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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ray Ratto: The Hall of Fame is not church

Gospel primitivism! (say it, say it)

In fact, let me add to it by pointing out something to those voters who prefer to make their annual petulant stand on performance enhancing drug use and Hall of Fame – something they may have forgotten in their annual blood pressure spike.

YOU DON’T WORK FOR BASEBALL! YOU ARE NOT GUARDIANS OF THE GAME! IT IS NEITHER YOUR JOB, YOUR RESPONSIBILITY OR EVEN YOUR RIGHT TO KEEP THE GAME PURE OF MISCREANTS WHEN IT SHOWS EVERY DAY THAT IT DOESN’T WANT TO BE!

And might I add:

YOU SILLY SELF-DELUDED BASTARDS!

I just needed to get that last one off my chest. Sorry.

Repoz Posted: November 28, 2012 at 07:46 PM | 176 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 28, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4311920)
In fact, let me add to it by pointing out something to those voters who prefer to make their annual petulant stand on performance enhancing drug use and Hall of Fame – something they may have forgotten in their annual blood pressure spike.

YOU DON’T WORK FOR BASEBALL! YOU ARE NOT GUARDIANS OF THE GAME! IT IS NEITHER YOUR JOB, YOUR RESPONSIBILITY OR EVEN YOUR RIGHT TO KEEP THE GAME PURE OF MISCREANTS WHEN IT SHOWS EVERY DAY THAT IT DOESN’T WANT TO BE!

And might I add:

YOU SILLY SELF-DELUDED BASTARDS!


There's someone here who needs to get his blood pressure checked, and it may not be the people he's thinking of.
   2. Obo Posted: November 28, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4311926)
The Hall of Fame guidelines instruct voters to consider integrity, sportsmanship, and character. This isn't an issue that's been created out of nothing even if you disagree with others' stance on it.
   3. Bhaakon Posted: November 28, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4311932)
There's someone here who needs to get his blood pressure checked, and it may not be the people he's thinking of.


Nah, Ray Ratto's been trolling since before the internet was a thing (well, maybe not the DARPA proto-internet, but the popular, public version). At this point, he's not really a sportswriter so much as a snark machine that uses sports as a cover.
   4. J.R. Wolf Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4312059)
Criteria #5 for the Hall of Fame: "5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played." Yes, it comes right out and says integrity, sportsmanship and character.

Given those formal established criteria, only a fool or an idiot could cast a vote for a known PED user.
   5. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4312063)
Yeah, I pretty much agree with Ray Ratto here.

   6. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:15 AM (#4312069)
Or someone who knows this hostory of the game. Cheating by anyway way possible is baseball
   7. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4312072)
Given those formal established criteria, only a fool or an idiot could cast a vote for a known PED user.

Or, alternatively, only a fool could believe that criterion (which Bill James believes was cooked up by Landis in an attempt to get an undeserving war hero in the Hall) ever meant much of anything until it was dragged howling from the vaults within the last few years.
   8. Lassus Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4312077)
I rarely say this, but I'm starting to guess that Mr. Wolf is not an unknown entity around these parts. I certainly could be wrong, but between this and Schilling and other recent threads I'm sensing a few lonely bridges.
   9. SM Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4312078)
"5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played."

I say any player who wasn't willing to risk their health to help the team win doesn't deserve a vote
   10. PreservedFish Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:39 AM (#4312080)
hostory


Please be a real word.
   11. J.R. Wolf Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4312082)
Lassus: dead wrong. I am a new face. It's nice to know, though, given how many people here endorse cheating and support cheaters, that there used to be someone else who posted here once who was on the side of integrity.
   12. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4312087)
I certainly don't condone cheating, but in terms of the HOF vote, I have long believed that you should ask the following question about players associated with PEDs:

In your judgement, with the best information you have as FACTS (this may quite limited), would this player have been a HOF'er without the PEDs?

Barry Bonds was a HOF way before he beefed up nd started hitting massive numbers of HRs. Clemens was a HOFer by the time he left Boston. There is no evidence that Bagwell used anything, except that he was crazy-jacked.

Now, McGwire: I just don't think he's anywhere near his career HR totals without the help. And he's definitely not a HOFer without the PEDs. He wouldn't get my vote.

It's a judgement call, to be sure - but in my opinion, if he's a HOFer, even after the deduction for the drugs, then you vote him in.
   13. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4312088)
Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose are not in the Hall. Once you leave them out, you're explicitly saying that induction isn't about "just the numbers, ma'am."
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4312094)
Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose are not in the Hall. Once you leave them out, you're explicitly saying that induction isn't about "just the numbers, ma'am."

Once you leave them out, you're just saying that those permanently banned from MLB aren't eligible for baseball's greatest honor. Nothing more, nothing less.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:14 AM (#4312096)
Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose are not in the Hall. Once you leave them out, you're explicitly saying that induction isn't about "just the numbers, ma'am."

If the HoF thought this analogy was relevant, they would have banned Clemens, Bonds, et al from the ballot. They did not. "Known" PED users are eligible for the HoF. 'nuff said.

EDIT: And MLB would have banned McGwire from association with baseball (Cards now Dodgers hitting coach).
   16. jingoist Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:38 AM (#4312103)
What do BTF posters think the split is among HoF voters on the PEDs issue?

50-50; or is it just a minority that will vote to keep Clemmens and Bonds on the sideline?
   17. DanG Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:46 AM (#4312106)
given how many people here endorse cheating and support cheaters
Just following MLB's lead on that. When the game's Powers That Be impose sanctions on the "cheaters" I'll reconsider advocating for their elections to the HOF.
   18. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:27 AM (#4312114)


The post that implicitly confirms charges of trolling while explicitly disputing them is, when executed properly, always a thing of beauty.
   19. J.R. Wolf Posted: November 29, 2012 at 03:01 AM (#4312120)
The point about Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose is relevant. Baseball is clearly saying "It's perfectly okay to cheat everyone all season long, but don't you dare have anything at all to do ever with gambling!"

The concept that gambling is a threat to the integrity of the game but cheating somehow is not is mind-boggling.
   20. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: November 29, 2012 at 03:39 AM (#4312121)
The post that implicitly confirms charges of trolling while explicitly disputing them is, when executed properly, always a thing of beauty.
it's why i love professional wrestling.
   21. Repoz Posted: November 29, 2012 at 05:54 AM (#4312130)
What do BTF posters think the split is among HoF voters on the PEDs issue?

50-50; or is it just a minority that will vote to keep Clemmens and Bonds on the sideline?


Just got a few west coast partial ballots in...and it now stands at 83 anti-Bonds/Clemens and 63 pro-Bonds/Clemens.
   22. BrianBrianson Posted: November 29, 2012 at 06:08 AM (#4312131)
The concept that gambling is a threat to the integrity of the game but cheating somehow is not is mind-boggling.


If you ain't cheatin', you ain't competin'
   23. Barnaby Jones Posted: November 29, 2012 at 06:56 AM (#4312136)
The concept that gambling is a threat to the integrity of the game but cheating somehow is not is mind-boggling.


Your mind must be easily boggled.
   24. Bhaakon Posted: November 29, 2012 at 07:41 AM (#4312140)
If you ain't cheatin', you ain't competin'


Unless you're playing golf.
   25. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4312159)
I disagree with the notion that PEDs are cheating and that any breaking of the rules should result in permanent expulsion from MLB.
   26. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4312160)
For PEDs to be cheating they would have to be against the rules agreed to by MLB and the players and enforced. Currently they are, and hey look there are punishments attached. PED usage prior to MLB caring enough about it to negotiate with the players and enforce the rules is just an excuse for folks to get up on their high horse.
   27. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4312161)
So JRW, I take it you'd have no problem if the following list of known cheaters/drug users/wife beaters/gamblers were ejected from the HOF?

Phil Neikro
Gaylord Perry
Paul Molitor
Kirby Puckett
Tris Speaker
Ty Cobb
Mickey Mantle
...and basically everyone else who played in the 60's and 70's when there were bowls of amphetamines in every clubhouse.
   28. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4312165)
What do BTF posters think the split is among HoF voters on the PEDs issue?


I think about a third of the voters are "true believers" and will vote against all PED users.

I find it interesting that the Veterans' Committee is voting on the "pre-integration era" this year. The situations are not entirely similar and of course the voters are different but it certainly makes it tough to take the integrity clause seriously if an integration era owner like Jacob Ruppert is inducted while a Bagwell or a Piazza gets kept out. As I said, I realize there are differences but it does highlight the inconsistencies at work.
   29. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4312169)
I'll just repeat myself this once here: if you have a ballot and you leave Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens off of it, you're an idiot who embarrasses the game of baseball by your mere association to the sport.
   30. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4312172)
...and basically everyone else who played in the 60's and 70's when there were bowls of amphetamines in every clubhouse.


The day they boot Hank Aaron and Willie Mays out is the day they can deny Barry Bonds entry with any sort of intellectual honesty.
   31. ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4312174)
Writers are still embarrassed that they didn't cover steroid usage properly as it was happening and ran all those "best shape of their life" stories.

   32. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4312179)
For PEDs to be cheating they would have to be against the rules agreed to by MLB and the players and enforced. Currently they are, and hey look there are punishments attached. PED usage prior to MLB caring enough about it to negotiate with the players and enforce the rules is just an excuse for folks to get up on their high horse.


Yep.
   33. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4312189)
For PEDs to be cheating they would have to be against the rules agreed to by MLB and the players and enforced. Currently they are, and hey look there are punishments attached. PED usage prior to MLB caring enough about it to negotiate with the players and enforce the rules is just an excuse for folks to get up on their high horse.


Actually, no. For them to be cheating, their use would have to be contrary to the principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition, whether or not MLB had gotten around to codifying those principles.
   34. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4312191)
Actually, no. For them to be cheating, their use would have to be contrary to the principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition,


And you know when that happens, because SugarBear shows up at your house in a ghostly visage, wrapped in chains.
   35. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4312197)
And you know when that happens, because SugarBear shows up at your house in a ghostly visage, wrapped in chains.

Nah, most people don't need that and are doing pretty well without it.
   36. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4312202)
...and basically everyone else who played in the 60's and 70's when there were bowls of amphetamines in every clubhouse.


Wouldn't something like this reflect more negatively on managers and ownership than the players themselves?
   37. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4312224)
Wouldn't something like this reflect more negatively on managers and ownership than the players themselves?


Didn't nobody shove greenies down the Hammer's throat, man.
   38. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4312229)
But I'd they're out there in the team clubhouse, both purchased by management and offered alongside the similarly provided ham sandwiches, why would a player have any reason to believe there was anything the least bit wrong with partaking? It's a formal seal of approval.
   39. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4312233)
Wouldn't something like this reflect more negatively on managers and ownership than the players themselves?


Are you suggesting that managers and managment were by and large totally oblvious to the presence of steroids when Mark, Sammy and Barry were averaging 60 homers a year? All of it reflects negatively on the entire sport, but both were an integral part of the game for extended periods. Unless you want to ban entire generations of ballplayers from the HOF, which is what you'd have to do for Greenie-era players to justify the treatment that Bonds et. al. are receiving, I don't think we can complain about steroid use or the suspicion thereof, prior to the implentation of testing.
   40. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4312236)
Didn't nobody shove greenies down the Hammer's throat, man.

The writers have rightly concluded that greenie use was more akin to caffeine or Red Bull use and, accordingly, not contrary to the principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition. It's easy to see why -- they were available to everyone openly, cheap, easy to get, didn't have much impact, and what little impact they had dissipated quickly.

The players have never really acted as if roids accorded with the principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition -- thus the furtive, hidden use, and the lies when caught. The writers aren't doing much more than channeling those actions.
   41. Ron J2 Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4312248)
#27 Cap Anson (gambling), George Sisler (illegal bat -- nails pounded into the bat and then filed down), Babe Ruth (two documented cases of using an illegal bat. That's before considering his possible use of the elixir of Brown-Sequard), Pud Galvin (elixir of Brown-Sequard)
   42. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4312252)
It's a formal seal of approval.


So is allowing PED dealers free access to the clubhouse and walking glibly past players juicing up in the bathroom stalls. MLB did not merely tolerate PED use until 2003. They facilitated and promoted it.
   43. Danny Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4312254)
I rarely say this, but I'm starting to guess that Mr. Wolf is not an unknown entity around these parts.

I wonder if he knows Eddie A.
   44. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4312256)
The writers have rightly concluded that greenie use was more akin to caffeine or Red Bull use and, accordingly, not contrary to the principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition. It's easy to see why -- they were available to everyone openly, cheap, easy to get, didn't have much impact, and what little impact they had dissipated quickly.


Well, if the Lord and Sundry Writers of Moral Rectitude have so decreed, who are we hoi polloi to speak against them with our heresies?

Anyone who would fail to vote for the third best player in MLB history for the HOF because he used "The Clear" to recover quickly from workouts is a complete ####### idiot.
   45. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4312267)
MLB did not merely tolerate PED use until 2003. They facilitated and promoted it.

And the people that did that, including Bud Selig, shouldn't be inducted into the HOF. I'd concur that the promoters of the circus are as or more culpable than the circus performers, which is why I'd vote for Barry Bonds.
   46. zack Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4312271)
Can we ban the mention of amphetamines from steroid discussions? Greenies, like communism, are a red herring.

Or better yet just stop talking about steroids.
   47. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4312273)
Well, if the Lord and Sundry Writers of Moral Rectitude have so decreed, who are we hoi polloi to speak against them with our heresies?

You have spoken, and your position has received a hearing. It just hasn't convinced many people.
   48. Greg K Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4312278)
I'd concur that the promoters of the circus are as, or more culpable, than the circus performers, which is why I'd vote for Barry Bonds.

Don't forget the circus-goers! I was a pre-teen/early teenager during the "steroid era" and it seemed pretty obvious something was up, and that baseball fans in general weren't too bothered about it. Or at least, didn't feel the need to put much thought into it.

No one comes out of that smelling of roses. My only real concern is player's health. If this new environment of testing allows players to not feel like they need to sacrifice their health to keep their job then I say bravo. I don't really see the value in recriminations. (As this is an old conversation I'll note that other people do. I don't think that's an unreasonable position, just not one I share).
   49. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4312279)
You have spoken, and your position has received a hearing. It just hasn't convinced many people.


It's convinced plenty of people, just not the majority of the Politburo.
   50. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4312280)
Can we ban the mention of amphetamines from steroid discussions?


As long as this conversation is rehashed every year - and it will be rehashed every year until the writers pull the sticks out of their asses and vote the deserving players from the 90s and 2000s into the damned HOF - greenies will be mentioned. Because the fact that disagree with the comparison doesn't make the comparison invalid.
   51. Ron J2 Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4312287)
#7 It's pretty easy to document one use of the character clause -- Hal Chase. Then there's Joe Jackson, but that was more a case of it being generally understood he wasn't eligible.

After that you've got guys who might have been in if they'd been more popular. Maybe Bill Dahlen (poor record keeping probably had more to do with it), perhaps Carl Mays and Dick Allen.

It's been used as kind of a tie breaker for guys who are close to the in/out line if it's been used at all.

It's not like you can't make a serious character argument against a fair number of the really great players. It might have delayed Rogers Hornsby's election for a cycle, but there was never any doubt he was going in.
   52. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4312292)
The writers have rightly concluded that greenie use was more akin to caffeine or Red Bull use and, accordingly, not contrary to the principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition. It's easy to see why -- they were available to everyone openly, cheap, easy to get, didn't have much impact, and what little impact they had dissipated quickly.

You're talking out of your ass quite a bit here. What informs your claim that they "didn't have much impact"? Amps are banned now and carry a suspension. As long as, say, Bonds is going to be held to account for a using a substance that wasn't banned when he took it, then why aren't the moral titans of the 1960s and 1970s being given the same treatment? After all, they too took banned substances that weren't yet banned at the time.
   53. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4312300)
It's convinced plenty of people, just not the majority of the Politburo.

Not really. It's convinced a niche of people, mostly staty types, who prefer their baseball data unsullied and therefore reflexively reject anything that disturbs the elegance they find within the data.

It's convinced very few people who privilege the game itself, and the competition within, over the data the game generates.

then why aren't the moral titans of the 1960s and 1970s

They weren't moral titans, and the issues aren't moral. They're situationally ethical.
   54. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4312307)
Can we ban the mention of amphetamines from steroid discussions? Greenies, like communism, are a red herring.


"Let's stop talking about the thing that destroys my argument."
   55. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4312310)
They weren't moral titans, and the issues aren't moral. They're situationally ethical.


Taking drugs to compete at a higher level in the 1960s - "situationally ethical."

Taking drugs to compete at a higher level in the 1990s - "situationally unethical."

You're full of #### on this one, Bear.
   56. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4312330)
It's a formal seal of approval.

So is allowing PED dealers free access to the clubhouse and walking glibly past players juicing up in the bathroom stalls.


I don't see that as being equivalent at all. Are we aware of any MLB teams offering PEDs to their players, or perhaps pulling a player aside and telling them, "Hey, we want you to work out this offseason with this guy we know, the Ultimate Warrior" (and I don't know the answer)? MLB allowed all sorts of hangers-on into clubhouses in the 90s. I don't see this as being equally culpable to putting out a bowl full of amphetamines next to the bagels.
   57. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4312352)

I don't see that as being equivalent at all. Are we aware of any MLB teams offering PEDs to their players, or perhaps pulling a player aside and telling them, "Hey, we want you to work out this offseason with this guy we know, the Ultimate Warrior" (and I don't know the answer)? MLB allowed all sorts of hangers-on into clubhouses in the 90s. I don't see this as being equally culpable to putting out a bowl full of amphetamines next to the bagels.


In 1988 I went to a Red Sox-A's playoff game. For much of the we serenaded Canseco with chants of "steroids...steroids." This wasn't some Tuesday night game in June, this was a nationally televised evening playoff game. It was over a decade before MLB took even the slightest proactive steps to deal with the issue. At some point I think the act of management turning a willful blind eye to an activity is culpability.

Put it in different terms. If my hours at work are 9-5 and every day for five years I come in at 9:15 and no one says anything to me about it I think I'm reasonable to assume that management approves of the behavior.
   58. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4312361)
Taking drugs to compete at a higher level in the 1960s - "situationally ethical."

It's always about those ####### hippies and their War on God.
   59. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4312367)
Can we ban the mention of amphetamines from steroid discussions? Greenies, like communism, are a red herring.

I almost half hope to see Bonds in the Hall before half these people here die, cuz I'd hate to see a bunch of tombstones that had "WHAT ABOUT GREENIES? HUH? HUH?" written on them.
   60. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4312369)
In 1988 I went to a Red Sox-A's playoff game. For much of the we serenaded Canseco with chants of "steroids...steroids." This wasn't some Tuesday night game in June, this was a nationally televised evening playoff game. It was over a decade before MLB took even the slightest proactive steps to deal with the issue. At some point I think the act of management turning a willful blind eye to an activity is culpability.


Perhaps, I just don't see that as being equivalent to the open endorsement and paid-for encouragement MLB ownerships exhibited with regard to stimulants.

Put it in different terms. If my hours at work are 9-5 and every day for five years I come in at 9:15 and no one says anything to me about it I think I'm reasonable to assume that management approves of the behavior.


The comparison would be, I suppose, your management saying you could set your own hours.
   61. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4312384)
I almost half hope to see Bonds in the Hall before half these people here die, cuz I'd hate to see a bunch of tombstones that had "WHAT ABOUT GREENIES? HUH? HUH?" written on them.


Andy, shouldn't you be applying the "Clemens got acquitted so I'll support him" treatment to Bonds? Because Bonds wasn't found guilty of any charge other than "rambling on before answering the question."
   62. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4312402)
I almost half hope to see Bonds in the Hall before half these people here die, cuz I'd hate to see a bunch of tombstones that had "WHAT ABOUT GREENIES? HUH? HUH?" written on them.


I want Bonds in the Hall because the only two players in the game's history that are clearly ahead of him are Ruth and Williams. Doesn't matter to me if it's before you die. I can find your grave and piss on it any time.
   63. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4312404)
Actually, no. For them to be cheating, their use would have to be contrary to the principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition, whether or not MLB had gotten around to codifying those principles.


Are we in 'unwritten rules' and 'the book' territory here, where it means whatever the author wants it to me at any given time, or does "principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition" actually mean something concrete?

Can someone enumerate what exactly this means so I can better judge going forward who is and who is not OK? It can't just be steroids use versus not steroids use, can it? So what does it mean in real concrete terms?

Because if it can't be defined, if (as I suspect) it is just handwaving, then it is just BS.
   64. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4312417)
Are we in 'unwritten rules' and 'the book' territory here, where it means whatever the author wants it to me at any given time, or does "principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition" actually mean something concrete?

It means something concrete. Steroid use, and similar artifice, was contrary to them -- thus, we see things like the complete shunning of Lance Armstrong, which can't be explained merely by the fact that he broke a provision of the cycling rulebook.

Amps, as used by baseball players under the circumstances that prevailed in the "Greenie Era," aren't. Thus, we see no shunning and no real criticism -- then or now.

As with literally everything on the face of the Earth, there are a rump of dissenters to these plain-as-day truisms, so yeah.
   65. BDC Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4312422)
I've really changed my views a lot over the past 7-8 years, and mostly in the context of discussions here. At first I was concerned about the health aspects of steroids, but that fear seems to be have been overdrawn: AFAICT guys like Barry Bonds are still healthier than hell, and the one notable death (Caminiti's) among 'roiders had nothing to do with steroids. There's still the issue of coercion: why should somebody feel pressure to take steroids to keep up with the 'roiders? but that seems to be just a matter of degree, not of essential quality, when it comes to other forms of keeping people on the field, like cortisone injections or Tommy John surgery. Ballplayers get all kinds of treatment to stay in shape.

I was never much of a moralist about steroids, and I could give a #### whether they corrupted the record book. (I am obsessed with baseball statistics, but not with their moral purity.)

But for several years, I was on the side of keeping egregious PED users out of the HOF, figuring that there was a culture of shame and disapproval surrounding their use, and maybe Cooperstown should be reserved for those who played it straight. I have abandoned that position too. In users of steroids and greenies alike, you have guys who were trying to win via means that were really not forbidden by the rules or the mores of their sport.

I would certainly vote for guys who were caught and served a suspension; I think Manny Ramirez is a Hall of Famer. I wouldn't put Rafael Palmeiro on my ballot this year, but that's because there are easily ten better players; it's a technicality. Palmeiro is probably in by the standards of the current Hall itself (just as he is in the HOM).
   66. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4312423)
I can find your grave and piss on it any time.

WHAT ABOUT GREENIES? HUH? HUH? won't be written on Andy's grave.
   67. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4312424)
Andy, shouldn't you be applying the "Clemens got acquitted so I'll support him" treatment to Bonds? Because Bonds wasn't found guilty of any charge other than "rambling on before answering the question."

I don't support Clemens solely because he got acquitted, but because the overall evidence against him was so weak; because one key witness was of dubious credibility while the other equivocated under oath; and because Clemens from the start never backed down from his insistence of innocence. Putting all that together in the stewpot, and noting that his post-1997 numbers aren't particularly remarkable in light of his prior performance, I think that a non-legal verdict of Not Guilty is just as compelling as the legal one he got.

I could be wrong, and more compelling evidence may come out later, but as it stands now, I can't see not voting for him. I said right from the start that I was going to wait for the trial before forming a final judgment, and that's exactly what I did. You also note that I'm supporting Sosa and Bagwell and Piazza, none of whom have had any compelling evidence of steroid use presented against them.

And while Bonds was convicted on one minor charge, that's not why I'd vote against him. He escaped conviction on a much more substantive charge by one lone vote; those slips of paper with his initials on them were never explained away; and of course the key witness against him was a standup guy who took repeated hits in order to avoid testifying under oath about the significance of those slips. Add the unprecedented and rather enormous late career power spikes, and IMO the arrow pretty much points only in one direction.

Now if at some point down the road Anderson testifies under oath, absolves Bonds of any steroid use, and his testimony stands up to cross-examination, then I might re-consider. But not yet.
   68. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4312425)
I want Bonds in the Hall because the only two players in the game's history that are clearly ahead of him are Ruth and Williams.

Actually if you ignore steroids and concentrate solely on his overall talent and value, plus the level of his competition, there's no way that he doesn't surpass Williams. Or Ruth, for that matter, if you leave out Ruth's pitching. If you pretend that steroids didn't goose his late career numbers, he was the # 1 offensive force of all time.
   69. zenbitz Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4312427)
Wouldn't the same shunning that Armstrong got be given to a cyclist who was caught using speed?

Greenies are clearly NOT the same as red bull or coffee... since you know, the former are schedule I narcotics and banned by all major sports for PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT (if the NFL suspends you for using it... ) while caffeine is available to all non-Mormons.

   70. zenbitz Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4312431)
Andy, ladies and gentlemen - your PED Judge, Jury, and Executioner based on evidence fed to him by mass-media.
   71. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4312432)
Wouldn't the same shunning that Armstrong got be given to a cyclist who was caught using speed?

No, of course not.
   72. JJ1986 Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4312436)
Aren't most cyclists caught using PEDs at one point or another? Armstrong is shunned because he was the best.
   73. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4312439)
Andy, ladies and gentlemen - your PED Judge, Jury, and Executioner based on evidence fed to him by mass-media.

So where are you getting your evidence from? What evidence or arguments do you have that haven't been posted and argued repeatedly on this site for the past 8 years and counting?
   74. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4312440)
Greenies are clearly NOT the same as red bull or coffee... since you know, the former are schedule I narcotics


I'm pretty sure they're Schedule II, but my DEA license expired last month so don't come asking.
   75. DL from MN Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4312452)
Armstrong is shunned because he was the best.


Would a cyclist who is not Lance Armstrong know if he was being shunned? It's not like the guys get a ton of attention.
   76. just plain joe Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4312457)
I'm pretty sure they're Schedule II, but my DEA license expired last month so don't come asking.


Greenies (amphetamines) are Schedule II. Amphetamine is a stimulant, not a narcotic.
   77. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4312461)
That's sorta irrelevant, plenty of narcotics are Sched II.
   78. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4312465)
What informs your claim that they "didn't have much impact"?


Pete Rose's all-time hits record is certainly amphetamine-aided. Hank Aaron's home run record proably was, too.
   79. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4312487)
Pete Rose's all-time hits record is certainly amphetamine-aided. Hank Aaron's home run record proably was, too.

And the brief I'll hopefully finish soon is caffeine-aided. What of it?
   80. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4312491)
It means something concrete. Steroid use, and similar artifice, was contrary to them -- thus, we see things like the complete shunning of Lance Armstrong, which can't be explained merely by the fact that he broke a provision of the cycling rulebook.

Amps, as used by baseball players under the circumstances that prevailed in the "Greenie Era," aren't. Thus, we see no shunning and no real criticism -- then or now.


So what does it mean that is concrete? What are the first principles here? You did not answer my question at all that I can tell. In other words if it is concrete please explain how it works, because surely something as important and concrete applies to more in the game than just steroid use.
   81. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4312495)
What are the first principles here?

Fair play and fair competition.

Armstrong traduced it so much that he's shunned by essentially everyone who cares about sport qua sport. Amp users in baseball didn't really traduce it at all; if they did, it was merely marginally.
   82. bjhanke Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4312509)
I have had some serious experience with greenies, because I am old enough to have used them when I was younger. They are, without question, the best PEDs I have ever had, and I don't mean as a hangover cure (I don't drink). Speed is just good for getting your body going for between 6 and 8 hours, depending on whether the speed in question was time-released or just the plain old 4-hour variety.

Mark McGwire hit the rookie home run record in 1987. Both Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire's brother state that he was NOT using steroids before, at the earliest, 1988. Jose and the brother disagree on the year Mark started, but both say after 1987. But the important point here is that it is VERY VERY rare to set a record in a ballpark that fights what you're trying to do. Oakland's ballpark fought home runs about as hard as any ballpark in that league in that day. So Mark's rookie homer record is genuinely impressive and completely clean. I dusted off the old Bill James BROCK2 projection system and rank McGwire starting with the 1987 season. He projected to hit over 60 homers, and closer to 70, somewhere along the line, abut the time he did so. It's true that 1987 was a hitter's year compared to the seasons surrounding it, but it's also true that BROCK2 doesn't care about that. It doesn't know that this stat line was from 1987. It only knows what age McGwire was. And it makes no adjustments for changes in offensive levels year-to-year. It treats Mark's stats as if every year was 1987. Including 1998, where the homer rate was clearly HIGHER than 1987. And it still thinks he's playing in Oakland. If you make any adjustment for the fact that Busch Stadium at the time was homer-neutral, it becomes clear that McGwire was not just a Hall player, he's inner circle, and was the greatest pure home run force the game has ever seen. Babe Ruth invented the business of homer-oriented baseball, but even the Babe did not hit them with the same frequency as Mac did. Ruth was of course a greater player than Mac, because his game was not as limited as Mark's, but in this one special skill of homer frequency, Mark McGwire is the legitimate all-time leader. In short, I agree with Bill James' ranking of Mac as the #3 first baseman ever in the New Historical Abstract and see no reason to take a steroid discount, much less a ban.

With Bonds, you have both timing and magnitude issues. If you claim that Barry started roiding in 2001, then how did he hold his own and more against the known roiders in the game before then? And if you claim that he must have been roiding all along, then how to do explain 2001? That's the timing issue; you can only START using steroids once. The magnitude issue is this: Bonds went from a 40+ homer hitter to a 70+ homer hitter in 2001. That's a ratio of something like 7/4. Do you really believe that steroids have anything like that magnitude of effect? Because if you do, then those clean years before 2001 make Barry out not to be Babe Ruth, not to be Ted Williams, but to be Superman. I mean, he won MVPs over roiders, when roids give the competition a 7/4 boost? That's not possible.

My opinion is that steroids cannot possibly have had a whole lot of effect, except maybe to help McGwire get over his early 1990s injury. Otherwise, some of the simple logic above simply can't work. And at that point, you're trying to convict these guys for being willing to do them, not for gaining any advantage out of it. That's where the greenies come in. I don't care how much you think greenies improved play, but if the only bad feature of steroids was that you were "trying to do something between cheating and using a legal and non-banned substance" when you weren't getting anything much out of the stuff, you really don't have a case that it is different from a greenies case, and are in a league with the Salem Witch Trial Court. - Brock Hanke
   83. Nasty Nate Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4312519)
Greenies are clearly NOT the same as red bull or coffee... since you know, the former are schedule I narcotics and banned by all major sports for PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT (if the NFL suspends you for using it... ) while caffeine is available to all non-Mormons.


Plenty of players in MLB and NFL legally take amphetamines with exemptions from their league, so no they are not "banned" by all major sports.

I may be wrong, but I don't think any players have exemptions to take anabolic steroids.
   84. zenbitz Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4312524)
I don't need to worry about my sources of evidence because I am not judging anyone.
My attitude is that if MLB rules were violated, then players are subject to MLB sanction. If players are convicted in a court of law, or lose a civil suit, there are legal consequences.

   85. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4312529)
So
the principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition


are

Fair play and fair competition.


It is like going to the dictionary for the definition of tautology, and it says it means tautology. Not responsive. How about you use different words. We can start with being able to define fair play and fair competition. How do I identify it?

You can use comparisons and examples if you want (but dragging in Lance Armstrong is completely unhelpful), but please explain the what and the why:
* Is doctoring baseballs fair?
* Is corking bats fair?
* Is stealing signals fair?
* Is drinking coffee fair?
* Is using amps fair?

What are the first principles that differentiate those behaviors from steroid use?
   86. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4312531)
It is like going to the dictionary for the definition of tautology, and it says it means tautology. Not responsive. How about you use different words. We can start with being able to define fair play and fair competition. How do I identify it?

By height?

If you have so much trouble identifying it, you're probably wasting your time pondering this subject.
   87. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4312548)
If you have so much trouble identifying it, you're probably wasting your time pondering this subject.


Translation: "Shut up! It means what I want it to mean and I know it is not logical so I refuse to define it further. I know what I know - steroids bad!"

Got it. Thanks.
   88. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4312550)
What of it?


You're the one who claimed that amps didn't have much impact. As far as setting famous records was concerned, they had a huge impact.
   89. Steve Treder Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4312560)
Burn the witches! BURN them!!!
   90. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4312572)
That's the timing issue; you can only START using steroids once. The magnitude issue is this: Bonds went from a 40+ homer hitter to a 70+ homer hitter in 2001. That's a ratio of something like 7/4. Do you really believe that steroids have anything like that magnitude of effect?


Sure. Steroids took Evander Holyfield from a mobile 185lb cruiserweight to a ripped monster 210lb heavyweight who could outmuscle bigger men in the clinch. This was unprecedented in boxing history. Watching the transformation in real-time was jaw-dropping.
   91. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4312613)
Translation: "Shut up! It means what I want it to mean and I know it is not logical so I refuse to define it further. I know what I know - steroids bad!"

Got it. Thanks.


That isn't what it means. I'm under no obligation to define something like "due process" and write a treatise covering every contingency. The same applies to "the principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition." If one has little to no inherent feel for the concept, all the examples in the world aren't going to help. If one does, one can apply them as one sees fit.

   92. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 29, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4312628)
YOU DON’T WORK FOR BASEBALL! YOU ARE NOT GUARDIANS OF THE GAME! IT IS NEITHER YOUR JOB, YOUR RESPONSIBILITY OR EVEN YOUR RIGHT TO KEEP THE GAME PURE OF MISCREANTS WHEN IT SHOWS EVERY DAY THAT IT DOESN’T WANT TO BE!
By this 'reasoning' we should dissolve courts and prisons on the ground that every day people demonstrate they don't want society to be kept pure of miscreants.

   93. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 29, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4312637)
The same applies to "the principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition." If one has little to no inherent feel for the concept, all the examples in the world aren't going to help. If one does, one can apply them as one sees fit.


The principles of fair play and fair competition is an incredibly vague and nonsensical term. Evryone has a feel for what it means to them, but there is no way everyone agrees, and yet you want to deny some people the HOF based on this mystical jumble of nice sounding words which are free of objective content. And that is BS.

I have a very clear idea of what it means to me. Barry Bonds followed it. He worked his butt off and used every advantage he could. He did nothing that every other player could not have done, he just had more skill and hard work (and incredible genetic advantage, which last I checked is fair) and got great results. There are rules now in place that may have changed what he did, but what he did do at the time he did it was fine according to the priorities of MLB as shown in their behavior.

Just like someone who steals signals, scuffs a ball, corks a bat or whatever - if you are caught you are punished according to the rules of the game, that is the risk you take but the game goes on. But you want to persecute him and others retroactively based on sactimonious crap which you hide behind the phrase "fair play and fair competition" which you claim is both clear and self evident to you and others, but so esoteric it can't be conveyed to someone who does not alread understand it.

I have many great steroid discussions with Andy and I disagree with him but I respect his thoughts on this issue. I hope at least the view from your high horse is nice.
   94. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4312645)
The principles of fair play and fair competition is an incredibly vague and nonsensical term.

It isn't any more vague and nonsensical than "due process" or "equal protection." It's just that you dissent from the consensus application of the term. You're entitled to do that.
   95. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 29, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4312652)
It isn't any more vague and nonsensical than "due process" or "equal protection." It's just that you dissent from the consensus application of the term. You're entitled to do that.


BS.

Many people have been able easily to define those very terms in straightforward language. Application of the terms is tricky perhaps, but you won't even define the terms you are trying to apply at all. You won't even apply the terms to the set of examples I gave, because you know there is no coherent thought behind your "principle". Hiding behind the thought that there is a consensus application of those terms that means what you want it to is also BS.
   96. zenbitz Posted: November 29, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4312656)
Plenty of players in MLB and NFL legally take amphetamines with exemptions from their league, so no they are not "banned" by all major sports.


OK, draw your line in the sand there if you want to. "Restricted".
   97. TDF, situational idiot Posted: November 29, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4312658)
The writers have rightly concluded that greenie use was more akin to caffeine or Red Bull use and, accordingly, not contrary to the principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition. It's easy to see why -- they were available to everyone openly, cheap, easy to get, didn't have much impact, and what little impact they had dissipated quickly.

There's a huge problem with this line of reasoning. At the time McGwire was "caught" with Andro in his locker, it was completely, 100% legal - any schmo could walk into any GNC and buy a couple of tons of the stuff (which seemed like the minimum order, if you saw the canisters). Meanwhile, today the WADA may want caffeine banned as performance enhancing. In other words, everything is legal until it's explicitly illegal, and nothing makes an impact on "fair play and fair competition" until someone decides it does.

Additionally, the owners, managers and other players (everyone involved in deciding what actually constitutes "fair play and fair competition") didn't care a whit whether players used steroids and other PEDs from the beginning of pro baseball until the HR chase of '98. The only people who get to decide what's "fair" are the participants - not the spectators or those who report on the game.
   98. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4312662)
Additionally, the owners, managers and other players (everyone involved in deciding what actually constitutes "fair play and fair competition")

Those aren't the only people involved in deciding the matter. Writers and fans can make their own determinations.
   99. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 29, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4312667)
The writers have rightly concluded that greenie use was more akin to caffeine or Red Bull use and, accordingly, not contrary to the principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition... The players have never really acted as if roids accorded with the principles and spirit of fair play and fair competition -- thus the furtive, hidden use, and the lies when caught. The writers aren't doing much more than channeling those actions.

Pete Rose lied under oath about taking (or knowing about) amphetamines; Willie Mays gave a no-response response when asked directly about the "red juice" he gave teammates, according to John Milner's court testimony; a succession of players have told their identically tragic tales of "one greenie, immediate regret, instant and eternal reformation"; Jim Bouton was ordered by Bowie Kuhn to repudiate the part of his book regarding the ubiquity of amphetamine use. A Playboy interviewer asked Rose the question that 17 years of BBWAA beat journalists never thought to ask. "Furtive" is the nice word for how MLB handled amphetamines.

Are we aware of any MLB teams offering PEDs to their players, or perhaps pulling a player aside and telling them, "Hey, we want you to work out this offseason with this guy we know, the Ultimate Warrior" (and I don't know the answer)?

We are aware of teams holding medical seminars for their players, to advise them about how to use steroids more safely. We are aware of teams removing the standard steroid clause from contracts.
   100. TDF, situational idiot Posted: November 29, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4312675)
Additionally, the owners, managers and other players (everyone involved in deciding what actually constitutes "fair play and fair competition")

Those aren't the only people involved in deciding the matter. Writers and fans can make their own determinations.
Uh, yes they are the only ones. What the writers and fans think doesn't matter.

You and I are playing a game of poker. We've decided, by the way that we play, that it's OK for the dealer to look at the next card before it's dealt (forget for a moment that it's clearly against the rules, unlike PED usage in baseball). Is it against "fair play and fair competition" if we both implicitly agree that it's OK, no matter what any observer thinks?

Further, what right do spectators and writers have to declare something against "fair play and fair competition", exactly? They aren't the ones who agree to the rules; they have no title to the outcome. Think of it this way - as long as everything your employer does is legal, and you agree to all of the requirements of employment by him, does an outsider have any right to step in and require the rules of your employment to be changed?
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