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Friday, January 25, 2013

NatsGM: Exclusive Interview with Larry Rocca, Baseball Hall of Fame Voter

First Larry Rocca HOF ballot I’ve ever come across…but he gets an R for riginality.

LR: “I voted for Dale Murphy, Tim Raines, and Alan Trammell. “

NatsGM: “Obviously there is an absence on your ballot of those who played in the ‘Steroid Era’… Rather than ask about these players and their candidacy, I am curious what you think becomes of these 10-20 star players 15 years from now?”

LR: “At least for now, I am not voting for anyone who played the bulk of his career in the “steroids era.” Nobody had more power to rid the game of PEDs than the best players, so even those who didn’t use – if there are any – are at least guilty of complicity. Integrity is part of the criteria. Those who did not move to rid the game of PEDs have to get an F for integrity.”

Repoz Posted: January 25, 2013 at 09:05 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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. John DiFool2 Posted: January 25, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4354787)
   2. John DiFool2 Posted: January 25, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4354788)
[Popcorn, shades, lawn chair, root beer, check]
   3. JJ1986 Posted: January 25, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4354792)
I am not voting for anyone who played the bulk of his career in the “steroids era.”


Except for Tim Raines.
   4. Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: January 25, 2013 at 10:27 AM (#4354797)
Nobody had more power to rid the game of PEDs than the best players, so even those who didn’t use – if there are any – are at least guilty of complicity.


Heh. Not the owners, not the commish, not the head of the union - nope it is Bonds and Clemens who had an obligation to do it, because fairness or something.
   5. Chris Fluit Posted: January 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4354805)
Interviewer: I'm not going to ask you why you didn't vote for players from the "Steroid Era."

Interviewee: That's okay. I'm going to tell you anyway.
   6. John Northey Posted: January 25, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4354820)
Wonder if he'll vote for Frank Thomas, who was an outspoken anti-steroid/PED guy during his career. Of course, he could be just another Palmeiro who said one thing while doing another thus guilty.

Hrm...how could a guy show he wasn't guilty? If you spoke out against it then you are guilty because you were hiding it, if you didn't speak out you were complacent, if you hit for power you had to be guilty, if you didn't you are guilty for not speaking out about it...oops, back to the start.

So, in a few years will we be seeing hundreds of blank ballots?
   7. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4354840)
People, people, just because a stray voter or two may not be up to snuff is no reason for us not to fully respect the process and the consensus.
   8. sunnyday2 Posted: January 25, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4354867)
So, in a few years will we be seeing hundreds of blank ballots?

A person could hope. Because obviously if this happens, then a new process will be invented, one that hopefully is not more than anything a crutch for the self-esteem of those rightfully without it.
   9. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4354885)
I bet he votes for Selig.
   10. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: January 25, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4354896)
Heh. Not the owners, not the commish, not the head of the union - nope it is Bonds and Clemens who had an obligation to do it, because fairness or something.


Brady Anderson: Segui, stand in front of my locker for a minute. I need to use some performance enhancing drugs.
David Segui: No problem, Brady. Just do the same for me. We sure don't have to worry about other players ratting us out!

Enter Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens:
Bonds: What are you doing, Brady? Don't you realize you are going to ruin fans' belief in the purity of baseball?
Clemens: Yeah!
Anderson: You'll never stop me, Bonds. Go back to the recliner.
Bonds: Let's get him, Roger. The integrity of the game depends on us.
   11. Mike Webber Posted: January 25, 2013 at 11:50 AM (#4354903)
Do any of these writers ever say, "Well I was in the clubhouse every day, and we kind of knew what the deal was. But I didn't want to lose my sources so I didn't say anything. Now I feel guilty because really that is the media's job to point out scandals like this but I didn't so now I'm blaming everyone but myself."
   12. Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: January 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4354920)
People, people, just because a stray voter or two may not be up to snuff is no reason for us not to fully respect the process and the consensus.


But we get to snark right? Because if there is no snark under this consensus of yours then #### the consensus.
   13. bobm Posted: January 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4354940)
[11] No one apparently wanted to write a steroids in baseball story using anonymous sources, because journalists never use anonymous sources apparently.

From the recent interview with Tom Verducci linked in http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/newsstand/discussion/the_quaz_qa_tom_verducci1


J.P.: You wrote what many consider to be the first groundbreaking PED story, your 2002 cover piece on Ken Caminiti and drugs in baseball. I’ve long wondered—how did you get Ken to talk about such a taboo subject? How did that unfold?

T.V.: I remember before the 2002 season we had an SI meeting, with writers and editors, to talk about story ideas for the upcoming season. I said, “Guys, the next big story is about steroids in baseball. I guarantee you it’s going to be written. And it better be written by us.” The issue became obvious to me in 2001—not just innuendo or rumor about a few renegade players—because clean players were coming up to me and saying, “It’s an unfair game. There are so many guys using steroids that now I am at a competitive disadvantage.” The excuse makers today don’t want to acknowledge what it was doing to the game. You either had to stick a needle loaded with illegal drugs in your butt—God knows where the drugs came from or what it would do to your testicles—or you were at an obvious competitive disadvantage when it came to your job and your earning potential.

SI encouraged me to begin reporting the story. I was making good progress, but nobody wanted to give their name.
For instance, I spoke to a minor league player who defined for me the insidious nature of a game being turned over to drug cheats. He wasn’t a power hitter at all—in fact, he was a speedy outfielder. He told me he was totally against steroids—knew they were illegal and wrong. His wife was against them. But he compromised his own values because others were getting ahead of him. He juiced up and he immediately felt the difference. His bat was quicker. He got to pitches he otherwise wouldn’t get to. And if he started to wear down, if his bat started to slow, he went back on the juice.

It tells you something about how wrong steroids were that nobody then—and even to this day, so few players—would go on the record about their steroid use. Until Caminiti.
A producer for CNN knew I was working on a steroids story. She had interviewed Caminiti for a totally unrelated subject and he had mentioned steroids rather casually in their conversation. She thought it was worth checking with him. I knew Caminiti from his playing days. He was a great guy and one of the most respected teammates I ever encountered. I called him up. He lived in the Houston area. I told him what I was working on and I would like to talk to him. He immediately invited me to his home.

I flew to Houston. We sat in his big garage on folding lawn chairs, surrounded by the cars he loved to customize. It was a long conversation. All afternoon. He never flinched. Ken had problems in his life with substance abuse, and it seemed like he was working his way through his problems with counseling and support groups. I imagine he was at a time in his life where honesty with himself was a priority. He told me he had nothing to hide. Not once, not even off the record, did he mention the name of any other player. His personal accountability was stark and courageous.

That night, accompanied by a friend of his, we went to dinner. It was nothing fancy. Just a diner where he could order “the usual” and they knew exactly what to bring. At one point he looked at me and said, “This is pretty big, huh?” I told him yes. He said, “I have nothing to hide.” [Emphasis added]
   14. TJ Posted: January 25, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4354953)
Relax, people, Larry Rocca will eventually be able to vote with a clear conscience again- I figure around 2030 when Justin Verlander becomes eligible...

And Rocca will still have a HOF vote.
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 25, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4354972)
Integrity is part of the criteria.


Does the word "part" actually mean anything here?
   16. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 25, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4354990)
Does the word "part" actually mean anything here?

What, a guy with a combover isn't allowed in the HOF?
   17. Bob Tufts Posted: January 25, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4354999)
Those who did not move to rid the game of PEDs have to get an F for integrity.


"F is for Fugitive".

   18. Walt Davis Posted: January 25, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4355072)
Heh. Not the owners, not the commish, not the head of the union - nope it is Bonds and Clemens who had an obligation to do it, because fairness or something.

You underestimate him. He's saying Maddux was complicit and fails the integrity test. Thomas will be an interesting case.

an F for integrity

And the voting rules clearly state that if you get an F for integrity nothing else you do in your career matters. At least that's how I read that comma.

one of the most respected teammates I ever encountered.

That dirty cheater!




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