Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Hall of Merit > Discussion
Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Sunday, July 23, 2006

1982 Ballot Discussion

1982 (Aug 7)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

643 199.8 1954 Hank Aaron-RF
519 153.3 1956 Frank Robinson-RF/LF
374 115.8 1961 Billy Williams-LF
322 94.6 1961 Willie Davis-CF
267 78.8 1963 Bill Freehan-C
245 63.9 1964 Tony Oliva-RF
205 66.2 1965 Rico Petrocelli-SS/3B
198 56.8 1958 Tony Taylor-2B
207 52.0 1960 Tommy Davis-LF
173 56.0 1964 Mike Cuellar-P
204 47.5 1963 Tommy Harper-LF/RF
178 40.0 1966 Cesar Tovar-CF/LF (1994)
141 39.9 1966 Cleon Jones-LF
121 45.0 1966 Fritz Peterson-P
130 41.1 1960 Ray Sadecki-P
146 35.5 1961 Deron Johnson-1B (1992)
108 39.0 1961 Jim Brewer-RP (1987)
122 28.6 1964 Alex Johnson-LF
114 30.9 1968 Nate Colbert-1B


Players Passing Away in 1981
HoMers
Age Elected

None

Candidates
Age Eligible

84 1938 Freddy Leach-LF
83 1940 Andy High-3B
78 1944 Wild Bill Hallahan-P
75 1942 Fred Lindstrom-3B/CF
74 1948 Jack Knott-P
73 1951 Gee Walker-LF
70 1952 Sammy Hughes-2B
70 1955 Taffy Wright-RF
62 1958 Pete Reiser-CF
42 1976 Ray Oyler-SS

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 23, 2006 at 09:51 PM | 257 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 3 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3
   201. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 01, 2006 at 01:25 PM (#2121258)
I think that the slippery (elm) slope for the reasoning behind McGwire must go like this:

1) McGwire's (non)testimony is tantamount to a confession. As John noted above, that's not too far out of the realm.
2) McGwire's career ended before the PEDs were banned from baseball, BUT they were illegal.
3) ...and BUT it was still highly unethical to try to gain an advantage over other players.

Therefore, McGwire does not meet the Hall's character/sportsmanship qualifications, regardless of how often and what he did.

The slippery slope, of course, is that virtually every player seeks unethical means to gain an advantage against his piers. Hey, I've seen video of Henry Rodriguez on ESPN where you can actually see his eyes peeking down at the catcher's signs. Probably circa 1995-1996. Playing the McGwire rules on H-Rod:

1) He was caught in the act on video.
2) It's not against the rules of baseball, but it's not part of the Code.
3) It's highly unethical to steal signs.

Doesn't matter how often or how he did it, since he was enethical once, that's tantamount to always. Therefore unfit for the Hall, regardless that he was mostly not very good.

And, then we get back to Whitey, Gaylord, Drysdale, and others who loaded up, rubbed down, and roughed up. And all the greenie guys.

So why again is it that people are so vehemently disagreeing with McGwire's candidacy????
   202. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:38 PM (#2121332)
Moral Superiority. Sportswriters are better people than athletes and therefore have the right to judge them. Duh.
   203. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:54 PM (#2121454)
Sportswriters are better people than athletes and therefore have the right to judge them.
j--

I think you're being sarcastic, here, but I should say that I feel some sympathy to the writers. They are trusted with the keys to an institution that instructs them to take the upper 1% and that instructs them to make sure players are of good character. I think they've got a terrible conundrum with guys like Canseco and McGwire (and maybe Giambi, depending on his timeline of events) who broke no baseball rules, however I think the precedents set in many previous elections suggest that those guys shouldn't be denied induction for character flaws if their careers merit the honor.

Then there's Palmeiro, who they can hoohah over willy nilly since he DID break the rules. That goes for Matt Lawton, Rafael Betancourt, and Jorge Piedra too.

Then there's the guys like Bonds and Sheffield, where we have no positive test, no admittance of premeditated use, a lot of hearsay, and some third-party evidence of use. And there's the Grimsley gang too. Anyway, the point is that these guys essentially require another kind of thought process altogether from the first two groups.

But I don't know whether the writers, or the public, want to make these delineations. It's simpler to just say "they all cheated, they're all bad" and be done with it.
   204. sunnyday2 Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:32 PM (#2121513)
I guess my position would be that (as in the case of Pete Rose) either Cooperstown or MLB needs to be judge and jury on the character question. Let the writers put their poor, meager intelligence into the one question of whether the player in question played at the appropriate level of excellence.

Of course, this isn't the way it is and so the writers can and will not only vote but pontificate until we are all blue in the face. In the immortal worlds of Howard Dean, Arrgghh!
   205. Dizzypaco Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:52 PM (#2121537)
I would vote for McGwire for the Hall. To play devil's advocate however...

1) The Hall of Fame is not a right that great players are entitled to. It is an honor. Its not as if we are denying these players a pension, or banning them from future employment in the game. If the voters believe that a given player did some very wrong, it is not unreasonably to deny them baseball's highest honor even if what they did was not technically illegal at the time.

2) The fact that taking steroids, taking greenies, scuffing baseballs, and stealing signs are all unfair attempts to gain an advantage over the competition does not necessarily mean they are all morally equivalent. It is perfectly reasonable to consider some infractions worse than others. Personally, I believe that the taking of steroids to gain an advantage is morally worse than the other actions named.

Once again, having said all that, I would still vote for McGwire, Bonds, etc.
   206. sunnyday2 Posted: August 01, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#2121563)
I'm not much on the moral argument. I grew up with the distinction between alcohol (don't get drunk and drive) and pot (burn in hell, sleazeball!). That and "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife and get caught doing it." Otherwise, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more, say no more.
   207. Chris Cobb Posted: August 01, 2006 at 05:50 PM (#2121606)
The thing that bothers me about the moral outrage position on the steroid issue is that the fundamental reason that steroids are 1) illegal and 2) _now_ banned from baseball is that they are dangerous to the health of the user -- there is a short-term gain in health advantage in exchange for long-term health risks. The pressure to win, which ultimately originates in the fans and their economic support for the sport, is what drives players to take on such risks, so the whole sport, including the writers and the fans, is implicated in that. No writer who wrote a story about McGwire/Sosa saving major-league baseball back in 1997 is anything but a colossal hypocrite if that writer now claims not to support McGwire for the HoF solely because of the steroids issue.

Professional sports needs sensible, enforceable policies on performance-enhancing drugs primarily to protect the long-term health of the players, and secondarily to help the players set a better example as role models for the young people who may be inspired to imitate their athletic excellence. Maintaining "fair competition" is a tertiary consideration. If steroids didn't confer a competitive advantage, there would be no steroid problem. If steroids weren't dangerous to health when used regularly and responsibly, there would be no reason for athletes not to have access to them, just like all athletes have access to superior sports medecine support (dependent, of course, upon the wealth and wisdom of the teams they play for), and there would be no steroid problem.

Because the steroid problem is being discussed here in the context of the Hall of Fame, the "sportsmanship and character" criterion has been the main focus of the discussion, and I suppose that can't be helped. But it looks to me like mostly what is happening is that we are scapegoating our heroes for deep problems in the culture of professional sports. And I think that's ugly. The players who took/take steroids are not blameless. But moral outrage? When I think about the steroid problem, what I feel most is shame.
   208. sunnyday2 Posted: August 01, 2006 at 05:54 PM (#2121613)
I'm personally not ashamed. I do think the moral superiority position--that of wanting to hang the miscreants out to dry while forgiving everybody else for looking the other way--is one to be ashamed of, however. i.e the average sportswriter, or the 61 out of 73 that Neyer polled who would not vote for McGwire now.
   209. Sean Gilman Posted: August 01, 2006 at 06:59 PM (#2121723)
If steroids didn't confer a competitive advantage, there would be no steroid problem. If steroids weren't dangerous to health when used regularly and responsibly, there would be no reason for athletes not to have access to them, just like all athletes have access to superior sports medecine support (dependent, of course, upon the wealth and wisdom of the teams they play for), and there would be no steroid problem.

There's nothing in this excellent post I disagree with, Chris, but I'd add the word 'perceived' in a couple places. We believe steroids provide a competitive advantage, despite some evidence to the contrary (Ryan Franklin?). We believe steroids risk the long-term health of users, but we don't know. The long-term impacts of the high-tech, carefully-monitored drug programs athletes like McGwire and Bonds are alleged to have been on are unknown.

I don't know how you can keep a guy out of the HOF if he never broke one of baseball's rules.
   210. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 01, 2006 at 10:32 PM (#2121997)
I don't know how you can keep a guy out of the HOF if he never broke one of baseball's rules.

But here's the problem, Sean: there's no rule about killing another player (or non-player, for that matter), but would you vote in a player who did such a thing? I wouldn't. Obviously, steroids are really not in that league :-), but the analogy does apply.
   211. Sean Gilman Posted: August 01, 2006 at 10:56 PM (#2122028)
Who you vote for a guy who drank during Prohibition?
   212. Sean Gilman Posted: August 01, 2006 at 10:57 PM (#2122029)
<strike>who</strike>

Would. . .
   213. sunnyday2 Posted: August 01, 2006 at 10:59 PM (#2122034)
What, are you sayin' there were players who drank alcohol during Prohibition? Who? Certainly not that Ruth fella! No way he coulda hit all those home runs if he'd been hung over all the time.
   214. Sean Gilman Posted: August 01, 2006 at 11:04 PM (#2122043)
Clearly the only way he could have hit all those home runs is if he was on something. The performance-enhancing effects of illegal alcohol is the most obvious explanation.
   215. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 01, 2006 at 11:32 PM (#2122127)
Who you vote for a guy who drank during Prohibition?

I could care less. The same goes for the druggies. If the latter group were trafficking to kids, that would be a different story.

Gambling is my big baseball bugaboo. Steroids? Don't know where I stand yet. I would vote for Bonds regardless, but I can understand people who wont.
   216. Sean Gilman Posted: August 02, 2006 at 12:25 AM (#2122350)
If you couldn't care less about the illegality of alcohol or drugs, then what's with the analogy to a player who killed another player?

Does it have to be both illegal and suspected of enhancing performance (and not an amphetamine) for us to consider not electing a player to the HOF for using it?

Gambling is totally different. Its been against baseball's rules for over a century. The punishment for it is a lifetime ban. Steroids have been against baseball's rules for two years. The punishment for using them is a temporary suspension.

Pete Rose broke a rule and cannot be elected to the HOF as part of his punishment. Rafael Palmeiro broke a rule and served his punishment last summer. Mark McGwire never broke a rule.
   217. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 02, 2006 at 12:42 AM (#2122411)
If you couldn't care less about the illegality of alcohol or drugs, then what's with the analogy to a player who killed another player?

My point was that just because something is not in the rule books doesn't mean that I can't use it to not vote for a particular player. Certain things bother me more, that's all.

Does it have to be both illegal and suspected of enhancing performance (and not an amphetamine) for us to consider not electing a player to the HOF for using it?

I have never said that a player should be denied the HOF due to using PEDs (including amphetamines, BTW). But if there was a way of separating the player from the enhancement and it reduced that player in my eyes, that might affect my vote. But maybe not. I'm still not sure.
   218. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 02, 2006 at 12:54 AM (#2122457)
I think the question that's really buggering people is just how unethical steroid use is. Each voter/writer/reader has their own point of view. And that's the key question that informs how you look at Mac and the rest. If you are a black/white ethicist (as Andy is on the Aaron thread), then you're going to come to a strong conclusion very quickly because you believe that steroids is very, very, very evil. If you are a relativist like Sean Gilman, you'll come to the conclusion that steroids are probably no worse than many other attempts to cheat, but they're just the newest fad and with newness comes increased suspicion and rancor. So is there an in between? John Murphy has claimed a piece of it. I think Chris Cobb has too.

There's another way i've considered for looking at the whole issue. Take the point of view of a player. You know it's going on, there's enough players implicated now that we can safely say that usage was probably in many, many clubhouses. And no one blows the whistle. The message is that players probably don't consider steroids to be a big enough issue within the game to be unethical and worth exposing. They may be restrained by not wanting to cause the furor that has happened, but all that we've heard so far suggests that no players were standing up against steroids within the game. So they may not have thought the problem was so ethically severe that it should be exposed. Combined with the fact that so many have been implicated, doesn't that suggest that the players themselves didn't see it as a huge ethical issue? I don't know. But it's worth asking.

But let's say for a moment that it does in fact suggest that the players didn't see it as a huge ethical issue (until they were before Congress...). Is that useful information for determining how much weight steroids should have as an ethical matter? If they don't see a big problem when people are trying to gain an advantage over their peers, or they know it's happening in the opposing clubhouse, should we?

I don't have an answer, I'm just asking.
   219. Sean Gilman Posted: August 02, 2006 at 01:14 AM (#2122527)
I have never said that a player should be denied the HOF due to using PEDs (including amphetamines, BTW). But if there was a way of separating the player from the enhancement and it reduced that player in my eyes, that might affect my vote. But maybe not. I'm still not sure.

I know, John, and I respect your indecision, I was being rhetorical. Fortunately none of us (as far as I know) are in a position to have to vote or not vote for these players.

Doc,

I wouldn't say I'm a relativist, but I know what you're getting at. What I don't think is right is for HOF voters to act as vigilantes, enforcing their own code of justice and morality regardless of either the facts or the rules of baseball. As long as steroids are against the rules of baseball, I think players caught using them should be punished according to the rules of baseball (and any applicable real laws as well).
   220. sunnyday2 Posted: August 02, 2006 at 01:28 AM (#2122571)
I think I started this mess by mentioning Neyer's poll, in which 61 of 73 writers said they would NOT vote for McGwire for the HoF.

I agree that this is hypocrisy for reasons mentioned above.

I raised the issue to point out just how ###### up Cooperstown and the BBWAA voters are.

I have no concern whatever with the HoM, however. This has been a reasonable group and I think we are of like minds re. qualifications for the HoM. McGwire will get in, whether on the first ballot or not, whether with some abstainers or not, he will get in. And he should. And he should get into Cooperstown too, but probably won't for many many many years.

Another way in which the HoM is "something better."
   221. Sean Gilman Posted: August 02, 2006 at 01:35 AM (#2122604)
Indeed. I find I've once again allowed myself to get sucked into a steroids argument. My apologies.

So, how about that Pete Browning, eh?
   222. Cblau Posted: August 02, 2006 at 02:31 AM (#2122762)
I hate to burst your bubble, guys, but steroids were banned by "baseball" (actually the Commissioner of Major League Baseball) in 1991. 1991 Steroid Ban

Also, the McGwire controversy perhaps stems from his open use of Androstenedione, which was not a banned substance, but at least some scientists think it should be classified as a steroid. E.g., see the NY Times, 8/27/1998.
   223. Sean Gilman Posted: August 02, 2006 at 05:47 AM (#2122924)
That's not especially compelling as a counter-argument. How big a deal could it be if most people didn't even know it existed and there was no attempt to enforce it? As the article says, the so-called ban was ignored by management and players both:

"In truth, steroids have been banned in baseball since 1991 -- in a policy baseball officials made little effort to publicize. A source provided a copy of the seven-page document to ESPN The Magazine on the condition of anonymity. Titled "Baseball's Drug Policy and Prevention Program," the memo was sent to all major-league clubs on June 7 of that year by then-commissioner Fay Vincent. He spelled out components of the program, and ordered, "This prohibition applies to all illegal drugs and controlled substances, including steroids."
On May 15, 1997, acting commissioner Bud Selig distributed a nearly identical version of the drug memo, again citing steroids and directing clubs to post the policy in clubhouses and distribute copies to players. Selig's memo also went largely ignored. "I don't remember anything being posted in the locker room on drugs, like we did with gambling," said Bob Gebhard, then the Rockies' GM. In fact, baseball's gambling policy is still prominently displayed, and it must be read annually to each player by a club employee.
Players then sign a statement affirming that they understand the rule. Does such awareness make a difference? Hard to know, but the last gambling scandal was Pete Rose in 1989.
ESPN spoke to five GMs from 1997, three of whom (from the Royals, Dodgers and Rockies) couldn't recall that a steroids policy even existed -- not that it would have mattered. "I hate to say this, but it didn't do a whole lot of good to know the policy," says Herk Robinson, the Royals' GM during 1990-2000. "You weren't going [to] solve anything. You couldn't test. You couldn't walk up to a guy and say, 'What are you taking?'"
That sense of futility, brought on by the union's refusal to allow drug testing, descended from Vincent, who concedes he made no effort to enforce the league's first drug rules. "We could have done a lot more lecturing, lobbying and educating," he says. "But I didn't know anything about steroids." He says steroids were included in the 1991 memo because of rumors involving one player, Jose Canseco.
By 1997, the juice was loose in clubhouses well beyond Oakland. Selig, who had played a central role in the 1991 policy as chair of the Player Relations Committee, was becoming concerned, but not enough to make sure his edict was understood, much less enforced. By then, the home run had revived attendance and a new ethic took hold. As Robinson sheepishly says of the phantom steroid ban, "If a player is helping your club immensely, you know how it is -- maybe it's better you don't know."


I find it especially humorous that 3 of 5 GMS didn't even know it existed. Excluding a player for the HOF for that is like excluding them for not understanding the balk rule. Yeah it's a rule, but c'mon.
   224. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: August 02, 2006 at 08:03 AM (#2122963)
Though I don't want to drag on this steroids thing much further I want to clarify why I am more against gambling/fixing games than I am agaisnt Steroids. It has nothing to do with the history of a well defined don't gamble rule, though I am tempted not to vote for anyone dumb enough to gabmple since there is a well known and well defined rule. But, I digress.

Sport is popular because whenever we turn on a game (or go to a game) we don't know who will win. It is that excitement that keeps us coming back, it isn't a movie or a book where we know what happens the secodn timea round. Steroids can make it less exciting, I guess, by giving one player an alleged edge over another. However, the juiced player still has to perform. There is always the chance that he will not hit the HR, get the K, or make the diving catch and his team will lose.

Gambling on teh other hand rips at the very fabric of the sport because it lends itself to fixing games. If a game is seen as fixed and the question of who will win is already decided, there is no reason to watch the game, the excitement is gone. The onl reason I ever watch games twice is because it brings back that feeling that I felt when my team had a great,surprising victory, not simply because they win.

So gambling and fixing games (I am cotegorizing these together becaue they are so closely related) is much worse than steroids because while steroids may tip the balance form oen team to another, fixing a game takes out the whole idea of watching a game because you don't know who will win.

I mean seriously anyone really like Wrestling or the NBA?

That last bit was a joke.
   225. DCW3 Posted: August 02, 2006 at 08:26 AM (#2122966)
Sean: there's no rule about killing another player (or non-player, for that matter), but would you vote in a player who did such a thing? I wouldn't.

Hey, Ted Williams probably killed lots of people, and he's in the Hall of Fame (and Merit)...

:)
   226. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 02, 2006 at 11:34 AM (#2122984)
Hey, Ted Williams probably killed lots of people, and he's in the Hall of Fame (and Merit)...

:)


Funny guy. :-)

Indeed. I find I've once again allowed myself to get sucked into a steroids argument. My apologies.

So, how about that Pete Browning, eh?


He used steroids? ;-)
   227. sunnyday2 Posted: August 02, 2006 at 12:09 PM (#2122993)
Well, he used the demon rum, which became illegal about 40 years later, which he should have known. Ban the bastard!
   228. Howie Menckel Posted: August 02, 2006 at 12:53 PM (#2123016)
Sean,
You seemed, to me at least, to stress as a key argument that McGwire should get in the HOF because he didn't do anything against the rules.
Then when someone shows that it WAS against the rules, you say, 'Well, it was a little-known rule, so who cares?'

I haven't weighed in here because I don't have a firm stance yet on the McGwire issue.

But please convince me that your case isn't as shaky as it now looks to me - as opposed to those who argue for McGwire on other merits.
   229. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 02, 2006 at 02:02 PM (#2123093)
But please convince me that your case isn't as shaky as it now looks to me - as opposed to those who argue for McGwire on other merits.

In the town where I grew up, in the 1980s-1990s, there was a law on the books that no Russian-born person could buy property. Of course it was a Red Scare era law. The law was not then repealed, but it was not enforced in any way. Does that make the Russians who lived there criminals? Of course not. Does it make them unethical? Any ethicist who said so should have his license revoked.

Or what about people who talk on cell phones while drivng in states/minicipalities where it is illegal to do so? Those people are potentially taking someone's life in their hands, if not their own. Are they criminals? Are they unethical? If not, why do we continue to allow it? And why was a coworker yesterday involved in a fender-bender with a cell-phone-using driver who ran a red light?

Here's another neighborhood example. In my current community, there are two instances of a commercial developer purchasing land, not getting approval by the zoning board, but going ahead anyway while merely paying the modest fine and considering it part of the cost of business. Criminal? Unethical? If so why aren't those buildings torn down, and why weren't injunctions issued?

There are many, many instances in our society in which laws or codes are passed that are not enforced, are selectively enforced, and are really just a way for the uppity ups to say they've done something about a problem. I mean, that's Congress for you. This policy is just this "Look, MLB has a steroids policy!" Of course it has no provisions for doing anything about steroids, so all it has is a proclamation. Great, and they're also in favor of world peace, puppies, and whole foods. On the surface, the owners felt the public relations may have been worth a policy statement, but within the game, they didn't think that steroids were a big enough ethical concern to actually DO something about them, union or not. Seriously, what reasonable defense, especially in the court of public opinion could the union have against a tougher PED policy WHEN A TOUGHER NARCOTICS POLICY ALREADY EXISTED?

So when is a policy not a policy? When it is perhaps not even promulgated, when its enforcement procedures are nonexistent, and when BOTH the employer and the employees know it's not a real policy. My question isn't why would someone use PEDs in this evironment, but why would they think twice ethically if they had already considered doing so? They knew there wasn't any enforcement on the horizon, the clubs were turning a blind eye, and teammates may have even encouraged each other to improve through chemistry. That's what the context for McGwire's decision looks like to us today. Do we like it? No. But is it appropriate to blame him out of context? If you believe there are ethical absolutes, then yes. Otherwise, I doubt it. After all, if our actions and our ethics weren't wholly related to the many contexts in which we live, we wouldn't see killing as three degrees of murder, manslaughter in several degrees, vehicular homicide and with provisions for self-defense and immunity for soliders.
   230. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 02, 2006 at 06:26 PM (#2123408)
I was thinking about Chase Utley, and I wonder....

Is Joe DiMaggio's streak now the most fabled record in baseball? The Maris's used to be? It's got that unbeatable combination of seeming unbreakability and an antique Yankee record holder.
   231. TomH Posted: August 02, 2006 at 06:33 PM (#2123420)
Most fabled? I think you're right, doc.

But is it important? I can think of a gazillion more important marks. But fans like streaks, as if one hit a game in 3 straight games is better than one 3-for-5 day, and 'consecutive games reached base' streak doesn't sell well. A good campaign slogan is better than good policy for getting re-elected, no?
   232. sunnyday2 Posted: August 02, 2006 at 06:39 PM (#2123436)
Somebody wrote an article about the most "whatever" numbers in baseball and it was a BTF Newsblog discussion item. I think 56 came in third or something.
   233. Sean Gilman Posted: August 02, 2006 at 06:46 PM (#2123444)
But please convince me that your case isn't as shaky as it now looks to me - as opposed to those who argue for McGwire on other merits.

Pretty much what Doc said.

A rule that has no enforcement and that nobody knows about, neither players or management, is not really a rule.

I passed a rule yesterday that says all major league players have to wear the color blue at all times. I guess if any of them violate that rule, that's reason enough to keep them out of the HOF?
   234. rawagman Posted: August 02, 2006 at 09:01 PM (#2123624)
I would like to interrupt the discussion at hand for a brief post of a more personal nature.

I recently received an email from Dr. Chaleeko who told me that he had heard that Tel Aviv was attacked.

In case someone else has heard that, it is not true. Tel Aviv is as far from the action right now than it ever has been. I beleive the southernmost missile fell around 100 km north of Tel Aviv.

IN any case, my thanks to the Doc for his concern. All is well.
   235. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 02, 2006 at 10:39 PM (#2123767)
IN any case, my thanks to the Doc for his concern. All is well.

Happy to hear it. Hope it stays that way.
   236. Howie Menckel Posted: August 03, 2006 at 01:13 AM (#2124140)
But Sean,
You seemed previously to be stressing that because there WAS NO RULE, that's something that's really important to the argument. As if, well, if there was a rule,that would be so different.
Now it's, 'Well, no one followed it anyway, and lots of people didn't even know about it.'

I don't really see the subsequent post as relevant to that direction of thought.

But maybe that's just me. I didn't really find the 'there was no rule against it' argument to be very effective anyway, since as noted it already was an issue of legality. But it seems like if you wanted to push the 'rule' approach, you're sort of stuck with it when it backfires on you...

Whatever. I don't even like the steroids bickering much anyway, so I rarely participate. I was focused more on what seemed like a logical inconsistency, but we're not going to match up on that idea, obviously. c'est le vie.
   237. Sean Gilman Posted: August 03, 2006 at 02:25 AM (#2124450)
I simply think that a rule no one knows about and that isn't enforced is not a rule.

I don't think I can make that point any clearer.
   238. Paul Wendt Posted: August 04, 2006 at 07:17 AM (#2126635)
Chris C
No writer who wrote a story about McGwire/Sosa saving major-league baseball back in 1997 is anything but a colossal hypocrite if that writer now claims not to support McGwire for the HoF solely because of the steroids issue.

The BBWAA voter might support their election as contributors rather than players and observe that it is not for the BBWAA to judge contributors!

El C
they may not have thought the problem was so ethically severe that it should be exposed. Combined with the fact that so many have been implicated, doesn't that suggest that the players themselves didn't see it as a huge ethical issue? I don't know. But it's worth asking.

El C
I think the question that's really buggering people is just how unethical steroid use is.

I don't believe that is what bugs them.

I'm sure they don't all agree on how unethical steroid use is. Where most agree, inevitably given their common experiences, is in knowing that they all know they were all there for years on the inside when it was no big deal. Now they are on the spot, making the calls about which star players should be punished.

Only 10-year BBWAA veterans are eligible for the HOF election. All of them were in mlb locker rooms before McGwire and Sosa saved baseball. Almost all have seen things like jars of greenies and other controlled substances available in locker rooms or clubhouses, and have seen players overtly or semicovertly taking unknown substances by mouth, at least. Many have snickered with each other or with players about Ron & Nancy and their War on Drugs. Most have heard some stories about who went on a bender last night in Bradenton (one training city in Florida) and drove home intoxicated, weaving back and forth across the white line or hitting the curb. Many of them have relished such stories and several of them have retold them with relish. Some with talk radio gigs have said things on-air like "We've all had a few to many at one time, and driven home when we shouldn't have."
   239. Paul Wendt Posted: August 04, 2006 at 03:33 PM (#2126879)
Revised
Most have heard some stories about who went on a bender last night in Bradenton (one training city in Florida) and drove home intoxicated, weaving back and forth across the white line or hitting the curb. And some stories that include winning the game next day. Many of them have relished such stories and several of them have retold them with relish. Some with talk radio gigs have said things on-air, in a joking way to establish rapport with their audiences, like "We've all had a few too many at one time, and driven home when we shouldn't have" or simply "but we've all done that" concerning some intoxapade behind the wheel.</i>

In other words, most of them know they have had "guilty knowledge" for years and many of them know they have celebrated some "guilty" aspects of American culture that are now relevant to sports world --and to the election of ballplayers to the Hall of Fame in particular.
   240. OCF Posted: August 04, 2006 at 05:51 PM (#2127107)
One thing to remember is that anabolic steriods weren't invented in 1990 or so. They've been around for a lot longer than that. How do we know for sure that Mike Schmidt was "clean"? George Brett? Gary Carter? Steve Carlton? Think of the people who were famous for their workout regimens (Carlton being one of those). Were the workouts all there was to it? What about Pete Rose? Rose had a steroid dealer living in his house at one point. Would Rose have sampled the wares? It's hard to imagine that he wouldn't have; what we don't know is how intensely and for how long. (Of course Rose has a certain other problem with the HoF vote.)
   241. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 04, 2006 at 06:01 PM (#2127129)
One thing to remember is that anabolic steriods weren't invented in 1990 or so. They've been around for a lot longer than that. How do we know for sure that X player was "clean"?

Righto. Brian Downing's a real good example of this. I personally wonder especially about Kirby Puckett. (Ever see his 1985 Topps card???) Tom House recently said that he knew of guys on steroids in the late 1970s.

But before you say, well then why didn't X old player look like McGwire/Canseco/et al...going in step with OCF's point is the constant improvement of training techniques and workout equipment and the increased access to that equipment that players have had to them in their own clubhouses. And on top of that, becoming hulkish isn't always the m.o. Rafael Palmeiro and Matt Lawton, for instance, retained a pretty familiar body shape but tested positive, suggesting to me, at least, that there are a wide variety of usage and implementation patterns designed to achieve a variety of different performance goals. The monster slugger is just the most obvious manifestation.
   242. DL from MN Posted: August 04, 2006 at 06:18 PM (#2127159)
Testosterone and amphetamines were used by German athletes in the 1936 Olympics. Anabolic steroids were invented in 1955 and were widely used in football and the Olympics in the 1960's. My guess is steroids were first used by baseball players at that same time but I don't have evidence.

Brian Downing has to be considered a steroids suspect. Did Reggie juice?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5575696/
   243. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 04, 2006 at 06:33 PM (#2127187)
I was thinking about Reggie yesterday. I don't know that he did or did not, but he was intimately connected to the dealer who supposedly supplied Canseco with his steroids.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/story/289501p-247837c.html

Jackson, who let Wenzlaff stay in his Oakland home for long stretches in the late 1980s, says he was not aware that Wenzlaff had allegedly supplied steroids to Canseco or anyone else until last year when Wenzlaff testified before a Senate subcommittee investigating steroid use in pro, college and high school sports.

Natch, Wenzlaff denies that Jackson ever took them. But Reggie certainly knew the people. And he had the football background which may have introduced him to them.

Anyway, I'm not a steroid hunter, I was just thinking about it.
   244. DL from MN Posted: August 04, 2006 at 06:57 PM (#2127226)
Lance Parrish was an early weight trainer also. I don't think we can make the leap that weightlifter = steroids. Weight lifting on it's own has had an impact.
   245. OCF Posted: August 04, 2006 at 07:44 PM (#2127295)
I don't think we can make the leap that weightlifter = steroids. Weight lifting on it's own has had an impact.

Agreed. I never meant to imply anything different. But there is a cultural overlap - the dealers meet people at gyms.
   246. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 04, 2006 at 08:24 PM (#2127344)
Agreed. I never meant to imply anything different. But there is a cultural overlap - the dealers meet people at gyms.

I think it's reasonable to say that there was likely steroid use before 1998, that we don't have much of an idea who it is, and that, therefore, it's appropriate to assume nothing. Hey, it's OK to speculate, we probably all do it. But it's not OK to use that speculation as a reason to vote nay on a player, to move him up/down a ballot, nor again to break ties in another player's favor.

I doubt I'm in the minority on this.
   247. Paul Wendt Posted: August 05, 2006 at 02:20 PM (#2128370)
OCF #246
One thing to remember is that anabolic steriods weren't invented in 1990 or so. They've been around for a lot longer than that.

Dr. Chaleeko
Tom House recently said that he knew of guys on steroids in the late 1970s.

Baseball was not at the center of controversy but recall the Sport Illustrated 1969 cover story (cover image linked here by D a few weeks ago) on whether drugs are ruining sports, essentially. "Anabolic steroids" is one of five drugs named by the cover artist, in effect, I suppose, named by some bigwig editorial team.
   248. rawagman Posted: August 06, 2006 at 02:15 PM (#2128975)
Anyone here from Toronto?
   249. rawagman Posted: August 07, 2006 at 07:41 AM (#2129941)
I ask, as I will be visiting the parents for a couple of weeks in late August/early September and maybe someone wants to catch a Jays game?
   250. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 07, 2006 at 12:46 PM (#2129994)
I wish I lived in Toronto! I heard the food is great there. Alas, Maine is a good 8+ hours, I think.
   251. Max Parkinson Posted: August 07, 2006 at 12:59 PM (#2130000)
I'm in TO. I know that Daryn is a Toronto guy, and I'm pretty sure that Rusty Priske is as well. I'm always up for a game, and if you give me enough notice, I'll get good seats.

Email my profile if and when you have dates.
Page 3 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Dingbat_Charlie
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.4943 seconds
48 querie(s) executed