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Friday, November 30, 2012

Chaz Scoggins: Like it or not, ballot loaded with Hall of Famers

Chaz: The usual suspects…and he’s voting for them all.

OK, dear readers. Go to your keyboards and compose your vicious e-mails. The inbox has been cleaned out, and I’m ready for ya.

I’m voting for Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and a whole bunch of other Steroids Era ballplayers for the Hall of Fame when my ballot arrives in the mail in a few days.

...I submit that if we, the voters, are to don white robes during this 21st Century Inquisition and cite the ballot’s instruction to take into account a candidate’s “integrity, sportsmanship, (and) character” as the reason to deny these players entry into the Hall of Fame, then we need to go back and toss out a few dozen players who are already enshrined.

Let’s throw out Babe Ruth because he broke the law of the land by drinking alcohol during Prohibition, and Ty Cobb for being, by all accounts, a despicable human being. Throw out all the Hall of Famers who swallowed amphetamines like candy during the ‘60s and ‘70s, or might have used cocaine in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Why limit this purge to possible users of PEDs?

It’s a witch hunt, and this voter isn’t joining it. I can’t reveal everyone for whom I’m voting because I don’t have my ballot yet, and since I’ll be voting for the maximum 10 players after voting for just five last year, I’m going to have to leave a player or two off the 2013 ballot I would ordinarily have voted for.

But Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds were already Hall of Famers before they became tainted by steroids, and, guilty or not, they both will be getting my vote.

Repoz Posted: November 30, 2012 at 09:05 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. bjhanke Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4313574)
This sounds sane to me. The only additions I would make are that Ty Cobb's personality issues can be easily overrated; he was one of the VERY first southerners to make good in the Majors, and so had to deal with culture shock. He also had just had bad family issues (mom killed dad). Worse, he wasn't at home to prevent the murder, because he was off playing baseball, which his dad had forbidden him to do. His dad wanted him to become an educated gentleman, like dad was (schoolteacher). A lot of the last parts of Cobb's career, and pretty much all of his post-career life, he spent trying to live the life of a gentleman as best he could. Being a gentleman, at this time, was VERY important in society. He was certainly a racist, but in 1906, from Georgia, pretty much everyone was except the black guys themselves. And if the writer here wants more ammo, in the 1800s, cocaine was widely and publicly advertized as a PED in baseball. Ty Cobb probably came into the game just as the cocaine was drifting out. - Brock Hanke
   2. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4313593)
I endorse this article.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4313601)

Let’s throw out Babe Ruth because he broke the law of the land by drinking alcohol during Prohibition, and Ty Cobb for being, by all accounts, a despicable human being. Throw out all the Hall of Famers who swallowed amphetamines like candy during the ‘60s and ‘70s, or might have used cocaine in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Why limit this purge to possible users of PEDs?


Meh. I'm pro-Bonds and Clemens in the HOF, but this gets the other side's argument wrong I think. The vitriol against PEDs is because they help performance, and are outside the bounds of the rules or law or whatever standard the proponent of the argument is using. So to compare it to drinking alcohol, or being despicable, or arguably cocaine is silly, because those don't help your performance.

Now greenies, yea, that's a legit point.
   4. bachslunch Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4313620)
Agreed, excellent article.

Re Cobb: it's true, his behavior circumstances are more complex than some think. But the bad is definitely there and simply isn't easy to sweep under the rug, including four documented assaults on blacks and one on a handicapped person during the first few decades of the 20th century. If what I've read is correct, three of those incidents ended up in lawsuits against him, which he either lost or settled out of court. It's one thing to say "he was a product of his time" to explain his racist beliefs, but being a violent sociopath simply isn't excusable under any circumstances.

Whether that constitutes a Character Clause issue regarding the HoF is of course another question. Regardless, when Cobb was elected, there was no Character Clause in HoF voting. As I understand it, this dates from 1944, and by then Cobb, Tris Speaker, John McGraw, Babe Ruth, and Rogers Hornsby (folks I've often seen cited as some of the Hall's potentially most questionable members using this criteria) had been enshrined.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4313630)
It’s a witch hunt, and this voter isn’t joining it. I can’t reveal everyone for whom I’m voting because I don’t have my ballot yet, and since I’ll be voting for the maximum 10 players after voting for just five last year, I’m going to have to leave a player or two off the 2013 ballot I would ordinarily have voted for.


His ballot last year:

1 - Bagwell
2 - McGwire
3 - D. Murphy
4 - T. Raines
5 - L. Smith
   6. Bruce Markusen Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4313638)
Yes, 1944 is the start of the written character clause in HOF voting. Prior to that, there had only been an informal understanding, initiated by Alexander Cleland, that character would be considered in the election process.
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4313698)
[5] And he listed six new guys on the new ballot, meaning he's either going to not vote for one of the new guys or he'll have to knock off somebody from last year.
   8. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4313716)
Yes, 1944 is the start of the written character clause in HOF voting.

Added after that dirtbag Gehrig snuck through the cracks, like the termite he was.
   9. bjhanke Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4313718)
Um, I'm an old Reconstructed Hippie (the infamous college class of '69), and have taken my share of illegal drugs. I also did 27 years of an odd form of stick fighting. It wasn't the major leagues, but it was a competitive sport. I never took an illegal drug before an actual fight, but, just because I thought someone should know what these drugs did, I did take some in my backyard and then fought with a friend of mine, who kept it slow and easy in case I got distracted. That is, I actually studied the issue in person.

Greenies (amphetamines) and cocaine are BEYOND ANY QUESTION performance enhancing drugs. There is more evidence for either of them - good, clinical studies that support the idea that someone on these drugs has a heightened energy AND focus - than for all steroids combined. The main difference between greenies and coke is that cocaine only lasts for about 20 minutes, which is why Tim Raines kept a pouch of it in his uniform pocket. He had to snort every inning in the dugout. Greenies lasted 4 hours with similar effects. You could also get time-released dexedrine, which is the "diet pill" that the mother refers to in Hairspray. That lasted 8 hours, but wasn't as powerful, unless you took lots of them, which players in the 1960s did. LSD, in very small doses, is also a PED, although you have to keep the dosage low to avoid hallucinating. I believe every word that Dock Ellis said about his no-hitter. Acid had the same effect on me as a fighter. Oh, and greenies and dexedrine are good hangover cures, at least short-term, according to a few ballplayers I have read. That was apparently one of the most popular uses for them. I don't think that coke cures hangovers.

Magic mushrooms and mescaline (peyote cactus) aren't PEDs, even in low doses. They are like LSD, but without the extra energy and focus. Marijuana mellows you out. Unless your problem playing is that you're too hyperactive or ADD or something, it's a Performance UN-enhancing drug. So is alcohol, unless you're an alcohol addict and can't really function without a beer or three in you (see Paul Waner). - Brock Hanke
   10. bjhanke Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4313729)
Also, I wasn't trying to sanitize Cobb, just put his behavior into a context. Being a kid from what amounted to a foreign country, and then finding out that most of your teammates thought Southerners were all evil slavers had to have magnified the already-present traits. - Brock

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