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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fair Lawn baseball writer (Murray Chass) discusses the hall of fame

I remember when The Record used to feature hard-hitting articles like 6-month-old wolf pups escaping Jungle Habitat...now they’re down to interviewing basement bloggers.

Hall of Fame baseball writer Murray Chass is an authority on America’s Pastime and a voter for the Baseball Hall of Fame that produced no new members as the steroid controversy has raged on.

For more than 45 years, Chass covered the sport for the Associated Press and New York Times, chronicling baseball greats across the historical timeline from Mickey Mantle to Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt, Rickey Henderson, Ken Griffey Jr. to active greats like Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter. Since 1962, the 74-year-old’s been a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Chass officially retired from the Times in 2008, but remains one of the most influential voices in the baseball media. Shortly thereafter, he started his own baseball site (murraychass.com).

...Chass feels the steroid link is why there were no players elected this year.

“Bonds and Clemens would’ve got into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot without question had they not (been linked to) steroids. Neither received more than 36 percent of the vote,” said Chass. “There’s another group of players who were suspected but were never caught, so they got a good amount of votes. That includes (former New York Met) Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell. I don’t know if any of them used. Of the three, I feel strongest about the possibility that Piazza used them than the other two. The reason is because through 2002, his back always had acne. I don’t know a lot about roids but I know acne on the back is a telltale sign of steroid use. As soon as baseball started testing for steroids, Piazza’s back cleared up. I think any writer who covered him believes he used steroids. He was never caught because he was smart. He stopped once testing came in.”

Repoz Posted: January 24, 2013 at 05:35 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof, steroids

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   1. Bug Selig Posted: January 24, 2013 at 06:51 AM (#4353866)
don’t know a lot about roids but I know acne on the back is a telltale sign of steroid use.


I don't know a lot about 'roids, either, but I was a high school catcher and can tell you that back acne is also a sign of wearing more gear than everyone else and crawling around in the dirt covered in sweat all summer.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: January 24, 2013 at 07:07 AM (#4353869)

This story was not in The Record, but in one of the weeklies owned by the same company.

Murray's town is the same one my parents lived in when I was born. small world.
   3. bobm Posted: January 24, 2013 at 07:15 AM (#4353873)
Murray Chass: GET OFF MY (FAIR) LAWN
   4. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: January 24, 2013 at 07:24 AM (#4353876)
Even smaller world, it's the town I live in now... I don't think I've ever run into him though, but given that I just had to look for a picture, it's possible. If I ever do run into him, it should be interesting.
   5. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: January 24, 2013 at 07:29 AM (#4353879)
Of the three, I feel strongest about the possibility that Piazza used them than the other two. The reason is because through 2002, his back always had acne. I don’t know a lot about roids but I know acne on the back is a telltale sign of steroid use.

"I'm not a doctor, but I am a gigantic asshat."
   6. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: January 24, 2013 at 07:30 AM (#4353880)
If I ever do run into him, it should be interesting.

Especially if you're driving at the time.
   7. TomH Posted: January 24, 2013 at 08:17 AM (#4353890)
Arrgh! I grew up in Fair Lawn! (1962-1972). Now I disown my childhood neighborhood, polluted by THE CAPITAL LETTER SCREAMER
   8. bob gee Posted: January 24, 2013 at 08:47 AM (#4353906)
was that in the shopper?

i believe he lives in radburn, not far from one of my relatives.

i wonder if that picture is the first time the blogger has been out of his basement and near a field (is that edison elementary school? could be, if they've put up a fence like that, and it's 1/2 mile from his house; i don't think radburn elementary has something like that)


   9. Howie Menckel Posted: January 24, 2013 at 08:54 AM (#4353909)

funniest thing is that this town has 32,000, not exactly a million or something.

I 'served' there from 1961-65.
   10. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 24, 2013 at 09:09 AM (#4353915)
Hall of Fame baseball writer Murray Chass is an authority on America’s Pastime

“Bonds and Clemens would’ve got into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot without question had they not (been linked to) steroids. Neither received more than 36 percent of the vote,” said Chass.


That there is some expert analysis.
   11. gef the talking mongoose Posted: January 24, 2013 at 09:31 AM (#4353922)
funniest thing is that this town has 32,000, not exactly a million or something.


About 5 times as big as the county I'm from, then. These NE metropolises (metropolii?) fascinate me.
   12. TomH Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:04 AM (#4353943)
when I was there (and I went to Radburn Elementary! Chass creppily creeps closer to me all the time!), it was amost 40,000 people, in only 5 square miles; and at hte time, there was a regulation that no buildings exceeded two stories. So guess how crowded it was? Just a town of houses, gas stations, grocery stores. The ultimate NYC bedroom community. No school buses; a whole pile of little schools we could all walk to (and go home for lunch). One HS inthe middle of town that was no more than 1.5ish miles from any other place in town. My dad graduated Fair Lawn high in 1955. He went to school with a guy who would later hold the record for the quarter mile, and knew Ron Perranoski.
   13. GregD Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4353982)
About 5 times as big as the county I'm from, then. These NE metropolises (metropolii?) fascinate me.
Yes it's an interesting amount of density for low-rise areas, right? I guess there must be places in California that are similar but everything I've seen there has been more spread apart. Bergen County, which includes Fair Lawn, has 900,000 people in total.
   14. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4353991)
There are so many towns and townships in northern NJ that it is impossible to keep track of. I've probably driven through it at least a dozen times and thought I was still in Paramus.
   15. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4354003)
My whole province barely has 750,000.
   16. GregD Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4354015)
Bergen's the biggest at 900,000 but spread out over 234 square miles. Essex has 726,000 in 126 square miles and Union has 536,000 in 100 square miles, and how about Union County with 536,000 in Hudson County at 634,000 in 47--count em 47--square miles.
   17. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4354020)
That there is some expert analysis.


sadly its better than 75% of what passes for "expert analysis" in the MSM
I'm mean it's obvious, but that's an improvement over the blunt force stupidity you often see
   18. djrelays Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4354054)
#12: Not the quarter mile. Dave Sime (Fair Lawn '54) tied the world record in the 100-yard dash (9.3) and set WRs in the 220y (20.0) and 220y Low Hurdles (22.2). He was the Olympic silver medalist in the 100-meter dash in 1960.

Sime was a freshman first baseman at Duke in 1955 when the track coach noticed him. Coach convinced Sime to run a time trial at 100 yards. Sime ran 9.8 in his baseball uniform and almost immediately switched sports.

Local lore has it that the Phillies scouted him but reported that he didn't have good speed! To be fair, Sime was never a good starter, but his top-end speed was probably the best in the world in the 1956-1960 period.
   19. TomH Posted: January 24, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4354114)
thanks dj, I remembered only half of the story accurately.
   20. Cabbage Posted: January 24, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4354135)
My whole province barely has 750,000.


Matt Stairs is a primate!
   21. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: January 24, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4354214)
I think the fence in the picture is actually at the high school football field, not one of the elementary schools.
   22. NattyBoh Posted: January 24, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4354408)
So Murray Chass is why the gaming store moved to Elmwood Park. Those damn whipper snappers playing Magic and Pokemon. I always think of Abe Simpson when Murray's name comes up.
   23. NattyBoh Posted: January 24, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4354413)
There are so many towns and townships in northern NJ that it is impossible to keep track of. I've probably driven through it at least a dozen times and thought I was still in Paramus.


Over sixty municipalities and sixty school districts in Bergen county alone. I forget the exact numbers and am not interested enough to look it up. Home rule drove the number of towns; now we have outrageous property taxes.

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