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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Agree or Disagree, Morgan Has Right to Express Himself – Inside the Seams

I know having respect for differences of opinion isn’t in vogue. Although I disagree strongly and find flaws in his logic, I don’t have a problem with the expression of his opinion.

Morgan’s letter was polite, but to the point. Agree or disagree, it was Morgan’s right to speak his mind, just like anyone else. Will his presentation impact the voting? It could, particularly if a voter is uncertain of his stance on the issue.

Is that any sillier than the recently cast ballot where a voter declined to vote for Barry Bonds because of the steroid issue, but did vote for Roger Clemens, explaining that Clemens was dominate even before steroids became an issue. And Bonds wasn’t?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2017 at 06:27 AM | 93 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, joe morgan

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   1. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: November 30, 2017 at 08:34 AM (#5583195)
I will never forgive a professional writer who can't figure out the difference between using "dominant" and "dominate."
   2. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: November 30, 2017 at 08:37 AM (#5583198)
Also, this quote here?

Among the arguments of those appalled at Morgan making his statement was the comparison of the use of amphetamines in an earlier time, before the introduction of steroids. What is ignored in that argument is while steroids were a dirty secret there was never any effort to cover up amphetamines.


That's some very high level stupid right there.
   3. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 30, 2017 at 09:05 AM (#5583208)
The big thing with Morgan's statement is that as I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong) it was on Hall of Fame letterhead. This gives it a level of authority that may or may not exist. If this is the position of the Hall frankly I'm fine with that. I think it's a stupid position and one of many reasons I don't really care much about the Hall of Fame as an honor anymore but at least the Hall if finally taking a stand. If this is just Morgan's opinion but expressed in that fashion then that isn't right.

And Rickey! in #1 & #2 is spot on. #2 in particular is just ludicrous.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: November 30, 2017 at 09:21 AM (#5583219)
Is the quote in #2 factually incorrect or just a bad argument? (It's definitely poorly written)

   5. dlf Posted: November 30, 2017 at 09:24 AM (#5583221)
he big thing with Morgan's statement is that as I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong) it was on Hall of Fame letterhead.


I know that we all speak differently than we write, but the other thing that struck me was that the tone and word choices didn't come close to matching the hundreds of hours we have of him speaking about baseball. I get the feeling that, whether he signed it or whether he was significantly involved in the drafting, this comes from Jane Forbes Clark and her staff & attorneys.

...

Is that any sillier than the recently cast ballot where a voter declined to vote for Barry Bonds because of the steroid issue, but did vote for Roger Clemens, explaining that Clemens was dominate even before steroids became an issue. And Bonds wasn’t?


That logic is just stupid, but I do think that one can differentiate between the two based on level of scare quotes proof un-scare quotes of use. The evidence against Clemens, after the government spent tens of millions of dollars to investigate, is basically the word of a proven liar. Bonds denied knowing use, but said he used a cream and a clear and other witnesses stated that a cream and a clear were steroids; tying the two together is reasonable even if not proven. I can see a vote for both (my position), a vote for neither, a vote just for Clemens on this narrow issue (i.e. the Andy approach), but voting just for Bonds is stupid.
   6. bachslunch Posted: November 30, 2017 at 09:41 AM (#5583232)
@3: spot on. If it's on HoF letterhead, that's a significant problem, especially since the HoF iteslf has not, as far as I know, reacted to this. Also, if memory serves, he claims to be speaking for various other unnamed HoFers (shades of the Nixon Silent Majority). That's also a problem.
   7. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 09:51 AM (#5583240)
The big thing with Morgan's statement is that as I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong) it was on Hall of Fame letterhead. This gives it a level of authority that may or may not exist. If this is the position of the Hall frankly I'm fine with that. I think it's a stupid position and one of many reasons I don't really care much about the Hall of Fame as an honor anymore but at least the Hall if finally taking a stand. If this is just Morgan's opinion but expressed in that fashion then that isn't right.


Exactly. I read somewhere that the Hall helped the Hall of Famers who felt they wanted to make a statement (apparently without wanting their names attached to this letter, too) got help from the Hall itself to do so, but the Hall disavowed itself of any official opinion itself. Makes it a little harder for a voter to use the Lebowski Defense in responding to Morgan's letter.

Also this from Ringolsby:

The drug policy was finally adopted when the players themselves, spoke up and forced the issue, wanting to rid themselves of guilt by association because the perception was the MLBPA was tacitly approving the usage by not agreeing to a ban.

Funny. The players were applauded for taking that stand.


Funny. I remember it more as a response to the fact that somehow Congress got involved. I mean, I'm sure the league and the union each have some pretty good lawyers, but they don't have 535 of them with nothing better to do than nose into MLB's business and a virtually unlimited pool of resources.

   8. BDC Posted: November 30, 2017 at 09:56 AM (#5583245)
Is the quote in #2 factually incorrect

I think amphetamines and steroids have quite a similar history in baseball. Greenies had their Bouton and steroids had their Canseco; there have been numerous admissions of both, generally by retirees, and also numerous denials; you never heard any player say things like "My fastball was flat tonight till my greenies kicked in" or "I wasn't getting enough loft on the ball till I used steroids last winter."

It's a matter of interpretation, I reckon, but "never any effort to cover up amphetamines" needs a lot of squinting to defend as an interpretation.
   9. bachslunch Posted: November 30, 2017 at 10:09 AM (#5583255)
Frankly, I don't care how the players reacted to PED use (of any sort) as long as it wasn't banned with penalties and testing in place. One could argue that they were doing nothing wrong. It's the double standard re amps vs. steroids I have a problem with.
   10. TDF, trained monkey Posted: November 30, 2017 at 10:12 AM (#5583257)
Is the quote in #2 factually incorrect or just a bad argument?
My understanding is that both parts (that amp usage was never hidden, and that steroid usage always was) are both incorrect.

And as someone following baseball in the late-80's to early-90's, I can say unequivocally that steroid usage in MLB was assumed by the fans.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2017 at 10:13 AM (#5583260)
Funny. I remember it more as a response to the fact that somehow Congress got involved.


Congress forced baseball to amp up the penalties, but there was a policy before D.C. got involved.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2017 at 10:14 AM (#5583261)
the late-80's


That was certainly not a universal opinion.
   13. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: November 30, 2017 at 10:27 AM (#5583272)
1989 playoffs - the crowd chants of "STEEEEEROOOOOOIDS" directed at Canseco were audible on TV broadcasts.
   14. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 30, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5583276)
13 - 1988 too. I know this because I was sitting in the right field grandstands at Fenway gleefully chanting at him.
   15. RJ in TO Posted: November 30, 2017 at 10:31 AM (#5583277)
1989 playoffs - the crowd chants of "STEEEEEROOOOOOIDS" directed at Canseco were audible on TV broadcasts.
That was not an assumption of general use in baseball. That was an assumption of general use by Canseco.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2017 at 10:33 AM (#5583279)
That was not an assumption of general use in baseball. That was an assumption of general use by Canseco.


Exactly. Hell, my closest friend from high school was a minor league pitcher in 1989-90, and he said that some of the position players he played with were starting to experiment, but most of the pitchers still operated under the belief that weight-training would get a player too stiff.
   17. Chris Fluit Posted: November 30, 2017 at 10:34 AM (#5583280)
Everybody has the right to be wrong
   18. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 30, 2017 at 10:42 AM (#5583287)
My understanding is that both parts (that amp usage was never hidden, and that steroid usage always was) are both incorrect.

Open jars of amphetamines were often seen in the clubhouses of the 70's, put there by trainers who had access to them. If there have been any similar stories about steroids,** I've yet to see them.

** Not the legally sold androstenedione supplement that Mark McGwire had in his locker.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5583320)
Frankly, I don't care how the players reacted to PED use (of any sort) as long as it wasn't banned with penalties and testing in place. One could argue that they were doing nothing wrong. It's the double standard re amps vs. steroids I have a problem with.

You can't argue that players "were doing nothing wrong" when they were violating Federal Law. MLB doesn't have a policy, and penalties in place for mail fraud.
   20. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:31 AM (#5583327)
You can't argue that players "were doing nothing wrong" when they were violating Federal Law. MLB doesn't have a policy, and penalties in place for mail fraud.


And no one has been kept out of the Hall of Fame for mail fraud.

Or drug trafficking.

Or assaulting a handicapped person.

Or cocaine usage.

Or spousal abuse.

Or DUI.

Or attempting to assassinate a head of state.
   21. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:35 AM (#5583329)
You can't argue that players "were doing nothing wrong" when they were violating Federal Law. MLB doesn't have a policy, and penalties in place for mail fraud.

Are you speaking out against greenies? Kudos.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:36 AM (#5583331)
Are you speaking out against greenies? Kudos.

Yes, I'm also against amphetamine use.

But, I see no evidence that amphetamine use altered the state of play on the field. Nobody did much of anything in the 1960's and 1970's that hadn't been done many times before. The era was dominated by SPs, who are the players least likely to benefit from greenies.

Steroids clearly changed certain players into totally different athletes. Bonds, of course, is the poster boy but there are plenty of others.

That said, I think Bonds should eventually go into the HoF for what he did pre-2000. I just think he should stew for a good 15-20 years or so to set an example for future players.
   23. -- Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:39 AM (#5583333)
Oh noes, my heroes haven't been let into the Baseball Hall of Fame. How can I ever carry on with my life?????
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:45 AM (#5583336)

And no one has been kept out of the Hall of Fame for mail fraud.


Or drug trafficking, etc.


So are you saying those guys did nothing wrong?

Whether one believes that steroid use is not disqualifying for the Hall (a position I agree with), it doesn't necessarily follow that "one could argue they did nothing wrong." They most certainly did.

As I see it, this was a case of corruption. The entire baseball system (including the using players, owners, managers, training staff, media and the non-using players) were guilty of allowing a clearly broken situation to go on for years. Holding just one group of individuals responsible for that wholesale corruption is mistaken.
   25. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:47 AM (#5583337)
But, I see no evidence that amphetamine use altered the state of play on the field. Nobody did much of anything in the 1960's and 1970's that hadn't been done many times before. The era was dominated by SPs, who are the players least likely to benefit from greenies.

An era dominated by SPs, but a whole lot of guys compiled 500 HR, when it had been done by something like two guys previously.
   26. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:47 AM (#5583339)
Nobody did much of anything in the 1960's and 1970's that hadn't been done many times before.


Single season HR record
Single season SB record
career HR record
career SB record
Single Season K record
First 30 game winner in nearly 40 years
back to back triple crown winners, last two do it for 45 years
start of career for guy who set career hit record
start of career for guy who set career K record

Other than that stuff you mean?
   27. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5583342)
So are you saying those guys did nothing wrong?


Not at all, just noting the inconsistency of the positions.
   28. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5583345)
You can't argue that players "were doing nothing wrong" when they were violating Federal Law. MLB doesn't have a policy, and penalties in place for mail fraud.

Androstenedione was legal during the HR race.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5583346)
Not at all, just noting the inconsistency of the positions.


But there was nothing inconsistent with what snapper posted in 19.

Backslunch said "you can argue they did nothing wrong."

Snapper said "No you can't, they violated federal law."

Snapper was correct. You can't argue they did nothing wrong. That players have been elected to the Hall of Fame despite committing other crimes is evidence that they shouldn't be kept out of the Hall of Fame for violating federal law, but it's not a counter to the idea they did nothing wrong (unless you believe, as I asked you, that all of those federal lawbreakers were doing nothing wrong).
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:57 AM (#5583354)
Single season HR record
Single season SB record
career HR record
career SB record
Single Season K record
First 30 game winner in nearly 40 years
back to back triple crown winners, last two do it for 45 years
start of career for guy who set career hit record
start of career for guy who set career K record

Other than that stuff you mean?


Single season records and career records? Duh. They increased the season from 154 to 162 games. You'd have to expect most single season records to fall, and career records too, since everybody got to play 5% more games.

In any case, the records were edged out, even with the extra games, not shattered.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:58 AM (#5583357)
Snapper was correct. You can't argue they did nothing wrong. That players have been elected to the Hall of Fame despite committing other crimes is evidence that they shouldn't be kept out of the Hall of Fame for violating federal law, but it's not a counter to the idea they did nothing wrong (unless you believe, as I asked you, that all of those federal lawbreakers were doing nothing wrong).

And I don't think that the guys who were clear HoFers w/o steroids, e.g. Bonds and Clemens should be kept out. I'd just like to see them spend some time in purgatory first.
   32. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5583358)
"never any effort to cover up amphetamines" needs a lot of squinting to defend as an interpretation.


From Bowie Kuhn heavy-handedly trying to force a retraction from Jim Bouton to Pete Rose perjuring himself in court over amphetamines, to the effort to downplay John Milner's testimony about Willie Mays' red juice, to the series of players who say they tried but a single greenie in a desperately weak moment but hated the effect and walked the straight and narrow evermore... yeah, it's hard to defend.


Open jars of amphetamines were often seen in the clubhouses of the 70's, put there by trainers who had access to them. If there have been any similar stories about steroids,** I've yet to see them.


But there are worse stories. Google "Lou Merloni" + "spring training" + "PED advice."
   33. manchestermets Posted: November 30, 2017 at 12:12 PM (#5583374)
I will never forgive a professional writer who can't figure out the difference between using "dominant" and "dominate."


Wasn't this a tic of Morgan himself (or at any rate his ghostwriter) back when he had an ESPN column? I seem to remember it being regularly mocked on FJM.
   34. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 30, 2017 at 12:18 PM (#5583382)
Open jars of amphetamines were often seen in the clubhouses of the 70's, put there by trainers who had access to them. If there have been any similar stories about steroids,** I've yet to see them.

But there are worse stories. Google "Lou Merloni" + "spring training" + "PED advice."


Like this one?

The more you read that story, the less revealing it becomes.

Merloni, who was in the Red Sox's Minor League system in 1996 and '97 and played for the big league team from 1998-2002, said he couldn't remember the doctor's name or when the meeting took place, but he did say that a former [also unnamed] athletic trainer told him that the Red Sox were aware that players were using.

Color me as you wish, but that doesn't exactly sound equivalent to what Bouton or Milner were saying.
   35. bachslunch Posted: November 30, 2017 at 12:47 PM (#5583415)
But, I see no evidence that amphetamine use altered the state of play on the field. Nobody did much of anything in the 1960's and 1970's that hadn't been done many times before.

Like Roger Maris hitting 61 HRs? And Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's career HR record?
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 12:54 PM (#5583429)
Like Roger Maris hitting 61 HRs? And Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's career HR record?

Addressed already. Longer season. Also, expansion.
   37. Buck Coats Posted: November 30, 2017 at 12:56 PM (#5583433)
You can't argue that players "were doing nothing wrong" when they were violating Federal Law.


Only the ones who did it in the US, right? Anybody who did it in the DR or Mexico or wherever is fine by you then right?
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:03 PM (#5583439)
Only the ones who did it in the US, right? Anybody who did it in the DR or Mexico or wherever is fine by you then right?


If anyone was only doing it while overseas, when it was purchased legally, then, on that specific part of the question, fine.

It doesn't suddenly mean it wasn't cheating and the system wasn't corrupt, of course. But knock yourself out.
   39. bachslunch Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:04 PM (#5583441)
Like Roger Maris hitting 61 HRs? And Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's career HR record?

Addressed already. Longer season. Also, expansion.


And you are certain of this why exactly?
   40. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:09 PM (#5583449)
Like Roger Maris hitting 61 HRs? And Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's career HR record?


A 35 YO shattering the single season SB record.
   41. Buck Coats Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:09 PM (#5583451)
It doesn't suddenly mean it wasn't cheating and the system wasn't corrupt, of course. But knock yourself out.


Well I mean if they weren't breaking any laws and they weren't breaking any of baseball's rules...
   42. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:16 PM (#5583458)
In 1965, both Billy Williams and Ron Santo played every inning of a 164 game season, 1472 innings.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:16 PM (#5583461)
And you are certain of this why exactly?

Because Maris didn't hit #61 until game 162. Because Aaron took 3500 more PAs than Ruth to hit 41 more HRs.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5583463)
Well I mean if they weren't breaking any laws and they weren't breaking any of baseball's rules...


That sounds a lot like the Roy Moore defense.

Listen, I get and support the idea that baseball's treatment of the steroid guys has been inconsistent and ridiculous. But c'mon, the lengths people will go to in pursuit of the idea they weren't cheating or they were doing nothing wrong is patently absurd, and completely unnecessary.

Of course they were. Just as the amps guys were. And they knew it. They were getting an edge that many other sports had already outlawed. which they were well aware of. They were breaking federal laws in pursuit if it (or were working in countries where it was against federal laws). They were taking considerable health risks (given it had to be done surreptiously). And they knew some or many of their peers were not willing to do these things. It's OK to acknowledge that this was a corrupt system and still believe the guys who did it when baseball had no formal policy shouldn't be raked over the coals for participating.
   45. bachslunch Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:27 PM (#5583475)
And you are certain of this why exactly?

Because Maris didn't hit #61 until game 162. Because Aaron took 3500 more PAs than Ruth to hit 41 more HRs.


I don't understand why this constitutes certainty that amphetamine use was not a contributing factor. Aaron did admit to using them, if memory serves.

   46. bachslunch Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:32 PM (#5583482)
It's OK to acknowledge that this was a corrupt system and still believe the guys who did it when baseball had no formal policy shouldn't be raked over the coals for participating.

Especially when Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre (both of whom presided over clubhouses where PEDs were being used -- LaRussa over two of them) and Bud Selig (“I think what Mark McGwire has accomplished is so remarkable, and he has handled it all so beautifully, we want to do everything we can to enjoy a great moment in baseball history”) were ushered into the HoF the first chance they got.
   47. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:32 PM (#5583484)
Between the ages of 34 and 41 inclusive, Pete Rose missed 2 games and averaged over 200 hits per year (extrapolating 1981).
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:33 PM (#5583487)
I don't understand why this constitutes certainty that amphetamine use was not a contributing factor. Aaron did admit to using them, if memory serves.

I didn't say it couldn't have been, I'm just saying that we should have expected these accumulation metrics to be broken in an era when players play more games.

With Maris, you had a longer season, and an expansion fueled HR boom. The AL went from 136 HR per team, to 153.
   49. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:34 PM (#5583488)
Especially when Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre (both of whom presided over clubhouses where PEDs were being used -- LaRussa over two of them) and Bud Selig (“I think what Mark McGwire has accomplished is so remarkable, and he has handled it all so beautifully, we want to do everything we can to enjoy a great moment in baseball history”) were ushered into the HoF the first chance they got.

I wouldn't have voted for any of those 3. Nor Bobby Cox.
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5583489)
Especially when Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre (both of whom presided over clubhouses where PEDs were being used -- LaRussa over two of them) and Bud Selig (“I think what Mark McGwire has accomplished is so remarkable, and he has handled it all so beautifully, we want to do everything we can to enjoy a great moment in baseball history”) were ushered into the HoF the first chance they got.


Absolutely.
   51. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:40 PM (#5583500)
Single season records and career records? Duh. They increased the season from 154 to 162 games. You'd have to expect most single season records to fall, and career records too, since everybody got to play 5% more games.

Hilariously weak spin.

And then they used greenies to fuel the ability to play 8 more games a season.

Because Aaron took 3500 more PAs than Ruth to hit 41 more HRs.

3500 more PAs because greenies.
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:52 PM (#5583514)

Hilariously weak spin.


Not as weak as those holding that the roiders were pure as the driven snow.

Bonds is a thoroughly loathsome person (abusive and threatening to women, cheater, arrogant and obnoxious); why do you care if he gets in the HoF?
   53. dlf Posted: November 30, 2017 at 01:52 PM (#5583515)
3500 more PAs because greenies.


(a) I'm not willing to assume that Aaron was a habitual user

(b) That he didn't spend his first 4+ years as a pitcher probably accounts for more than half the difference
   54. bachslunch Posted: November 30, 2017 at 02:06 PM (#5583537)
Especially when Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre (both of whom presided over clubhouses where PEDs were being used -- LaRussa over two of them) and Bud Selig (“I think what Mark McGwire has accomplished is so remarkable, and he has handled it all so beautifully, we want to do everything we can to enjoy a great moment in baseball history”) were ushered into the HoF the first chance they got.

I wouldn't have voted for any of those 3. Nor Bobby Cox.


And yet there they are, in the HoF. Voted in first chance they were eligible, too. Where's Joe Morgan's letter condemning these folks being in the HoF and calling for their removal?
   55. Buck Coats Posted: November 30, 2017 at 02:10 PM (#5583543)
Heaven forbid - an arrogant and obnoxious player? In baseball??
   56. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5583560)
Heaven forbid - an arrogant and obnoxious player? In baseball??

It's just a reason for me not to care if he's disappointed. If he were a really nice guy, I might care.
   57. Buck Coats Posted: November 30, 2017 at 02:36 PM (#5583570)
Would you apply the same rationale to removing Babe Ruth from the HOF?
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 02:41 PM (#5583574)
Would you apply the same rationale to removing Babe Ruth from the HOF?

I'm not even saying that Bonds should be kept out.
   59. Buck Coats Posted: November 30, 2017 at 02:43 PM (#5583577)
Right but you "might care" about it if he knew his place and was less arrogant. So presumably you wouldn't care in the least about a proposal to remove Ruth either.
   60. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2017 at 02:46 PM (#5583581)

Right but you "might care" about it if he knew his place and was less arrogant. So presumably you wouldn't care in the least about a proposal to remove Ruth either.


That's not remotely fair, for a variety of reasons.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 02:50 PM (#5583585)
Right but you "might care" about it if he knew his place and was less arrogant.

The cheating and abuse of women bothers me a lot more. Interesting how you elided that part.
   62. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 30, 2017 at 02:56 PM (#5583592)
Especially when Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre (both of whom presided over clubhouses where PEDs were being used -- LaRussa over two of them) and Bud Selig (“I think what Mark McGwire has accomplished is so remarkable, and he has handled it all so beautifully, we want to do everything we can to enjoy a great moment in baseball history”) were ushered into the HoF the first chance they got.

Jonah Keri had Ryan Spilborghs on his podcast this week, who is apparently now in the broadcast booth for Colorado. Anyways Spils asked a bunch of writer friends whether they intended to vote for Bonds and Clemens. They all said yes, citing the recent induction of Selig as making it very difficult to keep out pre-testing players.
   63. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 30, 2017 at 03:03 PM (#5583599)
Not as weak as those holding that the roiders were pure as the driven snow.

Hilariously weak strawman.
   64. TDF, trained monkey Posted: November 30, 2017 at 03:04 PM (#5583601)
Greenies didn't affect the record book? Among career PA leaders:

1. Pete Rose ('63-86) 15890 PA
2. Carl Yastrzemski ('61-83) 13992 PA
3. Hank Aaron ('54-76) 13.941 PA
4. Rickey! ('79-03) 13,346 PA
5. Ty Cobb ('05-28) 13,087 PA

There are 5 guys in MLB history with 13,000+ PA; exactly 1 played before the '60's (and each of the top 3 played significantly during the '60's). There are 19 with 12,000+ PA; 3 (Cobb, Stan Musial, Eddie Collins) played before the '60's.

And the schedule only tells part of the story - 8 extra games X 4 PA/game X 20 seasons only equals an extra 640 PA; Cobb still wouldn't crack the top 3 (and besides, he only played 150+ games 6 times anyway).
   65. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5583607)
There are 5 guys in MLB history with 13,000+ PA; exactly 1 played before the '60's (and each of the top 3 played significantly during the '60's). There are 19 with 12,000+ PA; 3 (Cobb, Stan Musial, Eddie Collins) played before the '60's.


Aren't there are a lot of possible explanations besides greenies why guys before 1960 would have had more difficulty compiling really long careers (fewer jobs, harder travel, lower quality of health care, fewer games on a seasonal basis, more war-interrupted seasons, greater propensity for smoking, etc.)?

   66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 03:29 PM (#5583629)
Hilariously weak strawman.

No, it's actually the fundamental weakness of the "pre-steroids" argument.

If you argued, "Yes these guys cheated, but it was part of the culture and tacitly approved by teams and the league as part of a corrupt bargain, why should only the players suffer?" you get a ton more agreement from the "anti-steroids" crowd.

Hell, I'd vote for Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Palmeiro, and McGwire tomorrow, if they all 1) admitted their use, and 2) the HoF added a line to each plaque noting their steroid use and the possible impact on their achievements.
   67. Booey Posted: November 30, 2017 at 03:35 PM (#5583636)
Addressed already. Longer season. Also, expansion.


The league expanded twice during the "steroid era" too. First in 1993 when HR totals first took off to kick start the beginning of sillyball, and then again in 1998 when Mac and Sammy took down Maris.

Coincidence?

(I'm not saying they didn't juice. Of course they did. Just saying there were more factors contributing to these records falling than just PED's, too)
   68. Booey Posted: November 30, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5583638)
If you argued, "Yes these guys cheated, but it was part of the culture and tacitly approved by teams and the league as part of a corrupt bargain, why should only the players suffer?" you get a ton more agreement from the "anti-steroids" crowd.


That's pretty much always been my stance. And no, you typically don't.
   69. dlf Posted: November 30, 2017 at 03:43 PM (#5583643)
If you argued, "Yes these guys cheated, but it was part of the culture and tacitly approved by teams and the league as part of a corrupt bargain, why should only the players suffer?" you get a ton more agreement from the "anti-steroids" crowd.


I have a narrow definition of cheating: it has to be against the written rules, not some vaguely understood unwritten rule. As such, I don't believe use of PEDs before the reasonably recent rule change are "cheating." I find those who argue otherwise to be using the old Potter Stewart approach which I strongly dislike using in a retroactive manner.

I think that management was badly wrong to encourage an atmosphere where use of unregulated or off-label pharma was encouraged. I think that the Union missed a big opportunity where they should have been voicing concern for health and safety. I've never believed - and never once seen another poster argue - that a user was "pure as the driven snow."
I'm glad that there are rules in place now and wouldn't mind penalties being even harsher. But none of that means that pre-rules behavior is "cheating."
   70. TDF, trained monkey Posted: November 30, 2017 at 04:02 PM (#5583667)
Aren't there are a lot of possible explanations besides greenies why guys before 1960 would have had more difficulty compiling really long careers
fewer jobs - not sure how this would affect a star.
harder travel - sure, maybe
lower quality of health care - sure, maybe
fewer games on a seasonal basis - the math says no (see post #64 - only 640 PA over a 20 year career)
more war-interrupted seasons - for a generation from '45-54, sure. But guys like Cobb, Speaker, Wagner never faced any.
greater propensity for smoking - THAN THE 60'S????
In the mid-1960s it was still common to see doctors, athletes, and radio, movie and TV celebrities smoking or advertising different cigarette brands, and cigarette companies were major sponsors of popular shows on all three television networks
   71. BDC Posted: November 30, 2017 at 04:20 PM (#5583688)
guys like Cobb, Speaker, Wagner never faced any

Although, Tris Speaker had 11,995 plate appearances as it was, and the 1918 and '19 seasons were both war-shortened.
   72. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 30, 2017 at 04:33 PM (#5583700)
more war-interrupted seasons - for a generation from '45-54, sure. But guys like Cobb, Speaker, Wagner never faced any.


BDC addressed 1918-19. As for Wagner, his career started in 1897. NL season length starting in 1897:

130 games
150
149
139
139
139
150

Wagner's team didn't play 154 games until 1904.
   73. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5583706)
I have a narrow definition of cheating: it has to be against the written rules, not some vaguely understood unwritten rule. As such, I don't believe use of PEDs before the reasonably recent rule change are "cheating." I find those who argue otherwise to be using the old Potter Stewart approach which I strongly dislike using in a retroactive manner.

When something is a Federal crime, I don't think the behavior needs to be specifically called out in the rules.

If the Dodgers had paid some goons to injure Justin Verlander, and had won the World Series, I'd be 100% behind MLB stripping them of the trophy, and banning every member of the organization who had knowledge from baseball forever, even though there isn't a specific MLB rule against hiring goons to injure your opponents.
   74. dlf Posted: November 30, 2017 at 05:13 PM (#5583725)
When something is a Federal crime, I don't think the behavior needs to be specifically called out in the rules.


There are a lot of federal crimes; those that have an impact on baseball end up with explicit rules being adopted. Here, after management and the players implicitly and at times explicitly tried to ignore the issue, PEDs were included. That decade long (longer?) dithering further supports that *at the time* it wasn't cheating. And to arbitrarily start incorporating some federal laws but not others which are not expressly included in the MLB rules, we go right back into the 'I know it when I see it' morass. And I *hate* ex post facto enforcement of a changing set of rules.
   75. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: November 30, 2017 at 05:27 PM (#5583732)
When something is a Federal crime, I don't think the behavior needs to be specifically called out in the rules.

"But Congress scheduled it over objections from the DEA, FDA, HHS and AMA, so it was *wrong*!"
   76. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 30, 2017 at 05:43 PM (#5583742)
When something is a Federal crime, I don't think the behavior needs to be specifically called out in the rules.

If the Dodgers had paid some goons to injure Justin Verlander, and had won the World Series, I'd be 100% behind MLB stripping them of the trophy, and banning every member of the organization who had knowledge from baseball forever, even though there isn't a specific MLB rule against hiring goons to injure your opponents.


I get your point, but it's still an "I know it when I see it" situation. Kidnapping Justin Verlander, and purchasing Cuban cigars for your locker room celebration are both Federal crimes, but I doubt even you would ban players for doing the latter. Would you ban players for violating the Hatch Act?
   77. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 30, 2017 at 05:55 PM (#5583750)
greater propensity for smoking - THAN THE 60'S????
In the mid-1960s it was still common to see doctors, athletes, and radio, movie and TV celebrities smoking or advertising different cigarette brands, and cigarette companies were major sponsors of popular shows on all three television networks


Beyond that, cigarette smoking didn't really begin to explode in the United States until World War I, when tobacco companies flooded the battlefields with free cigarettes and help create a generation of nicotine addicts.** And as TDF says, smoking peaked in the 1960's, when cigarette consumption per capita was over ten times what it was at the outbreak of that First World War.

** And as you can see by the chart I just linked to, it exploded even more during World War II, and for much of the same reason. Even well after WWII had ended, tobacco companies were routinely sending cartons of cigarettes to VA hospitals, often in conjunction with baseball promotions, such as when a home team player hit a home run.
   78. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2017 at 05:57 PM (#5583753)
I have a narrow definition of cheating: it has to be against the written rules, not some vaguely understood unwritten rule.


A lot of people have that narrow definition, but it doesn't hold up to serious scrutiny. When Derek Jeter had a ball hit the end of the bat and pretended he got hit in the hand, he was cheating, though it was neither against the rules, nor is there any penalty for doing it. I don't think the aforementioned Verlander kidnapping plan would be written off as "not cheating" even though there's no specific rule against it (or more relevant - baseball probably didn't have a specific rule that prevented the Cardinals from hacking the Astros, but no one thought that was just dandy).

This was unquestionably a form of cheating, existing somewhere on the whole cheating continuum. Now what you do with that is an entirely different matter, and certainly the question of whether it was/was not against the rules factors into that. But pretending it wasn't just because baseball hadn't gotten around to addressing it yet doesn't hold, and never has.
   79. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2017 at 05:58 PM (#5583756)
quote]fewer jobs - not sure how this would affect a star.

Stars become unstars before they become unemployed.

fewer games on a seasonal basis - the math says no (see post #64 - only 640 PA over a 20 year career)


Every part of it plays a role - that's the point.

greater propensity for smoking - THAN THE 60'S????


I wasn't restricting my comment to the 60s. Why would I? Amp use didn't end in the 60s.

   80. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 30, 2017 at 06:08 PM (#5583761)
** And as you can see by the chart I just linked to, it exploded even more during World War II,

Well yeah, but lots of things exploded during World War II.
   81. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 30, 2017 at 06:36 PM (#5583774)
Hell, I'd vote for Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Palmeiro, and McGwire tomorrow, if they all 1) admitted their use, and 2) the HoF added a line to each plaque noting their steroid use and the possible impact on their achievements.

McGwire admitted to having used steroids. Didn't do much for him with the actual voters (he had been over 20% every year through 2010, then never cleared that mark again after the admission).
   82. DJS vs. The White Knights Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:29 PM (#5583894)
or more relevant - baseball probably didn't have a specific rule that prevented the Cardinals from hacking the Astros, but no one thought that was just dandy).

This.

The difference between kidnapping Justin Verlander and using steroids is that nobody thought they needed a rule to keep people from cheating using the former method.

Now, imagine if kidnappings in American sports had been common for 40 years. And a whole generation of 60s and 70s players cheerfully used a variant, threats to spouses and family, and nobody ever got suspended. And owners happily turned a blind eye to kidnapping for decades as long as it was profitable. And that no serious effort was made to negotiate a kidnapping deal for 20 years after Bowie Kuhn destroyed the MLB/MLBPA kidnapping agreement by overstepping his bounds.

At that point, 40 years in, you sure as #### would need an explicit rule that kidnapping is cheating in baseball in addition to it being a societal crime.

   83. DJS vs. The White Knights Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:32 PM (#5583896)
Hell, I'd vote for Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Palmeiro, and McGwire tomorrow, if they all 1) admitted their use, and 2) the HoF added a line to each plaque noting their steroid use and the possible impact on their achievements.

Only if the 70s players also have to explicitly admit their amphetamine use to the public -- not just wink-winks about it not being their first rodeo or something -- and add a line noting that they used amphetamines, a performance-enhancing drug subject to suspension or else be removed from the Hall of Fame.
   84. DJS vs. The White Knights Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:36 PM (#5583900)
On a note that amuses me, if I had been borderline on Bonds as a player, it's amphetamines that could theoretically push him short of my line; that's the performance-enhancing drug with which he broke an explicit rule and got suspended (I consider mid-2004 use a very different matter given that at that point, the rules became explicit and not relying on some foggy, arbitrary definition of cheating that was used before).

Of course, that's a bit moot as Bonds is so far over the line that I'd probably vote for him if he had stalked and killed every NL West competitor. Plus, he'll be off by the time I have enough years in the BBWAA (but I'll get to vote for A-Rod at least).
   85. Hank Gillette Posted: December 01, 2017 at 12:46 AM (#5583917)
You can't argue that players "were doing nothing wrong" when they were violating Federal Law. MLB doesn't have a policy, and penalties in place for mail fraud.


We should probably purge the HOF of every player who took a drink during Prohibition, just to be sure.
   86. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 01, 2017 at 01:10 AM (#5583919)

I have a narrow definition of cheating: it has to be against the written rules, not some vaguely understood unwritten rule. As such, I don't believe use of PEDs before the reasonably recent rule change are "cheating." I find those who argue otherwise to be using the old Potter Stewart approach which I strongly dislike using in a retroactive manner.


So if I am on the home team and I spike the visiting team's water cooler with horse laxative, making them unable to take the field (for more than a couple minutes at a time, anyways), is that not cheating since it is not against the written rules?
   87. DJS vs. The White Knights Posted: December 01, 2017 at 01:32 AM (#5583921)
So if I am on the home team and I spike the visiting team's water cooler with horse laxative, making them unable to take the field (for more than a couple minutes at a time, anyways), is that not cheating since it is not against the written rules?

Was spiking the visiting team's water cooler with horse laxative common practice for 40 years and MLB was happy to rake in the money resulting from laxative spiking?
   88. manchestermets Posted: December 01, 2017 at 05:18 AM (#5583923)
We should probably purge the HOF of every player who took a drink during Prohibition, just to be sure.


Or at the very least add a sanctimonious line about it to their plaque.
   89. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 01, 2017 at 06:12 AM (#5583924)
Was spiking the visiting team's water cooler with horse laxative common practice for 40 years and MLB was happy to rake in the money resulting from laxative spiking?


Wow. Being a party to a long-running conspiracy doesn't change the nature of the conspiracy.

It seems to me that the most important part of this question is who decides what's cheating. Everyone has opinions on everything, but eventually action has to be taken and at that point real world experience has to be taken into consideration. It seems to me that the players (not specifically Hall of Famers but players in general) are in the best position to judge unfairness. It also seems like the players, through their union, wanted a testing regime because they didn't want to juice and risk their health just to keep up. This is not to say that everyone with an allegation, or even everyone who was documented to have used once should be barred from the Hall, but it does seem like use is a legitimate point to consider under the character clause until the character clause is changed.
   90. majorflaw Posted: December 01, 2017 at 06:40 AM (#5583925)
My understanding is that the HoF is self governing, it can make and amend its own rules. If it is the position of the HoF that PED users shouldn’t be admitted, or even that users of certain PEDs shouldn’t be admitted, its governing board should have the stones to pass a rule stating that any player who failed a test, or was suspended or suspected or accused, or had bacne, or whatever standard they can agree to, shall not be eligible for admission. Solves the problem right there and takes the decision out of the hands of the BBWAA.

Instead, sending Morgan out to unofficially ask the writer’s association to protect the HoF from itself was a gutless, chicken crap move. Of course he’s entitled to express his opinion. But his opinion is worth no more than any other member’s, even if sanctioned by the HoF itself. As a group baseball writers tend not to like being told what to do. Can easily see Morgan’s letter providing the final push needed to get Bonds and Clemens elected, which would be fitting.
   91. bachslunch Posted: December 01, 2017 at 08:09 AM (#5583930)
I actually have a major problem or two with the Character Clause:

-it seems to be applied capriciously and often not at all when it might well have been, as has been noted above. There are no shortage of on-field cheaters, racists, and all around people of rotten character in the HoF.

-there was in fact no Character Clause until ca. 1945 or thereabouts. It wasn't even a bedrock basis at the time of the BBHoF's founding. By then, of course, several significant "offenders" (Cobb, Ruth, Speaker, Hornsby, Anson, Delahanty, McGraw) were in. That horse left the barn pretty much from day one.
   92. bachslunch Posted: December 01, 2017 at 08:16 AM (#5583931)
Or at the very least add a sanctimonious line about it to their plaque.

One Hall in fact does this. The Swimming Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale has enshrined several East German swimming team members, but for those who were caught doping there's a note to that effect on their "plaque" (in this case, it's a large poster-like entity placed in the type of flip housing one finds at places like Spencer's Gifts or Newbury Comics).
   93. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 01, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5584057)
Was spiking the visiting team's water cooler with horse laxative common practice for 40 years

No, it only started when MLB really wanted to make sure that ARod was exposed as a fraud who poops his pants.

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