Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

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

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2
   101. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 19, 2021 at 12:05 AM (#6057960)
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?


This is a totally different question.

First you were talking about having money on a game that would cause you to play to win, and maybe lose a game(s) in the long term. Thats one thing.

Next you are saying that someone is losing a game to make money. That's totally different.

What Joe Jackson did, or probably did, was accept a large pile of cash knowing his team was trying to lose. That's a cardinal sin.

Pete Rose betting on his team to win, that's a not a deal breaker for me.

You arguments are so ridiculous you can't even admit to what you were arguing about and instead you have to change them in the middle of the debate.
   102. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 19, 2021 at 12:11 AM (#6057961)
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


This is a great point. Baseball is currently embracing getting its fan base to bet on games.

does this not make the entire baseball establishment guilty of putting itself into the position you describe? So are Manfred and the rest of these guys have committed a baseball crime that is beyond the pale? they should all be denied HoF consideration.
   103. reech Posted: December 19, 2021 at 12:15 AM (#6057962)
The ONE RULE in baseball that is stressed everyday is NO GAMBLING.
There is no gray area.
Rose broke the ONE RULE.
It's not like he was ignorant of the rule...or that the rules changed.
   104. LargeBill Posted: December 19, 2021 at 08:47 AM (#6057967)
103. reech Posted: December 19, 2021 at 12:15 AM (#6057962)
The ONE RULE in baseball that is stressed everyday is NO GAMBLING.
There is no gray area.
Rose broke the ONE RULE.
It's not like he was ignorant of the rule...or that the rules changed.


THIS!!!

As a non-Cincinnatian living in the Cincy area (punishment for marriage), I can't count the number of times I've struggled to explain to locals that what Rose did was wrong and disqualifying, and why that is the case. Probably every fan base has a blind spot regarding some player(s), but no place has as big a blind spot as Cincinnati has for their native son. When I moved here in the 80s, I was amazed how intimately connected he was to the regular folks. It seemed everyone I'd meet from the West side of town had a unseemly Pete story and all were told with a weird sort of pride in their tangential connection to the local star.
   105. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 19, 2021 at 09:08 AM (#6057969)
Probably every fan base has a blind spot regarding some player(s), but no place has as big a blind spot as Cincinnati has for their native son.

Bonds and San Francisco fans would be the runnerup, though it's hard to compare reactions to former players with HoF credentials (Rose), players who were outed while still productive (Bonds) and players who were outed in their declining and unproductive years (Palmeiro). A lot of the reaction is probably just related to "How much has this guy done for my team lately?"
   106. Mefisto Posted: December 19, 2021 at 09:40 AM (#6057970)
Bonds and San Francisco fans would be the runnerup


Unlikely, given say NY fans and Jeter's defense; Dodgers' fans and Steve Garvey; etc. Every franchise has its favorite player and the fans overlook the downside.
   107. JJ1986 Posted: December 19, 2021 at 09:47 AM (#6057971)
The Mets have John Franco and his not being particularly good.
   108. Mefisto Posted: December 19, 2021 at 10:56 AM (#6057978)
Heh.
   109. Space Force fan Posted: December 19, 2021 at 01:47 PM (#6058004)
This is a great point. Baseball is currently embracing getting its fan base to bet on games.

does this not make the entire baseball establishment guilty of putting itself into the position you describe? So are Manfred and the rest of these guys have committed a baseball crime that is beyond the pale? they should all be denied HoF consideration.


I would rather that sports leagues weren't so intertwined with the betting establishment, but a fan betting has none of the downsides that players/managers have.

Simple facts:

Betting is not bad (I'll grant you its unseemly for the leagues to promote gambling)
Participants betting is bad

This is no different than prize give-aways. People winning prizes is fine, but people associated with the people giving the prizes winning is not.
   110. SoSH U at work Posted: December 19, 2021 at 02:13 PM (#6058009)

This is a totally different question.

First you were talking about having money on a game that would cause you to play to win, and maybe lose a game(s) in the long term. Thats one thing.



No, it's not. It's been the same point the entire time, as I clarified in the next post. Of course managers have to balance today vs. tomorrow. That's noting new.

It's an issue for managers betting to win because it may make them make decisions that they otherwise wouldn't because they're being motivated by something other than what's in the best interest for the club.
   111. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 19, 2021 at 05:56 PM (#6058024)
It's an issue for managers betting to win because it may make them make decisions that they otherwise wouldn't because they're being motivated by something other than what's in the best interest for the club.

Motives are important. This is one of the fundamental principles of the criminal justice system in (at least) the US - for instance, you'll be sentenced differently if you kill someone intentionally than if you kill them by accident. So if two managers make the same poor decision, but one is doing it honestly and the other is intentionally harming his team for his own benefit, it is not unreasonable to treat those two circumstances very differently.
   112. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: December 19, 2021 at 08:20 PM (#6058029)
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


Not trying to make you feel old, but they shut him down way back in the 2012 playoffs.
   113. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 10:32 AM (#6058056)

It's an issue for managers betting to win because it may make them make decisions that they otherwise wouldn't because they're being motivated by something other than what's in the best interest for the club.


Whats the moral difference between these:

Players get a bonus if they win the WOrld Series.
Player gets a bonus if he wins the batting title.
Jordan bets $50 that he makes the next basket.
Rose bets $100 that his team wins todays game.
PIT trades McCutcheon for future prospects.


Do you believe these are different moral issues or the same? They are all on the same level of moral severity?
   114. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 10:33 AM (#6058057)

Not trying to make you feel old, but they shut him down way back in the 2012 playoffs.


I googled it quickly. I knew there was something wrong. 2012? are you sure?
   115. SoSH U at work Posted: December 20, 2021 at 11:00 AM (#6058061)
Do you believe these are different moral issues or the same? They are all on the same level of moral severity?


Moral?

I've outlined, as have others, why managers betting on their teams is a problem that baseball shouldn't allow, and how it differentiates from some other issues raised. If you don't agree with it, that's fine.
   116. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 20, 2021 at 03:30 PM (#6058111)
Back on the subject of a retired player who is a current HOF candidate, getting accused/convicted of a serious crime, and what impact that would have on voters:

Omar Vizquel, through 42 revealed ballots, has lost 14 votes already from last year. So there is some contemporary evidence that voters will near-universally disqualify a candidate seen as otherwise pretty HOF-worthy if their off-the-field behavior is egregious. (Has Vizquel been convicted or confessed, or are they still being adjudicated?)
   117. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 04:16 PM (#6058126)

I've outlined, as have others, why managers betting on their teams is a problem that baseball shouldn't allow, and how it differentiates from some other issues raised. If you don't agree with it, that's fine.


Do you have any opinion on the question I posed?
   118. LargeBill Posted: December 20, 2021 at 04:25 PM (#6058130)
116. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 20, 2021 at 03:30 PM (#6058111)
Back on the subject of a retired player who is a current HOF candidate, getting accused/convicted of a serious crime, and what impact that would have on voters:

Omar Vizquel, through 42 revealed ballots, has lost 14 votes already from last year. So there is some contemporary evidence that voters will near-universally disqualify a candidate seen as otherwise pretty HOF-worthy if their off-the-field behavior is egregious. (Has Vizquel been convicted or confessed, or are they still being adjudicated?)


There were a few different accusations, but I don't think any of them have made it into court. First there were accusations of spousal abuse. He denied her claims. I wasn't there, so I have no idea how close to the truth either side is. I have dealt with enough subordinates going through ugly divorces, that I know not to believe or disbelieve anything. Everyone lies. Divorce makes people crazy. The more serious accusations were in a lawsuit, earlier this year, alleging that he sexually mistreated/assaulted a minor league autistic batboy when he was manager. He got fired by the team, but I don't know what came of the lawsuit. That only came out a few months or so ago, so may still be pending. Either way his HOF candidacy is done. Enough voters have seen enough smoke.
   119. SoSH U at work Posted: December 20, 2021 at 04:36 PM (#6058135)
Do you have any opinion on the question I posed?


If you insist. The manager betting on his own team is vastly more problematic than the others; players betting on their teams is less so but should be discouraged; performance bonuses are all right, but better if tied to team outcomes; and there's nothing inherently wrong with trading a player for prospects.

   120. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 07:26 PM (#6058154)
Does it make any difference if there any games left in the season? Because earlier you were talking about someone trying to win todays game but messing up their chances later.

Lets say its the last day of the season. Better yet, lets say its the world series:

Johnny Bench gets $25k for winning the world series.
Sparky Anderson bets $25k that his team will win the world series.

You would see these two situations as vastly different from a moral stand pt? ENuf so that one would cause serious penalties, but not the other.
   121. LargeBill Posted: December 20, 2021 at 08:26 PM (#6058157)
120. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 07:26 PM (#6058154)
Does it make any difference if there any games left in the season? Because earlier you were talking about someone trying to win todays game but messing up their chances later.

Lets say its the last day of the season. Better yet, lets say its the world series:

Johnny Bench gets $25k for winning the world series.
Sparky Anderson bets $25k that his team will win the world series.

You would see these two situations as vastly different from a moral stand pt? ENuf so that one would cause serious penalties, but not the other.


No, of course, it doesn't matter if it is the last game of the season. That bet on the last game of the season is NOT his first bet. Just as with shoplifters who claim, when caught, that it's the first time they ever did it, that fictional manager would be lying. People lie.
   122. SoSH U at work Posted: December 20, 2021 at 08:30 PM (#6058159)
Does it make any difference if there any games left in the season? Because earlier you were talking about someone trying to win todays game but messing up their chances later.


I've tried to clarify this for you, but you're hung up on the argument you think I'm making instead of the one I am.

Obviously, managers are always balancing today against tomorrow. That's a part of the job. Sometimes they will choose wrong. But we can always assume they're making those decisions with the proper intentions - they think it's in the best interests of their team.

I'm talking about managers who would take actions they otherwise wouldn't in order to win today's game (or tomorrow's) at the expense of the interests of the team (either in the short term, a single contest, or many games over the longer term*). In that case, they're making a decision because it benefits them personally at the expense of what's best for the club. That's why I used the analogy of the game-losing error. The result may be the same, an L, but the guy who tossed the ball away on purpose would be committing a far greater sin against the game.


Johnny Bench gets $25k for winning the world series.
Sparky Anderson bets $25k that his team will win the world series.

You would see these two situations as vastly different from a moral stand pt? ENuf so that one would cause serious penalties, but not the other.


Sure, in that very specific instance, there's probably little threat to the integrity of the game. If MLB wants to carve out that niche exception, I'll stand aside.

* Here's an example. The skipper has big bucks on tonight's game, which goes into extras. Rather than turn it over to his fourth reliever in the 13th, which is what he would do any other time, he instead brings in his ace starter on three days rest.
   123. Space Force fan Posted: December 20, 2021 at 08:40 PM (#6058160)
You would see these two situations as vastly different from a moral stand pt? ENuf so that one would cause serious penalties, but not the other.


You seem to have forgotten the first rule of hole digging. When you've dug yourself into a hole, stop digging. The tightly contrived situations you are trying to come up with where it might be theoretically possible for a participant to bet on their game safely are not real life. As with most things, bright red lines are far easier to understand, abide by, and enforce than a patchwork of "case law" with minor exceptions.
   124. Ron J Posted: December 20, 2021 at 09:31 PM (#6058163)
#123 The rule on not betting period predates organized leagues. Here's the wording from 1857.

Section 30. No person engaged in a match, either as umpire, referee, or player, shall be either directly or indirectly interested in any bet upon the game. Neither umpire, referee nor player shall be changed during a match, unless with the consent of both parties, except for a violation of this law, and except as provided in section 27, and then the referee may dismiss any transgressor.

The hard line on gambling has a lot to do with the corruption in early organized cricket (it's a minor sub-plot in Bernard Cornwell's "Gallows Thief"). And the no betting period is probably simple pragmatism at the end of the day.

It's hard enough to prove somebody bet on a game never mind proving the direction and/or intent. And it's not like there's anything gained by allowing
   125. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 09:49 PM (#6058165)
No, of course, it doesn't matter if it is the last game of the season. That bet on the last game of the season is NOT his first bet. Just as with shoplifters who claim, when caught, that it's the first time they ever did it, that fictional manager would be lying. People lie.
That's not the lying that's the problem. This is:

I think we could all agree that Sparky Anderson betting $25k that his team will lose the World Series would be a serious problem. And… how do we know whether he bet $25k to win vs. $25k to lose? If he does it at a casino, there may be a paper trail — but for the vast majority of baseball history, the bet was being placed with a bookie. So all we would have is his word for which way he bet.
   126. Ron J Posted: December 20, 2021 at 10:58 PM (#6058171)
#125 Interesting to note that recent betting scandals have pretty much all started with legal bookies who spotted weird betting patterns.

And because these days we're talking pretty serious amounts of money some of the players have faced criminal charges.
   127. DanG Posted: December 21, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#6058207)
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).


The solution is not to remove the character clause (it’s too ingrained in the HOF culture), but to reassign responsibility for employing it. To transfer this responsibility from the voters to the people running the hall of fame: the HOF board of directors.

Every one of the 400+ voters has their own way of defining the “character clause” in BBWAA election rule #5: “integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.” The HOF has offered little guidance in how this rule should be interpreted and applied. The resulting chaos and cacophony diminishes the honor being bestowed. This is but one of the ways that the HOF has abdicated its duty to define the criteria that govern the people being honored, which has been a failing of the HOF since Day 1.

It has led to widespread confusion as to who is deserving to be honored and who isn’t. Many people think it’s ridiculous that inner circle hall of famers like Bonds and Clemens can’t get into the Hall. OTOH, given these players’ supposed moral failings, there are many people outraged at the idea that Bonds and Clemens should be admitted to the Hall. Again, it diminishes the honor (the very reason for the HOF’s existence), when the results of your elections can be interpreted in such a wide-ranging negative light. Thus, it is incumbent upon the HOF to take over of the role of determining the level of character appropriate to its members.

The HOF should inform the voters that every player’s character has been assessed during the screening process. Rule #5 should say something like this:

Voters shall make no judgments regarding players’ morality or behavior, and to rest assured that every player on the ballot has been determined to meet the standards of personal morality and comportment that the Hall adheres to with respect to its honorees. Therefore, voting shall be based upon the player’s record. Consideration shall also be given to playing ability during times a player was constrained from playing in MLB (e.g., military service, work stoppages, foreign play, etc).
Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
TedBerg
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogNationals burned by quirky 'fourth-out rule' as Pirates score despite lining into inning-ending double play
(59 - 9:57am, Jul 02)
Last: Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome

NewsblogYankees looking for OF help with Aaron Hicks, Joey Gallo struggling
(15 - 9:49am, Jul 02)
Last: Ron J

Newsblog2022 NBA Playoffs thread
(3735 - 9:38am, Jul 02)
Last: Gaelan

NewsblogIndependence Day Weekend OMNICHATTER, for July 1-4, 2022
(16 - 9:34am, Jul 02)
Last: Dillon Gee Escape Plan

NewsblogOutfielder Austin Hays becomes sixth player in Baltimore Orioles history to hit for cycle
(3 - 2:04am, Jul 02)
Last: FernandoPoplar

NewsblogWhy Juan Soto’s Reported Extension Offer Is Not As Outlandish As It Might Seem
(20 - 11:54pm, Jul 01)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogWhen do the Tigers and Royals have to admit that 'rebuilding' has turned into plain old losing?
(22 - 9:37pm, Jul 01)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogRanking the home uniforms of all 30 MLB teams
(24 - 9:29pm, Jul 01)
Last: Joey Joe Joe Junior Felix Jose Cruz Junior

Sox TherapyHey Now
(15 - 9:06pm, Jul 01)
Last: Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful

NewsblogBoston media explodes after Red Sox blow it without unvaccinated closer Houck
(91 - 7:53pm, Jul 01)
Last: Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant

NewsblogRob Manfred wants you to know: He doesn't hate baseball, he wants to save it
(46 - 7:35pm, Jul 01)
Last: Doug Jones threw harder than me

Sox TherapyNow That's A Road Trip
(46 - 7:15pm, Jul 01)
Last: Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for Thursday, June 30, 2022
(16 - 4:47pm, Jul 01)
Last: Textbook Editor

NewsblogFrustrated Mike Trout Spots His Own Pitcher Tipping Pitches While Standing in Center Field
(56 - 1:54pm, Jul 01)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network)

NewsblogSt. Pete mayor reopens talks on future of Rays stadium site
(7 - 11:02am, Jul 01)
Last: Lassus

Page rendered in 0.4897 seconds
45 querie(s) executed