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Friday, January 18, 2013

Mike Gimbel: Why ‘no’ vote turns baseball’s Hall of Fame into ‘Hall of Shame’

Mike Gimbel! Workers World! HOF! Steroids!...Now all I need is some decently compiled stuff up the cracks and I’m set!

As such, racism and anti-union sentiment are part of the process of the vote for the HOF simply because the overwhelming majority of BBWA writers were and are white reporters who are employed by the huge capitalist corporate media.

...The owners embarked on this course, with the aid of Joe McCarthy-style congressional hearings. Those hearings, headed by Senator John McCain, dragged star players like Mark McGwire in front of a nationwide media frenzy on supposed performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), as a way to put the players and their union in as unfavorable light as possible.

The big-business media, using racism as their ultimate weapon, then embarked on an almost decade-long attack on Black baseball player Barry Bonds, the greatest baseball player in the modern era. This attack on Barry Bonds culminated in him first being “blacklisted” from Major League Baseball and then indicted in federal court. While no such witch-hunt was directed at Roger Clemens during his career, where he was the greatest pitcher in the history of the game, Clemens also became the subject of the witch-hunt after his retirement. Both Bonds and Clemens had to endure being indicted and tried. Neither player was ever convicted of using PEDs at those trials.

...No one should visit the Baseball Hall of Fame until Barry Bonds is elected and his plaque shown as prominently as it rightfully should. No one should visit the Baseball Hall of Shame until Dick Allen is elected. In my opinion, the greatest racist shame in the history of HOF voting was the treatment of Dick Allen. Allen was one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game, but he first arrived in the Major Leagues in 1963, at a critical moment in the history of the civil rights struggle of the 1960s.

He refused to bow his head in subservience and was treated by baseball writers with utmost contempt. Their hatred of Dick Allen, to this day, is reflected in the door to the HOF being closed to him. That is an injustice that requires rectification! Until that is done, the HOF will remain, in my mind, the “Hall of Shame!”

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2013 at 06:36 AM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof, steroids

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Craig Calcaterra Posted: January 18, 2013 at 08:40 AM (#4349688)
Comment failure. This is what happens when you only comment twice a year anymore.
   2. Craig Calcaterra Posted: January 18, 2013 at 08:41 AM (#4349689)
In case you forgot (or never knew) who the author of this is, here's Neyer's profile of him from back in 2002.
   3. AROM Posted: January 18, 2013 at 08:50 AM (#4349691)
Just another crazy tea partier.
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 18, 2013 at 08:56 AM (#4349693)
the overwhelming majority of BBWA writers were and are white reporters....

The big-business media, using racism as their ultimate weapon, then embarked on an almost decade-long attack on Black baseball player Barry Bonds....


I love that quaint carryover from the late 60's of capitalizing "Black" but leaving "white" lowercase. It's like the left wing version of "democrat party" that the wingnuts on the other side routinely employ as a stylistic device to call attention to their lowercase mental derangement.
   5. depletion Posted: January 18, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4349697)
Capitalization, or lack of therein, is only effective in the printed word. Reagan routinely referred to Pres. Carter as "my opponent". Clinton went one better and referred to Pres. Bush as "the current occupant of the White House".
   6. depletion Posted: January 18, 2013 at 09:17 AM (#4349699)
Thanks for the profile of Mike Gimbel, Craig. Kind of an odd career path, but he's doing honest work so what the heck.
   7. Craig Calcaterra Posted: January 18, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4349703)
Oh, and more Gimbel. Dude used to keep live alligators in his Brooklyn apartment and got pissed when the cops raided and took them away:

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/10/28/nyregion/just-a-quiet-apartment-with-6-gators.html

Charlie Kaufman needs to make a movie about this dude.
   8. Dale Sams Posted: January 18, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4349712)
Mike Gimbel pretty much looks like the exact opposite of how I pictured him.
   9. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:27 AM (#4349731)
Why did they take only one of the two iguanas? And who, in the story, is "Panama"? They never say!
   10. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4349750)
Why didn't Troy Neel play in the US after 1994? He was a good hitter.

The wikipedia entry on him is crazy.
   11. Matthew E Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4349776)
Until that is done, the HOF will remain, in my mind, the “Hall of Shame!”
Oh snizzap! I bet Gimbel was proud of himself when he thought that one up.

See, it's like "Hall of Fame", only with "Shame", and "shame" rhymes with "fame"! He should submit that to Reader's Digest.
   12. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4349783)
Why didn't Troy Neel play in the US after 1994?


Better offer from Japan, IIRC.
   13. TJ Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4349792)
I was ready to rip Mike Gimbel a new one, then reconsidered. After all, a guy who keeps an illegal alligator petting zoo for neighbor kids in his apartment can't be all bad...
   14. flournoy Posted: January 18, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4349891)
I had no idea about Neel's off-the-field escapades until just now, but I bet that was a factor in him not returning to the U.S. as well.
   15. Don Malcolm Posted: January 18, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4349910)
My love of Mike Gimbel, I will freely admit, is in direct proportion to how moderate he makes me look by comparison. He's in some psycho-sociological counterpart of the HOF for those who've evidenced the "wrong way to be right" in virtually every endeavor he's undertaken. That kind of single-minded consistency is truly mind-boggling.

But Gimbel hasn't been gone from view all that long. Folks working in the MSM ought to do a little more digging before putting out a "kook of the week" piece...why, Mike can be found in the pages of the Hardball Times as recently as four years ago, making statements that will vex and confound, but that remain 100% on track with what he just wrote.

Don't know if that article was linked to here at the time, but it is interesting that HT doesn't have a link to it on their author's pages.
   16. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: January 18, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4349920)
Gimbel's another old usenet guy. I don't know him personally though - I don't think we've ever talked or swapped emails that I can recall.
   17. jdennis Posted: January 18, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4349923)
as a liberal, i get pretty miffed by these ridiculous accusations of racism in sports. talk about that where it really exists in our society. or at least talk about the anti-gay bias in sports, or the pro-christian bias. especially in college football, where you think that sort of thing wouldn't be as bad. those are much worse and basically universal in the sports world. talk about the messages they send to kids in their post-game interviews and press conferences where they are pretty much always an overly aggressive, conceited jerk with aberrantly unusual value systems.

the only recent example of racism against an african-american in sports that i can think of is how they're treating ndamukong suh in football. especially after kevin love did the same thing but worse, and no one cared a day later. some people would say tiger woods, but i don't think that is the same. yes, a lot of fans say racist things on message boards about tiger, but that isn't a systematic bias within golf.
   18. jdennis Posted: January 18, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4349924)
well i guess the treatment of suh would be a media bias now that i think of it
   19. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 18, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4349935)
I met Mike Gimbel at a convention several years ago (don't remember whether it was SABR or one of Ron Shandler's gatherings though). He's pretty much the same guy in person as he sounds in these articles.

-- MWE
   20. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4349939)
I don't get it. Doesn't not voting anyone in make it the Hall of Same?
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4349954)
I don't get it. Doesn't not voting anyone in make it the Hall of Same?

Apparently (from the excerpt) because there's a racist conspiracy aimed at keeping Bonds out.

Now if you ask, why didn't they vote for Clemens, or McGwire, or Palmeiro, I don't know what Mr. Gimbel's answer might be.
   22. fra paolo Posted: January 18, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4349961)
I dunno. I think if I edited out some of the cant and tweaked the wording here and there, without changing his point one whit, this would fit right in with BBTF mainstream opinion, although expressed more politically, and less ad hominenily.

Doesn't the mainstream media tend to support the prejudices of their employers, which themselves are not necessarily coherent? And wouldn't that get reflected to some degree in the voting for baseball's most enduring honour? Isn't it the case that the battle over testing was part of the contractual negotiations between owners and players in the first years of this century?
   23. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4349962)

the only recent example of racism against an african-american in sports that i can think of is how they're treating ndamukong suh in football. especially after kevin love did the same thing but worse, and no one cared a day later. some people would say tiger woods, but i don't think that is the same. yes, a lot of fans say racist things on message boards about tiger, but that isn't a systematic bias within golf.


And honestly, that doesn't even matter. Where it does matter is in the hiring of college football coaches (still absurdly white) or NFL front offices.
   24. attaboy Posted: January 18, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4349965)
Gimbel makes quite a number of unsubstantiated claims in his 2009 article and presents them as fact. It seems as though there may be truth to the claim that the 34-37 years are more productive ...per PA... than 27-29 years but this is the first I have heard this stated. Is this commonly accepted as a valid statement?

His discussion on Arod is questionable (I am being generous here, I started by saying silly) as he assumes that Arod started his program of steroid use in 2001 and stopped promptly in 2003. I can neither confirm nor deny such statements, and neither can Gimbel.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4349975)
My mom picked up one of his annuals for me, since it looked like an Abstract (which, bless her, she has also picked up for me before I had ever heard of Bill James). The three lasting ipmressions I have of that book: he had some interesting ideas; he wasn't a writer; and he loved him some Mitch Webster.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4349988)
And honestly, that doesn't even matter. Where it does matter is in the hiring of college football coaches (still absurdly white) or NFL front offices.

So, do black colleges coaches outperform whites on the field?

If there was much discrimination in hiring, you'd expect only the very, very best black candidates to be hired, and they should perform very well.
   27. AROM Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4349992)
Gimbel makes quite a number of unsubstantiated claims in his 2009 article and presents them as fact. It seems as though there may be truth to the claim that the 34-37 years are more productive ...per PA... than 27-29 years but this is the first I have heard this stated. Is this commonly accepted as a valid statement?


I don't think that holds up, even if you look at rate stats of players who played at both age 34-37 and 27-29. If you did so you'd be guilty of selective sampling. Because age is what it is, there aren't nearly as many players playing from 34-37.

I suspect you could find his result if you look at: Leaderboards of players with best rate stats at 34-37, and then compare those to what the same players did from 27-29. But that would be taking selective sampling to a ridiculous degree.
   28. AROM Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:23 PM (#4349999)
If there was much discrimination in hiring, you'd expect only the very, very best black candidates to be hired, and they should perform very well.


I'm not sure it works that way. If they are discriminating (something I'm taking no position on, I haven't studied this nor do I care at all about college football), it could be that the few minority candidates hired are not the most competant at coaching and recruiting young football players, but merely the best at impressing old white school officials. And those skills probably don't overlap.

   29. SandyRiver Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4350002)
Also read the THT article, and found almost no evidence to support the age 34-37 peak. Looking at OPS+ (because many of the modern rate stats appear to date back only to the 70s, or 40s at best, so OPS+ is about the only option), I found only 6 players since 1900 who posted a career best - and 200 or better - OPS+ at age 30 or older. (Picked 200, because who cares if some middle infielder posted a 94 at age 31 after never breaking 90?) I count 19 post-1900 players who have reached the 200 mark. Three did so in that 34-37 range, though 2 were right at 34.

Cobb, age 30: 209 3 pt better than his age 23
McCovey, age 31: 209 3 best were 174,209,182 at age 30-32
Sosa, age 32: 203 Next best was 161, the biggest outlier on this list, with one huge exception
Wagner, age 34: 205 Next best was 188
McGwire, age 34: 216 Next best was 196, though he had 3 partial seasons over 200.
Barry B, age 36,37,38,39: 259,268,231,263 Next best was 206 at age 28. Those 4 late seasons had avg 256, or 50 pt above the next best. They rank 1,2,3,5 for best for over 30 - Williams 1957 is #4 at 233, and only Ruth at 31,32 (both 225) is particularly close.

This proves very little about what if any chemicals Barry used, or about the advantages of steriods, but to me it shows that his late peak was ridiculously far above anyone else 35+, as far as Ruth in 1920-23 was above the rest of baseball.
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4350006)
I'm not sure it works that way. If they are discriminating (something I'm taking no position on, I haven't studied this nor do I care at all about college football), it could be that the few minority candidates hired are not the most competant at coaching and recruiting young football players, but merely the best at impressing old white school officials. And those skills probably don't overlap.

Generally it should work that way. When blacks were still discriminated against in MLB, you saw many black stars and few black role players. When banks really did redline against minority lenders, they had lower default rates.

If we're assuming normal discrimination (i.e. all else being equal, they prefer white coaches), not a deliberate conspiracy to limit black coaches, given any normal preference structure by the hirers, very qualified blacks should suffer less from discrimination than average blacks, and the quality of black coaches should be artificially elevated.

I mean the officials want to win too, as well as prefering white coaches (in our hypothetical) so the very good black coach will be hired despite discrimination.

   31. villageidiom Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4350025)
Neither player was ever convicted of using PEDs at those trials.
Neither player was ever put on trial for using PEDs. They were put on trial for perjury and/or obstruction of justice.

Fight pedantry with pedantry, I always say!

Now if you ask, why didn't they vote for Clemens, or McGwire, or Palmeiro, I don't know what Mr. Gimbel's answer might be.
He'd say it's the writers' way of covering up their racist conspiracy.
   32. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 18, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4350069)
By the way, for those who aren't aware of the history, the Communist media was among the loudest of the voices calling for MLB to integrate in the late 30s/early 40s. There are many, many good books on the subject - I'm reading one now called Consipracy of Silence by Chris Lamb that focuses mostly on the various media efforts to push MLB to drop the color line.

Thing I learned today from Lamb's book that I probably should have known earlier: In 1945, the state of New York passed the Ives-Quinn law, the first state law that effectively banned discrimination in hiring on the basis of race. Lee Lowenfish, in his bio of Branch Rickey, notes that when he heard that the law had been signed Rickey told his wife Jane that "they can't stop me now". It's certainly possible, perhaps even likely, that without Ives-Quinn Rickey would have been forced to move more slowly.

-- MWE
   33. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 18, 2013 at 04:08 PM (#4350109)
By the way, for those who aren't aware of the history, the Communist media was among the loudest of the voices calling for MLB to integrate in the late 30s/early 40s. There are many, many good books on the subject - I'm reading one now called Conspiracy of Silence by Chris Lamb that focuses mostly on the various media efforts to push MLB to drop the color line.

Lamb is the best secondary source, but IMO an even better book is Irwin Silber's Press Box Red, a "life and times" bio of the late Lester Rodney, who was the sports editor of the Daily Worker (later The Worker) from the 30's through the 50's. Rodney was nearly alone among white sportswriters in pressing the integration issue repeatedly, interviewing players and managers in a longrunning effort to demonstrate that the opposition within those groups to integration wasn't nearly as widespread as the owners were making out. Not that he'll ever get it, but he'd be an eminently worthy recipient of the Frick Award, a hell of a lot more so than most of the writers who've received it lately. His writing was remarkably free of political jargon, and needless to say, was light years above the garbage represented in this post by Mike Gimbel.
   34. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4350132)
I think you meant the Spink award, Andy
   35. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 18, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4350146)
There is no doubt that racism played a large role in the blackballing of Dick Allen. There's little doubt that racism played a role in the blackballing of Barry Bonds. You don't necessarily see it clearly in the HOF voting, where the voters have taken a more clear disdain for Bonds and gauzed it out of time and memory, turning it into a generic moral crusade against "steroids." But in the moment, the clarity was there, most notable in the distinct differences in the coverage and treatment of Mark McGwire (grumpy, PED using, impossible to interview, demanding of his own privacy white guy) and Sammy Sosa (let's just call it as we see it and name him the Hispanic Stepin Fetchit), versus the treatment of Bonds (who was essentially just a black, more talented Mark McGwire.)
   36. T.J. Posted: January 18, 2013 at 05:46 PM (#4350205)
Thing I learned today from Lamb's book that I probably should have known earlier: In 1945, the state of New York passed the Ives-Quinn law, the first state law that effectively banned discrimination in hiring on the basis of race. Lee Lowenfish, in his bio of Branch Rickey, notes that when he heard that the law had been signed Rickey told his wife Jane that "they can't stop me now". It's certainly possible, perhaps even likely, that without Ives-Quinn Rickey would have been forced to move more slowly.


The Giants didn't integrate until 1949, and the Yankees not until 1955, correct? How were they able to wait that long?
   37. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 18, 2013 at 06:05 PM (#4350238)
I think you meant the Spink award, Andy

You're right, of course. Though I can never quite figure out why a broadcaster's award was named after a writer and an executive. Why wasn't it named after an actual broadcasting pioneer like Graham McNamee instead of a ghostwriter and a bureaucrat like Frick?

(Of course I know the answer to that. It was a rhetorical question.)

--------------------------------------------------------

Thing I learned today from Lamb's book that I probably should have known earlier: In 1945, the state of New York passed the Ives-Quinn law, the first state law that effectively banned discrimination in hiring on the basis of race. Lee Lowenfish, in his bio of Branch Rickey, notes that when he heard that the law had been signed Rickey told his wife Jane that "they can't stop me now". It's certainly possible, perhaps even likely, that without Ives-Quinn Rickey would have been forced to move more slowly.


The Giants didn't integrate until 1949, and the Yankees not until 1955, correct? How were they able to wait that long?

Two reasons. First, Robinson and then Doby made it seem as if full integration was inevitable, which temporarily took the heat off, and by 1950 the Yankees had signed their first black player into their farm system. Second, since the standard of proof of discrimination was much higher then than it would have been later, it would have been extremely hard to prove discrimination beyond a reasonable doubt as soon as the Giants and the Yanks had signed those first players to contracts.

   38. booond Posted: January 18, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4350257)
I bought Gimbel's book. I was looking for an Abstract replacement. It wasn't. I might still have it somewhere.
   39. Don Malcolm Posted: January 18, 2013 at 06:37 PM (#4350284)
He'd say it's the writers' way of covering up their racist conspiracy.

Assumes facts not in evidence. He's not a strictly a one-note type, he just sees the evils of capitalism and racism in a very tight continuum. (Tight, as in vise-like.)

[1] Doesn't the mainstream media tend to support the prejudices of their employers, which themselves are not necessarily coherent? [2] And wouldn't that get reflected to some degree in the voting for baseball's most enduring honour? [3] Isn't it the case that the battle over testing was part of the contractual negotiations between owners and players in the first years of this century?

[1] Yes. [2] To some degree--more, probably, in Allen's case than any others. [3] And yes, the owner class has done a wonderful job of side-stepping their culpability in the steroids situation. They have gotten some savvy legal counsel since the fiasco of '94.

As Mike E. notes, it took a lot of leftist pressure to set the stage for integration (even over the long timespan of FDR's presidency), and some of that pressure translated into how African-Americans were deployed in WW II. Those changes had a profound influence in hastening laws such as Ives-Quinn (and it's not so unusual that New York was out front in terms of these issues, just as is the case today).

BTW, Lester Rodney is a member of the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals. That's not something that will ever come to pass for Mike Gimbel.
   40. villageidiom Posted: January 18, 2013 at 07:46 PM (#4350328)
He'd say it's the writers' way of covering up their racist conspiracy.

Assumes facts not in evidence.
Assumes the comment was something other than snark.
   41. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 07:58 PM (#4350332)
we had a discussion about Rodney a few years ago
   42. Walt Davis Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:19 PM (#4350393)
The Giants didn't integrate until 1949, and the Yankees not until 1955, correct? How were they able to wait that long?

First, even if the Rickey anecdote is true, Rickey's not saying "now I'm forced to do it", Rickey is saying "now I can use this law as a further argument to do what I want to do." Second, it's virtually impossible to press a racial discrimination case about entry into a craft profession. It's just too easy to hide behind "my coaches don't think he's ready for the majors." In fact, it's harder than that since you would have had to show discrimination in the signing of high school players. Heck, the MLBPA has a CBA and even they can't make much ground against "this move was made for baseball reasons."

Did the Giants or Yanks have any star black minor league players that were _obviously_ delayed, keeping in mind that players are "held back" all the time?
   43. Walt Davis Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4350396)
If we're assuming normal discrimination (i.e. all else being equal, they prefer white coaches), not a deliberate conspiracy to limit black coaches, given any normal preference structure by the hirers, very qualified blacks should suffer less from discrimination than average blacks, and the quality of black coaches should be artificially elevated.

Not really or at least not to any extent you could likely detect it. You're assuming a hiring system that is completely meritocratic except for racial discrimination. But, as AROM hints at, "good ol' boy" networks aren't known for being meritocratic. And those early assistant coaching opportunities seem especially heavily driven by personal contacts.

And you're assuming that all college coaching jobs are equal in themselves.

The most likely scenario would be a dual (or triple, quadruple, etc.) labor market -- i.e. only white coaches with a track record of success would be considered for the top, prestige jobs. The best college programs get their pick of the "best" coaches but, even if a black coach was "truly" the best, is he the best by a big enough gap for a school to go against the culture? He'd likely have to be the Barry Bonds of coaches -- and even Bonds didn't generate much of a bidding war for his services when he was FA the first time.

So an Eddie Robinson never gets a chance to coach a big time program no matter how many games he wins.

What you say should be true if you could actually control for everything that needs to be controlled for that's close to impossible. Hell, I don't even know how you measure the "quality" of a college head coach in any accurate way.
   44. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:04 PM (#4350408)
Did the Giants or Yanks have any star black minor league players that were _obviously_ delayed, keeping in mind that players are "held back" all the time?

Monte Irvin AFAIK was the first black player signed by the Giants, at the beginning of the 1949 season. He was brought up to the Majors within a month or two and remained there for the rest of his career.

Vic Power was in the Yankees' farm system by the beginning of the 1951 season, and hit .331 and .349 in his last two years (1952-53) in the minors at AAA Kansas City. The Yanks transferred him to their ML roster at the end of the 1953 season and then immediately included him in a big multi-player trade with the Philadelphia A's. He'd been known to have dated white women in Kansas City and that didn't go down too well with Topping, Webb and Weiss.
   45. steagles Posted: January 19, 2013 at 12:18 AM (#4350425)
The wikipedia entry on him is crazy.
In 2000, Neel was ordered by the State of Texas to pay $5000 a month in child support to his ex-wife and mother of his two children.
my opinion of texas is now the lowest it's ever been.

the only recent example of racism against an african-american in sports that i can think of is how they're treating ndamukong suh in football
wayne simmonds has had multiple bananas thrown at him, so that seems kind of racist.
If there was much discrimination in hiring, you'd expect only the very, very best black candidates to be hired, and they should perform very well.
or there's a conspiracy to hire qualified, but mediocre, black head coaches to make them as an entire group seem less capable of leading a successful program.


also, three of the fastest rising football programs in the NCAA -- texas A&M, stanford, and louisville -- are led by black head coaches -- kevin sumlin, david shaw, and charlie strong.

so, that's something to watch.
   46. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 12:29 AM (#4350428)
Monte Irvin AFAIK was the first black player signed by the Giants, at the beginning of the 1949 season. He was brought up to the Majors within a month or two and remained there for the rest of his career.

Monte was the first player signed by the Jints, but, oddly, Hank Thompson was the first black player to actually PLAY---on July 8, 1949 Thompson started the game at second base, and Irvin had a pinch-hitting appearance later in the game

EDIT: Thompson had already integrated the St. Louis Browns 2 years earlier
   47. Walt Davis Posted: January 19, 2013 at 01:10 AM (#4350436)
The Yanks transferred him to their ML roster at the end of the 1953 season and then immediately included him in a big multi-player trade with the Philadelphia A's.

Man is that a trade full of people I've never heard of (other than Power).

Since it took Clemente a while to get going, I guess Power was the first Puerto Rican "star" in MLB. (star in quotes because he was in KC after all)
   48. squatto Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4350489)
In 2000, Neel was ordered by the State of Texas to pay $5000 a month in child support to his ex-wife and mother of his two children.


my opinion of texas is now the lowest it's ever been.


Child support is based on net income. Texas statutes mandate 20% for the first child and it goes up incrementally with each additional child. This is a pretty common formula. You should probably revise your opinion of other states accordingly.
   49. Morty Causa Posted: January 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4350503)
   50. caiman Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4364030)
From Mike Gimbel:

I was not aware that a part of my article was printed here. While I appreciate that part of the article was selected for comment, I believe that your readers need to read the complete article:

The Baseball Writers Association annually votes on candidates to be chosen for entry into the baseball Hall of Fame. While the vote often rewards outstanding performance, it sometimes rewards a baseball writer’s favorites and penalizes those individual players who did not kiss up to those same writers.

As such, racism and anti-union sentiment are part of the process of the vote for the HOF simply because the overwhelming majority of BBWA writers were and are white reporters who are employed by the huge capitalist corporate media.

Major League Baseball Player’s Association Executive Director Michael Weiner issued the following statement Jan. 9: “Today’s news that those members of the BBWA afforded the privilege of casting ballots failed to elect even a single player to the Hall of Fame is unfortunate, if not sad. Those empowered to help the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum document the history of the game failed to recognize the contributions of several Hall of Fame-worthy players. To ignore the historic accomplishments of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, for example, is hard to justify. Moreover, to penalize players exonerated in legal proceedings — and others never even implicated — is simply unfair. The Hall of Fame is supposed to be for the best players who have ever played the game. Several such players were denied access to the Hall today. Hopefully this will be rectified by future voting.” (tinyurl.com/as3abot)

Media witch-hunt aids profit-driven owners

One thing must be made clear: the media witch-hunt against star baseball players, such as Bonds and Clemens, can only be understood in terms of the owners trying to reign in the power of the MLBPA. Financially, the owners made huge profits from these player performances. Any stain on that performance is not directly a source of profit to the owners. It hurts their profits. So why do it? The owners only embarked on this course after numerous defeats suffered from confrontations with the MLBPA.

The owners embarked on this course, with the aid of Joe McCarthy-style congressional hearings. Those hearings, headed by Senator John McCain, dragged star players like Mark McGwire in front of a nationwide media frenzy on supposed performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), as a way to put the players and their union in as unfavorable light as possible.

The big-business media, using racism as their ultimate weapon, then embarked on an almost decade-long attack on Black baseball player Barry Bonds, the greatest baseball player in the modern era. This attack on Barry Bonds culminated in him first being “blacklisted” from Major League Baseball and then indicted in federal court. While no such witch-hunt was directed at Roger Clemens during his career, where he was the greatest pitcher in the history of the game, Clemens also became the subject of the witch-hunt after his retirement. Both Bonds and Clemens had to endure being indicted and tried. Neither player was ever convicted of using PEDs at those trials.

Readers should be aware that there is no scientific definition of PEDs. While there are drugs that can improve performance, we should be very wary of any definition that is more political than scientific. Whether specific PEDs are “cheating” should not be allowed to be the leverage for capitalist team owners and the capitalist media to determine. All sports fans are justifiably concerned about cheating. The owners have used that justified concern to their own advantage in their dealings with the players and the MLBPA during contract negotiations. As such, team owners have been able to get the MLBPA, for the first time, to agree to less advantageous contracts with the owners after the initiation of this witch-hunt.

The BBWA vote for the HOF led to not a single candidate being elected. A “morals clause,” based on unproven use of PEDs, was used by the members of the BBWA to keep Bonds and Clemens out of the HOF. The failure to elect a single player to the HOF has only happened seven previous times.

In this case, however, the list of candidates was the most prestigious in decades! In the history of the game, only Babe Ruth could be considered a better hitter than Barry Bonds. Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were two of the greatest sluggers in baseball history. Mike Piazza was the best hitting catcher in MLB history. Also on the ballot were Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Rafael Palmeiro and Edgar Martinez, all of whom deserved to be voted into the HOF.

How can the BBWA justify keeping Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens out of the HOF, while the plaque for racist Ty Cobb is so prominently exhibited by the HOF? What a shameful exhibition!

No one should visit the Baseball Hall of Fame until Barry Bonds is elected and his plaque shown as prominently as it rightfully should. No one should visit the Baseball Hall of Shame until Dick Allen is elected. In my opinion, the greatest racist shame in the history of HOF voting was the treatment of Dick Allen. Allen was one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game, but he first arrived in the Major Leagues in 1963, at a critical moment in the history of the civil rights struggle of the 1960s.

He refused to bow his head in subservience and was treated by baseball writers with utmost contempt. Their hatred of Dick Allen, to this day, is reflected in the door to the HOF being closed to him. That is an injustice that requires rectification! Until that is done, the HOF will remain, in my mind, the “Hall of Shame!”
   51. caiman Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:55 PM (#4364066)
From Mike Gimbel:

A few of the comments on my article had to do with an article from a few years ago about Arod that included a comment about age-related performance. Your misunderstanding of the 34-37 ratings that I use does NOT involve quantity of output. Clearly younger players will have larger stats due to greater playing time. Older players, due to injuries, usually require greater down time. In addition, I don't find either batting average or OPS valid measuring sticks.

My RPA was developed to analyze performance on a per-plate-appearance basis. In this case only long serving players even get to have careers that extend into and past the 34-37 years of age. When I do this, when checking EVERY single player who performed during those ages, with a minimum of 300 plate appearances, I discovered that these players actually peaked at those ages on a per plate appearance basis. I needed this analysis to estimate future performance for older players, from 33 years old and older, in the next season only. As an advisor for player acquisition it is imperative to understand how age affects player performance in the very next year, as well as how this might develop over further years. These long-serving players tend to be the best players, so comparing them with the mass of players of all ages, most of whom never come close to playing at this older age, is incorrect.

I have done RPA ratings for many years. This has given me a huge database of RPA ratings. When I took all MLB players, with a minimum 300 plate appearance in each of consecutive years, and listed their RPA change between the two years, is how I discovered the pattern for each year of age. I hope this explanation is helpful.
   52. base ball chick Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4364167)
i have had email conversations with mike more than a few times. and if all Yew Peeple notice, when talking about races i always capitalize White, Black, Asian and Native American. it is what politeness is about.

agree 100% that all this PED shtt is the owners doing their best to bring public opinion against the Union and trying to keep more and more of the profits away from teh ballplayers - their cute thingy with the RSN not counting as "income" is just one example. the owners actually HAVE gotten better lawyers and better media PR advice and have used it VERY effectively. they can't break the union but they sure can raise strong public opinion against it - the fact that it IS a union is why tickets cost so much and the players are allowed to be greedy and why they want and protect drug users and the poor owners are just helpless

there was an obvious media hatred of Uppity N-word barry lamar bonds Himself long LONG before there was any question of drug use. it is most positively racial. there are plenty of sullen surly White ballplayers (see chris carpenter) who do not get the kind of treatment barry lamar did. Black ballplayers who do not fit the stereotype of the Right Kind of Negro are treated lousy especially if they don't speak White English. i remember all the hostility eric young got on this here very liberal board when he was on BBTN - why he didn't talk like a newscaster, but like a (clever educated euphimism for ghetto n-word).

what Black ballplayer is a genuine national media STAR!!!!! ? even guys like prince fielder and matt kemp who are certainly - what was that expression - "not all the way Black" are not pimped. torii hunter when he was younger, talked too Black and curtis granderson wasn't/isn't good looking enough/a good enough player.

there really IS racism. there really IS a kind of union busting goin on - even if mike does talk up communism. and i got no idea what is happening in college sports/NFL but every time i glance seems to me that aren't real too many Black coaches even though there sure are a LOT of brothas PLAYING

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