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Friday, January 20, 2006

THT: Brattain—Big Mac Attack

So … Mark McGwire, a Hall of Famer: yes or no? The man hit 583 home runs. He was an All Star 12 times, he was a top-10 MVP vote getter five times, he was a Rookie of the Year, and his OPS+ of 163 is 11th best in baseball history. What more do you want from a Hall of Fame candidate?

Oh yeah—that little steroid thing. Well, he’s never tested positive. He’s never confessed to anything, so what’s the problem?

Well, it’s not that simple—obviously.

Thanks to (out of order).

VG Posted: January 20, 2006 at 06:34 PM | 210 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   101. Backlasher Posted: January 21, 2006 at 08:05 AM (#1831276)
Has anybody had their vote taken away in the HoM?


Ask the Hall of Merit guys. I'd trust Grandma to give you a straight answer. You can find within the last ten days, their organizer talking about:

(1) How he sends emails telling voters not to vote certain ways
(2) Revoking ballots from the BBWAA members for not voting for one of Trammell, Gossage or Blyleven.

I'm sure as long as you vote the way they think you should, they will continue to let you vote. And if you don't, they'll send you an email. That's exactly what the Constitution says, and that's exactly what Dimino would like to do to the five guys at the BBWAA that didn't meet his standard of voting.

I was just pointing out a posting technique you employ that I find irritating.

I don't have a "technique" I call it like I see it.

I know you're successful at drawing a lot of those in.

That's not a success. That's failure. Colossal failure. Nothing productive comes from that type of exchange. If they aren't talking to me, I'm not talking to them. If its just tepid fanboyness, I just go past it. If its directed snarkiness, I'll usually respond in kind. When its gross exageration, and recasting of points, and misrepresentations; I'll probably laugh at the fact they don't even understand what was posted. There are no traps, I'm not stuttering. And on threads that aren't in Primary Numbers I'm posting very simple information that should not cause comprehension problems. But few fanboys tread in that sanctum.

And I don't think your clarification is going to do much. I'm not sure the HoM roster is very fanboy heavy. So how could I be "drawing out fanboys" by talking about an enterprise they are not involved in.

If you think I'm "trolling", you might "want to support it with some facts" Who do you think I'm trolling. OTher than yourself, I think I've responded to seven people on this thread, was I trolling Andy, bbchick, Dial, JC, Brattain, Srul or E-X? Do you think I was trolling Grandma Murphy?

As long as you support your claim with facts

LOL. Is this recycled, or do you think its a new "what's wrong with backlasher." I don't support my arguments is kind of a reach don't you think.

Well, since you want to play Divide and Conquer:

I don't want to play anything. You initiated this. I doubt I would have noticed you, but the handle may have drawn some attention. These are your statements. I can take them in toto or I can take them point by point. It ends up in the same place. I actually think its funny the conclusions you are coming too. I don't think you have lurked long enough if you think I'm a "keep them out of the Hall" guy.

random, unprovoked potshots at the HoM.

Potshots? I've said that's exactly what these guys should do, if they don't like the BBWAA vote, go start their own Hall. I support their initiative. If they want a place where character doesn't matter, that's exactly what they should do, and they should try to convince the world their place is better.

They may end up with some weird results, and that discussion has already taken place between Grandma and I. I guess you didn't lurk that thread. Within the week, I've said Grandma is one of my favorite posters.

Dimino, that's another story. He has always not tried to support "better"; he's tried to support, this is the "only truth" It started with his endorsement of a Dayn Rand piece that was so slanted that Dayn even washed his hands of it. And he advocates for disenfranchisement. That's not "potshots" that's critique and some satire and humor. But if its one of your sacred cows, it just doesn't sit as well with you as people calling others idiots.

The only "technique" is humor and critique. Something fanboys have always wanted to shut down against their pet projects and something that is taking more root in site management.
   102. shozzlekhan Posted: January 21, 2006 at 08:50 AM (#1831291)
The problem with the Divide and Conquer approach is that it lets you take things out of context. Example:

LOL. Is this recycled, or do you think its a new "what's wrong with backlasher." I don't support my arguments is kind of a reach don't you think.

Clearly, when reading my post in context, it's obvious that I wasn't saying "Backlasher needs to support his claims with facts." I was saying "people who vote for Dave Berg, or don't vote for Blyleven should support their decisions with facts." Do you disagree?

As for the trolling: Look, read through the thread. In post 76, you randomly say that Steroids won't affect a player's candidacy for the HoM. This is not relevant to anything discussed before. Then, in post 77, you take your potshots, calling it an "electronic museum" and chide it for probably letting in "steroid boys." Again, this is completely unprovoked. Then your buddy Andy joins in and you two have a good laugh about how silly the HoM is and how it lets in "Buttpluggers," etc. I mean: what was the point of all this?

Naturally I assumed you were trolling...trying to get the HoM guys riled up or draw in some delicious fanboys. If I'm wrong then I'm wrong, but that's what it looks like.

I don't think you have lurked long enough if you think I'm a "keep them out of the Hall" guy.

This statement confuses me. Where have I ever said you were one of these people? I have not said one thing about your stance on the HoF...I was only defending the HoM and wondering why you were just randomly bashing it for no reason.

But if its one of your sacred cows, it just doesn't sit as well with you as people calling others idiots.

And you say I draw conclusions. I have never on this site called anybody an 'idiot,' and I really have no idea what my 'sacred cow' is. Unless I missed the context and you were referring to Dimino, then I don't understand these allegations.
   103. shozzlekhan Posted: January 21, 2006 at 08:54 AM (#1831292)
Actually, upon re-reading my post #100, I can see how you got confused about the context of my first paragraph. That's my fault, sorry.
   104. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: January 21, 2006 at 09:08 AM (#1831294)
Naturally I assumed you were trolling...trying to get the HoM guys riled up or draw in some delicious fanboys. If I'm wrong then I'm wrong, but that's what it looks like.

The best policy if you think someone is trolling is to ignore them. Threads here police themselves and drift from topic to topic. Taking it upon yourself to police the subject matter of a thread probably isn't a productive use of your time.
   105. shozzlekhan Posted: January 21, 2006 at 09:16 AM (#1831296)

The best policy if you think someone is trolling is to ignore them. Threads here police themselves and drift from topic to topic. Taking it upon yourself to police the subject matter of a thread probably isn't a productive use of your time.


Absolutely. And I deeply apologize for my role in taking this thread off-topic, but it's just something that I've seen Backlasher do so many times over the years, (come into a thread and randomly use terms from BSID without being provoked), and I just couldn't help but vent my frustration.

Maybe I figured if he realized that I didn't like it he'd stop! ;-)

But yes, let's go back on topic now. I won't post again. Sorry.
   106. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: January 21, 2006 at 09:27 AM (#1831304)
But yes, let's go back on topic now. I won't post again. Sorry.

Don't worry so much about on- or off-topic. Each thread here is more to stimulate discussion than anything else, so the topic of any given thread changes dynamically/organically as the thread progresses. It's fine to go off on a HoM/HoF tangent, but you aren't going to win any arguments/etc if you accuse someone of trolling for taking such a tangent. This board is very different from others I've been on in that respect. A thread still on its original topic after 100 posts is the exception rather than the rule.
   107. The Bones McCoy of THT Posted: January 21, 2006 at 01:52 PM (#1831353)
Picture him putting on a hockey mask when the issues start getting hard.

Then taking a breather listening to some Bryan Adams to help him come to his decision.

Then drinking a case of Molson before writing the conclusion


(searches house for hidden cameras)

Heh....RDF.

BTW JC: I didn't your comment as a shot. As I mentioned in my reply I've been grappling with the whole McGwire issue for awhile and I imagine there's some mental endgame to be played out yet so I can see where you're coming from.

When you're writing about a topic that you're not 100% sure of what's going on in your own mind you're going to get, um, interesting results when it hits the paper (or the web page).

I took it as good-faith feedback.

Best Regards

John
   108. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 21, 2006 at 02:17 PM (#1831364)
Barry Bonds is Awesome Posted: January 21, 2006 at 03:50 AM

As for the trolling: Look, read through the thread. In post 76, you <u>randomly </u>say that Steroids won't affect a player's candidacy for the HoM. This is not relevant to anything discussed before. Then, in post 77, you take your potshots, calling it an "electronic museum" and chide it for probably letting in "steroid boys." Again, this is completely unprovoked. Then your buddy Andy joins in and you two have a good laugh about how silly the HoM is and how it lets in "Buttpluggers," etc. I mean: what was the point of all this?


But the point raised about distinguishing the Hall of Fame from the Hall of Merit has been raised many times before, and humor aside, it's 100% germane to this discussion.

Look, every HOF thread about McGwire (including this one, started by Brittain) eventually centers around the whole question of "Is it proper for the HOF to consider non-statistical, i.e. "character," factors, in evaluating a prospective member's candidacy?"

Given the completely opposing takes we have here on this question (The Great BTF Civil War), it's unlikely that any HOF thread regarding any of the steroiders will ever avoid this.

And this seems to irritate certain people, who are sincerely uncomfortable with the idea of raising "character" in the context of a discussion about membership in an institution which honors Ty Cobb and Cap Anson.

And though I obviously think that these Cobb / Anson analogies are wildly misplaced, I can understand to an extent where these folks (like E-X) are coming from, since in other contexts (such as in the "greatest teams" threads) I'm in agreement with many of their arguments.

So as a result---as a way of breaking this eternal logjam---I've said many times that the way to settle this debate (among us, at least), is to re-label our debate as a Hall of Merit debate. With no character references allowed.

This way debates about the Hall of Fame can be conducted using the same general standards as the real life Hall of Fame has used historically, namely a mix of statistics, magic moments, personality and character, as defined in the minds of the individual BWAA members, and subject to changes in definition as circumstances may warrant.

And for those who want to exclude "extraneous notions" such as character from the debate, we offer the 100% certified, character-proof Hall of Merit.

The fact that BL and I happened in this instance to add a bit of whimsy and lampooning to the idea of the HOM as a marketing concept shouldn't obscure the essential reason for the distinction in the first place, to wit: Better fences make better neighbors.

Now tell me: Is this "trolling?"

If anything, the idea that the Hall of Fame should not consider character is a far more outlier thought than the POV that the 'Union' has expressed. The number of "no"-votes for an otherwise statistically slam-dunk HOF candidate like McGwire will be clear evidence of that, and the fact that nearly all the mainstream discussion of McGwire's HOF case will center on his steroid use will provide even further proof of our argument.

No writer is going to argue against McGwire on the basis that his raw numbers aren't HOF-worthy. But plenty of writers are going to vote against him based on the character question, as is their duty under the HOF guidelines. Whether they choose to interpret this mandate as necessitating a vote against McGwire is, of course, up to their individual discretion, as it should be.

That "character" consideration, and that alone, will determine whether Mark McGwire ever gets into the HOF. And if you have a problem with that, your POV is in a distinct minority among the writers, the fans, and the public at large, and possibly even on this stats-oriented site itself. The 'Union' POV isn't necessarily shared only by its five most outspoken members.

robinred,

It's not that I can't see a pretty good theoretical case for spreading the voting around, it's just that in the real world you could never, ever, NEVER EVER reach a consensus about how to effect this. It's such a complete real world non-starter that whatever its abstract merits, it's hardly worth wasting words on.

You have to see the HOF voters as a set of appointed representatives, who are not directly elected by any of us, but who nevertheless can, over time, be influenced by the consensus of opinions expressed in forums such as this.

And if this really sticks in your craw, then the only practical suggestion I can offer is to go out and convince some Seattle or Dallas or Boston paper to hire you as a beat writer, and then resume your lobbying in a more influential manner than you can ever hope to do on this site.
   109. Daryn Posted: January 21, 2006 at 03:19 PM (#1831393)
If you don't vote the way Dimino wants you too, he'll disenfranchise you.

FWIW, Joe apologized for some of his rash comments this morning, on the 1968 Ballot Discussion thread at the HoM. Joe may be the founder of the HoM, but he does not really have the power to set policy. All decisions at the HoM are made on a consensus basis among the 50 or so voters. Noone has ever had a ballot, or a single person on a ballot, disqualified. That said, no one has intentionally tried to submit a joke ballot.

Each week people vote for more than 60 individuals about whom Joe thinks ought not to be in the Hall -- and about 20 that Joe thinks are absurd choices. The votes count and the voters ignore Joe if he is being rude. Joe is a strong non-political personality -- he doesn't necessarily represent the views of the HoM. As BL noted, Grandma tends to be a more representative spokesperson (though even he is more judgmental about voters' choices than BL and I would like).

Also this morning, Joe being Joe, took a voter to task for commenting that he would vote for Beckley over Berra next week. That voter, as he has done for 50 of our years, will still vote for whomever he thinks is right, and back up his reasons for doing so. That same voter has had Beckley and Carruthers ahead of inner inner circle HoF on several occasions. He takes some heat for it but never has anyone suggested he is not entitled to his vote. You may have to have a thick skin to vote in the HoM but if you just looked at the last set of ballots you would see the diversity of views, the lack of group think and the lack of censoring.

It is a great project that does have the unique "no character" clause. I like that clause. And I take Backlasher's comments about that clause as non-connotative -- it is what it is and at least we are honest about it.
   110. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 21, 2006 at 03:40 PM (#1831400)
It is a great project that does have the unique "no character" clause. I like that clause. And I take Backlasher's comments about that clause as non-connotative -- it is what it is and at least we are honest about it.

And just for the record, Daryn, have you ever had any of us Union members jumping onto any HOM thread and bringing up character questions?
   111. rr Posted: January 21, 2006 at 04:03 PM (#1831403)
It's such a complete real world non-starter that whatever its abstract merits, it's hardly worth wasting words on.

I don't agree with this. It could be done, if MLB, the HOF and people who love the game wanted to. It would take time and work and effort, of course. Much larger changes in much more complicated contexts have been made in any number of more significant areas for society. And of course, as in any system, you would have SOME people left out and/or pissed off. But the reality is that doing it the way it has always been done is easier, and while people "care," they don't really care enough to do much about it, other than complain. (an exception to this is John Murphy, Joe Dimino et al and the HoM.) And that's fine. It's not like it's a socially relevant injustice.

You have to see the HOF voters as a set of appointed representatives, who are not directly elected by any of us,

That is a reasonably good description of what they are. But it doesn't HAVE to be that way.

And as for me, like I said, I don't even care much about who gets in. But the fact that the BBWAA has the vote does not necessarily mean they know more, or care more, or study more, or understand more, than a lot of people who don't have the vote. The existence of the Veterans' Committee, in and of itself, demonstrates the limitations of the BBWAA monopoly and the HOF's awareness of it. They just didn't think through how to go about fixing it.
   112. Daryn Posted: January 21, 2006 at 04:42 PM (#1831423)
And just for the record, Daryn, have you ever had any of us Union members jumping onto any HOM thread and bringing up character questions?

I don't know who is in the Union, but our system is designed so that the first year someone is eligible, you CAN cite character for leaving him off the ballot. In those weeks, the character of the individual is discussed. As well, for players whose character issues arguably impeded their team's on field performance (John Beckwith for example) the character discussion continues as long as they remain on the ballot. So Blyleven type character issues would be fair game forever while Pete Rose character issues will only be discussed for one year (two weeks in our world).
   113. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 21, 2006 at 04:51 PM (#1831434)
It's such a complete real world non-starter that whatever its abstract merits, it's hardly worth wasting words on.

I don't agree with this. It could be done, if MLB, the HOF and people who love the game wanted to. It would take time and work and effort, of course. Much larger changes in much more complicated contexts have been made in any number of more significant areas for society.


No disrespect, robinred, but that "if" pretty much negates the rest of your entire paragraph. Those other changes you allude to had far more general support in the larger world than the idea of changing the HOF voter qualifications has in the little world of baseball.

You might find enough people at a local sports bar who'd say "yeah, I'd support that," but I doubt if you could find ten people who'd give up ten hours a month trying to make it happen. Which is pretty much what would define the whole idea as a non-starter.
   114. Backlasher Posted: January 21, 2006 at 05:08 PM (#1831449)
The problem with the Divide and Conquer approach is that it lets you take things out of context. Example:

LOL. Is this recycled, or do you think its a new "what's wrong with backlasher." I don't support my arguments is kind of a reach don't you think.

Clearly, when reading my post in context, it's obvious that I wasn't saying "Backlasher needs to support his claims with facts." I was saying "people who vote for Dave Berg, or don't vote for Blyleven should support their decisions with facts." Do you disagree?

...

Actually, upon re-reading my post #100, I can see how you got confused about the context of my first paragraph. That's my fault, sorry.

No problem, I presume these are the two linked points.


Look, read through the thread. In post 76, you randomly say that Steroids won't affect a player's candidacy for the HoM. This is not relevant to anything discussed before. Then, in post 77, you take your potshots, calling it an "electronic museum" and chide it for probably letting in "steroid boys." Again, this is completely unprovoked. Then your buddy Andy joins in and you two have a good laugh about how silly the HoM is and how it lets in "Buttpluggers," etc. I mean: what was the point of all this?


The HoM is not random. Its topical to this point. It is an electronic museum, and I don't chide it for letting in steroid boys, I point out that the result is that assinjectors will be part of their collection. Provocation has nothing to do with anything; its discussed because its topical. And this is only the second time where I've seen someone suggest humor is not allowed. The other was yesterday when someone said a satirist didn't make a good point because it used humor.

As for all the reasons why, I concur with Andy.

Naturally I assumed you were trolling...trying to get the HoM guys riled up or draw in some delicious fanboys. If I'm wrong then I'm wrong, but that's what it looks like.


Well you are wrong. But that is not what is relevant. You have taken great care in all your subsequent posts to withdraw every criticism except my comments on the HoM. You make it clear that you are not on the HoM voting body. So what are you doing, deciding to play hero and come to the defense of others. What does that get you, a "well said" Some cred for being the one who gets a "gotcha" on backlasher.

I don't know how much more expressly I can say, and how many times I have to say, "The HoM is exactly what these guys should be doing." Now wrt Dimino --- He has uses his site keys to advocate about this issue in lead ins to a thread. I don't agree with that one iota. He has both reserved the right to disenfranchise HoM votes, and advocated disenfranchisement of BBWAA members. It appears he has retracted the latter position, so that may be a non-issue. Nevertheless, when the topic is about changing the voting pool to the HoF, the disenfranchisement potential of the HoM is very relevant. IMHO, you can have a non-issue based criteria for the franchise, but anything short of death or mental incaptacity that disenfranchises that person will make that enterprise suspect. The fact they have not yet done it, doesn't help much.

That's like saying the police have an unlimited right to kill you on traffic stops if they don't like what you say, but they haven't killed anybody yet so why worry.
   115. rr Posted: January 21, 2006 at 05:27 PM (#1831458)
it's just that in the real world you could never, ever, NEVER EVER reach a consensus about how to effect this.It's such a complete real world non-starter

but I doubt if you could find ten people who'd give up ten hours a month trying to make it happen. Which is pretty much what would define the whole idea as a non-starter.


Well, if it is a "non-starter" because people and MLB don't care enough, we are in agreement. If it is a "non-starter" because of the difficulty of generating consensus or organizing it, we're not.

I think a lot of people connected to/working around/in baseball would probably LIKE to vote. I am sure a lot of fans would, too. But it's not a big enough deal to them to confront MLB, Cooperstown and the BBWAA about it. Selig could do plenty about it, but he is not interested in stuff like that.
   116. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: January 21, 2006 at 05:43 PM (#1831472)

Right now, the plaques are printed. It doesn't make sense to change what they already say. But moving forward, let's make sure we honor who we want to honor, and say what is we want to say.


Sorry to just grab a sound bite, but so much discussion has gone on and I just wanted to respond/clarify my stance.

I think this is a key issue in "learning from the history". We can't simply demand that we WRITE history to educate--we must add to the written history. We should save current plaques and write-ups as historiographical documents that teach us about how we regarded Anson or whomever at this place and time.

But absolutely we should make new plaques in the section where people are enshrined. The plaques themselves are an educational moment that is a one-of-a-kind opportunity when it comes to much of the viewing group. So it's absolutely vital to include information that will excite them to learn more about the icons of the game GOOD and BAD.

Any institution that adds the character clause will absolutely replicate the prejudices of the time of election and, in the case of looking at awards, the prejudices of the time of the player's career. That's why the HoM concept, while imperfect, is so important.

Why not enshrine the best ballplayers of all time and use their enshrinements as a place to ask and begin to answer, "Who were the people who were the greatest ballplayers of all time?"

There's nothing profound about having an exclusive, ethnocentric place of honor, be it a museum in Cooperstown or a shrine in Tokyo. As hard as it is, why not seek to create a space that avoids that ethnocentrism as much as possible and lets people examine and grow their own conceptions of the people enshrined?
   117. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 21, 2006 at 06:18 PM (#1831514)
but I doubt if you could find ten people who'd give up ten hours a month trying to make it happen. Which is pretty much what would define the whole idea as a non-starter.

Well, if it is a "non-starter" because people and MLB don't care enough, we are in agreement. <u>If it is a "non-starter" because of the difficulty of generating consensus or organizing it, we're not</u>.


Well there is a "real world" way to demonstrate your case---Go for it.

And E-X, you seem to favor big concept projects as well. And though I doubt if your idea is much of a "starter" itself, I must say it's a very appealing one.

Oh, and BTW I finally got around to that New Yorker article on "the height gap" between Europeans and Americans that Mark linked to, and you mentioned, a few weeks ago. A terrific piece, a real eye-opener. And I stand corrected on what I wrote then in response to your intial post on the subject.
   118. rr Posted: January 21, 2006 at 06:24 PM (#1831524)
Well there is a "real world" way to demonstrate your case---Go for it
.

Sure. Just make me Commissioner of MLB.
   119. Backlasher Posted: January 21, 2006 at 06:52 PM (#1831551)
e can't simply demand that we WRITE history to educate--we must add to the written history. We should save current plaques and write-ups as historiographical documents that teach us about how we regarded Anson or whomever at this place and time.

But absolutely we should make new plaques in the section where people are enshrined. The plaques themselves are an educational moment that is a one-of-a-kind opportunity when it comes to much of the viewing group. So it's absolutely vital to include information that will excite them to learn more about the icons of the game GOOD and BAD.


And forgive my lack of understanding, but I don't see our point of divergence, and I may not understand what you propose. I think I agree. Don't pretend we didn't elect Ty Cobb or from Dial's point about amps, Willie Mays. Also, don't gloss over the fact at the time of their election, don't pretend that society, or more specifically the BBWAA, ignored, didn't care much, or weighed criteria in a certain way.

The BBWAA didn't care that much about Anson's alleged betting, Cobb's racisim and disposition, Perry's alleged use of spitballs, or Mays alleged use of stimulants. Let's not pretend that didn't happen. Let's not out them from the Hall.

Nevertheless, we are not doomed to repeat those mistakes, or forced to view behavior the same way throughout perpetuity. With McGwire, and later with Giambi, Bonds, Palmeiro, and probably even Sosa, Tejeda, and Sheffield, we are able to make new decisions. And each of those decisions are going to be slightly different. There are going to be different levels of proof about their conduct; there are going to be different levels of talent, output, and egregiousness in their conduct.

Character always has and presently is, a criteria for admission. Lets record that character based selection


To me it makes no sense to say, well if we allowed drug users in the past, we must allow them in the future, and cannot factor the doping in the decision. To me it makes no sense to say the same about reprobates, etc.

And I like that it is the people most familiar with the social aspect of the game, the BBWAA who is making the decision. I don't know how my decision would manifest itself. On these players we have:

Caught with a test, but offering an explanation: Palmeiro
Admitted to serially taking PEDS: Giambi
Admitted to serially taking substances shown to be PEDS, but denying knowledge its PEDS: Bonds
Admitted to one time, taking substances shown to be PEDS, but denying knowledge its PEDS:
Sheffield
Linked to using PEDS by testimony of another: McGwire
Suspected of possessing PEDS through inference of testimony of another: Tejeda
Suspected of using PEDS, by time sensitive physiological change and performance output: Sosa

And in each case, we have been given plenty of other evidence where we can judge the veracity of these players.

I haven't firmly decided where to draw the line on holding items against a person on character. I haven't firmly decided if this is the proper heiarchy as 4 and 5 can flip flop and 6 and 7 can flip flop.

I haven't firmly decided whether use should be a disqualification or a balancing factor.

I do know its rationale for it to either disqualify or balance. I do know its rationale to give it different weights in balancing. I do know that Suspiscion in every case is not irrational. I do know that its not irrational to conclude any one of these players is lying or telling the truth. I also know its a very low probability to have the inference that some of them are telling the truth in their explicit or implicit denials of wrongful conduct.

Right now, I'm personally inclined to consider the character aspect wrt PEDS for Palmeiro, Bonds, Giambi and McGwire. And I'm inclined to give latitude to Sheffield, Tejeda, and Sosa. I'm prepared to advocate that basis. I'm inclined to use it as a weighing mechanism rather than a disqualification. I'm inclined to give it high weight, and if I start examining closely that weight could end up being a de facto disqualification.

I'm far more interested in what the BBWAA is going to do then what I would do, and I'm far more interested in talking about it. Moving my opinion as more evidence emerges, and changing my opinion based on the cogent arguments of others. For instance, I think two years ago, I would have given the steroids issue much lower weight. Its been Andy that has convinced me to weigh it heavier.

And no doubt the other four members of the Union will have influence on my personal view, and that is not because they are my internet pals, its because those other four are extremely intelligent persons that make very cogent, directed and persuasive arguments. The pro-steroid crowd has a few of those persons too. I don't think Dial is as directed and persuasive as my unionmates, but he makes some hellish points backed up by research. Field and Nieporent are outstanding advocates, and all three of them are pretty bright bulbs. And there are always special guest stars that line up on this in different ways like yourself, Daryn, bunyon, Barrett, Cri, etc. that stay on point and throw out all types of valid considerations.

The animosity usually isn't because of the polity of the speakers, as much as it is, people jumping in with lame or inconsistent points and getting upset because they don't get their quotas of "Well Saids" and MBSes, and then get really riled up when weak points are easily dismissed or just skipped over. Then they get personal, and cry if it comes back at them.

Now wrt Hall of Merit, I don't expressly agree with you. As I mentioned earlier, I think this is what that lobby should do. Create their own honorium, and try to show why there honorium is right. You appear to believe that it has greater cultural significance then I do.

I think its a nice project, but its still more of a math project than social project. Their very articles of organization create a Hall of Stats, where they are using a Baysian voting method to try to increase the efficiency of their era adjusting equations. And they reserve the right to discount, ignore, or disenfranchise any speech or opinion that does not deal with the question of era statistical adjustment. They are no more or no less, inducting "the greatest baseball players" than the HoF. What they are attempting to do is induct those players that had the best statistical output based on the existing state of the art in baseball performance analysis. And as a social tool, that is flawed, because unless they can kick out players, they are not keeping a current, contemporaneous record of the best "output in baseball performance analysis", they are preserving the flaws that may exist in the current methods for determining the best output in baseball performance analysis as accepted by the majority of their members.

Now, I've got no real desire to go over and tell them that. Because even if I say it here, I'm going to get folks come out of the woodwork to call me a troll. I'll get Furtado calling me up citing serial bad conduct. And I'll get a 10:1 ratio of people rebutting that statement, who probably don't even understand the point compared to those that do understand the point. And I'll get those who want to be personal and callous just because I'm backlasher and I posted something critical about a premise for which they have an almost religious level of faith. I am highly interested in your perspective on my take though.
   120. rr Posted: January 21, 2006 at 07:05 PM (#1831567)

But absolutely we should make new plaques in the section where people are enshrined.


I assume this means in addition to, rather than instead of, the existing ones. Interesting idea.
   121. rr Posted: January 21, 2006 at 07:26 PM (#1831606)
Well there is a "real world" way to demonstrate your case---Go for it


I suppose one would start with a well-designed website, and then one could try to get Bill James to put a message on the site endorsing the project since he spent a whole chapter on it in his HOF book. If James knew of any other more mainstream figures who would get behind it, try to get them on it as well. You could try to get in contact with James via a blogger he has had contact with, like Lederer.

Then, I figure you would respectfully approach the BBWAA members through email, complimenting them on their voting record and contributions to the HOF, and asking if they would object to an effort to expand the voting pool so as to involve more people in the Hall and grow interest in the Hall and the game. The expanded pool would include their fellow members of the media, including broadcasters and internet journalists, as well as former players and baseball professionals and perhaps fans. Ask for their input on the practicality of the idea as well its quality, and ask them to explain any objections and grounds for said objections. Doing this in survey form so as to save time for them would be wise.

You would also repectfully approach the HOF at this stage, to let them know what you were doing. Undoubtedly you would get a polite brushoff if you got anything--and a lot of BBWAA guys would say "talk to the HoF." You would also get some Andy-type answers, but this could be done if people cared anough.

You would also want to contact former players and baseball professionals that you might be able to actually get to--IOW, people who are not really famous--and ask them, simply, if they would want to vote for the HOF if allowed to do so and invite them to visit the website.

After these steps, you would have a clearer picture of whether it would be worth trying to move forward.
   122. Zach Posted: January 22, 2006 at 03:32 AM (#1832160)
I was unconvinced by the chapter in James's book. The voting process he suggests might be more appealing as a process, but it didn't seem to have any concrete benefits as far as outcome.

My take on it is a) the writers are doing a pretty good job at the moment, b) the Hall of Fame has had many problems in the past from unwieldy voting procedures that blocked deserving candidates from admission, c) James's system would be larger, more unwieldy, and presumably harder to reach consensus in.

Regarding the Hall of Merit, I think Backlasher ignores the very real problem of trolls on the internet. The Hall of Merit voting system only works if a very high percentage of the people involved in the voting take it seriously. So if they were to allow all ballots without exception, they'd have to work in a high trust environment -- perhaps by some sort of test, perhaps by requiring membership in Primer for some nontrivial period, perhaps giving ballots only to an invited group. This is analogous to what the Hall of Fame does with the BBWAA -- they accept every ballot, but place conditions on membership which serve to weed out the trolls.

Alternatively, if you're going to work in a low-trust environment like the open internet, it seems to me that you have to have measures in place to guard against the trolls, yahoos, and Tinas that experience has taught us exist in such abundance. Or do you really want a Hall of Merit populated exclusively by Bearded Wizard and Mike Piazza?
   123. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 22, 2006 at 04:18 AM (#1832205)
But seriously, I'm curious about this one Chris, its sort of left over from the last thread:

Do you think we should kick all the cheaters out? or do you think in the future, no matter how much someone cheats, we should let them in if they have a certain WARP factor?

Because it sounds like to me, we just want to strike the character clause.


No - the problem is you can never elect another person. The character clause is only invoked when someone's sensibilities are hurt - not necessarily poor character.

I agree with you - you aren't looking to turn back time - nor am I - I'm just informing you that if you lay "those who cheat" on teh ineligible list, well, there's no one left to vote for - or so few as to make it not relevant.
   124. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 22, 2006 at 04:20 AM (#1832207)
As for you individually, I'd be much happier if you just ignored me. I'm not gaining anything from this exchange.

Well, well. Didn't you burst into tears and then make repeated snarky comments when I invited you to do the same wrt "luck" discussions?
   125. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 22, 2006 at 04:21 AM (#1832210)
Did everyone else, like bbc, read my comments as a shot at John?

Not BL. Not Andy. I wonder where kevin stands on this issue?
   126. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 22, 2006 at 04:25 AM (#1832212)
I had never heard any allegation about Mays and stimulants before. When you check the record, it will tell you:

Milner testified he took red juice from Mays locker. He didn't know what it was, but it opened his eyes up. The commissioners office cleared Mays of any wrongdoing.


What do you think that means? That Mays never took stimulants? That Mays didn't give stimulants to younger players?

Is that what you think the sentence "the commissioners office cleared Mays of any wrongdoing." means?

The present commissioners office has cleared Mark McGwire of any wrong doing (thus far). So why wouldn't everyone vote for him?
   127. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 22, 2006 at 04:34 AM (#1832222)
Admitted to one time, taking substances shown to be PEDS, but denying knowledge its PEDS:
Sheffield


I thought Sheffield took serially, albeit for three months, but serially nonetheless.
   128. Backlasher Posted: January 22, 2006 at 07:07 AM (#1832333)
Well, well. Didn't you burst into tears and then make repeated snarky comments when I invited you to do the same wrt "luck" discussions?


No, I just withheld sex from you for awhile. But nice try.

I thought Sheffield took serially, albeit for three months, but serially nonetheless.


Is that the case? It would be news to me, but I'm not sure that changes too much in the analysis.

I agree with you - you aren't looking to turn back time - nor am I - I'm just informing you that if you lay "those who cheat" on teh ineligible list, well, there's no one left to vote for - or so few as to make it not relevant.


I disagree, but even if I didn't, its a question of magnitude. And I think both myself and the BBWAA can distinguish between offenses. I'm not going to invite child molesters to a social function, but I'm not going to shut the doors to everyone who got a speeding ticket. This exercise is about the magnitude of the offense. And steroids ain't spitballs.

What do you think that means? That Mays never took stimulants? That Mays didn't give stimulants to younger players?


I answered that in the other thread. It would appear that Mays possessed and used liquid forms of stimulants. I thougth you read that one.

The present commissioners office has cleared Mark McGwire of any wrong doing (thus far). So why wouldn't everyone vote for him?


Because the balance of evidence indicates that he took an illegal substance banned in the game of baseball, that has negative health effects, and is coercive and epidemic in its usage, and he took it in a clandestine manner, obfusciated any investigation into the problem, and artificially enhanced his performance output. His usage was considered cheating amongst his peers, the fans, and the management of the game of baseball.

The BBWAA may not decide to honor such a player. I don't get a vote (not even in the Hall of Merit). Neither the BBWAA nor I are currently considering the candidacy of Willie Mays . (not even for the Hall of Merit).

I think the HoM will be considering the candidacy of Mays shortly. There constitution does say you can consider character if it impacts the players on field performance. I anxiously await to read your advocacy to keep Mays out of the HoM. Drop me an email if I can be of any assistance.
   129. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 22, 2006 at 04:24 PM (#1832523)
This exercise is about the magnitude of the offense. And steroids ain't spitballs.

Actually this is an exercise in interpretation of the magnitude of offense. I disagree - IMO, steroids, wrt cheating, are *precisely* spitballs. Maybe not - they ar probably *less* cheating than spitballs.

Is that the case? It would be news to me, but I'm not sure that changes too much in the analysis.

It changes this much - should Sheffield be "banned" from teh HoF? (In your opinion).

My guess of the VBB stance here:
Sheff didn't take long enough to benefit (which is peculiar because Caminiti purportedly started his MVP season, so if steroids are to be "credited" with Cammy's spike, in 3 months, we should have seen similar response in Sheff - unless there is the idea that the "enhancements" are not very long lasting without continued usage).

I answered that in the other thread. It would appear that Mays possessed and used liquid forms of stimulants. I thougth you read that one.

Well, you know how it gets around here - you cant always find threads, and hell, I can barely remember teh names of them nowadays.

That being the case, I guess I'm just confused why you would say anything about the commissioners office clearing him. That's not particularly relevant to whether or not Willie Mays, one of the greatest players of all time, and a hero to many players coming up through the 60s and 70s, had his performance enhanced by taking drugs, and thereby influenced many that knew it to also take them.


I think the HoM will be considering the candidacy of Mays shortly. There constitution does say you can consider character if it impacts the players on field performance. I anxiously await to read your advocacy to keep Mays out of the HoM. Drop me an email if I can be of any assistance.

I don't advocate to keep Mays out. Why would you think that?
   130. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 22, 2006 at 04:53 PM (#1832549)
kevin,
I think that's a legitimate view, although I disagree. I think spitballs have a much larger impact on the stats/performance of everyone in the game.

I don't find any of it "insidious".
   131. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 22, 2006 at 05:23 PM (#1832583)
Actually this is an exercise in interpretation of the magnitude of offense. I disagree - IMO, steroids, wrt cheating, are *precisely* spitballs. Maybe not - they ar probably *less* cheating than spitballs.

Let's see about this "precise" comparison:

Steroids are shot up out of the public's eye, and probably out of anyone else's eye as well. There are no cameras to record the event for review.

Spitballs are "loaded" in front of an entire stadium, and nowadays there are innumerable cameras fully capable of catching any miscreants. Furthermore, unlike the effect of a steroid injection, the effect of each "loading" of a spitter lasts for exactly one pitch, mutiplying the chances for instant exposure.

Spitters, whether you like it or not, have been a part of baseball lore and tradition for well over a hundred years. They were outlawed in large part (though not entirely) for purely aesthetic reasons---read the baseball press (the Guides and Baseball Magazine in particular) of the time if you doubt this. Since their outlawing, the relative lack of seriousness with which baseball has viewed this infraction can be seen in the lackadaisical manner in which the rule has been enforced, and in the minor penalties which are given out for the handful of times anyone has actually been caught in the act.

The negative reaction to spitters comes from one source alone: Players and managers (mostly managers) who have to compete against suspected spitballers.

Funny thing, though. When those stubble-bearded villains switch sides and join their team, all that righteous indignation ceases.

And the inference is obvious: Other than people trying to make phony analogies which will have the effect of letting steroiders off the hook, nobody really thinks that spitters are anything to make a disinterested fuss over. They have been accepted on a de facto basis ever since the day they were outlawed. Gaylord Perry is in the Hall of Fame, though everyone knew he had the wet one in his repertory for decades.

And since we all know this, the backup line of argument then becomes, "well, everybody knew about steroids, too, and they weren't outlawed, so we can't punish steroiders, either." And there's the barest element of truth to this, enough to make those who are grasping for any straw to keep McGwire & Co. viable in the eyes of the HOF voters grab onto it for dear life.

But did people really "know about" steroids, in the way that they "knew about" spitters?

One way to discern this is by looking at the public reaction to McGwire in 1998 vs. the reaction to McGwire today.

Does anyone doubt that his reputation has taken a nosedive?

Does anyone wonder why?

And does anyone think that the same people who loathe McGwire today would not have loathed him in 1998 if they had known then that he was using steroids?

I am sure that there are a few tooth fairly enthusiasts out there who actually will try to get around this pathetically obvious line of questioning, probably by saying, "well, they should have known." As if that addresses the issue.

And that issue is, as Backlasher says, the magnitude of the offense. This is what the public knows. This is how the BWAA will quite possibly see it in a year.

Now you are of course free to keep hitting your head against a wall, although you will likely feel better when you stop.

But in the meantime, you might at least consider wearing a helmet.
   132. The Bones McCoy of THT Posted: January 22, 2006 at 05:44 PM (#1832612)
tooth fairly


Ron Fairly has weird tastes in kids' names. ;-)

Then again, so did Lip Pike's folks.

Best Regards

John
   133. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 22, 2006 at 06:02 PM (#1832628)
First we'll start with this misinformation:
Steroids are shot up out of the public's eye, and probably out of anyone else's eye as well.

Haven't we learned enough about steroids in the last couple of years to know this isn't how it is done? It's pills and cream and clear.

Moreover, since players get shots all teh time (evidently), how is some passerby supposed to know it isn't B12 or cortisone?

The perpetuated ignorance that taking steroids involves sneaking away to the bathroom to get an injection in the rear end is evidently horribly naive. Wally Joyner, circa 1998, was taking pills.

It's relly sneaky to put steroid pills in a bottle marked "vitamins" and tke them that way.

The ESPN expose indicated that practically every player knew who to ask for steroids, and how they would be fedexed the next day. that doesn't sound like players were operating in this world of "I don't know what's going on." Now, maybe teh ESPN piece is exaggerated, I don't know, but I'm betting if Wally Joyner said "pills" in 1998, then this IDIOTIC \"############\" just demonstrates a HUGE willful ignorance to how players take steroids. Bonds, according to the leaked transcrpts, wasn;t taking injections, but "cream and clear", so "buttplunging" isn't on his "Things to do today" list.

As for "well, the spitter is just boys will be boys" is about as convincing as "in teh NFL, steroids are just boys will be boys".

Personally, I don't find the argument that "the masses have accepted/rejected it" as a reason to "go along" convincing at all. If I lived my life the way "Joe Public" wants me to - well, I'd just rather not.

Joe Public has moral outrage about lots of things, so you'll excuse me if I don't just "stop banging my head against the wall".

I find it appalling that you would consider that a reason.
   134. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 22, 2006 at 06:12 PM (#1832638)
Chris, \"############\" is obviously metaphoric. And the clear and the cream and the pills are equally taken out of the public view---as you note and which was my point in the first place: The secrecy of the steroiders vs. the full view of the spitballers. Your point only adds to this; it certainly doesn't refute it.

And you never even tried to address my point about McGwire's reputation in 1998 vs. his reputation today, and what it says about what people "knew" about steroids then. I'm not surprised you passed on that one.

But as to your personal indignation about spitballs, I won't argue with that. Some people spend their energy trying to clothe indecently naked animals, so to each his own indignation, I suppose.
   135. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 22, 2006 at 06:56 PM (#1832676)
The secrecy of the steroiders vs. the full view of the spitballers.

Your point is terrible. there is no "full view" of spitballers, any more than there is of steroid users - that's my point. If there is "full view" of spitballers, please tell me who throws one today, since clearly you "see" him doing it.

No one saw Gaylord load it up, and went, "Gaylord's loading it up". they suspected him, but rarely caught him.

Did Giambi take pills in the lockerroom? Did he take clomid there in full view of everyone else? Wht you don't know? then how an you assume it was all secretive? And how do you explain Wally Joyner's saying everyone knows how to get them? How do you explain that? I'm not surprised you passed on that one.

And you never even tried to address my point about McGwire's reputation in 1998 vs. his reputation today, and what it says about what people "knew" about steroids then. I'm not surprised you passed on that one.

I did address it - your claim is that people now are against Mac since they assume he used steroids. You simply ignored my response.

My statement was "just because the public has misguided moral outrage, is no reason for me too - it sure as #### doesn't mean it deserves moral outrage."

Using public opinion as a reason is really a bad way to form your own opinion.

But as to your personal indignation about spitballs, I won't argue with that.

Well, I don't have any personal indignation about spitballs - your lack of understanding of my basic point is not terribly surprising - some people let public opinion sway their position - I don't - I know how I feel about things. "because other people think so" is NOT a reason for me to think Mac "cheated".

You go ahead and get on the boat of Public Moral Outrage - I will pass.

One reason, which you conveneintly ignore, is teh steroids in the NFL which is wildly popular. Or do you think there are no steroids (nor have there ever been) in teh NFL.

there's no moral outrage there - it's temporary in baseball - and it only exists because people are told they have to be outraged - which is a pathetic reason to do so. Again, you go right along with that. I'm glad we weren't in Nazi Germany:
Andy: (marching) Come on, Chris, go along, go along.
   136. base ball chick Posted: January 22, 2006 at 07:06 PM (#1832692)
hello yall

jc - i was not "hysterical"
i was angry/disgusted. especially because what you said to john WAS a putdown - it was not helpful. there an old saying - think twice before you (poopoo) on someone elses work

i don't know how you are in real life but here you seem like a guy who got nothin but disrespect for a person who working hard to think out both sides of a difficult arguement.

not everybody see things like you do where you right and everybody who don't agree with you wrong and you don't wanna hear nothin or try to see things from someone elses point of view.

and a lot of times i act to you like you act to everybody else because you make me think that somebody gotta balance you out sos that there can be both sides talked about. and it makes me even angrier because i disbelieve i should say the opposite just to make sure that there IS one

and i will ALWAYS stand up for john. because i believe he the kind of guy worth standing up for. not that he can't stand up for his own self, mind, and a lot bettern i can.



Andy Posted: January 21, 2006 at 09:17 AM (#1831364)
Barry Bonds is Awesome Posted: January 21, 2006 at 03:50 AM

Look, every HOF thread about McGwire (including this one, started by Brittain) eventually centers around the whole question of "Is it proper for the HOF to consider non-statistical, i.e. "character," factors, in evaluating a prospective member's candidacy?"


- well of COURSE it is - it says so right in the election rules.

the problem to my mind, like you say later, is what does the word "character" mean. because it DOES bother me a LOT that the "character" of players like cap anson and ty cobb is just fine, but suspected roid users is not.


And though I obviously think that these Cobb / Anson analogies are wildly misplaced, I can understand to an extent where these folks (like E-X) are coming from, since in other contexts (such as in the "greatest teams" threads) I'm in agreement with many of their arguments.

- but WHY?
to my mind it like saying it was fine to put a guy in who played in the 30s because back then it was just fine to hate jews...


- i don't understand what the Hall of Merit has to do with any of this. it is the project of a bunch of stat geeks who vote for who they wanna vote for on their own idea of what is stattily good. like so they wanna say the value of a ballplayer = ONLY his warp3 (or something) - and??? netshrine has his hall. so does lee sinins. so do other people got lists of best this and best that. how do it matter what these guys do in their own little group? what if me and my gf had our own hall of fame based on who looks best in a bathing suit/underwear? (or should we disqualify a guy we find out he been using those p***s enlargers that all them spammers been tellin me about?) yeah, you be laughing, but i don't see it no different from joe and his buddies doing their thing



You have to see the HOF voters as a set of appointed representatives, who are not directly elected by any of us, but who nevertheless can, over time, be influenced by the consensus of opinions expressed in forums such as this.

- or as a set of guys the people who own and run the for-profit hall picked to choose the members not you
   137. Mefisto Posted: January 22, 2006 at 08:28 PM (#1832840)
The negative reaction to spitters comes from one source alone: Players and managers (mostly managers) who have to compete against suspected spitballers.

Funny thing, though. When those stubble-bearded villains switch sides and join their team, all that righteous indignation ceases.

This is quite true. But isn't it just as true for steroids? I mean, look at how the Yankees modified Giambi's contract. Look at how all the teams treated Canseco. For that matter, the attitude goes far beyond steroids to encompass cocaine and greenies. The fact is, teams protect their own. IMO, that makes subsequent protests pretty self-righteous.

Chris, \"############\" is obviously metaphoric.

I think there are implications to it that may make a different term preferable.

One way to discern this is by looking at the public reaction to McGwire in 1998 vs. the reaction to McGwire today.

Does anyone doubt that his reputation has taken a nosedive?

Does anyone wonder why?

There were many rumors swirling around McGwire in '98. People seemed happy not to know.

No, I just withheld sex from you for awhile.

I laughed out loud at this.
   138. JC in DC Posted: January 22, 2006 at 09:54 PM (#1832991)
I laughed out loud at this.


So did I.


There were many rumors swirling around McGwire in '98. People seemed happy not to know.


I agree with this as well. there seemed to be a lot of willful ignorance.

bbc: Why don't you do us both a favor and just ignore my posts? John didn't take it as a putdown and didn't feel the need to defend himself. The post I made was constructive criticism. I didn't like the piece, it had nothing to do with the position he did or did not take. I've enjoyed other pieces of his, and said so. So, instead of applying your analysis to my posts, just ignore them. It'll save both of us some time and grief.
   139. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 22, 2006 at 09:59 PM (#1832999)
JC,
I didn't think it was a shot t John at all. Just sounded like critique that people get all pissy about (and I don't mean bbc).

Yes, that dress makes you look fat. People just think "it isn't nice" to be honest.
   140. JC in DC Posted: January 22, 2006 at 10:01 PM (#1833002)
Thanks, Chris. It's clear from our prior tangles, you and I have the same attitude about candor.
   141. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 22, 2006 at 10:56 PM (#1833073)
Chris,

There are enough TV cameras aimed at the pitcher's mound to catch anyone nowadays, IF anyone really cared about crime of throwing a spitball.

But nobody cares about spitballs, Chris, except when it's time to find some "so's your momma" excuse for the steroid users. I'd call it the Indifference By Association gambit, but nobody's buying it.

Your comparison of your anti-public opinion position on McGwire to some lonely anti-Nazi in Germany is beyond amusing, though I guess I should be grateful that I was only being compared to a Hitler marcher, and not to Der Fuehrer himself, and I should congratulate you for your rhetorical restraint.

And you can address your sense of horror about steroids in the NFL (or the Olympics, or in tiddlywinks) to someone who cares about any of those sports. Since my main concern is the effect of steroids on baseball competition (and records) and not on too much else, you might try this line of argument on Backlasher, whose main objection to steroids is their effect on the health of the players. This bothers me somewhat as well, but it's not my primary reason for opposing steroids.

You say that the "moral outrage" is "temporary." Possibly so---though I'm not sure why you'd care one way or the other, since you profess indifference to public opinion. But one way to test that hypothesis is by seeing how McCartoon fares in his HOF votes. Want to put down a bet on next year for starters?

BBC,

To try to summarize,

I think character matters in HOF voting, but only character as revealed on the playing field, or in matters off the field which relate to it, such as gambling, or in this case, steroids. There are obviously degrees of character violations which we can argue about forever (such as spitballs or steroids) and which I am perfectly willing to let the BWAA be the final judge of. My hope is that the tone of public discussion will persuade the BWAA to keep the steroiders out of the HOF forever, but it's their decision to make, as it should be.

Obviously Anson, Mack, Cobb, Yawkey, Speaker, Collins, and many other HOFers were racist dirtballs, but in truth they were only somewhat exaggerated embodiments of their times in that respect. If you kicked them out of the HOF for that, you'd likely have to kick out a huge percentage of their contemporaries---and if you looked at it strictly, you'd have to eject all of them, since in many ways they were all complicit in Jim Crow by their very presence in an all-white Major Leagues. Fine a gentleman as Pee Wee Reese was, for example, I haven't read that he quit the Dodgers in protest over Jim Crow prior to the signing of Jackie Robinson.

This doesn't make Anson's or Cobb's racism "just fine," it just means that if you want to deal with it by denying them a place in the HOF, you'd have a HOF which had very few, if any, players who played before 1947. And this is not "speculation," it's as plain as a glance at the pre-1947 composition of the Majors.

OTOH, I do like the E-X's idea of supplementing HOF plaques with "added information" about players' character, both good and bad. I'm not sure whether the HOF itself is the proper place for this sort of a project, but as a general concept it has a lot to recommend it. You might have noticed that in the "greatest teams" debate I had a lot to say about the relative lack of "greatness" that could be imputed to teams from the Jim Crow era.

Chris, \"############\" is obviously metaphoric.

I think there are implications to it that may make a different term preferable.


Mark, I'll make no implications, and you shouldn't look for them. The term as used here has nothing to do with anything but a steroid needle.

One way to discern this is by looking at the public reaction to McGwire in 1998 vs. the reaction to McGwire today.

Does anyone doubt that his reputation has taken a nosedive?

Does anyone wonder why?


There were many rumors swirling around McGwire in '98. People seemed happy not to know.


But another way of viewing this is that people didn't want to jump from suspicion to conclusion without more evidence, either direct or indirect.

I was among those people back then. I'm not now, and I'm not alone. With apologies to Chris, I guess I'm just part of that old Nazi mob.
   142. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:07 AM (#1833308)
There were many rumors swirling around McGwire in '98. People seemed happy not to know.

Well, there was the Andro thing, and if Andro isn't a PED, I don't know what is. There was a lot of discussion about it at the time and people seemed to want to know, but people were oddly attracted to the whole freak aspect of all of it. I remember commercials from around that same time which depicted various MLB sluggers of the future hitting 2000 foot home runs and jumping 50 feet to make catches. It was like people wanted ballplayers to be Steve Austin.

Anyway, Andro was legal, or maybe more precisely, not illegal, but it's a PED and we know McGwire was doing it. Is it as bad as "the cream and the clear"? Probably not, but it's a PED. The fact that it can be extracted from plants officially makes it a supplement, but that's a technicality as far as I'm concerned, and I wonder what else he was taking.

My opinion about McGwire's suitability for the Hall of Fame isn't worth much, because I pretty much dismiss the entire practice of HoF induction entirely, particularly when it comes to the ridiculous aspect of character assessment. But if I'm going to try and assess my my certainty that any one player did steroids, uncertain as it is, McGwire is going to rank pretty high.
   143. rr Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:43 AM (#1833366)
I was unconvinced by the chapter in James's book. The voting process he suggests might be more appealing as a process, but it didn't seem to have any concrete benefits as far as outcome.

Not quite. The existence of the VC which has made most of the oddball selections that fuel debate is in part, an outgrowth of trying to involve ex-players and expand the voting pool, while simultaneously opening it up to all kinds of favrotism due to its small size not t o mention being poorly structured to begin with.

Also, the poor structure of the HoF voting, if not "unwieldy" has, in effect, created a shadowed HoF since said structure is poorly thought out. You have "inner-circle" guys, first-ballot guys, VC guys, BBWAA-after-a few-years guys. Yet, those distinctions are all shadows, since the final honor is the same. Hank Aaron and George Kelly are both Hall of Famers.
And, of course, given what the HoF is perceived as being--the game's greatest honor--improving the process is worth doing in and of itself. Involving more people in it and having a more wide-ranging voting panel with different perpsectives is worth a hassle.

But, for all those who like arguing over BBWAA selections or trashing either the BBWAA or trashing those who trash them and talking about how cool the BBWAA is, no need to worry. This system isn't going anywhere, exclusionary as it is.
   144. rr Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:50 AM (#1833375)
how do it matter what these guys do in their own little group?


Right. Sort of like the BBWAA.
   145. rr Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:59 AM (#1833386)
but it's their decision to make, as it should be.

So, we can agree to disagree. This kind of thinking certainly elevates sportswriters to a level that I find befuddling, if, in fact, people really see who gets in the HoF as a big deal.

That said, I am sure there are a lot of really smart people in the BBWAA and they do do a pretty good job.
   146. rr Posted: January 23, 2006 at 02:09 AM (#1833409)
My hope is that the tone of public discussion will persuade the BWAA to keep the steroiders out of the {HoF}


What makes you think the BBWAA is concerned with the tone of public discussion, and if they are, that it would "persuade" them? You may be right, of course, but on what do you base this hope?
   147. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:06 AM (#1833501)
but it's their decision to make, as it should be.

So, we can agree to disagree. This kind of thinking certainly elevates sportswriters to a level that I find befuddling, if, in fact, people really see who gets in the HoF as a big deal.


Look, if you and your friends can ever implement your idea to expand the BWAA voting base, I'll say the same thing about the new group.

And in truth, I've never been all that interested in the HOF itself, other than as a starting point for arguing about topics like this. I've been to Cooperstown four times en route to various elsewheres, but the only way I'd go back is if I had complete access to their library for about a month.

My hope is that the tone of public discussion will persuade the BWAA to keep the steroiders out of the {HoF}


What makes you think the BBWAA is concerned with the tone of public discussion, and if they are, that it would "persuade" them? You may be right, of course, but on what do you base this hope?


In part on my often over-optimistic nature, but recently in greater part by reading many of the published comments on McGwire by members of the BWAA itself. It don't look real good for the Big Cartoon at this point, and I find it hard to believe that this is nothing more than the product of independent minds coming to independent conclusions. The majority of BB writers are subject to the influences of shifting public opinion as much as anyone. This isn't an inherently great thing, but occasionally, as hopefully in McGwire's case, it might lead to a worthwhile result.

Which is one of the reasons I keep yakking---it certainly isn't because I think I'll ever convince Chris Dial that a spitball isn't as bad as a steroid pill. It would take a whole platoon of my fellow Nazi marchers to 'convince' Chris of that, bless his heart.
   148. rr Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:29 AM (#1833528)
And in truth, I've never been all that interested in the HOF itself, other than as a starting point for arguing about topics like this. I've been to Cooperstown four times en route to various elsewheres, but the only way I'd go back is if I had complete access to their library for about a month.



Interesting. I suppose I think--although I could be wrong--that people would be more into it if the voting panel were expanded and the whole thing was more public and participatory.

This isn't an inherently great thing, but occasionally, as hopefully in McGwire's case, it might lead to a worthwhile result.


I am reminded of Tom Wolfe's description of the American press in
The Right Stuff as a "Victorian gent" that provides the public with the "correct feelings."

This is, of course, a two-way thing in terms of who influences who. My guess is that McGwire will be kept out for awhile, but not forever, and I see it as something interesting to follow for several reasons:

1. I think debate about it will be an indicator of how much baseball fans in general are really angered by PEDs.
2. I wonder whether there will be a traditional binary opposition between MM journalists (keep him out) and Stat/Internet journalists (who do those sanctimonious ######## think they are; let him in)
3. McGwire, unlike Bonds who was hated long before BALCO, was always well-liked by the media and the public--he was portrayed as a sensitive giant; many stories were written about his foundation for abused kids, his relationship with his son after his divorce, his sensitivity, his contributions to "saving" baseball. Absent PED issues, I think it would give the media great pleasure to put him in with Ripken (and Gwynn)--the two men who "saved the game." Now, I think Ripken and Gwynn's presence on the ballot will, along with the PED issue, keep McGwire out initially. But will McGwire's former hero status make them judge him more harshly, or less? I am guessing the former.
   149. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:33 AM (#1833539)
And you can address your sense of horror about steroids in the NFL (or the Olympics, or in tiddlywinks) to someone who cares about any of those sports.

To clarify - Andy, the use of steroids in the NFL points to the public's *actual* position on steroids. Sure, when they first hear about it, they all act shocked and mortified. It goes away - same with sportwriters.

Do you think voters for teh HoF give a hoot about who was on steroids or not? Will Bill Romanowski get elected (not sure if he really warrants it anyway)?

That goes to illustrate what the public and sportswriters *really* think about steroids - not this temporary insanity around baseball. And even if they decide in baseball - it's worse than in football, well, that just makes them idiots.

There are no "steroid era" asterisks in football (and by that I mean people in the power simply don't really care about the use of drugs). Not that there should or shouldn't be - that there isn't.

People really don't care.
   150. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:36 AM (#1833549)
Your comparison of your anti-public opinion position on McGwire to some lonely anti-Nazi in Germany is beyond amusing, though I guess I should be grateful that I was only being compared to a Hitler marcher, and not to Der Fuehrer himself, and I should congratulate you for your rhetorical restraint.

It's a Seinfeld joke, Andy.
   151. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2006 at 04:38 AM (#1833634)
McGwire, unlike Bonds who was hated long before BALCO, was always well-liked by the media and the public--he was portrayed as a sensitive giant; many stories were written about his foundation for abused kids, his relationship with his son after his divorce, his sensitivity, his contributions to "saving" baseball. Absent PED issues, I think it would give the media great pleasure to put him in with Ripken (and Gwynn)--the two men who "saved the game." Now, I think Ripken and Gwynn's presence on the ballot will, along with the PED issue, keep McGwire out initially. But will McGwire's former hero status make them judge him more harshly, or less? I am guessing the former.

You may be right, of course, but never underestimate the power of disillusion. People generally don't like being played for a chump, which is what McGwire did Big Time. I doubt if this will be overcome by an Oprah sobfest or a few staged corporate charity events. I'd personally vote Bonds in before McGwire, as soon as Jose Valdivielso gets in first, at least.

And even if they decide in baseball - it's worse than in football, well, that just makes them idiots.

Idiots they (we) may be, but there is a decidedly different reaction to the idea of steroids in the two sports among many of us---those who see the problem being how it affects the nature of the game, as opposed to those who care primarily about the health issue.

The bottom line for me about football is that I just don't care enough about it as a sport to care about how steroids affect it. And since I care even less about individual sports such as the Olympic events, I wouldn't care if every one of them shot themselves full of steroids before each and every race. It'd be their funeral, not mine.

Re-reading that last paragraph, I guess you could conclude that I'm just not a caring kind of person. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

There are no "steroid era" asterisks in football (and by that I mean people in the power simply don't really care about the use of drugs). Not that there should or shouldn't be - that there isn't.

I could point to all the rules and penalties surrounding their use in the NFL to rebut this, but I'd fall asleep before I could ever finish.

People really don't care.

Probably not---one more minor reason why football is a lesser sport, entertaining as the playoffs may be.

there's no moral outrage there - it's temporary in baseball - and it only exists because people are told they have to be outraged - which is a pathetic reason to do so. Again, you go right along with that. I'm glad we weren't in Nazi Germany:
Andy: (marching) Come on, Chris, go along, go along.

Your comparison of your anti-public opinion position on McGwire to some lonely anti-Nazi in Germany is beyond amusing, though I guess I should be grateful that I was only being compared to a Hitler marcher, and not to Der Fuehrer himself, and I should congratulate you for your rhetorical restraint.

It's a Seinfeld joke, Andy.


Oh, right, except IIRC that was an AIDS parade, not a Nazi march, where Kramer refused to "wear-a the reebon," which is why I didn't catch the reference. The only actual 'Nazi' episode I can remember (the "O'Brien" one) took place almost entirely in the back seat of a limo.
   152. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 23, 2006 at 08:14 AM (#1833957)
Oh, right, except IIRC that was an AIDS parade, not a Nazi march, where Kramer refused to "wear-a the reebon," which is why I didn't catch the reference

Nope, it was from "The Outing"...

George: [quietly] C'mon, go along...

Jerry: I'm not goin' along. I can just see you in Berlin in 1939 goose-stepping past me: "C'mon Jerry, go along, go along..."
   153. Backlasher Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:08 PM (#1834007)
That being the case, I guess I'm just confused why you would say anything about the commissioners office clearing him. That's not particularly relevant to whether or not Willie Mays, one of the greatest players of all time, and a hero to many players coming up through the 60s and 70s, had his performance enhanced by taking drugs, and thereby influenced many that knew it to also take them.


Because that is what the article said. I have no knowledge beyond the linked article. And I was given three articles by some fanboy, and told to google. All three articles said the same thing. Just those three sentences. At this point, its the same information we have against Tejeda. Its nowhere near the information we have on Bonds, Giambi, McGwire, Sheffield, and Palmeiro.

But more important, I don't know or particularly care what Mays did or did not do for this question. As I've now said for about the tenth time without any rebuttal (but plenty of people just repeating Mays behavoir), it is not relevant, unless:

(1) You want to expel Mays from the HoF;
(2) You think voters are bound by previous decisions. (If Mays, then McGwire)

That's the problem with your "what about the greenies" that you keep throwing into every discussion regardless of the specific topic. We keep telling you over and over and over again, "We want those gone too" We can't go back in time, unless we get one of those time machines they have at the Hardhat Times. If you have an indictment against a specific player vis a vis greenies and the Hall of Fame, who has not been admitted, we will consider the argument.

I don't advocate to keep Mays out. Why would you think that?

Because, I'm trying to figure out why you keep bringing it up.

It changes this much - should Sheffield be "banned" from teh HoF? (In your opinion).

My guess of the VBB stance here:
Sheff didn't take long enough to benefit (which is peculiar because Caminiti purportedly started his MVP season, so if steroids are to be "credited" with Cammy's spike, in 3 months, we should have seen similar response in Sheff - unless there is the idea that the "enhancements" are not very long lasting without continued usage).


Based on what I know right now, no I would not withhold a vote on that ground alone based on present knowledge. If he tested positive that following season, and there was a sanction, then I would have given him that sanction. I wouldn't advocate heavily that he should definately be in the Hall either.

And the reason is because intent does not play a part in the workplace sanction. The athlete is responsible for what they put in their body. But intent is paramount when you are deciding questions like character. What you have with Sheffield is a player that has no ties, accusations, or other specific evidence dealing with steroids. He told a reporter that Anderson applied some cream to his knee after workouts. He has no long ties to Anderson to know of his doping past and no direct relationship to BALCO. He quit that enterprise and was expressly told that the agent was an analgesic. I don't recall any weird behavior like drops under the tongue or an injection. I can doubt that veracity, but I haven't been given anything to doubt that veracity.

By the same token, if it was discovered that Tejeda's B12 was a steroid, my opinion would change wrt Palemeiro. I may still not believe him because there is a big difference in an expectation for an injectable then a topical location.

Haven't we learned enough about steroids in the last couple of years to know this isn't how it is done? It's pills and cream and clear.

I've learned enought to know that everyone on that list was injecting substances in their ass except perhaps Bonds and Sheffield.

Actually this is an exercise in interpretation of the magnitude of offense. I disagree - IMO, steroids, wrt cheating, are *precisely* spitballs. Maybe not - they ar probably *less* cheating than spitballs.


I didn't think you were in this crowd. If so, its one of the sillier stances you can take. As has been discussed numerous times, an onfield sanction for a violation taking place during a game is different than an offield violation affecting the integrity of the game. I'm sure you think Tim Duncan is just as bad as Ron Artest. Sure, Artest went into the stands to fight a fan, but Tim Duncan got called for a foul last time he played.

But again, I'll tell you. If you want to start a campaign to:
(1) Kick Perry out of the Hall; or
(2) You want to advocate someone shouldn't vote for some specific pitcher.
I'll listen. Right now, we are talking about the culpability of injecting steroids into your ass and tongue.

The ESPN expose indicated that practically every player knew who to ask for steroids, and how they would be fedexed the next day. that doesn't sound like players were operating in this world of "I don't know what's going on."

This is just starting to get silly. Practically everyone I know would know where to get crack, cocaine, and speed. They wouldn't even have to wait a day. That is in no way a reflexion that they approve, endorse, or accept drug use.

...NFL...

This isn't the NFL. I don't think many people want steroids in the NFL for that matter.
   154. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2006 at 02:39 PM (#1834063)
AM (#1833957)
Oh, right, except IIRC that was an AIDS parade, not a Nazi march, where Kramer refused to "wear-a the reebon," which is why I didn't catch the reference


Nope, it was from "The Outing"...

George: [quietly] C'mon, go along...

Jerry: I'm not goin' along. I can just see you in Berlin in 1939 goose-stepping past me: "C'mon Jerry, go along, go along..."


Well, as long as I've got you on the phone, maybe you can tell me the name of the episode where Puddy shows off a new leather jacket which has a giant 8-ball on the back. Elaine drops her jaws and says something like "You're really going to wear that?" Puddy says "All signs point to 'YES'!" And then he adds just about my favorite Seinfeld line ever, when he turns his back on Elaine, flexes his muscles, and says, with that inimitable Puddy leer, "You got a question? Just ask the 8-ball!" It may be the greatest line in the history of TV, up there with Krusty's "I thought the Generals were due!"

I've seen the episode a hundred times, but I can't find any reference to the scene in the Scripts website. I do know it's not in "The Face Painter," and I do know that it's near the end of the show.
   155. Barca Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:15 PM (#1834108)
<<Is there anything negative on anyone's plaque?>>
"Nolan Ryan is wearing a Rangers hat."

Good Catch.
   156. Barca Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:16 PM (#1834112)
<<Is there anything negative on anyone's plaque?>>
"Nolan Ryan is wearing a Rangers hat."

Good Catch.
   157. Barca Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:16 PM (#1834115)
Is there anything negative on anyone's plaque?
"Nolan Ryan is wearing a Rangers hat."

Good Catch.
   158. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:23 PM (#1834123)
BL,
one reason we talk past each other is because you attempt to apply the wrong motives for my beliefs. Yes, you do.

But more important, I don't know or particularly care what Mays did or did not do for this question. As I've now said for about the tenth time without any rebuttal (but plenty of people just repeating Mays behavoir), it is not relevant, unless:

(1) You want to expel Mays from the HoF;
(2) You think voters are bound by previous decisions. (If Mays, then McGwire)


No -it doesn't require either. I want the rabid to acknowledge that people who use performance enhancers are in teh HoF without stigma. I want the VBB to acknowledge that amphetamines are cheating. I want the VBB to acknowledge they think cheating taking one drug, while performance enhancing, isn't cheating, although their particular pet drug is cheating. And "because it's openly done" is a terrible reason to consider it so. It's only cheating if you think it is?

I don't think *voters* need to be bound by anything. I expect *you* and Andy and JC and kevin to understand that cheating is pervasive - and cheating to gain an unfair advantage - and to me, not in some "harmless manner".

You all like to make an asinine analogy and say Artest = Duncan, but you know you are intentionally making a strawman, rather than acknowledge you aren't consistent in your definitions. You want solely for "cheating" to be defined by steroids (and hGH). Why? Because it's what you do? If "done clandestinely to gain an unfair advantage" doesn't describe a spitball, I don't know what does. Okay, it isn't unhealthy, BUT THAT IS A DIFFERENT REASON, and not inherently one to keep someone out of the HoF.

We aren't talking about whether everyone wants them gone from the game -

I simply find your logic that steroids, assumed performance enhancing illegal drugs taken to gain an advantage, are cheating because they aren't used openly, and amphetamines, assumed performance enhancing illegal drugs taken to gain an advantage, are not cheating because they are used openly is just about as poor as it gets.

Open usage is what you use to define cheating. That's nonsense. You just don't happen to like it that Bonds excelled (although there have been 100+ players caught and about 5 have excelled).

Moreover, I'm sure some players take ritalin (or adderol) not in the open - are they cheating?

Using "cheating" as a reason, if applied evenly, is fine. Steroids performance offends your sensibilities. Why? (not the use of dangerous drugs and hte role model issues - teh performance itself) The evidence is pretty clear that taking steroids doesn't make players stars. It doesn't make them break records. Records are broken all the time without steroids, and the vast majority of known users aren't very good, much less stars.

Amphetamines have taken down far more records - mostly through longevity. There's almost no chance players play everyday clean, so all teh players that reached 3000 hits or 500 HRs all did it through performance enhancing. And they all will going forward. You are choosing to accept one form of illegal performance enhancing drug that is banned by MLB for another.

Now, don't take some crazy strawman about how you can't fight one evil at a time crap - there are really only two - and you've ignored teh first and most dangerous and most pervasive your entire baseball fandom - so the high horse you are on means crap to me.

It isn't as simple as "we want them all gone". I want the same hatred; the same mud-slinging; the same asterisk-clamoring for amphetamine users over the last 40 years. Otherwise your complaints ring hollow as just personal hatred for players you don't like.

If so, its one of the sillier stances you can take. As has been discussed numerous times, an onfield sanction for a violation taking place during a game is different than an offield violation affecting the integrity of the game.

No, *YOU* think it is different in this case. It is NOT categorically different. You consider it different. It isn't silly, it's different from yours - it meets all the criteria listed. Corking bats is done off the field - is it the same thing as spitballs or steroids?

Now your next arguemnt is "so does baseball" with the newly named sanctions, but that's not teh same. The NFL doesn't have this - they have the same for coke and whathaveyou, IIRC. And baseball id it in response to hysteria - not as some reasoned measure (see also the NFL).

I'll say this too - you are the first lawyer I've talked with that hates the use of "precedent".
   159. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#1834156)
I want the same hatred; the same mud-slinging; the same asterisk-clamoring for amphetamine users over the last 40 years.

And you're never going to get it, Chris. Not from us, not from the writers, and not from the public. I'm not exactly sure what motivates you in your year-long crusade to keep insisting that a firefly equals a fire, but you're not making much headway among those who are able to make this elementary distinction. Very few people are ever going to equate Gaylord Perry loading up a wet one or Mickey Mantle popping a greenie with Mark McGwire injecting a steroid PED. And you can rant about the #### VBB, the #### writers, and the #### public until you die of old age, but you're really beginning to sound like the crazy old aunt in the attic.

You may now resume your noble pose of Prophet in the Wilderness. I'll stand back and give you plenty of room.
   160. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:56 PM (#1834170)
Wow, you guys are really low. I read the last bit of this thread and figured that BL and Andy had gotten into an argument with Joe and/or John earlier in the thread which is why they have been taken pot shots at the HOM. Not so. Not a single post from those two in this thread. Classy.
   161. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2006 at 04:03 PM (#1834178)
Who's taken a potshot at the HOM? Certainly not me. I do't have any beef against the HOM or with Joe, and John is perhaps my favorite Primate of them all.
   162. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 23, 2006 at 04:07 PM (#1834181)
I'm not exactly sure what motivates you in your year-long crusade to keep insisting that a firefly equals a fire, but you're not making much headway among those who are able to make this elementary distinction

See this - amphetamines, an illegal peforance enhancing dangerous to your health drug is *a firefly* relative to steroids.

That's willfully ignorant.

and John is perhaps my favorite Primate of them all.

Ahem.
   163. Mefisto Posted: January 23, 2006 at 04:43 PM (#1834228)
Chris, as I see it, the anti-steroids argument requires each of the following 4 steps:

1. Steroids were at all relevant times against the law.

2. Steroids are "unduly" harmful to health.

3. Steroids enhance performance.

4. Players considered steroids "cheating" at all relevant times.

I think it requires all 4 because if any one of these is missing steroids are not unique. There are also corollaries to these points, but these 4 are the heart of the case. It's confusing, though, because the discussion frequently focuses on just one issue at a time and makes their argument seem as if it hinges on that factor alone.

Now, then, a challenge for BL: Forget about Mays, Mantle and the rest. Let's focus on current candidates. I assume reporters know whether Ripken used amphetamines. IF he did, do you believe the writers should publicize that fact as relevant to his candidacy? Should they refuse to vote for him if he did? If they don't know, should they investigate before voting?
   164. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2006 at 05:20 PM (#1834280)
I'm not exactly sure what motivates you in your year-long crusade to keep insisting that a firefly equals a fire, but you're not making much headway among those who are able to make this elementary distinction

See this - amphetamines, an illegal peforance enhancing dangerous to your health drug is *a firefly* relative to steroids.

That's willfully ignorant.


It would be, except for this: I've never once dwelled upon the health issue. If I were talking about the health issue, I'd agree with you. But since I've never emphasized (or hardly even mentioned) the health issue, I'm not sure why you're addressing this point to me.

and John is perhaps my favorite Primate of them all.

Ahem.


My Holy (Nonpartisan) Trio consists of Repoz (for his intros), John (for the way he deflates everyone on all sides, including himself), and Jack Keefe, whose parody of Lardner is beyond priceless.

Now, then, a challenge for BL: Forget about Mays, Mantle and the rest. Let's focus on current candidates. I assume reporters know whether Ripken used amphetamines. IF he did, do you believe the writers should publicize that fact as relevant to his candidacy? Should they refuse to vote for him if he did? If they don't know, should they investigate before voting?

I don't see any problem with publicizing the fact, but I wouldn't care, either. If Bonds and McGwire had stuck to greenies, I wouldn't even think about voting against them. If Bonds had put up his numbers with the aid of nothing but weights and greenies, I'd consider him one of the two greatest players ever, and a better hitter than Ruth. I was arguing this very position before the BALCO leaks---you can look it up.

Again, this is just one more attempt to equate the two substances, either for the purposes of guilt by associaton, or innocence by association. Differences of degree wrt performance enhancement are either ignored or minimized.

Mark, I would respectfully suggest (re-)stating your case at the next meeting of the BWAA, whenever that may be. Perhaps you'll convince some of them, and none of us Unionites will be there to pester you.
   165. BDC Posted: January 23, 2006 at 06:04 PM (#1834361)
A propos of very little, but I was just reading John Theodore's biography of Eddie Waitkus. Theodore notes that Waitkus was taking amphetamines throughout the 1950 season (p.73; remember, Waitkus had been shot in the chest by Ruth Ann Steinhagen the summer before). He quotes Waitkus: "Every time [Phillies trainer] Frank [Wiechec] found a new pill in his medical book he bought a load of them. I took eight different kinds of pill in in one day, and I was just as dead on my feet as if I'd taken none of them" (p.75).

Professional baseball players have had a sportwide buzz going for generations. I don't want to draw any grand conclusions from that, but it's interesting to read such notes from over half a century ago ...
   166. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 23, 2006 at 06:11 PM (#1834379)
It would be, except for this: I've never once dwelled upon the health issue.

Because it doesn't have to be about health. It was illegal too. It enhances performance better than steroids (more universally - everyone benefits from amps).

You are only concerned with the HR records? How odd.
   167. Backlasher Posted: January 23, 2006 at 06:46 PM (#1834432)
I think it requires all 4 because if any one of these is missing steroids are not unique.


No, I don't think it requires all four in any general context. In some arguments, any one of the four is a sufficient basis for making a decision. In other arguments, any subset of the four is enough to make the critical distinction or decision.

Its not a three-legged table, if you remove or diminish any one factor. In fact, that is the problem I have on most of the counter arguments. There is some thought that if you can create a scenario where "LASIK=Steroids" than all arguments wrt steroids fail. It always depends on what we are talking about.

The HoF is the more trickier argument, because we are talking about cheating. Any of 1,3 or 4 is an independent rational basis for a third party to arrive at a decision about character and the worthiness of honor. So, if its an argument about new standards or whether someone is an idiot, any of those can be used.

Instead, if we are trying to arrive at the BEST DECISION, and maintain consistency with past decisions, then its probably best to have all four criteria. If we do not have to live with past decisions, I'm not sure which subset forms the best basis of decision. I would think a subset of number 4 alone is the best decision, namely cheating that is perceived to also require a proportional response to compete (rather than an adjudicated performance enhancement as in 3).

And clearly all the other examples are distinguishable from steroids on this group. "Greenies" do not meet category 4. They may not meet category 1 for some players; it depends on how they were distributed and the knowledge of the players. (Which is distinguishable from "legal in their country"; I do not consider it 'honorable' to offshore to circumvent domestic laws, whether they are labor, banking, or drug laws).

Spitballs do not meet 2. And the magnitude is way different in 1, 3 and 4. That is the violation of an on-field rule as opposed to a baseball rule and law. An enhancement that lasts only for 1 pitch or till the baseball is replaced, and must be serially done with great risk, to have an effect. And commonely considered part of the gamesmanship, slightly worse than running out of the baseline, much better than spitting on an umpire. And 3 varies wildly depending on the stimulant used.

Let's focus on current candidates. I assume reporters know whether Ripken used amphetamines. IF he did, do you believe the writers should publicize that fact as relevant to his candidacy?


From this point forward, yes, absolutely. This is know an issue. We shouldn't barry our heads in the sand on doping, or single out a specific doping agent without reason or conversation. I don't know where this "willfully blind" meme is coming from. Most of us started on this issue, on this site talking about ephedra.

Should they refuse to vote for him if he did?


That is for the voters to decide individually. I am interested in what the consensus concludes. As for me personally, it depends on what information is made known. I see a huge difference in "players coffee" and "taking a bean from Cams stash". If you are being supplied something by your employer or if you are actively seeking the substance out. I see a huge difference between an infrequent activity and a serial activity. If you are taking something for its analgesic or reperative properties, that is improper self medicating. If you are taking something to not play naked, that is doping. I also see a distinguishable difference depending on what the players, sportswriters, and/or public thought.

But all those relate to character, cheating, and worthiness of honor. None deals with teh fact that the items should be removed from the sport. None deals with the fact that if someone is tested for those substances, henceforth, they should be suspended and viewed differently for that conduct than they may be viewed in the past.

And all those factors deal with future decisions. None reveal with expulsion, which is a sanction, and the removal of a vested right.

And none of those deal with the fact, that I will admire Gwynn more, and perhaps believe he has positive character, for refusing to participate in that practice.

I'll also say its rationale to grandfather in the steroids cheaters. You can say, they should have known they were being slime, but sense I didn't say anything, I'll not hold it against them.

I want the rabid to acknowledge that people who use performance enhancers are in teh HoF without stigma

Who are the rabid. I told you in the last thread, I have no doubt there are some HoF who took stimulants. I also said I don't specifically know which ones. Per standard procedure, I got some lame fanboy trying to attack me for that statement wrt Mays. And as it stands today, I'll happily tell you there is no stigma. Andy, Kevin and JC keep explaining why there is no stigma. I keep explaining from my personal viewpoint, what it takes to get stigma. I can't promise you what anybody might think five years from now. They may view certain players as speed freaks.

I want the VBB to acknowledge that amphetamines are cheating...

From this day forward, there is no doubt they are cheating. They may never be the same magnitude of cheating as sticking steroids in your ass. There are reasons for that. But it doesn't matter, we are about to enter a new day. I'm not here to talk about the past, I'm here to talk about McGwire's future.

You all like to make an asinine analogy and say Artest = Duncan, but you know you are intentionally making a strawman, rather than acknowledge you aren't consistent in your definitions.

Actually, this is annoying. No one is making a strawman. A strawman is when somebody states that I am just protecting my hero Willie Mays; or states that I don't think amphetamines should be regulated. What I did was point out the absurdity in not being able to distinguish between an onfield violation of conduct that is perceived as part of the game, and an offield behavior that is seen as indicative of character. Applying a substance to a baseball is against the rules. Running out of the baseline is against the rules. Taking steroids is against the rules. They are all similar in this respect. Running out of the baseline is not indicative of character (although slapping a baseball may be). They will call the player out, and no one will make an inference. Doctoring a baseball is indicative of character. If it happens once or infrequently, people will consider it pushing an advantage. If it happens serially, people will either consider the person a reprobate, or they will consider it gamesmanship. There hasn't been a real test of this. The closest is Mike Scott, not Gaylord Perry, and there are mixed inferences of his conduct. Taking steroids is indicative of character. If someone did it once or for a very short period of time before denouncing the process, people will either consider the person a reprobate, or they will forgive the conduct. It appears the vast majority are willing to be forgiving.

We are about to find out what happens when a person does steroids serially. From every column we have seen, and every poll ever taken, it looks like people are going to consider that person a cheater. There is a small minority that does not consider that activity cheating. And you are all welcome to put them in your honorium. You're welcome to publish your asterisk free catalogues of stats. You're welcome to call the vast majority of people all kinds of names for not seeing your view. But just don't expect that people aren't going to point out that your choices aren't well grounded, and don't start calling them uncivil or trying to apply different rules to their speech. Unless you want to create some kind of club that drowns out all critical comments.

No, *YOU* think it is different in this case. It is NOT categorically different. You consider it different. It isn't silly, it's different from yours - it meets all the criteria listed. Corking bats is done off the field - is it the same thing as spitballs or steroids?

That's right *I* do. And it is categorically different on all the categories we have discussed. I don't consider it different on these categories; it is different on these categories. And in the two years we have been going at this, you just keep saying, "Its the same on these categories." That is not at issue.

But more importantly, you keep trying to say, "no its not different on these categories." And that is where you run into problems. In some cases you are just wrong, and verifiably so. In other cases, you opine its not different, but the weight of the evidence runs against you. So you recede into, but you haven't proved its different. Which I don't need to do, because the weight of the evidence clearly favors the difference.

And that leaves you with rather silly suppositions like spitballs are the same as steroids, or aspirin is the same as steroids. And you are free to believe that. But most people won't go along with that thought. And at that point wrt public opinion, the issue isn't "popularity" its plausibility.

You present arguments and facts that are worthy of consideration. From time to time though you present conclusions that don't pass the "common sense" test. Someone could post "steroids are the same as rock and roll music" They could present a good argument on psychoacoustic effects on performance. It doesn't mean that most persons can't differentiate between the two on relevant factors, and it doesn't reduce an opinion that they are differentiable to being, "well that's just what you think." Who are two things the same, and how they are different is a skill learned early in life. Learning the relevance of similarity and difference is what is important.
   168. Mefisto Posted: January 23, 2006 at 06:57 PM (#1834458)
Fair enough, BL (I'm referring to your responses to me).
   169. Backlasher Posted: January 23, 2006 at 07:49 PM (#1834551)
Professional baseball players have had a sportwide buzz going for generations. I don't want to draw any grand conclusions from that, but it's interesting to read such notes from over half a century ago ...


I draw one, namely wrt "...Phillies trainer] Frank [Wiechec] found a new pill in his medical book he bought a load of them. "

As I mentioned to Mark, its very different to take something given to you by the team's medical representative than it is from the crack dealer on the corner. The magnitude of that difference varies depending on the players' on conduct. I doubt as long as we have:

Steroids=LASIK

We could meaningfully discuss that difference. Too many of the anti-steroids crowd is locked into advocacy. I am in fact amazed by a recent event.

Pre-BALCO scandal, I posted something along the lines of: "Its reasonable to suspect Bonds took steroids because of the drastic change in his performance record, his physiological changes and his ties to BALCO. That does not mean I'd sanction him based on the present evidence."

The response was people lambasting me for assuming Bonds took steroids without "proof." Calling me names, screaming witch hunt etc.

In the last week, I have stated along the lines of, "Its reasonable to presume that Mays likely possessed and took liquid stimulants based on John Milner's testimony."

And I get lambasted about trying to protect my favorite player Mays, ya da ya da.

Now I think the second statement is stronger than the first for culpability. I think the evidence wrt Bonds is stronger than Mays. I think those statements expressly define the scope of my position. The fact that they are pushed into a position that I don't have, and then lamented indicates to me that its not the Union, but others who are forming their beliefs based on their likes of certain players. It also indicates to me prevailing groupthink.
   170. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#1834561)
It would be, except for this: I've never once dwelled upon the health issue.

Because it doesn't have to be about health. It was illegal too. It enhances performance better than steroids (more universally - everyone benefits from amps).


Tell it to the BWAA, Chris. You can put them to sleep, too.
   171. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 23, 2006 at 08:14 PM (#1834601)
As for me personally, it depends on what information is made known. I see a huge difference in "players coffee" and "taking a bean from Cams stash". If you are being supplied something by your employer

So, if the Giants had hired Greg Anderson, none of this would be Bonds' fault?

but others who are forming their beliefs based on their likes of certain players. It also indicates to me prevailing groupthink

There are aonly a handful of people in this discussion - I don't think there's "groupthink" at all (except a group claiming to have groupthink)

You're welcome to call the vast majority of people all kinds of names for not seeing your view. But just don't expect that people aren't going to point out that your choices aren't well grounded, and don't start calling them uncivil or trying to apply different rules to their speech. Unless you want to create some kind of club that drowns out all critical comments.

That's irony. My incivility is almost 100% a *response* insult. I don't apply different rules to anyone's speech. If you waren't referring to me, then don't make veiled commentary like that.

Create some kind of club to drowned out critical comments? Like say, a Union?
   172. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 23, 2006 at 08:18 PM (#1834604)
A strawman is when somebody states that I am just protecting my hero Willie Mays; or states that I don't think amphetamines should be regulated.

I thought a strawman was when someone makes a ridiculous example that is supposed to be analogous to my point, so it is easy to refute/knock down - like a straw man.

See:
steroids are less cheating wrt impact on a game than spitballs

analogous to Artest attacking fans (heinous - steroids) to a Tim Duncan reach-in foul (happens in every game - spitball).

Uh, that's not a strawman?
   173. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 23, 2006 at 08:28 PM (#1834617)
Well, as long as I've got you on the phone, maybe you can tell me the name of the episode where Puddy shows off a new leather jacket which has a giant 8-ball on the back. Elaine drops her jaws and says something like "You're really going to wear that?" Puddy says "All signs point to 'YES'!" And then he adds just about my favorite Seinfeld line ever, when he turns his back on Elaine, flexes his muscles, and says, with that inimitable Puddy leer, "You got a question? Just ask the 8-ball!" It may be the greatest line in the history of TV, up there with Krusty's "I thought the Generals were due!"

I've seen the episode a hundred times, but I can't find any reference to the scene in the Scripts website. I do know it's not in "The Face Painter," and I do know that it's near the end of the show.


<a href="http://www.seinology.com/scripts/script-168.shtml">The Reverse Peephole</a>
   174. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 23, 2006 at 08:31 PM (#1834626)
I don't know why that didn't work.
   175. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 23, 2006 at 08:35 PM (#1834637)
because the word "script" is in your brackets.
   176. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2006 at 08:53 PM (#1834688)
AJM,

Muchos gracias. I’d completely forgotten how that scene derived from Jerry’s “dandy” coat.

That same episode also had another of the all-time great lines, the one where Silvio tells Kramer that Newman can stay in the building, but then adds, while he tugs down on his eyelid with a cigar....

"But... I'm gonna keep my eye on him."

Easy Top Ten Seinfeld moment.
   177. Backlasher Posted: January 23, 2006 at 09:37 PM (#1834777)
Uh, that's not a strawman?


Uh, no its not. Its a manifestation of the logic shown in the example. A strawman in its usage as a fallacy would be to describe your position as moral relitivism and then attack moral relitivists without dealing with your argument.

If what you stated was a "strawman" then everything you promote would be a strawman by taking the steroid argument to "greenies" which "does not take on the reality and complexity of the original."

Instead, you will usually find that most anything I post will contain both illustrative analogies and directly responsive material.

But that is illustrative of one of the problems that you encounter on this site. You want to focus on one illustrative example, expand the use of "strawman" beyond any reasonable definition and then claim its unfair. People also torture the definition and use of "ad hominem" on this site, and incorrectly believe that any fact about the messenger is not probative.

To put it simply you are overreaching. If you want to start attacking forms rather than substance, I could point out that just about everything you do is an attempt at argumentem ad logicam, or thinking that destroying a single premise selected from a set of premises would destroy a conclusion.

Strawman, and even moreso, basic reading comprehension is what you get in most attacks against the union. "You don't think Willie Mays took amphetamines." "Of course he did." "Ergo, McGwire should be in the Hall."

If I had only made one point and been nonresponsive, it might be a strawman. It would have more likely just been annoying. Almost as bad as throwing out fifty premises and demanding irrefutable proof on all, and claiming victory as long as one can stand. Or the newest one (not by you), Argumentum ad Baculum, or "stop making points or we are going to vote you off Primer"; "I'm going to tell Jimmy Furtado on you."

If you want an example of a strawman, here is a good one:

So, if the Giants had hired Greg Anderson, none of this would be Bonds' fault?


Which you should now is not the case, particulary since its not the act of hiring that is probative. It may have been ok for Neifi if Anderson was rubbing cream on Neifi's leg, but it wouldn't be if it was Bonds leg, if Bonds got him that job with knowledge of his past. But, I presume you know this, because I think you are reasonably bright.

Instead you want to take specific factual circumstances and craft non-existent rules that neither fully deal with those situations nor would be effective in any decision making contest and try crafting decision trees based on those silly rules. Its why you are equating spitballs with steroids. And that exercise, which you are doing for amusement, may actually convince the weak minded of something that is ludicrous. Its why I told Cri there is no way we coudl discuss that nuanced of a point out here.

There are aonly a handful of people in this discussion - I don't think there's "groupthink" at all (except a group claiming to have groupthink)

LOL, there where more than a "handful" in the discussion I referenced.

Create some kind of club to drowned out critical comments? Like say, a Union?

Who is only insulting 100% of the time in response. But that's pretty amzing that you think we have that much power. Only one of us even has "keys". All we have is words.

I don't apply different rules to anyone's speech. If you waren't referring to me, then don't make veiled commentary like that.

Best I remember, Jimmy is your buddy, and you got super duper site power. Your just looking demur behind that empty diamond.

Nevertheless, I'll give you credit for embracing speech, and its possible you renounced that power for moral reasons. If that is the case, I'll even give you bonus character points.

The point was made generally, but if the Professor Hat fits...
   178. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 23, 2006 at 10:31 PM (#1834869)
Sorry Andy, as I look back at it it was just BL that was doing so, especially with the weird attack in the voting rules where he took a single rule way out of context.

My bad.
   179. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: January 24, 2006 at 12:06 AM (#1835019)
Almost as bad as throwing out fifty premises and demanding irrefutable proof on all, and claiming victory as long as one can stand.

That would be textbook Ross M.O.
   180. Backlasher Posted: January 24, 2006 at 12:09 AM (#1835028)
Sorry Andy, as I look back at it it was just BL that was doing so, especially with the weird attack in the voting rules where he took a single rule way out of context.

My bad.


Actually, it was your bad when you jumped into the middle of conversation, offered nothing constructive to the conversation, all in the effort to make an attack. Of course, that is Primer.

And that entire "out of context" is just ridiculous. That is the only paragraph that deals with the said subject matter. There is nothing before or after it that deals with the subject matter, and that is the complete rule on the situation, including the illustrative example.

In fact, I supplied more context when I dealt with the specific behavior of Dimino.

I believe 2 is the relevant one here. Though in Chris' mind, his greenies argument isn't meant to be easily refuted.

Yes, example <> strawman, analogy <> strawman, example ofbias <> fallacious hominem attack, example of lack of expertise <> fallacious ad hominem attack, and the entire subject matter cannot be taken out of context. When the going gets tough, the buzz words start flying.
   181. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 24, 2006 at 02:41 AM (#1835264)
Strawman wasn't a buzzword - you did pretty much exactly #2, IMO.

I'm not sure how you guys think "greenies" can be a strawman when the only difference I can see is the claim of "openness of use".

that hardly seems enough to make greenies glaringly different, wrt purpose, health and legality.
   182. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 24, 2006 at 03:04 AM (#1835303)
well, kevin:


1. for their usage, the amphetamines were distributed and taken illegally.

2. "different pharmacological effects" doesn't matter - so do steroids and hGH.

3. amps enhance performance more than steroids

4. there are no indesirable side effects from amps? or they have different ones? Why would this matter? amps are considerable worse for you in large doses.

5. they both have this

6. according to you and gary sheff, the "persistance of effect" of steroids isn't very large.
   183. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 24, 2006 at 04:24 AM (#1835404)
for their usage, the amphetamines were distributed and taken illegally.

You can't possibly know this. Any team doctor can hand them out.


Really? There is a prescription that calls for loading a pot of coffee? Are you that ignorant?

3. amps enhance performance more than steroids

Bull. Name one player who hit over 65 homers or slugged over .750 just by doing speed.


Bot you had to draw those lines really high, didn't you? So only two players have ever used steroids - if steroids make you do those things?

Name one player on steroids to hit 500 HRs. Name one player on steroids to get 3000 hits. Name one player on steroids to steal 100 bases. Name one player on steroids to strike out 300 batters. Name one player on steroids to win 20 games. Name one player on steroids to post an ERA under 2 (wait that's cocaine).

5. they both have this

Neither anabolic steroids nor HGH have legitimate uses. You're thinking of cortisone, which is a whole different kettle of fish.


You think hGH doesn't have legitimate uses? Please look into that.

6. according to you and gary sheff, the "persistance of effect" of steroids isn't very large.

??? It's statements like these that cause Andy to think you're like the crazy aunt in the attic, Chris. Where did I ever say the effects of steroids don't persist? And what does Sheffield have to do with this?


Actually, I think you said that because Sheff didn't use long enough to see any effects. And Caminiti's stats plummeted after one season (even though he was still using).

Do you think that steroids are like amphetamines, that the physiological effects go away in a few hours? So all that extra muscle that Bonds and McGwire put on would go away in a few hour once they stop taking them?

How long does a baseball game last - a few hours? Who *cares* if steroids make one stronger for the hours a player isn't on a ballfield?

Chris, you're really making me think you no grasp at all of the subject matter.

kevin, you're really making me think you don't understand the use, the frequency of use, effects or pervasiveness of amphetamines at all.
   184. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 24, 2006 at 04:26 AM (#1835407)
3. amps enhance performance more than steroids

Bull. Name one player who hit over 65 homers or slugged over .750 just by doing speed.


Hope you have lots of good reading material with you while you wait for an answer to this one, Kevin.

You might want to stock up on The Eleventh Edition of The Encyclopedia Britannica, the Complete Works, Essays, Letters, and Speeches of Winston Churchill, and complete sets of Penguins and Loeb's Classics---for starters.

But I'm afraid you'll never get that answer out of any of them any more than you'll get it out of Chris. Not even when he consults his favorite un-asterisked record books.
   185. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 24, 2006 at 04:36 AM (#1835413)
3. amps enhance performance more than steroids

Bull. Name one player who hit over 65 homers or slugged over .750 just by doing speed.

Hope you have lots of good reading material with you while you wait for an answer to this one, Kevin.


Jeff Bagwell slugged .750. Jimmie Foxx slugged .778. Sammy Sosa hit 66 HRs.

Joe Baumann hit 72 HRs.

But it is interesting that Andy also thinks only two players ever took steroids.
   186. Backlasher Posted: January 24, 2006 at 04:55 AM (#1835441)
Strawman wasn't a buzzword - you did pretty much exactly #2, IMO.


Well you might want to alter your opinion. There are plenty of direct pieces of information posted throughout this thread dealing with the differences between spitballs and steroids. And the Artest-Duncan EXAMPLE that you are harping on is a direct example of on field conduct versus off the field behavior, which was expressly stated before the example was given.

So it is a buzzword. In fact, rather than dealing with any of the arguments on the differences, you threw a buzzword at me and attacked the form rather than the substance; then you keep going back to one example where you think you have a strong argument and pounding that incessently. As I said, if you want to deal with form that is argumentem ad logicam and a huge misdirectional tactic.

You think hGH doesn't have legitimate uses? Please look into that.

Did you convenietly leave out "for baseball" after a few posts hoping that no one would remember more than three posts ago.

'm not sure how you guys think "greenies" can be a strawman when the only difference I can see is the claim of "openness of use".

Most of the time, its just irrelevant. More often you just throw it in there thinking if you make a point about amphetamines, all your conclusions wrt steroids will be true.

I'm not sure people disagree with you too much on these "greenies" that you keep throwing out. It just has no bearing on the:
(a) Current or future legality of steroids;
(b) Current of future policy of baseball on the steroids question only;
(c) The culpability of Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, Tejeda, Sheffield, et. al. for taking steroids
(d) The honoring of players who took steroids
(e) Whether steroids or cheating

The only thing that it has relevance on is your misdirectional point of whether past use of steroids and the past use of amphetamines are the same moral level of cheating. You have everyone's view on the matter, and all are discenably rational. All are reachable from the same set of initial premises, and moreover those premises are not only valid, they are the most supportable inferences. Everyone is explaining to you the discernable differences, and you have absolutely nothing in your arsenal that can rebut Field's criteria number four.

But you keep wanting to show that steroids and amphetamines are the same on some criteria. In some cases, you really torture logic to get there. In others, you are correct, but you can't use that premise to even build an intermediary conclusion.

And I think the sticking points is your conflation of policy with precedent. Precedent does not and has not ever applied to a legislative activity, be it in the workplace or in the body of laws of the land. In fact, its often used to overturn precedent. Legislative activity is defined by two principals only: (1) Policy and (2) Extent of Power. In every situation we are examining, there is no question on extent of power. Congress can pass laws regulating foods and drugs. MLB can collectively bargain for sanctions for steroid use, and can unilaterally ban steroids. The BBWAA can elect HoF members by any criteria of their choosing.

The only question is polity, what should they do. Its a forward looking exercise. And your stuck trying to look both ways across the time spectrum. Temporality seems to cause so many problems on this board. The question is what should we do tomorrow, not what we did yesterday. If you want to build a case that speed freaks should no longer be in the HoF knock yourself out. If you want to build a case that spitballers should not be honored, we are listening. If you want to build a case that steroid users should be honored even after their cheating conduct, drawing on Willie Mays doesn't help you.

If you don't know any lawyers that know the difference between precedent and policy, you don't know many lawyers. They may vehemently disagreee with me on the policy, but I imagine even your pro-steroid, brothers of the bar understand this distinction.
   187. Backlasher Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:06 AM (#1835450)
And I should make a few other points in anticipation of other posts. Precedent is important to ensure that people do not lose vested rights. I don't think anyone is arguing to suspend Bonds and take away his salary because of his conduct before MLB had sanctions. I don't think anyone is arguing that someone should be expunged from the Hall of Fame. I'm not sure if that is not ultra vires to any group's authority.

But you have no vested right to a Hall of Fame induction. You have no vested right to how historians classify your performance output. You have no vested right to public opinion of your character.

If I write a children's book that sales really well; I don't think people will argue that I have a right to a Newbury Award. And if the voters decide they don't want to give it to me because I have a scary gorilla as a character, its within their province to do so. I don't expect anybody to argue, Well what about "Make way for Ducklings" it has a duck, and there is no difference between a duck and a gorilla.

The question is what the BBWAA should do about the assinjecting steroiders. And if they happen to take one, they are going to exacerbate the problem. Because then when a worse offender comes up for vote, or someone who even has a positive test post sanctions, you will get, "Well what about Mark McGwire. You knew he was on steroids and you let him in."
   188. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:09 AM (#1835452)
I'm not sure people disagree with you too much on these "greenies" that you keep throwing out.

You don't read kevin's posts, do you?
   189. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:10 AM (#1835454)
And I should make a few other points in anticipation of other posts. Precedent is important to ensure that people do not lose vested rights.

So it's not just about policy?
   190. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:12 AM (#1835460)
Strawman, and even moreso, basic reading comprehension is what you get in most attacks against the union. "You don't think Willie Mays took amphetamines." "Of course he did." "Ergo, McGwire should be in the Hall."

This is about your 4th or 5th mis-reference here to the tailend of this thread:
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/newsstand/discussion/35656/P200/

I do not know the precise reason for your bogus description-- lie, prank, boredom, carelessness in reading, dishonesty, avoidance, humorous exaggeration, habit, whatever. I do know that you cannot produce anything resembling my side of that alleged exchange.

And only you can know why the tailend of that thread bugs you so much that you'd bring it up, repeatedly, on a thread where I had not before posted.
   191. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:13 AM (#1835462)
It just has no bearing on the:
(a) Current or future legality of steroids;
(b) Current of future policy of baseball on the steroids question only;
(c) The culpability of Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, Tejeda, Sheffield, et. al. for taking steroids
(d) The honoring of players who took steroids
(e) Whether steroids or cheating

The only thing that it has relevance on is your misdirectional point of whether past use of steroids and the past use of amphetamines are the same moral level of cheating.


You know Treder, you don't get to decide what the converstion is.

Oops.

It isn't "misdirectional". Your listing of points that you full well know we don't differ on, pretending that I am somehow challenging them is misdirectional.
   192. Backlasher Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:14 AM (#1835464)
Jeff Bagwell slugged .750. Jimmie Foxx slugged .778. Sammy Sosa hit 66 HRs.

Joe Baumann hit 72 HRs.


Are you smoking crack cocaine.

I have not heard any evidence on Bagwell taking amphetamines or steroids, but either or both are possible, and I presume at about equal potential right now.

Foxx had that slugging in 9 ABs and is at a seriously low potential for even knowing about speed or steroids.

I have not heard any evidence on Sosa taking amphetamines, but I have heard his denail wrt steroids, but either or both are possible.

The other ###### is a minor leaguer, who is also not very likely to have even had access to amphetamines, or roids.
   193. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:16 AM (#1835465)
Everyone is explaining to you the discernable differences, and you have absolutely nothing in your arsenal that can rebut Field's criteria number four.

I have no compulsion to rebut #4. I don't think that's a valid definition - do you? IYO, if the players had not considered steroids cheating, then you (and the VBB) wouldn't have? (please attempt to quote this question and answer it as simply as possible - yes or no).

I don't believe that for a second (okay, maybe you wouldn't).
   194. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:17 AM (#1835469)
So, BL, you admit that both things are possible *WITHOUT steroids*. And thus equally possible with amphetamines, as amps are performance enhancers (IYO).
   195. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:20 AM (#1835472)
And if they happen to take one, they are going to exacerbate the problem.

I'll maintain that if they "take one" tehn they don't consider it teh cheating that you do - and thus it isn't cheating (since your definition (or the VBB's)) is the rejection of steroids by the public.
   196. Backlasher Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:27 AM (#1835480)
So it's not just about policy?


No legislation is about policy. I provided a more detailed basis for precedent.


You know Treder, you don't get to decide what the converstion is.

Oops.

It isn't "misdirectional". Your listing of points that you full well know we don't differ on, pretending that I am somehow challenging them is misdirectional.


Then what do you want to assert? If you aren't challenging any of those listed items, there isn't much left. Because you also say you don't want to expunge anyone from the Hall. If you aren't interested in future policy, there isn't much you can do with retroactive policy unless you want to have Mao's great purge.

I have no compulsion to rebut #4. I don't think that's a valid definition - do you? IYO, if the players had not considered steroids cheating, then you (and the VBB) wouldn't have? (please attempt to quote this question and answer it as simply as possible - yes or no).

Me-no.
Can others think its cheating and still be rational - Yes.

And its not a definition, its a criteria.

And no, Tre--- oops. This isn't a cross examination, you don't get to pick the rules of interragatories. And even if you did, that's one where I'd still be allowed to answer.
   197. Backlasher Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:35 AM (#1835485)
This is about your 4th or 5th mis-reference here to the tailend of this thread:
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/newsstand/discussion/35656/P200/

I do not know the precise reason for your bogus description-- lie, prank, boredom, carelessness in reading, dishonesty, avoidance, humorous exaggeration, habit, whatever. I do know that you cannot produce anything resembling my side of that alleged exchange.

And only you can know why the tailend of that thread bugs you so much that you'd bring it up, repeatedly, on a thread where I had not before posted.


I guess you didn't read or understand this thread either. But I'm glad it doesn't stop you from interrupting conversation.

So, BL, you admit that both things are possible *WITHOUT steroids*. And thus equally possible with amphetamines, as amps are performance enhancers (IYO).

Chris, that is pretty tortured. I don't think you have responded to Kevin's question. That's what I think. And I think you are doing an impersonation of a bad cross examination. Anything is possible, I just don't think you can show where that has been achieved based solely on a performance enhancement by amphetamines. You just googled up stats, and got very overly literal and comical with Joe Baumann and Jimmie Foxx. Why didn't you list Onix Concepcion while you were at it.

But that's exactly what I was talking about earlier. You are taking facts and deriving some weird ass rules from them. And I'm not sure you want to be throwing Bagwell and Sosa's name into this arena.
   198. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:35 AM (#1835486)
"Cheating" is often subjective - here particularly.

Do you think taking amphetamines is cheating?
   199. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:41 AM (#1835494)
Chris, that is pretty tortured. I don't think you have responded to Kevin's question.

You must be kidding. You don't think kevin's "question" was tortured? Why not 60 HRs? Oh, because Maris his 61. Why not SLGed .700? Because plenty have. Why not .730? What's magical about steroids and .750?

You said my response was tortured and I didn't answer kevin's question? You can see the grotesque attempt to distort the power of steroids in kevin's question? Are you that beguiled by the love of teh VBB?

that's embarrassing.

BTW, no one has answered my question I responded to jkevin's with. You know why? I'll have to read a lot of books...I can start with War and Peace and teh unabridged dictionary and the,....
   200. Backlasher Posted: January 24, 2006 at 06:01 AM (#1835528)
"Cheating" is often subjective - here particularly.


And we are about to find out the BBWAA's take.

Do you think taking amphetamines is cheating?


Jesus, Chris. Why does my opinion interest you so much. What more can I tell you about amphetamines. I hope all this isn't just for lil ole me.

From this day forward, there is no doubt its cheating. There is no reasonable test or distinction that can be made where its not cheating.

In the past, I'm coming closer to think it was. That pot of coffeee thing that you taught me. Those little black bag things that you taught me, etc. has drastically changed how I viewed the practice. And all that #### is why I like you posting.

But no, I don't have enough information where I would personally believe it was cheating. It seems dangerous, ill advised, careless, irresponsible, against medical ethics etc. But if the majority of players were just taking substances supplied by the team, I don't yet think its cheating in a moral sense. If the players themselves viewed it as a part of the game, then I would not consider it cheating.

If I become aware that its distribution, use or perception was different than I anticipated than I'll change my opinion on the matter. Which does incrementally move closer toward your opinion.

But that will not change one thing about how I view doping policy and what should be done going forward.

And it doesn't change the rationality of the decisions of others who still differentiate amphetamines on relevant criteria.
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