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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Downey: Let Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame already

Mike Downey: HOF voter.

By this point, you have made up your own mind, as so many of us have. You are from one of two camps. One is the “hasn’t Pete suffered enough?” one. The other is the “Pete got exactly what he deserved” one.

I occupy the former.

In my opinion—with utmost respect for all who feel otherwise—a life sentence is unduly harsh. We live on an Earth in which past sins can be forgiven, in which those who commit crimes do their time, pay their debts, then pray for a drop of milk of human kindness. A case could be made that Pete Rose needn’t be crucified for what he did, that it wouldn’t kill the game of baseball to finally let him off the hook.

They say gambling is a sickness, an addiction, like liquor or drugs. They tell us gamblers need help. In the same breath, they tell us funny stories about the Hall of Fame baseball greats who bar-hopped all night, came to the park drunk, played with a hangover, hahaha, what a guy. Oh, that Babe. Oh, that Mickey.

It is, of course, a Hall of Fame also occupied by an accused gambler or two, by a wife-beater or two, a philanderer or two, a racist or two, a cheater or two, a rule-breaker or two. Just as today’s voters continue to debate who did and didn’t demonstrate exemplary character, we could argue whether Pete Rose must be forever bound by “rules are rules,” or if rules, as some have been known to say, are made to be changed.

I pictured baseball’s giants Sunday posing for that picture.

Gaylord Perry. Roberto Alomar. Goose Gossage. Eddie Murray. Wade Boggs. Jim Rice.

A hero here, a hero there.

A man missing here, a man missing there, Hall of Fame hallowed figures Ralph Kiner and Tony Gwynn having lost their lives this year.

Everybody who showed up to smile for the camera deserved to do exactly that. Each one had stature. Each had acceptance. Each belonged to the club.

Pete Rose belongs. Make it so.

Repoz Posted: August 21, 2014 at 05:09 PM | 91 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. ajnrules Posted: August 21, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4776623)
I don't mind seeing Pete Rose reinstated, but if you're going to do that reinstate Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver first. Just because they've been dead for longer than Rose has been banned doesn't make them any less deserving.
   2. Tom (and his broom) Posted: August 21, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4776642)
In the universe of "reinstate Pete Rose" articles this is scraping the bottom of the barrel. Doesn't even address the real issues. Doesn't offer any real reason for the change. Just wants to vote for Pete Rose.
   3. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: August 21, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4776649)
What the hell do the deaths of Kiner and Gwynn have to do with Pete Rose? Does Pete have money running on Celebrity Death Pool now?
   4. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 21, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4776650)
Has there ever been any sign that the players' union has ever tried to modify the gambling on baseball penalties?
   5. DL from MN Posted: August 21, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4776651)
He's not in prison. Not being in a Hall of Fame is a pretty minor punishment.

Downey has wanted to vote Pete Rose in since 1990

http://articles.latimes.com/1990-07-20/sports/sp-362_1_pete-rose
   6. haggard Posted: August 21, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4776660)
Hank Aaron and Willie Mays aren't famous because they're in the Hall of Fame. While Pete Rose was a much lesser player than those two, he was comparable in terms of being a big star when he played.
It's this constant whining by Rose and his supporters which has made him into a pathetic figure whose career is somehow rendered meaningless because he's not in the Hall of Fame.
   7. toratoratora Posted: August 21, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4776663)
For crying out loud, baseball has one sacrosanct rule. One.
It's posted in every clubhouse and all players know the consequences. It's not as if Shoeless Joe and the Black Sox are hidden historical figures.

You can beat up umps, hit a man over the head with a bat, attack fans who lack hands, drive drunk, get busted for drugs, beat your wife, cheat on your taxes, whatever. It ain't gonna get you barred. Wager on horses, cockfighting, the NFL, poker, anything you can think of and that's fine.
But don't freaking bet on baseball.

Rose chose to deliberately break that rule many times. Then he lied and lied and when he finally came kinda sorta clean he did it for the cash.

What the heck is so complicated about this?

I just don't get the sympathy.
   8. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 21, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4776673)
#7. For the win.
   9. BDC Posted: August 21, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4776676)
Yes, what #7 said.

I actually think it's an excellent permanent object lesson to have the hits leader banned and out of the Hall. Banning Joe Shlabotnik would have had far less force as a deterrent.
   10. Anonymous Observer Posted: August 21, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4776682)
We live on an Earth in which past sins can be forgiven


Just because sins CAN be forgiven, doesn't mean they need to be, or should be.

then pray for a drop of milk of human kindness.


Pray all you want. But, the answer to prayers (if you're one to believe in such a thing), more often than not, is "No."

Leave the scumbag out of the game.

   11. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 21, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4776684)
#7 pretty much said it all. Rose gambled on baseball, and he can live with the consequences.
   12. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 21, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4776702)
I just don't get the sympathy.


I have none for Rose, I have none for Shoeless Joe (who was the only player banned for 1919 who actually got MONEY for throwing the World Series)
I have a teeeny tiny smidgen of sympathy for Eddie Cicotte, because he really had been ###### over royally by Comiskey

Weaver I have a little more sympathy for, he wasn't one of the conspirators, but he knew about it (And was in a tough spot, pre-Landis there was pretty much zero reason for him to believe that anything good could come from his ratting out some of his teammates) there was also some selective persecution going on by Landis, evidently some Reds players also knew the Sox were throwing the series and they sat on that "guilty knowledge" and nothing happened to them. Landis himself had some doubts about Weaver I think- he never reinstated him but Weaver was the only banned guy he ever actually willing to hear out in person afterwards. But iof course Weaver wasn't remotely a HOF caliber player

   13. TJ Posted: August 21, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4776753)
He's not in prison. Not being in a Hall of Fame is a pretty minor punishment.

Downey has wanted to vote Pete Rose in since 1990

http://articles.latimes.com/1990-07-20/sports/sp-362_1_pete-rose


Thanks for the link- I went back and read the article. What a sucky piece of crap. As for Pete Rose, while I was a huge fan of his as a kid, the best case I can make for his HOF enshrinement is to say that he should not become eligible while Mike Downey still has a vote...
   14. Into the Void Posted: August 21, 2014 at 08:50 PM (#4776758)
Let him in solely so we can stop hearing about him, seeing him, and having articles like these written.
   15. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: August 21, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4776774)
I commented to a coworker the other day that the worst thing about getting a new baseball commissioner is that all the guys on the radio think it's time to start fussing about Pete Rose again. Looks like it's the writers, too.
   16. God Posted: August 21, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4776791)
You can beat up umps, hit a man over the head with a bat, attack fans who lack hands, drive drunk, get busted for drugs, beat your wife, cheat on your taxes, whatever.


Ok, let me see if I've got this right...

You can beat up umps

Babe Ruth, Oscar Charleston

...hit a man over the head with a bat...

Juan Marichal

attack fans who lack hands

Ty Cobb


drive drunk

Untold dozens, led by Tony La Russa, manager of the drunk drivingest team in history...

get busted for drugs,

Orlando Cepeda, Fergie Jenkins, Paul Molitor

beat your wife,

Again, probably untold dozens, led by Bobby Cox

cheat on your taxes

Duke Snider, Willie McCovey

...also you could add spitting on people (Alomar, Ted Williams)
   17. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 21, 2014 at 10:03 PM (#4776801)
Shoeless Joe (who was the only player banned for 1919 who actually got MONEY for throwing the World Series)


What does this mean?
   18. God Posted: August 21, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4776813)
I believe he's referring to the fact that some of the other players agreed to throw the Series -- and did in fact throw the Series -- but got stiffed on the payment end by the gamblers. The statement isn't entirely true, though. Going from memory here, but I'm pretty sure that Cicotte and Gandil, at the very least, also did receive their promised money. In fact I think Gandil ended up keeping some money that was supposed to go to teammates.
   19. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 21, 2014 at 10:51 PM (#4776815)
cheat on your taxes

Duke Snider, Willie McCovey


Pete Rose...
   20. Poster Nutbag Posted: August 21, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4776818)
What the hell do the deaths of Kiner and Gwynn have to do with Pete Rose? Does Pete have money running on Celebrity Death Pool now?


Tontine
   21. God Posted: August 21, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4776823)
19 - You miss the point. Pete Rose is an example of the opposite -- someone who's cheated on his taxes and hasn't gotten into the Hall of Fame.
   22. Lassus Posted: August 21, 2014 at 11:22 PM (#4776825)
The only reason to let Rose in now it to get his supporters to shut the hell up. And that's just not a good enough reason.
   23. Bhaakon Posted: August 21, 2014 at 11:34 PM (#4776832)

The only reason to let Rose in now it to get his supporters to shut the hell up. And that's just not a good enough reason.


Putting Rose in the hall would put half the BBWAA on the street. They'd be unable to fill column space without those 10-15 gimme articles on Rose every year.
   24. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 21, 2014 at 11:45 PM (#4776839)
Putting Rose in the hall would put half the BBWAA on the street. They'd be unable to fill column space without those 10-15 gimme articles on Rose every year.


I'm sure they'd just start writing articles about the evil scourge of steroids and explaining at great length why a Roger Clemens and Jeff Bagwell don't belong.
   25. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 22, 2014 at 12:21 AM (#4776852)
If there's anyone who should never be in the Hall, it would be Rose.
   26. silhouetted by the sea Posted: August 22, 2014 at 01:13 AM (#4776860)
If you proved to Pete that being the only player banned from the Hall makes him money and being one of about 70 living members would cost him money he would be calling his writer buddies and begging them to stop lobbying for him.
   27. CrosbyBird Posted: August 22, 2014 at 01:28 AM (#4776862)
Just because sins CAN be forgiven, doesn't mean they need to be, or should be.

Actually, I'm perfectly fine with forgiving Rose (not that I was ever angry at him). I think he's very likely got an illness.

But forgiving someone doesn't mean you have to honor them.
   28. BrianBrianson Posted: August 22, 2014 at 03:35 AM (#4776869)
No thank you.
   29. shoewizard Posted: August 22, 2014 at 09:19 AM (#4776915)
NO!
   30. shoewizard Posted: August 22, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4776918)
And not because I care one whit about Pete Rose. It's because there is nothing that will kill baseball quicker than people believing the games are being thrown. Zero tolerance. Give one inch, and it's open season on throwing games. It's really just that simple, although I am sure someone will give a perfectly eloquent rebuttal, they'll still be wrong. I've seen it first hand, (Taiwan).
   31. Ron J2 Posted: August 22, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4776930)
#4 At various times Mike Schmidt, Robin Roberts and Joe Morgan have championed Rose for the hall. Roberts and Morgan going as far as trying to arrange a compromise contingent on Rose admitting to his having bet on the Reds (at the time he was still denying it)

Morgan and Roberts weren't so much championing his candidacy but trying to come up with a process to get Rose on the ballot.

They were shot down by far more impassioned objections led by Bob Feller, Warren Spahn and Eddie Mathews.

And as I know I've mentioned here before, Jane Forbes Clark has cited Tom Seaver as convincing her that the current set of rules (ie those that keep Rose out) are a good idea.
   32. Ron J2 Posted: August 22, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4776935)
#17 Most of the money that Arnold Rothstein put up ended up in other pockets. The guy who was supposed to make the payments to Gandil kept a chunk of it. Gandil kept most of what he'd been given. Jackson got half of what he'd been promised ($5K out of the $10K he'd been promised)

Some place around here I have a full breakdown. My memory says that Cicotte was the only player who got exactly what he'd been promised.
   33. bookbook Posted: August 22, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4776939)
Nothing has been better for Pete Rose's notoriety and earning power than his lifetime HOF ban. For that reason alone, we should stop rewarding him. Lift the ban already.
   34. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 22, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4776965)
#33 No. The ban is making him suffer, and he deserves to suffer as long as he lives for what he did.
   35. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 22, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4777019)
I wonder if the Rose ban has had any influence on the ongoing de facto steroids ban. Most of the pro-Rose people also tend to be strongly anti-steroids, so Rose gives them a justification in their minds for keeping evil people like Barry Bonds out. Rose also fostered the idea of a Hall of Fame ban as an appropriate punishment for various sins, which may have made a steroids ban seem more legitimate in some voters' minds.

A couple of us have discussed here how the steroids ban has altered the Hall of Fame, and made it something other than a place to honor the greatest on-field performers in the game. But really that goes back to Rose, whom everyone thinks is a clear Hall of Famer based on performance alone.

   36. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4777028)
The pro-Rose crowd and the pro-Bonds crowd have plenty of differences between them, and mostly don't overlap, but they've got one thing in common: They confuse the Hall of Fame plaque room with the Hall of Merit, and honor with statistical acknowledgement.
   37. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4777057)
The pro-Rose crowd and the pro-Bonds crowd have plenty of differences between them, and mostly don't overlap, but they've got one thing in common: They confuse the Hall of Fame plaque room with the Hall of Merit, and honor with statistical acknowledgement.
No; as Tom said, the pro-Rose crowd are the anti-Bonds crowd, so that theory of yours doesn't make sense.

The idiocy of your pretense that there are two HOFs, a Hall of Fame and a Hall of Merit, need not be addressed at any great length again.
   38. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4777061)
but they've got one thing in common: They confuse the Hall of Fame plaque room with the Hall of Merit, and honor with statistical acknowledgement.

?????????
are you trolling or something?
   39. Ron J2 Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4777072)
#38 No. Or at least if it is, it's a remarkably consistent piece of trolling. Andy brings up the Hall of Merit all the time in these discussions.

EDIT: And absolutely will not acknowledge that "everybody" makes statistical arguments for their candidates.
   40. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4777085)
then pray for a drop of milk of human kindness.


Pete received his drop of milk of human kindness. He was allowed to participate in the MLB all century team, and was honored on the field during the 1999 World Series. He also participated in a 2010 celebration of the 25th anniversary of 4192.

Bestowing the greatest honor in baseball on him would be a travesty.

But, it would be great if they let him in the HOF, then proof came out that he bet against the Reds. That would be all kinds of awesome. Yet totally unsurprising.


   41. Baldrick Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4777089)
#33 No. The ban is making him suffer, and he deserves to suffer as long as he lives for what he did.

Arguments like this are pretty much the only reason I would support his admission. So as to not align myself with this kind of retributive, vindictive ridiculousness.

Good job utterly abandoning the moral high ground.
No; as Tom said, the pro-Rose crowd are the anti-Bonds crowd, so that theory of yours doesn't make sense.

The idiocy of your pretense that there are two HOFs, a Hall of Fame and a Hall of Merit, need not be addressed at any great length again.

I don't always agree with David Nieporent, but when I do, holy cow do I agree.
   42. Ron J2 Posted: August 22, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4777109)
I don't always agree with David Nieporent, but when I do (see dos equis commercial)
   43. haggard Posted: August 22, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4777124)
The idiocy of your pretense that there are two HOFs, a Hall of Fame and a Hall of Merit, need not be addressed at any great length again.

Exactly. There are detailed statistical records and written descriptions and accounts which allow you to look at ant player's career, and one Hall of Fame to express your treacly man love for those certain pampered millionaires you deem special.
   44. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 22, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4777142)
The Hall of Merit doesn't exist any more? When was it dissolved?
   45. Topher Posted: August 22, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4777152)
Assumption .... But my take is that most of the pro-Rose writers are of an older generation and are less likely to be fans of soccer. And as such might be a bit unaware as to the extent that match fixing has corrupted lower level soccer, international friendlies, and on occasion had real impact on the highest levels of the sport.

I think there is a real disconnect in the minds of many because Rose committed an "innocent" crime where nobody was negatively impacted -- (He only bet for his team to win!!!). We fortunately are far enough removed from a MLB match fixing scandal. However, I think that also makes it a bit more difficult to truly connect the dots between how some "innocent" bets can end up shaking the core of the game. I think everybody gets the fact that it becomes potentially possible for gambling to have that type of impact, it can be easily dismissed that it would ever get to that point.

Yet soccer is sitting right in front of us (for those that choose to look) for what can happen when you don't have a culture in place that prevents that type of corruption from slowly yet progressively becoming a blight on the sport.
   46. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 22, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4777165)
No; as Tom said, the pro-Rose crowd are the anti-Bonds crowd, so that theory of yours doesn't make sense.



I disagree with that, although it may be that the pro-Rose crowd is a subset of the anti-Bonds crowd.
   47. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4777178)
The pro-Rose crowd and the pro-Bonds crowd have plenty of differences between them, and mostly don't overlap, but they've got one thing in common: They confuse the Hall of Fame plaque room with the Hall of Merit, and honor with statistical acknowledgement.

No; as Tom said, the pro-Rose crowd are the anti-Bonds crowd, so that theory of yours doesn't make sense.


What part of "mostly don't overlap" did you fail to read?

But there are plenty of primarily pro-Rose types who would also vote for Bonds, and an indeterminate number of pro-Bonds voters who might also vote for Rose if they had a chance.

The idiocy of your pretense that there are two HOFs, a Hall of Fame and a Hall of Merit, need not be addressed at any great length again.

Well, they're sure as hell not identical, and only one of them has a disqualifying character clause, so what's your point? I'm not saying that statistics don't play the major part in Hall of Fame considerations, and I never have.
   48. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4777187)
So what is the main argument of the pro-Rose crowd? His on-field statistics trump all other considerations.

And what is the main argument of the pro-Bonds crowd? His on-field statistics trump all other considerations.

Is anyone seriously trying to deny this?
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4777389)
Apparently not.
   50. Booey Posted: August 22, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4777396)
You can beat up umps, hit a man over the head with a bat, attack fans who lack hands, drive drunk, get busted for drugs, beat your wife, cheat on your taxes, whatever. It ain't gonna get you barred. Wager on horses, cockfighting, the NFL, poker, anything you can think of and that's fine.
But don't freaking bet on baseball.


Or do steroids. Apparently baseball now has two sacrosanct* rules (well, the HOF does anyway).

* I actually don't even know what this word means, so I'm assuming the original poster was using it correctly. :-)
   51. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: August 22, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4777401)
So what is the main argument of the pro-Rose crowd? His on-field statistics trump all other considerations.

And what is the main argument of the pro-Bonds crowd? His on-field statistics trump all other considerations.

Is anyone seriously trying to deny this?


The pro-Rose crowd argues that we should forgive him for breaking the rules.

The pro-Bonds crowd argues that he didn't break any rules.

Key distinction.
   52. Baldrick Posted: August 22, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4777403)
So what is the main argument of the pro-Rose crowd? His on-field statistics trump all other considerations.

And what is the main argument of the pro-Bonds crowd? His on-field statistics trump all other considerations.

Is anyone seriously trying to deny this?

Pro-Rose crowd: we should ignore an explicit and definitive rule (one which is integral to the basic structure and integrity of the game itself), as well as the deal that Rose himself made.

Pro-Bonds crowd: the 'character' clause is a silly and arbitrarily-applied basis for excluding a player based on PEDs, particularly when their use was widespread and shrugged off by the powers that be.

You are welcome to agree or disagree with either of those claims, but they're not remotely similar. If Rose were eligible and was being denied entry because some voters chose to ignore his eligibility for character-based reasons, that would certainly be closer. But that's not the case.
   53. Booey Posted: August 22, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4777408)
And what is the main argument of the pro-Bonds crowd? His on-field statistics trump all other considerations.


I think the main argument with the pro-Bonds crowd is that the choice to keep PED-linked players out of the HOF was made up on the spot and is being applied retroactively to players who juiced back when no one - including MLB itself - gave a damn. Rose OTOH knew full well that what he was doing was the ultimate baseball sin and what the consequences would be if he got caught. Whether Bonds/McGwire/Clemens/etc knew what they were doing was wrong or not, they had no way of knowing it would result in a permanent HOF blackball. Maybe they'd have reconsidered if they did.
   54. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 22, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4777415)
Well, they're sure as hell not identical, and only one of them has a disqualifying character clause, so what's your point? I'm not saying that statistics don't play the major part in Hall of Fame considerations, and I never have.


Yawn on this for the umpteenth time, but you claim that the Hall of Merit doesn't have character as one of its criteria, but that's not true. Character is not as much of a blank slate as it is in the HOF guidelines, but it's there:

A player’s “personality” is to be considered only to the extent that it affected the outcomes of the player’s games (e.g., via his positive or negative effect on his teammates). In rare and extreme cases, a voter may opt to exclude a player on “personality” grounds on the first ballot on which the player appears. If that player does not get elected on his first ballot, the voter shall give the player full consideration in all subsequent ballots, regardless of the “personality” factors.

Allegations (proven or otherwise) about throwing baseball games may be especially troubling to some voters. It would be appropriate for such a voter to discount such a player’s accomplishments to some degree. In rare and extreme cases, it may even be appropriate for such a voter to choose not to vote for an otherwise worthy candidate.

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/hall_of_merit/discussion/our_constitution


The HOM wasn't created as a "HOF without the character clause," as you pretend. It was created as a better HOF, in response to the HOF's mistakes:

The Hall of Merit is an internet group of baseball enthusiasts who will create its own “Hall of Merit” to rival the “Hall of Fame” in Cooperstown. Many believe that the National Baseball Hall of Fame has done a less than perfect job of selecting the game’s greatest players to honor. We will attempt to rectify mistakes made by Hall of Fame selections by conducting our own series of elections.


So to the extent that Bonds and Clemens et al are kept out of the HOF, the HOM views this as a mistake that they aim to correct. Which means that the HOM views it as illegitimate that Bonds and Clemens et al are kept out, not something to trumpet as a correct and just result as you constantly do.
   55. Tom (and his broom) Posted: August 22, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4777416)
The difference in support for Rose and Bonds is as clear as black and white. Rose was a player who "was able to overcome his limitations" and set records by always hustling and "played the game the right way" (i.e. he was white). Bonds was a superbly talented player who lacked the humility he should have had (i.e he was black) and cheated to set records.

You cannot underestimate the role of racism in this issue.
   56. Booey Posted: August 22, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4777429)
You cannot underestimate the role of racism in this issue.


Except that white PED-"tainted" players are being treated in an identical fashion to Bonds. Clemens gets virtually the same vote totals as Barry despite actually having much weaker evidence against him.

I think the HOF snub against Bonds/Clemens/etc is inconsistent, hypocritical, childish, vindictive, and just plain silly, but I don't see any evidence to think it's racist.

Or maybe your comment was sarcasm. I can't tell.
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4777437)
Pro-Rose crowd: we should ignore an explicit and definitive rule (one which is integral to the basic structure and integrity of the game itself), as well as the deal that Rose himself made.

Pro-Bonds crowd: the 'character' clause is a silly and arbitrarily-applied basis for excluding a player based on PEDs, particularly when their use was widespread and shrugged off by the powers that be.

You are welcome to agree or disagree with either of those claims, but they're not remotely similar. If Rose were eligible and was being denied entry because some voters chose to ignore his eligibility for character-based reasons, that would certainly be closer. But that's not the case.


Again, I have not said that the pro-Rose and the pro-Bonds arguments are identical in all respects. I've simply made the irrefutable point that in both cases their proponents are saying that their on-field accomplishments should override all other considerations.

And in both cases, that argument dovetails with the Hall of Merit model---which is why both Rose and Bonds are Hall of Merit members, but are not in the Hall of Fame.

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I think the main argument with the pro-Bonds crowd is that the choice to keep PED-linked players out of the HOF was made up on the spot and is being applied retroactively to players who juiced back when no one - including MLB itself - gave a damn. Rose OTOH knew full well that what he was doing was the ultimate baseball sin and what the consequences would be if he got caught. Whether Bonds/McGwire/Clemens/etc knew what they were doing was wrong or not, they had no way of knowing it would result in a permanent HOF blackball. Maybe they'd have reconsidered if they did.

See my reply to the previous comment. Your point may be true, but it doesn't refute what I've been saying.

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A player’s “personality” is to be considered only to the extent that it affected the outcomes of the player’s games (e.g., via his positive or negative effect on his teammates). In rare and extreme cases, a voter may opt to exclude a player on “personality” grounds on the first ballot on which the player appears. If that player does not get elected on his first ballot, the voter shall give the player full consideration in all subsequent ballots, regardless of the “personality” factors.

Allegations (proven or otherwise) about throwing baseball games may be especially troubling to some voters. It would be appropriate for such a voter to discount such a player’s accomplishments to some degree. In rare and extreme cases, it may even be appropriate for such a voter to choose not to vote for an otherwise worthy candidate.


Joe Jackson is in the Hall of Merit. Pete Rose is in the Hall of Merit. You can't name a single player who's been excluded from the Hall of Merit for any reason other than statistical deficiency, and you know it. Whether that makes is "better" or "worse" or (my take) just "different" than the Hall of Fame is purely a matter of opinion, but in any case, they're fundamentally different in their considerations of non-statistical criteria.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

The difference in support for Rose and Bonds is as clear as black and white. Rose was a player who "was able to overcome his limitations" and set records by always hustling and "played the game the right way" (i.e. he was white). Bonds was a superbly talented player who lacked the humility he should have had (i.e he was black) and cheated to set records.

You cannot underestimate the role of racism in this issue.


Of course that's a complete caricature of the case against Bonds, which if it were true would have enabled McGwire to sail right past those Ku Klux loving gatekeepers with flying colors.

EDIT: coke to Booey
   58. JJ1986 Posted: August 22, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4777440)
Jackson and Rose are banned from the Hall of Fame (and Jackson was understood to be banned before it was made official). The only other players who are excluded from the HoF for non-statistcal reasons are PED users and players who might be PED users because they hit too many home runs in the 90s.
   59. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 22, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4777442)
Again, I have not said that the pro-Rose and the pro-Bonds arguments are identical in all respects. I've simply made the irrefutable point that in both cases their proponents are saying that their on-field accomplishments should override all other considerations.


No. You're misidentifying the pro-Bonds argument. The pro-Bonds people are saying that there are no other relevant considerations, since (a) the character clause was used only sparingly in the past (e.g., Joe Jackson), and (b) never to keep PED users out. Cite: amps.
   60. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 22, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4777444)
Is anyone seriously trying to deny this?

Of course. The pro-Rose argument is that the punishment far exceeds his "crime"; that baseball pulled a bait and switch on him in the 1989 agreement by reneging on the implicit agreement that he would be HOF-eligible and eventually reinstated and by not abiding by the non-admission language in the agreement; and that they imposed a bill of attainder on him when they changed the HOF rules to keep him out.

All those things are undeniably true.
   61. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4777446)
Jackson and Rose are banned from the Hall of Fame (and Jackson was understood to be banned before it was made official). The only other players who are excluded from the HoF for non-statistcal reasons are PED users and players who might be PED users because they hit too many home runs in the 90s.

Right, and yet both of them are in the Hall of Merit for one simple reason: Their statistics. The same statistics that won't get them into the Hall of Fame. If that alone doesn't distinguish these two institutions in your mind, then you're simply closing your mind to the facts.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Again, I have not said that the pro-Rose and the pro-Bonds arguments are identical in all respects. I've simply made the irrefutable point that in both cases their proponents are saying that their on-field accomplishments should override all other considerations.

No. You're misidentifying the pro-Bonds argument. The pro-Bonds people are saying that there are no other relevant considerations, since (a) the character clause was used only sparingly in the past (e.g., Joe Jackson), and (b) never to keep PED users out. Cite: amps.


That's indeed an argument that some pro-Bonds people stress---other pro-Bonds people have dwelled more on other points---but in no case have any pro-Bonds people said that Bonds's statistical accomplishments shouldn't override everything else.

Which is the same thing that Rose's supporters say about their hero. Which is a prime feature of the Hall of Merit that distinguishes it from the Hall of Fame. You try to evade this simple point, but being in denial is not an argument.

Again, you can refute my point very easily by pointing to a single case where the Hall of Merit has voted down a candidate for any non-statistical reason. If their "personality clause" is elastic enough to let game thrower Shoeless Joe and serial gambler Pete Rose to pass through it, who's left for that "personality clause" to veto?

   62. Baldrick Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4777447)
Again, I have not said that the pro-Rose and the pro-Bonds arguments are identical in all respects. I've simply made the irrefutable point that in both cases their proponents are saying that their on-field accomplishments should override all other considerations.

Oh, well that's something that no one else has been able to figure out. Would also like to clarify for us whether the number 10 is larger or smaller than the number 784,548?

Your original claim is that the pro-Rose and pro-Bonds crowd "confuse the Hall of Fame plaque room with the Hall of Merit, and honor with statistical acknowledgement" which is wildly different than your new claim, which is simply that both groups think their guy should be inducted. A radically uncontroversial statement that carries none of the judgment contained in your original verb 'confuse.'
   63. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4777448)
I'll add to my #59 that even if one bizarrely concludes that amps are meaningfully different from steroids and therefore that steroids users are cheaters while amps users are not, well, the cheater-dirty-cheater argument doesn't operate to exclude the steroids players either, since Gaylord Perry is in. Nobody can deny that Perry was a cheater. (Well, nobody except for Andy.)
   64. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4777454)
The pro-Rose argument is that the punishment far exceeds his "crime"; that baseball pulled a bait and switch on him in the 1989 agreement by reneging on the implicit agreement that he would be HOF-eligible and eventually reinstated and by not abiding by the non-admission language in the agreement; and that they imposed a bill of attainder on him when they changed the HOF rules to keep him out.

This ignores, among other things, that Rose continued to lie about his betting on baseball for decades, despite a mountain of evidence showing that he did. Quite an argument for leniency - refuse to accept your own guilt and accuse the judge of framing you.
   65. Tom (and his broom) Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4777455)
Of course. The pro-Rose argument is that the punishment far exceeds his "crime"; that baseball pulled a bait and switch on him in the 1989 agreement by reneging on the implicit agreement that he would be HOF-eligible and eventually reinstated and by not abiding by the non-admission language in the agreement; and that they imposed a bill of attainder on him when they changed the HOF rules to keep him out.

All those things are undeniably true.


No they are not. No change in rules, no reneging on the agreement.

What was explicit in the the 1989 agreement was that he could earn reinstatement and become HOF eligible. MLB interpreted this as "Pete Rose will renounce gambling and show that he regrets what he did", Pete Rose interpreted it as "I'm Pete Rose, they will wait a few years and reinstate me because I am Pete Rose".

Unfortunately Pete Rose's interpretation was stupidly wrong.
   66. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4777456)
So what is the main argument of the pro-Rose crowd? His on-field statistics trump all other considerations.

And what is the main argument of the pro-Bonds crowd? His on-field statistics trump all other considerations.

Is anyone seriously trying to deny this?


Of course. The pro-Rose argument is that the punishment far exceeds his "crime"; that baseball pulled a bait and switch on him in the 1989 agreement by reneging on the implicit agreement that he would be HOF-eligible and eventually reinstated and by not abiding by the non-admission language in the agreement; and that they imposed a bill of attainder on him when they changed the HOF rules to keep him out.

All those things are undeniably true.


True to some people, not to others, but in any case you're also saying---along with Rose's other supporters---that Rose's statistics should qualify him for the Hall of Fame. Which is exactly what the pro-Bonds people are saying about Bonds. You and Ray are both making the same underlying point, only about two different players, and with different ancillary arguments to support the common point that statistics are all that should matter. The two of you might just consider getting a room.
   67. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4777460)
Again, I have not said that the pro-Rose and the pro-Bonds arguments are identical in all respects. I've simply made the irrefutable point that in both cases their proponents are saying that their on-field accomplishments should override all other considerations.

Oh, well that's something that no one else has been able to figure out.


Tell that to Ray and Sugar Bear. They don't seem to have gotten the message.

Your original claim is that the pro-Rose and pro-Bonds crowd "confuse the Hall of Fame plaque room with the Hall of Merit, and honor with statistical acknowledgement" which is wildly different than your new claim, which is simply that both groups think their guy should be inducted. A radically uncontroversial statement that carries none of the judgment contained in your original verb 'confuse.'

"Judgment" aside, that's simply two ways of saying the same thing: Statistics uber alles are all that matters in the Hall of Merit, but not in the Hall of Fame. Ask Mssrs. Jackson, Rose and Bonds if this statement doesn't seem to have been applied to them.
   68. Tom (and his broom) Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4777467)
Booey, I was only half sarcastic, there is a vocal minority of pro-Rose/Anti-Bonds writers who have noticeable racist undertones in their logic. But the old guard writers are gradually becoming embarrassed by that racist rhetoric. I think there has been a certain consensus reached among writers that the PED linked players will need to wait but will eventually be enshrined. The interesting thing will be the timing of that change for various players.

If the HOF were more of a secret ballot we might get more racial separation, but with the push to make your votes public, writers are tied by their logic for the most part.
   69. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4777468)
Joe Jackson is in the Hall of Merit. Pete Rose is in the Hall of Merit. You can't name a single player who's been excluded from the Hall of Merit for any reason other than statistical deficiency, and you know it.


Huh? I just pointed out to you that the HOM has a character clause and that its purpose is to correct the mistakes of the HOF, mistakes it has corrected by inducting Clemens/etc. And your response is... to deem those things irrelevant?
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4777475)
Which is the same thing that Rose's supporters say about their hero. Which is a prime feature of the Hall of Merit that distinguishes it from the Hall of Fame. You try to evade this simple point, but being in denial is not an argument.


The HOM is trying to "distinguish" itself from the HOF by being a better HOF, as I noted.

Does the HOM have a character clause? Yes.
   71. JJ1986 Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4777478)
If one thinks that Bonds did nothing wrong, then what else could possibly matter except his stats? Refusing to sign autographs for Ron Kittle?
   72. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4777481)
True to some people, not to others, but in any case you're also saying---along with Rose's other supporters---that Rose's statistics should qualify him for the Hall of Fame. Which is exactly what the pro-Bonds people are saying about Bonds.


Exactly nobody thinks that Rose's or Bonds's statistics would not qualify them for the HOF if there were not other issues present. I have no idea what your point is. You haven't said anything interesting or perceptive; all you've said is that the sun rises in the east.
   73. TJ Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:39 PM (#4777483)
Oh, great- we're back to the "steroid v amps v Gaylord Perry" debate. Wake me when someone makes a point we haven't heard 10,000 times before...
   74. CrosbyBird Posted: August 22, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4777495)
That's indeed an argument that some pro-Bonds people stress---other pro-Bonds people have dwelled more on other points---but in no case have any pro-Bonds people said that Bonds's statistical accomplishments shouldn't override everything else.

I won't argue as to what people said, but if it came out that Bonds bet on baseball games he was a participant in, I would not want him to be inducted into the HOF either. It's not "statistical accomplishments trump everything" (which I clearly disagree with) or even "statistical accomplishments trump PED use" (which I tend to agree with but absolutely respect disagreement on).

There certainly are anti-PED sentiments I have serious problems with. It's making disingenuous and non-scientifically-backed arguments about one particular type of PED being much more effective than another, or worse ("amphetamines are coffee!"). It's about a baseball culture that embraced performance during the PED-era suddenly becoming moral champions of "clean" play (which never really existed and still does not exist).

If you take the moral position that PEDs are bad for baseball, whether out of sense of concern for the health of the players or because they're illegal, I'm completely fine with that. If you want to make PED use a lifetime-ban offense that renders a player unworthy of the HOF, I'm fine with that too as long as the punishment only applies to conduct that took place after the official MLB policy changed to reflect the cultural shift.

Pete Rose can't claim he didn't know or that the spirit of the rule had moved beyond the letter. Not only did teams and the media and the fans not celebrate players gambling on baseball, but the rule and the consequences could hardly have been made more clear to everyone. Being anti-Bonds and anti-Rose are fundamentally different.
   75. Booey Posted: August 22, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4777498)
#73 - Welcome to the modern age of baseball fandom. You'll get the same debates on every baseball related forum. That's why - in addition to the credibility blow it's dealt to the HOF - I've long thought that the reaction to the steroids controversy has been more damaging than the steroids themselves were. People can't just sit back and enjoy what they see anymore. Read the comments section after any game or baseball related article. Every player that's good is probably just another "cheater" that hasn't been caught yet.

(And I'm not excluding myself for my part in all the redundant arguments here. Just saying that they're not unique to BBTF and they don't seem to be going away anytime soon)
   76. Buck Coats Posted: August 22, 2014 at 10:30 PM (#4777558)
No they are not. No change in rules, no reneging on the agreement.

What was explicit in the the 1989 agreement was that he could earn reinstatement and become HOF eligible.


This is incorrect, at the time of the 1989 agreement he was still HOF-eligible, potential reinstatement was a separate issue. He didn't become HOF-ineligible until the HOF made that rule after he had signed. (A good rule, might I add.)
   77. Walt Davis Posted: August 22, 2014 at 10:58 PM (#4777571)
FWIW, the HoM did not elect Rose in his first year of eligibility. That was due to the fact that he was omitted entirely from 16 of the 52 ballots.

Per HoM rules, he was easily elected the following year and named on all 52 ballots. Note he garnered more points than Carlton and Reggie, with 31 first place votes, which I'm not sure I agree with.

Regardless, the HoM "penalized" Rose to the extent their voting rules allowed them to. They elected Bonds and Clemens (and I think Mac and Palmeiro) on their first ballots.

The pro-Bonds (and pro-Clemens) arguments are simple and pretty undeniable:

1. They were the greatest of their generation. (Maddux and Pedro have potential claims)

2. They are eligible for election. Even Palmeiro who failed a test was eligible. To the best of my knowledge, Manny is expected to be eligible.

3. They violated no rules of baseball so they didn't cheat the game.

4. They (allegedly in Clemens' case, possibly unknowingly in Bonds' case) engaged in behavior that was widely accepted (and engaged in) by their fellow players so they didn't cheat their fellow players.

5. To the best of the Federal government's evidence-gathering ability, we have no evidence that they ever even lied about their (baseball) legal usage.

6. By using, knowingly or not, Bonds violated federal law ... as did every player who used a greenie post ... what, 1968? However, while illegal, such usage is frequently overlooked by authorities suggesting that society does not really have an issue with users in general.

2 and 3 mean that the Rose analogy fails before it even gets out of the gate. 3 through 6 mean that there is absolutely no basis to apply the character clause. 3, 4 and 6 establish the precedent that no matter how bent out of shape some of you got after the fact, there's no basis for applying the character clause.

Alas there is also 7. BBWAA windbags can vote however they want and the HoF has done nothing and will likely continue to do nothing to change the voters' collective behavior.
   78. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4777573)
Which is the same thing that Rose's supporters say about their hero. Which is a prime feature of the Hall of Merit that distinguishes it from the Hall of Fame. You try to evade this simple point, but being in denial is not an argument.

The HOM is trying to "distinguish" itself from the HOF by being a better HOF, as I noted.


And one of the main reasons you assert it's a "better HOF" is because its admission standards are purely statistical---or as you might put it, "objective". Other than the fact that I'd just call those standards "different" rather than necessarily "better", you and I share identical views as to the Hall of Merit's mission.

Does the HOM have a character clause? Yes.

A "character clause" that can't even keep out the game fixer Joe Jackson and the chronic gambler Pete Rose isn't worth the paper it's printed on. You still haven't named a single player that it's been applied to, because there isn't any and never will be. If O.J. Simpson had been a baseball player he'd be in the Hall of Merit as sure as you're born.

Exactly nobody thinks that Rose's or Bonds's statistics would not qualify them for the HOF if there were not other issues present. I have no idea what your point is.

The point is that both Rose's and Bonds's defenders take that first sentence of yours to heart, and would vote accordingly, thereby distinguishing themselves from the Hall of Fame voters by elevating statistics above all other considerations. The fact that these two groups' supporting arguments for their respective heroes are largely divergent** doesn't negate this.

**"Who cares about steroids?" or "Who cares about steroids prior to testing?" vs. "Who cares about gambling?" or "Pete only bet on the Reds to win." But "Elect them because of their statistics" is a song these otherwise divergent groups sing in perfect harmony, and the Hall of Merit voters have chimed in to make it a trio.
   79. JJ1986 Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:08 PM (#4777574)
Bonds supporters don't think that there are other considerations. They aren't elevating statistics above PED use; they're judging Bonds based on his career the same way you would judge any other player.
   80. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4777575)
The pro-Bonds (and pro-Clemens) arguments are simple and pretty undeniable:

3. They violated no rules of baseball so they didn't cheat the game.


That's great, Walt. Now how did Shoeless Joe and Rose get around that? Are game fixing or betting on your team while managing not against the rules? Do they not "cheat the game"?

I'll ask you the same question that Ray's repeatedly ducked: How and why are Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose both in the Hall of Merit, if what I've been saying about the HoM's "statistics uber alles" standard is false?
   81. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:10 PM (#4777577)
Bonds supporters don't think that there are other considerations. They aren't elevating statistics above PED use; they're judging Bonds based on his career the same way you would judge any other player.

And how does that differ from Rose's supporters, who say that his statistics should put him in the Hall of Fame?
   82. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:15 PM (#4777581)
The verbal semantics used in some of these arguments is truly a sight to behold. I'm not attacking the Hall of Merit's standards, for Christ's sake, I'm merely describing them, as evidenced by the players (Shoeless Joe and Rose) who are in it. Why are people so resistant to the simplest of factual observations?
   83. JJ1986 Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:15 PM (#4777582)
And how does that differ from Rose's supporters, who say that his statistics should put him in the Hall of Fame?


Every Hall of Fame case for a major league player is based on statistics. If that's the similarity, then Bonds is also similar to Jack Morris and Marty Marion.
   84. JJ1986 Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4777583)
The case of Rose supporters is that he did something that would normally disqualify him, but should still be in the Hall. The case of Bonds supporters is that he didn't do anything that would disqualify him.
   85. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:25 PM (#4777586)
And how does that differ from Rose's supporters, who say that his statistics should put him in the Hall of Fame?

Every Hall of Fame case for a major league player is based on statistics.


But every Hall of Fame candidate is subject to a character clause veto, a veto that has never been applied to a single Hall of Merit candidate, not even a game fixer and a gambler.

------------------------------------------------------

The case of Rose supporters is that he did something that would normally disqualify him, but should still be in the Hall. The case of Bonds supporters is that he didn't do anything that would disqualify him.

And the argument of both Rose's and Bonds's supporters is that their statistics override all other considerations, regardless of what anyone else** might say. The fact that many of each group's supporters might not use that argument to support the other group's hero is irrelevant.

**Either the Commissioner or 60% of the BBWAA voters
   86. Baldrick Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:47 PM (#4777595)
And the argument of both Rose's and Bonds's supporters is that their statistics override all other considerations, regardless of what anyone else** might say. The fact that many of each group's supporters might not use that argument to support the other group's hero is irrelevant.

They both also breathe oxygen and are carbon-based lifeforms.
   87. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 23, 2014 at 02:40 AM (#4777615)
And the argument of both Rose's and Bonds's supporters is that their statistics override all other considerations,


I don't think there _are_ any "other considerations" for Bonds.
   88. TJ Posted: August 23, 2014 at 03:15 AM (#4777619)

They both also breathe oxygen and are carbon-based lifeforms.


I'm not so sure about the second part, Baldrick- Bonds' head did get pretty big...
   89. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 23, 2014 at 07:18 AM (#4777637)
And the argument of both Rose's and Bonds's supporters is that their statistics override all other considerations,

I don't think there _are_ any "other considerations" for Bonds.


Which is exactly what the Hall of Merit voters were saying when they voted in Shoeless Joe** and Rose***, in spite of that "character clause" you keep mentioning as if it meant anything.

But keep trying to pretend that the Hall of Merit considers anything but statistics. It's fun watching you try to swim your way out of quicksand.

** "Game throwing? So what? Just look at that 170 OPS+ and 62.3 WAR in only 13 seasons!"

*** "Betting on his own team, in violation of baseball's most sacred rule? Who gives a ####? 4256!"
   90. BDC Posted: August 23, 2014 at 08:35 AM (#4777642)
Crosby and Walt sum up my position(s) better than I could. Steroids are a bit shameful, illegal under some circs, unfair to non-users: but for all that, baseball makes a strong distinction between juicing and gambling, and reasonably: juicers aren't in line to rig games. Juice, serve a suspension, return, be playoff-bound for the Orioles, all is forgiven. That is like the spitball, only weightier.

I would not deride any voter for continuing to apply a character clause; the HOF is an honor, not an entitlement. I'm just not inclined to over-punish what baseball itself has decided is a far lesser infraction than gambling on one's own team.
   91. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 23, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4777665)
Oh, great- we're back to the "steroid v amps v Gaylord Perry" debate. Wake me when someone makes a point we haven't heard 10,000 times before...


TJ! TJ! Wake up! It's 2089 and someone just made a great point about this very thing! I'll have to install this iBrain so you can read the emoji script it's written it first, though.

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