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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bill Madden: The Hall? Put them all in

Whoa! Did Madden take a worn corner header into his Victor Talking Machine?

Which leads to the Hall of Fame’s Great Dilemma: It continues to bill itself as a museum, and the custodian of the game’s history, and records. But down the road, how does the Hall justify that if it excludes the holders of the most significant of those records?

...“The problem you have now is that the Hall of Fame is supposed to tell the history of the game, good and bad,” said a baseball official, “and unfortunately there is this inconsistency between the records and the people elected to the Hall. If you’re going to keep out the suspected steroids players, don’t you then also have to put an asterisk or something on their records? You can’t have it both ways. Obviously, the commissioner has no intention of putting an asterisk on the records, and so, if they’re going to stand, Bonds and Clemens should be in the Hall of Fame. And, frankly, so, too, should Rose.”

Since it’s hard enough for an untainted player to get 75% of votes needed for election, Bonds and Clemens need not start working on their acceptance speeches just yet. However, I believe, over time, they will both join their records in the Hall of Fame as attitudes change and a whole new generation of baseball writers, who grew up in the steroids era and treat it for what it was, become eligible to vote.

When and if that happens, maybe the Hall of Fame will again recognize it’s a museum and, as such, realize the game’s legitimate all-time hits leader who nevertheless bet on baseball, is just as deserving of a plaque as someone who cheated his way past Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron to baseball’s all-time home run record. For better or worse, it’s all the game’s history.

Repoz Posted: June 23, 2012 at 06:47 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   1. The District Attorney Posted: June 23, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4164494)
I'm guessing this is primarily about Pete Rose for him...

This is not to say Rose’s breaking baseball’s cardinal rule of betting on the game wasn’t an egregious offense, but there are many today — fans, baseball writers and Famers alike — who believe the steroids cheats who skewed all the records did far worse, and subsequently hurt a lot more peopl [sic], than Rose, who only hurt himself.
That is a very dumb sentence, of course. But hey, at least if you're saying "let's not have a character clause at all", you're making a coherent argument.
   2. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 23, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4164496)
Yeah, it's clearly about Rose for him. The problem is that steroids are not remotely comparable to what Rose did. And so the notion that if the steroids players are in then so too should the rule 21 violators is illogical.

   3. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: June 23, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4164506)
This is not to say Rose’s breaking baseball’s cardinal rule of betting on the game wasn’t an egregious offense, but there are many today — fans, baseball writers and Famers alike — who believe the steroids cheats who skewed all the records did far worse, and subsequently hurt a lot more peopl [sic], than Rose, who only hurt himself.
Rose is about the integrity of the game (and competition) itself, and anyone who can't see that there's a difference is, well, stupid.
   4. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: June 23, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4164519)
Voting in Pete Rose involves either reinstating him or the Hall changing their rules again. Well, since Rose has been retired so long, they'd have to change their rules in two ways.

Voting in steroid users involves... voting for them.
   5. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 23, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4164524)
Is there a meaningful difference between what Mark McGwire did and what Gaylord Perry did, for HOF purposes?

   6. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: June 23, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4164530)
No, I've never seen any meaningful difference between steroid users and Gaylord Perry. I would also lump players who cork their bats into this group (although the cork might actually hurt performance).
   7. Bob Tufts Posted: June 23, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4164560)
According to Professor Nathan at Illinois, corking may increase bat speed but the loss of mass evens out the force = mass x acceleration equation. The advantages of corking acrrue to line drive hitters who can wait a fraction of a second longer to react and swing.
   8. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4164568)
Bill Madden has been reporting for ages on every "new development" in Pete Rose's inert eligibility status. About three years ago, he wrote stories on back-to-back days claiming that a sympathetic Bud Selig appeared to be softening on Rose's ban, and then, that an adamant Bud Selig couldn't afford to soften on Rose's ban. Compared to that, the four days between "there should be no plaque ever for Clemens" and "over time, there will be a plaque for Clemens" is an eon.
   9. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: June 23, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4164579)
Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. Then again, the Hall of Fame can't get anything right (Buck O'Neil, Ron Santo, etc.).
   10. Lassus Posted: June 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4164584)
I don't think Rose should be in the Hall, and I think Madden's inclusion is far more embarrassing than Rose's would be.
   11. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4164585)
Is there a meaningful difference between what Mark McGwire did and what Gaylord Perry did, for HOF purposes?

Not at all, unless you count their votes.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: June 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4164586)
Is there a meaningful difference between what Mark McGwire did and what Gaylord Perry did, for HOF purposes?


I think there is, in that roid users improved themselves to be better players, while cheaters, intentionally altered the environment to help their goals. I don't see anything remotely comparable between roiders and cheaters. Roiders made themselves better at all costs, while cheaters looked for a shortcut etc. I've always thought comparing the two was silly, because cheaters were far worse to the integrity of the game than roiders.
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: June 23, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4164587)
According to Professor Nathan at Illinois, corking may increase bat speed but the loss of mass evens out the force = mass x acceleration equation. The advantages of corking acrrue to line drive hitters who can wait a fraction of a second longer to react and swing.


The advantage of corking is slightly better bat control, increasing the chance of you hitting the sweet spot on the bat. This myth that it's about getting more speed is why people(incorrectly) think that corking didn't make a difference. That ever so slight weight difference allowed the batters to hit the sweet spot more often. You hit the sweet spot more often, you are on average going to hit the ball farther, regardless of the mass/speed component.
   14. dejarouehg Posted: June 23, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4164603)
Is there a meaningful difference between what Mark McGwire did and what Gaylord Perry did, for HOF purposes?
I think it is considered an issue of "gamesmanship" vs. outright cheating. Perry didn't throw spitballs exclusively.

The comparison might be Mark McGwire (steroids) vs. Willie Mays (greenies).

I recognize that this has nothing to do with the issue of Hall of Fame worthiness, but having been to the Hall several times, (though not in about 6 years) I find the place to be insipid. The displays were dull, the hall with the plaques was disappointing, overall it was just a huge letdown. (Though when I brought my little league team there, they did hand out autographed Dave Winfield HoF cards.)
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: June 23, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4164610)
The displays were dull, the hall with the plaques was disappointing, overall it was just a huge letdown.


McCoy, is that you?
   16. King Berenger Posted: June 24, 2012 at 01:24 AM (#4164643)
I recognize that this has nothing to do with the issue of Hall of Fame worthiness, but having been to the Hall several times, (though not in about 6 years) I find the place to be insipid. The displays were dull, the hall with the plaques was disappointing, overall it was just a huge letdown. (Though when I brought my little league team there, they did hand out autographed Dave Winfield HoF cards.)


The purpose of the hall of fame nowadays, I think, is so that you can have that banner on your baseball-reference player page. It really has nothing to do with the museum and everything to do with the idea of attaching some special badge to "great players," like baseball's medal of honor. We know that. On the one hand, I actually really agree with Madden quite a lot, and if you do consider yourself the "custodians of the game's history," you celebrate history and not some abstract, idealized version of fair play. At the same time, if you have the idea that SOME people are elected to the hall of fame for their own little status, that some are singled out for their individual accomplishments, but that some people with great accomplishments weren't "actually as great as they were," if you choose to look at it that way, it kind of changes the meaning of being part of that chosen few - it's a catalog of history and not sainthood. And if isn't, in a sense you might as well also elect Roger Maris and Bill Buckner and Eddie Gaedel.

Personally, I think the best course of action is not to really care that much about the hall.
   17. bjhanke Posted: June 24, 2012 at 03:35 AM (#4164650)
Bob Tufts - That was a nice post there. The information about what corked bats actually do for a hitter is very useful, at least to my thinking. Thanks.

The big difference between Pete Rose and the assorted PED crowd is that, at worst, the PED guys were undeniably trying to do something that would help them win ballgames, while Pete Rose may well have been doing things to lose ballgames, to hedge his bets. No one has any documentation that Rose ever actually did this (at least, that I know of), but that's the big horror in the background. And therefore, I completely agree with banning Rose forever, but think the PED witch hunt is a waste of time. - Brock Hanke
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 24, 2012 at 08:06 AM (#4164665)
The big difference between Pete Rose and the assorted PED crowd is that, at worst, the PED guys were undeniably trying to do something that would help them win ballgames, while Pete Rose may well have been doing things to lose ballgames, to hedge his bets.


Yeah, the proper PED analogue for the Rose thing would be a guy who was secretly poisoning his teammates so that he'd look better by comparison.
   19. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 24, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4164691)
Personally, I think the best course of action is not to really care that much about the hall.


This.

If the BBWAA and the HOF want to turn themselves into meaningless anachronisms completely out of touch with modernity and the game they claim to represent, let them. The world doesn't need Cooperstown, NY to have a tourism industry. It wouldn't be the first Bumpkiss, Nowhere burg to wither up and die unceremoniously because its leadership and industry couldn't stop living in the past.
   20. CrosbyBird Posted: June 24, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4164695)
The big difference between Pete Rose and the assorted PED crowd is that, at worst, the PED guys were undeniably trying to do something that would help them win ballgames, while Pete Rose may well have been doing things to lose ballgames, to hedge his bets. No one has any documentation that Rose ever actually did this (at least, that I know of), but that's the big horror in the background. And therefore, I completely agree with banning Rose forever, but think the PED witch hunt is a waste of time.

I'd also say that during Rose's career, the severity of the offense of gambling was well-understood, and the prohibition and punishment could not be more explicitly stated by MLB.

In sharp contrast, until MLB started their more aggressive testing policy, baseball players had little reason to believe that steroids were a serious transgression or that using steroids could be destructive to one's HOF case. Certainly baseball's attitude toward PEDs was somewhere between open display in clubhouses ("red juice") and poorly-kept secret (we haven't seen one player come out and say "I never heard of steroids in the game").
   21. bjhanke Posted: June 24, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4165180)
Crosby Bird is right. In any discussion of Pete Rose getting unbanned, the Black Sox sit there like a pall over the whole discussion. And they, of course, prodded Judge Landis to set the table for serous rules against gambling. This is the first time anyone has decided to go draconian over a drug. Greenies, cocaine, whatever; it's all been swept under the table before this. Yet another reason to give the PED crowd some slack. Previous PEDs had been disapproved of but never actually punished before steroids. Haven, while a serous competitive athlete (although NOWHERE NEAR the caliber of MLB play), tried creatine and andro and gotten nothing out of them in spite of many workouts a week, and also having taken greenies, I vote for greenies as the most PE of all PEDs. Eight hours, unlimited energy, no appetite, and your hangover is gone. Hard combo to beat. - Brock
   22. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 24, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4165187)
In sharp contrast, until MLB started their more aggressive testing policy, baseball players had little reason to believe that steroids were a serious transgression or that using steroids could be destructive to one's HOF case.


Yes. This is the fundamental unfairness here.
   23. Lassus Posted: June 24, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4165305)
It wouldn't be the first Bumpkiss, Nowhere burg to wither up and die unceremoniously because its leadership and industry couldn't stop living in the past.

See: the South, late 1800s.

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