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January 10, 2013

Baseball Hall of Fame

I don't get the kerfuffel about not voting anyone in. Am I pissed about not voting in Dale Murphy? Sure. He deserves to be in the Hall as much as Andre Dawson. I feel pretty sure he'll get in on veterans committee in the coming years. The baseball writers have been at the forefront of the steroid era's reporting and disdain for what happened.

Did you really think they would vote for Bonds and Clemons? Really?

I'm surprised they got as many votes as they did. I'm not judging the morality/ethics of what they did. I think they did what they had to do to excel in their careers, much in the same way that taking greenies or whatever when Mantle was playing. There are players in the hall right now that are their due to their use of performance enhancing substances.

However, those substances weren't banned when they used them (or at most, were frowned upon). That makes all the difference. As a baseball fan, I followed the home run chases and the strikeout totals pretty closely. I got to see Bonds hit monster shots into the right field stands in multiple stadiums. I saw Clemons pitch at Fenway.

Their crowning achievements will likely always have to be putting on the show for fans, and the adoration (and hate) that comes with putting up the kind of numbers they did. But, the Hall of Fame ain't calling.



Rafael Belliard said...

What about Craig Biggio, or Mike Piazza, or Jeff Bagwell? There's no evidence that any of those guys used, other than unfounded rumor and innuendo.

Tyler Dawgden said...

Biggio was only 7% from induction. I agree he'll go in, but he isn't a first ballot lock. I don't think he has a first ballot inductee numbers, either, but I am surprised he finished nearly 10% below Biggio.

I honestly though Bagwell would get in this year (Morris, too).

The biggest surprise is McGriff's falling numbers. He is still getting only 20% after getting 23% last year. He is 7 HR shy of 500, has a strong OBP and BA, but because he played 1st base and DH'ed, folks are comparing him to the other first basemen and DHs in his time, particularly McGuire.

Tyler Dawgden said...

That second sentence is about Piazza, by the way. I think he'll get in eventually, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the minority but I think the hall of fame is too easy to get into, not too hard.

Anonymous said...

Surprised this doesn't get brought up more often when Piazza is mentioned. Just something I read a few years back and it seems to have disappeared from public consciousness.


According to Jeff Pearlman’s new book about Roger Clemens, The Rocket That Fell To Earth, former MLB catcher and Clemens foe, Mike Piazza, used steroids and admitted it to at least one unnamed reporter.

As the hundreds of major league ballplayers who turned to performance-enhancing drugs throughout the 1990s did their absolute best to keep the media at arm's length, Piazza took the opposite approach. According to several sources, when the subject of performance enhancing was broached with reporters he especially trusted, Piazza fessed up. "Sure, I use," he told one. "But in limited doses, and not all that often." (Piazza has denied using performance-enhancing drugs, but there has always been speculation.) Whether or not it was Piazza's intent, the tactic was brilliant: By letting the media know, of the record, Piazza made the information that much harder to report. Writers saw his bulging muscles, his acne-covered back. They certainly heard the under-the-breath comments from other major league players, some who considered Piazza's success to be 100 percent chemically delivered.

At least two former Major League players, one being Reggie Jefferson (another was not named), were quoted as saying they were sure that Piazza used steroids.

"He's a guy who did it, and everybody knows it," says Reggie Jefferson, the longtime major league first baseman. "It's amazing how all these names, like Roger Clemens, are brought up, yet Mike Piazza goes untouched."

"There was nothing more obvious than Mike on steroids," says another major league veteran who played against Piazza for years. "Everyone talked about it, everyone knew it. Guys on my team, guys on the Mets. A lot of us came up playing against Mike, so we knew what he looked like back in the day. Frankly, he sucked on the field. Just sucked. After his body changed, he was entirely different. 'Power from nowhere,' we called it."

When asked, on a scale of 1 to 10, to grade the odds that Piazza had used performance enhancers, the player doesn't pause.

"A 12," he says. "Maybe a 13."

Bernie said...

Re: McGriff. Another thing to remember that Gammons reminded me of in a radio interview yesterday was without that strike in the mid-90s he'd be a shoe in. He's stuck just a hair below 500 homers and for some reason the writers hold that against him. Of course, his numbers weren't the only ones hurt by that strike.

Also, Gammons said that sometimes with a guy like McGriff who is so close to being ineligible you'll start to hear an outcry of public support. With McGriff there has been nothing. Maybe the Crime Dog wants it that way, doesn't want the attention. But Gammons was almost melancholy that his induction into the Baseball HOF isn't likely to happen.

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