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Friday, December 28, 2012

Dave Albee: Making a statement with my 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame voting

Won’t somebody please think of the Dave Albee “Bagwell, Biggio, Piazza” HOF ballot!

He (Bagwell), Mike Piazza (a horrible catcher but with Hall of Fame numbers for any position and no connection to Mitchell Report despite rumors) and Craig Biggio (only player in baseball history with at least 3,000 hits, 600 doubles, 400 stolen bases and 250 home runs) are the only players I am voting for on this ballot and this is why: I never have done this before in my 15 years voting for the Hall of Fame and I hate to do it but I feel obligated to baseball fans everywhere — and my sons — to use my vote to make some sort of statement to players on this ballot roundly suspected and criticized for using some sort of performance-enhancing drug to compete in a game I so much love and respect.

In short I would say to them: You brought this upon yourself and you shamed the game so you don’t deserve to be given the honor and privilege of being a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee. Those votes are special, one-of-a-kind, slam-dunk, no-brainer votes and, though your statistics and awards leave no doubt that you belong in the Hall of Fame, there is too much angst about how you achieved them and that troubles me and the people who revere baseball. Those strong accusations and your arrogance are too great to ignore.

I might change my mind someday. I have before. Time has a way of revealing the truth and shedding light on right and wrong and the reasons between the two.

But ultimately I want to cast my vote with some conviction, not suspicion. This is not easy. Getting to Cooperstown is a coronation, a celebration of a job well done. Bonds is the greatest player I’ve ever seen and Clemens is the best pitcher I’ve watched in my generation. And perhaps they belong in the Hall of Fame.

Not this year.

Repoz Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:03 PM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4334013)
It's like Star Trek, and every tinpot Admiral has his own interpretation of the Prime Directive.
   2. DA Baracus Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4334014)
When everyone makes a statement, no statements are made.
   3. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:22 PM (#4334016)
One more no for Morris. That wipes out 3 yesses.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4334024)
Not a terrible ballot on the newbies, but it would look a lot better with Trammell, and Raines on there too.
   5. John Northey Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4334029)
3 of the 5 with a shot get votes, nice to see. A shame Raines didn't get another vote but I have hope he will get in someday. If Biggio/Bagwell/Piazza get in then the crunch next year is a lot less.
   6. esseff Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4334032)
Once upon a time it was laudatory for writers to columnize on their ballots, submitting themselves to a degree of accountability. Now, it has become a me-me-me soapbox. And a basic journalistic tenet has fallen as reporters rush headlong to make themselves a part of the story.
   7. Lassus Posted: December 29, 2012 at 12:05 AM (#4334038)
One of those special, rare instances when #1 wins the thread.
   8. Morty Causa Posted: December 29, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4334048)
None of the voters distinguish the the gradations and levels of culpability, based on what is known and alleged. Everyone is tarred with the same general brush.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: December 29, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4334052)
So Clemens' "arrogance" was fighting against his accusers in every venue available to him?

I get Bonds but the only evidence against Clemens is the ever-changing testimony of McNamee which has been found unreliable by any deliberating body that has had reason to review it. Hell, at this point Chass's "I saw bacne" might be more reliable evidence of PED use. Suck it up, there is no evidence that Clemens used.

Time has a way of revealing the truth and shedding light on right and wrong and the reasons between the two.

Again, Bonds and Clemens have been prosecuted by the federal government and they couldn't find any evidence of use. Since "evidence of their innocence" can't possibly exist, what new evidence of guilt is really likely to come forward? OK, Greg Anderson could write a tell-all book but there's really nobody to write one about Clemens.

But, man alive, MLB really got its money's worth out of the Mitchell Report didn't it? Seems like almost every voter references it. "So and so didn't appear in the Mitchell Report ... possibly because they only talked to two steroid dealers." (I don't remember if it was really just two -- McNamee and Radomski -- but it wasn't exactly a thorough investigation.)

   10. Walt Davis Posted: December 29, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4334053)
None of the voters distinguish the the gradations and levels of culpability, based on what is known and alleged. Everyone is tarred with the same general brush.

He just voted Piazza, specifically citing his absence from the Mitchell report despite rumors. No, he's not distinguishing between Bonds or McGwire and Clemens but he is distinguishing levels of culpability.
   11. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 29, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4334054)
Dave Albee: Making a statement with my 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame voting


The "statement" being "I am a petty blowhard," apparently.
   12. bobm Posted: December 29, 2012 at 01:01 AM (#4334058)
I get Bonds but the only evidence against Clemens is the ever-changing testimony of McNamee and Pettitte which has been found unreliable by any deliberating body that has had reason to review it.!

FTFY
   13. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 29, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4334060)
Bobm, Pettitte's testimony did not change.
   14. Bob Tufts Posted: December 29, 2012 at 01:08 AM (#4334062)
Albee's ballot exhibits a delicate balance.
   15. bobm Posted: December 29, 2012 at 02:14 AM (#4334077)
[13] Pettitte absolutely changed his testimony.

Despite all that determination and all that effort, prosecutors on Wednesday were confronted with the realization that they may have bungled the case all over again, this time because of an unexpected twist in testimony from Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte.

Pettitte, Clemens’s former teammate and close friend, first took the stand Tuesday, when he testified that Clemens admitted to him in 1999 or 2000 that he had used human growth hormone, a performance enhancer now banned by Major League Baseball.

But in a huge blow to the prosecution, Pettitte went back on the stand Wednesday and backpedaled, saying he was not so sure as to what Clemens actually said to him 12 or 13 years ago.

Pettitte’s retreat came when Michael Attanasio, one of Clemens’s lawyers, asked him: “As you sit here today, you believe in your heart of hearts and your mind that you very well might have misunderstood Mr. Clemens. Sitting here now, you’re 50-50 that you misunderstood him, is that fair?”

Looking exasperated, Pettitte answered, “I’d say that’s fair.”

That answer could haunt prosecutors because it has the potential to destroy what appears to be the best part of their case: that Pettitte — a person without any apparent reason to harm his former mentor — would nevertheless feel compelled to state under oath that Clemens had spoken of using drugs.

Instead, as a result of Pettitte’s backtracking, the prosecution now must contend with a motion by the defense to have Pettitte’s testimony about his initial H.G.H. conversation with Clemens dismissed as evidence because it is “insufficiently definitive.”


Assistant United States Attorney Steven Durham — one of the lawyers who showed inadmissible evidence to the jury in last summer’s mistrial — might have been able to limit the damage on Wednesday with his follow-up questions to Pettitte.

But Durham seemed to stumble again, never specifically trying to attack the “50-50” notion by asking Pettitte for his current recollection of the conversation he had with Clemens a dozen or so years ago.

With the jury out of the courtroom, the judge in the case, Reggie Walton of United States District Court, told Dunham that is what he should have done but didn’t.

“His testimony now
before the jury is, ‘I don’t know,’ ” Walton said to Durham. “I thought that what we would hear is, ‘Mr. Pettitte, currently, what is your memory of what Mr. Clemens told you back in 1999?’ ”

“I was waiting for you to ask, and you didn’t ask that,” he told Durham.

Prosecutors probably knew that Pettitte’s account of the 1999 or 2000 conversation had some potential cracks in it. In a deposition he gave to Congress in 2008, Pettitte spoke of a conversation in 2005 with Clemens. In that exchange, Pettitte said, Clemens maintained that he never said in 1999 or 2000 that he had taken H.G.H and that it was his wife who had used the substance.

“When Roger told me that he didn’t take it, and I misunderstood him, I took it for that, that I misunderstood him,” he said in the deposition. Still, prosecutors probably never foresaw Pettitte’s testimony going this wrong.

Pettitte is considered critical to the case because he does not have the credibility issues that the government’s key witness, Brian McNamee, does. It is McNamee, Clemens’s former trainer, who is expected to testify he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone.

Pettitte’s testimony on Wednesday was not the only disappointment for the government. [Emphasis added]


www.nytimes.com/2012/05/03/sports/baseball/in-testimony-pettitte-says-clemens-spoke-of-drug-use.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
   16. Squash Posted: December 29, 2012 at 03:27 AM (#4334087)
Again, didn't throw well = horrible catcher. Forget all those other aspects of catching we're told are so important, it's all about whether you can throw guys out at second.
   17. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 29, 2012 at 03:32 AM (#4334088)
Ray is Mr. Dueling Transcripts when it comes to Pettitte and Clemens and McNamee, so he may pop in here with the hard info.

But the coverage of Andy Pettitte's courtroom appearance was replete with eager expectations of payback because Clemens had "thrown his friend and teammate under the bus." This was followed by a vast wave of formless rage after Pettitte turned out to be a benign witness whose testimony was just as vague as it had been the first time.

It was the sports press (led by the prosecution) who badly wanted Pettitte's testimony to be more than it had been, until they'd convinced themselves that the testimony really would be more than it had been. Then, it wasn't. And they were genuinely stunned. But they didn't revisit Pettitte's original statement to see why their prediction had been so wrong. Instead, they wrote "Andy changed his story!"

Many of these sportswriters are the same ones who, when called upon to explain their role in the steroids timeline, have cried, "Nobody knew! We were swindled!" This group now includes members who cast statements rather than ballots. Some of them write that they don't know what they think, but whatever they do think, they reserve the option to unthink it next year... but they were certain they knew exactly what Andy Pettitte thought. Even though there was a printed transcript to disabuse them of their assumptions. Your guardians of the game's history at work. Do not expect statement votes when it comes to the Spink Award.
   18. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: December 29, 2012 at 03:52 AM (#4334091)
agreed with gonfalon. Ray has been on point in these trials with what has been "said" and what really has been said. He has done an outstanding job of doing this.
   19. bookbook Posted: December 29, 2012 at 05:50 AM (#4334101)
So, how was Piazza at pitch-framing any way?
   20. dlf Posted: December 29, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4334122)
The only thing that changed in Pettitte's testimony is that he agreed to a percentage on his own uncertainty. During his original deposition, he admitted that he allowed for the possibility that he misheard.

The folks saying there is no evidence have properly discredited McNamee's ever changing and admittedly in part fabricated story. What they haven't addressed, to the best of my knowledge, is the DNA testing of the needles in the Miller Lite can. The prosecution presented an expert witness who stated that because of the very limited amount of human DNA on the needles, the positive test for PEDs and Clemens' DNA could not have been faked. Certainly McN had motive and opportunity to fabricate this evidence and testified that as a police officer he was pressed to resign due to fabrication of evidence, but the only testimony directly on point was that doing so here is physically impossible. I am willing to discount that, but haven't heard why I should.
   21. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: December 29, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4334190)
So, how was Piazza at pitch-framing any way?

Really good.
   22. Srul Itza Posted: December 29, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4334202)
I am willing to discount that, but haven't heard why I should.


Because every "expert witness" is basically just giving his opinion, and his opinion, oddly enough, always matches whatever the person paying him wants it to be.

And prosecution expert witnesses are the worst of the worst. They have a long history of fabricated lab reports and testifying in death penalty cases about "predictions of future violence" wholly unsupported by any methodology.

   23. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 29, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4334240)
[13] Pettitte absolutely changed his testimony.


No, he did not. Please read his initial 2008 Congressional deposition - please read the actual transcript, instead of relying on a media account of it when many in the media had always gotten it wrong and the media account you quoted has its conclusions wrong. In his initial deposition Pettitte absolutely expressed uncertainty as to what he had heard. I've quoted the language before. The only thing that was "new" in the trial was that Clemens's lawyer asked him to put a percentage on it -- but that was not a "change" in testimony in the slightest.

Before Pettitte testified in the trial I mapped out in this forum how his testimony would go. And it went exactly as I had predicted, save for the "50-50" thing because I didn't anticipate that Clemens's lawyer would phrase his questioning in that way. (Not that it took a genius to actually read his deposition and "predict" that he would testify the same way, but, sadly, our media isn't up to such a task.)
   24. bjhanke Posted: December 30, 2012 at 04:50 AM (#4334531)
Using a Hall of Fame ballot to "make a statement" probably should be banned. The idea is to vote for the best players in history, not to deliver middle school civics lessons. - Brock Hanke

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