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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Nightengale’s Notebook: Why my Hall of Fame ballot includes some PED guys – but not Alex Rodriguez

I won’t reveal my entire ballot until close to the Jan. 25 election, but here’s how I’ll be voting on the performance-enhancing drug class.

YES: Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Sheffield and Ortiz.

NO: Rodriguez, Ramirez and Pettitte.

Rodriguez, one of the greatest players in history, also received the largest drug suspension in baseball, missing the entire 2014 season. Ramirez, one of the finest right-handed hitters of his era, was suspended three times. Pettitte is a different case. He admitted to using human-growth hormone, but was never punished. He falls short simply for his Hall of Fame credentials regardless of being outed in George Mitchell’s investigation on PED use.

Simply, there were rules in place that Rodriguez and Ramirez intentionally violated. They were caught, and, in turn, their teams suffered the consequences. The Yankees, for the first time in 20 years, missed the playoffs in back-to-back years without Rodriguez. Ramirez, who had signed a two-year, $45 million contract with the Dodgers, was never the same after being popped in 2009.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 15, 2021 at 09:16 AM | 127 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, peds

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   1. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: December 15, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6057427)
I don't particularly agree with him but that seems reasonable and consistent.
   2. alilisd Posted: December 15, 2021 at 10:59 AM (#6057439)
Ramirez, who had signed a two-year, $45 million contract with the Dodgers, was never the same after being popped in 2009.


In 2010, at 38 years of age, he put up a 138 OPS+ in 320 PA's. Whatever, Bob.
   3. JRVJ Posted: December 15, 2021 at 10:59 AM (#6057440)
Simply, there were rules in place that Rodriguez and Ramirez intentionally violated. They were caught, and, in turn, their teams suffered the consequences


I'm pretty blasé about the whole steroids period (it was what it was, and we all enjoyed the sport too much - or in case of reporters, profited from it - to be holier than thou now).

Having said that, this makes no sense to me: Rodríguez and Ramírez were INDEED caught. They were also PUNISHED.

The problem with Nightengale's rationale is that Rodríguez and Ramírez should not be punished again for the same offense. That's the cornerstone of the grand majority of legal systems around the world, and while the HoF is not a court of law (or anything along those lines), Nightengale is the one introducing the rationale of "being caught" as a reason for A-Rod and Manny not to be enshrined.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 15, 2021 at 11:32 AM (#6057445)
The problem with Nightengale's rationale is that Rodríguez and Ramírez should not be punished again for the same offense.

Not being honored is not the same as being punished.
   5. JRVJ Posted: December 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM (#6057449)
Not being honored is not the same as being punished


Nightengale's rationale is very much that he is punishing A-Rod and Manny for having being caught.

Phrased differently, Nightengale is not claiming that A-Rod was a banjo hitter with just a little bit of range in SS and that Manny was a loopy Joe Charbonneau who do not deserve induction into the HoF. He is claiming that they should not be inducted BECAUSE they breached certain PED rules and were caught (and punished).
   6. Adam Starblind Posted: December 15, 2021 at 12:05 PM (#6057450)
I have never been aware of controversy surrounding this perspective, which is not something Nightengale invented. In fact, it's pretty widespread. Did it before it was against the rules? Fine. Did it after it was against the rules? Voting against you.

The "don't punish twice" rationale would let a serial killer into the HOF if he had 70 WAR. Fortunately Ugueth Urbina was no Mariano.
   7. TJ Posted: December 15, 2021 at 12:30 PM (#6057454)
I will respect the holier-than-thou voters when those covering baseball during the Steroid Era who should have known what was happening but didn’t (or did and overlooked it) give up their HOF voting privileges.

Until then, spare me the Captain Renault act from Casablanca that you were shocked to find that steroid use was going on there…
   8. Adam Starblind Posted: December 15, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6057455)
I will respect the holier-than-thou voters when those covering baseball during the Steroid Era who should have known what was happening but didn’t (or did and overlooked it) give up their HOF voting privileges.

Until then, spare me the Captain Renault act from Casablanca that you were shocked to find that steroid use was going on there…


A very fair position. It's also inconsistent with the position of the "no evidence against Bonds, Sosa, or Clemens" crowd. Not talking about you, by the way TJ; no idea what you think about that.

   9. cookiedabookie Posted: December 15, 2021 at 12:59 PM (#6057458)
My problem is that certain writers have decided to place players on the permanently ineligible list, when MLB did not. Especially guys like A-Rod and Manny who were actually punished.
   10. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: December 15, 2021 at 01:05 PM (#6057459)
My problem is that certain writers have decided to place players on the permanently ineligible list, when MLB did not. Especially guys like A-Rod and Manny who were actually punished.


I agree with this. But I think Nightengale's position at least has the virtue of internal logic. It's like saying Burleigh Grimes* is a Hall of Famer but Gaylord Perry is not. Both threw spitballs but only one was breaking a formal rule when he did.

* Huh, I just learned that Burleigh and I share the same month and day for our birthdays (he's a bit older).
   11. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 15, 2021 at 01:08 PM (#6057462)
Until then, spare me the Captain Renault act from Casablanca that you were shocked to find that steroid use was going on there…


Fine. I was misinformed.

In any case, this isn't how I'd handle it, but I can see handling it this way. I'd prefer to let in those who accomplished more on the field than anyone else, whether they were cheaters or not, and then just honestly acknowledge what they did. Have an exhibit on steroids in the museum, put it on their plaque if you want "Ramirez retired from MLB after failing a steroid test" or something like that.
   12. TJ Posted: December 15, 2021 at 01:53 PM (#6057471)
A very fair position. It's also inconsistent with the position of the "no evidence against Bonds, Sosa, or Clemens" crowd. Not talking about you, by the way TJ; no idea what you think about that.


I have long since passed the point of letting whether some player juiced or not affect my view of their HOF worthiness. It simply does not bother me anymore. I do get irked by voters taking either the “Holier than thou” or “There is no evidence” stance. There was ample evidence if voters who were covering baseball at the time had simply looked for it. We simple pedestrian fans could see something was going on, so why didn’t those who were paid to cover the sport do so?

Not like that is anything new in baseball history. There were reporters back in the early 1900’s who knew there was gambling and game fixing happening and chose not to report it. They also came up with any number of excuses for not doing so, and excoriated their colleagues who did. Just ask Hugh Fullerton’s ghost. I get that, and I hold no grudge against Steroid Era reporters because I can see why they were reluctant to do so. What bothers me is that those voters keep casting votes influenced by what was happening back then without acknowledging that they were part of the reason that it did. Judge thyselves, HOF voters, by the same standards that ye judge others.

I actually agree with Ziggy. MLB hasn’t banned the juicers, the Hall hasn’t done so, and Selig and the managers who benefited from the craziness of the Steroid Era have already been inducted. Vote based on what a player accomplished on the field, let his plaque celebrate those accomplishments, and have an exhibit on the Steroid Era that presents an objective, professionally historical view of the period, and include all who were part of that story, HOFer or not.

PS- Nice use of the quote, Ziggy!
   13. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 15, 2021 at 02:21 PM (#6057480)
I support Sosa as much as anyone. But a vote for Sammy while not voting for ARod and Manny is friggin insane.
   14. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 15, 2021 at 02:29 PM (#6057482)
Nightengale's rationale is very much that he is punishing A-Rod and Manny for having being caught.
I think his rationale is that he is denying them his vote¹ for actually doing the thing. That they were caught merely serves as proof that they did it, at a time when it was clear that they weren't allowed to do it; it's not the reason he isn't voting for them.


¹I, too, don't think that punishing is the right word. I don't read him as saying that he is doing it to punish them; he's saying that they don't deserve the honor.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: December 15, 2021 at 02:39 PM (#6057483)
For the guys who disagree with Nightengale, if Manfred, being Manfred, decided tomorrow that Pete had suffered enough and was lifting him from the permanently ineligible list, do you think that the voters (EC in his case) would be obligated to vote for the ###### because he had already been punished?
   16. cookiedabookie Posted: December 15, 2021 at 03:08 PM (#6057487)
For the guys who disagree with Nightengale, if Manfred, being Manfred, decided tomorrow that Pete had suffered enough and was lifting him from the permanently ineligible list, do you think that the voters (EC in his case) would be obligated to vote for the ###### because he had already been punished?

Yes. The only reason I wouldn't vote for him is the pedophile accusations.
   17. reech Posted: December 15, 2021 at 03:23 PM (#6057489)
Arod and Manny got busted cheating.
Bonds, Clemens, etc did not get busted cheating under the rules of MLB at that time.
It's that simple for me.
   18. base ball chick Posted: December 15, 2021 at 03:27 PM (#6057491)
not being on the permanently ineligible list is obviously not a reason for some voters to refuse to vote for an obvious HOFer

of course, theres "crimes" against The Game
and theres crimes against not The Game (see omar, urbina etc)

the continued punishment of people who paid their penalty for their crime is how things are. just like if you serve your entire prison sentence, you are not truly a free citizen like anyone else (unless you are rich). your crime, paid in full, sticks to you forever. i really believe that most people really really think that anyone convicted of a crime should be in prison forever.

i am long past tired of

1 - insisting that suspected/accused = guilty
2 - if your friend shot roids, then you did too (biggio/bagwell/caminiti)
3 - insisting that although everyone - just about - used some kind of speed, it not only didn't make performance better, it made it worse. like competitive athletes would take stuff that made them worse

like i always said - i would agree that roids are rong if shooting up could turn a lousy A ball 30 year old into bonds. or even a lousy actual major leaguer. but it didn't and it can't.

i am just about past caring about the HOF when all time greats like bonds, clemens, manny, sheff, mac are excluded and the seriously less good players like jim kaat, oliva, baines, morris are members instead. along with steroid abetters like TLR and buddy boy. complete barf.

and like, what TJ said

   19. Walt Davis Posted: December 15, 2021 at 03:31 PM (#6057493)
The underlying issue is the character clause. It is reasonable to claim that a (proven) violation of a major baseball rule counts against HoF worthiness via the character clause. However, I don't see anything in the character clause that says such a violation (which is a matter of degree anyway) is necessarily disqualifying. It's just among the factors that need to be considered. It's a large subset of writers that have decided that it is disqualifying.

MLB (requiring MLBPA agreement) has decided PED usage is only disqualifying if you do it repeatedly; in contrast to gambling for example. The HoF has decided that the permenantly ineligible won't be eligible for the HoF either. All of the major parties involved have decided that even repeated PED usage post-testing doesn't disqualify you (until the third time). Heck, the BBWAA has decided that even repeated PED usage post-testing doesn't necessarily disqualify you.

Of course Nightengale et al simply argue that their job is to decide whether the non-disqualifying character clause violations are sufficient to "invalidate" the player's other positives. Not much we can do about that except to remove the character clause (which probably won't make much difference and will cause controversy once the next domestic abuser comes up).

By the way, did Manny get suspended 3 times? Wouldn't that put him on the permanently ineligible list? He was alleged to be on the 2003 list but that carried no suspension.
   20. Jay Seaver Posted: December 15, 2021 at 03:33 PM (#6057495)
15 - I don't know about "obligated", but I feel like that would be the least painful way to go about it in both cases. Vote on players based on their accomplishments, add maybe also give the electors an option as to whether some boilerplate text should be added to the bottom of the plaque. Which is weird, but I can't think of a better way to resolve the paradox of "the Hall of Fame feels incomplete without certain players" and "there is good reason to deny these players an honor."
   21. base ball chick Posted: December 15, 2021 at 03:39 PM (#6057498)
manny got popped at the very end of his career in like 09 or 10 for taking something to help him maintain his pregnancy or help him ovulate - it was never exactly said which one

the next year he was trying to come back and tested positive for actual roids

so he did drugs at the end of his career. unless this proves that he did drugs his entire career and somehow managed to not get popped in 04,05,06,07,08
   22. The Duke Posted: December 15, 2021 at 04:13 PM (#6057507)
I don’t think the MLB has decided it’s ok to do PEDs repeatedly. They’ve decided, in concert with the union that it’s possible a positive first test could be a bad supplement, someone slipping someone something etc. it’s in no one’s best interest to toss a player for one test. Do it a couple/few times - it’s not bad luck.

That’s different than saying we are ok up to a threshold.

Back in the day, we used to be told not to eat sesame seed hamburger buns in the days before a test. Body chemistry is a weird thing
   23. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 15, 2021 at 04:34 PM (#6057510)
i am just about past caring about the HOF when all time greats like bonds, clemens, manny, sheff, mac are excluded and the seriously less good players like jim kaat, oliva, baines, morris are members instead. along with steroid abetters like TLR and buddy boy. complete barf.


100 percent. I really don't care at this point who's in the Hall of Fame because I'm not interested in sorting out players according to their adherence to the unwritten rules. I think we're literally to the point where the people deciding these things throw all the more or less qualified people into one big bucket, then pluck out the saintliest among them for enshrinement.

It's not even just PEDs anymore; Christina Kahrl didn't vote for Clemens last year because of his relationship with Mindy McCready. When your criteria have completely left the ballfield, I find it very hard to sustain interest. I don't want to have to review Frank Thomas' divorce proceedings to figure out if he should be in the Hall of Fame.

   24. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 15, 2021 at 05:28 PM (#6057516)
I have never been aware of controversy surrounding this perspective


Agree, and 17 just nails it. 2 guys got caught after they implemented the testing. He doesn't think Andy is qualified anyway. With the other guys it's just speculation. He's got Sheffield, Sosa and Ortiz, so he's pretty consistent there and likes guys who hammered the sh*t out of the baseball and have some really nice old timey stats. I see nothing wrong with that.
   25. sotapop Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:17 AM (#6057550)
I've been putting off making my personal decision on this until B&C were up against the deadline, and so now I'm stuck on how to weigh a couple of facts. I'd honestly appreciate more info or perspective from Primates (do we still say that?) on this.

Like Nightengale and others, I'm leaning toward it being a question of whether the player used steroids after the league officially outlawed them. But when I did some research, I saw that in June 1991, Fay Vincent sent a memo to the teams informing them that steroids had been added to the banned substances lists. Then it took almost 10 years, until April 2001, for the leagues to implement the drug testing policy in the minors, and another year (August 2002) to announce a plan for the majors starting in 2003.

So which is the date? I'd like to say it's 2001, because that's when the players probably sat up and took notice. But if MLB banned steroids in 1991, you'd think the info would have been passed on to players, and after that, anyone using steroids was knowingly violating a rule.

Thoughts?
   26. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:27 AM (#6057554)
I think you can make the case any number of ways sotapop. For me the teams were clearly happy to ignore the usage if not encourage it and certainly everyone from owners to bat boys was benefiting financially. It feels like the speed limit to me a little bit. I'd be rather annoyed if I got to the pearly gates and St. Peter said "I'm sorry, you regularly broke the law by driving 60 in a 55" and sent me south.

I happen to be of the opinion that a lot of the steroids effect is a placebo (I think the ball was certainly juiced in those years). But that's my opinion based on nothing. To answer your direct question I think if no one involved was taking steps to limit/stop usage it's unfair to hold it against them. Again, that's where I come down and I think there is a case to reverse it and say guys who used in that era got away with it so subsequent punishment makes sense while guys like A-Rod and Manny have paid their price.
   27. Mefisto Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:33 AM (#6057557)
Vincent's memo was not approved by the Union. An arbitrator had previously held that MLB couldn't punish other drug usage without Union approval, so Vincent's memo was legally meaningless (and in fact everyone treated it that way as you describe). The correct start date is 2003, because without enforcement any ban is meaningless.

Pedantic note: steroid use does not violate a "rule" in the sense of the playing rules. It violates a *contract*, i.e., the standard form agreement players must sign.
   28. sotapop Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:34 AM (#6057558)
Thanks, Jose. The speeding analogy occurred to me, too. It's one thing to pass a law setting speed limits. It's another thing when they start posting the road signs, setting up radar traps and writing tickets.

EDIT: Excellent and important point, Mefisto. Thank you. Good to see you around.
   29. LargeBill Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:39 AM (#6057559)
4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 15, 2021 at 11:32 AM (#6057445)
The problem with Nightengale's rationale is that Rodríguez and Ramírez should not be punished again for the same offense.

Not being honored is not the same as being punished.


My view on MLB punishments impacting HOF consideration is whatever a player's offense may be, the loss of playing time and reduced opportunity to accumulate stats should be the sole impact on their HOF case. If you're suspended 30 games for charging the mound or for throwing a spitball/scuffed ball, the impact is loss of 100 or so ABs or 6 starts and all the stats that would have been accumulated. A-Rod and Manny lost significant playing time and their career numbers are lower than they might otherwise be already. For A-Rod the lost stats are meaningless to his case, however, for others, loss of 500+ ABs could drop them from borderline to HOVG.
   30. LargeBill Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:49 AM (#6057561)
15. SoSH U at work Posted: December 15, 2021 at 02:39 PM (#6057483)
For the guys who disagree with Nightengale, if Manfred, being Manfred, decided tomorrow that Pete had suffered enough and was lifting him from the permanently ineligible list, do you think that the voters (EC in his case) would be obligated to vote for the ###### because he had already been punished?


If Pete is ever put on a vet ballot, I would oppose him receiving the honor, but also would fully expect the committee to see it differently than I. I'll admit I have a blind spot on Rose and can't rationally consider his case. I see gambling on sporting events you are a part of to be far more damaging to the sport than the other transgressions we're discussing. For the entire duration of his career it was known as the cardinal rule. It was generally understood that "you bet on baseball and you're gone." Whatever your opinion might be on PEDs, we should be able to agree that all those who used did so were trying to be better physically in order to perform better on the field.
   31. Mefisto Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:51 AM (#6057562)
Thanks sotapop.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:57 AM (#6057564)
If Pete is ever put on a vet ballot, I would oppose him receiving the honor, but also would fully expect the committee to see it differently than I. I'll admit I have a blind spot on Rose and can't rationally consider his case. I see gambling on sporting events you are a part of to be far more damaging to the sport than the other transgressions we're discussing.


Which is fine, but it should make Nightengale's position understandable, even if you don't subscribe to it.
   33. LargeBill Posted: December 16, 2021 at 12:01 PM (#6057572)
32. SoSH U at work Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:57 AM (#6057564)

If Pete is ever put on a vet ballot, I would oppose him receiving the honor, but also would fully expect the committee to see it differently than I. I'll admit I have a blind spot on Rose and can't rationally consider his case. I see gambling on sporting events you are a part of to be far more damaging to the sport than the other transgressions we're discussing.



Which is fine, but it should make Nightengale's position understandable, even if you don't subscribe to it.


Agree. I understand Nightengale's position and have no problem with voters who use that sort of stance as the dividing line between voting for players suspected of using when the league basically didn't care and players legitimately caught after the league made it clear that they do care. My personal stance is each voter should evaluate players based on what they accomplished on the field. I accept that others have different views. I only get worked up about ballots when they make no sense whatsoever and/or directly contradict the voter's stated position (call it the Heyman rule).
   34. alilisd Posted: December 16, 2021 at 12:14 PM (#6057573)
I happen to be of the opinion that a lot of the steroids effect is a placebo


Athletes have been using AAS since the 1950's. We're entering our eighth decade of them being utilized by athletes in all sorts of events, sports and competitions. Their efficacy is extremely well documented both anecdotally and scientifically. This is an untenable opinion.
   35. TomH Posted: December 16, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#6057578)
If you take Nightingale's position, does it not extrapolate to anyone who broke rules.. hey, he's a cheater, so I wont' vote for him. No spitballs, no emery boards, no one who ever participated in trash-can-banging....

I prefer to assess A-Rod in light of he broke the rules, got caught, was punished severely enough that his career stats were diminished, so... evaluate him on what he did. If he lost days for getting suspended for fighting or domestic violence, so be it, he lost those games. OTOH, Barry Bonds' value was enhanced by his blatant disregard of what people knew were performance-enhancing substances (why did he need to hide it?). Thus, instead of being the greatest baseball player ever, IMHO, he is merely ... one of the best 10.
   36. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 02:09 PM (#6057592)
Did the guy cross some very clear, bright line that every time his memory comes up it makes baseball fans cringe?

Take Joe Jackson. While more investigation is certainly warranted, at the very least he pocketed $10k and knew what it was intended for. He admitted that much. SO yeah that's pretty cringeworthy.

What if Marichal had killed Roseboro with his bat? yeah I wouldnt want to be reminded of that.

What if he only put him into a coma for six months? yeah same.

Carl Mays killing Ray Chapman. I never thought he intended to kill him, so I could probably live with that.

Pete Rose betting on baseball. Concerning but not totally grossed out by it. Can probably walk by a plaque like that without barfing.

Pete Rose or Billy Martin banging underage girls. Definitely cringeworthy, would not want a reminder of that in a HoF.

Joe Morgan and Mike Schmidt popping greenies every game. Not cringeworthy to me.

Manny being Manny. Doesnt make me cringe.

Albert Belle. Really sickening person, would not want him in a HoF.

I mean unless you can draw some very clear, bright line that most people can agree that is so beyond the pale that it brings down the whole institution, (or say it would depress you to be reminded of said player) that's about the only way to do it.

I dont see how Andy's position which focuses on whether something was legal (and then whether or not it really caused a "physical change" in your body, sheesh) or not is really viable over the long haul. You've created this weird, in between Institution that doesnt seem to know how to define itself, since getting upset by any rule violation is subjective. And in turn it then doesnt know what it is or is not honoring.

As both TomN and BBC said above, they just don't know what the HoF means anymore. Is it for pretty good nice guys like Baines? or really good non PED guys? but not for really good PED guys. I dont think it can exist like that as an institution without Bonds, Clemens. NOt for long. In a sense it also pisses one off in a way. Not the same as walking past an Albert Belle plaque, but upsetting in some other way.

Which leads me to racism. If Ty Cobb or Bob Feller called black people N==gers or werent very courageous on the civil rights front, that's one thing. Im sure some of us have grandparents or relatives who have equally non pleasant views. I can still sit down with them at Thanksgiving for an hour and be polite without it bring down the whole holiday.

Maybe that should be the standard: CAN I SIT DOWN WITH THE LIVING (OR DEAD) PERSON AND HAVE THANKSGIVING DINNER WITH THEM FOR AN HOUR WITHOUT BARFING?

For Cobb? Yeah. For ALbert Belle. No. For Joe Jackson it would be weird. Billy Martin, no he's pretty foul. For ARod, sure I can eat dinner with him even with his little beady squinty eyes constantly eyeing up the stuffing.

Then I guess we could add more examples e.g. : John Rockar or Curt Schilling and see if that either helps the argument or makes it more confusing.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: December 16, 2021 at 03:02 PM (#6057607)
I'd be rather annoyed if I got to the pearly gates and St. Peter said "I'm sorry, you regularly broke the law by driving 60 in a 55" and sent me south.

a quarter short. (It's a Fr Guido Sarducci reference that I'll be lucky if even Andy remembers that routine.)
   38. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 16, 2021 at 03:38 PM (#6057615)
Are you referring to the bit about "the cheapest sin"?
   39. LargeBill Posted: December 16, 2021 at 05:54 PM (#6057638)
Maybe that should be the standard: CAN I SIT DOWN WITH THE LIVING (OR DEAD) PERSON AND HAVE THANKSGIVING DINNER WITH THEM FOR AN HOUR WITHOUT BARFING?


I would hope that standard would be rejected nearly unanimously. Whether or not the guy is such a jerk or such a fine conversationalist that he does or doesn't make the cut for a dinner invite is completely irrelevant to any Hall of Fame discussion. Albert Belle is not in the Hall of Fame because his hip went to crap before he could attain milestones that voters would be impressed by, not his dinner table manners.
   40. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 07:32 PM (#6057649)
then how do you feel about BIlly Martin?
   41. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 07:58 PM (#6057654)
Or what if say LaRussa had killed someone drunk driving? Still OK with him in the HoF?

Or take Shilling. Right now I suppose I could listen to him make a half hour speech about Woke Culture and journalists. I would definite cringe but I could stand there and listen without getting irate.

But what is he was to go full on Nazi? Start saying that bisexuals should be sterilized or Muslims should be deported. What then?

Do you have any opinions on that?
   42. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 16, 2021 at 08:19 PM (#6057659)
For ARod, sure I can eat dinner with him even with his little beady squinty eyes constantly eyeing up the stuffing manger.


>>

As for the hall of fame: what I want is a list of the players who have done the most to win games for their teams. (Better: done the most to win games for any team that they might have played for.) I don't want any moral judgment to it - just a list, with the X-many players (for whatever X you want) with largest career value on it.
   43. Space Force fan Posted: December 16, 2021 at 08:36 PM (#6057663)
Athletes have been using AAS since the 1950's. We're entering our eighth decade of them being utilized by athletes in all sorts of events, sports and competitions. Their efficacy is extremely well documented both anecdotally and scientifically. This is an untenable opinion.


It has been proven for some sports, but it is not universally true. Clearly steroids help the vast majority of sports like football, track, cycling, swimming, weightlifting, wrestling etc which are power/enduranced based. On the other hand, it (probably) doesn't help pure technique sports like pool, equestrian, fencing, shooting, archery etc.

The interesting question is whether it helps/how much it helps combo sports which include both strength/endurance and technique. Baseball, golf, tennis etc. I don't think that this has been studied well enough to really know the answer. While the players get bigger and stronger, how much of this is negated by the technique portion? Hitting and pitching a baseball consists of a lot of moving part sending torque though multiple joints. Is there an upper limit where increased strength is useless because the player can't transfer the power through their joints? If there is, can that be reached through normal workouts or does it require AAS fueled workouts? Bryson Dechambeau might be a good test case. He bulked up (supposedly without AAS) and hits the ball much further than the other touring pros. Will more lifting allow him to hit the ball even further or is there a limit he can't get passed no matter how bulked up he gets because his shoulders and wrists can't support anymore torque?

Getting back to the original quote about AAS being a placebo. My pet theory as to why it is so hard to find statistical evidence of AAS in the 90's and early 2000's is that AAS were a placebo. Players were working out at a sub-optimal level, but thinking they were working hard. When they took steroids, they increased their workouts, but not past the point they could workout without steroids. Hence they got stronger and the overall league numbers increased, but the actual steroids had little to no effect on individual performances. If there are no limits to what increased strength can do, then people like Bonds took steroids, increased their workouts to drug influenced levels and became supermen.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: December 16, 2021 at 08:36 PM (#6057664)
As for the hall of fame: what I want is a list of the players who have done the most to win games for their teams. (Better: done the most to win games for any team that they might have played for.) I don't want any moral judgment to it - just a list, with the X-many players (for whatever X you want) with largest career value on it.


Here you go. Should save you bus fare to Cooperstown.

But how absolute is this position? If some 75-WAR second baseman gets arrested, charged and pleads guilty to multiple counts of rape between his retirement and appearance on the ballot, would he get your hypothetical vote?

   45. Buck Coats Posted: December 16, 2021 at 08:49 PM (#6057667)
If you take Nightingale's position, does it not extrapolate to anyone who broke rules.. hey, he's a cheater, so I wont' vote for him. No spitballs, no emery boards, no one who ever participated in trash-can-banging....


I'd go even farther than that. If you've ever been suspended for any reason? No HoF for you.

That'd cut down on the beanings and bench-clearing brawls I bet...
   46. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2021 at 08:57 PM (#6057669)
then how do you feel about BIlly Martin?

I saw Billy and his drinking buddy/pitching coach Art Fowler bellied up to the bar at Who's on First, across from Fenway Park, after a Yankees-Red Sox day game on the final weekend of the 1986 regular season.

both were "pounding," as they say. Martin was so shriveled up that it shocked me. I never saw anyone in a bar who looked so miserable.

in unrelated news, Martin was found dead on Christmas Day 3 years later, when a car he was in rode into a ditch.

(he is buried 50 yards away from Babe Ruth, tis said.)
   47. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 16, 2021 at 10:14 PM (#6057679)
Maybe that should be the standard: CAN I SIT DOWN WITH THE LIVING (OR DEAD) PERSON AND HAVE THANKSGIVING DINNER WITH THEM FOR AN HOUR WITHOUT BARFING?

As long as the white meat isn't dry and they shut off their phone, I can't think of any ballplayer I couldn't put up with for an hour. I'd just keep asking them questions about baseball, listen to their answers, and maybe learn something about the life. I'd even put up with the cigar smokers.

(Obviously this doesn't mean I'd use that as a HoF test.)
   48. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 10:56 PM (#6057686)
There is still is some question whether Martin was driver or passenger in that accident I didnt realize.
   49. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 10:22 AM (#6057725)
Getting back to the original quote about AAS being a placebo. My pet theory as to why it is so hard to find statistical evidence of AAS in the 90's and early 2000's is that AAS were a placebo. Players were working out at a sub-optimal level, but thinking they were working hard. When they took steroids, they increased their workouts, but not past the point they could workout without steroids. Hence they got stronger and the overall league numbers increased, but the actual steroids had little to no effect on individual performances. If there are no limits to what increased strength can do, then people like Bonds took steroids, increased their workouts to drug influenced levels and became supermen.


Which misses one of the most important benefits of using AAS, increased recovery ability and improved hormonal levels to supra physiological levels. A baseball player who is playing nearly every day for six months, all while traveling across the country back and forth through multiple time zones, is subject to significant fatigue. However, with AAS in their system they are able to clear and overcome that fatigue significantly faster. Also, with hormones far beyond even where they would peak in young adulthood, they allow for sustained performance at ages where decline would be more typical.
   50. BDC Posted: December 17, 2021 at 11:20 AM (#6057733)
I tend to agree most with LargeBill. Baseball sets a penalty for PEDs use now; players serve the penalty and are presumably even after their punishment; I'd take their careers at baseball value then and no further character subtraction. But other consistent lines seem reasonable: don't vote for anyone associated with PEDs, or vote only for ones associate with them before testing started.

If MLB reconsidered the gambling prohibition … I still wouldn't support Pete Rose for the Hall. Instead I would probably lose interest in MLB. I know this could be considered a naïve position: American sports culture is awash in gambling money, and scandals occasionally surface. Still I think MLB has been largely free of suspicion of fixing or throwing games since the Landis era. If my belief is too rosy and can be refuted, I'd love to hear so and will lose interest in MLB in proportion to the amount of game-fixing that's been going on while I've been in a false paradise :)

Cheating to beat the other guy is unsportsmanlike, but it seems a continual dynamic in sports. You look for an edge, the edge is not initially prohibited, people feel uneasy and the rules are revised. People still cheat anyway and are punished accordingly. A juicing pitcher throwing to a juicing batter – both guys are still trying to win; you don't have to worry that you're watching something scripted.
   51. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 17, 2021 at 11:47 AM (#6057742)
All of this is destroying one of baseball's greatest advantages over the other major North American sports: Its history and Hall of Fame. I think there should be three changes made to the HOF process in response to what has happened the last several years:

1) There is a selection panel that already sorts through first-year eligible candidates, and takes out a small percentage of those who technically qualify, but who clearly do not meet even the lowest standards for further consideration (when you look at who they currently include for HOF consideration every year, this bar is exceptionally low). The NFL HOF does this, too, but it appears they are more stringent in their "whittling down" process than baseball is. I think baseball should be more stringent in this first phase.

2) Related to #1, the Baseball HOF should make a rule saying that any player who makes it through the strengthened screening process should be considered as fully eligible, and all things off-the-field should not be a consideration in their decision. In this case, it would include the role of PEDs. If the screening committee decides that failing multiple PED tests the way that ARod or Manny did is beyond the pale, then they do not make it through the screening. If they make it through the screening, then the voters are instructed to not consider it as part of their process.

3) Like the NFL, I would eliminate the character clause. OJ Simpson is still in the HOF, because they only consider what he did on the field. That is all that is included in the process. In fact, in 2019, Simpson was included on the NFL's 100th anniversary list of its 100 greatest players. Think about that. Would baseball include Bonds on that list today? I have no idea - which tells you all you need to know about about how convoluted baseball's (and the BB HOF's) policies are (or aren't, since they don't really exist at all!) about how to deal with this sort of thing.
   52. SoSH U at work Posted: December 17, 2021 at 11:55 AM (#6057745)
3) Like the NFL, I would eliminate the character clause. OJ Simpson is still in the HOF, because they only consider what he did on the field. That is all that is included in the process. In fact, in 2019, Simpson was included on the NFL's 100th anniversary list of its 100 greatest players. Think about that. Would baseball include Bonds on that list today? I have no idea - which tells you all you need to know about about how convoluted baseball's (and the BB HOF's) policies are (or aren't, since they don't really exist at all!) about how to deal with this sort of thing.


So, that's one Yay on the serial rapist.

All of these suggestions assumes the Hall of Fame thinks it's good for the place to have the PED guys in. I don't think that's a sound assumption.
   53. BDC Posted: December 17, 2021 at 12:00 PM (#6057746)
I agree about off-field character, Balboni. I vote for Curt Schilling on my mock ballots because he seemed a good competitor (as well as a great pitcher) on the field. If guys already in the Hall are found to have some turpitude in their record unrelated to baseball, that's life. The HOF is about the game and should celebrate careers in the game.

EDIT: By typing slow I seem to have cheered the serial rapist. Oh well … in the event that some great player does something utterly awful in the five years between retirement and ballot, I reserve the right to reconsider …
   54. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 12:09 PM (#6057748)
I think baseball should be more stringent in this first phase.


This is even more of an issue with the committees. Baines is not in the HOF if he's not on an Era ballot, and he has no business being on an Era ballot.
   55. SoSH U at work Posted: December 17, 2021 at 12:25 PM (#6057751)
This is even more of an issue with the committees. Baines is not in the HOF if he's not on an Era ballot, and he has no business being on an Era ballot.


The problem there was there shouldn't have been an era, at least not at that point in time, rather than Baines not belonging on that particular ballot.
   56. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 17, 2021 at 03:52 PM (#6057784)
3) Like the NFL, I would eliminate the character clause. OJ Simpson is still in the HOF, because they only consider what he did on the field. That is all that is included in the process. In fact, in 2019, Simpson was included on the NFL's 100th anniversary list of its 100 greatest players. Think about that. Would baseball include Bonds on that list today? I have no idea - which tells you all you need to know about about how convoluted baseball's (and the BB HOF's) policies are (or aren't, since they don't really exist at all!) about how to deal with this sort of thing.


So, that's one Yay on the serial rapist.

All of these suggestions assumes the Hall of Fame thinks it's good for the place to have the PED guys in. I don't think that's a sound assumption.


If the BB HOF and/or MLB want to solve this problem in the opposite direction, that's fine, too. The other way to handle this is to eliminate the character clause from the process used by the BBWAA, and instead require the nominating committee to consider the players' character on and off the field. If the BBHOF's position is that they don't want really bad people in the HOF; or they want a zero-tolerance policy as best they can on PEDs; or people who says terrible things (Schilling) or allegedly do terrible things (Vizquel), then that is their right. At least it would be consistent and predictable.

But right now, we're getting the worst of all worlds: the BBHOF is basically telling ~400 people to make a decision, because the BBHOF and MLB don't want to make a decision. Football never has this problem, because they have made it clear that it is about performance on the field, period, end of sentence. I would like the BBHOF to provide clear definition for the voters.
   57. SoSH U at work Posted: December 17, 2021 at 04:08 PM (#6057785)
That doesn't answer my hypothetical. We don't have such a screening committee. There is a character clause.

So what would you do?

   58. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 17, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6057790)
So, that's one Yay on the serial rapist.


There's a big difference between deciding not to induct a Hall of Fame candidate who is a violent criminal, and kicking someone out of your Hall of Fame for being a violent criminal. I suspect that if the Ron and Nicole unpleasantness had happened before O.J. had been voted into Canton, he never would have gotten in.

.
   59. SoSH U at work Posted: December 17, 2021 at 05:00 PM (#6057792)
There's a big difference between deciding not to induct a Hall of Fame candidate who is a violent criminal, and kicking someone out of your Hall of Fame for being a violent criminal.


I agree completely. I wouldn't boot Juice out, but I wouldn't choose to bestow new honors on him either.

I'm just trying to see how many of the posters who say it should be entirely about what happens on the field are truly absolute in that regard. Is it an ironclad principle, or are there lines that could be drawn?
   60. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 05:33 PM (#6057797)
The problem there was there shouldn't have been an era, at least not at that point in time, rather than Baines not belonging on that particular ballot.


No, the problem is he should have been screened out/off any ballot, period. The problem is not with the structure of the committees, it's a problem with ballot creation/screening.
   61. reech Posted: December 17, 2021 at 05:37 PM (#6057799)
take Shilling. Right now I suppose I could listen to him make a half hour speech about Woke Culture and journalists. I would definite cringe but I could stand there and listen without getting irate.

But what is he was to go full on Nazi? Start saying that bisexuals should be sterilized or Muslims should be deported. What then?


I suspect that Schilling, with his known reverence for baseball, would keep his speech on point.

   62. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 17, 2021 at 05:58 PM (#6057806)
That doesn't answer my hypothetical. We don't have such a screening committee. There is a character clause.

So what would you do?


Sorry - I'm not trying to dodge a question. Personally, if I were a voter, I would not penalize candidates for PED use, for a few reasons:
1) It is hard to say definitively who did and didn't use (we obviously not some who did use, but beyond that?)
2) It is hard to say definitively how much PED use impacted final statistics (including speed of recovery from injuries, longevity, etc.)
3) On the subject of PEDs, I do generally feel that players who get suspended are being penalized already for their transgression. If ARod hadn't used PEDs, his counting statistics would have been impacted to some unknown extent...but all the games he missed clearly impacted his counting stats, which takes some of the impact of using PEDs out of his counting stats.

As for off-the-field character issues, I don't think Vizquel is a HOFer, anyway, so I would never vote for him. Schilling is clearly a HOF pitcher, and although I have a real problem with the comments in question, his baseball performance is clearly a HOF performance, and I would vote for him. My ballot:

Bonds
Clemens
Helton
Kent
Ortiz
Ramirez
Rodriguez
Rolen
Schilling
Sheffield

My attitude? Take away, let's say, 200 home runs from Bonds, or 100 wins from Clemens. Take away 250 HRs from ARod, or a bunch of stats from Manny...these are still Hall of Famers. These are the greatest players of my adult lifetime. The Bonds who played for Pittsburgh and the early years with the Giants? That's an easy Hall of Famer! The Clemens of the Red Sox? That's an obvious Hall of Famer! The Mariners version of ARod? C'mon, guys, that's one of the greatest players in the history of the sport! There's punitive (we are going to make you wait to get into the Hall!) and there is petulant (Barry Bonds has not been contrite!). Are these guys Hall of Famers? Yes! Obviously! Let's just get this done, and move on. Bud Selig and Tony LaRussa paid zero penalty for managing these players...but we're not even going to say that, after they wait 10 years to get voted in, we're not going to acknowledge the obvious: that Barry Bonds or Rogers Clemens or Alex Rodriguez aren't three of the, say, 200 best players ever? C'mon.


   63. SoSH U at work Posted: December 17, 2021 at 06:14 PM (#6057811)
No, the problem is he should have been screened out/off any ballot, period. The problem is not with the structure of the committees, it's a problem with ballot creation/screening.


It really wasn't. Hal Baines spent more time on the BBWAA ballot than any other candidate of the players on his VC ballot, other than his fellow inductee Lee Smith. There was no need to create that specific era for another election, there just weren't any legitimate candidates (other than McGwire, who didn't make it).

I suspect that Schilling, with his known reverence for baseball, would keep his speech on point.


I dislike Schilling as much as the next guy, but I think so too.
   64. SoSH U at work Posted: December 17, 2021 at 06:17 PM (#6057812)
Sorry - I'm not trying to dodge a question. Personally, if I were a voter, I would not penalize candidates for PED use, for a few reasons:


You're succeeding nonetheless. I'm not asking about PED use.

I offered a hypothetical guy to see how if there are any limits to the only consider stuff on the field position. A clearly qualified candidate is accused, charged and pleads guilty to multiple sexual assaults between his last game and his appearance on the ballot. Would you vote for that guy?
   65. BDC Posted: December 17, 2021 at 07:46 PM (#6057820)
I did duck the question, so … I think I would try to elaborate the circumstances. If the guy used his baseball career to set up his assaults – brought kids into the clubhouse to molest them, let's say, or coerced a network of team employees to find him women he could beat up, something in that realm, then that merits invoking the character clause.

If it were the guy's entirely private life … Aroldis Chapman might be relevant there. I guess he's not headed for a HOF career, but his peak is as good as some HOF relievers and he seems to have had some real issues in private life. He was suspended from MLB for them and then welcomed back, so parallel with some PEDs guys. If he'd been as good a pitcher as Mariano Rivera, why not the HOF? He didn't bring his behavior to the workplace.

If a guy just completely flipped his wig and went from innocuous ballplayer to hideous evil within five years, I would have to think there was something wrong with his biochemistry and not hold it against his character.

I am probably being too casuist about the whole thing. If that's even the right term.


   66. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 17, 2021 at 10:44 PM (#6057826)
I'm dodging SoSH's question, but I think another reason to not penalize PED users under the character clause is that using steroids doesn't, IMHO, indicate a lack of character. It's a baseball game guys, none of this actually matters. Cheating to win a game just doesn't matter much, and represents someone trying to get an edge in an endeavor where the whole point is to find an edge so you can win the game. Yeah, sure, it's an edge that's against the rules, but it's just taking the spirit of the game-doing what it takes to win-and turning it up one notch. Spit balls, and ghost tags on the DP, stealing signs, and all the rest of it, are also attempts to find one more (extra-legal) edge (ghost tag maybe a bit different), and they don't reflect a poor character either. They're just different in kind than what Vizquel was up to.
   67. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 17, 2021 at 11:22 PM (#6057828)
Like the NFL, I would eliminate the character clause. OJ Simpson is still in the HOF,
There's a difference between taking someone out and not putting him in. I think even the NFL would've balked if he came up for consideration after the unfortunate meetup between his knife and his ex-wife.

EDIT: I see that Tom made the same point.
   68. Howie Menckel Posted: December 17, 2021 at 11:31 PM (#6057829)
I suspect that Schilling, with his known reverence for baseball, would keep his speech on point.

I'm not quite as confident, but I truly respect a comment - and an agreeing comment - in this vein.

maybe true - and I do appreciate a break from "100 pct vs 0 pct" everything.

my old mantra - "People are complicated."

and kudos for other comments above that I don't have time for at the moment for a substantive contribution, but I also respect how complicated this all is. it's okay if we don't figure it all out at once. dialogue strikes me as good.
   69. reech Posted: December 18, 2021 at 12:57 AM (#6057833)
Back a few years ago, when Bill Conlin got busted for being a pedo, wasn't there some sorta outrage that the "arbiters of morality" bbwaa didn't toss him out? And he still has his Spink award...right?
   70. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 02:37 AM (#6057835)
There's a big difference between deciding not to induct a Hall of Fame candidate who is a violent criminal, and kicking someone out of your Hall of Fame for being a violent criminal.

Counterpoint: Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, who was quickly ushered in on his first year of eligibility.
   71. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 18, 2021 at 08:41 AM (#6057839)
64. SoSH U at work Posted: December 17, 2021 at 06:17 PM (#6057812)
Sorry - I'm not trying to dodge a question. Personally, if I were a voter, I would not penalize candidates for PED use, for a few reasons:


You're succeeding nonetheless. I'm not asking about PED use.

I offered a hypothetical guy to see how if there are any limits to the only consider stuff on the field position. A clearly qualified candidate is accused, charged and pleads guilty to multiple sexual assaults between his last game and his appearance on the ballot. Would you vote for that guy?


1) Honest answer? Under the current system, where voters are not explicitly told to not consider character, and you are basically describing about the worst kind of behavior possible? Then I couldn't do anything that rewards that person in the immediate aftermath of such a thing - including voting for them for the BBHOF.

2) However, I would note that you have successfully described a truly worst-case scenario, one that has never happened in baseball. In fact, what you've described is actually even worse than if the OJ Simpson events had transpired immediately after his playing career (rather than after he was inducted). I mean, Simpson claims to this day he didn't do it, and he was found not guilty in a criminal court of law. Your scenario, as I understand it, basically says: Imagine the OJ situation, except the retired player confessed to the heinous crime, and was found guilty in a criminal court of law. (I understand Simpson was found guilty in a civil court.) So what you are really saying is, "What if something more extreme than OJ happened, would you vote for him then?". That is an extraordinary standard - one that (I don't believe) has ever happened in any major sport. Is the OJ case the most extreme example in the history of American sports? I think so - and you are asking about a scenario which is clearly worse than that.

3) Actually, the best example we have is probably Pete Rose. He was retired. He was going to get 100%, or almost 100%. We all know he wanted that recognition very much. And then he did pretty much the one thing you 100% can't do - he bet on baseball games, while a part of those games. If the BBWAA had been allowed to "figure it out", as they have asked to do with all these PED players, and with Schilling, and Vizquel, and everybody else, I presume they would not have voted Rose in, right? They were not given the chance to make that decision - it was screened out before it got to them. In my view, with all of these current candidates, if the sport did not screen them out like they did with Rose, it communicates that these players did not cross a line that disqualifies them based on their character or behavior. If a retired player did the OJ crimes, admitted it, and was sentenced, then I believe MLB and the BBHOF would both quickly "screen" that player off the ballot. I wouldn't vote for such a player, but the only potential candidate to ever approach that line was Rose - and he was screened off of the ballot.
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: December 18, 2021 at 08:53 AM (#6057840)
Thanks.

So what you are really saying is, "What if something more extreme than OJ happened, would you vote for him then?". That is an extraordinary standard


Obviously, but I'm just curious where people stand on the matter, whether it's an ironclad, inviolate principle or if a behavior could prevent them for voting someone.

I voted for the pre-testing PED guys and Schilling on my mock ballot. I'd need more time on Manny and Arod (I certainly wouldn't vote for any of them until the pre-testing guys were in). I would have no problem choosing not to honor a monster, even if it was after his playing days, and would feel that way even if MLB adopted a similar 100 Tolerance Policy the way the NFL has.
   73. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 18, 2021 at 10:41 AM (#6057846)
Japan is really strict about their character clause. Kazuhiro Kiyohara was one of the biggest stars of the 1990s. A 17x all-star, and one of the game's greatest power hitters. After he retired he was arrested for drug possession (0.1g of an amphetamine), and given a suspended prison sentence. But due to the arrest the Japanese hall of fame took him off the ballot.
   74. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 11:20 AM (#6057848)

3) Actually, the best example we have is probably Pete Rose. He was retired.


The best example of what? This is actually a way off base argument if I understand you.

The issue which I think we are debating is can someone do something so over the pale that it crosses a line and DQs him from the HoF?

Clearly, Pete Rose gambling did not. WHy? Because MLB is clearly in bed with gambling. Gambling, per se, obviously does not a cross a line for the powers that be. Maybe for you it does, but I doubt for most baseball fans. Gambling on baseball is obviously OK with MLB, so obviously Gambling on baseball PER SE is not beyond the pale.

Well what about managers betting on baseball? What about managers betting on their own team? I mean its wrong its illegal but if gambling on baseball per se is not over the line then its hard to see how betting on your team is over the line. Betting on your team to lose: seems over the line to me. I mean that totally makes the game a sham.

So Pete Rose gambling is not a good example that I can see. Gambling is clearly not over the line.
   75. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 11:32 AM (#6057850)

I suspect that Schilling, with his known reverence for baseball, would keep his speech on point.


You didnt answer the question.

How do you feel about people like John Rockar for the HoF? or Ben CHapman?

And "no," saying that Ben Chapman was not a good enuf hitter for the HoF is non responsive.
   76. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 11:45 AM (#6057853)
However, I would note that you have successfully described a truly worst-case scenario, one that has never happened in baseball.


I'm probably not understanding completely your point here, so I apologize.

If by "worst case" we are referring to stuff that should/might DQ you from HoF consideration, then doesnt that stuff happen just about every week?

An Oakland Raider guy drove 115 mph totally drunk and killed someone just a few weeks ago. Lawrence Taylor was picked up for a Sex Offender registration violation just yesterday. There are DMV cases just about every week in professional sports. There's Aroldis Chapman and probably ten hundred MLBers like that.

What about Cedeno? He was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter of his mistress. Apparently they were drunk Years later he was convicted of battery and in a separate incident assault, of his then girlfriend. Julio Machado killed someone didnt he?

Marichal could have possibly killed Roseboro. Campaneris could have really hurt Legrow. That's just stuff we know was intentional. Hell LaRussa could have certainly killed someone. So could a lot of drunk ball players.

There are overt racists like Rockar and probably Cap Anson and almost certainly Philip Wrigley. There are lots of cases of players pushing our sensibilities, like Ben Chapman who's actions are certainly questionable. Despite claiming he was simply bench jokeying Jackie he would also openly give the Nazi salute to jewish fans in New York. I doubt he would pass muster today (throw in his wife claiming DV)

What about JOe Jackson? Somehow he doesnt cross a line for you?

What about Dave Kingman? or ALbert Belle? Or Chad Curtis? Do any of them cross that line?

Again maybe we are talking about different things, so I apologize if Im misunderstanding.
   77. JJ1986 Posted: December 18, 2021 at 12:00 PM (#6057854)
It's Rocker.
   78. LargeBill Posted: December 18, 2021 at 12:19 PM (#6057855)
75. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 11:32 AM (#6057850)


I suspect that Schilling, with his known reverence for baseball, would keep his speech on point.



You didnt answer the question.

How do you feel about people like John Rockar for the HoF? or Ben CHapman?

And "no," saying that Ben Chapman was not a good enuf hitter for the HoF is non responsive.


Chapman's treatment of Jackson, as shown in the movies and from contemporaneous records was awful. However, if Chapman's accomplishments were on par with Ruth's, I'd vote for him. Ruth is, of course, an extreme example. How far would he have to be below the best player ever for his his character flaws to cost him votes is a subjective question. We do know the two times he was considered for the HOF, he received less than 1% of the vote. I'm not here to defend Chapman, but will note that he seems far worse in comparison to what we know of modern baseball. Bench jockeying in the old days was ugly even before the game was integrated. Even Ruth was subject to ugly racist heckling from opponents based on the misconception that Ruth was mixed race. We're comparing Chapman's extremely ugly bench jockeying to today where players mostly exchange pleasantries. I can't remember any recent instance of a manager heckling an opposing player at bat, it's just not done anymore. And even Chapman changed, in interviews shortly before he died, he expressed regrets and said he was proud he raised his son to be different than him. Chapman was awful in his heckling of Jackie and that is correctly the main thing he is remembered for, but none of us are really as good as our best day nor as bad as our worst.
   79. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 12:27 PM (#6057857)
Yeah, Chapman is really close to that line. I dont deny that if one draws a line there are going to be people who are close to it, both closely over and close under. I dont think Schilling is over for instance, but he's getting close.

BUt what about Rocker? is he over?
   80. SoSH U at work Posted: December 18, 2021 at 12:33 PM (#6057859)
Chapman's treatment of Jackson, as shown in the movies and from contemporaneous records was awful.


One of my favorites baseball movies ever - 42 Men Out.
   81. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 18, 2021 at 01:13 PM (#6057871)
The best example of what? This is actually a way off base argument if I understand you.

The issue which I think we are debating is can someone do something so over the pale that it crosses a line and DQs him from the HoF?

Clearly, Pete Rose gambling did not. WHy? Because MLB is clearly in bed with gambling. Gambling, per se, obviously does not a cross a line for the powers that be. Maybe for you it does, but I doubt for most baseball fans. Gambling on baseball is obviously OK with MLB, so obviously Gambling on baseball PER SE is not beyond the pale.

Well what about managers betting on baseball? What about managers betting on their own team? I mean its wrong its illegal but if gambling on baseball per se is not over the line then its hard to see how betting on your team is over the line. Betting on your team to lose: seems over the line to me. I mean that totally makes the game a sham.

So Pete Rose gambling is not a good example that I can see. Gambling is clearly not over the line.


Gambling is not over the line: there are a ton of athletes who famously gamble (Michael Jordan, for example), and the culture of gambling is all over sports, especially football (this post is brought to you by Draft Kings!).

But that is very different from gambling on your sport while you are a participant (player or manager) in it! You are completely cooked if you are caught gambling on games in your sport, and everybody in the sport knows this. That is what got Rose banned from MLB and the HOF.

This is what I mean by Rose as possibly the closest example in baseball of what might happen if a candidate got in OJ-type trouble. Obviously, gambling on sports - even a game that you are managing - is nothing like committing a violent crime...but within college and professional sports, it is treated as beyond the pale. And, like the Black Sox, MLB and the HOF found their actions so extreme that they were banned from even being considered for the HOF.

I think that if a HOF candidate did something like OJ did, or was found to have bet on their own games while active, MLB and the HOF would screen that candidate off the HOF ballot.

That's what should happen, IMO. Otherwise, you get what we've had in HOF voting for the last 10+ years: a PR disaster for the sport from a process (HOF voting) that should be an easy-to-achieve celebration of the sport and its history.

Can we all agree that if there were no PED issues, Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, ARod, Manny, and others would cruise into the HOF, probably as first ballot? Schilling is a different situation, but he would pretty clearly be in the HOF by now if he been anonymous following his playing career, right? So why aren't all of these players - clearly some of the greatest players in history - going to get in the HOF? Because we have vague rules for the voters about character, and we ask ~400 loosely-connected people to decide what that means. Then we tell those 400 people not to get to a simply majority decision...they are asked to reach a supermajority consensus. A clear majority of the voters think Bonds and Clemens are Hall of Famers, at this point...but because you need 75% to agree, baseball ends up with this ridiculous, messy, public, and decade-long situation.
   82. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 02:50 PM (#6057885)
Both Paul HOrnung and ALex Karras are in the NFL hall of fame. Both were suspended for betting on NFL Games.

So that analogy doesnt work at least in the NFL.

SO maybe baseball is different? But if so its hard to imagine how something can be so "over the line" that's OK for one sport and not OK for another. Doesnt over the line, or beyond the pale or whatever concept it is, imply that it is universally condemmed?
   83. bookbook Posted: December 18, 2021 at 02:50 PM (#6057886)
The games were played, they counted. Baseball is a sport that is always celebrating the wink and a nod notion that if you aren’t stopped from whatever shenanigans you’re doing in real time, more power to you.

I’d rather fill my HOF with A-Rod types and kick out all the violent, abusive POSes who are in there now.
   84. BDC Posted: December 18, 2021 at 03:50 PM (#6057897)
Well what about managers betting on baseball? What about managers betting on their own team? I mean its wrong its illegal but if gambling on baseball per se is not over the line then its hard to see how betting on your team is over the line. Betting on your team to lose: seems over the line to me. I mean that totally makes the game a sham

I often post some version of the following, but I think it's important enough to keep doing so.

Betting on your own team entails permanent ineligibility because the implication is that you've been involved in fixing that game. The key example is 25 Sept 1919 where, Dutch Leonard's story went, two players from each side (at least) knew about the fix and all four (obviously) bet on the Tigers to win, which they did.

That's why it's the ultimate offense: you're either throwing the game, or you've conspired with the throwers and you know you will win.
The rule doesn't allow for further parsing of the situation because the mere appearance is enough to poison the game.

I imagine that Rose bet on his own team only to win and "cleanly" (in that he had a bet on the game and all the more reason to try to win it). Mainly because there has never been any indication that any of his opponents were stupid enough to fix a game that Rose was managing. But it doesn't matter. Maybe it should matter; maybe the rule should be revised; but the rule is there for an overwhelming reason (in addition to the other ancillary reasons that Bill James and others have noted).
   85. SoSH U at work Posted: December 18, 2021 at 04:25 PM (#6057899)
Well what about managers betting on baseball? What about managers betting on their own team? I mean its wrong its illegal but if gambling on baseball per se is not over the line then its hard to see how betting on your team is over the line. Betting on your team to lose: seems over the line to me. I mean that totally makes the game a sham.


Besides what Bob said, I think that betting on your team to win is different from the perspective of a player and a manager. It's much worse for the latter.

If Pete Rose has $1,000 on tonight's game, and nothing on tomorrow's, then he may manage in a way that enhances his chances of winning tonight at the expense of tomorrow's game. Or vice versa. He's got 5k riding on tomorrow's game and tonight's goes into extras. Does he hold back his best reliever because he needs him at full rest for the bigger game tomorrow?

This isn't as much of an issue for a player because they're just expected to give their best every night. But even there, you could see how that could be compromised.
   86. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 05:16 PM (#6057907)

If Pete Rose has $1,000 on tonight's game, and nothing on tomorrow's, then he may manage in a way that enhances his chances of winning tonight at the expense of tomorrow's game. Or vice versa


Even this is not so clear cut as you make it. For one thing, every manager since time immemorial is probably guilty of this. Billy Martin was notorious for burning out pitchers. So was Hank Bauer. My dad saw Joe Page pitching in some western PA industrial league in the early 50s. Said he had absolutely nothing left. This is just a couple years removed from his hey day. You cant prove it for certain but Casey had him warming up in probably over half the games those years 1947-49.

If that's your standard then you can probably reject most of the managers in the HoF. Casey, LaRussa, Earl Weaver. They all played to win for today and figure out tomorrow when it comes.

Right? That's your "bright line" test? That some manager played for today instead of the long haul.

LOL. No.
   87. SoSH U at work Posted: December 18, 2021 at 05:22 PM (#6057910)
Right? That's your "bright line" test? That some manager played for today instead of the long haul.


If a manager goes against what he knows is the proper decision for the ballclub, yes that's a problem. I don't see how it isn't.

Yes, sometimes managers make mistakes in this regard, but we can assume they're simply making an honest mistake because htey thought it was in the club's best interest. Make too many of them, and they should go.

But choosing the wrong thing over the right one because it's in the manager's best interest, not the team's, is very much a bright line thing.

It's not much different than kicking away a grounder that loses the game and throwing one in the stands intentionally. One is vastly different than the other, even if they both result in just one loss.

   88. LargeBill Posted: December 18, 2021 at 07:13 PM (#6057924)
Beyond the in game decisions a manager might make with money on the game, is the problem that bookies likely know who placed the bets. If I'm mobbed up and know Rose is betting on the Reds on Monday and not on Tuesday, you can bet I would make use of that information. Also, there is always the worry of a bookie exerting influence over a manager with a betting problem. "Hey, Pete you're into us for five large, I might have a way we can resolve that if you gets my meaning..."
   89. bachslunch Posted: December 18, 2021 at 08:35 PM (#6057937)
@82: True enough about Hornung and Karras, both of whom were suspended for a season for betting on NFL games during their playing days. Others such as Joe Schmidt and likely Bobby Layne and Kenny Stabler did so as well and are in the PFHoF. Only Schmidt and Layne were inducted quickly, though. Hornung made it in just before he fell into the Seniors pool, and both Karras and Stabler waited forever in the Seniors pool. Though to be fair, all but Schmidt and Layne were various degrees of borderline. Still, their gambling issues didn't keep them out, and that Hall in theory prohibits applying the character clause when considering a candidate. Still, there are seemingly some exceptions in really extreme cases -- Jim Tyrer would have been elected long ago if he hadn't died in a murder/suicide with his wife, and serial rapist Darren Sharper's HoF case has gotten no traction at all despite being on the 2000s All-Decade Team and leading that decade in interceptions.

Note also that there are a couple former NFL owners in the PFHoF with strong gambling ties, such as Art Rooney and Tim Mara. The latter was in fact a (legal) bookmaker.
   90. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 09:21 PM (#6057942)

It's not much different than kicking away a grounder that loses the game and throwing one in the stands intentionally. One is vastly different than the other, even if they both result in just one loss.


what a weird analogy what does any of that have to do with sacrificing long term gain for short term gain? that is what we were talking about yes?

*****

SO you are of the opinion that if the Cubs had brought up CHris Bryant earlier in his rookie season that they would be committing some horrible outrage against baseball akin to betting on baseball?

Same for if the Nationals had pitched Strasburg in 2019 playoffs they would have done something just horrendous?

Or CUrt Schilling and the bloody sock?

So any time a manager sends out a player to win a game and can reasonably foresee that puts his long term future in jeopardy then he's committing some horrible immoral act that we should all find repugnant?

That's your position?
   91. Howie Menckel Posted: December 18, 2021 at 09:55 PM (#6057945)
Lawrence Taylor was picked up for a Sex Offender registration violation just yesterday.

not to defend LT*, but the offense, to be clear, was failing to give timely notification of a change of address - not pulling up in a van on a schoolground and offering candy to little kids.

also, iirc, he liked/likes to hire hookers who are young - but not "jailbait" young.
I think he got something other than what he ordered, hence the extra charges.

ok, that's still not making him look like a model citizen - which he surely is not.

* - once played/walked 18 holes of golf with LT. long hitter, claimed to have played a certain fellow UNC alum (who starred in another sport and who is known to enjoy a wager or two) the day before for $10,000 a hole and that he came out ahead.
other good golf-related banter, but nothing else.
   92. SoSH U at work Posted: December 18, 2021 at 10:02 PM (#6057947)
So any time a manager sends out a player to win a game and can reasonably foresee that puts his long term future in jeopardy then he's committing some horrible immoral act that we should all find repugnant?


What a ridiculous conclusion to draw.

There is always a balance between short and long term goals. It's part of the job. You hire a manager with the expectation that he'll make each choice based on what's in the best interests of the team. And, I believe they do (they will, from time to time, choose wrong. But we can conclude they're doing it in what they think are the team's best interests).

The manager who chooses today over tomorrow, or tomorrow over today, based on his own interests, is most definitely a problem. I don't know you could possibly think otherwise.

   93. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 10:52 PM (#6057949)
You said Pete Rose gambling was bad because it put him in a position to win today at the expense of tomorrow, correct?

If Pete Rose has $1,000 on tonight's game, and nothing on tomorrow's, then he may manage in a way that enhances his chances of winning tonight at the expense of tomorrow's game.


And that's the entire basis of your reasoning that what Pete Rose did is some horrible crime, beyond the pale, that its the kind of thing that should get someone a lifetime ban.

Right? That's your reasoning. What am I missing?
   94. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 10:59 PM (#6057950)

not to defend LT*, but the offense, to be clear, was failing to give timely notification of a change of address - not pulling up in a van on a schoolground and offering candy to little kids.



You're totally correct to point this out and I dont think it was a good example. I was looking for something that happened recently and that's what I remember reading from the Facebook news or whatever crap I happen to being using for news these days.

So yeah. He has some icky past transgressions and he needs to get his act together with the authorities. Not sure if his current issue is a felony or not.

Gawd. I was just reading about Aaron Hernandez on wikipedia and some other sites. That whole story is just so weird and twisted and there were so many red flags. And so much history, early childhood abuse both sexual and violent. I dont really feel sympathy and he was almost certainly guilty of that and some other crimes, but there was a lot going on inside of him. And we still dont know the motive. Depressing.
   95. SoSH U at work Posted: December 18, 2021 at 11:11 PM (#6057952)
And that's the entire basis of your reasoning that what Pete Rose did is some horrible crime, beyond the pale, that its the kind of thing that should get someone a lifetime ban.


Where do you get this ####? I said it's a reason why it's worse for a manager to bet on his team than it for a player. It's right there.

And it's not just today's game vs. tomorrow's. Do you think a manager should disregard the risk to a pitcher's health to win tonight's game? Because that's what can happen if the skipper has a big bet on tonight's game. Is that a problem for you, or because that one time a manager made a poor decision and left a starter in too long than it's no big deal?

   96. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 11:23 PM (#6057954)
are you not insisting that jeopardizing a future game is a baseball crime thats beyond the pale? That its something so bad it should preclude HoF consideration. That's what we were debating.

Did you somehow think you had wandered into a discussion about baseball faux pas or something?
   97. SoSH U at work Posted: December 18, 2021 at 11:54 PM (#6057956)
are you not insisting that jeopardizing a future game is a baseball crime thats beyond the pale? That its something so bad it should preclude HoF consideration. That's what we were debating.


We were discussing the issues with betting on your own team and why it's not insignificant. Bob pointed out that it can signify collusion. LargeBill pointed out that it can signal to bookies that you have money on the game, which opens you to all sorts of problems. And I noted that having money on one game can cause you to make decisions that you know are not in the best interests of your team (a problem that doesn't really exist for players, who don't really have much in the way of a decision-making capacity).

But let me turn this around. Are you seriously suggesting that it's completely harmless for a manager to put his financial interests over the best interests of the team he's being paid to manage, and making decisions he otherwise wouldn't if not for his stake in the outcome of an individual game?

Say your favorite squad was in a tight game tonight, but the manager failed to use his ace reliever (who he otherwise would have) in the late innings because he might need him tomorrow when he's got big bucks on the outcome, you would have no problem with that?

   98. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 11:55 PM (#6057957)
Im sorry did I forget to answer your question. here goes:

Do you think a manager should disregard the risk to a pitcher's health to win tonight's game? Because that's what can happen if the skipper has a big bet on tonight's game. Is that a problem for you...


I mean its probably not that big a problem for me. Like lets say the Nationals had let Strasburg pitch in the playoffs in 2019 or whenever it was. They were keeping him out because he had TJS surgery the year before and he was on a strict inn. count so he couldnt be used for the playoffs. So say they let him pitch and he got hurt.

No I wouldnt have a problem with it. Cause the playoffs are kind of what the whole pt is and championships have meaning. Or they have some sort of absolute meaning in the sense that winning a batting title, or having a fun season or having an MVP cant really make up for. So you're supposed to go for them.

Plus everyone knows that pitchers arms can explode any day anyhow. THat sort of comes with the territory. Plus thats true of sports in general theres always risk of injury. So "no."

But gettign to the point of losing future games, if say there was a time when the PIT were about to clinch a wild card, and Clint Hurdle was supposed to use one of his lesser starters so that he could save Morton or whomever to start the wild card game...I dont think this exact scenario happened, but there's was an issue like this. ANd lets say he uses Morton in game 160 so he's not available for the wild card game.

Just totally stoopid. So yeah I'd be pissed. But not to the extent like I couldnt walk past his plaque at Cooperstown without barfing. LIke that's the kind of beyond the pale, psycho behavior that you dont want to have to explain to your kid or grand kid as you take him on stroll through COoperstown.

Like I wouldnt want to have to explain Chad Curtis or Albert Belle or Cedeno to a family member. Its just a downer and the place should be joyous. BUt to explain how Clint Hurdle made a bad decision. Yeah that's fine. I have no problem recounting something like that.

See? That's how we debate things. You first acknowledge what the other person is asking. And then assuming its reasonable you try to answer his hypothetical or his query without geting all bent out of shape about it. And then hopefully your answer will be consistent with your other points of view on related issues. So you can put together a theory or a position that is consistent in its logic. Right?
   99. Space Force fan Posted: December 18, 2021 at 11:58 PM (#6057958)
I think that we need to capture this discussion and put it in a museum, just like dinosaur bones. Imagine, a person actually arguing that an active player/manager betting on baseball is no big thing.

Two words are appropriate here: "you're wrong"

SoSH provide the reasoning:

1. Bets could provide inside knowledge that allows other gamblers to make money against the general betting population
2. It places the better in a position where they can be pressured by the people they gamblers they owe money to
3. The bet causes them to do something "wrong" in order to try to win the bet.
   100. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 19, 2021 at 12:00 AM (#6057959)

We were discussing the issues with betting on your own team and why it's not insignificant.


No you must have the wrong argument. I was discussing crimes against baseball that are so beyond the pale that it disqualifies someone from the HoF.

Crimes that a majority or a supermajority, say 65% or 70% of society can agree: "yeah that's really bad." SOciety in this case would probably mean baseball fans or some significant segment of serious baseball watchers. Such that there's enuf consensus that you can draw a bright line here and say: "this guy definitely crossed that line. he cant be in Hof."
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