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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mitch Williams: Skip Bayless ‘Is Clueless On The Game Of Baseball’

Mitch: “I used to pitch. I still do, but I used to, too.”

Add Mitch Williams to the large group who doesn’t think very highly of Skip Bayless. Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show on Monday, the former MLB pitcher became the latest to rip the ESPN talking head.

Having brought up Bayless’ insinuation that Derek Jeter may have taken performance-enhancing drugs, Patrick asked Williams what would be said about another player who was having similar production at the same age and position. Attempting to keep the conversation focused on Jeter, Patrick told Williams to take Bayless out of the equation. That didn’t work.

After referencing Pete Rose’s chase for 4,000 hits late in his career, Williams explained that “it’s called making adjustments as you get older.” Then he turned his attention to Bayless.

“And Skip Bayless, nothing for nothing, is clueless on the game of baseball,” railed Williams. “I know I dealt with him in Texas when he was the one guy who would rip you, and you’d never even know what he would look like because he was never around the ballpark. So I take what Skip Bayless says means absolutely zero. He’d have to look at the instructions on a jock box to figure out how to put it on.”

Repoz Posted: August 29, 2012 at 08:16 AM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media

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   1. dejarouehg Posted: August 29, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4220949)
Other than the fact that Skip Bayless is an ass, I see nothing wrong with what he said. OBviously the uproar is great b/c Jeter is Jeter, but his point is valid.

If Jason Bay were to have a big comeback year in 2013 and the same accusation was made, what would the response be?

Players have skillfully bargained away their right for the complete presumption of innocence. They can thank Gene Orza.
   2. AROM Posted: August 29, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4220958)
I'd really like to see a Novitsky-type investigator to see what substances Skip Bayless is using. You don't normally see 61 year olds with arms like him outside the set of The Expendibles. And those guys have been known to use some help.
   3. Stevis Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4220961)
There are five unnecessary words in Mitch's statement, starting with "on".
   4. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4220963)
I take it Dan Patrick doesn't send Donald Fehr holiday cards anymore?
   5. BDC Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4220977)
Bayless, IMO, was a good, and knowledgeable, football writer – or at least an obsessive and keen observer of the Dallas Cowboys, c25 years ago. Other than that, I have nothing really to add to the headline :)
   6. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4220984)
If Jason Bay were to have a big comeback year in 2013 and the same accusation was made, what would the response be?


I'd still be outraged at the implication of guilt. Jeter's 2011-2012 bounceback is less dramatic than the one Ted Williams had from 1959-1960, which we essentially know to be PED-free. Baseball's a funny game, one in which random performance fluctuation needs no special explanation.
   7. McCoy Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4220991)
Let's see. Ted was a WWII and Korean War fighter pilot. WWII and Korean War fighter pilots were known to ingest copious amounts of amphetamines. Hmm. . . . .
   8. dejarouehg Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4220999)
Why would you be outraged?

The players (with a mighty assistance from their agents, employers, enablers and union reps) brought this upon themselves. This is not a criminal trial where there is a presumption of innocent until proven guilty. This is more like the bail phase, where the opposite is often true or a civil trial where the standard is much lower.

Your point re: Williams certainly makes sense (though I have no idea if he was coming off an injury) and if this were 1959, where our breadth of knowledge was much more limited, then you'd certainly be correct.

If George Will or Bob Costas (or any of the other self-appointed guardians of baseball) had made the comment, I think the reaction would have been significantly more muted. The Jeter loyalists would have still gone beserk but the overall context would have been given more credibility.
   9. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4221010)
I'd still be outraged at the implication of guilt.

Such a thing is barely worthy of concern, much less "outrage."

A sports commentator wondered aloud if a member of a guild chock-full of PED users was a PED user.

Oh, the humanity!!!!!!
   10. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4221012)
I'm outraged because the chattering classes are free to smear a player's reputation, with no evidence whatsoever, without fear of repercussion.
   11. McCoy Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4221014)
Ted's 1959 season was an injury year for him. He suffered from a stiff neck in spring training that didn't allow him to see the ball well and according to him it never went away during the season. He thought about retiring after that but didn't want to go out like that so he went to spring training to see if he could still hit. When he stepped into the batters box to hit his stiff neck was gone and he knew he could play the season.
   12. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4221016)
I'm outraged because the chattering classes are free to smear a player's reputation, with no evidence whatsoever, without fear of repercussion.

They're just baseball players.

Not to mention that factions of the chattering classes publish enhancements of players' reputations with no evidence whatsoever, with no fear of repercussion.
   13. TomH Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4221018)
Players have skillfully bargained away their right for the complete presumption of innocence. They can thank Gene Orza.

The players (with a mighty assistance from their agents, employers, enablers and union reps) brought this upon themselves.
------------

Let's all keep saying these over and over. You reap what you sow. Why has public mood (in general) turned sour on unions in the last generation, despite the good they have done over a century? Because some of their actions brought problems on themselves. Why do we sit here smug in the U.S. and smirk at Greece's issues? Ditto. Yeah, it stinks to be implicitly or explicity accused without good evidence. If you want it changed, give up your stinking system.
   14. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4221021)
Why has public mood (in general) turned sour on unions in the last generation, despite the good they have done over a century?

Comparing the baseball players' guild with real industrial and other unions is embarrassing.
   15. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4221024)
Such a thing is barely worthy of concern, much less "outrage."


It depends on whether you see it as idle speculation about a baseball player or as a reporter trying to increase his profile by dragging a potentially innocent man's name through the mud. Bayless disgusts me in exactly the same way and for exactly the same reason Nancy Grace does.

I also think that "guilty until proven innocent" is a mindset that's just about always worthy of outrage. There's literally nothing a player can do to prove non-use.
   16. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4221028)
There's literally nothing a player can do to prove non-use.

Not now, no. Too much history, too much passivity, too much use. If they'd stood up for honest competition in the late 80s/early 90s, the story and terrain would be different.

I also think that "guilty until proven innocent"

The concepts of "guilt" and "innocence" don't really work in this context.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4221031)
Skip Bayliss is just copying off the recent episode of "Suits."
   18. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4221034)
If they'd stood up for honest competition in the late 80s/early 90s, the story and terrain would be different.


Even in this scenario, there's nothing a player can do to prove non-use. This is because you can't prove a negative. A player could (and can) take blood or urine tests, come back negative, and still be accused of using masking agents or quick-clearing substances. This is a scenario where the accusation is the proof.

The concepts of "guilt" and "innocence" don't really work in this context.


Because it's COMPLETELY unclear that we're talking about being guilty or innocent of "cheating" (however nebulously defined). There's no sentencing attached to guilt or innocence, but "did he or didn't he?" is really just another way of saying "is he guilty or innocent of doing this?".
   19. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 29, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4221042)
but "did he or didn't he?" is really just another way of saying "is he guilty or innocent of doing this?".

Not really; those overwrought terms merely appear appropriate to the fanboy because he brings an overwrought and obsessive mindset to the problem -- like George Costanza and the Big Salad. All his girlfriend did was hand Elaine a bag and all Bayless (*) did was speculate whether a member of a guild chock-full with PED users might be using PEDs.

(*) Taking full notice of the fact that Bayless is a horse's asses' horse's ass.
   20. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4221051)
trying to make sense of the turn in this thread along with yesterday's Soriano thread, the defense of the same press BTF's CW loves to hate, the same vilified for unsubstantiated rumor about Tito and the Sox pen.

And having a hard time seeing any logic to it whatsoever.
   21. asinwreck Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4221054)
I was just thinking about that Mitch Hedberg joke last night.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: August 29, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4221067)
And having a hard time seeing any logic to it whatsoever.


That's probably a good thing, right? This place would be boring if opinions were more homogenous.
   23. Poster Nutbag Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4221117)
"Derek Jeter, have you ever tried sugar.......or PED's?"
   24. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 29, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4221125)
Homogenous or consistent?
   25. dr. scott Posted: August 29, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4221218)
I have to agree with SBB here. This is a complex emotional issue for both fans, sportswriters and players. In this day and age the only way a sport can have a presumption of innocence is if there is a very effective program to weed out the cheats. As it is, baseball has the very, very early beginnings of such a system, and the players fought against that tooth and nail for over two decades. They should probably expect a little blowback for doing so. Cycling has been doing the most advanced testing for over 2 decades, and only in the last 3-4 years have there really been any great advances in the reduction in doping.
   26. zonk Posted: August 29, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4221228)
But I thought Skip Bayless was an all-state HS pitcher with a bright future on the mound before he decided to devote himself to basketball and build upon leading his team to a state title as a point guard? I clearly remember that his national peewee league QB records still stand, right?
   27. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: August 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4221271)
I think that this, for me, is a case of the ends justifying the means. While I largely agree with [1] that what Bayless actually said in this particular case is not all that controversial, anything that ends up shining the national spotlight on his massive idiocy is a plus in my book.

trying to make sense of the turn in this thread along with yesterday's Soriano thread, the defense of the same press BTF's CW loves to hate

I don't understand the clause following this portion of this post, and I didn't bother to read the Soriano thread all the way to the end, but through the first 50-60 posts wasn't that just one guy defending the columnist's right to talk #### about Soriano for no good reason, and everyone else in the thread trying to argue that media crybabies don't have an inalienable right to perpetual clubhouse access to every single player on the roster? Or did things change after I checked out?


Not now, no. Too much history, too much passivity, too much use. If they'd stood up for honest competition in the late 80s/early 90s, the story and terrain would be different.

Come on. What does the relationship between today's players and media have to do with events that happened well over a century ago? Oh, you DIDN'T mean the 1880's and 90's? Why is the current generation of players' method of gaining an edge so uniquely abominable, while you find it perfectly acceptable to doctor baseballs, systematically steal signs from centerfield, use amphetamines, cork bats, change field conditions to favor your team, and on and on and on?
   28. tfbg9 Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4221309)
Let's see. Ted was a WWII and Korean War fighter pilot.


Shhh! Don't tell Treder!
   29. andrewberg Posted: August 29, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4221361)
I was kind of hoping that Skip Bayless would be the "man killed in fight over Blue Jays pitching staff."
   30. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 29, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4221498)

I'm outraged because the chattering classes are free to smear a player's reputation, with no evidence whatsoever, without fear of repercussion.


When your profession lives by the rules of omerta, it's a bit rich to complain when it bites you in the ass.
   31. Gonfalon B. Posted: August 29, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4221563)
Without feeling a drop of sympathy for the players' hurt boo-boo feelings about persistent clouds of suspicion, the idea that the introduction of PEDs to the sport was some deep, dark, underground railroad plot that the athletes were secretly inflicting upon everyone else is perhaps the biggest cowplop in an exceptionally wide field of bullshit. The only MLB participants who weren't part of this "omerta" were Willie Keeler, Youppi, and the kid on the Jimmy Fund sign.
   32. Bob Tufts Posted: August 29, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4221598)
baseball has the very, very early beginnings of such a system, and the players fought against that tooth and nail for over two decades.


Any agreement has to be built on solid science and trust. MLB destroyed it through their actions from 1980 to 1995.

A drug agreement was negotiated after the 1980's cocaine scandal by Bowie Kuhn and the MLBPA. Unfortunately, Commissioner Peter Ueberroth ripped it up in 1985. He was within his rights to abrogate the drug agreement, but the reasons seemed to be for PR for baseball (kind of a MLB "just say no") and to enhance Ueberroth's image for a future politcal run (Ubie was also advocating bombing drug fields in South America at the time).

No agreement was possible because of Ueberroth's (and the owner's) next actions. The next seven or eight years were taken up with the collusion cases, in which MLB was found guilty and paid $ 280 million in damages and then the Second Circuit ruled that owners were not bargaining in good faith during the 1994-95 strike. How do reach get an agreement on such a sensitive subject with people whose word is not their bond and also refuse to follow federal labor law?

These incidents cost baseball any chance to deal with the issue in a trusting way until it was far too late.

And thank Congress for passing DSHEA in 1994 and turning supplements into the Wild West. The House sponsor? Henry Waxman of House Government reform hearings fame and shame.
   33. dejarouehg Posted: August 29, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4221668)
Bob, your insights are great. My friend who had barely started his major league career at that time offered to let me listen in to his team's conference call during the strike........an offer that I turned down b/c I thought it was inappropriate.

What was stunning was the absolute hatred he spewed at the owners throughout the strike. He was doing it more as a party line than the result of direct interaction as he had no issues in his brief career other than making damn good money by the time he was in his mid-20's, but we/I couldn't believe the venom being spewed.

Uberroth will eventually be recognized as one of the worst professional sports commissioners ever.

Waxman was a horse's ass, an incredibly arrogant and napoleonic little man.

Having said all that, even if your perspective is taken as fact, the presumption of guilt in the PED story falls on the players. When Helling went to Orza to try to address the issue, he was rebuffed. Orza made his silly analogy to smoking. Strategically, he did what a player rep should arguably do, but then you need to deal with the implications.
   34. Bob Tufts Posted: August 29, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4221690)
even if your perspective is taken as fact..


They are facts.

the presumption of guilt in the PED story falls on the players


Presumptions trump facts? That defeats the enitre purpose of BBTF.

The BBTF people know my personal story of being collateral damage during the cocaine scandals (ending my baseball career and destroying some post-business school opportunities) and that I have a low regard for what people presume.

Orza made his silly analogy to smoking


There has never been a complete study of the effects of steroids on humans - for moral reasons. And yes, Orza did stretch the analogy, but....which substance deserved a Congressional hearing - one which the CDC said killed 3 people in 2007 (steroids) or one credited with 400,000 deaths (tobacco?). If you are supposed to be thinking of the children, where do you start?

And today Heiling is employed by the MLBPA.
   35. dejarouehg Posted: August 29, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4221700)
Sorry I have no idea what your previous history is.
   36. dejarouehg Posted: August 29, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4221738)
If you're going to try to evaluate how the Government should spend time and money, we all have something to use as an example of Govenrment waste. I manage a Superfund site in Long Island where more than $40 Million has been spent b/c the EPA determined that a trespasser has a 3 in 10,000 increased chance of obtaining some type of cancer if they eat the soil at the site 2x per week every week for 7 years.

A lot of us who have kids playing decent level high school sports know of the pressure put on kids by coaches to bulk up and the inference of how to do so is obvious.

I Congressional Hearings on PED's could be money that's well-spent - probably just not the correct people to do it.

Sorry - no sympathy for those who choose to smoke themselves into the ground.
   37. AJMcCringleberry Posted: August 29, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4221798)
If anyone knows clueless it's Mitch Williams.

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