred of an iota of a scintilla of evidence that is true)? Gambling can affect the integrity of the game in a way that nothing else can. If you gamble, you're out. Sorry, Pete.

  • As per usual - I suspect that I am in the minority here as regards whether guys like Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Palmiero and others who (while they would otherwise still have been solid MLB players) got some seriously inflated stats via the PED use over what they might have had absent the PEDs.

    I mean - before he began the obvious PED use, Bonds was a great hitter, with speed, and some good defensive ability. He might have been good enough to do a HOF career anyway - but the point is (at least for me) that we'll never know how great he might have been if he didn't cheat. Same with Sosa, McGuire, and Clemens.

    They were part of the era, and big part of the story for MLB during their careers,... so in that sense, they probably deserve to be there historically. It just sticks in my craw that they would get to sit in there for 'eternity' without some blatant statement next to them as to what they did that helped them get there over some of the competition that didn't obviously cheat.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to drkazmd65:

    My problem is that not everyone used steroids. Not even all the best players. So some players are being kept out simply because they played during that era and there are "allegations" (sometimes only rumors started by unscrupulous fans/reporters). It is almost like anyone who played between about 1997 and 2005 (+/- a few years) is somehow "suspect" if they performed well.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    No argument Joel from me about the general 'taint' on the era due to the few 'known' PED users that has also hurt some other who have never been 'proven' cheaters. Some of that rumormongering is no doubt unjustified and unsupportable with actual evidence.

    There are a few very prominent cases - like Bonds for example - where the evidence is fairly unambiguous, or for ARod (ARoid) in our more recent period. But for many there is no documented evidence.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Reports are 70+% used during that timeframe

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Fine. But which 70%? I have heard reports that PED use is more prevalent among "fringe" players than the stars of the game. And if that is the case then why "penalize" (not quite the right word but the best I can come up with) someone because "70% used during your career, therefore, we can't put you in the HOF because a sports writer said he thought you might be a 'user.'"

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    How do you know players did not cheat?
    Which records do not count?
    Why did the writers vote for them to be MVP & CY Young if they knew they were cheating?
    What did baseball, the commissioner, the players union, owner, trainers & writers do to prevent cheating?
    Why was there no testing or penalties if caught?

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Because there were no rules against it when the records started falling.

    Bonds, McGwire,Sosa, Palmeiro should not be penalized.

    ARod and Manny should be scrutinized on their candidacy because they failed tests after the rules changed.

    Just my opinion.

  • I've change my opinion this past year. I used to view the HOF as a Hall of Statistics. The HOF is about the history of baseball.
    The questions I ask now are "Where you Famous when you played?" "Can you tell the history of baseball without mentioning someone?"
    You can't tell the history of baseball without including Rose and Canseco.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ucandoit:

    I use two separate and independent criteria.
    1. Were you a REALLY good baseballplayer. Not just the best player on a good team. But someone people recognized as one of the greats.

    2. Can you tell a legitimate history of baseball without mentioning this person? This also allows in people like Rose, etc. But it also lets in commissioners, executives, and those who "made the game better."

    Even if Jackie Robinson didn't qualify under the 1st one he would certainly qualify under the 2nd. Roberto Clemente is the same way.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I like the "can you tell the history of baseball" criteria because it makes Sosa a shoe-in!

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    That's a good argument for a steroid era wing, but not one to be enshrined into the HOF.

  • personally I don't care about the Hall of Fame. if a bunch of writers want to be sanctimonious, let them. the players who used put these old guys in a position to judge them. if they don't get in they can cry themselves to sleep with $100 bills while thinking about 40,000 people screaming for them in the stands. this isn't 1985, you can see the history of the game without making a pilgrimage to NY.

  • Jared, let me get us back to the backfields. What would really help myself and other readers is if you or John or Michael could post times of practises and games once you learn of them. I know the practises can be approximate times, so please share the wealth with the rest of us. Thanks muchly.

  • fb_avatar

    So much to think about. I do think that what Rose did is worse than the PED use. Since he bet on games, he could use a RP an inning too many and then wouldn't be available the next day and that could affect that outcome. I want to believe that when plays or made or not made they are either mental or physical errors and not for shaving runs or throwing games. When Joe used Chapman in so many games I want to believe he thought he was the best option and not for any other reason. How long did the 1919 Black Sox affect the game? Gamblers have no place around baseball (or any other sport). Period.
    As for PEDs, I don't want users in the HOF but I do have a problem with what is a PED. As many have mentioned, bennies were used extensively, planes are easier than trains, etc. They all affect performance. Also, vitamins are good for us and caffeine keeps us up, so where is the line of better vitamins or better caffeine levels to where they cross the line to PEDs? Also, we assume that Bonds and Sosa used, but Marion Jones and Lance Armstrong never failed a test and yet they were stripped of all medals and wins.
    As for someone who doesn't even fill out a ballot that makes me angry. It's a privilege to vote and to not do it should be denied him/her the next year. There are a number of players who should have been unanimous and to not vote for them is just petty. Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, etc.--not worth 100% of the votes? Please.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Not sure how Rose gambling helped him be the all time hits leader... I do know p.e.d.s helped guys hit ball harder & farther.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Milk Stout:

    I just meant the greater threat to the game is gambling. As for him as a player, I loved watching him play all out all the time. He respected the 360 both on offense and defense.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Rose should be in the hall of fame based on his performance. Rose should no longer be able to make a living from baseball due to gambling.

  • http://www.si.com/mlb/2017/01/10/hall-fame-against-steroids
    Not sure if it's kosher to post links to other sites, but this is just an excellent article on this subject. The Bonds/McGriff comparison is great.
    I'm not sure how anyone who played sports at any level can condone the steroid era. It seems to me to be a kind of postmodern moral relativism.

  • fb_avatar

    If Ty Cobb and Cap Anson are HOFs then so are Bonds and Clemens. Cobb was aa dirty, dirty player and Cap was rascist and helped to keep the game segregated. Sure Bonds and Clemens supposedly cheated but does that really take away from their on the field greatness? Did steroids help them that much? No, it didnt. They should get in. Steroids doesnt give you Bonds gifts or Clemens control. They will be HOFs in a few more years.

  • In reply to Tyler Brown:

    It's pretty hard to argue that steroids had minimal effects on these guys. Before Bonds blew up in 2000 or 2001, his highest career slugging % was .677 in 1993. From 2001-2004 his LOWEST slugging was .749 (!). And he was at .667 in 2005. Those were his age 36-40 seasons by the way. That type of increase in performance at that age is unprecedented. He hit 209 HR from ages 36-39.
    Just logically thinking this out, when you're stronger, the bat feels lighter. When the bat feels lighter, you can wait on the pitch longer and whip the barrel through the zone much faster. I'm certainly not a swing mechanics expert but the basic science behind stronger = more HR or better results (from pitchers too) makes sense.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Kramerica20:

    Yeah but Bonds was a special player before the usage. Plus everyone was cheating then so to me everyone who is the best of that era gets in except A Rod.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Tyler Brown:

    Just out of curiosity, why is A-Rod singled out as an exception?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    He has been caught cheating after the rules have been clearly enforced. I would count Manny as being on that list as well. Like to me once baseball said we want this out of the game and we will suspend you if you fail a drug test, if you fail one you are out for me.

  • In reply to Tyler Brown:

    Part of Bonds and Clemens problem is that they were to talented to use, and it pushed their feats to unbelievable. Also, the PED enhancement has a shelf life, so by waiting toward the diminishing downturn of their careers before using, extended that gift to a shorter but high level second career. If one of the two is voted in, then all known PED users with the numbers will be inducted. Time will tell as the voting process moves forward.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    You have no idea when a player started and stopped using. I think you are also over rating the impact on performance. Based on vote totals this year both Bonds and Clemens will make the hof next year.

  • Has it ever been proven that Sammy Sosa wasnt clean when he played?

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    I think his body and performance were proof enough. Don't you?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Kramerica20:

    Lots of people gain weight/muscle as they grow. Just because someone is bigger/stronger when they are older than when they are younger does not, in my mind, mean that they were taking steroids. I am not saying that he didn't take them. I just don't buyt the "Well, look at him," as evidence.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Oh yeah, agreed. I'm saying the extent to which he grew. Adding 30 lbs of muscle in a few months span and the veins popping out of his arms when he's at physical rest.
    But moreso the performance. He went from pretty good player to best 5-year peak in history overnight. I'm all for evidence, but at some point I think we get too CSI-minded. It's obvious with most of these guys before their name ever shows up on a test.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    He is one of the players who tested positive in the not supposed to be leaked confidential report. I'm not sure what year that was, but just before the s__t hit the fan. Not all voters have that inside info. It included 100+ users.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Which baseball test did he fail?

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I'm not sure that he ever did. Are you insinuating that he should be considered innocent until proven guilty?
    My whole point is that with certain guys, guilt is obvious despite lack of hard evidence.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Why should he be penalized after the fact? If baseball was concerned about steroid usage they should have put in tougher testing and penalties. Why do you care when the owners, the commissioner, the players union, trainers, writers and others didn't care?

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    There was testing that was agreed upon to measure extent only if the results were not published. Some players names were leaked, and Sammy was one of those.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Pedro Martinez was also on that list and is now in the hall of fame

  • fb_avatar

    Murray Chass is the Colin Kaepernick of sports writers.

Leave a comment