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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

BotB: Bill Madden Doesn’t Get It, Shouldn’t the Integrity Clause Work Both Ways?

Always up for tearing some Madden down…to go along with that Gil Elvgren Christmas pin-up set until next HOF season!

I also love how these critics say the writers are biased against players who didn’t cooperate with them — another reason to disenfranchise them as objective voters. There was probably no player in the 1970s and ’80s more hostile to the writers than Eddie Murray. And yet, in 2003, Murray’s first year on the ballot, the Baseball Writers, most of whom had no use for him, overwhelmingly voted him in to the Hall at 85.3%.

How ####### big of you guys to do that. You aren’t biased, you let one player in the Hall of Fame you don’t like. What Bill Madden leaves out of this discussion is the witch hunt by current Hall of Fame voters to leave players who are merely suspected of PED use out of the Hall of Fame. If that’s not some sort of bias to leave out those merely suspected, with no proof, then I don’t know what bias truly is.

This whole “we let Eddie Murray into the Hall of Fame and we hate him” argument reminds me of when someone says, “I’m not racist, I have two black friends.” If you know exactly how many players you don’t personally like who have been elected into the Hall of Fame, then you probably have a bias against players you don’t like.

...If there is one concern, however, about the presence of all the alleged-and-otherwise steroid cheats on the ballot, it’s that the raging debate over them is going to so dominate the voting process that two truly worthy Hall-of-Fame candidates, Jack Morris and Craig Biggio, could wind up losing out.

Jack Morris isn’t worthy, but I’m not allowing Bill Madden to convince me to follow that argument down the rabbit hole. How is Craig Biggio worthy? Why isn’t he suspected of PED use? Because he didn’t hit enough home runs? Maybe Biggio was a 5-10 home run guy and PEDs helped him to slug all of those doubles. The circumstantial evidence around Biggio is the same as the circumstantial evidence around Jeff Bagwell. They played during the same era, on the same team as PED users, and any evidence that ties Bagwell into PEDs could also tie Biggio in as well. Plus, we know Biggio would do anything to get an advantage in knowing he clearly leaned into some pitches so he could get hit and get on-base. It wasn’t wrong for Biggio to do this, but it shows he is willing to give up his body to get on-base, so what’s a little pinprick to improve his performance?

Repoz Posted: January 15, 2013 at 07:20 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. ColonelTom Posted: January 15, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4347409)
The circumstantial evidence around Biggio is the same as the circumstantial evidence around Jeff Bagwell.


Has Bagwell ever denied that he admitted using andro shortly before McGwire's use became public? That seems like a big difference between Bagwell's and Biggio's cases.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4347431)
This whole “we let Eddie Murray into the Hall of Fame and we hate him” argument reminds me of when someone says, “I’m not racist, I have two black friends.” If you know exactly how many players you don’t personally like who have been elected into the Hall of Fame, then you probably have a bias against players you don’t like.


Actually, the writers have a pretty good record against guys they didn't like - too good, actually. Carlton and Murray sailed in, an undeserving Rice scraped by and Morris has gotten far more support than he warranted. And, whatever their personal feelings toward them, they didn't have any trouble rewarding Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens at awards time.

I think the writers are flat-out wrong on their approach to PEDs and the Hall, but I don't see any sign that personal animus is behind it. I never got the sense they had anything against Raffy Palmeiro, for instance.

   3. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: January 15, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4347610)
I think the writers are flat-out wrong on their approach to PEDs and the Hall, but I don't see any sign that personal animus is behind it.


I guess the question becomes one of just how much of their approach to PEDs came out of their collective loathing of Barry Bonds. If Bonds had Kirby Puckett's persona, would the anti-PED crusade be happening, or would they still be ignoring PEDs the way they did in the '90s?
   4. TomH Posted: January 15, 2013 at 03:20 PM (#4347635)
see what happens to Lance Armstrong. Media luv about to turn around?
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4347641)
I guess the question becomes one of just how much of their approach to PEDs came out of their collective loathing of Barry Bonds. If Bonds had Kirby Puckett's persona, would the anti-PED crusade be happening, or would they still be ignoring PEDs the way they did in the '90s?


Yes, the crusade was not all about Barry (who went on to win a few more MVPS after BALCO, for that matter).
   6. KT's Pot Arb Posted: January 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM (#4347934)

Has Bagwell ever denied that he admitted using andro shortly before McGwire's use became public? That seems like a big difference between Bagwell's and Biggio's cases.


You mean Biggio has never admitted to taking a legal over the counter placebo while it was allowed by Major League Baseball?
   7. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:18 AM (#4347943)
That seems like a big difference between Bagwell's and Biggio's cases.


Not to pile on, but I'm going to pile on... Why does this keep coming up? Why exactly does use of a substance that was a) not a PED, b) not an anabolic steroid, c) not banned at the time, and d) available in any GNC at the time, strike you as a big difference? Do you think that Biggio never used any legal nutritional supplements? Do you think that Bagwell somehow should have known that Andro would subsequently be banned by MLB and scheduled by the FDA?
   8. ColonelTom Posted: January 16, 2013 at 01:26 AM (#4347960)
My intent isn't to bash Bagwell - he belongs in the Hall, and I think the whole steroid witch hunt is a gigantic waste of time, since (1) nobody can ever be cleared of suspicion and (2) a substantial percentage of MLB players who were using will never be identified. You take the era as it lies for Hall voting. I want to see Bonds, Clemens, etc., in the Hall of Fame because those were the guys I paid to see. They defined baseball in that era.

My point was simply that you can't say

The circumstantial evidence around Biggio is the same as the circumstantial evidence around Jeff Bagwell.


It's not. If we're taking circumstantial evidence, the andro use - along with his physique, his use of a bodybuilding coach to get as big as he possibly could (hopefully within the law and the rules, but who knows?) in order to hit more home runs - are all circumstantial evidence. They're not conclusive, obviously, and it's entirely possible Bagwell didn't use steroids. I think it's horribly unfair to penalize Bagwell in the voting process entirely on circumstantial evidence. That said, the quoted statement above is flat-out dishonest. It may be circumstantial evidence that the author doesn't choose to believe, but circumstantial evidence certainly exists for Bagwell that isn't there for Biggio.
   9. stanmvp48 Posted: January 16, 2013 at 09:08 AM (#4347991)
"And, whatever their personal feelings toward them, they didn't have any trouble rewarding Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens at awards time. "

What about the 1991 NL MVP vote?

   10. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: January 16, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4348002)
The circumstantial evidence around Biggio is the same as the circumstantial evidence around Jeff Bagwell.


I'd vote for both of them, but Bagwell elicits more suspicion because he was built like a linebacker.
   11. zonk Posted: January 16, 2013 at 10:06 AM (#4348014)
I can't wait to visit the Hall of Vials -- Shelf upon shelf of legendary urine samples, pristine in their yellow purity; vials of blood, each a story of leeched heaven, stories told in the vivid chomatograms proudly displayed in bronze plaques above them.

Children asking fathers, "Dad, is that REALLY Joe Shaltbotnick's hair follicle, root and all?"

"That's right son, I remember the day they plucked it out... it was as if the gods came down from heaven and blessed the little proteins in that root, with choirs of angels singing 'The tests have come back CLEAN!'"

   12. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4348066)
What about the 1991 NL MVP vote?


He won seven of them, four more than anyone else, and you're going to point to the one that got away? I suppose you could also list the 2000 vote as another example of the media taking out their anger at Barry, though Kent wasn't any more popular with the press.

The 1991 vote wasn't mysterious. Bonds had just won one. Pendleton was the new guy in Atlanta, having a good year, on the league's worst-to-first team. It wasn't terribly shocking he took home the hardware, undeserved as it was.

   13. stanmvp48 Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4348081)
The Kent vote was defensible the Pendleton vote was not. But you are right the new guy on a team that gets better sometimes gets extra credit. So it wasn't entirely anti Bonds hatred. Now Vaughan over Belle is another story.
   14. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4348090)
Morris was a prickly redass as a player. The writers didn't really hate him, but they certainly didn't like him.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4348099)
Now Vaughan over Belle is another story.


Well, if Albert wasn't a bit of a psychopath, then he probably wins, yes. But that's becuase the vote was so close that any number of things could have changed the result. But it wasn't the only reason he lost.

The Red Sox were the surprise team, and Vaughn was viewed as their leader. The Indians ran away with their division, and Belle actually did most of his damage after the team had built a 20-game lead.

What's interesting is that if the AL East was structured as it had been from 1969-1993, instead of the new three divisions, then Belle wins easily (since the AL East race would have been closer, but Vaughn's team would have just been a surprising also-ran). Life's never really been fair to the Indians.

And I really doubt Bonds hatred played any role in the 1991 vote. He didn't have as good a year in 1991 as he had in his MVP-winning 1990 season, and he still was a very close second.
   16. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4348136)
I guess the question becomes one of just how much of their approach to PEDs came out of their collective loathing of Barry Bonds. If Bonds had Kirby Puckett's persona, would the anti-PED crusade be happening, or would they still be ignoring PEDs the way they did in the '90s?


I believe the Onion headline at the time of 756 was "Media to Griffey: We wish it were you breaking the record!"
   17. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4348142)
Now Vaughan over Belle is another story.


It was probably Valentin's award, anyway.
   18. stanmvp48 Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4348145)
Salmon, McGwire, Edgar. etc etc

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