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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Ken Burns on Clemens, Bonds and the Baseball Hall of Fame: ‘Those Motherf—-ers Should Suffer’

Naturally…Burns made a substantial factual error in the mother’s name.

he Hollywood Reporter: Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Mike Piazza are all on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. Would you vote for them?

Ken Burns: No.

THR: Ever?

Ken Burns: I want them to suffer for a while.

THR: Even if they were good before they allegedly used steroids?

Ken Burns: I think the argument is that without a doubt Clemens and Bonds should be in there, and at the highest levels. Barry Bonds may be the greatest baseball player of all time, and Roger Clemens—maybe you’d get some arguments from the [Sandy] Koufax/[Pedro] Martinez sector and the Walter Johnson segment and the Nolan Ryan crowd—but they are two of the very, very best. And before when we think they began taking, they’re Hall of Fame caliber. But at the same time, the problem is we don’t know who didn’t at all. I mean, I know one person in all of the Major Leagues I’m absolutely certain didn’t, and that’s Ichiro Suzuki. But other than that, I have no guarantee that anyone you loved and think is way above that didn’t do it. And that is why they need to wait and wait and wait. Because it makes it impossible for us to judge excellence in this era.

Repoz Posted: January 09, 2013 at 01:52 AM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 02:13 AM (#4342609)
and Roger Clemens—maybe you’d get some arguments from the [Sandy] Koufax/[Pedro] Martinez sector and the Walter Johnson segment and the Nolan Ryan crowd—but they are two of the very, very best.


You'd get some legitimate arguments from the Pedro sector if you're talking about peak, and from the Walter Johnson segment depending on your flavor of era adjustment, but not from the others. Koufax and Ryan? Sheesh.

I mean, I know one person in all of the Major Leagues I’m absolutely certain didn’t, and that’s Ichiro Suzuki.


I thought people stopped saying dumb stuff like this after Pettitte was found to have been using HGH.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: January 09, 2013 at 03:21 AM (#4342632)
Nobody would surprise me, Maddux would disappoint me.

Anyhoo, so the point of waiting is to maybe find out that even more players did it ... and so Clemens and Bonds "cheated" X% less?

As to "suffering" ... their public personas are pretty much trashed and they've both spent millions defending themselves against pointless criminal charges. Denial of the HoF won't increase their suffering to any great degree, it will simply satisfy the blowhards' lust for personal revenge.

Seriously, "suffer"?
   3. steagles Posted: January 09, 2013 at 03:28 AM (#4342634)
I mean, I know one person in all of the Major Leagues I’m absolutely certain didn’t, and that’s Ichiro Suzuki.
ichiro could have hid his steroid usage from ken burns...if he really wanted to.
   4. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 09, 2013 at 04:40 AM (#4342640)
THR: Are you going to do "The 11th Inning" now?

Ken Burns: We need a few things to happen. Like the Cubs win the World Series; that would automatically do it.

Or if the White Sox finally break through and win one after all these years, I bet Ken Burns would totally make a very big deal out of that.
   5. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 09, 2013 at 05:04 AM (#4342641)
January the 8th, 2013
Sugar Land, Texas

My very dear Andy:
 
The indications are very strong that a result shall alight in a few days -- perhaps upon the morrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write these poor lines that may fall under your eye when my candidacy shall be no more.

I cannot adequately describe to you my feelings on this calm winter night, but my soul is soothed by the circumstance that a score of brave men are sharing my imminent fate, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death. Murphy has the sallow look of the ghost about him, and I fear we shall see him no more after the upcoming battle. I take some solace that Murphy has lived a full and rich candidacy and shall abide in our sacred memories always; my heart aches all the more for the apple-cheeked colts who have only just joined our worthy cause -- Mesa, Walker, Klesko, fleet Lofton, mince-fed Wells and the rest. Huzzah, boys!

But perhaps it is for the fallen to weep for those who survive the upcoming ratification. Clayton and Cirillo’s agonies will be mercifully short, while for others among us, this long, brutish campaign may only be at its start. O Electoral Death, thine will be done, and it is not for we mortals to question it, even if a few of those ballots were doubtless issued forth from the dankest bowels of the mad-house.
 
My dear Andy, I have sought most closely and diligently in my breast for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could not find one. If it is necessary that I should be laid low on the final battlefield of my sport, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I have been engaged, and my courage does not falter. What pursuances my form may yet abide as a result of the many strong tonics and elixirs I have consumed, the physicians do not yet know. The fount of fluid from my womanly teats greatly vexes me. But for my fellow-men of the diamond who relied upon my most consummate efforts, I could have done no less.

It is I who am in their debt. Some of them endure with me still -- Bagwell, Biggio, pumpkin-cheeked Bernie. This, I know, is our last struggle together. I do not expect I will survive it. But I have e’er been willing to lay down all the joys of my life, my liberty, and the structural integrity of my nutsack that they might prosper.

When young Lidge was destroyed, was I not there to pitch the 16th, 17th and 18th? When my infielders were imperiled by splenetic Piazza and his pockmark’d back, did I not repel him with the crudest of implements? How queer that we two should be brothers now on this damnable ballot. No man may know his fate.

My Andy, do not mourn me or think me gone. Divine Providence has cast us apart, but it gives me pleasure to think of my time in the north and to know that you endure. Why, in six or seven or eight years, I have a feeling I might still be right here, waiting for you.

Faithfully,
Roger
   6. Flynn Posted: January 09, 2013 at 05:37 AM (#4342646)
Primey.
   7. John Northey Posted: January 09, 2013 at 08:12 AM (#4342658)
Burns is a funny one. Spends all kinds of time in his baseball series talking about race in baseball then makes the first black manager to win anything (first a division title then 2 world series) a footnote. Goes nuts about PED's and who might have then says a guy who is fast could not have done it despite all evidence that PED's are very helpful to speedy guys. Logic holes. Ah well, after all this HOF voting where logic goes out the window I guess it shouldn't bother me anymore.
   8. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4342672)
You can moan, you can moo,
Got two words for you:
Baby...SUFFER...!!
   9. Sean Forman Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4342689)
I am in awe of #5. BRAVO!
   10. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4342691)
It probably means I've been hanging out here too long as I at first thought "Andy" was our Andy and not Pettitte.
   11. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:16 AM (#4342695)
It probably means I've been hanging out here too long as I at first thought "Andy" was our Andy and not Pettitte.


Oh good it was not just me then.
   12. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4342699)
5 is amazing
   13. asinwreck Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4342702)
Burns no doubt wants John Coltrane to suffer for Ascension.
   14. Tippecanoe Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4342718)
#5 is to be read aloud while doing your best Garrison Keillor voice. I will be closing my office door so that I can give it the gusto it requires, especially this line:

and the structural integrity of my nutsack
   15. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4342724)
It probably means I've been hanging out here too long as I at first thought "Andy" was our Andy and not Pettitte.


I only figured it out after I couldn't think of a Roger here.
   16. Bob Tufts Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4342725)
Dear Mrs. Burns:

It is with a very heavy heart that I must inform you that your son Kenny was killed in battle on the morning of January 9th, during a psychotic rant about Cooperstown.

This war on drugs has taken something from all of us, and, although your son seems to be the only casualty so far, know that we all share your pain. Your son did not die in vain. I shall persevere and make Bonds and Clemens my slaves in his name. Because I hate those guys. I hate those m*****f****ers so very very much.

Yours, General Cartman Lee.
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4342729)
I only figured it out after I couldn't think of a Roger here.

Repoz resents that.
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4342730)
Ken Burns: I want them to suffer for a while.


So you want them to watch Ken Burns documentaries?
   19. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:02 AM (#4342734)
It probably means I've been hanging out here too long as I at first thought "Andy" was our Andy and not Pettitte.


Actually, I thought it was an homage to Brooks Hatlan's suicide letter to Andy Dufresne.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4342743)
I thought no one would get in, but the fact they are having a TV show suggests they know someone will get in. I will guess Biggio.
   21. AROM Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4342750)
They will be interviewing Deacon White. Seance technology has been improving by leaps and bounds. In fact, an app will soon be available for your iPhone so everyone can speak to their dead relatives. Astral data plans will be a bit expensive at first, but I expect like everything else in computing, they will be coming down.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4342757)
I thought no one would get in, but the fact they are having a TV show suggests they know someone will get in. I will guess Biggio.


Didn't they have a TV show the last few years? If suddenly they don't have one this year, they'd just be announcing no one got in.

   23. Tippecanoe Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4342758)
And if the seance fails there's the Weekend at Bernies route, which in this case will be more of a Norman Bates' mother thing.
   24. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4342759)
But other than that, I have no guarantee that anyone you loved and think is way above that didn’t do it. And that is why they need to wait and wait and wait. Because it makes it impossible for us to judge excellence in this era.


Wait. This is the stupidest thing I've read about the "steroid era." And that is saying a lot. The problem the era presents isn't that we can't judge excellence within the era. We know Barry Bonds was the best player of the era. We know Manny Alexander was not. The problem is era adjusting Bonds' final career stats (particularly that 7 spot he dropped in HRs) against other all-time greats of other eras.
   25. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4342792)
The problem the era presents isn't that we can't judge excellence within the era.


Well if you assume steroids make a huge difference in whoever takes them and assume not everyone took steroids then you can say that judging "untainted" excellence is impossible because there is no way to know who "should" have the excellent numbers.

I don't agree with that, but I think a case could be made. Of course I am not sure how waiting helps because knowing who took steroids and who didn't and how much their specific regimens impacted their performance can never be known (though I guess a better udnerstanding of steroids impacts could be gained over time).

So I would suggest it is stupid, but likely not the stupidest (YMMV of course).
   26. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4342807)
I'm not quite sure how to break it to Mr. Burns, but it turns out that some of the jazz musicians of the 1920s may also have been using illegal substances.
   27. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4342836)
The fount of fluid from my womanly teats greatly vexes me.


Gonfalon is a genius. Or maybe he's just Colin Meloy.
   28. attaboy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4342841)
And those illegal substances were definitely performance enhancing substances!
   29. Bob Tufts Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4342863)
Burns can do an inning on violation of the Volstead Act if he so chooses. Baseball did not ban beer, but it was illegal.
   30. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4343063)
#5 is outstanding. If that doesn't net a Primey, then the Primeys have no meaning.
   31. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 09, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4343102)
Does this mean Rene Zwelleger will be playing the part of Roger Clemens in the upcoming adaption of Gonfalon's epic?
   32. rr Posted: January 09, 2013 at 03:07 PM (#4343136)
No one got in--Biggio highest with 68%.
   33. sunnyday2 Posted: January 09, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4343246)
#7. Just makes me think of the analogy of the HoF voting and the fiscal cliff debates. We ARE doomed, you know.
   34. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4343247)
Does this mean Rene Zwelleger will be playing the part of Roger Clemens in the upcoming adaption of Gonfalon's epic?

Zachary Quinto is in talks to play the fountain pen used to write Clemens' missive.
   35. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 09, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4343370)
Gonfalon, that was very, very good.
   36. zonk Posted: January 09, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4343394)
We need to reform primey voting because the voters simply aren't very good at primey voting.
   37. TerpNats Posted: January 09, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4343430)
Burns is a funny one. Spends all kinds of time in his baseball series talking about race in baseball then makes the first black manager to win anything (first a division title then 2 world series) a footnote.
Yeah, but he did it for a team the PBS crowd on the Cape and the Hamptons frankly doesn't give a damn about. As in "Animal Farm," with Burns some teams are more equal than others.

I'm not quite sure how to break it to Mr. Burns, but it turns out that some of the jazz musicians of the 1920s may also have been using illegal substances.
You mean Louis Armstrong's "Muggles" wasn't a Harry Potter tribute?
   38. Don Malcolm Posted: January 09, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4343431)
Gonfalon: We who are about to die salute you!
   39. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 09, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4343500)
Zachary Quinto is in talks to play the fountain pen used to write Clemens' missive.


I think a better choice would be Mindy McCready who is very familiar with Clemens' missive.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: January 10, 2013 at 04:21 AM (#4343903)
I'm not quite sure how to break it to Mr. Burns, but it turns out that some of the jazz musicians of the 1920s may also have been using illegal substances.

Man, don't get me started on the junkie roll call in the bop episode.

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