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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ABC News: ‘Capital Games’: How Congress Saved the Baseball Hall of Fame

Andy Katz and Rick Klein weigh in.

ABC News’ Rick Klein (@rickklein) and ESPN’s Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) report:

A two-time MVP outfielder and a United States senator say the congressional hearings on steroids in baseball nearly a decade ago had a direct impact on preventing players tainted by the baseball’s steroids era from being considered for the Hall of Fame.

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., told the ESPN’s Perspectives podcast “Capital Games” that while he thought at the time the hearings shouldn’t have been a congressional priority, they doomed the candidacies of high-profile players like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, and Sammy Sosa. That, in part, paved the way for this weekend’s crop of three clean players from the same era gaining induction in the Hall.

“What I think the hearing helped do was, that the American people looked up and said, ‘You know, it’s maybe the first time that it really hit us between the eyes that we have a real problem here.’ And I think it helped to change things,” said Donnelly.

JE (Jason) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:21 AM | 63 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: congress, steroids, testing

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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4759598)
Saved the Baseball Hall of Fame


I was unaware that it was in danger before Congress got involved. The "no living inductees" year probably didn't help it, though.
   2. Accent Shallow Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4759606)
Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., told the ESPN’s Perspectives podcast “Capital Games” that while he thought at the time the hearings shouldn’t have been a congressional priority, they doomed the candidacies of high-profile players like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, and Sammy Sosa. That, in part, paved the way for this weekend’s crop of three clean players from the same era gaining induction in the Hall.


Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas aren't exactly borderline.
   3. Booey Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4759615)
I'd take the opposite stance. I think the congressional hearings and their aftermath dealt a huge blow to the HOF's credibility. There's more talk now about the players that don't make it then there is about the ones that do. The writers are more concerned with proving a point and getting revenge than they are about accurately representing baseball history by showcasing the best players. People seem to have forgetten that sports are just another form of entertainment.
   4. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4759626)
Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas aren't exactly borderline.


I loved the photos from the ceremony where all of the inductees are standing together and Thomas looks like an absolute behemoth next to the others, all of whom -- including the managers -- played the game.

Thomas, the massive man who whined that other players were getting big too.
   5. Lassus Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4759627)
There's more talk now about the players that don't make it then there is about the ones that do.

I'm not really sure this is the case.
   6. bigglou115 Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4759628)
@3, maybe that's what sports should be, but is it really just another form of entertainment? Sports fans invest way more into their team than anybody watching TV or theatre, and the omnipresence of sports means the opportunity for payout or disappointment from that investment is very high. I think sports are entertainment, but I think it needs to be recognized that among entertainment sports are special.
   7. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4759630)
Saved the Baseball Hall of Fame


I simply don't care who goes in anymore. So there's that.

The HOF has lost its ability to honor people, in my eyes.
   8. John Northey Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4759633)
One wonders if congress never jumped in what we might have seen. That is generally viewed as the big trigger for making stuff go nuts with the 'PEDs are evil...EEEEEVIL'. I also wonder if Bonds hit 'just' 69 home runs in 2001 if that might have helped cut down the extremism we're seeing on PEDs.

What would've happened? Bonds would've gotten another season or two in, getting over 3000 hits, 2000 RBI and maybe 800+ HR. Clemens, Bonds, McGwire and Sosa would've all got into the HOF easily and Palmeiro maybe (getting caught would've hurt him no matter what I figure, assuming in this parallel universe testing was started at the same time). Bagwell would've been in by now as well and Biggio as well I'd expect (odds are a few voters were 'no one from that era'). So Clemens would've made it in 2013, Bonds might not have been on the ballot until this upcoming year (giving him 2 more seasons). The no one elected year would've instead been a big celebration with Biggio, Clemens, and maybe Sosa and Piazza. This year would've probably been as is but maybe adding Piazza or Sosa (assuming one or both didn't make it the year before). 2015 would see Bonds at last with Johnson & Martinez.

It would've been an amazing stretch for baseball, with 3+ a year for a few years of guys who set amazing records. All it would've really taken I suspect is 4 fewer HR for Bonds in 2001 to have triggered it.
   9. JJ1986 Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4759637)
It's amazing how certain people are that Maddux and Glavine and Thomas didn't use steroids. I guess it's a safe position since we'll probably never find out if they did.
   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4759638)
It would've been an amazing stretch for baseball, with 3+ a year for a few years of guys who set amazing records. All it would've really taken I suspect is 4 fewer HR for Bonds in 2001 to have triggered it.

So the whole point of the steroids hearings was to protect the home run record of the Congressmen's boyhood hero Mark McGwire?
   11. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4759643)
What would've happened? Bonds would've gotten another season or two in, getting over 3000 hits, 2000 RBI and maybe 800+ HR. Clemens, Bonds, McGwire and Sosa would've all got into the HOF easily and Palmeiro maybe (getting caught would've hurt him no matter what I figure, assuming in this parallel universe testing was started at the same time).


Hadn't testing already started before Congress jumped in? I thought the big change was the size of the penalty, but that baseball already had a testing regimen and punishment in place.

Bagwell would've been in by now as well and Biggio as well I'd expect (odds are a few voters were 'no one from that era').


Maybe on both (Bags is definitely closer, Biggio is hard to know for sure. In a world where he comes in on the same ballot as Bonds he's farther away than he is now, but remove Bonds from his class and it's hard to know for sure where he fits in. He's behind Clemens and SOsa for sure, and possibly behind Piazza). And we already know he's not getting in ahead of last year's trio.
   12. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4759652)
There's more talk now about the players that don't make it then there is about the ones that do.

I'm not really sure this is the case.


I'm certain it is. But it's not something that can be proved.

Regardless, we did see the Hall act in response to the steroids issue. Unfortunately, since they're spineless, they acted to basically make the steroids players go away sooner rather than have to suffer the embarrassment of having a slew of overly qualified players on the ballot for longer.
   13. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4759659)
I'm pretty sure it was Canseco's book "Juiced" (2005) that started this whole ball rolling. It came out before "Game of Shadows" or the congressional hearing. People might have been suspicious about what was happening, but to have a player release a "behind the scenes/tell-all" book about the subject...that's what broke through for the press/Congress to really cut loose.
   14. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4759666)
If I'm remembering right, when "Juiced" came out people didn't believe Canseco.
   15. TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4759673)
The HOF has lost its ability to honor people, in my eyes.
Boy, howdy.

First the "Pete Rose rule", now the "Barry Bonds rule". What's next, the "Yasiel Puig rule" (those who celebrate excessively are barred from consideration)? The "Carlos Gomez rule" (those who don't show proper respect to the unwritten rules can only be considered for 3 years)?
   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4759685)
If I'm remembering right, when "Juiced" came out people didn't believe Canseco.

There was a lot of skepticism at first simply because it was Canseco, but once Big Mac choked on his cheeseburger when he was being grilled during the hearings, Canseco suddenly seemed a lot more credible.
   17. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4759694)
There was a lot of skepticism at first simply because it was Canseco, but once Big Mac choked on his cheeseburger when he was being grilled during the hearings, Canseco suddenly seemed a lot more credible.


For what it's worth, McGwire still claims that Canseco was lying about him.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4759703)
I'd take the opposite stance. I think the congressional hearings and their aftermath dealt a huge blow to the HOF's credibility. There's more talk now about the players that don't make it then there is about the ones that do. The writers are more concerned with proving a point and getting revenge than they are about accurately representing baseball history by showcasing the best players. People seem to have forgetten that sports are just another form of entertainment.

I don't know, revenge can be pretty entertaining.
   19. Booey Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4759708)
There's more talk now about the players that don't make it then there is about the ones that do.

I'm not really sure this is the case.


No? I hear a lot more about Bonds and Clemens and McGwire than I do about Maddux and Glavine and Thomas. And most the writers who publish their ballots the last couple years spend as much time explaining why they're not voting for the PED 'cheats' as they do justifying their 'yes' votes.

Leaving these guys out creates controversy EVERY year they're not elected. Electing them would create controversy, what, one time? People would show up to protest their HOF speech, but then what? Are there going to be year round picket lines and protests around the HOF until they're removed? I doubt it. Seems that electing the Bonds types would be the quickest way to end the controversy and get back to just enjoying the game like we used to.

IMO snubbing these guys is favoring one group of fans over another. For those that grew up with 90's baseball and aren't offended by PED's, the enjoyment of the HOF is severely diminished. For those that are offended by PED's, would having them in there make it less enjoyable? If so, why? They can still look at all the plaques and exhibits from players they do feel are legit and ignore all the stuff from the roiders, so I don't see why it should hurt their experience at all.
   20. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 29, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4759714)
Remember that time the Hall of Fame got rid of Pete Rose? And we never heard about Rose and the Hall ever again.
   21. Al Kaline Trio Posted: July 29, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4759717)
At least Congress did something, anything, at all, besides go to recess like second graders.
   22. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 29, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4759718)
No? I hear a lot more about Bonds and Clemens and McGwire than I do about Maddux and Glavine and Thomas. And most the writers who publish their ballots the last couple years spend as much time explaining why they're not voting for the PED 'cheats' as they do justifying their 'yes' votes.


To the extent it's true, it's the nature of the process. There was more talk about Jack Morris over the last several years than Barry Larkin. The debate is always going to swirl around the guys who are coming up short and thus back on the ballot next year than the no-brainer types like Maddux. It's not steroids specific.


Leaving these guys out creates controversy EVERY year they're not elected. Electing them would create controversy, what, one time? People would show up to protest their HOF speech, but then what? Are there going to be year round picket lines and protests around the HOF until they're removed? I doubt it. Seems that electing the Bonds types would be the quickest way to end the controversy and get back to just enjoying the game like we used to.

IMO snubbing these guys is favoring one group of fans over another. For those that grew up with 90's baseball and aren't offended by PED's, the enjoyment of the HOF is severely diminished. For those that are offended by PED's, would having them in there make it less enjoyable? If so, why? They can still look at all the plaques and exhibits from players they do feel are legit and ignore all the stuff from the roiders, so I don't see why it should hurt their experience at all.


That's mostly speculative, and fueled, I think, by your own position. You've got your pro-steroids types like you and Ray, and your hardcore antis like Andy and Joey (each of whom's money is just as green). I'm surprised the Hall made the decision about the ballot because it does appear they're taking a side on the issue, which seems foolish. I thought they'd just let the BBWAA handle the mess rather than pissing off one group or another (each of which is convinced of the superiority of its position).

   23. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4759719)
I don't really see it as them taking sides. More like they are dealing with reality. Okay guys, enough of you won't vote for these guys to get them elected but enough of you guys vote for them to keep them on the ballot so in order to remove the logjam we're going to limit how long these guys can stay on the ballot.
   24. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 29, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4759727)

I don't really see it as them taking sides. More like they are dealing with reality. Okay guys, enough of you won't vote for these guys to get them elected but enough of you guys vote for them to keep them on the ballot so in order to remove the logjam we're going to limit how long these guys can stay on the ballot.


That may very well be true. I'm not sure that's the conventional interpretation.
   25. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4759745)
Funny, I agree with everything in the article, except for the weird typo where they spelled "ruined" as "saved." I have repeatedly made the argument that the steroids hysteria was spawned by Congress, not by the public.
   26. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 29, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4759748)
That's mostly speculative, and fueled, I think, by your own position. You've got your pro-steroids types like you and Ray, and your hardcore antis like Andy and Joey (each of whom's money is just as green). I'm surprised the Hall made the decision about the ballot because it does appear they're taking a side on the issue, which seems foolish. I thought they'd just let the BBWAA handle the mess rather than pissing off one group or another (each of which is convinced of the superiority of its position).

Just for the record, I wouldn't boycott the Hall of Fame if Bonds or McGwire were to get in, and I've stated repeatedly I'd vote for Clemens and Sosa. IMO the plaque room's interesting, but the exhibits and the library are the main reasons I visit the Hall.
   27. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4759774)
IMO snubbing these guys is favoring one group of fans over another. For those that grew up with 90's baseball and aren't offended by PED's, the enjoyment of the HOF is severely diminished.


I think this misses the issue. The issue is that you lose your ability to honor people when you honor some but not others who are wholly deserving based on the standards your voting block had already set out. You lose your ability to honor people when your voting block changes the standards, or adopts new ones, yet is unable to articulate a meaningful and coherent reason for doing so (i.e., why the performance enhancing drugs of past eras were acceptable but the performance enhancing drugs of the next era suddenly were not; why drug users of this era were suddenly demonized when drug users of other eras were not).

For those that are offended by PED's, would having them in there make it less enjoyable? If so, why? They can still look at all the plaques and exhibits from players they do feel are legit and ignore all the stuff from the roiders, so I don't see why it should hurt their experience at all.


I accept that the anti-PED jihadists would have their enjoyment diminished by having great players like Bonds and Clemens inducted. There's no rational reason for that but you're dealing with petty people who are some combination of irrational, uninformed, and dishonest, so who knows, who cares, why it's so. I accept that it's so, though.
   28. Booey Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4759793)
That's mostly speculative, and fueled, I think, by your own position. You've got your pro-steroids types like you and Ray, and your hardcore antis like Andy and Joey (each of whom's money is just as green).


I had a really long post that got eaten before it went through, but I'll recap a few of the basics. First, I think 'pro-steroids' is a little extreme. I can't speak for Ray, but I'm in favor of steroid testing and suspensions for offenders. I just think the pre-written punishments are sufficient and it shouldn't be the job of the writers to stack on additional penalties beyond what the league itself deems fit.

The 'money is just as green' comment is exactly what I was talking about. I AM just speculating, of course, but I suspect that snubbing the roiders hurts the HOF's bottom line more than letting them in would. It's not like the HOF would ONLY be elected the PED guys. Those that are opposed to users getting enshrined could still show up to celebrate every 'clean' players election. They could visit the Hall and pay attention only to the plaques of the players they cared about and ignore all the rest (isn't that what most people already do?). I don't want to speak for anyone else, but I don't see why it would have to change their HOF experience at all. What Andy said in #26 is pretty much what I was referring to. That's just one persons opinion, of course, and I'd be interested in hearing if the rest of the anti-PED crowd feels the same way.

From the POV of someone who grew up watching and loving 90's baseball, keeping half the stars from my generation out absolutely does hurt my interest in the HOF and greatly reduces my chances of ever visiting. Again, all speculation, but if including the Bonds/Clemens/McGwire types would bring in more fans from this generation without pushing away fans from other generations, it seems like a win to me.
   29. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4759795)
I had a really long post that got eaten before it went through, but I'll recap a few of the basics. First, I think 'pro-steroids' is a little extreme. I can't speak for Ray, but I'm in favor of steroid testing and suspensions for offenders.


I think there should be no rules against it and I don't care who is using or who has used.

EDIT: And to forestall the dumb replies: Yes, I discuss it a lot here, but what I clearly mean above is that the issue is irrelevant to my analysis of them as players or as men (not that I care what the character of some jock athlete is but sportswriters and fans certainly obsess over that and steroids is irrelevant to any evaluation I might render on that score e.g. for HOF purposes) and I don't care when watching who is using or who may be using or who has used or who hasn't.

If anyone can point to a single time I've said something like "but we should discount his performance because Steroids" -- as Snapper does with Bonds and as pretty much every anti-steroids jihadist does in some form or another -- please do so.
   30. Lassus Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4759800)
I have repeatedly made the argument that the steroids hysteria was spawned by Congress

David, when you stub your toe you blame Congress.
   31. villageidiom Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4759804)
I don't really see it as them taking sides. More like they are dealing with reality.
This.
Okay guys, enough of you won't vote for these guys to get them elected but enough of you guys vote for them to keep them on the ballot so in order to remove the logjam we're going to limit how long these guys can stay on the ballot.
Not this. I think this is simply recognition that they really don't need 15 years to figure things out.

What did we gain from Jack Morris having 5 extra years? Five more years of debate on someone who arguably didn't deserve to go in. What did we gain from Jim Rice having 5 extra years? Same thing, except he made it in - and the HoF would be no worse, and possibly better, without him.

Bert Blyleven was an anomaly, a byproduct of a voter base not compelled to rethink the standard stats because they work well in general. But IMO he wouldn't have been an anomaly, in that the Lederer case still would have been made, and the VC (instead of the BBWAA) would have eventually put him in.

I get the impression that BBWAA members vote based on knowledge and research at first, then would only reconsider a candidate in future years if his vote total - or change in vote total - didn't match that initial assessment. They would focus on it more if someone was at the end of the line, but the fact that it was 15 years rather than 10 just moves that focus 5 years later. And 15 years was a more meaningful period back when the internet (or TV?) wasn't ubiquitous and good knowledge was harder to gain.

But that's entirely another thread.
once Big Mac choked on his cheeseburger when he was being grilled during the hearings
Big Mac, cheeseburger, grilled... Good thing I already had lunch.

What's the ideal burger? Sign me up for:

- beef (80/20), lightly salted and liberally peppered
- 1" thick, 6 oz
- medium rare, grilled over flame
- pepper jack cheese
- lettuce, tomato, onion
- *small* amount of ketchup and mustard
- white bun

Please begin telling me in what ways I'm wrong.
   32. Batman Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4759806)
I clicked on the link to find out who the two-time MVP outfielder was. It wasn't Juan Gonzalez like I was hoping.
   33. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4759812)
David, when you stub your toe you blame Congress.
That's silly; I would blame Obama.
   34. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4759820)
I had a really long post that got eaten before it went through, but I'll recap a few of the basics. First, I think 'pro-steroids' is a little extreme. I can't speak for Ray, but I'm in favor of steroid testing and suspensions for offenders. I just think the pre-written punishments are sufficient and it shouldn't be the job of the writers to stack on additional penalties beyond what the league itself deems fit.


In terms of this specific issue, which is what the conversation was limited to, you're on the same side. Sorry if that shorthand offended you.

The 'money is just as green' comment is exactly what I was talking about. I AM just speculating, of course, but I suspect that snubbing the roiders hurts the HOF's bottom line more than letting them in would. It's not like the HOF would ONLY be elected the PED guys. Those that are opposed to users getting enshrined could still show up to celebrate every 'clean' players election. They could visit the Hall and pay attention only to the plaques of the players they cared about and ignore all the rest (isn't that what most people already do?). I don't want to speak for anyone else, but I don't see why it would have to change their HOF experience at all. What Andy said in #26 is pretty much what I was referring to. That's just one persons opinion, of course, and I'd be interested in hearing if the rest of the anti-PED crowd feels the same way.


Unless the anti-roiders get pissed that the Hall has been tainted forever and stop showing up altogether. Which could very well happen. We don't know. The simple truth is there are passionate anti-roiders, passionate anti-anti-roiders (or, anti-anti-roid jihadists, in the lexicon of our favorite member of the tribe) and a whole lot of people in between. Nothing I've seen from you (or anyone else) leads me to believe that the Hall taking a stand would be better for it than doing the reverse (and the Hall's own actions mostly support that). I've seen an awful lot of people certain, or even just strongly inclined to believe, that their personal take on the issue, whether hang em or honor em, lines up with what's best for the Hall. My suspicion is what's best for the Hall, at least for now, is to stay the hell out of the way and let the BBWAA fumble around in the dark and take the bulk of the blame for what can be a pretty polarizing issue.

   35. Booey Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4759837)
Unless the anti-roiders get pissed that the Hall has been tainted forever and stop showing up altogether. Which could very well happen. We don't know.

This is exactly what I'm curious about finding out. I agree with the first paragraph of Ray's #27, but I know it's all just a matter of opinion and it's one that can go back and forth forever. I could say that the HOF loses all it's credibility by not electing Bonds, Clemens, etc, but someone from the opposite side could just as easily counter with 'No, the HOF would lose all it's credibility if they DID elect Bonds and Clemens.' That's just a personal opinion, and I get that. That's why I'm trying to approach the subject from the fanboy/monetary side rather than the historical accuracy/consistency side that people (including me) generally take. What's NOT an opinion - and something that the HOF should probably care about - is that many people I've talked to from my generation of fans are a lot less interested in the HOF and a lot less likely to spend their money there than they would be if the institution was honoring all the stars of their era. That's why I'm interested to know if the opposite is also true - if those on the other side would be so offended by the election of Bonds or McGwire that they'd be LESS likely to visit.
   36. Booey Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4759841)
Nothing I've seen from you (or anyone else) leads me to believe that the Hall taking a stand would be better for it than doing the reverse (and the Hall's own actions mostly support that).


Well, they certainly would've had a better turnout for election week in 2013...
   37. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4759847)
My suspicion is what's best for the Hall, at least for now, is to stay the hell out of the way and let the BBWAA fumble around in the dark and take the bulk of the blame for what can be a pretty polarizing issue.


Except that the Hall didn't do that. They most certainly rendered a de facto opinion, by backing the BBWAA's handling of the issue. The Hall changed the eligibility for some players retroactively. That is bad form, and lends credence to the notion that they made the changes to push the steroids players off the ballot in order to stop the circus that occurs every year that looks terrible for them, when players who are not just deserving Hall of Famers but all time greats are tarred and feathered in Town Square by holier than thou moralists before the door is slammed on them yet again.

This is important because while typically years 11-15 didn't do much for a player's candidacy -- and in fact most 11-15 players of the last few decades with the exception of Blyleven were weak HOFers -- many voters expressed interest and a plan to see how the feelings on the steroids players evolved over the 15 year period. So the Hall by cutting the knees off of that plan did a further disservice to the steroids players who have already been treated grossly unfairly as it is.

As to the Hall becoming a joke: When Rich Gossage, who couldn't hold the jocks of most of the steroids players he is criticizing, tells us that those players are unfit for the same honor that he occupies, the Hall has lost its credibility. At least Frank Thomas, who whines in a similar fashion, is a strong Hall of Famer. Not so for Gossage.
   38. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4759848)
What's NOT an opinion - and something that the HOF should probably care about - is that many people I've talked to from my generation of fans are a lot less interested in the HOF and a lot less likely to spend their money there than they would be if the institution was honoring all the stars of their era. That's why I'm interested to know if the opposite is also true - if those on the other side would be so offended by the election of Bonds or McGwire that they'd be LESS likely to visit.


And I'd ask why would you think the Hall doesn't care, or that it hasn't thought about it? The most likely answer is the Hall officials have given all of this quite a bit of thought.

Well, they certainly would've had a better turnout for election week in 2013...


And if this was likely to repeat, I think you'd find a little more active response from Cooperstown.
   39. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4759849)
The "no living inductees" year probably didn't help it, though.


There probably isn't anybody living who even met O'Day, Ruppert or White -- who all died in the friggin' 1930s -- except maybe their now-aged grandchildren.

- beef (80/20), lightly salted and liberally peppered
- white bun

Please begin telling me in what ways I'm wrong.


Well, you're a red-diaper baby and a racist, for starters.
   40. just plain joe Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4759854)
Please begin telling me in what ways I'm wrong.


Putting any amount of catsup on a hamburger is something I wouldn't do; but I wouldn't say that you're wrong, misguided perhaps, but not wrong.
   41. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4759880)
-medium rare . . .


What separates us from the animals? Hands and fire.

People who play soccer and people who don't cook their meat are messing up.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4759885)
Putting any amount of catsup on a hamburger is something I wouldn't do; but I wouldn't say that you're wrong, misguided perhaps, but not wrong.

I object to the cheese.

What separates us from the animals? Hands and fire.

People who play soccer and people who don't cook their meat are messing up.


Medium rare is cooked all the way through. Anything beyond medium is a war crime.
   43. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4759891)
Frank Thomas is clean? He may be, but it is far, far from certain.

   44. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4759955)
Quoting:

During his playing days, [Johnny] Damon was not critical of teammates like Jason Giambi who took PEDs. In Idiot, Damon wrote that, "the character assassination [Giambi was] undergoing … hurts me, because he's the kind of guy who'd never do anything to hurt anyone." Damon claimed that he was not the kind of guy "who looks at guys who take steroids as cheaters" -- especially Giambi, because "I love him like a brother."

   45. cardsfanboy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4760043)
Medium rare is cooked all the way through. Anything beyond medium is a war crime.


Most true thing ever said on this site.
   46. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 29, 2014 at 09:38 PM (#4760069)
Gouda is excellent on a burger. A couple of slices of crisp bacon and a nice onion roll. I can go either way on the ketchup.
   47. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:38 AM (#4760168)
Medium rare is cooked all the way through. Anything beyond medium medium rare is a war crime.

FIFY. If red meat doesn't have warm blood gushing out of it, you might as well use it for dog food.
   48. Sunday silence Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:32 AM (#4760188)
are the people who are so worked about steroid "cheats" lobbying this hard to take away the pennants and championships of teams that had cheaters? If not, why not?
   49. Rob_Wood Posted: July 30, 2014 at 04:10 AM (#4760209)
okay, a triple-threat thread on hall of fame, steroids, and cooking red meat -- I cannot resist. Nay on the Hall of Fame (can no longer bestow honor; just let it die). Yes on steroids, by which I mean vote in all worthy players regardless of steroid usage or alleged steroid usage (although, per decision number one, I no longer care about the hall of fame).

And I am squarely on the side of Jolly when it comes to cooking red meat (medium rare is the rubicon). When I was in high school I worked at a local steak house. When anyone ordered their steak medium well or especially well done, the head chef would go out into the restaurant and berate the customer who ordered their steak that way. (He was agnostic when it came to medium steaks.) When he taught me the grill, he told me to cook no steaks beyond medium, no matter how it was ordered. He was a bit of a nut when it came to steaks, but was a heckuva nice guy.
   50. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 30, 2014 at 07:36 AM (#4760221)
When I was in high school I worked at a local steak house. When anyone ordered their steak medium well or especially well done, the head chef would go out into the restaurant and berate the customer who ordered their steak that way. (He was agnostic when it came to medium steaks.) When he taught me the grill, he told me to cook no steaks beyond medium, no matter how it was ordered. He was a bit of a nut when it came to steaks, but was a heckuva nice guy.

I only hope that when some moron complained about a medium steak being not cooked enough, that head chef replied, "On this-a issue there can be no debate, and-a no intelligent person can-a think differently."
   51. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2014 at 08:11 AM (#4760226)
Nay on the Hall of Fame (can no longer bestow honor; just let it die).

It is here when I think the BTF mainstream departs from reality. Do people honestly think that sometime within the next century this might happen?
   52. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 30, 2014 at 08:49 AM (#4760232)
Okay guys, enough of you won't vote for these guys to get them elected but enough of you guys vote for them to keep them on the ballot so in order to remove the logjam we're going to limit how long these guys can stay on the ballot

the hall recognizes that younger voters are not vehemently anti-whatever

my guess is that the hall changed the rules to insure that as their voting makeup changed the guys believed to be 'bad people' don't have time to pick up vote percentage which can propel them into the hall either via the writers or the veterans committee.
   53. Howie Menckel Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:20 AM (#4760239)

"When anyone ordered their steak medium well or especially well done, the head chef would go out into the restaurant and berate the customer who ordered their steak that way."

what year did the place close?
   54. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4760244)
When my wife and I met, she was all about 'well done' red meat. In her words 'that's the way it was always cooked'. I've gotten her all the way back to medium, except for salmon, which she still wants well(it's a texture thing to her). I did my job, I'd do it again.

Please begin telling me in what ways I'm wrong


I wouldn't say you are wrong to say grilling is the perfect way to cook a burger, but I'm shifting back to preferring my (med rare) burger cooked on a flat top, or a cast iron skillet.
   55. Ron J2 Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4760278)
#53 There was a restaurant near my father's place (upper East side) where you could not get any form of condiments. If the food needed seasoning the chef would have taken care of it.

And yeah, place didn't stay open all that long. A mistaken identity murder in it didn't help matters.
   56. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4760295)
#53 There was a restaurant near my father's place (upper East side) where you could not get any form of condiments. If the food needed seasoning the chef would have taken care of it.

Hell, I've been in restaurants where asking for a salt shaker was practically considered grounds for giving you the Soup Nazi treatment.
   57. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4760332)
It is here when I think the BTF mainstream departs from reality. Do people honestly think that sometime within the next century this might happen?


"Die" as in "go out of existence?" No. But die as in significantly fewer people care who it inducts and therefore it loses much of its standing, it's certainly plausible.

I mean, even right now a number of people care less about it due to its treatment of the steroids players, yes? That seems intuitive.
   58. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4760337)
I was at Smith & Wollensky in NYC some years ago and the waiter (shockingly an older white guy as that seemed to be the only demographic of the staff there) was quite angry that I asked for steak sauce. He then pretended not to know what A1 is, before ultimately bringing it to me.

He then spilled our bottle of wine all over the table, purportedly by accident and I guess it was but who knows.

It's an old boys' network in there. With an annoying set of customers -- middle aged white males of a certain social status -- trying to get their names up on that stupid wall, as if pledging a fraternity.

Stone Cold Steve Austin happened to be there with an entourage, which made it even more annoying.

I never returned and plan never to set foot in there again.
   59. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4760353)
It is here when I think the BTF mainstream departs from reality. Do people honestly think that sometime within the next century this might happen?


"Die" as in "go out of existence?" No. But die as in significantly fewer people care who it inducts and therefore it loses much of its standing, it's certainly plausible.

As I said, I'd never boycott the HoF under any circumstances, since to me the plaque room is but one tiny part of the HoF experience. But it's equally plausible that just as many people would refuse to go there if they thought it was being soiled by known juicers. Equally plausible, and equally impossible to prove one way or the other.

I mean, even right now a number of people care less about it due to its treatment of the steroids players, yes? That seems intuitive.

And it's just as intuitive to think that an equal or greater number of people would care less about the Hall of Fame if Barry Bonds were in it. Again, there's no way to really measure these sorts of assertions.
   60. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4760357)
And it's just as intuitive to think that an equal or greater number of people would care less about the Hall of Fame if Barry Bonds were in it.


Yes, I agree. But that's not the path we've gone down. We've gone down the path where Bonds/etc are out. So if you had X people who cared about who the HOF inducts before, and now you've upset a swathe of them (Y), then you're left with X-Y people who care about the Hall now. Certainly MORE people can't care about the Hall now based on leaving Bonds/etc out.

(Yes, new "fans" of the Hall are created every day, but they are irrelevant to this issue, it seems to me.)
   61. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4760366)
Yes, I agree. But that's not the path we've gone down. We've gone down the path where Bonds/etc are out. So if you had X people who cared about who the HOF inducts before, and now you've upset a swathe of them (Y), then you're left with X-Y people who care about the Hall now. Certainly MORE people can't care about the Hall now based on leaving Bonds/etc out.


The point is, that situation was inevitable given the polarizing nature of the issue. Which is why the Hall's previous hands-off stance, rather than this past week's, seemingly roids-targeting policy*, made some sense. Don't give the BBWAA guidance one way or another, and hope the issue resolves itself over time (preferably with a softening of attitudes toward PED users, I would think).

* To be fair, while you and I and others think it was done with the roiders in mind, that position isn't universal.
   62. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4760433)
And it's just as intuitive to think that an equal or greater number of people would care less about the Hall of Fame if Barry Bonds were in it.

Yes, I agree. But that's not the path we've gone down. We've gone down the path where Bonds/etc are out. So if you had X people who cared about who the HOF inducts before, and now you've upset a swathe of them (Y), then you're left with X-Y people who care about the Hall now. Certainly MORE people can't care about the Hall now based on leaving Bonds/etc out.


No, but what you're leaving out---and this is the part we can't possibly know---is how big the counterpart (Y2) number might have been, if Bonds/etc. had been elected. If (Y2) were in fact bigger than (Y), then the HoF is better off now than it would have otherwise been.

Again, I'm not saying that (Y2) is in fact bigger than (Y), only that there's no way we'll ever be able to tell this, in the absence of Bonds/etc. being inducted.

(Yes, new "fans" of the Hall are created every day, but they are irrelevant to this issue, it seems to me.)

Agreed, for the purpose of discussing this particular issue. In the long run I don't think the presence or absence of Bonds/etc. is going to make much of a difference one way or the other, with one possibly exceptional scenario:

It's 2034, Barry Bonds is now about to turn 70, and for many years he's now been the Giants' revered batting coach. He gives a very mellowish interview to whatever the dominant social media outlet happens to be by this time, and that interview causes a series of "reconsiderations" that finally melts the collective heart of the Veterans Committee. At which point, Induction Day sets a new record, and the spillover effect lasts for about a year or so.

But the whole premise here is that Bonds transforms his whole personality into something that'd be almost completely unrecognizable today. Not saying it couldn't happen, but I wouldn't count on it. OTOH if that Giants' batting coach opening came along, it'd be a wise move for him to take it.
   63. Booey Posted: July 30, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4760627)
And it's just as intuitive to think that an equal or greater number of people would care less about the Hall of Fame if Barry Bonds were in it. Again, there's no way to really measure these sorts of assertions.


Sure there is. We could induct Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, and McGwire and find out. :-)

Just a guess, of course, but I don't see fans of Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Torre, Cox, and La Russa not showing up this year if Bonds and Clemens had been inducted the year before. Likewise, I don't see a small crowd showing up to cheer Ripken/Gwynn if McGwire had joined them. Jeter's induction is going to be massive, even if A-Rod is up on the podium beside him.

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