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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gammons: Breaking down the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot is a tougher task than usual

Gammo ballot: J. Morris - Bagwell - Biggio - Piazza - Raines - E. Martinez - L. Walker - Trammell - Schilling.

I did not vote this year for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, Hall of Fame performers who someday will likely be inducted. Is Bonds one of the five to 10 greatest players ever? Yes. Is Clemens one of the three to five best starting pitchers ever? Yes. Someday, they may have to put players from 1990-2005 in a separate wing of the Hall and let everyone in based on talent and achievements, provided they did not test positive after Commissioner Bud Selig won his battle to get testing into the Basic Agreement.

I get the amphetamines argument. Because players in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s used them to enhance performance, one wonders if some of the numbers that were posted would be what they are without beaning up. I get the argument that because owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association did not monitor the enhancements, it comes down to all of the scientific and historical data that Bill James, Jay Jaffe and so many others have provided for us.

But I get the arguments of the players who felt they were cheated out of a level playing field. I get how some voters feel that players do not automatically have the right of enshrinement—although there are places in the Hall for adamant segregationists (like Cap Anson) and owners who allowed employees to restrict African-Americans (Tom Yawkey, for instance). I understand how some voters feel that to vote for certain players sends the wrong values message to their children, and while I disagree on the concept of the “eye test,” I do so respectfully. My highly respected friend and colleague Pedro Gomez and I argued over Jeff Bagwell last month. Despite my citing his high school and college power and the fact that he couldn’t lift a weight anyway during his last five years because of a congenital arthritic condition and that his closest teammate and friend absolutely insisted he was clean, Gomez felt he could not vote for Bagwell.

Repoz Posted: December 30, 2012 at 07:23 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Bug Selig Posted: December 30, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4334773)
THIS close...
   2. Darren Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4334807)
Someday, they may have to put players from 1990-2005 in a separate wing of the Hall and let everyone in based on talent and achievements, provided they did not test positive after Commissioner Bud Selig won his battle to get testing into the Basic Agreement.


Clemens did not test positive.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4334810)


Clemens did not test positive.


I think he's claiming that those who test positive after the agreement (such as Manny or Raffy) be excluded altogether, while folks like pre-agreement juicers (whether suspected or proved) would be included in the "separate wing."
   4. Darren Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4334815)
I read it as him saying that someday guys like Clemens and Bonds might be able to get in, but only if we come up with that other wing.
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4334816)
after Commissioner Bud Selig won his battle to get testing into the Basic Agreement.


I'm one of the biggest Bud Selig's supporters on this board, and even I wouldn't say something as stupid as that. When you say won his battle, you are implying there was a battle. Testing was more or less an accident forced on the league by Bud's inability to speak in public, incompetency of our elected officials(who were too busy giving the NFL a blow job on tv to realize that anything was going on) and a moral outrage against a black man taking the last white mans record. Bud had nothing to do with getting testing approved other than being in office at the time it happened.

   6. Bruce Markusen Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:34 PM (#4334855)
Cardsfanboy, what are you referring to you when you say "moral outrage against a black man taking the last white man's record?" Is that Bonds beating McGwire, who beat Maris, for the single season HR record?

If that's the case, I can honestly say that I have never heard anyone refer to the breaking of the single-season HR record as a white/black issue.

Besides, it's hardly the last record held by a white man. Cy Young's win total, Ty Cobb's lifetime average, Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters, and DiMaggio's 56-game streak all come to mind--and without a lot of thought.
   7. Rob_Wood Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4334863)
I respect Gammons and everything he has contributed to baseball. However, I am disappointed that he voted for Jack Morris (and doubly sad that had he voted for Bonds and Clemens there would have not been room for Morris on his ballot).
   8. Bob Tufts Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM (#4334895)
Let's take another year and hold up Bonds and Clemens?

What was the purpose of the five year waiting period? Why did BBWAA voters act like our elected officials in Washington and ignore the approaching deadline?


   9. cardsfanboy Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4334906)
Cardsfanboy, what are you referring to you when you say "moral outrage against a black man taking the last white man's record?" Is that Bonds beating McGwire, who beat Maris, for the single season HR record?


Yes. But it's not really because it's a simple black and white thing, it just helped that the black guy who did roids was an ass, while the white guy who did roids was only half an ass. I was simplifying the argument. Everyone was pretty certain Mac was using but as long as it was quiet nobody really cared because he added popularity to the game, but then Bonds breaks the record and that is the point where people flipped from accepting to strongly against it.
   10. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4334930)
Bagwell never tested positive for anything, but he was the subject of gossip and speculation (one ex-teammate who admitted steroid abuse fingered him just as Jose Canseco fingered others, but that player also accused another teammate of juicing -- a teammate that most of us would bet a year's salary was clean)

When Gammons mentions an ex-teammate who fingered Bagwell for steroid use, is he referring to Caminiti? Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't recall Caminiti or any ex-teammate fingering Bags as a steroid user and what other player that Gammons says most of us would bet a year's salary was clean is Gammons talking about?
   11. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4334970)
Schillings wet dream ballot right there. Disappointing is what I call it.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:30 AM (#4334997)
what other player that Gammons says most of us would bet a year's salary was clean is Gammons talking about?

Adam Everett.

:-)
   13. Peter Farted Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4334998)
what other player that Gammons says most of us would bet a year's salary was clean is Gammons talking about?
At the risk of getting Minute Maid OJ pulp thrown at me, I'd bet the orchard he's referring to Biggio. Maybe there really were "whispers" that most of us never heard about.
   14. Jay Seaver Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4335001)
My friends and I have been half-joking for a couple of years that anyone who votes for Jack Morris but not Roger Clemens should lose their ballot, but for some reason I didn't figure on Gammons being in this group.
   15. Peter Farted Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4335002)
Might have to split that bet on Nolan Ryan. If indeed Caminiti was the rat, it makes sense since they were teammates for a couple of years...and that was right around the time that Ryan got his second wind.
   16. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4335004)
You gotta love the writers ability to hear "steroid whispers" when they couldn't hear the crowd yowling at the top of their lungs during the 1988 ALCS.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4335005)
I get how some voters feel that players do not automatically have the right of enshrinement

OK.

although there are places in the Hall for adamant segregationists (like Cap Anson) and owners who allowed employees to restrict African-Americans (Tom Yawkey, for instance).

This is either a non-sequitur or it begs the question (in the sense that any normal human being would understand it) as to what does one have to do to be denied this "automatic" right of enshrinement? I mean racism is pretty bad yeah?

I understand how some voters feel that to vote for certain players sends the wrong values message to their children,

Well, don't tell the little darlings you voted for Bonds. I'm sure there are all sorts of things most writers have done in their life that, if they told their children, would send the wrong message. Like the time they gave an award to a child molester.

Just sayin'

and while I disagree on the concept of the “eye test,” I do so respectfully.

And here's where Gammons goes completely off the rails. Sorry, no, the "eye test" deserves no respect. When one set of people are doing something moronic that is to the detriment of another set of people, you're supposed to call that #### out.

EDIT: Oops, "Bud winning his battle" went ever further off the rails first. Even Pedro Gomez might not say something that dumb.
   18. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:39 AM (#4335007)
Might have to split that bet on Nolan Ryan. If indeed Caminiti was the rat, it makes sense since they were teammates for a couple of years...and that was right around the time that Ryan got his second wind.

If so, Ryan's a lucky man. Maybe too lucky. Was an autopsy ever done on Caminiti, and did the coroner check for signs of collarbone constriction, and repeated impact trauma to the top of the head?
   19. Brian Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:21 AM (#4335040)
??? Are you thinking of Ryan pummeling Robin Ventura?
   20. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:33 AM (#4335048)
But I get the arguments of the players who felt they were cheated out of a level playing field.


It's reasonable to point this out, just as it's reasonable to ask whether any players who did not use amphetamines felt cheated out of a level playing field by those that did use. (I've never heard such a complaint, but that doesn't mean complaints don't exist.)

although there are places in the Hall for adamant segregationists (like Cap Anson) and owners who allowed employees to restrict African-Americans (Tom Yawkey, for instance).


And that place should be their own separate wing. Now that's justice.

Well, don't tell the little darlings you voted for Bonds. I'm sure there are all sorts of things most writers have done in their life that, if they told their children, would send the wrong message. Like the time they gave an award to a child molester.


???
   21. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:57 AM (#4335121)
??? Are you thinking of Ryan pummeling Robin Ventura?

Ryan was pulled off Ventura before he could finish the job. Caminiti's death didn't have witnesses.

I'm not suggesting or implying anything, other than the likelihood that Nolan Ryan murdered Ken Caminiti to cover up his own illegal drug use. And that Peter Gammons is probably next.
   22. bjhanke Posted: December 31, 2012 at 05:03 AM (#4335136)
Hey! Gammons may be onto something here. We could set up a separate wing for Jack Morris and Jim Rice and those guys.... - Brock Hanke
   23. bjhanke Posted: December 31, 2012 at 05:08 AM (#4335137)
We could call it The Wing of Very Good and set it up as a sports bar featuring Buffalo wings, in honor of all the writers who got buffaloed into voting for those guys.
   24. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: December 31, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4335201)
I guess Gammons is remembering things wrong or getting Bagwell mixed up with someone else since it seems none of us recall Caminiti or any other ex-teammate fingering Bags as a steroid user or this other unnamed teammate who "most of us would bet a year's salary was clean"
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 31, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4335243)
I guess Gammons is remembering things wrong or getting Bagwell mixed up with someone else since it seems none of us recall Caminiti or any other ex-teammate fingering Bags as a steroid user or this other unnamed teammate who "most of us would bet a year's salary was clean"

The only person who directly accused Bagwell was a Houston-based "personal fitness trainer" named Kelly Blair, who later backed down on his accusation. There has never been a shred of tangible evidence against Bagwell. The "evidence" against him is purely speculation and discredited hearsay.
   26. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 31, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4335258)
a teammate that most of us would bet a year's salary was clean


Is there any MLB player in the last 25 years that you would make such a bet about? I sure as hell wouldn't.


Well, don't tell the little darlings you voted for Bonds. I'm sure there are all sorts of things most writers have done in their life that, if they told their children, would send the wrong message. Like the time they gave an award to a child molester.

???


Bill Conlin I assume is who Walt was referring to.
   27. philly Posted: December 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4335269)
a teammate that most of us would bet a year's salary was clean


Is there any MLB player in the last 25 years that you would make such a bet about? I sure as hell wouldn't.


Andy Pettitte? Good guy, True Yankee, etc.
   28. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4335310)
Is Morris one of the two hundred to four hundred best starting pitchers ever? No. Someday, they may have to pull pitchers like him from the hall


I think this is what Gammons meant to write.
   29. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4335332)
e could set up a separate wing for Jack Morris and Jim Rice and those guys.... - Brock Hanke


Bah, I hate it when people like Jack Morris and Jim Rice and Albert Belle sneak into the hall through a seperate wing.

At least Gammons voted for a lot of guys.
   30. Bob Tufts Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4335390)
I was waiting for Peter to do a Warren Zevon reference regarding steroids and the sportswriters of that era - something like "I Was In The House When The House Burned Down" for the oblivious or or "Trouble Waiting To Happen" for the prescient ones.
   31. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4335394)
but that player also accused another teammate of juicing -- a teammate that most of us would bet a year's salary was clean

Well, that obviously means that he was clean.
   32. bachslunch Posted: December 31, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4335545)
But I get the arguments of the players who felt they were cheated out of a level playing field.

Yeah -- like any whining spitballers and greenie/red juice users out there who might be arguing on the subject. As we all know, these things ain't cheatin'.

I understand how some voters feel that to vote for certain players sends the wrong values message to their children,

Oh my freakin' gawrsh, think of the children -- 'coz as we all know, pro athletes are the only role models kids should have.

and while I disagree on the concept of the “eye test,” I do so respectfully.

I see no reason to be respectful of rampant, bull-headed stupidity. And that includes Gammons voting for Jack Morris.

Ridiculous.

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