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Monday, March 01, 2010

ESPN980: Loverro: No Hall of Fame for Tony La Russa

Home of the Redbird Skinned Alive!

Yet if we believe La Russa, he was ignorant of any performance-enhancing substance use in both Oakland and St. Louis. This man—George Will’s example of brilliance in the book, “Men at Work,” a baseball manager with a law degree, the subject of the book, “Three Nights in August,” by Buzz Bissinger, a book that, according to Publisher’s Weekly, “reveals La Russa’s history and personality, conveying the manager’s intensity and his compulsive need to be prepared for any situation that might arise during ” ‘the war’ of each at-bat”—didn’t know the stars of his teams were using steroids.

Of all the absurdities of the steroid era, this might be the most absurd.

La Russa’s claim of ignorance smacks of arrogance, the very arrogance that has motivated him to bring McGwire, who had been a hermit since his embarrassing appearance before Congress in 2005, back into the game as the Cardinals hitting coach. The last thing baseball needs is one of the biggest remainders of one of its most shameful eras back in the game and in uniform. It is not good for the game, and certainly not good for the Cardinals franchise, which has become divided over McGwire’s presence.

...It won’t. La Russa’s role in the steroid era is as large and loathsome as McGwire’s, Barry Bonds, or any of the high-profile cheaters. He is the management figure most associated with steroid use—in two leagues—and like those cheaters, should not honored for his contributions.

La Russa is third on the all-time wins list by managers, with 2,552. He has won two World Series, five pennants and four Manager of the Year honors. But in those categories that very much exist among the criteria for election of baseball’s Hall of Fame—“integrity, sportsmanship, character”—Tony La Russa belongs with Mark McGwire, on the outside looking in.

Repoz Posted: March 01, 2010 at 02:33 PM | 113 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, cardinals, hall of fame, history, steroids

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   101. Ray (CTL) Posted: March 02, 2010 at 05:26 AM (#3470745)
No. Use of certain substances in certain jurisdictions at certain times was illegal.

In the US Steroids, the way the players were using them was illegal.


Again, not necessarily.
   102. PerroX Posted: March 02, 2010 at 05:44 AM (#3470749)
brock - great posts. Self-righteousnessness is camouflage for a multitude of sins, and it ruins more lives than all drugs put together.
   103. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 02, 2010 at 06:10 AM (#3470752)
I figured by the third time around the point would get across, and now even the Greeks and the Japanese know where I stand.


It still seems obvious to me that you totally contradicted yourself between posts 37 and 97, which isn't any great sin. But whatever. I know you'd never admit it.
   104. Srul Itza At Home Posted: March 02, 2010 at 07:05 AM (#3470755)
This is Srul's typical approach: disagree with him, and you're a clown or a troll.


BS, Assclown. There are plenty of people with whom I have reasonable disagreements.

But a troll is a troll is a troll, like Tommy and RossCW, and a clown is a clown. And I wasn't the first to call this guy a clown. His article is nonsense. But since he is hard core steroids warrior like you, everything he says must be golden.

Bite me, jerk.
   105. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 02, 2010 at 01:43 PM (#3470792)
Tom, since you don't seem to want to let go of this, here's someone else you can argue with, someone who actually admits about himself what you think I believe about all players. Have fun.

MATT HERGES: ‘I was so selfish, self-centered’

“I’m glad it came out,” Herges said. “It gave me the opportunity to completely come clean. If I hadn’t gone through (New York Mets clubhouse attendant) Kirk Radomski, I might still be living with it. And that’s not who I want to be.

“I always thought I was a great guy and had good intentions, but I was so selfish, self-centered.”

Herges, who was a replacement player during the 1994-95 work stoppage, says it would be easy to say he took steroids to make the big leagues. He would have done anything to be a big leaguer, he says. But it was wrong, and he still feels guilty.

“I was basically trying to please myself,” Herges said, “and getting to the big leagues pleased me. Throwing 97 mph pleased me.

“Back then, sure, you knew people were doing it. And it was OK unless you had a moral issue with it. Guys did it but didn’t talk about it. We didn’t have drug testing anyways. But it was still wrong.”

Herges doesn’t know whether he would have made the big leagues if he had never touched steroids. He wishes he had been honest enough with himself to find out.

“I know what steroids did for me. It made me superhuman,” Herges said. “It made me an android, basically. Your body shuts down, and the stuff takes over. You had guys throwing harder than 95 mph when they had barely touched 90 mph their whole life. It wasn’t just that but the strength, the confidence it did for you.

“The confidence, the feel, the results, is mentally addictive. It’s habit-forming to say the least.”
   106. Deacon Blues Posted: March 02, 2010 at 01:45 PM (#3470794)
Right; Torre is a better comp to LaRussa than Francona is. But if it makes Deacon Blues happy: yes, if LaRussa is guilty of willful blindness or more, then Torre *and Francona* are also.

Actually this isn't true. One of these could very easily be guilty of willful blindness without the others being guilty of it. Just because they were in similar situations doesn't mean one's guilty necessarily implies the others'.
   107. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 02, 2010 at 01:46 PM (#3470795)
And BTW, just to be clear, I am not trying to use any of what Herges says as any sort of "proof" about the efficacy of steroids. That's an entirely different subject.
   108. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 02, 2010 at 01:54 PM (#3470799)
Loverro isn't a clown, he's a professional writer.

I still don't see how these points are related. You're doing what you accuse Srul of doing -- asserting that Loverro should be taken seriously because he's a professional rather than defending his article on the merits.
   109. PerroX Posted: March 02, 2010 at 02:46 PM (#3470815)
When you are of a minority opinion, appeal to higher authority and you don't feel so lonely.
   110. Ray (CTL) Posted: March 02, 2010 at 03:51 PM (#3470877)
Right; Torre is a better comp to LaRussa than Francona is. But if it makes Deacon Blues happy: yes, if LaRussa is guilty of willful blindness or more, then Torre *and Francona* are also.

Actually this isn't true. One of these could very easily be guilty of willful blindness without the others being guilty of it. Just because they were in similar situations doesn't mean one's guilty necessarily implies the others'.


Ok, I take it back: Francona knew nothing.

Whatever. The point is that people are assuming LaRussa's guilt without having the foggiest clue what he actually knew. Yes, LaRussa could be guilty of willful blindness without Torre being guilty of it. But we have nothing to distinguish one manager from the other on this score.
   111. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2010 at 02:33 AM (#3471405)
this is such an absurd position... using this type of logic, if there was any writer who covered a TLR led team prior to say 2005, then they should clearly lose their ability to vote for the hof, since they also missed the obvious by not reporting this, and guys like Rick Hummel who are in the writers wing of the hof should also be held to a higher standard....

this is one of the dumbest arguments ever on the internet.
   112. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2010 at 03:00 AM (#3471418)
Ray: I don't think anyone with any intelligence is saying Francona knew nothing, just that his career isn't hof worthy, so he really isn't in this discussion, while Torre is clearly in this discussion.


I agree with you about the presumption of guilt before innocence, but at the sametime common sense has to apply, and to honestly think that TLR, Torre, or Francona didn't have a clue is just silly, at the very least you have to think that a job profession that requires intelligence like being a manager, means you can't use the ignorance argument as a defense... Your job is predicated by the fact that you supposedly know more than everyone else.
   113. Ray (CTL) Posted: March 03, 2010 at 03:49 AM (#3471448)
I agree with you about the presumption of guilt before innocence, but at the sametime common sense has to apply, and to honestly think that TLR, Torre, or Francona didn't have a clue is just silly,


I don't think I asserted that they didn't have a clue. My position is that I haven't the foggiest notion whether they knew. I don't have enough information with which to form a reasonable conclusion one way or the other.

With McGwire and LaRussa, for example, each man has said that LaRussa didn't know - but I don't weight that evidence very heavily. (Has Canseco said that LaRussa knew something either about Canseco's or McGwire's use? I'm not aware that Canseco has said anything like that. And he's supposed to be The Truth Teller in all of this. Why do people take Canseco's word in this area as gospel sometimes but not other times?)
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