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The Hall of Fame ballot is out. Let the arguing commence.

The new names are Chris Carpenter, Johnny Damon, Brian Fuentes, Livan Hernandez, Aubrey Huff, Jason Isringhausen, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Carlos Lee, Brad Lidge, Hideki Matsui, Kevin Millwood, Jamie Moyer, Scott Rolen, Johan Santana, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, and Kerry Wood.

Holdovers are Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Billy Wagner, and Larry Walker.

Chipper Jones and Thome seem as automatic a selection as one could hope to see. Of the other newcomers - Rolen is definitely one of the ten greatest third basemen of all time. That ought to be enough, but he may have to wait a while. Andruw Jones was a Hall of Fame caliber player in his 20s, but he fell off a cliff after turning 30 and that will probably keep him out. Carpenter and Santana were great pitchers, but didn't last long enough. Omar Vizquel was Ozzie Smith-lite - very similar, just not as good. I don't think he belongs. Of the others, I think only Jamie Moyer (269 wins is a lot of wins) and Hideki Matsui (he was a great player for years before coming to the majors) have a chance of hitting the 5% cut-off to stay on the ballot. Maybe Johnny Damon will linger on the ballot as well - some of those counting numbers are pretty impressive. The others were all good players, all better than at least a few people currently in the Hall, but the bar is supposed to be higher than that.

Of the holdovers, Hoffman and Guerreo barely missed last time around, so they're likely to get there this time. Martinez and Mussina are both obviously well qualified, and their vote totals have been increasing steadily. The same is true of Clemens and Bonds. All four players received better than 50% of the votes last time, the first time any of them had been supported by that many voters. But they've all got a ways to go to hit 75%, and  I don't think any of them are going to get over the hump this time (new candidates keep popping onto the ballot.)

Meanwhile Curt Schilling, who had cleared 50% in 2016 actually saw his voting share drop this year. This probably had more to do with him being an obnoxious jerk than anything else. He's more than qualified, if he can just keep his mouth shut. The other holdovers all have a strong Hall case if considered in isolation, every one of them. But they'll continue to be outnumbered - swamped, actually - by the quantity of even better players still waiting to be honoured.
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Richard S.S. - Monday, November 20 2017 @ 06:27 PM EST (#350765) #
Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero should definitely get in this time. No one else will be very close.
GabrielSyme - Monday, November 20 2017 @ 07:49 PM EST (#350769) #
I would hope that Scott Rolen would receive a strong vote, but I think he's going to be caught in Larry Walker territory - defence and baserunning underappreciated, and regarded with scepticism due to missing a fair amount of time with injuries.

My ballot would probably be: Guerrero, Thome, Chipper Jones, Mussina, Edgar Martinez, Schilling, Wagner, Walker and Rolen. Andruw Jones is on the bubble for me.
Mike Green - Monday, November 20 2017 @ 09:02 PM EST (#350774) #
Quick questions:  Which Montreal Expo outfielder had the highest career bWAR and fWAR- Andre Dawson, Vladimir Guerrero, Tim Raines or Larry Walker? Which of these outfielders had the highest peak (best 2 years)? 

My ballot: C. Jones, A. Jones, Thome, Mussina, Schilling, Clemens, Bonds, Walker, Rolen, Edgar. A word on Andruw Jones- for a period of 8 years, he was clearly the best player on a club that featured a whack of Hall of Famers and went to the playoffs every year.  His work in the outfield led to quicker innings for the starters, and frankly a slower decline.  So, for instance, in 2001 when Tom Glavine went 16-7 with a 3.57 ERA, he ought to have purchased a nice bottle of champagne for Andruw at the end of the year. Glavine walked 97 and struck out 110 while surrendering 24 homers in 219 innings.  It could have been a bad season but it wasn't, in significant part due to Andruw Jones. 

Andruw Jones was the third best player in baseball during his (long) prime behind Bonds and A-Rod.  It added up to a Hall of Fame career- if Andruw Jones doesn't belong, why is Ralph Kiner there?

Magpie - Monday, November 20 2017 @ 09:18 PM EST (#350777) #
if Andruw Jones doesn't belong, why is Ralph Kiner there?

Hey, if High Pockets Kelly is in the Hall of Fame, where's Kevin Youkilis?

I think Andruw's biggest problem is that his post age 30 career, when he should have been padding his counting numbers, was such a disappointment. I actually wrote back in 2006 that he had very real chance to clear 600 career HRs. He had 342 HRs through age 29, and only a handful of players in MLB history could match that pace (guys like Foxx, Mantle, Ott, and Mathews.) But he had just another 92 left, and the memory of those years has overshadowed how great he was in his 20s.

Did anybody say this was going to be fair?
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 07:15 AM EST (#350785) #
Chipper, andruw, vladdy, thome, walker.

Everyone else is either an unapologetic PED user or a candidate for the hall of very good. In some cases, both...

Token votes to Johan and rolen because I like them, but no problem if they don't make it.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 07:17 AM EST (#350786) #
That said, Hoffman will get in too. I just happen to disagree.
Chuck - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 08:31 AM EST (#350790) #
Rolen is definitely one of the ten greatest third basemen of all time. That ought to be enough

I hear that! Rolen, Grich, Trammell, Whitaker... the bias is still strongly against these types. Still far too much love for the likes of Tony Perez, Jim Rice, etc.

rpriske - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 08:34 AM EST (#350791) #
There are arguments for and against, but I honestly believe that if you are not voting for ten players you are flat out wrong.

My ballot would be (more or less in order):

Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Chipper Jones
Mike Mussina
Curt Schilling
Larry Walker
Jim Thome
Manny Ramirez
Scott Rolen
Vladimir Guerrero

Players I would vote for if it were not for the silly 10 player limit:

Andruw Jones
Edgar Martinez
Gary Sheffield
Fred McGriff

Notable 'no's:

Sammy Sosa
Jeff Kent
Johan Santana
Johnny Damon

No way, no how... not even close:

Trevor Hoffman
Omar Vizquel

John Northey - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 09:36 AM EST (#350793) #
The ballot is still pretty crowded. 2 over 100 WAR (should've been slam dunk 90%+ on first ballot but PED's), 2 in the 80's (should be locks) in Jones & Mussina, 4 in the 70's (again locks normally but with exceptions here and there) in Schilling, Thome, Walker, and Rolen. Finally to the ones where debates should happen (60's) Manny Ramirez, Edgar Martinez, Andruw Jones, and Gary Sheffield. Then the 50's where a guy needs something to push him up as his raw stats are a bit short - Vlad Sr, Sosa, Damon, Kent, McGriff, Santana, Moyer.

Lower than 50 WAR you better have a heck of a 'wow' somewhere as you really aren't at the career level to get in - this is where you find Omar Vizquel (11 Gold Gloves), Trevor Hoffman (601 Saves), Billy Wagner (400 saves, 2.31 ERA, well over a K per IP), and Hideki Matsui (Japanese league for years). Not a fan of any although I'd consider Wagner just because the 500 + 600 save clubs have 2 members and he is one of them.

Ex-Jays: Clemens (2 wow seasons), Scott Rolen (2 good partial seasons), Jeff Kent (Just his rookie season), Fred McGriff (5 years a 153 OPS+ total while here), Chris Carpenter (6 years 98 ERA+), Orlando Hudson (4 years 1 gold glove).

1 Canadian in Larry Walker.

So who would I vote for? Bonds, Clemens, Chipper, Schilling, Thome, Walker, Rolen, Vlad Sr, Kent (most HR for a second baseman ever has to count for something), Trevor Hoffman (601 saves, he is getting in at some point).

Next year will be a much shorter ballot and easier to pick from. I figure Hoffman and Vlad are locks as is Chipper.

Next year it is Halladay & Mariano Rivera with many supporting Todd Helton, and Andy Pettite. So if 3 get in this year it'll make next year an easy 2 man ballot. 2020 has only Jeter as a dead on lock. 2021 is a weak one (no one over 50 WAR). 2022 is the PED one (final Clemens/Bonds first A-Rod).
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 09:37 AM EST (#350794) #
According to BBRef, Andruw Jones saved precisely the same number of runs over his career with his glove as Ozzie Smith did (239), and more than Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Mike Schmidt or just about any other defensive wizard I can think of.  He pretty clearly added more value to his clubs than Vlad Sr., but fame eluded him. 
John Northey - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 09:53 AM EST (#350796) #
Agreed Mike. Vlad Sr really shouldn't be getting in. I would vote for many ex-Expos and ex-Jays over more deserving just as a hometown bias.

Mussina is the reverse. I want him to wait as long as possible after his poor attitude and actions on Tom Cheek day (complaining it was taking too long, showing a lack of respect for a guy who had brain cancer) and his actions when Gaston was managing the All-Star team and his going out and warming up even though he knew he wasn't coming into the game, just to get the crowd mad at Gaston. I see him as lacking in class which I see as a valid reason to delay voting for him. Of course, I don't have a real ballot so it is a 'so what' but that is how I feel about him. I'm glad he didn't get 300 wins and would've been happy if he had just 19 wins that final season.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 10:08 AM EST (#350798) #
Joe Morgan, the Vice-Chair of the HoF, put out a statement urging writers not to choose known steroid users.  Among other things, Morgan points out that users (like McGwire) made the accomplishments of presumed non-users (like McGriff) seem smaller.  It's a reasonable position to take, but one I differ slightly on.  The two greatest players of the late 80s and early 90s, Bonds and Clemens, were not likely users at the time, and had established their credentials prior to use. 

It does seem likely that many, if not most, of the best players of the period 1994-2003 used some form of PED.  It makes it really hard to honour anyone who peaked during that period.

John Northey - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 10:35 AM EST (#350799) #
Wonder if Joe Morgan ever used greenies? Those are banned now but were common in his era. Should we take out him and others who might have used based on rumor now?

Bonds definitely used but only after he saw the stupidity around McGwire in 1998 (drugs found in his locker but the reporter who reported it was blasted, not McGwire) and MLB clearly took a 'see no evil' stance over the McGwire/Sosa HR chase in 1998. So that winter Bonds started into the drugs at full blast so he wouldn't be left behind by guys doing them. This was all clear in the book on the subject by the writers who caught Bonds. Hard for me to blast Bonds over that. Clemens was only accused by a scumbag trainer who said he took in 1998 after his first amazing season here and part way into his 2nd amazing season (both pitcher triple crowns). So even if the proven liar is telling the truth Clemens already had his Cooperstown ticket punched by then. Thus why I would vote both in and see Joe Morgan as a hypocrite (iirc he was A-OK with Rose gambling - the same type of crime that in 1919 nearly killed MLB).

To pick and choose based on rumors is silly. Now, you want to keep Manny out? No problem. He was caught 3 times iirc so there is no doubt on his using and no question he would've kept doing if he could've. I draw the line on 'caught vs not caught' and pre-testing is a big 'who cares, we know the media, fans, and MLB owners didn't'.
James W - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 11:03 AM EST (#350800) #
How does next year's ballot become any shorter? There's presently about 13 deserving players on the ballot. You've only selected 3 to advance (I think Thome is a lock too) and now you're replacing them with at least 4 to strongly consider next year. Nobody is in their 10th year, so either someone deserving falls off the ballot after this vote, or we still have the same crowded ballot next year.
Chuck - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 11:09 AM EST (#350801) #
[re Mussina]... I see him as lacking in class

This kind of assessment would seem to be dangerous territory. We don't know any of the players or what they were really like. We know of some bad behaviour and even that is often devoid of context.

The #MeToo trend of identifying sexual predators has been bringing to light some names people might not have guessed. Which goes to the unknowability of complete strangers. I think we have to tread lightly when we elect to buy into any narrative, favourable or not. They have been crafted for our consumption.

ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 12:00 PM EST (#350807) #
Danny Valencia had the reputation of not being popular in the clubhouse so I was surprised to see him in a picture at Jose Bautista's wedding recently.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 12:18 PM EST (#350808) #
Conduct is a tough thing to try to put on the scale.  Dick Allen might be the best hitter not in the Hall of Fame, aside (I guess) from Joe Jackson and perhaps Pete Rose.  Was his conduct worse than Curt Schilling's?  No.  Probably not as bad. But Schilling was a better player over his career.  Dick Allen was, however, a better hitter than Jim Rice, and more "feared". 

Personally, I'd rather that Allen and Schilling were in and Rice out, but in a lot of ways, there are elements of a beauty contest to the whole thing. 

John Northey - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 03:04 PM EST (#350818) #
My view on Mussina is via what he did publicly. Yes, I cannot know what is in his heart. He might be the nicest guy on the planet for all I know who donates 90% of his income to starving children and 90% of his time to worthy causes. However, on the field he twice did disrespectful things towards Jays - first towards Cito Gaston (I remember watching on TV and it was ugly how the crowd reacted to his doing those warm up tosses) then towards Tom Cheek (widely reported on at the time iirc). Based on those very public actions I hit him hard on the voting. Maybe I'd give in on a weak ballot where there are just 5 deserving or something like that but on a crowded ballot like we have? Nah. He can wait.

Meanwhile others have been pushed down the ballot on pure speculation (Sosa, Clemens) of PED use during a time frame when it wasn't against the rules (no testing = not against the rules imo) but would be shortly. Bonds never was caught but boy was it obvious and the SF press got proof far beyond what a single test could ever do.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 03:27 PM EST (#350821) #
Just to say that it wasn't explicitly against the rules and there was no testing when the Chicago white Sox threw the world series.

That didn't get them a free pass and ped users shouldn't get one either.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 06:23 PM EST (#350836) #
Sosa and Clemens have not been punished "on pure speculation". Clemens was named in the Mitchell report, and Sosa was reported to have tested positive in the 2003 series of tests. That is evidence, and it does a disservice to those who truly have been the subject of mere rumour and conjecture (Piazza, Bagwell) to lump in Sosa and Clemens with them.
rpriske - Wednesday, November 22 2017 @ 11:05 AM EST (#350849) #
"Just to say that it wasn't explicitly against the rules and there was no testing when the Chicago white Sox threw the world series."

Talk about a false analogy.
Chuck - Wednesday, November 22 2017 @ 11:25 AM EST (#350850) #
Talk about a false analogy.

George Costanza on being called out by Mr. Lippman for having sex with the cleaning lady on his desk:

"Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorance on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing is frowned upon... you know, cause I've worked in a lot of offices, and I tell you, people do that all the time."

Maybe the 1919 White Sox could have tried the same line of argument about throwing games.

uglyone - Wednesday, November 22 2017 @ 11:34 AM EST (#350851) #
god bless George.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, November 23 2017 @ 10:19 AM EST (#350872) #
Disagree about the false analogy. I think steroid users was every bit as brazen and damaging to the game as 1919 and Pete rose.

You may disagree with that opinion, but the analogy works just fine to underscore my opinion.

Basically I think that the steroid users were George Costanza here.

Chuck - Thursday, November 23 2017 @ 11:55 AM EST (#350875) #
The steroid users were trying to enhance their personal performance, a byproduct of which would have been helping their team win.

The 1919 White Sox conspirators were doing the opposite of trying to help their team win.

whiterasta80 - Friday, November 24 2017 @ 06:24 AM EST (#350905) #
The steroid users were millionaires who had access to every legal advantage imaginable yet chose to cheat. They could have been caught at any point and put their team at risk of losing them.

The blacksox (the ones who cheated, not Eddie Collins etc...) were making slightly (i.e. not 50-100x) over the average salary of an American worker while dealing with the costs and living conditions of intense regular travel.

But thats neither here nor there since I wasn't equating the ACTS, just the level of "ignorance". The blacksox act was far worse and they were punished accordingly. The steroid users were largely just rewarded for their actions with higher salaries, mvp/cy young awards, records for the most valued stats in American professional sport, and championships.

The HOF rejection represents the only form of deterrence to guys like bonds and Clemens. Look at how long Pete rose fought for his case and how stung he feels for missing out.

If you admit these guys to the HOF then the next time that something that is wrong but lacks a clear rule comes along players will abuse that to the detriment of the game.

That's my biggest issue with the "but the guys in the 70s did greenies" argument that Passan and others extol. Yes they did! Perhaps if some had paid the price for that then bonds and others concerned with their legacy would have thought twice about steroids. But failing to punish someone prior is not a good reason to let the next guy off the hook.

I guess I just have a "kill one, scare the rest mentality". But I seem to be in an increasing minority. I just hope that 26% of the bbwa holds fast for a few more years.
bpoz - Friday, November 24 2017 @ 06:52 AM EST (#350906) #
Well said Whiterasta80.
AWeb - Friday, November 24 2017 @ 07:38 AM EST (#350907) #
Since the Hall of Fame is a museum, I do't see much point in excluding players for a swath of history, just because may have they cheated differently than those in the past. Given the number of suspected/known gamblers/game throwers from the early days of baseball, I'd be fine with letting those players in (although only Jackson would seem deserving by the numbers). Those that violated a rule that explicitly told them they would be banished (Rose) are a different case, at least to me.

For me, even with people caught and suspended under the current rules, I'd be fine with letting any of them in if they merit it by on field performance. Suspensions - extremely long ones by baseball standards - and lost salary - are the punishments in place now, which can severly impact a borderline HoF case. That's more than enough for me - players aren't dropping dead at 50, so this doesn't seem to have been a huge health problem for them. Not trying to persuade, since this issue has been beaten to death over the past 15 years, just throwing on some context on my imaginary vote.

My hall tends to be pretty big, and it annoys me a little bit that stars I remember are held to a higher standard than those of the past. This is mostly the "fault"(?) of the veterans committees though, which have basically stopped inducting actual living players. BBWAA votes have always been pretty hard to get through, if occasionally idiosyncratic.

My imanginary ballot:
Bonds, Clemens, Martinez, Mussina, Ramirez, Walker, Schilling, Thome, Chipper Jones, Guerrero.

MY imaginary ballot where I get to pick as many as I want includes: Andruw Jones, Rolen, Sheffield, Sosa

I could be convinced on Kent, McGriff, and maybe Hoffman and Wagner (never sure about relievers, who are given credit in most WAR systems for high leverage work they were chosen for. But they are certainly a prominent feature of baseball for my entire memory of it...)
scottt - Friday, November 24 2017 @ 08:45 AM EST (#350908) #
You cannot put Clemens in a museum without bringing his perjury trial with him and that belongs in a different type of museum.
To me, that's his defining moment.

mathesond - Friday, November 24 2017 @ 09:03 AM EST (#350911) #
Hmm. To me, Clemens' defining moment was his 20K game against the Mariners in 1986.
Chuck - Friday, November 24 2017 @ 09:03 AM EST (#350912) #
The steroid conversation has been done to death so I hardly want to resurrect it. And I don't hold a strong opinion one way or the other about the steroid users or the Hall of Fame. (Is there a slippery slope argument connecting greenies to steroids? Are steroid users vile cheaters? Is the HoF simply a museum to log historic events or a sanctified place to honour the noble and deserving? There seems to me to be room for a continuum of opinions.)

What I did want to suggest is that I truly wonder how much the steroid "scandal" has actually hurt major league baseball. MLB wilfully turned the other way when McGwire and Sosa helped restore interest in a post-strike fan base. And has the bottom line taken a hit since despite the "great shame" brought to the game by the steroid cheats?

It would be one thing if you could say the MLB brand has taken a hit because of steroids, and the price for that hit is evident in the bottom line... reduced attendance, a decrease in viewership, a drop in merchandise sales. But is any of this so? Is the impact of the "steroid shame" evident in ways that I am not seeing?

Mike Green - Friday, November 24 2017 @ 10:12 AM EST (#350920) #
Chuck, I wouldn't look at average attendance as the sole or even predominant marker of brand strength.  Cities/metropolitan areas have grown, making the pool larger.  Attendance is up, but baseball vis a vis other sports is down over the last 50 years.  What percentage of kids play baseball compared to 1957?  I am pretty sure that the answer is a small fraction.  The steroid affair of 1994-2003 probably had a noticeable but small impact on baseball's brand strength- there are many other factors, of course, and some are undoubtedly more important. 

Baseball's brand strength is, I think, tangential to the main point.  The real question is what the Hall of Fame is meant to be.  Not everything can be expressed in dollars and cents, and I think that this is one of those places.  It's supposed to be a place, fundamentally not about commerce, to honour the best players in the game.  Do fans want to remember Mark McGwire's home run exploits of the mid to late 90s, or do they want to forget them?  I think that you'll find fans more or less evenly divided on this question.  When I mark my notional vote for Barry Bonds, it is not to remember him hitting 73 home runs when he was over 35 but rather the best player in baseball from 1990-92 who did just about everything well. Your mileage may vary.
whiterasta80 - Friday, November 24 2017 @ 10:15 AM EST (#350922) #
Chuck, I will keep it short since I don't want to sound like I am in a similar, not hearing the other perspective.

The problem with your argument (it didn't damage baseball) is that it still could. People were engaged in baseball during the steroid era because decades old records were being approached (amongst the most valued in sport). But the new numbers are so artificially high that they are unlikely to be threatened for a very long time. A juiced ball hasn't fixed it yet.

We have robbed the next generation of fans of that experience.

A simple example, but how much more exciting would Stanton's season have been if he "only" had to catch Maris?
Chuck - Friday, November 24 2017 @ 10:44 AM EST (#350924) #
We have robbed the next generation of fans of that experience.

With all sincerity I ask, do fans follow the game with the expectation of seeing existing records challenged? Would the inaccessibility of those high water numbers hurt viewership? Could they not enjoy the game otherwise? (In other sports, no one is bemoaning current numbers nowhere nearing Gretzky's and Chamberlain's.)

What about this scenario. There is no strike in the 1990s, so no reason for a backlash from the fans. There are no steroids, so no one challenging Maris's record. There are no incidents of juiced baseballs, as there seem to have sporadically been, including now. What shape is MLB in? Are fans engaged even with HR, RBI and AVG records safe and secure? Or would some monkey work have been required to elevate offensive numbers, to appease the presumed demand from fans?

This is not rhetorical. I really don't know.

I do know that as a youngster following the NHL, I liked that Phil Esposito's 76 goals and Bobby Orr's 102 assists seemed so other worldly and not at risk. It didn't seem to me a failing of the game that no one was challenging these numbers. Later, when I started following basketball, I liked that Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point-game stood out as a ridiculous high-water mark in no jeopardy whatsoever. And as for baseball, following the game in the 1970s, when 20 HR made you a power hitter, Ruth's 60 and Maris's 61 were laughably out of reach. At no point did my interest suffer because of this.

But maybe the next generation of fans is different. I don't see the world through their eyes so don't know what their hopes and expectations are. Maybe they really do need existing records to be in reach.

Chuck - Friday, November 24 2017 @ 10:50 AM EST (#350926) #
What percentage of kids play baseball compared to 1957?

I agree that there has been a cultural shift away from baseball, at least in North America. But is this at all an effect of the steroids "scandal"? Or has baseball become too boring for many kids, unable to match the pleasures of diversions that more effectively bombard their senses?

Mike Green - Friday, November 24 2017 @ 12:17 PM EST (#350930) #
I don't know, Chuck.  It's very hard to quantify everything.  Fans do like offence, and they do like the game to move along at some kind of a pace.  And some fans (young, middle-aged and old) have no interest in seeing juiced-up athletes of any kind. 

Incidentally, I came across this interesting article on Victor Conte.  I did not know that he was a working musician, including a stint with Tower of Power, prior to Balco. I also did not know that he turned into an anti-steroid guy afterwards and co-operated with Richard Pound.  The story about the possibility of carbon isotope testing of frozen urine samples from Usian Bolt is also interesting.  It would be nice if WADA/IOC explained why they don't do the testing- Conte's explanation seems plausible to me.

whiterasta80 - Friday, November 24 2017 @ 01:19 PM EST (#350932) #
Its a fair question chuck. I honestly don't know if unsurmountable records help or hurt the game on the whole. I suspect that it is very dependent upon the fan.

I do think (personal opinion) that insurmountable records that are tainted lose value compared with those that didn't. I don't even know how many HRs Bonds or Rodriguez ended up with, but I know 755 and 714.

Your list contains "clean" records with presumably clean athletes. But if a a cyborg were to enter the NHL and surpass Gretzky then fans may not value the record as much. If Bolt were found to be cheating (as suggested in Mike's linked article) then 9.58 seconds may not be so hallowed. Even Maris' 61 was always viewed alongside rather than superior to Ruth's 60 due to the # of games being different.

John Northey - Friday, November 24 2017 @ 07:02 PM EST (#350942) #
Mike Green - good article about how doping testing is pretty much a shell game. Where the organizations involved really don't want more than a couple of minor guys caught each year. How they won't retest Bolt's despite his doing times that seem near impossible (remember how people though Ben Johnson's 9.79 was impossible at the time, now Bolt doing 9.58 is A-OK). Part of why I eye roll at the moralizing done about drugs in sports. So much has happened that never was caught, that so many at the top didn't want caught, that I see it all as a shell game.
lexomatic - Saturday, November 25 2017 @ 10:44 AM EST (#350945) #
Re shift away from baseball. I think some has to do with the time it takes to get the big money and the uncertainty. With NBA and NFL it's potentially a much quicker road to a starting spot and the money gets bigger faster.
sweat - Monday, November 27 2017 @ 11:51 AM EST (#350965) #
Put it on his plaque then.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, November 28 2017 @ 04:48 PM EST (#351009) #
In Tom Verducci's book about the Yankees and Joe Torre, there's a very good chapter on the steroid era. It wasn't just millionaire players taking steroids, it was guys like Tim Laker, who despite not winning an MVP or being even close to an allstar, carved out a long enough career to qualify for a oension.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 28 2017 @ 05:14 PM EST (#351010) #
Petey Baseball - reminds me of why I have so much trouble with the moralizing we get from media and those in the game. The HOF couldn't put Torre, Cox, and LaRussa in fast enough yet all 3 were managers during the steroid era and especially LaRussa turned a blind eye to it all.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, November 29 2017 @ 12:47 AM EST (#351015) #
The very early returns (ten ballots) via Ryan Thibodaux's Ballot Tracker suggest that Chipper Jones and Jim Thome are looking strong, while Scott Rolen (2 votes) is looking much weaker than Omar Vizquel (7). Both Walker and Edgar Martinez have gained three votes each from returning voters, which is a good sign.

It looks like the voters who have reported early represent a more contemporary attitude - all have Clemens on their ballots, and all have listed 9 or 10 names.

I'm rather appalled that Omar Vizquel is so far ahead of Scott Rolen. I can understand voting for Vizquel if you think the Hall should include elite defensive players, even if their overall value falls short of the standard for inclusion. But if we are rewarding defence, Rolen was better relative to his peers than Vizquel was (more runs above average in fewer innings) - and obviously contributed much more at the plate. Unless you think that defence should only be rewarded for shortstops, I really don't understand how you can justify voting for Vizquel and not for Rolen.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, November 30 2017 @ 08:12 PM EST (#351051) #
Greg Zaun fired for "inappropriate behaviour".

Just being terrible is not reason enough these days.

Parker - Thursday, November 30 2017 @ 09:17 PM EST (#351053) #
John Northey - Friday, December 01 2017 @ 11:11 AM EST (#351065) #
If sports starts clearing out any guys who are extremely inappropriate with women I suspect we'll see a mass exodus of former players from the booth. I'm sure anyone who has dealt with high level athletes at any point has seen the negative attitudes shown towards women by them and the horrid behavior that has been recorded and published in the past. I remember reading a book by a female sportswriter where she mentions players 'accidentally' dropping their towels in front of her and the like. Comments about their body parts, about their sexual preferences, and worse was the norm. If more than one went the next step and touched the women or pushed for more it wouldn't shock me in the slightest. Of course, with players the teams kept going 'boys will be boys' but now with the purge in media occurring that won't sell anymore. Thank goodness.
lexomatic - Friday, December 01 2017 @ 03:49 PM EST (#351073) #
The culture of entitlement starts young with star athletes. Agreed, this can only be a good change.
Parker - Friday, December 01 2017 @ 08:00 PM EST (#351087) #
I dunno. I mean, (almost) everyone thinks this stuff.

Actually letting it get past the inside voice, though, is pretty fricken idiotic.
whiterasta80 - Friday, December 01 2017 @ 09:27 PM EST (#351094) #
Aldemys Diaz? Surprisingly aggressive move in my opinion. 2016 was obviously better than 2017 but there's a player there.
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