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Friday, February 01, 2013

Genetti: PED users make Roger Maris’ light shine brighter

Roger Maris he’s our man
Hero of our nation
As Roger Maris and his man
Get all the crooks they’re after!

Here’s a guy whose natural ability, athleticism and passion made him the true, legitimate home run king. A player who is the reason why the New York Yankees won five pennants and two World Series championships between 1960 and 1964, the reason why the St. Louis Cardinals were World Champions in 1967 and National League Champions for the second consecutive year in 1968. Maris did his job every day, sometimes not even at 100 percent health and took nothing. He didn’t take steroids, performance enhancing drugs, absolutely nothing. He just played ball.

Yet Maris’ plaque at the National Baseball Hall Of Fame does not exist, his overall status is a one-season wonder.

Meanwhile all these players get linked to drugs or caught with drugs banned by baseball and they still get to play.

They still get to climb back from cheating and try to rejuvenate their careers. But Maris who did nothing wrong never gets acknowledged. What else does a man have to do? Seriously.

The ballplayers who get caught these days — well truthfully at any time — are nothing but a bunch of cowards, nothing more than men who know they can’t amount to anything in this game because they rely on drugs. They don’t deserve the blessing, the honor, the distinction of being called a professional baseball player. Baseball is a game of true, honest men who work hard every day in hopes of winning the World Series.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you use drugs you’re out for a year. Do it again, you’re done for life. It’s simple. That’ll make folks think twice.

And Maris shines brighter and brighter each time a player comes up red handed. His natural efforts will never be justified though until he is enshrined in Cooperstown.

Repoz Posted: February 01, 2013 at 05:21 PM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blessing, distinction, history, honor

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   1. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: February 01, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4360344)
Here’s a guy whose natural ability, athleticism and passion made him the true, legitimate home run king.

Plus the fact that, you know, he hit a lot of home runs.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4360347)

Yet Maris’ plaque at the National Baseball Hall Of Fame does not exist, his overall status is a one-season wonder.

Meanwhile all these players get linked to drugs or caught with drugs banned by baseball and they still get to play.

They still get to climb back from cheating and try to rejuvenate their careers. But Maris who did nothing wrong never gets acknowledged. What else does a man have to do? Seriously.


Not be a one-season wonder?

Also, did Maris get banned from playing after setting the record? I don't understand what point he is making.
   3. Gonfalon B. Posted: February 01, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4360354)
What a delightful heap of revisionist respect and latterday lovin' for the true, legitimate Roger Maris, combined with a certainty that today's PED disgust will last forever ever ever.
   4. andrewberg Posted: February 01, 2013 at 05:54 PM (#4360359)
My grandfather is buried about 100 feet from Roger Maris. We always used to go look at his awesome 61 in 61 headstone on Veterans Day. So... yeah, he should be in the HOF.
   5. slothinator Posted: February 01, 2013 at 05:56 PM (#4360364)
He didn’t take steroids, performance enhancing drugs, absolutely nothing. He just played ball.


How do we know this? There was no testing in place at the time, was there? If a player in today's game put up HR totals like Maris - going from 16 to 39 to 61 - the press would be howling for his blood (so they could test it of course). I always love the articles where the players of the author's youth are pure and above suspicion, while today's players are guilty by simple association.
   6. The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 05:58 PM (#4360365)
And, of course, there's no way he could have taken greenies, is there?
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: February 01, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4360366)
"A player who is the reason why the New York Yankees won five pennants and two World Series championships between 1960 and 1964, the reason why the St. Louis Cardinals were World Champions in 1967 and National League Champions for the second consecutive year in 1968."

somebody alert Bob Gibson, Orlando Cepeda, Tim McCarver, Curt Flood, Nelson Briles, Dick Hughes etc.....

#lowhangingfruit
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 06:04 PM (#4360369)

How do we know this? There was no testing in place at the time, was there? If a player in today's game put up HR totals like Maris - going from 16 to 39 to 61 - the press would be howling for his blood (so they could test it of course). I always love the articles where the players of the author's youth are pure and above suspicion, while today's players are guilty by simple association.


Yea, his numbers went up after joining the New York Yankees, the very same organization that later employed Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. COINCEDENCE? I THINK NOT.
   9. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 06:04 PM (#4360370)
Is this what we're in for now? Article after article essentially headlined "PED users make [good player from anywhere from 1920 to 1980]'s light shine brighter"?
   10. slothinator Posted: February 01, 2013 at 06:05 PM (#4360372)
Yea, his numbers went up after joining the New York Yankees, the very same organization that later employed Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. COINCEDENCE? I THINK NOT.


I was just looking at the numbers; I hadn't considered the NYY angle. It all makes so much sense now.
   11. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: February 01, 2013 at 06:10 PM (#4360374)
Is this what we're in for now? Article after article essentially headlined "PED users make [good player from anywhere from 1920 to 1980]'s light shine brighter"?

Now?? I see you joined less than two years ago, so you might be a little surprised to know these articles have been one of the primary staples of the site for about the last eight years!
   12. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4360377)
Shhh!! It's not about the records.
   13. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 01, 2013 at 06:14 PM (#4360378)
Maris isn't a HOFer, but 61 clean homeruns is pretty ####### impressive.
   14. OsunaSakata Posted: February 01, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4360381)
Shot up 22 homers in one year. Snapped at reporters. Hair fell out. Died young at age 51. Just sayin'.
   15. John Northey Posted: February 01, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4360385)
Maris with the Yankees: 265/356/515 139 OPS+
Maris with the Cards: 258/330/392 111 OPS+
Maris with the A's: 260/331/452 112 OPS+
Maris with Cleveland: 231/326/407 100 OPS+

Pretty clear something was going on in NY. His first two years he went from a guy with a lifetime 107 OPS+ to a 160 and 167. 122 OPS+ after that for his career. So he isn't a one season wonder, he is a 2 season wonder. Since he is a boomer favorite who played with the Yankees lets put him in.
   16. Gonfalon B. Posted: February 01, 2013 at 06:55 PM (#4360394)
That whirring sound you're hearing under your feet is the pirouetting corpse of Jimmy Cannon (or Dick Young, or Ford Frick, or...), learning that the media is hailing Roger Maris, "the true home run king." When two grudges conflict, drop the older one that doesn't sell papers anymore.
   17. Bruce Markusen Posted: February 01, 2013 at 07:02 PM (#4360398)
When Maris was in his prime, he was widely criticized by the mainstream media as being aloof and difficult. He was also regarded by many writers as someone who did not deserve to hold home run records, because he hit for low averages, struck out too much, and was generally considered an "illegitimate" star.

Now 50 years later, he is held up as the paragon of what a record holder should be.
   18. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 01, 2013 at 07:39 PM (#4360422)
I don't understand, Sosa three times hit more home runs than Maris did.
   19. The District Attorney Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:14 PM (#4360462)
Just so you know, even by BTF piñata standards, this guy is a low-grade moron. cf. here (claim: the 2013 Hall of Fame class should be Biggio, Lee Smith and Marty Marion) or here (claim: Matt Holliday would be the best player in baseball if he weren't so lazy, but he is, so let's bench him for Adron Chambers.) (Of course, the funny thing now is that Holliday agrees with the author about PED suspensions.)

He sure does love him some Roger Maris, though, as he apparently wrote this in all seriousness:
One of the greatest perks to being a journalist is breaking news.

Not just the breaking news you see on CNN or some other major medium where something has been bombed or the President did something, but the kind where you’re the first to report something no one else knows about. The kind where other publications will want to also publish — at least I’d certainly hope so.

You’ll have to forgive me for my long introduction, but if you read the headline, you’ll pretty much know what I’m getting at. It’s not everyday you get to not only break news and shine light on your idol at the same time. I guess it’s a special perk for me in way. After all, the journalists who break news aren’t really remembered very much, but to know that I’m the reason this news gets out is rewarding beyond words. There aren’t enough sentences, phrases and analogies in the world that can describe the true honor and privilege it is for me to bring you this news.

My fellow baseball fans, Roger Maris — one of the greatest baseball players of all-time, the legitimate home run king, the three-time world champion, back-to-back MVP and all around great guy — is being considered for induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
BTW, never say that Maris was a "one-year wonder", because your opponent will point out that he won two MVPs and you'll look stupid. That's about it, though. My favorite part of the Maris-as-an-all-time-great riff is that it always contains the claim that he was the key player on the '67/'68 Cardinals. (And BTW, it's not entirely ressentiment against Bonds et al., because I've been hearing about this since I was a kid, and that was before then.) I mean, I now understand that those were huge pitchers' years and so his stats aren't quite as pedestrian as they look, but, sheesh.
   20. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:29 PM (#4360467)
That's outstanding. That's a sports version of the Olive Garden review.
   21. BDC Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:38 PM (#4360470)
I was rummaging through B-Ref PI (do I say enough how much I love that thing) trying to find a player with similar talent and career shape to Maris. Tim Salmon comes pretty close. He too was terrific at age 26, and had some other fine seasons, but overall had trouble staying in the lineup. Salmon was a little better for longer, perhaps, but many of their numbers are similar across the board. Bobby Murcer was more durable, but had a somewhat similar career shape; Maris was perhaps a slightly better player than Murcer. Salmon and Murcer are fine players, but they are not Hall of Famers, and they had somewhat longer careers.

Here are closer comps for Maris's overall career, outfielders centered on him in terms of PA and OPS+, ranked by WAR Fielding Runs:

Player            Rfield   PA OPS+
Roger Maris           43 5847  127
Tommy Holmes          38 5564  122
Bob Allison           30 5923  127
Chick Stahl           29 5709  123
Jackie Jensen         22 6078  120
Sid Gordon             3 5813  129
John Titus            
-4 5818  127
Richie Zisk           
-9 5737  127
Topsy Hartsel        
-15 5793  128
Eric Davis           
-65 6147  125
Jay Buhner           
-77 5927  124
Danny Tartabull     
-120 5842  133 


I always enjoy a Silent John Titus sighting. Some of these guys were legitimate stars, but those who were had some limiting factor (grievous injuries, fear of flying), and those who didn't just weren't all that great.
   22. spike Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:41 PM (#4360472)
"Parking was ample"
   23. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:47 PM (#4360476)
PITCH AT RISK TO RICHIE ZISK
   24. Walt Davis Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:59 PM (#4360482)
Is this what we're in for now?

Chill ... not a year goes by where we don't see a "Maris should be in the HoF" article and it's been that way for ages.

What I think I just realized and is "interesting" is that it seems these articles are always by Card writers/fans. I'm guessing Maris's distributorship provided free beer for the Busch press box.
   25. silhouetted by the sea Posted: February 01, 2013 at 10:53 PM (#4360500)
Why is it more admirable to have used your natural, born with ability to become a big leaguer than it is to risk your life by taking steroids to become a big leaguer? If you truly believe that steroids are horrible for your health, then taking them to improve your ability seems kind of courageous.
   26. Srul Itza Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:09 PM (#4360505)
They left out the best part of the Roger Ramject theme, which came in the closing:

When Ramjet takes a Proton Pill,
The crooks begin to worry;
They can't escape their awful fate
From Proton's mighty fury!


That's right -- Ramjet used PEDS!

   27. Gonfalon B. Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4360526)
That's right -- Ramjet used PEDS!

But what about the children?
   28. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 02, 2013 at 01:34 AM (#4360541)
The secret compartment of my ring I fill
with an Underdog super energy pill!
   29. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 02, 2013 at 01:39 AM (#4360543)
Maris did his job every day,

This is the part that gets me, unless it was his job to be hurt a lot. He missed a bunch of games.

GP highest to lowest
161, 157 (both with Yanks), 150, 141, 136, 125, 122, 119, 116, 100, 90, 46. Done retired at 33.
   30. BDC Posted: February 02, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4360584)
PITCH AT RISK TO RICHIE ZISK

Yeah, right? When one of your top career hitting comps, adjusting for context, is Richie Zisk, this is one way the Universe is telling you you're not going to Cooperstown.
   31. OCF Posted: February 02, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4360623)
GP highest to lowest
161, 157 (both with Yanks), 150, 141, 136, 125, 122, 119, 116, 100, 90, 46. Done retired at 33.


The 125 and the 100 are 1967 and 1968. In 1967, Maris had 125 G, 472 PA. Flood also missed some games. Bobby Tolan, 21 years old, had 110 games, 294 PA and Alex Johnson also got a fair amount of time. In 1968, Flood was healthier, but Maris was down to 100 G, 380 PA. Tolan had 92 G, 296 PA.

Now, the young Tolan didn't play particularly well in either of those two years, and Maris was clearly the best available RF for the Cardinals. If you ask what the Cardinals would have done had they not had Maris, the most likely answer would have been to make the young Tolan their full-time RF. Maybe that would even have forced his development forward a notch - after all, Tolan would eventually become a good player. Even if not, the difference between what Maris did and a hypothetical full-time Tolan (plus more time for Alex Johnson, Dick Simpson, et al.) is nowhere near large enough to have cost the Cardinals the pennant in either year.

It is interesting how much of the Maris sentiment after all these years comes from Cardinal fans, but that's really the casting of a rosy glow over everyone on the 67-68 team. It would be like a Brewer fan stumping for Ben Ogilvie.
   32. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 02, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4360633)
Shot up 22 homers in one year. Snapped at reporters. Hair fell out. Died young at age 51. Just sayin'.

No bacne. No steroids.
   33. alilisd Posted: February 02, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4360771)
Pretty clear something was going on in NY. His first two years he went from a guy with a lifetime 107 OPS+ to a 160 and 167.


Yes, very clear. He's an experienced ML hitter, healthy, in his prime at 25 and 26 and playing in a home park which catered to left handed power hitters. It's not difficult to see why he had a big jump in performance.
   34. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 02, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4360788)
Yes, very clear. He's an experienced ML hitter, healthy, in his prime at 25 and 26 and playing in a home park which catered to left handed power hitters. It's not difficult to see why he had a big jump in performance.

Except that in those two MVP years, Maris hit 43 home runs in Yankee Stadium and 57 on the road. It wasn't the ballpark that made the big difference, it was the protection he got from batting in front of Mickey Mantle.
   35. OCF Posted: February 02, 2013 at 06:16 PM (#4360815)
In 1960, Maris batted behind Mantle a little more than he batted in front of him. (It was a Casey Stengel lineup, hence constantly changing.) In 1961 it was mostly Maris in front of Mantle. But then I don't really believe in "protection" anyway.
   36. BDC Posted: February 02, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4360816)
In his book 61, Tony Kubek talks about Maris simply feeling keyed in, on target, or whatever other metaphor you like, all season long in 1961. The hot hand does not exist as a statistical phenomenon, but sometimes a player really is in the best shape of his life, and it's reflected in his record.
   37. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 02, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4360820)
A player who is the reason why the New York Yankees won five pennants and two World Series championships between 1960 and 1964 . . .

From 1960-64, Maris accumulated 24.4 WAR, Mickey Mantle had 29.5 (despite playing only 65 games in 1963 due to injury). WAR isn't everything, and Maris was a very good all-around player, perhaps on a HoF path for a short time, but never the same after he hurt his wrist. Mantle was the better player even if MVP voters had some difficulty figuring that out in 1960-61. Nothing wrong with reminding folks how good Maris was at his peak but the over statements undermine the argument.
   38. Moeball Posted: February 03, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4361050)
But then I don't really believe in "protection" anyway.


Normally I would agree with that, but I hate to say it, the 1961 numbers are disturbing (courtesy of 1991 Elias analyst):

Maris when batting right in front of Mantle in the lineup (about 550 PA):

.293/.392/.682 averaged one HR for every 8.8 AB

When batting in front of anyone else (about 140 PA):

.174/.312/.365 averaged one HR for every 16.4 AB

When not having Mantle right behind him, not only did Maris' batting average plummet, but his power production dropped off a cliff, too.

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