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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Jay Jaffe: Will Alex Rodriguez last more than one year on Hall of Fame ballot?

Rod Riguez lasted longer on the Billboard charts…

If Rodriguez is done in the majors, he would be eligible for the 2019 ballot. Assuming none of the other notables who announced that they would be hanging up their spikes — or at least considering it — decides to mount a comeback, the field of first-time candidates on that ballot would be headed by all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera and would also include two-time Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, Yankee-dynasty staple Andy Pettitte, and sluggers Lance Berkman and Todd Helton. As I see the next five years playing out, the strong likelihood is that Bonds and Clemens will both remain on the ballot, progressing toward eventual enshrinement, albeit slowly. Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina will still probably be somewhere between 50 and 75 percent, and by my estimation, Jim Thome could slip to a second ballot after his first year of eligibility in 2018; despite his 612 career homers he never won an MVP award or a World Series and may not be granted immediate entry, particularly with Chipper Jones gaining eligibility in the same year with a much more well-rounded resume that points to his receiving at least 90 percent of the vote.

Rodriguez would have a tough time finding votes in that field, particularly if voters are still limited to listing 10 candidates,. In fact, with the most explicit laundry list of transgressions in the post-testing era, it’s not too hard to see him doing worse than most of the PED-related candidates.

...I don’t think it’s out of the question that as the electorate turns over to include writers who didn’t cover the PED-heavy era, and who thus have less of a personal stake in determining the fates of players whom they once lauded, Rodriguez will find the 30 or so votes he needs to retain eligibility for a year or two. That said, I do believe that such support will quickly peter out, and that he’ll fall off in two or three years’ time. The earliest he would come up for consideration would then be via a VC process starting 2034. Even then, I doubt most of us will be ready for it.

Repoz Posted: January 14, 2014 at 12:56 PM | 83 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4638714)
At this point, who cares. Which is not to say that I disagree with anything Jay has written here. The HOF is broken.
   2. McCoy Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4638720)
I think he'll get more than 5% of the vote should he come for election 5 years from now.
   3. vivaelpujols Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4638745)
Don't really agree with any of this. Rodriguez is grouped in with Clemens and Bonds as obvious first ballot HOFer who did a shitload of steroids, I don't see why he would get a significantly lower percentage than those guys even with all this current scandal (is ARod really more hated than Bonds now?). Andy Pettitte will get 10% of the vote if he's lucky, he tested positive for PEDS and wasn't that good to begin with. I don't see Helton or Berkman doing much better, both are inferior to Larry Walker who isn't doing so well right now.
   4. bigglou115 Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4638752)
Well, I'll give Jay credit for uniting the two most contentious baseball topics of the day into one consolidated question.
   5. vivaelpujols Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4638754)
Kind of a crap article. I'm starting to dream about steroids/HOF stuff, this #### has to end.
   6. Swedish Chef Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4638759)
If A-Rod plays his cards right maybe he can score permanent ineligibility and doesn't have to face the peanut gallery.
   7. The District Attorney Posted: January 14, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4638812)
Rod Riguez lasted longer on the Billboard charts…
So A-Rod will be elected to the South African Hall of Fame?

Searching for Gummy Man
   8. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 14, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4638838)
At this point, who cares. Which is not to say that I disagree with anything Jay has written here. The HOF is broken.

I don't know that it's "broken" but it's about as relevant as the Tony Awards or something where the person getting the award cares about it and almost no one else.
   9. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 14, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4638861)
Andy Pettitte will get 10% of the vote if he's lucky, he tested positive for PEDS and wasn't that good to begin with.


Andy Pettite was quite good.
   10. John Northey Posted: January 14, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4638865)
Well, Clemens & Bonds both had clear starting points with PED's that was well after they reached 10 years in the majors and well after they won multiple awards and were clearly HOF'ers. A-Rod, on the other hand, admitted to using while in Texas and has been convicted of using while in NY. In Seattle he played just 7 seasons, with the first 2 being a total of 65 games. His 138 OPS+ as a Mariner at shortstop is impressive but nowhere near enough to say he passed the bus test at that point even if he had 10 years in the majors, which he didn't. Also, Bonds & Clemens used pre-testing and never were caught while playing vs A-Rod using post-testing and being caught (although never testing positive).

So yeah, I can see how voters will treat A-Rod much harsher than they treated Clemens & Bonds. The Palmeiro treatment is likely, namely a low total early on and dropping as voters just give up the ghost. Now, if he wins in court (unlikely but possible) then he would get a few more voters (the ones who feel without a positive you cannot convict) but I doubt it would be enough. He needed to win the arbitration to be on the Clemens/Bonds route plus he needs to reach some more milestones. If he broke the HR record then he'd get in someday, but without it future Vet committees can ignore him safely I suspect (as they probably will with Palmeiro and Manny).
   11. fra paolo Posted: January 14, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4638878)
is ARod really more hated than Bonds now?

I think he might be.
   12. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 14, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4638884)
is ARod really more hated than Bonds now?


Yes, and I think Arod may actually help the candidacies of Bonds and Clemens, for the reasons John outlines.

I don't know that it's "broken" but it's about as relevant as the Tony Awards or something where the person getting the award cares about it and almost no one else.


The last month or so around here really doesn't support the idea that no one cares about the Hall.
   13. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 14, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4638912)
Maybe some thread has discussed this: is there a mechanism for a former player to ask not to be included on the ballot? If so, does the player disappear from the ballot for good? Finally, if some players including Bonds and Clemens asked not to be included on next year's ballot, what sort of impact might that have on next year's vote, especially with respect to players still on the ballot and who appear to lose votes due to steroid issues or rumors?
   14. The District Attorney Posted: January 14, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4638927)
is there a mechanism for a former player to ask not to be included on the ballot?
I don't know for sure, but we do know that Marvin Miller is still on the Veterans Committee ballot despite having instructed those close to him to decline the honor if elected, which suggests that you can't ask to be removed.
   15. Publius Publicola Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4639046)
I think he might be.


Yeah, I think so too. Bonds didn't cover himself in glory by opting out of the licensing agreement but suing the union after all the crap he's put them through really takes the cake.
   16. Morty Causa Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4639056)
Well, a player serious about not wanting to be on the HOF ballot could issue a Sherman-like statement. Or, better yet, I'm hoping that when Bonds or Clemens is finally elected, they'll say, thanks but no thanks, not interested.
   17. Publius Publicola Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4639061)
Bonds and Clemens aren't getting elected. There's a critical mass quorum of writers who won't vote for them ever. And don't count on the veterans committee to bail them out. They are even less inclined to vote them in than the writers.
   18. ThickieDon Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4639065)
Hall should be demolished if Jeter gets in before ARod.

Jeter juiced just as much, he just never got thrown under the bus by a phony scandal.

They don't even have any real evidence against this guy.

It's a joke. They have as much on Cheater Jeter as they do on ARod.
   19. ThickieDon Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4639070)
The only player who is a bigger cheater and liar than Palmeiro or Frank Thomas is Derek Jeter.

Let's hope he gets the Raffy treatment rather than the fraudulent 1st ballot treatment of The Big Turd.
   20. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4639071)
I think the real indicator for how ARod will fare in the HOF voting is going to be Manny. Both would have otherwise been no-brainer first ballot guys, but both had multiple "offenses" after the testing started, and both have personalities that made them less than universally beloved even before the steroid issues.

I'd expect both to do significantly worse than Bonds & Clemens.
   21. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 14, 2014 at 08:02 PM (#4639110)
The last month or so around here really doesn't support the idea that no one cares about the Hall

Well it's a topic of discussion, but getting in or not getting in doesn't mean a whole lot to anyone. What does it mean to be a HOF player to you? Is it the best players? Not if BTF was inspired to create an HOM just to point out that about 25% of the best players aren't in the HOF. The more recent voting is even less congruent with what HOM voters think are the best players. Is it the most famous players? Not if more baseball fans have heard of Don Larsen and Roger Maris than Jake Beckley or Raymond Brown. What exactly distinguishes a HOF player from a non-HOF player that you care about?
   22. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 14, 2014 at 08:43 PM (#4639127)
Well it's a topic of discussion, but getting in or not getting in doesn't mean a whole lot to anyone.


The fact that it generates so much discussion, on so many different fronts, really does mean that it means a lot to people. If we didn't care, we wouldn't spill so much digital ink arguing about it. Now, Greg Maddux getting inducted doesn't swell me with pride, because I don't know Greg Maddux. But I like to see the best players get in, I prefer not to see weaker ones not get in and I would like to see the process improved. If that isn't indicative of it mattering, I don't know what you're looking for. And I'm sure as hell not the only person around here who would give you a similar answer.

It's a joke. They have as much on Cheater Jeter as they do on ARod.


Just writing it doesn't make this statement any less ridiculous.
   23. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 14, 2014 at 09:06 PM (#4639143)
When a friend declared A-Rod to be a cheater today, I replied, "yes, like a spitballer".

He stopped, and said, "no, that's not cheating, steroids are cheating".
   24. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 09:46 PM (#4639159)
is ARod really more hated than Bonds now?


Hard to tell without a Hate Meter but I think people are really forgetting just how despised Bonds was.
   25. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4639161)
The fact that it generates so much discussion, on so many different fronts, really does mean that it means a lot to people.


Not at all. It could be an interesting discussion without a lot of people caring about the actual results. Just like the MVP award.
   26. Publius Publicola Posted: January 14, 2014 at 09:51 PM (#4639162)
Jeter juiced just as much, he just never got thrown under the bus by a phony scandal.


I've seen this posted the last couple of days. Is there any evidence anywhere it's true? This is the first instance where somebody has asserted, not suggested but asserted, it.
   27. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4639174)
Jeter was shrewd. He put all the steroids into the right side of his body, but drew all the blood for testing from his left side. This is why he never failed a test, and it also explains his infield defense.
   28. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4639181)
Bonds was at least loved by (most of) his hometown fans. A-Rod doesn't really have a hometown to love him.

And Bonds, whether you loved him or hated him, you still feared/respected him in some way. A-Rod is more of a laughingstock at this point. I don't think anyone fears him except for (allegedly) Bosch.
   29. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:20 PM (#4639185)
It wasn't Pasta - it was steroids.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:33 PM (#4639209)
Jeter was shrewd.

Middle third of the stream!
   31. madvillain Posted: January 15, 2014 at 12:01 AM (#4639222)

Jeter was shrewd. He put all the steroids into the right side of his body, but drew all the blood for testing from his left side. This is why he never failed a test, and it also explains his infield defense.


Yep, Jeter's precision in taking steroids beats Bosch's "you take the piss from the middle of the stream" all day long.
   32. dejarouehg Posted: January 15, 2014 at 08:10 AM (#4639285)
but I think people are really forgetting just how despised Bonds was.


That's what I thought about Steinbrenner when he was being celebrated in death; revisionist history in action.
   33. dejarouehg Posted: January 15, 2014 at 08:12 AM (#4639287)
One difference between Bonds and Arod is that most people believe Bonds started his usage at a certain point in time when he had already established HoF credentials.

They don't even have any real evidence against this guy.
You're delusional.
   34. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 09:08 AM (#4639321)
I don't see why he would get a significantly lower percentage than those guys


Technically, A-Rod broke a MLB rule by using, while Bonds and Clemens didn't. You also have actual positive tests for A-Rod (i.e. products of a MLB-related process), versus just court testimony for the other two.

I'd probably vote for all three, but if you wanted to draw a line between them, that'd be one way to do it.
   35. ThickieDon Posted: January 15, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4639336)
You're delusional.


Great argument, man! Let's keep this stirring debate going!

What legitimate evidence is there that A-Rod is more of a roid abuser than Derek Jeter?
   36. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 15, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4639365)
I think this "ThickieDon" thing is a social experiment. Someone noticed that Murray Chass singlehandedly created "longstanding rumors" about Craig Biggio about 18 months ago, and thought "Hmm, let's see how easy that really is."
   37. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4639383)
I think this "ThickieDon" thing is a social experiment. Someone noticed that Murray Chass singlehandedly created "longstanding rumors" about Craig Biggio about 18 months ago, and thought "Hmm, let's see how easy that really is."


ThickieDon is indeed delusional, but I wouldn't mind having a serious discussion about the ARod evidence. It certainly appears that ARod used. Now, to reach that conclusion you essentially have to (a) believe Bosch, (b) believe that his documents showing PED regimes are authentic, and (c) make inferences about the "code language" and the "come up the back elevator, lots of eyes" type exchanges in the text messages.

And make no mistake -- I think all three are reasonable beliefs/inferences. I presume from this that ARod used and I would never take issue with someone claiming that he did. My point all along has been that even assuming he used the discipline went beyond the JDA/CBA. But I'd still be interested in a serious discussion about the facts of the case.

It seems to me that to get to the conclusion that ARod probably didn't use you'd have to basically do the inverse of (a), (b), and (c) above. And that seems very difficult to do. Incentive alone doesn't make Bosch a liar but does call into question his credibility. So I think one could reasonably disbelieve Bosch -- *except* not really, because you have the documents to deal with, and then even if you get over that hurdle you have to basically draw all inferences in the text messages in ARod's favor, which seems unreasonable to do. I'm hesitant to use the "aha, code language, obviously he's guilty" justification, but at the same time the code language explanation is a plausible one.

So what's the case that ARod is factually innocent, that he was just getting nutrition from Bosch and nothing else? Is there a reasonable case to be made there? If so I'm interested in hearing it.
   38. dejarouehg Posted: January 15, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4639554)
Great argument, man! Let's keep this stirring debate going! What legitimate evidence is there that A-Rod is more of a roid abuser than Derek Jeter?


For one, ARod has already admitted usage. This isn't to say that Jeter hasn't used. I have no idea and tend to believe that the overwhelming majority have used.

ARod's initial denial of having any relationship with Bosch, then acknowledging the relationship, then sending money to him, well, that seems like a start that his hands are dirty.

My "You're delusional" comment to your initial charge was purely and simply to short-circuit your ####-stirring comment.

You want to trash Jeter, go ahead. You could be correct, though it would probably never come out. To equate them at this point in terms of PED Usage Guilt is silly and makes you sound like you're the one who took the Mike Torrez ball to the head.
   39. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4639569)

What legitimate evidence is there that A-Rod is more of a roid abuser than Derek Jeter?

I don't know, how about the fact that A-Rod actually admitted to using steroids from 2001-2003?
   40. ThickieDon Posted: January 15, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4639627)
So you're saying Jeter is a liar, too?

You said it, not me!
   41. ThickieDon Posted: January 15, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4639629)
The Bosch "evidence" is as tainted as all of Jeter's records.

Oh wait, he hasn't really set too many records.

Nice try, Cheater Jeter.
   42. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 15, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4639657)
Cheater Jeter

He takes his place on the roster of shame with Scammy Sosa, Fraudy Garcia, Shady Sizemore, Wade Bogus, Charlatan Liebrandt, and Greg Swindell.
   43. McCoy Posted: January 15, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4639659)
Mark McLiar?
   44. Booey Posted: January 15, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4639669)
The Bosch "evidence" is as tainted as all of Jeter's records.

Oh wait, he hasn't really set too many records.

Nice try, Cheater Jeter.


Did Jeter send your wife or daughter a gift basket, or something?
   45. ThickieDon Posted: January 15, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4639671)
Barroids BonPEDs
   46. tfbg9 Posted: January 15, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4639682)
Andy PED-itte.
   47. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4639697)
Not at all. It could be an interesting discussion without a lot of people caring about the actual results. Just like the MVP award.


Indeed. I've been lurking in some of the HOF threads and it seems like it is the same folks who show up in them.
   48. dlf Posted: January 15, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4639702)
So what's the case that ARod is factually innocent, that he was just getting nutrition from Bosch and nothing else? Is there a reasonable case to be made there? If so I'm interested in hearing it.


The case is pretty simple to argue, but would have taken good testimony to establish and Rodriguez's attorneys instead tried to argue that Selig is slime (which may be true but, Horowitz found not to be relevant). Take as a given: 1. Bosch's testimony and documentary evidence provided great detail into what was taken, in what amounts, and when; and, 2. MLB's testing showed no trace of any prohibited substance on specific dates. Then present evidence via a well credentialed phyician (or other qualified expert) stating that if those substances were taken in the amounts directed on the dates listed, Rodriguez would definitely have tested positive. Again, there is nothing in the record to support this, but the argument could have been made by counsel more interested in a favorable award than ham-handedly trying to win the war of public relations.
   49. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4639733)
Yeah, it seems ARod's team barely put on a case at all.
   50. ThickieDon Posted: January 15, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4639765)
Derek Roid-eater

Frank Juicemasyringe
   51. Loren F. Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4639805)
#42 and #43 were funny in a consciously silly way, but #50 is just totally lacking in wit. Really, shouldn't it be "Derek Cheater" if you're going to hang a PED nickname on the guy?

Not that I have an opinion one way or the other on whether Jeter used PEDs. No one would shock me.
   52. dlf Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4639807)
Deficiencies of Rodriguez's attorneys: (1) As noted, failure to offer medical testimony of the impossibility of testing negative. (2) Failure to call any witnesses to offer testimony on the meaning of 7A and 7G and progressive discipline. In labor arbitration, parole evidence is very frequently offered on points where, as here, there is ambiguity in the meaning of the intersection between 7A, G, K, L, etc. (3) Failure to offer testimony or evidence of others who received 50 game suspensions (excluding the non-precedential ones) which would show that those players also had multiple substances and, if MLBPA could find one of the guilty to testify, detail of how long and frequently they used. This last one is critical as Horowitz found Rodriguez's use was the most severe of anyone, but his decision did not indicate any evidence of any other player's quantity, timing, etc. of use. (On this narrow point only do I think Horowitz really went astray; all the other things I criticize of his decision are reasonable and, with Rodriguez's horrible approach, can fully understand even if I disagree.)
   53. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4639822)
dlf: Yeah, it's odd they didn't seem to introduce any parole evidence. It seems the union should have helped here.

It's also odd they didn't seem to hit back hard (or at all) on the point that ARod wasn't (couldn't have been) the only one in the testing era who was ever found to be using more than one substance over a period of time.

I doubt another player would have jeopardized himself by testifying that he used multiple substances, though. But the PA surely could have introduced the evidence on record from the other cases to show that the others had multiple substances and a period of time.

What is your read, dlf, on the point that NOBODY to my knowledge predicted this result from Horowitz, which was basically to find that adding up first-offense 50 game penalties, 50x3, to reach 150 games was valid? Did you opine before the decision that this result was reasonable? Because everyone seemed to be doing either "you can get right away to the next levels of 50-100-permanent" and/or "you can give a massive number of games for obstruction," but nobody analyzed this and said "oh sure he can go 50x3." Not that that matters per se to the lawsuit but Horowitz seems to be a bit out on his own here with this interpretation of the JDA.





   54. vivaelpujols Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4639834)
Andy Pettite was quite good.


He's also quite a borderline HOFer just based on the numbers, which means if the voters have any consistency at all, he'll fall the McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro route.

I think the real indicator for how ARod will fare in the HOF voting is going to be Manny. Both would have otherwise been no-brainer first ballot guys, but both had multiple "offenses" after the testing started, and both have personalities that made them less than universally beloved even before the steroid issues.


ARod has about 45 more career WAR than Manny, but otherwise yeah they are pretty similar. Dude's 17th all time in career WAR including pitchers and he'll probably move up to 15th if he's allowed to play out the rest of his contract. I could see him doing a little worse than Clemens/Bonds (due to slightly worse performance and worse reputation), but he's much closer to them than he is to Palmeiro, Sosa, McGwire.
   55. ThickieDon Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4639839)
Derek HGeterH
   56. vivaelpujols Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4639849)
One difference between Bonds and Arod is that most people believe Bonds started his usage at a certain point in time when he had already established HoF credentials.


This is true, but those against steroids generally don't make that distinction. It's either you're morally against steroids and you don't vote anyone in, or you're against cheating and so you downgrade someone's stats to account for that. ARods about 50 WAR above borderline, so he's an easy in by that position.

Also I didn't realize until now how much of ARod's career value he put up while in New York. Over his first 5 years with the team he averaged 153 games, 42 homers, 123 RBI's, 119 runs and a .303/.401/.573 line. Oh and he had 106 SB and 21 CS. That's 7.4 WAR per season*. Yankees fans had already turned on him by then. ####### ########. Captain Clutch has had two seasons better than 7 WAR over his entire career

*That's after averaging 8.0 WAR per season in his first eight seasons with the Mariners and Rangers. If Jeter gets in with 95% of the vote and ARod is booted after one year, something is seriously ######. ARod's one of the best all around players to ever play the game.
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 15, 2014 at 08:15 PM (#4639971)
You want to trash Jeter, go ahead. You could be correct, though it would probably never come out. To equate them at this point in terms of PED Usage Guilt is silly and makes you sound like you're the one who took the Mike Torrez ball to the head.

ThickieDon is just lashing out because The Captain didn't give him a gift basket. There's a thin line between love and hate.
   58. ThickieDon Posted: January 15, 2014 at 11:57 PM (#4640079)
Lashing out?

Doing to Jeter what's only fair, considering he's a huge steroid abuser, and exactly what everyone does to Bonds, Clemens, et al.

Does everyone have a personal vendetta against those guys? How about Frank Thomas? Did Jeter or Ripken sleep with his wife, or is he just an outspoken hero and role model of The War On Drugs?
   59. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 16, 2014 at 12:11 AM (#4640083)
At this point it would pretty much shock me if Thomas didn't use. He's revealed now that he was obsessed about people hitting more home runs than him all along. It would be hilArious if he were outed as the first Known User in the Hall.

   60. BrianBrianson Posted: January 16, 2014 at 07:42 AM (#4640123)
It would be hilArious if he were outed as the first Known User in the Hall.


Sadly, known steroid users Pud Galvin, George Herman Ruth, and Mickey Mantle are all already in the Hall of Fame.
   61. ThickieDon Posted: January 16, 2014 at 07:44 AM (#4640125)
They haven't been officially outed because they didn't break any hallowed records.
   62. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 16, 2014 at 08:10 AM (#4640131)
I know about Galvin, Ruth, and Mantle, but the anti-steroids jihadists don't consider them Known Users. Just like steroids is Totally Different from amps or from the type of cheating that Gaylord Perry engaged in.

But they won't be able to deny that Thomas being found to have used is a problem for them. Of course, they'll likely find a reason to explain it all away.
   63. bunyon Posted: January 16, 2014 at 09:09 AM (#4640147)
If Thomas is found out the press will kill him. Perhaps literally. It would be entertaining, maybe, but how "they" handle things like that is to crucify the guy they think betrayed them.
   64. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 16, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4640154)
I know about Galvin, Ruth, and Mantle, but the anti-steroids jihadists don't consider them Known Users. Just like steroids is Totally Different from amps or from the type of cheating that Gaylord Perry engaged in.

But they won't be able to deny that Thomas being found to have used is a problem for them. Of course, they'll likely find a reason to explain it all away.


If Ray had some cheese, he'd make you the best toasted cheese sandwich you'll ever eat, if only you'd give him some bread and a toaster oven.

OTOH all you need to howl at the moon is a loud voice and a lot of persistence, which qualifies him on both counts.
   65. BrianBrianson Posted: January 16, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4640168)

But they won't be able to deny that Thomas being found to have used is a problem for them. Of course, they'll likely find a reason to explain it all away.


Steroid Jihadists widely consider Andy Pettitte a non-user. I don't Thomas can ever be a user in their mind, even if he plays video at the induction showing how he personally held down and forcibly injected everyone accused of using.
   66. dlf Posted: January 16, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4640176)
What is your read, dlf, on the point that NOBODY to my knowledge predicted this result from Horowitz, which was basically to find that adding up first-offense 50 game penalties, 50x3, to reach 150 games was valid? Did you opine before the decision that this result was reasonable? Because everyone seemed to be doing either "you can get right away to the next levels of 50-100-permanent" and/or "you can give a massive number of games for obstruction," but nobody analyzed this and said "oh sure he can go 50x3." Not that that matters per se to the lawsuit but Horowitz seems to be a bit out on his own here with this interpretation of the JDA.


Sorry for the delay in responding. I was actually in the car between Atlanta and Memphis heading to conduct a just cause disciplinary grievance. Tying this to an older thread, if the drive is less than ~6 hours, I try not to fly. It settled when I was about 3/4 of the way there, so I turned around and got home just as my wife was waking to go to the gym this morning. On the plus side, it means I get paid for not working ... An arbitrator's favorite clause is the cancellation fee provision. Anyway ...

Once we learned that the parties all agreed that the Rodriguez matter was governed by the just cause provisions of 7G and not the progressive discipline terms of 7A, much of my pre-hearing analysis goes out the window. (Note that Horowitz's decision expressly states that MLB, MLBPA and Rodriguez agreed; Rodriguez's recent court filing implicitly denies this, but I'll assume here that Horowitz is factually correct.) Under principles of 'just cause,' since it is unbound from the 50/100/life structure elsewhere,I wouldn't have been surprised by anything from 0 to 211.

I have a number of issues with the case, but most of it has to do with how Rodriguez apparently (i.e. reading between the lines of Horowitz's decision) presented his defense. I have three substantive* concerns with Horowitz's decision itself.

First, under principles of 'just cause' there is supposed to be a lot of deference to the employer as to the quantum of discipline imposed. That is, once an arbitrator finds that the employer has proven that cause exists for punishment, he is not to substitute his judgment for the employer as to how to punish. The arbitrator, under most CBAs does not hear the punishment phase de novo. It is only where the employer's proposed punishment exceeds the bounds of reasonableness, based among other things, on tenure, prior discipline, severity of the conduct, and deterrent effect, that a lesser penalty is warranted. In this case, Horowitz writes somewhat extensively as to why there is just cause for discipline, but doesn't give any significant time to a discussion of why he found that 211 exceeded the bounds of reasonableness and that he should impose a lesser penalty. Based purely on what is in the decision, I would say he should have fully affirmed the 211 and not reduced it to 162.

Second, Horowitz concluded, without stating his basis for the conclusion, that Rodriguez's conduct was more extreme than any other player previously disciplined. He implies that no other player used multiple substances or used for an extended period of time. I strongly suspect both assumptions are incorrect and largely blame Rodriguez / MLBPA for not putting on a case along these lines. But even assuming I'm wrong and Rodriguez is humanity's (or centaurian's) greatest monster, this should have been spelled out in greater detail.

Third, Horowitz's punishment seems to have been largely based on both multiple substances AND multiple years. Because of latter provisions in Section 7 (7K? 7L?) that deal with multiple substance in a single positive tests, I would not have tried to base a penalty around use of distinct PEDs. I, however, put blame on MLBPA / Rodriguez here as it appears, at least from Horowitz's summary of the parties' positions, that this wasn't argued at all. An arbitrator shouldn't hunt through the CBA to create an argument for a party that the party didn't raise, but at the same time, he generally shouldn't issue an award that contradicts another provision. Just write around what the parties didn't raise, but don't contradict the CBA.

As to the 50+50+50+12, I think that had Horowitz written the award with greater clarity, that is not beyond what would be an appropriate punishment. Just cause does give a lot of lattitude. But in intrepreting whether the punishment went beyond the bounds of reasonableness or, if it did, crafting an alternative punishment, an arbitrator should look at other provisions of the CBA and past practices of the parties. This answer has gone on too long anyway, but if I were writing this decision, ignoring what you and I believe about evidence not in the record, I could have concluded that the 7A 50 games for single a positive test of use of a substance with increased for subsequent positives is illustrative of their intent regarding extended use over three seasons. I would not, however, have written about multiple substances (i.e. 50 games for each) because my reading would have revealed other provisions (7K, IIRC) that deal with multple positives in one testing cycle.

*Purely stylistically, I don't like that Horowitz essentially combined a recitation of the testimony / evidence presented with his factual findings. I prefer those to be distinct, so a reader fully knows what each side argued. That is important to me as an arbitrator because I want the losing side to absolutely know that I heard what they had to say, understood their arguments, gave them careful consideration, but still ruled against them. Doing it Horowitz's way works well for sophisticated parties, but outsiders who weren't part of the process (me, darn it!) as well as less sophisticated parties can get lost without the clearer deliniation stylistically.
   67. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 16, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4640179)
Steroid Jihadists widely consider Andy Pettitte a non-user.

Examples of that? And how many "Jihadists" does it take to make up "widely"?

I don't [think] Thomas can ever be a user in their mind, even if he plays video at the induction showing how he personally held down and forcibly injected everyone accused of using.

Evidence for that, beyond your imagination?
   68. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: January 16, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4640197)
I don't [think] Thomas can ever be a user in their mind, even if he plays video at the induction showing how he personally held down and forcibly injected everyone accused of using.

To be fair, this would be evidence that he forced everyone else to use, not that he himself used.
   69. ThickieDon Posted: January 16, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4640205)
That's how juicers roll.
   70. BrianBrianson Posted: January 16, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4640212)
To be fair, this would be evidence that he forced everyone else to use, not that he himself used.


Indeed, it would just go to show how committed he was to staying clean, making sure his competition was it's absolute best.
   71. fra paolo Posted: January 16, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4640224)
Horowitz writes somewhat extensively as to why there is just cause for discipline, but doesn't give any significant time to a discussion of why he found that 211 exceeded the bounds of reasonableness and that he should impose a lesser penalty. Based purely on what is in the decision, I would say he should have fully affirmed the 211 and not reduced it to 162.

Uh, because the actual penalty was 'until the end of the 2014 season', and the 211 games was just an administrative conversion of Commissioner Ahab's fiat into something that fit the terms of the JDA?

Just my hypothesis.
   72. The District Attorney Posted: January 16, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4640305)
I would say he should have fully affirmed the 211 and not reduced it to 162.
I think it was just a question of not wanting to push too far past established precedent. If there had already been a 162-game suspension and Horowitz felt this conduct was way worse than that one, then he could have done 211. But as it stood, he would have been basically doubling any previous suspension in history, and I think he was reluctant to do that.
   73. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 16, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4640502)
The fact that Horowitz reduced the suspension is not dispositive. If it were MLB would just say "2000 games!" and a reduction to 1000 would be permissible on its face.
   74. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 16, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4640505)
Shorter Andy: "What's the evidence that crazy, dishonest, and unreasonable people are crazy, dishonest, and unreasonable?!"
   75. dlf Posted: January 16, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4640518)
I think it was just a question of not wanting to push too far past established precedent. If there had already been a 162-game suspension and Horowitz felt this conduct was way worse than that one, then he could have done 211. But as it stood, he would have been basically doubling any previous suspension in history, and I think he was reluctant to do that.


I don't necessarily disagree, but it isn't in the written Arbitration Award. He really didn't give reason, in writing, for going down from 211 at all and, except where a decision is "unreasoned" you shouldn't have to guess. (Unreasoned, in this context doesn't mean unthinking or arbitrary; it's just a shorthand in the industry for something more akin to a jury verdict - tell me who wins and how much, but don't tell me why.)
   76. Ron J2 Posted: January 16, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4640533)
#61 On the contrary. Galvin was the first 300 game winner. And took to the juice to try and keep his career going.
   77. ThickieDon Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4640536)
Was being facetious but definitely an interesting point.
   78. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 16, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4640578)
Shorter Andy: "What's the evidence that crazy, dishonest, and unreasonable people are crazy, dishonest, and unreasonable?!"

Yes, like Frank Thomas. Keep hope alive, Ray-Ray. You'll always have ThickieDon and The Onion to back you up.
   79. kwarren Posted: January 16, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4640579)
Andy Pettitte will get 10% of the vote if he's lucky, he tested positive for PEDS and wasn't that good to begin with.


Andy Pettite was quite good.


Not Hall of Fame good.
   80. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 16, 2014 at 11:43 PM (#4640787)
Ironically I think Pettitte's case will be BOOSTED because of the PEDs he took. That's how crazy all of this has gotten.

He was Honest Andy. He has been praised up and down.
   81. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 16, 2014 at 11:55 PM (#4640793)
I don't necessarily disagree, but it isn't in the written Arbitration Award. He really didn't give reason, in writing, for going down from 211 at all and, except where a decision is "unreasoned" you shouldn't have to guess. (Unreasoned, in this context doesn't mean unthinking or arbitrary; it's just a shorthand in the industry for something more akin to a jury verdict - tell me who wins and how much, but don't tell me why.)


Horowitz's opinion is pretty poorly reasoned. He makes a leap to get to 50x3, he doesn't address the question of whether a first offender can go to 100-permanent (via the 50-100-permanent structure) right away, he doesn't explain why he reduced from 211 to 162 (except for making noise about one year being the longest non-permanent suspension ever -- but so what?), he lets MLB get away with not specifying how many games were for obstruction, how many were for use/possession -- indeed he essentially makes the same mistake of vagueness himself.

And my suspicion is that he is either strawman-ing the PA/ARod's arguments when he says they agreed that 7A doesn't control this situation and the just cause provisions do (what lawyer representing ARod would agree with that?), or he got their arguments wrong. He ignores the parts of the JDA that may not specifically apply but that cut against his stacking of first offenses (e.g., if a player tests positive for substances in multiple categories the JDA allows the player to be suspended for the LONGER of the categories but not to STACK the penalties). He ignores the parts of the JDA that suggest that the penalty for "obstruction" is simply a positive test (e.g., if you are caught trying to dilute or mask or throw the testing off then the penalty is simply a positive test presumption).

Then he pretends that an entirely unremarkable situation -- a first offender having been found to have used multiple substances over multiple years -- is so egregious that it warrants stacking of penalties. And yet when he stacks he does so on the basis of 3 uses and doesn't really explain how the "multiple years" thing fits in.

It's a poor decision.
   82. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: January 17, 2014 at 01:31 AM (#4640809)
One way of doing the math is the suspension was reduced from 211 games to 162.

Another way is to say the original suspension was "through the 2014 season", which is exactly what the arbitrator upheld.
   83. BrianBrianson Posted: January 17, 2014 at 04:26 AM (#4640825)
#61 On the contrary. Galvin was the first 300 game winner. And took to the juice to try and keep his career going.


Indeed, and my memory is a little hazy, but I kinda recall Ruth may have broken a record or two ....

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