Happy Thanksgiving….

by Chuck

to the regular writers, commenters, and readers of Dugout Central, whether we actually know you or not.

It’s a testament to everyone that a lame-duck website can still function two years after ownership bailed, and I for one appreciate the contributions of everyone, regardless of how big or small they may be.

While we don’t always agree with each other and occasionally cross the line of etiquette, I think we all know from past experiences how things are meant without an explanation.

It’s nice to see Hossrex back from whatever sentence he was serving, and Thomas has made a couple of cameos of late.

Come Friday morning, I expect to be a few pounds heavier, probably slightly hungover, the Packers will have one loss and sabermetrics will still suck.

But just remember one thing.

Only 132 days til Opening Day!

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486 Responses to “Happy Thanksgiving….”

  1. Raul Says:

    Likewise
    Happy Thanksgiving

  2. John Says:

    “Come Friday morning, I expect to be a few pounds heavier, probably slightly hungover, the Packers will have one loss and sabermetrics will still suck.”

    2 of those things are true.

    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

  3. John Says:

    By the way, I completely echo everything Chuck said…

    There’s logically no reason for this site to still be kicking – but we’ve got a great, loyal readership, lively debate, and that makes up for the fact that 95% of the writers and the site administrator all peaced out.

    The fact that we can discuss baseball online, often in real-time, with regularity and familiarity is great.

    So to all our loyal readers – thank you.

  4. Mike Felber Says:

    That is mostly true & appreciated. Though it is more accurate to say that we have come to an understanding of how things are meant most times, partially by gradually culling real animus, (delimiting the “mean” within the word “meant”. Two steps forwards, one step back.

    We have done a lot with difficult circumstances. And the constant work of a few, largely Chuck & John, has gotten us here. It really is impressive what (through you guys largely) is salvaged.

  5. Danny O Says:

    I don’t comment often, but I read the threads everyday and absolutely enjoy the discussions and the bickering!

    Happy Turkey Day everyone!

  6. Cameron Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, bitches.

  7. Cameron Says:

    Also, go Packers.

  8. Chuck Says:

    “Come Friday morning, I expect to be a few pounds heavier, probably slightly hungover, the Packers will have one loss and sabermetrics will still suck.”

    “2 of those things are true.”

    Sabermetrics sucking is a lock.

  9. Cameron Says:

    Apparently there’s a Canadian mob.

    …For some reason, I find this to be REALLY funny.

  10. Mike Felber Says:

    For Hoss especially, assuming he is not on another mini-sabbatical. A fairly brilliant poster at highhatstats.com responded to my inquiry:

    Johnny Twisto (unregistered) wrote, in response to Entaowed:

    They look at the number of runs scored by Team X and its opponents at X Stadium, compared to the runs scored by Team X and its opponents in X’s road games. So if Team X has a very strong offense, it should score a lot of runs both at home and on the road, and that in and of itself should not affect the PF.

    Entaowed wrote:

    I thought that they just take the #s of all teams in each park to calculate the PFs. Are you telling me that they adjust the home team’s #s based upon the differential they have at home vs. on the road, compared to the AVERAGE variation of a hoe & away team? Thus PFs do effectively adjust for very strong or weak offenses or defenses?

  11. Chuck Says:

    “A fairly brilliant poster at highhatstats.com…”

    Like calling Roseanne Barr “fairly attractive”

  12. Raul Says:

    The Yankees signed Freddy Garcia.

    If that isn’t a clear sign towards their feelings regarding Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, I don’t know what is.

  13. John Says:

    Well, was anyone predicting them to make the rotation out of Spring Training?

    As long as the price is right, no reason to not bring Garcia back.

  14. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck, I don’t mind your gratuitous “SM sucks” type posts. But Johnny Twisto is one of many at highhatstats.com who is very intelligent, insightful & nuanced. As are many there: the level of debate is high, courteous, & often involves traditional baseball stories & reminiscences, not just mathematical analysis. That you cannot stomach or even consider certain ideas does not make them less well thought out & creative.

    And if you level of debate here is often involves genius of the likes of the bald assertion “SM sucks”, you jus’ might want to be a little more chary about your insults. :-)

  15. Hossrex Says:

    Happy thanksgiving everyone!

    I finally got a new iPhone, so hopefully I’ll be back more often.

    Mike: I was unclear what you were quoting. Am I to infer that the person was saying that stuff IS factored into park factors, or that it SHOULD be? If it is, I’ll be pleased to reevaluate park factors. Everything I’ve read about park factors suggests its all about aggregate runs scored, but although I have done more than cursory research, it’s of course possible I’m mistaken. I would have to consider this new information, and while I’m not saying for sure that I find value in PF the way he suggests, It definitely seems infinitely preferable to the alternative.

  16. Mike Felber Says:

    Hi Hoss!

    Yes, that is what I was led to understand. You may want to catch up on some of the old posts-check out #240, 2nd to last on this thread. http://www.dugoutcentral.com/?p=2342.

    The whole highheatstats.blogspot.com is very good-the transplanted variant of B-R.com’s defunct Blog-& the thread I link there goes into detail on win shares, WAR, & other things. further info to consider, & aids in having a more well informed skepticism.

  17. Hossrex Says:

    Mike: “a more well informed skepticism.

    At least we’re on the same page here.

  18. JohnBowen Says:

    Ok, well here’s the link about park factors:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/about/parkadjust.shtml

    This is quite complicated, but beneath all the math, I think Mike’s right:

    Park factor relies on how the home team does at home vs. on the road. So, if you took the Yankee batters and put them in Petco Park, Petco would still have a pitcher-friendly park factor, because the San Diego Yankees would score a lot more in their 81 games on the road than at home.

    Same thing if the Kansas City pitchers pitched at Petco – even though those guys would be surrendering a bunch of runs there, they would surrender a whole bunch more when they went on the road.

    Still not perfect, obviously. There are still a number of flaws. Fenway’s park factor should be a lot more RHH-friendly than LHH-friendly, for example.

    And yes – the numbers do vary year-to-year, but anything more than a couple years old uses “multi-year” park factors, which don’t vary nearly as much.

    I’m not sure how one would go about factoring in power-alley’s, square footage of foul ground, shadow-tendencies, wind-tunnels, hometown fans, and fence height into a mathematical formula for park factor. Maybe it could be done, I’m not sure.

    Until then, park factors do a pretty good job, and paint a more accurate picture than unadjusted statistics.

  19. JohnBowen Says:

    So, in reading up on park factors, I learned about Chicago’s Lake-front park.

    It was a field in the 1800’s, and they actually had two additional poles out in left-center and right-center. If you hit a ball over the fence, but it was between the foul pole and one of these poles, it was credited as a double, because the fence was so absurdly close. To get credit for a home run, you had to hit it in between the middle posts. Like, field-goal style.

  20. Cameron Says:

    That… Actually sounds kind of cool. It’s shit like this that’d stop me from ever having a baseball team, because I’d set up a goalpost in dead-center of the park and have that Spanish football announcer’s “GOOOOOAAAAALLLL!!!!” play every time a ball went through it.

  21. Chuck Says:

    Entaowed?

  22. Cameron Says:

    Ron Lyle passed away today. Don’t know too much about him. He was a heavyweight around the same time as Ali, Foreman, and Frazier, but I guess he didn’t get too big. Maybe you guys can help me out. Saw he had a fight against Ali that got called in the 11th that people thought was a bullshit call and a fight against Foreman that won Fight of the Year from Ring Magazine.

  23. Chuck Says:

    I remember watching the Lyle/Foreman fight.

    There were like five knockdowns in a four or five round fight.

    He was a puncher with a great chin, but not really much of a boxer. He was in the Liston/Earnie Shavers group of guys that could kill you if you weren’t careful but eventually would punch themselves out and you could take them out later.

    The only explanation for the deal with the Ali fight was the ref was on the grab.

  24. Jim Says:

    As I recall, Ron Lyle was one of a number of great white hopes that were sacrificial lambs for Ali, Foreman and Frazier. They’d sign them up, blow the dog whistle and get the rubes all wound up and AFF would then pummel them. Lyle, like the rest of those guys were decent journeyman boxers who got a chance at good payday at the expense of getting the shit kicked out of them.

  25. Chuck Says:

    “As I recall, Ron Lyle was one of a number of great white hopes.”

    Lyle wasn’t white.

  26. Mike Felber Says:

    Jim, you must be thinking of Quarry-who was skilled & beat many top fighters including Lyle. Ron Lyle was black.

    He still wanted a rematch with Foreman, you can see him asking for it not many years ago!

  27. Mike Felber Says:

    There was some racism evident even with rooting for Cooney-I recall all those white Hollywood types suddenly boxing fans when he fought Holmes, & it had nothing to do with him being Italian. Cooney wasa nice guy, good jab, big & long at 6′ 6″.

    But in many other eras, certainly the ’70’s, I cannot see him even getting a title fight. However much they would have wanted to end a “white drought”, he was not the quality contender of a Quarry or a 1/2 dozen other men at least who were never champion. Can’t see him getting past them. I think Chuck will back me up on this.

  28. Raul Says:

    So Cooney was the Peter McNeeley of his day.
    Fantastic.

  29. Cameron Says:

    Sounds like I’d like Lyle. I’m a fan of guys who are big power punchers. The comparison to Liston is a plus. Old Liston fights are good to watch.

  30. Chuck Says:

    Gerry Cooney was 28-3 as a pro with 24 knockouts.

    He knocked out Ken Norton, he dropped George Foreman and Larry Holmes. He beat ST Gordon and Jimmy Young.

    McNeeley was a bum who got his Rocky moment, then went back to being a bum.

    Not even remotely close to having a parallel in their respective careers.

  31. Cameron Says:

    Huh, just checked Lyle’s record. He was an amateur heavyweight champ and had a pro record of 43-7-1.

    …Why isn’t he more famous? That’s a hell of a record.

  32. brautigan Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xOP4PPVj3U
    I remember watching this live. What a fight!

  33. Cameron Says:

    That fight is nuts, man. They went harder in 5 rounds than most guys do in 15.

  34. Cameron Says:

    So, who’s Boston’s next manager? The choices are Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont or former Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine. GM Ben Cherington wants Lamont, owner John Henry wants Bobby Valentine.

    …I’m picking Valentine. What Henry wants, Henry gets.

  35. Mike Felber Says:

    That’s a different version of the link I put up Brautigan. Yes, a great fight. Foreman was rusty, since Ali beat him Zaire, in the 15 months or so since, he only had 1 fight: of 5 guys in a row, a circus.

    I know Conney was a decent fighter, just not a championship quality one. It was not prime Norton he fought, But I did NOt recall him dropping Holmes & Foreman before they beat him. I watched the Foreman fight not long ago & did not see that. Maybe it was only certain rounds. He did?

  36. Chuck Says:

    Lyle staggered Foreman in the third and knocked him twice in the fourth.

    Lyle and Ali are the only two fighters to knock Foreman down, Lyle the only one to do it more than once.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Lyle

  37. brautigan Says:

    You want to watch another cracker jack fight? Watch Jose Luis Ramirez vs. Edwin Rosario (#2) for the Lightweight title. I think it was around 1983. Enjoy.

  38. Mike Felber Says:

    I know, maybe you were just telling everyone Chuck, but I was asking about Cooney above. But you said Cooney “dropped” Holmes & Foreman, don’t know where you got that.

  39. Chuck Says:

    Right, Mike.

    Still talking Lyle I guess.

  40. Cameron Says:

    Oakland has hired Chili Davis to be their new hitting coach. I wonder if this will help. Chili was a hell of a hitter, maybe he’ll be able to teach the guys a thing or two.

  41. Chuck Says:

    Rays traded John Jaso to the Mariners for Josh Lueke.

  42. Cameron Says:

    Are the M’s really that desperate for a catcher? Last I checked, Lueke wasn’t that terrible a player and Jaso is… Borderline serviceable to bad.

  43. JohnBowen Says:

    “Are the M’s really that desperate for a catcher?”

    You know what’s crazy?

    Miguel Olivo hit a miserable .224/.253/.388, for a 79 OPS+.

    He led the Mariners offense in home runs and RBI’s. Only Ichiro had more total bases. That team is a joke.

    I think Lefty mentioned something about Jaso falling totally out of favor with the Rays. Lueke, of course, was arrested for alleged sexual assault.

    So neither of these guys are real winners.

    Of course, this leaves the Rays in search of a catcher. There’s no way they’re bringing Shoppach back after that stunning .176/.268/.339 effort, right?

  44. Lefty33 Says:

    “I think Lefty mentioned something about Jaso falling totally out of favor with the Rays.”

    Jaso fell out of favor with Maddon because he regressed in ‘11 and never hit the way he was supposed to. Shoppach got more playing time then he deserved because he hit with a bit more power and because he’s not a total defensive fail like Jaso is.

    Jaso is like the “Great White Hope” in that he is a catcher who hits LH so he’ll keep getting jobs for years to come and I would assume he and Olivo will platoon L/R in ‘12 for Seattle.

    There are several articles with quotes from Maddon before the ‘11 season where he was foaming at the mouth singing the praises of Jaso and how he was going to hit him at the top of the lineup and how he was going to do this and that and then he gets hurt and his BA drops forty points and he has an OBP less than .300.

    I assume the Rays are going to give Robinson Chirinos a shot at the job assuming they don’t get another veteran retread or resign Shoppach on the cheap.

  45. Lefty33 Says:

    More than $5 million to play in Japan?

    http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22297882/33518991

  46. Cameron Says:

    If I’m Jack Z, I look at my options and think, “Yeah… Where’s Ramon Hernandez’s phone number? Get that and my checkbook. NOW!”

  47. JohnBowen Says:

    LOL…Tuffy Rhodes II?

  48. Cameron Says:

    If there’s a choice between five million in Japan or the minors, I’m packing my bags and renewing my passport.

  49. JohnBowen Says:

    Willie Mo Pena is awesome.

    1 Mode: Try to crush the shit out of the ball.

  50. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 49 – He is straight from the Rob Deer and Inky school of hitting.

    (Except for somehow making even less contact than they made.)

  51. Cameron Says:

    Didn’t Mark Reynolds hire Rob Deer as a personal hitting coach?

  52. Raul Says:

    Wily Mo is just a fun name to say.

  53. Chuck Says:

    Well, this is interesting.

    Guess who’s the new Astros GM?

    Steve Phillips.

  54. JohnBowen Says:

    That would be hilarious.

    But yeah, you had to figure Wade was on his way out with the new ownership, plus Wade’s track record…

  55. Cameron Says:

    Steve Phillips, really? The dumbass who tanked the Mets?

  56. John Says:

    Well, that answers my question – Rays just signed Jose Molina.

  57. Bob Says:

    Hope you guys enjoyed your week without me. Other than that I have nothing to add.

  58. Chuck Says:

    The Astros officially fired President of Baseball Operations Tal Smith and GM Ed Wade this morning.

  59. Bob Says:

    Santa came to the NBA.

  60. Cameron Says:

    Whoop-de-doo. Game hasn’t changed a damn bit, I bet.

  61. Raul Says:

    Jesus Montero is 22.

    John Burkett is 46. Kudos if you knew John Burkett won 22 games in 1993.

    Matt Williams is 46.

    Dave Righetti is 53. Righetti finished 4th in the Cy Young voting of 1986. He had 46 saves. More importantly, he pitched 106.2 innings.

    Walt Weiss is 48. Weiss, I believe, admitted to using PEDs. It worked. He went from a offensive liability to just below-average. Good glove, though.

  62. Raul Says:

    Sixto Lezcano is 58.
    In 1979, Lezano hit .321/.414/.573 and finished 15th in the MVP voting.

    Not saying he should have won. That was a great year and just about everyone ahead of him had a pretty decent argument. But any other year, those kinds of numbers puts a guy in the Top 7 or 8.

  63. JohnBowen Says:

    “Weiss, I believe, admitted to using PEDs. ”

    Wow, really? I remember that guy being TINY when he was a Brave.

  64. JohnBowen Says:

    @62

    Before the 1981 season, Sixto Lezcano was traded to the Cardinals for Pete Vukovich (the 1982 Cy Young award winner, however questionable), Rollie Fingers (the 1981 Cy Young AND MVP, even more questionable), and should-be Hall of Fame catcher Ted Simmons, who played well in 1982-83.

    Fingers, in case that sounded weird, was never actually a Cardinal except on paper. He was acquired in a 10-player deal where the only other notable player was Gene Tenace (future managers Bob Geren and Terry Kennedy were also in the mix). Four days later, he was flipped for Lezcano.

    One year later, Lezcano was traded again, this time as part of the Templeton-Smith trade. Lezcano enjoyed a terrific year in San Diego, but ended up watching the two teams who had traded him in the previous two off-seasons play in the World Series.

  65. Lefty33 Says:

    “Dave Righetti is 53. Righetti finished 4th in the Cy Young voting of 1986. He had 46 saves. More importantly, he pitched 106.2 innings.”

    I still remember his no-hitter on the 4th of July in ‘83 against Boston.

    Great stuff.

  66. Cameron Says:

    The Pirates cut Xavier Paul. He could be a decent option for a team looking for a backup outfielder.

  67. Kerry Says:

    “Come Friday morning, I expect to be a few pounds heavier, probably slightly hungover, the Packers will have one loss and sabermetrics will still suck.”

    Well, going 2-for-4 isn’t bad, especially for baseball! (I’m assuming the first two were true :-) )

    Go Packers!

  68. Kerry Says:

    Damn, I should have read the comments first, John addressed this in #2!

  69. JohnBowen Says:

    Kerry, you’re a fan of God’s Team?

  70. Brautigan Says:

    I ran into John Burkett in Seattle many years ago. I knew he was a bowling fanatic and a pretty darn good bowler himself. Well, I have no recollection of where I got this, but I had a 5′X 7′ autographed picture of bowling hall of famer Lou Campi. When I ran into Burkett, I gave him the autograph and at first he was like “you can’t do this” and then looking at the picture, he goes “wow, wrong foot Lou” (I mean, how many people knew this guy, and how many MORE knew what his nickname was? I was seriously impressed). John was with his wife and he was very appreciative.

    So, that whole exchange was way cool.

    Someone noted that Burkett won 22 games. I remember Burkett before he won those 22 games. He was really nice and would autograph anything. After winning 22 games, he was very different. He would tell us “I only sign for kids”. We would ask him, “when did you start doing that?” and he said “I’ve always done that”. I kind of pissed him off when I said “I have six autographs signed by you that says you’re wrong”. Anyway, after a few years of returning to major league average, the old John Burkett emerged and he again was very fan friendly.

    Happy Birthday John.

  71. Raul Says:

    Sure, if by “God” you mean a giant fat man who eats cheese out of a spray can and downs Natty Light by the gallon.

  72. Cameron Says:

    @53

    Chuck, looks like the interim Astros GM for the time being is assistant GM David Gottfried and the Astros haven’t named a successor yet. Jim Crane’s been talking to Andrew Friedman since before the Astros buyout and Andy’s a Houston native.

    Off the top of my head, there’s a good handful of candidates that would be good for these guys if they’re serious about a turnaround. Andy’s the top, but Thad Levine, Rick Hahn, or Al Avila would be good replacements too.

  73. Chuck Says:

    I happen to know that when my mother in law was ill and my wife was praying for her, on a number of occasions she got a busy signal, with God’s voice saying he was watching the Cowboys game.

    Sorry, John, but God’s not a Packers fan.

    He doesn’t like cold weather.

    Or cheese.

  74. Chuck Says:

    #72,

    Dino Costa of Sirius Radio said last night it was Phillips. Costa used to be a Mets’ beat reporter and is apparently close friends with Phillips.

    Maybe Phillips himself is his source?

  75. Chuck Says:

    The Pirates tried to “trade” Xavier Paul to Japan a couple of weeks ago, and Paul refused to go.

    So, getting cut is payback.

    I know some guys who played in Japan and liked it, some others, like Wily Mo Pena, are just going for a couple of years for the financial security and will get the hell out when their contracts run out.

    Personally, if I was a player who couldn’t start for the Pirates, it would appear my only options are Japan or a 9-5er.

  76. Cameron Says:

    Xavier Paul’s had a wild offseason. He had someone try to steal his identity so they could head to the Australian League, he tried to get traded to Japan, now he’s getting cut. I hope something goes right for this guy. He’s not bad. Not great, but doesn’t deserve to be dicked around like that.

  77. Cameron Says:

    @74

    Knowing Phillips, I wouldn’t be surprised. Official word from Houston is Gottfried’s in charge until they hire a full-timer.

  78. Chuck Says:

    The Royals are starting to hire for next season, Cam.

    http://baseballjobs.teamworkonline.com/teamwork/jobs/jobskey.cfm?s=Kansas+City+Royals

  79. Cameron Says:

    And I have a car now, which means I can apply for these positions. …And I’m qualified for two of them. Go figure.

  80. Cameron Says:

    Wow, has any city been fucked sports-wise harder than Cleveland over the years? Their list of famous moments reads like a rapsheet.

    “The Catch”
    “The Drive”
    “The Fumble”
    “Red Right 88″
    “The Shot”
    “Edgar Renteria’s Single”
    “The Decision”

  81. JohnBowen Says:

    Have you ever watched a Cleveland Browns game?

    Nothing more boring than watching one shitty team play an equally shitty team and generate 125 yards of total offense in a half.

  82. Cameron Says:

    I watched the Browns play the Seahawks this year. I don’t remember who won that game, all I know was it ended 0-3 and it may have been the worst game to ever disgrace a football field.

  83. Kerry Says:

    @69, yes, John, I was at UW-Madison for six years and picked up Packer fever then — one of my roommates was a very avid Packer fan. And my current girlfriend/significant other’s family lives in the Green Bay area — her mother teaches real estate investment classes and has had numerous Packer players as students.

  84. Hossrex Says:

    Okay. So let’s assume all of the above is true

    With This new knowledge, explain Joe Robbie stadium.

    Should be simple if it makes as much sense as you guys pretend it makes.

    I mean… Right?

  85. Chuck Says:

    Useless point of the day.

    Bob Uecker hit 21% of his career homers off Hall of Famers.

    He hit fourteen total, and had homers off Gaylord Perry, Sandy Koufax and Ferguson Jenkins.

    Try and find a “real” Hall of Famer with the same ratio.

  86. JohnBowen Says:

    @83, I had no idea you were a Badger! Big-10 Championship this weekend!

    @84, honestly, not really sure – I wish I had a better answer. I mean, I guess it’s subject to variations like anything else. I’d be perfectly open to a formula involving the physical attributes of a stadium (with the only year-to-year adjustments involving day/night games), but I don’t know how that would be done.

  87. Mike Felber Says:

    Some guys never change. So much for Canadian Good Will (that day).

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/11/27/cfl-alumni-joe-kapp-angelo-mosca-fight_n_1114791.html?ref=canada&ncid=webmail11

  88. Bob Says:

    Okay John. Let’s bet. A 6-pack of your favorite type of beer whenever this group gets together. Actually, you are not all that far from me, if you live in Baltimore. I get the boys from East Lansing this weekend. You down with it?

  89. JohnBowen Says:

    Bob,

    Done.

  90. JohnBowen Says:

    @85, Sandy Koufax had 1 of 2 career HR off Warren Spahn :D

  91. Brautigan Says:

    So I read this morning the Royals are interested in signing Jonathon Broxton. Are they out of their mind.

    I also read where they are interested in Colby Rasmus because of concerns Lorenzo Cain “isn’t ready for an everyday role”. Then why in hell trade Melky Cabrera if that is the case?

    If anything, the two above situations are exactly why I hate the off season.

  92. Kerry Says:

    @86 Go Badgers! Let’s hope they can beat the Spartans the second time around.

    Actually, I’m more of a hockey fan when it comes to the Badgers — they won the national championship the first year I was there. And the women’s team rocks — they’ve won the national championship four of the last six years.

  93. Chuck Says:

    Broxton signing is official.

    One year deal to set up Soria.

  94. Raul Says:

    “Why trade Melky?”

    Because his value was never going to be as high as it was.

  95. Cameron Says:

    @91 That was also last year, before Lorenzo had a full season in Omaha to get his shit together. That and San Fran offered us a decent starter in return.

    @93 1 year, four million dollars. Yeah, I like this signing a lot. Just cheap enough to eat if he busts but to be a great bargain if he returns to his ‘07-’08 form. He’s gonna be the RHP setup alongside Collins being the lefty. Have I mentioned I love Tim Collins?

  96. Cameron Says:

    I’m ashamed of myself. I read the comments on MLBTR of people who don’t follow the Royals at all wondering if this was a precursor to moving Soria to the rotation. I was about to say if this guy hasn’t started a game since 2004 in San Diego’s minor leagues, it ain’t gonna happen now.

    …Then I remembered it was MLBTR and came to my senses.

  97. Raul Says:

    Mariano Rivera is 42 years old today.

    Former Met, Howard Johnson is 50. Johnson had two Top-5 MVP seasons: 1989 and 1991.

    Bill Freehan is 70.

  98. Chuck Says:

    (Looks around, checking to see if John is lurking)

    Bill Freehan is at worst a borderline HOFer.

  99. Cameron Says:

    He’s decent, but I wouldn’t vote for him.

  100. Bob Says:

    Freehan
    1591 hits
    200 homers
    .340 on-base%
    Played in a pitchers era.
    Known for his defense with 5 straight gold gloves.

  101. Cameron Says:

    Still decent, but even adjusting for the 60’s I wouldn’t call that worthy of a call to Cooperstown.

  102. Chuck Says:

    There have been 520 individual seasons of 200 hits or more.

    There were some not very good players (Ellsbury, Shannon Stewart, Juan Pierre) who made the list because they hit at the top of the order, played everyday, and didn’t walk alot.

    It’s almost impossible NOT to reach 200 when you have 700 PA’s.

    Melky is on this list.

    The Royals were smart enough to realize his season was a fluke and flipped him for a guy whose probably going to be their #2 or #3 starter if he’s healthy.

    Advantage, Royals.

  103. Chuck Says:

    “I wouldn’t call that worthy of a call to Cooperstown.”

    I know, just being sentimental on his birthday.

    He does get bonus points for era and position, but, yeah, going back and looking he was not a justifiable candidate.

  104. Cameron Says:

    Still doesn’t mean I wouldn’t kill to have him on my team. Good hitter, great glove, he’s what you look for in a catcher.

    And as good a season as Melky had, I’ll take Sanchez over him. I think Melky just hits well in the AL for some reason. He good in New York, was a bust in Atlanta, had a great year in KC, so he’ll probably suck in San Fran.

    Sanchez should have a good year in KC. He can give up flyballs a lot. However, he’s the kind of guy who gives up flyballs that isn’t shit. We have a lot of tchnically flyball pitchers, but that’s just because they’re hittable. Sanchez can be the kind of guy to get balls into the outfield that can be caught. With the outfield we have, we can swallow mistake pitches that stay in the park.

  105. JohnBowen Says:

    I agree with both Chuck’s sentiments on Freehan and Melky.

    Freehan is borderline, but I think out…at least, Ted Simmons should get in first.

    Melky Cabrera is at his absolute peak, and he’s really not a strong defensive player anyway. Great trade by Dayton Moore, classic move by Brian Sabean.

  106. Bob Says:

    I agree. Just wanted to write his stats.

  107. Cameron Says:

    You know, as long as KC is looking for decent pitchers, we might want to take a look at Paul Maholm. If we can sign him around five million, who knows? There’s about 200 IP right there at decent production.

  108. Chuck Says:

    You sound like Brian Cashman, Cameron.

    Sign some piece of crap for twice what he’s worth, then watch him go 11-9 with a 4.28 ERA, all the while Mike Montgomery is in Omaha and Danny Duffy in the bullpen.

    Yep, solid idea.

  109. Cameron Says:

    Duffy’s in the rotation right now and Montgomery might be in there. It’s just an idea. Besides, if we could talk Broxton down from seven million to four, we could talk Maholm down from his old contract to something reasonable.

    …That and he’s a better option than Bruce Chen, Jeff Francis, and Felipe Paulino, or 60% of last year’s rotation.

  110. Raul Says:

    A few years ago, the Giants didn’t want to trade Sanchez to NY for Matsui.
    And that was when Matsui was still effective.

  111. Cameron Says:

    Sanchez also was higher in management’s eyes and wasn’t viewed as expendable. But with Lincecum, Cain, and Bumgarner playing as well as they are, Voglesong being a breakout guy on the cheap, and Zito being expendable, Sanchez was the odd man out.

  112. Chuck Says:

    “That and he’s a better option than Bruce Chen..”

    LOL.

    Should have thought of that before you re-signed him.

  113. Cameron Says:

    I meant Zito being untradeable, not expendable. Brain not working.

  114. Cameron Says:

    We should’ve, but Dayton Moore has a fascination with guys who suck, Chuck. Don’t ask me why.

  115. Chuck Says:

    I was looking at the Giants’ depth chart this morning.

    They are going to have serious trouble scoring runs, and that’s assuming Posey is 100% by opening day and they re-sign Beltran.

  116. Bob Says:

    Does Beltran want to stay there? I thought he actually liked the East Coast somewhat and his time with the Mets.

  117. Cameron Says:

    Beltran likes SF plenty (as do I, wonderful place), but the contract comes first.

  118. Raul Says:

    Beltran should go to Boston.
    He’s a DH waiting to happen anyway.

  119. Chuck Says:

    I don’t think so, him saying he would consider re-signing is making sure he has a fall back option.

    It pains me to say this, but I think he’ll end up in Boston.

  120. Cameron Says:

    As their right fielder, no doubt. Crawford, Ellsbury, and Beltran… Expensive to be sure, but if Crawford and Beltran play like they usually do (Crawford’s 2010 nonwithstanding) and Ellsbury following up on this year, Boston could be Boston again. At the very least, it’s one of the finer defensive outfields in the league.

  121. Bob Says:

    I hope he comes to Boston.

  122. Raul Says:

    Looks like this year only Barry Larkin will get elected.

    And even he might not get in.

    Anyone want to take a guess at which player gets the biggest voting increase/decrease?

  123. Cameron Says:

    I think Lark gets in just because the BBWAA doesn’t want this to be a no-induction year.

    Biggest increase? …Tim Raines. Partly because of the ballot weakness, mostly to troll Chuck.

    Biggest decrease? Um… Does Juan Gonzalez falling off the ballot count?

  124. Bob Says:

    Since you asked. I will guess Raines gets the biggest increase. Morris could get a decrease as could Lee Smith. And Larkin could make the biggest jump. Wonder if it helps Trammell

  125. Raul Says:

    This day in Baseball history:

    •1926 – Tris Speaker resigns as Indians manager. Stories of a thrown game and betting on games by Ty Cobb and Speaker gain momentum when Judge Landis holds a secret hearing with the two stars and former P-OF Joe Wood. The story and testimony will not be released until December 21. Former Tiger P Dutch Leonard wrote to Harry Heilmann that he had turned over letters written to him by Wood and Cobb to American League president Ban Johnson, implicating the two in betting on a Tiger-Cleveland game played in Detroit, MI, on September 25, 1919. He charged that Cobb and Speaker conspired to let Detroit win to help them gain 3rd-place money. At a secret meeting of AL directors, it was decided to let Cobb and Speaker resign with no publicity. But, as rumors spread, Judge Landis takes charge of the matter and holds the hearings, at which Leonard refuses to appear. Cobb and Wood admit to the letters, but say it was a horse racing bet, and contend Leonard is angry for having been released to the Pacific Coast League by Cobb. Speaker, not named in the letters, denies everything. Public sympathy is with the stars, but the matter will remain unresolved until January of next year.

  126. Chuck Says:

    Bleep you, Raul.

    Had to start that Raines/HOF shit again.

    I’m off today, maybe I’ll write an article.

    If only I can overcome the worst case of writers block I’ve ever had.

  127. Raul Says:

    LOL,

    I don’t mean to start a Tim Raines thing.
    We can skip over that.

  128. Raul Says:

    On this day in 1976, the Yankees sign The Straw That Stirs The Drink to a 5-year, 3.5 million dollar contract.

  129. Chuck Says:

    Just like a pitcher having TJ, it’s not the first year after knee surgery for a position player, it’s the second.

    Beltran was an All-Star last year playing the first half on one leg.

    Put him in a small RF like Fenway, plus being 100%, holy crap.

    I don’t care if he’s 35, he’s also another two, three AS type seasons from being a Hall of Famer.

  130. Chuck Says:

    “On this day in 1976, the Yankees sign The Straw That Stirs The Drink to a 5-year, 3.5 million dollar contract.”

    On the market today, he’d get more than Fielder and pretty close to Albert.

    Wow.

  131. Cameron Says:

    Or five years of padding, and I can see Boston giving him five years.

  132. Cameron Says:

    One thing I love about Beltran is how much he loves KC. He said if it was up to him, if he was elected to the Hall of Fame, it’d be in a Royals cap. Certainly more than I can say about other formal Royals. Lookin’ at you, Damon and Greinke.

  133. Raul Says:

    A year ago today, the LA Dodgers signed Juan Uribe to a 3-year, 21 million dollar contract.

    Uribe would go on to be the worst player in the Major Leagues in 2011, hitting .204/.264/.293 in 77 games.

  134. Chuck Says:

    There’s obviously a lot to consider with retirements and all, but starting in 2013 we’re going to see an 8-12 year run of some pretty strong ballots for the Hall.

    I hate to say it, but it’s not even Raines who will have problems after this year, so will Jeff Bagwell.

    I don’t know how many years Morris has left, and quite frankly he’s not worthy anyway, but he won’t be around much either.

  135. Cameron Says:

    Bagwell might just get votes by association. “Hey, if we’re electing all these guys from the 90s, why not him too?” If Raffy Palmeiro wasn’t caught with a needle in his ass… Actually, if Raffy wasn’t busted, he’d be a Hall of Famer already.

  136. Cameron Says:

    Hm… Given the ballot, you guys think Bagwell clears 55%? I think the guy might see as high as 60, probably the second-highest vote-getter.

  137. Raul Says:

    I think so many of these guys put up insane numbers during the steroid era, it’s going to look odd to have a guy with 400-500 homers and NOT make the HOF.

  138. Chuck Says:

    The difference between Palmeiro and Bagwell was the getting caught part.

    What did Bagwell get last year, 42?

    Fifty five is max.

  139. Cameron Says:

    Of the twenty-five players who have hit 500+ home runs, ten of them played over a large part of the 90s. Six of them (Bonds, Rodriguez, McGwire, Palmeiro, Ramirez, and Sheffield) have been found guilty of steroid use at one point and no one thinks Sosa did that shit clean.

    …Still, producing three clean in Griffey, Thome, and Thomas ain’t bad for a decade.

  140. Cameron Says:

    I’d probably be willing to agree with you on that one, Chuck. Not from a performance level, but you brought up the drastic change in his build over the years. As a guy who watches a lot of pro wrestling, I know what guys on steroids look like. Trust me, wrestlers getting juiced didn’t die in the 80s. It’s still going on.

    …I’m serious. Google the name “Mason Ryan”. I can wait.

  141. Chuck Says:

    The writers know, for the most part, who used and who didn’t.

    I mean, if we can figure it out.

    Those guys are in clubhouses every day.

    All you need is a picture of Bagwell in his rookie season and a picture in 2005, you don’t need to be looking for track marks in his ass crack with a magnifying glass.

    Fred McGriff by all accounts was clean and he’s not getting in.

    I wouldn’t vote for McGwire if he was clean.

    Sheffield’s not getting in either.

    The BBWAA knows who the guilty are, and HOF vote totals reflect that.

    Raise your hand if you thought Bagwell was first ballot?

    There you go.

  142. Chuck Says:

    “Still, producing three clean in Griffey, Thome, and Thomas ain’t bad for a decade.”

    Two of them wouldn’t have made it without the DH.

    Griffey stands alone.

  143. Raul Says:

    I stated before that I had heard Walt Weiss used steroids.
    I was certain I heard it but I can’t find any evidence. I must have been confusing him with someone else.

    So for the moment, I’ll take that back.

  144. JohnBowen Says:

    “The difference between Palmeiro and Bagwell was the getting caught part.
    What did Bagwell get last year, 42?
    Fifty five is max.”

    55 maybe this year.

    For Bagwell, it’s just a race against the clock.

    I would say it’s very very likely that he used, and given an infinite span of time, you’d think something would eventually come out about it.

    So the question is, what happens first? His induction or the roid evidence?

    Frankly, I’m all for just judging guys within the context of the era in which they played. Bonds, Rodriguez? Absolutely in. Sheffield and Sosa? Pass.

  145. JohnBowen Says:

    “The BBWAA knows who the guilty are, and HOF vote totals reflect that.”

    42% is pretty good for a first run. It’s 2 and a half times what Blyleven got, for example.

    But, I see your point. Bagwell, if he was clean, is a top-10, maybe top-5 all-time 1B. Ordinarily he would be in on the first ballot.

    Like you said, the difference between Bagwell and Palmeiro is getting caught. If the writers knew conclusively, Bagwell would’ve gotten single figures, like Palmeiro.

  146. Chuck Says:

    “Frankly, I’m all for just judging guys within the context of the era in which they played. Bonds, Rodriguez? Absolutely in”

    After some thought, I’m a no on ARod.

    I don’t buy his story about how long he used.

    He was in Seattle with Randy Velarde and Bret Boone and Jay Buhner, and he was in Texas with Pudge and Kevin Brown and Gonzalez.

    It’s like the people who believe Pete Rose never gambled as a player.

  147. Brautigan Says:

    Yeah, I feel for Fred McGriff. Dude puts up HOF numbers. Only problem is, he did it during the Vince McMahon wannabe era, and so Fred’s numbers look average compared to Chewable Chocks Sosa.

  148. JohnBowen Says:

    “After some thought, I’m a no on ARod.
    I don’t buy his story about how long he used.”

    That’s just my thing though.

    My guess is that you’re right. He was probably using from the get-go.

    ARod dominated the steroid era. He has won 3 MVP’s, put up spectacular seasons, displayed power that no one had or has ever seen from a SS.

    Sheffield also used steroids, and got to 500 HR. He’s not among the most elite players of his era. Very solid, but all things considered, he’s more of this era’s Dave Parker.

    “He was in Seattle with Randy Velarde and Bret Boone and Jay Buhner, and he was in Texas with Pudge and Kevin Brown and Gonzalez.”

    Kevin Brown was never ARod’s teammate in Texas…though he was in NY.

  149. Mike Felber Says:

    No no no no. You CANNOT just look at changes in build & conclude someone used. I have been in gyms for decades, talk with & observed many, some over time. Folks can change a great deal. It depends upon training intensity, genetics, training efficiency, & nutrition.

    We all would agree that Pro athletes tend to have better access to expert trainers & plenty of free time in the off season, right? And if anything better genetics for bulk than the average man. And plenty of resources for legitimate supplements.

    If you looked at me in my 20’s vs. later with that false preconception that big changes in size means PEDs, you would think I was dirty. But I would never even take Creatine. Now I got overweight too, but it would not have been too hard to get down to playing weight (if I could remotely play in MLB, which I could not).

    It is always sane to ask for plausible evidence. Now this is largely for Chuck’s benefit. http://highheatstats.blogspot.com/2011/11/most-valuable-season-in-baseball.html

  150. JohnBowen Says:

    @147, yeah…also McGriff started his career in a pitcher’s era. Was one of the very best power hitters in the game from 1988-1992, before roids became so widespread.

    That said, he did have about a 30 point OPS+ spike when he started playing with Canseco…not that that’s anything conclusive but…

  151. Mike Felber Says:

    I suspect you guys are right about A-Rod. The proximity to other dirty players after he supposedly quit is not enough for me. Add his contradictory stories about why he used & related PED details, it is right to suspect him as more than 3 years & out.

  152. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, I’m taking a look at changes in Bagwell and it’s scary. In 1991, the guy was a stick. In 1994, he’s this barrel-chested beast.

    One does not go from David Eckstein to Jose Canseco in three years.

  153. Cameron Says:

    Retired at age 37, huge upper body, constant shoulder problems, middle-aged man with acne breakouts.

    http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2010/1228/mlb_a_jeffbts_576.jpg

    Chuck, tell me, what’s that look like?

  154. Chuck Says:

    “No no no no. You CANNOT just look at changes in build & conclude someone used.”

    Maybe not definitively, but Stevie Wonder could make a pretty good guess.

  155. Cameron Says:

    It looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, it sounds like a duck. It ain’t a chicken, Mike.

  156. Raul Says:

    Here comes Mike with his sanctimonious crap again.

    You being in gyms has not a damn thing to do with knowing about who’s juicing.

    A kid is scrawny and hits the gym and gains 30 pounds. Fine.

    A professional athlete does not gain that kind of muscle mass. Baseball players are playing all the time. For years and years. You simply do not go from a 21 year old 170 pound kid to a 25 year old 220 pound monster. Not when you’re an athlete.

    It does not happen. Ever.

    The only way it happens is when they merely get fat. So yeah, Juan Uribe can go from 170 to 220…but look at him. The only developed muscle in his body surrounds his jaw from all the chewing of burgers he does. It does not happen with shredded athletes.

  157. Cameron Says:

    Simple weightlifting, as Bagwell attributes his weight gain to, does not add that much muscle mass over the course of three years. Not to mention this guy’s been playing ball for years, which means he was probably lifting weights and being active to begin with.

    Unless this guy suddenly took up powerlifting, then that’s understandable. But powerlifters don’t play baseball. They play football or do strongman competitions.

  158. Mike Felber Says:

    You are reacting reflexively when you call me sanctimonious Raul. Tell me why-you & I disagree, both say the other is wrong. Nothing meets the “S” word defintion there.

    1) Me being in gyms & talking with & observing tons of guys who gained much has a lot to do with being able to see what it possible re: gaining muscle mass naturally. As is my own experience. I did not argue it shows me who was juicing nor that Bagwell, or anyone who gains much mass could not be juicing.

    2) I do not know that your #s are exactly right. I have sen Bagwell listed at 215, show me where he was listed at 170. Could be, though folks commonly round off & exaggerate to help there argument-which hurts credibility.

    3) You can gain that kind of mass over years if you A) were not doing anything for mass in the past, or not effectively. Why you are mistaken about “when you are an athlete”: many athletes were not trying to gain muscle, for years. And at a certain point it may become a goal. And ball players rarely worried about mass until the steroid era. And many of them used, not all.

    3) He was not middle aged when he played. A bit of an exaggeration. I once saw a dermatologist who told me he still had break outs-he was 52. Some people are prone to acne.

    4) I do not know how quickly Bagwell gained his weight. But Cameron, I explained above how even TODAY some Pro athletes never go for or get big. Reggie Miller & Sam Cassell are amongst many ectomorph examples, even when most in the NBA were fairly to very muscular.

    Yes, players DO take up heavy lifting &/or powerlifting sometimes. I have seen athletes in my current gym do so, from track to baseball.

  159. Raul Says:

    No, you can’t.

    You cannot gain 20-30 pounds of mass of muscle in that short a time period.

    You literally have to have zero workout history to gain that kind of mass.
    Athletes play and practice way too much to have the time to workout the insane hours needed to pack on that kind of muscle.

    Does not happen.

    A football player doesn’t gain 30 pounds of muscle from HS to the NFL. And heavy lifting is part of the ROUTINE.

    A baseball player? Not a chance in hell.

  160. Brautigan Says:

    But Mike, it isn’t just the muscle mass. It’s also the growth in the head, feet and other extremities. I mean, I recall Barry Bonds first year with San Francisco vs. the last time I saw him. His head was huge. HUGE. That did not come from working out.

    Frankly, Selig should have given the juicers one chance to clean up, and then if you’re caught dirty, I’m sorry, you don’t get to play games anymore.

    What these jackasses did to the integrity of the game is on par with gambling on outcomes.

  161. Cameron Says:

    Not to mention the other signs I listed like the constant injuries and acne, other steroid red flags.

  162. Chuck Says:

    Haven’t we had this conversation before, Mike?

    How you lift and what you lift goes into your results.

    Powerlifters and baseball players have different goals when they’re in the gym, so their weights, reps lead to different results.

    A trainer friend of mine who works for the A’s in spring training told me the giveaway for a juicer isn’t the development of the big muscles, it’s the development of the small muscles.

    He said once steriods are in your system, EVERY part of your body reacts to the workout, not just the muscle groups you are focusing on.

    That’s why juicers, whether it be athletes or powerlifters or wrestlers, have abnormally larger forearms, calfs and lats than the “normal” guy who doesn’t use drugs.

    So when determining if a player used or even is under the cloud of suspicion, you don’t look at his biceps, chest and thighs, you look at the other stuff.

    Dead giveaway.

    Once he told me that, it became pretty easy to spot the offenders, and if you pay attention, it’s not that difficult.

  163. Cameron Says:

    Dead giveaway for juicers to me are the shoulder and neck area. If a guy looks like he has two sets of shoulders, he’s pissing in a cup.

  164. Mike Felber Says:

    Some athletes in many sports take up powerlifting for explosive power. I have seen it for a guy who competed in the discus in Athens, & ball players. Clearly it may be useful to have an explosive swing, delivery, or starting speed. And sometimes these guys are merely emphasizing speed, & not so much max weights, meaning limit the bulk developed.

    Also, what does “ripped”, or “shredded” mean? Technically it means very defined, not necessarily muscular. But it is being used in bag-well’s case to mean both. Now being both is easier to attain with drugs. But it is one way to do it.

    Also, folks are often VERY inaccurate, conflating one with the other. Bagwell was quite muscular, but besides that was he very low body fat? I do not know about that. Just because your muscles stand out does NOT mean you are ripped. Bonds used up the kazoo, but he lifted up his shirt to show a reporter how he was not “ripped”. People can be so imprecise. Folks have described ME as ripped: 7 I was OVERWEIGHT! Not very fat, but not only was I not lean, they might say that when my waist was near 40″!

    People often do not have the care or intellectual rigor to even observe in a precise way. There brain perceives one factor, & they assume a bunch of other characteristics that may not be present. This is, experimentally, a much proven fact.

  165. Raul Says:

    “What does ripped or shredded mean?”

    Jesus Christ….

  166. Brautigan Says:

    I had one coach tell me to NOT lift weights. “You want to be a good baseball player, grip large ball bearings, hard tennis balls, etc.”. Over developed forearms (like Steve “Popeye” Garvey) help both everyday players and pitchers. Hitters want to have the speed (read:power) to swing through the strike zone, and pitchers want a tight grip on the ball for better rotation.

    There are three types of power hitters: Speed (Aaron), Power (Hondo Howard) and speed & power (Mantle).

  167. Mike Felber Says:

    Precision is everything. God is in the details. So one by one:

    1) I agree with you about the PED crimes Brautigan. Also that those organs-8 internal organs in the case of HgH-is a give away. That is not in evidence for Bagwell.

    You are just completely wrong on some facts Raul.

    2) You do not need to have NO history of lifting. Tons of guys do it lightly, inefficiently, &/or not for mass. Then later step up their intensity & efficacy: often with pro help.

    3) MANY football players have gained 30 lbs. of muscle from HS to the NFL. You gotta be kidding! You take someone who was leanly strong but not big, with a big bone structure/much potential, give him great trainers & weight gainers: badda bing. Do you not know the size of the guys in the NFL vs. most all in HS?

    4)Cam, there are many guys who have huge whatevers who are natural. And so many are using.

    5) Chuck, you bring up a good new point. though it is not a dead giveaway: some folks naturally have bigger “outers” Some men who never lift only have significant muscle in their neck, forearm & calves. And calves & forearms are infamous in that many guys have TROUBLE developing them whatever they do.

    Yet I would say that fine, if those areas are DISPROPORTIONATELY large, it TENDS to be correlated with drug use. Was Bagwell bigger in his outers than his other areas? Seems to me he got big all over.

  168. Mike Felber Says:

    Though overall mass also helps Brautgan, for many.

    Raul, try not being reflexively POed when someone is going to much trouble to get at the truth. You have not contested anything I said about folks often being utterly mistaken, as they have about ME, in confusing ripped with having a good deal of muscle.

  169. Raul Says:

    You know what your problem is, Mike?

    You have this overly-scientific view of every aspect of life. Which frankly, amazes me coming from an artist.

    You don’t need 40 clinical trials to know that aloe is good for the skin. And that honey soothes a sore throat.

    And you don’t need the syringe off Bagwell’s bloody ass to know he was juicing.

    Common sense isn’t so common after all.

  170. Mike Felber Says:

    There is also tons of time in the off season to get big. But if you know what you are doing-fugghetabout the best trainers & nutrition-you do NOT need many sessions a week, NOR a long time each workout in the gym to get big. Anyone who knows much about lifting can tell you that.

    Now to be also defined to the point of a bodybuilding competition, & very symmetrical: yes, overwhelmingly you need more time. But none of the guys we have been discussing also showed that kind of extreme definition & symmetry.

  171. Raul Says:

    The hour a day, three times a week isn’t going to get you 15 pounds of solid muscle.

    Does not happen that way. Period.

  172. Mike Felber Says:

    Common sense has been proven to very often be wrong Raul. And often it is right. I can list many things supposedly good for the body & skin, & depression, & whatever physical or mental condition, that people believed “common sense”.

    to actually need some persuasive evidence is in no way “overly scientific”.

    And appreciating art is a wholly distinct realm. Aesthetic appreciation is not a matter of what does what to who under what conditions. To think so is an error in logic: a category error.

  173. Mike Felber Says:

    You are ABSOLUTELY wrong Raul. Totally & completely wrong!

    I have seen it done, not rare at all. If you like, I will write you programs of what to do & what/how much to eat that would gain you that weight, all or most muscle. For most it is possible naturally, from what you described about yourself you to.’

    And it would not take you years to do it.

  174. Raul Says:

    What constitutes “persuasive evidence” FOR YOU has consistently proven to be unattainable.

    You’d doubt the assasination of Abraham Lincoln until you held the smoking gun in your pocket.

  175. Cameron Says:

    I’m with Mike here. It is easy to bulk up in a relatively short bit of time. The kind of bulk he was building was hard to get on a ballplayer’s schedule, though. You gotta realize ballplayers have a shitload of working out to do. Field drills, throwing drills, running drills, batting drills, there’s a lot you need to fit in. An hour a day three times a week suddenly looks really hard to throw into that schedule.

    Plus I’m still looking at other red flags like the weakened joints, the nagging pain, the late-breakout acne. While it wasn’t as obvious as say, half the WWE roster, the signs are all there.

  176. Raul Says:

    It’s easy to bulk up, if you’re a stick.

    When you’re a professional athlete, it’s insanely difficult.

    Fighters take nearly a decade to gain 20 pounds of weight, much less muscle.

  177. Cameron Says:

    Fighters also have weight to make, Raul, plus they’re trying to gain specific muscle. In case of a guy trying to bulk up for, say, football, a good nose tackle can gain fifty pounds of muscle from high school to the NFL.

    Marcel Dareus graduated high school in 2008. He weighed 277 pounds then. He’s a rookie weighing 340 now.

  178. Chuck Says:

    “Was Bagwell bigger in his outers than his other areas? Seems to me he got big all over.”

    “Big all over” IS the giveaway, Mike.

  179. Cameron Says:

    Yeah… Seems about right there, Chuck. That’s what steroids are supposed to do.

    Though you know what I think would kinda be fun to watch. It’s something a high school teacher of mine proposed. Just have a league where steroid use was legal. It’d be fun to watch that shit fly all over.

  180. Chuck Says:

    Raul is right, Mike.

    And so is Cameron.

    If you’re a wrestler or deadlifter or football player, then it is possible in six months to gain that much muscle mass, assuming you’re not a fat tub of goo to begin with.

    But baseball, and basketball and to an extent hockey are more cardio sports, you lift one day and run off your gain the next.

    I remember one year Trot Nixon gained 30 pounds one off-season (yes, he juiced) and showed up for spring training and the security guard wouldn’t let him in the players parking lot.

    Same guard who had worked at the park for twenty years.

  181. Raul Says:

    BTW,

    Have any of you jagaloons actually seen Bagwell since he retired?

    His physique is on par with James Carville.

  182. Chuck Says:

    “Not very fat, but not only was I not lean, they might say that when my waist was near 40″!”

    Sorry, Mike, if you have a 40 inch waist, you’re fat.

    Unless you’re ten feet nine.

  183. Cameron Says:

    Depends on the position in basketball, I think, Chuck. If you’re a guard, I don’t think muscle would help you much. If you’re a forward, though, bulking up to help power through guys trying to block you would help out.

  184. Chuck Says:

    #181,

    Yes.

    He looks remarkably similar to…

    ….his rookie card.

    Coincidence?

    :)

  185. Raul Says:

    For a lot of guys, players actually LOSE weight during the season.

    That’s how grueling the year is.
    You simply cannot gain that kind of mass and maintain it…let alone GROW throughout the season.

    There simply isn’t that kind of time in your schedule to include that kind of workout regimen.

  186. Raul Says:

    Yes, he does @ Chuck 184

  187. Chuck Says:

    Yes, Cameron.

    Wilt Chamberlain lifted a lot of weights, but the cardio work required for basketball kept him from being bigger than he should have been.

    It’s like lifting twice as much for the same result.

  188. Cameron Says:

    I wasn’t sure if centers needed to do a lot of weights or not. Their job is to be big and block, they’re not really a scoring type of player on average. Chaberlain was, Jabbar was, but they were also like seven and a half feet tall and great shots. They’re mostly defensive players, seems more like they’re out on the court practicing defense routines and not lifting weights.

    Also, yes, Chamberlain did a lot of cardio. I think the math came out that if he slept with as many women as he reported, he’d need to have slept with two women a night from fifteen until the day he died.

  189. Raul Says:

    Wilt was a monster…and weighed like 60 pounds less than Shaquille O’Neal.

  190. Cameron Says:

    Centers back then weren’t as big.

  191. Raul Says:

    “Centers back then weren’t as fat”

    There you go.

  192. Cameron Says:

    Shaq really didn’t blow up until the 2000s I think. I saw pictures of him in Orlando and he was muscular. I remember him in LA as a kid and he had some fat on him but it wasn’t as bad as when I saw him in Miami… And Phoenix… And Boston…

  193. Raul Says:

    Shaw was muscular in 1993.
    Even then, he was bottom-heavy.

  194. Cameron Says:

    Bottom heavy? Raul, why are you watching Shaq’s ass?

  195. Raul Says:

    That’s his body type.

    I’m not some homophobe who constantly fears whether or not someone thinks I’m gay just because I say something that could be twisted.

    It’s not like I’m in the Navy…

    JK.

  196. Chuck Says:

    Chamberlain was a freak.

    He was the strongest player in the league.

    He was the fastest player in the league.

    If he could shoot 70% free throws, he’d have set records no one would have touched.

    As it was, Jordan needed the three pointer, and Jabbar and Malone played six years longer.

    I read a story once where Chamberlain didn’t like to lift weights. When he went to LA, the coach (Bill Sharman?) had an offseason weight program at a gym that was on the roof of a building.

    Guys like Happy Hairston and Elgin Baylor, who were both fanatical weightlifters, were there everyday.

    It got to the point Sharman threatened to fine Wilt if he didn’t show up.

    So, he makes Sharman a deal.

    If he could out-lift everyone there, could he be excused?

    Sharman says yes.

    Hairston is doing bench presses, 250 pounds or so if I remember.

    Chamberlain goes over, does a half dozen deadlifts with the barbell, ONE HANDED, over his head, puts it down, and walks out the door.

  197. Cameron Says:

    And I’m the kind of jackass that can pick out anything someone says as potential joke bait and throw it right back at them. All my friends in high school were jackasses, so it was a natural occurrence.

  198. Mike Felber Says:

    There is a lot of truth above-& a lot of 1/2 truths & inaccuracy.

    At his max, Shaq was ~ 350. At his max, Wilt over 300. And Wilt was leaner. He was 7′ 1″. Kareem between 7′ 2″ & 7′ 3″.

    Enough cardio does keep limit bulking up, or make it more difficult. baseball does not necessitate that much-but just the grind of a season can make it tough to gain or maintain weight. Though not impossible, & it is NOT true that guys cannot find an hour 3 X a week if they want to, easily. Think they find time to party?

    But most bulking up is done in the off season. And maintenance during the season, not very hard when you can have the best advisers, trainers, & nutrition/shakes/cooks.

    I showed how the overall size Bagwell had is attainable by many Chuck,. At least with decent genetics, & the best training & nutrition. Then you presented the OUTERS as being a dead give away. I granted that could be a sign-depends also on natural tendencies. Baggy did not naturally have big outers. So IF you show they were disproportionate, I would accept that as evidence.

    And my point WAS that I was overweight Chuck. Not obese-I have had my body fat measured-but some could look at me with a 40″ waist & think I was ripped: because they conflated some muscle with ripped!

    Raul, I ask for evidence that a certain thing was attained while making it highly unlikely, or even quite unlikely, that it could be done naturally. I do not take the opposite position that Bagwell did not use: there is just no good way to distinguish if he did or not.

    Now how ’bout you take me up on my challenge? I recall you were skinny in HS, gained significant weight, became fairly strong, not really big, & I assume it is likely you are a little less strong now, but not far from your peak bulk. Am I right? So you are neither pumped way up, nor a complete novice or near skinny.

    I can advise you remotely to gain 15 lss. within the year, max of 3 workouts a week of 1 hour-two a week for the 1st couple of months at least-& make sure you are measured for body fat carefully before & after, so you know you have gained muscle. 15 lbs. of it.

  199. Cameron Says:

    The Reds are talking to Brandon Phillips about a contract extension. I also haven’t heard any “we’re listening on Joey Votto” bullshit anymore. Glad to see they worked the dumbass out of their system.

  200. Mike Felber Says:

    That is a great story Chuck! I heard others…

    He had a dunk called “The Hammer & the Nail”. When he would jump up & punch the ball through the net: while leaping with the ball UNDER HIS ARM!

    He did eventually lift, I recall him saying he could bench press nearly 500 Lbs. Which given his huge wing span, is especially impressive.

    A NY Times story from some years after he retired. He was visiting the team offices. Leaving, 2 burly workman were struggling unsuccessfully to get a palate up on a freight elevator. It was only around 4″, but loaded up. Wilt said “gentleman, perhaps I can be of assistance”.

    Then without much apparent effort, picked it right up & loaded it on alone. It weighed nearly 600 lbs.

  201. Cameron Says:

    My favorite part about Wilt Chamberlain? His alma mater. =P

  202. Chuck Says:

    ” So IF you show they were disproportionate, I would accept that as evidence.”

    Look at the before and after pictures.

    You miss the point, Mike.

    You’re so focused on your way of thinking and your sounding like an expert you’re generalizing something that shouldn’t be.

    Just like John with his Raines argument, I’m tired of banging my head against the wall with you on this.

    Bagwell used.

    Get over it.

  203. Mike Felber Says:

    Though at least 250 lbs over his head (which i suppose means locked out) ONE HANDED? That is very tough to believe when i think about it. Seeing as the 2 handed RECORD, from guys training for years & with superb technique, is a bit over 580 lbs.

  204. Chuck Says:

    “I also haven’t heard any “we’re listening on Joey Votto” bullshit anymore.”

    I hate trade rumors, 99% of them are just plain idiotic, it’s like Olney and Law and their cronies having a “my dick is bigger” argument over a bottle of Boone’s Farm.

    So I won’t embarrass myself by repeating the Votto rumor I heard today.

  205. Cameron Says:

    Go ahead Chuck, a bad rumor deserves a good lambasting.

  206. Mike Felber Says:

    I am not trying to “sound” like an expert, impying it is ego based. I am showing attention to detail & respecting a careful analysis Chuck. I am doing the OPPOSITE of generalizing Chuck: there is no good specific evidence that Bagweell used (though he could have).

    Repeating your premise establishes nothing.

    I have looked at before & after pictures. You have SHIFTED your point. I see no visual evidence that any of the body party you referred to were disproportionately developed, let alone absent working them hard.

    Getting big in itself proves nothing. Over it? We are both arguing. Nothing shows that you are less attached to your belief. Though you do not have evidence.

    Now if someone told you something, this is nothing any of us can evaluate. I do not doubt your honesty. Though 2nd or 3rd hand info can often be very wrong.

  207. Raul Says:

    “There is no GOOD specific evidence that Bagwell used”

    Which goes again towards your ridiculous standards of what constitutes persuasive evidence.

    Bagwell was a stick-figured weakling.
    He had gap-power at best.
    He gets huge.
    He becomes a 40-home run player in what was at the time, possibly the single hardest stadium to hit home runs in.
    He had constant injuries that hardly ever are associated with the position he played.
    He retires and shrinks faster than your dong in Lake Erie in February.
    There are widespread grumblings through his community that he’s a juicer.
    His entire career trajectory is consistent with that of a user and he played with at least a dozen guys who are confirmed users.

    You want proof without understanding the fact that Major League Baseball created an environment where virtually no proof could ever come out short of an admission of guilt.

    And you are sitting there like an dick waiting for said proof.

    None of that is good enough for you.

    But who cares. You aren’t a voter and neither am I.

  208. Cameron Says:

    Well, he had injuries and nagging pain, but looking at his games played, it doesn’t look like he ever missed too much time. Early retirement, though. In the period where testing became a big thing.

  209. Chuck Says:

    I can’t Cam.

    Every time I go to type it, my fingers cramp up.

    I’ll try hints.

    Votto will go play in his native country.

  210. Chuck Says:

    “Though you do not have evidence.”

    Sure I do, but if I tell you, I’d have to kill you.

    If you’re OK with that, I can get into LaGuardia tomorrow around noon.

    Pick me up?

  211. Mike Felber Says:

    No need to say I am acting like a dick because you think I am wrong Raul. You said things about how it is impossible to gain 15, or before 20-30 lbs., that is absolutely untrue, that many have SEEN folks do naturally, often, as Cameron told you. That is not a matter of opinion, but fact.

    Being wrong about that does not mean I should be mean & call you a dick.

    Now you make a decent argument. It is just not nearly enough to say he almost certainly used.

    Many were proven guilty. And that he was SUSPECTED of using: that would happen to anyone who got much bigger & stronger. That MOST of them likely used is not near reasonable proof that all of them did.

    1st baseman cannot have the kinde of shoulder injuries he did, or rarely do? Especially one lifting heavy weights? Homey don’t think so.

    You are overstating things by saying he was a dessicated weakling. Rookie year he hit 15 HRs in 554 AB playing in Houston. And most all guys do not have there real power strokes/best years early.

    If you stop lifting & eating big, you will shrink.

    Again, he could well have used.

    Now let me prove you wrong in one of your points by pumping you up! Better not let Cam hear this, he will think I am propositioning you.

    but should you want to bulk up 15 lbs. without being near a gym rat, I will tell you jus’ how to do so.

  212. Chuck Says:

    Well said Raul.

    Unless Bagwell walks into Mike’s neighborhood bar, picks up his virgin Daiquiri tab, and tells him to his face he used, Mike won’t believe anything.

    “The glove don’t fit, you must acquit.”

  213. Chuck Says:

    “he will think I am propositioning you.

    Um, you used the word “sensual” when describing a mango.

    We ALL have our doubts.

  214. Cameron Says:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/11/reds-will-not-trade-votto-this-winter.html

    Seems pretty black and white there.

  215. Mike Felber Says:

    hard to not think you are BSing Chuck. We were through the sordid nonsense with you saying you would need to murder me & John before if we disclosed something. You are neither a killer, AND it would be foolish to give me such crucial evidence if you remotely worried I might blab. Like you would fly to NYC, or needed to…

    let;s get real. If you have evidence that is correct & cannot disclose it: hopefully you are correct that it is good. But I would be being irrational to conclude from a vague description several times removed that he must have used.

    I will stick with the rational position: he could well have used. And there is no reason I should conclude he must have. Bagwell retired due to serious injury. That it must have been PED related is silly.

  216. Cameron Says:

    I’ll have some doubt just because he was never caught red-handed… But the signs are there, Mike. Hard not to connect the dots.

  217. Chuck Says:

    #215,

    A simple, “no thanks” would have sufficed.

  218. Raul Says:

    Mike,

    You cannot gain 30 pounds of muscle when you’re already a busy athlete.
    Doesn’t happen. It’s highly rare and when it does happen, you can bet the player was taking

    Whatever you’ve seen of some kid at the gym isn’t nearly the same thing.

    You can’t sit there pretending this is some court room waiting for evidence that MLB MADE SURE WOULD NEVER ARISE.

    Is it really that hard to grasp?

  219. Cameron Says:

    This is getting a little contentious. How about we go watch some cartoons?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnunzlgVXjI&feature=related

    …I need to find saner cartoons to watch.

  220. Raul Says:

    Do you even know what injury caused Bagwell to retire?

    Have you thrown a baseball? Have you swung a bat?

    Do you have any idea how hard it is to injure your shoulder THAT bad and NOT be a pitcher?

    You have to be pressing serious weight. And considering your 20-years experience in the weight room, you should be well aware of steroid-users injuries and the nature of them — how they happen.

    That shoulder injury is a giant bullseye.

  221. Cameron Says:

    Pitching’s a dangerous job, Raul. Jose Canseco tried it for an inning and needed Tommy John surgery. =P

  222. Chuck Says:

    Mike thinks weightlifters are athletes.

    Mike has never been an athlete.

    I understand where he is coming from because it’s hard to relate, but Jeff Bagwell’s physique is the best evidence.

    He looks the same today as he did when he was playing for New Britain Red Sox in 1990.

    His chest has dropped into his drawers, but that’s a natural aging thing.

    He’s easily 35 pounds lighter than he was in 2005.

    He’s 5′11 for chrissakes. He was in the 180-185 range.

    Even if he spent five hours a day in the gym, when you factor in diet and cardio work, etc, etc, he would have been lucky to get to 205, maybe 210.

    No freaking way he gets to 230 or so without help.

    No. Freaking. Way.

  223. Chuck Says:

    Joey Votto for Joey Bats.

    There, I said it.

    Going to take a shower.

  224. Cameron Says:

    You need to stop smoking the crack, Chuck.

  225. Chuck Says:

    Red Sox have offered Bobby V. the managers job and have reached a “preliminary” agreement on a contract.

  226. Chuck Says:

    What, you think I made that up?

    And how long have you been here?

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

  227. Cameron Says:

    I had a feeling that Bobby would get the job. He was Henry’s choice.

  228. Cameron Says:

    Finally got a copy of NBA 2K12, so I finally get to see the NBA Legends mode they’re showcasing. Playing a match of the ‘86 Celtics vs. the ‘86 Hawks.

    Dominique Wilkins is lighting my ass up. Thank god for ALrry Bird.

  229. Raul Says:

    Did not want Bobby V to get that Boston job.

    I don’t think it’s right for him.

  230. brautigan Says:

    To show you how insanely good Chamberlain was, he lead the NBA in assists one year. He averaged 50 points per game in one season. He is the only player to have more than 2,000 rebounds in a single season (he did it twice).

    As much of a 76er fan I was in he middle 60’s (I loved Hal Greer), I have to admit, Russell was better.

  231. Raul Says:

    I didn’t know this…

    But apparently Darold Knowles pitched in all 7 games of the 1973 World Series.

  232. Cameron Says:

    I think Bobby will do well in Boston. With Theo out of the way, I don’t anticipate Bobby clashing with management. He may butt heads with some of the players, but these assholes need someone to set them straight.

  233. brautigan Says:

    Bird was a weird combination of Dave DeBusschere (on defense) and Oscar Robertson on offense. He was a mean bastard during “go time”, and single handedly killed the Blazers during “go time”.

    This happened to many times: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTfwcotRTg0

  234. brautigan Says:

    Rollie Fingers missed game 4 (a 6-1 win by the Mets), otherwise, he would have pitched in all 7 games as well.

  235. Chuck Says:

    “As much of a 76er fan I was in he middle 60’s (I loved Hal Greer), I have to admit, Russell was better.”

    First sign of senility.

    Playing for a better team doesn’t equate to being a better player.

    Russell couldn’t score 20 if you locked him in a gym overnight.

  236. JohnBowen Says:

    “Joey Votto for Joey Bats.”

    That was a rumor last year too, wasn’t it?

    Not happening.

  237. Raul Says:

    LOL

  238. JohnBowen Says:

    To me, steroids aren’t any more cheating than breast implants. I mean, God forbid that professional athletes do something that makes them better professional athletes.

    I just downed a 5-hour energy drink and plan to use a plethora of sources available at my finger tips via the internet to finish off a paper I’m writing for my degree.

    Who cares if a century ago, this would’ve been impossible? It’s possible now.

    That said, I’m glad that steroids are illegal now…makes for a more interesting overall game, de-emphasizes power-hitting relative to other tools etc. Re-emphasizes speed and defense.

    But considering that steroids were about as illegal as J-walking until 2004 (and arguably saved the freaking game in ‘98), I’m not going to jump all over Bagwell because he probably used. Just my take, I realize basically no one feels that way.

  239. Raul Says:

    What is cheating, john?

  240. Chuck Says:

    “I just downed a 5-hour energy drink and plan to use a plethora of sources available at my finger tips via the internet to finish off a paper I’m writing for my degree.”

    So, you’re going to plagiarize someone else’s paper?

    Cite the source, or you’re cheating.

  241. JohnBowen Says:

    I am citing my sources. Let’s see…48 footnotes and counting. And it would take me way longer to do this if I had a bunch of books spread out on my bed, was writing my candlelight, and was using a typewriter or some shit.

    @239…fixing a game, using a non-regulation bat, using a corked bat, futzing with the scoreboard lighting (as TLR has made up), using non-humidor balls when it’s your turn to bat in your elevated stadium, going tonya harding on the other team’s superstar, doctoring a ball, messing with the other team’s bullpen phones (kidding!)…these are all things I would consider cheating.

    I’m really not hoping to convince anyone, but making yourself stronger is a f*cking job requirement, and if you sacrifice ball-size to do, well, as the saying goes, go nuts.

  242. Raul Says:

    Do you advocate steroid use in all sports?
    How about EPO?

    Everything goes?

  243. JohnBowen Says:

    I don’t advocate it at all – I’m *glad* MLB had finally cracked down and done something about it…because, selfishly, I enjoy the game more when there’s more to it than waiting for Mark McGwire to come up and swat a longball.

    But, I really see only a U.S. law distinction between bulking up, and bulking up with steroids. The latter works better, but you still have to hit the damn ball, run 90 feet to first base, field and throw etc.

  244. Raul Says:

    Here is where I have a fundamental problem.
    Forget about steroids being legal or not.
    It’s this idea that it doesn’t help you become a better player.

    “You still have to hit the ball”.

    You have a left-handed batter. The difference between a line drive to RF and a weak grounder to SS is literally fractions of a second. It’s barely inches in terms of the position of the bat in the zone. That’s the difference between a base hit and an out. If a player gets the slighest advantage that allows him to keep or increase his bat speed…that can be a major difference in the type of player you see. That’s the difference steroid use can make.

    Whether people like you think it’s unfair, whatever.

    But to say “you still have to hit the ball”…

    The slightest boost DOES HELP YOU HIT THE BALL.

    Do people honestly think that when Ken Griffey hits .184, he just forgot how to hit or recognize pitches? Where do people think that decrease comes from? What do they think the increased strength allows them to do? Do they just think it makes the baseball bat harder?

    It annoys the hell out of me.

  245. Chuck Says:

    “…fixing a game, using a non-regulation bat, using a corked bat, futzing with the scoreboard lighting (as TLR has made up), using non-humidor balls when it’s your turn to bat in your elevated stadium, going tonya harding on the other team’s superstar, doctoring a ball, messing with the other team’s bullpen phones (kidding!)…these are all things I would consider cheating.”

    The DH?

    Tommy John surgery?

    Artificial turf?

  246. Chuck Says:

    Maple bats?

    Which, by the way, are now illegal under the new CBA.

  247. JohnBowen Says:

    “Tommy John surgery?”

    Didn’t exist 100 years ago.

    I know you’re going to argue that pitchers didn’t need it because they threw more and developed stronger arms etc etc, but how is getting TJ surgery to extend your career different than using steroids to extend your career?

    Assuming the steroids were readily available for anyone to use…which they pretty much were.

    “If a player gets the slighest advantage that allows him to keep or increase his bat speed…that can be a major difference in the type of player you see. That’s the difference steroid use can make.”

    I agree.

    A player can also get lasik which allows him to see the ball better and faster than his peers 50 years back.

    Cheating?

  248. Raul Says:

    Lasik doesn’t give you eagle-eye vision.

  249. JohnBowen Says:

    And steroids (alone) don’t make you a great baseball player, or even give you great strength.

    Again, happy they’re gone, or at least mostly gone.

    Don’t really think they’re terribly unethical.

  250. Raul Says:

    Was your purpose really to put Lasik and Steroids in the same boat?

    I just want to be clear.
    I don’t want to call that ridiculous fucking bullshit before I understand your point.

  251. JohnBowen Says:

    Player steals signs…that’s just part of the game.

    Player gets stronger using modern pharmaceuticals readily available for anyone…well that’s cheating. Somehow.

    If I was Larry Dierker, I would’ve been pretty pissed off if my 1B was hitting 16 home runs a year when everyone else was hitting 35. Seems like the team thing to do would be to bulk up and contribute more RBI’s.

  252. Raul Says:

    Steroids are not pharmaceuticals readily available for anyone.

  253. Mike Felber Says:

    John, I think you have a couple of mistakes in your logic above. 1st, as I have written here many times, steroids were made explicitly illegal. By the G-Man (commissioner). That it was not tested for does not mean it was not wholly illegal.

    Also, the technology you refer to helps repair damage. Tommy John Surgery & lasik does not give you greater capacity than you had before, & in the case of ‘roids, more than you could ever develop. They also do not warp the ecology/balance of the game, as you describe.

    They are nothing if not cheating though. Technically & in all meaningful purposes. And those who do NOT violate US & baseball law & lie about it are at a small to profound disadvantage in plying their trade, making a lot of money, maybe even staying in the game when there are many cheaters around.

  254. JohnBowen Says:

    “Steroids are not pharmaceuticals readily available for anyone.”

    In 1997, they basically were.

    “Also, the technology you refer to helps repair damage.”

    Weakness is a “damage.”

  255. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, is it all maple bats that are illegal or just those splintery multi-piecers? Because maple’s a decent wood. If you carved a whole bat out of it, it’d be pretty solid.

  256. Cameron Says:

    “Lasik doesn’t give you eagle-eye vision.”

    No, but it can make Curtis Granderson hit lefties. We all saw the difference that makes.

  257. Raul Says:

    You really think Lasik made Curtis Granderson have the season he had?

    Nevermind, I’m getting tired of this stupid shit.

  258. JohnBowen Says:

    Um, it certainly might be?

    Shit, guy has a career .088 OPS against LHP, gets the surgery to improve his effing eyesight, and all of a sudden becomes an MVP candidate.

    Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and say that Lasik played a role.

  259. Mike Felber Says:

    Alright, time to dole out the spankings!

    1st, good line about the mangoes. But do not worry until I start preferring them to girls!

    Also, Russell was a 44% shooter. His teams were better, but Wilt was absolutely better overall. Their match ups had him generally better too. I am a big believer in efficiency ratio as an NBA stat: measuring all the ways a player contributes to scoring or defending, factoring in missed opportunities that cost a team. Russell is 99th all time! Jordon is #1, then LeBron (so far), Wilt, & the criminally underrated David Robinson is 4th all time.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/leaders/per_career.html

  260. Mike Felber Says:

    Weakness is a damage? What? These guys are not weak, nor suffering due to an injury that prevents strength. You are correct that lasik helped the Grand-man, but again, he was only repairing a deficit. It is legal for a good reason.

    Steroids were a controlled substance in the US & illegal in baseball since the start of the ’90’s. They were widely & correctly seen as cheating. Many who should have known better looked the other way (corruption), & the average fan did not know how prevalent they were until some years in, during the new century, as scandals unfolded & then testing came in.

  261. Lefty33 Says:

    “Tommy John Surgery & lasik does not give you greater capacity than you had before,”

    Very debatable in regards to the TJ surgery Mike.

    Kids as early as high school are having elective TJ’s because a lot of times they come back throwing harder than before the surgery.

  262. Lefty33 Says:

    “In 1997, they basically were.”

    No John the difference is not avalibility it’s in the testing.

    They are still available the same now as they were in ‘97 or in ‘67 BUT now there is a testing program in place that didn’t exist then.

    A guy can still easily get the same substances but the difference is that now he’ll likely be caught somewhere in the chain if he tries to use it.

    MLB should take a page from Japan and just test to IOC standards like they do.

    It’s just about impossible to take NyQuil and not get flagged with their standards.

  263. Mike Felber Says:

    Cameron, I have shown you at length how those COULD be dots, but not everyone who has the signs you talk about have them come from drugs. Again, could well be.

    Raul: let’s assume for the sake of argument I am naive, or you happen to be right about the Bag-man. You still have a shifting panoply of ERRORS about the possible effects of strength training. if you challenge me, I can refer you to sources, like lifting Web Sites & experts in the gym &/or researching it.

    1) If an athlete has not added a lot of muscle-like you say J.B. was a Stick boy-of course he can add 30 lbs of muscle! Assuming he has just good potential, works out hard over a long period of time, works out efficiently, & eats
    properly.

    2) It is NOT just kids at the gym I am referring to. There are many athletes in the major sports who have done so.

    3) Too busy?! Whaaa? During the SEASON they can put aside the time, though it is a tough challenge to keep gaining muscle due to the demands of a sport. Easier, & overwhelmingly done, is to do most or all of your GAINS in the off season, then maintain during the season.

    4) It is true that MLB at least did not make it easy to see who was dirty. Still even before testing some were named, at least later, with reliable evidence. Bagwell was not one of them.

    4) Getting testy there about my experience, huh? Yup, I have played, but not more than in the schoolyard * a couple of years of little league. And you are telling me nothing new about his injury Raul. Show me WHY you think it is a steroid injury, & not just a heavy lifting injury. You cannot, because it need not be coupled with PEDs to have that injury.

  264. Cameron Says:

    “Shit, guy has a career .088 OPS against LHP, gets the surgery to improve his effing eyesight, and all of a sudden becomes an MVP candidate.”

    Yes. He also had 20/80 vision, meaning that his lead eye against lefties wasn’t seeing shit. If you can’t see the ball, you can’t HIT the ball.

  265. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck, I have never been an athlete in a significant way. The above, & a couple of years of track & field though was athletics. Competitive weightlifting is a sport. regular lifting is training for a sport, &/or good for your health if done wisely.

    Now your comment about Baggy & his weight DOES make some sense. That is, at his height & a typical bone structure, & assuming as you must that he was never at all overweight-so a max. of 15% body fat-YES, 205 or 210 is a natural outer limit that most will get to without PEDs. Though there are a couple of caveats there.

    1) Creatine & the precursor hormones were legal when he was bulking up! That can add significant size Chuck.

    2) I have seen him listed at 215. Where do you see 230?

    Lastly, reading this there is no reason to think that he may well have been honest & anguished that folks think he used, & regrets the lifting style that damaged him. Though I do not like the way he excuses cheating & lying, & he fails to realize or admit how it stole money, glory & general opportunity from the honest man.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof11/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&id=5963276

  266. Mike Felber Says:

    Ah, I refreshed the page & saw your comments Lefty.

    I take it back with regards to Tommy John Surgery. I recall those reports, & at least it seems to help some young people throw harder. So having it done as an elective surgery, when not needed due to debilitating injury, seems reasonable to ban.

    And I agree about Olympic style testing being the simplest & best solution. With both opportunities to appeal in those cases when it IS using an innocuous over the counter drug, & samples frozen so you can be found guilty years later, when we can test for other, now unknown or designer, PEDs. Bouton had a good idea there.

  267. Cameron Says:

    A lot of surgeons don’t like doing elective TJs. It’s not the TJ itself that makes the pitcher throw harder, it’s the work done during rehab that makes them throw harder. TJ is hard as a motherfucker to rehab from, and that work builds an arm up like a beast.

    And that’s not my original thought. My words, but I’m basically paraphrasing Dr. James Andrews, the most well-known and sought-after orthopedic surgeon in the country.

  268. Brautigan Says:

    Where I call Russell a better player than Chamberlain was during “go time”. Chamberlain disappeared and that is when Russell would take over. I remember watching all those ABC games on tv and was so damned frustrated that Russell’s team would beat the 76ers.

    Truly, there is no debate. Chamberlain was the better player, his numbers back that up. But when it comes to winning, Russell was the man. And don’t try blowing that crap up my nose that Boston had “better teams” than the 76ers. Hell, the 76ers had Chet “the Jet” Walker, Billy Cunningham, Hal Greer, Luke Jackson, Wali Jones, John “Red” Kerr. That ain’t chopped liver.

  269. Bob Says:

    “And don’t try blowing that crap up my nose that Boston had “better teams” than the 76ers.”

    Fine, I won’t.

  270. Bob Says:

    David DeJesus signed with the Cubs.

  271. Brautigan Says:

    Why thank you Bob. Reasonableness is your middle name.

  272. Bob Says:

    Actually, I believe Mike claimed that you are/were the man of reason around here.

  273. Brautigan Says:

    Usually I am. Just keep politics and Oregon Ducks out of the conversation and I usually don’t blow my top.

    Speaking of Ducks, if things go the way they should, it will be Oregon vs. Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on January 2nd. That ought to be a really good game………especially if Oregon throws Hail Mary’s all day long.

  274. Brautigan Says:

    Look, I am like anyone else, I really dislike the theory that because a player has more championship rings on his fingers, he is better than player X. But when it came to “go time”, or clutch time, Chamberlain was notorius for being a no-show, and Russell was notorious for getting it done. It is like comparing Larry Bird to Dominique Wilkins. Who you going to give the ball to with 5 seconds left? Who are you going to ask to guard Dr. J. with 5 seconds left, Bird or Wilkins?

    Same can be said about Russell vs. Chamberlain. Russell got after it, Wilt wilted.

    I hate to admit it, because as a kid, I detested the Celts and loved the sixers. But it is what it is.

  275. Raul Says:

    This day in baseball history:

    •1948 – Player-manager Lou Boudreau is selected the AL MVP. Boudreau had almost been traded to the Browns earlier in the year, but protests by fans kept Lou in Cleveland. After the World Series win, owner Bill Veeck commented, “Sometimes the best trades are the ones you never make.”

    •1999 – Braves minor leaguer Roger Blanco is killed by robbers in Catia La Mar, Venezuela. Blanco, 30, was traded to the Braves in 1996 for Mark Whiten.

    •1999 – Pete Rose launches a new web site, allowing fans to add their names to a petition to vote for his reinstatement. He was banned from the game for gambling in August 1989.

    •1981 – Yankees P Dave Righetti (8-4, 2.06 in 1981) wins the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

    •2000 – The Yankees sign Orioles free agent P Mike Mussina to a 6-year contract worth $88.5 million. Mussina says a deciding factor was a call from Joe Torre.

    Birthdays:

    Rich Harden is 30.
    Matt Lawton is 40.
    Ray Durham is 40.
    Bo Jackson is 49. But Bo already knew that.
    Bob Tewksbury is 51.
    Juan Berenguer is 57.

  276. Brautigan Says:

    Has anyone out there read Allen Barra’s book on Yogi Berra? I would be curious to see what you thought about it.

    I read Willie Mays bio by James Hirsch and really enjoyed it. I finished Jane Leavy’s book on Mickey Mantle and found it somewhat lackluster. (Spoiler alert: Leavy alleges the Mick was sexually abused as a kid, by an older female cousin, and that is why Mantle treated women so badly. Well, DUH).

    So I like to read books and would be curious as to what anyone thought of Barra’s book on Berra.

  277. Raul Says:

    Braut,

    If you haven’t done so already, search “Alec Baldwin Mark Twain” on youtube. For our time is truly one of miracles.

  278. John Says:

    “especially if Oregon throws Hail Mary’s all day long.”

    Now you’re gonna make me blow my top :D

    “1948 – Player-manager Lou Boudreau is selected the AL MVP”

    All aspects of the game considered…this might be the best season anyone has ever had. Probably a top-25 or so season as a player, while also being player-manager for the first integrated team to win a title? Tough to beat that.

  279. Cameron Says:

    Wilkins was good, but Bird won 3 MVPs in a row for a reason. Guy was beastly.

  280. Brautigan Says:

    Two amazing things about Boudreau (who actually was Jewish) was he was a major league manager at age 25 and he made a bad hop bare handed double play to retire Joe Dimaggio and assist in stopping his 56 game hit streak.

  281. Brautigan Says:

    Oh, that and he started out as a 3B but Cleveland already had Kenny Keltner at third so the manager moved him to shortstop.

  282. Cameron Says:

    Doing another classic matchup in this game. ‘71 Lakers vs. ‘71 Knicks. In between that front two of West and Goodrich and Chamberlain at center, I don’t know how those teams could have lost.

  283. Cameron Says:

    Holy shit. I just had to throw the ball back in after New York made a basket with under half a second left, so I just had West chuck it to the basket from his own paint.

    …And I sunk it.

  284. Bob Says:

    Where is Hoss to provide commentary? The Dodgers and Adam Kennedy agree to a 1-year deal for $800K.

  285. Bob Says:

    Funny, I read that Keltner made multiple stops against Dimaggio.

  286. Raul Says:

    It’s practically December and not a single official offer has been made to Albert Pujols or any major free agent.

    This is the worst off-season ever.

  287. Bob Says:

    I think teams were waiting for the CBA to be finalized. And they were cordially waiting for the Sox to hire a manager. Downright thoughtful of these teams.

  288. Cameron Says:

    Raul, St. Louis opened bidding with 9/210 damn near the offseason’s start.

  289. Raul Says:

    9/210 isn’t a serious offer.

  290. Chuck Says:

    “This is the worst off-season ever”

    The CBA is part of it, but you also have to look at the free agent list.

    Not very impressive.

    If the best pitcher available is a number three starter who wants $20 million a year, can you blame anyone for not falling over each other trying to sign him?

    I wouldn’t have given Cliff Lee 6/120, much less CJ Wilson.

    Pujols is going back to St. Louis, everyone knows it, if Epstein wants to float some cursory offer fine, but why waste your time when you already know what he wants to do.

    And not for nothing, but Prince Fielder isn’t worth what he’s asking for, either.

    So, basically you have one guy whose decision’s already been made, two guys who won’t get signed unless their price comes down, and Mark Buehrle.

    That’s why the off-season is slow.

  291. Mike Felber Says:

    I really thought Boston’s teams were better. Of course the 76ers were a great team too to get there. Often perceptions are mistaken (selection bias, limited sample size, but I both defer to Brautigan & reserve final judgment on Wilt wilting. His stats looked better in match ups. He would really need to have died at crunch time to be worse!

  292. Bob Says:

    Ramon Santiago re-signed with the Tigers. 2-year deal.

  293. Cameron Says:

    You said official, not good.

  294. Chuck Says:

    I saw Wilt play, although admittedly it was past his early ’60’s prime and had become more of a defensive force.

    You can’t average 50 points a game for an entire season and disappear at any time during the game.

    He took a lot of shots (fewer than Jordan) so misses would be expected, but when someone says “disappears with the game on the line” LeBron is the first guy I think of, with Allen Iverson right behind him.

  295. Raul Says:

    Prior to Jordan, you typically built your team around the big man.
    In the 90s, that mostly changed. And now everyone is trying to find the next Michael or Kobe. I’m a believer in that you build a championship basketball team from the inside out. Not the outside in.

    With all due respect to Jordan’s/Kobe’s/Lebron’s game, give me Wilt/Russell/Shaq/Olajuwon/Robinson/Duncan, etc…

  296. Lefty33 Says:

    The Phillies today already announced eight non-roster invitees to ST.

    The “highlights” are Pete Orr, Scott Podsednik, Brian Sanches and Scott Elarton.

    Also Scott Matheison signed a two year deal with the Yomiuri Giants.

  297. Chuck Says:

    I saw the Scott Elarton signing and thought Lefty would stroke out. Guy hasn’t pitched in the majors in three years.

  298. Chuck Says:

    “I’m a believer in that you build a championship basketball team from the inside out.”

    Amen

    Throughout their history the Suns have had some great, Hall of Fame players, but have never won a title.

    Why?

    Because they’ve never had a great center (except maybe Alvan Adams, but he wasn’t a true center anyway).

  299. Cameron Says:

    Raul, you think that a lot of people try to build around the back court because it’s easier to find a good guard than a good big man?

  300. Brautigan Says:

    Folks, trust me when I say that I used the same arguments about Wilt vs. Bill as you are making. But, after reading “The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History”, and Bill Simmon’s book, I found myself agreeing about Wilt vs. Bill and seeing it through reality instead of the fog of my own bias.

    And what was it that Al McGuire used to always say, “You gotta have that air craft carrier inside”? I think he is/was right. Portland was not very good until Bill Walton arrived. Even those great Michael Jordan teams had a bunch of journeymen centers, but they too fit into their roles quite well (and Dennis Rodman was a rebounding demon….even though he looked more demon than human with that silly ass blond hair, tats, and more rings in his face than Mickey Mantle on his fingers.

  301. Raul Says:

    It IS easier to find a good back-court player than it is to find a good big man, because nobody develops the big man anymore. It’s pathetic.
    Dwight Howard came out of college, is one of the most “dominant” big men in the NBA, and fundamentally he probably couldn’t out-play Rik Smits.

    And jackasses scoff at that kind of comment but have you actually seen Dwight Howard and these NBA centers play basketball?
    It’s all athletic ability and not a shred of skill what-so-ever.

    And even with the guard play….if Mark Jackson and John Stockton played today they’d get 15 assists a game.

  302. Raul Says:

    Howard came out of HS, excuse me

  303. Chuck Says:

    “and Bill Simmon’s book”

    Is this the same Bill Simmons that was born and raised in Boston, worked for the Herald covering the Celtics while he was in college and is an admitted “Celtics junkie”?

    THAT Bill Simmons?

    Yeah, no biases in his writing.

  304. Raul Says:

    ESPN headlined an article with Bill Mueller as one of the newcomers to the HOF Ballot.

    Someone needs to kill everyone at ESPN.

  305. Cameron Says:

    Really, considering Stockton came in during the time where guys like Jordan were shifting from skill to raw athletic ability, I didn’t think you’d be a big fan of Stock. Personally, I love the guy. Malone wouldn’t have nearly as good a career as he did without Stock constantly handing him the ball.

  306. Raul Says:

    I once saw this family movie on Pete Maravich. It was cheesy but interesting.
    Also was reading up on his Wikipedia page. It’s amazing, really, that he doesn’t get mentioned much as one of the great basketball players of all-time.

  307. Chuck Says:

    “great basketball players of all-time”

    Depends on your definition of “greatest”

    He was the best pure scorer to ever play, bar none, but he couldn’t guard a parked car.

    But he is on the NBA Top 50 list and deservedly so, and holds college records that won’t ever be broken.

    And he’s in both the college and NBA Halls of Fame, not many guys can say that.

  308. Cameron Says:

    Raul, Pete Maravich is one of the guys in the game I’m playing who runs the training camp mode. It’s a tutorial for new players to learn the moves in the game. It’s a nice touch.

  309. Brautigan Says:

    IF Maravich had played with a 3 point shot…………..

  310. Brautigan Says:

    Stockton was one of the toughest guys I have had the priveledge of watching him play. Those low post screens………..I’m surprised he has any teeth left.

  311. Bob Says:

    He played with Malone, not against him.

  312. Chuck Says:

    Steve Kerr called Stockton the “dirtiest player in the league”, and he’s not the first guy I’ve heard say that.

    Kevin Johnson said it too, and Jason Kidd.

  313. Bob Says:

    Fine… Malone played with Stockton, not against him.

  314. Chuck Says:

    Heard a great line yesterday, from Charles Barkley.

    He was asked when he knew it was time to retire, he said, “when I started getting beat by guys who couldn’t play dead.”

  315. Mike Felber Says:

    Maravich oes not look that great by the #s/efficiency. I mean in the pros. His dad drove him demonically, I saw that movie on netflix not long ago, it was both formula tripe & romanticized his Dad. The pressure likely contributed to pete’s alcoholism. He never realized his whole game potential.

    Jordon was way more than just athletic. Though it was later he developed the great jumper, fade away, & took advantage of it when the 3 point line was moved in. When you consider his defense too, pressure play, & how he inspired teammates & learned to excel withn the triangle offense system-& the quality of fundamentals still good while more athleticism than during Wilt’s time: there is only one reason you MIGHT not pick him as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time).

    Jordan rules. He got too much favoritism from referees, even beyond a normal star treatment.

  316. Chuck Says:

    Chamberlain’s the best.

    I’ve heard all the arguments about lack of size when he played and whatnot, but when you consider you practically had to kill someone to be called for a foul, I think things even out.

    Without the 3 pointer, Chamberlain is still the all-time leader in PPG.

    Without playing seven, eight years longer, he’s still the all-time point leader.

    It’s like hockey removing goalies and having someone break Gretzky’s record.

    Or someone breaking Maris’/Aaron’s records without cheating.

    I’m sorry, but to me it’s not an argument.

  317. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 297 – I thought his invite was more amusing than anything because he’s got zero chance at making the team, roster, organization, or hopefully even living in the state.

  318. Chuck Says:

    Mike must be in his glory.

    ESPN Classic is running a Mike Tyson vs. the Tomato Can special tonight.

    Tomato Can Bruno

    Tomato Can Berbick. (This one is a two for one sale)

    Another can, and I can whip up a quick Arrabiatta.

  319. Raul Says:

    This is Mike Tyson in his glory:

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/4ecfd3a85f/herman-cains-campaign-promises-with-mike-tyson

  320. Mike Felber Says:

    Good lines Chuck! But you are the only one here, & rare amongst boxing experts, who thinks Tyson was never great. You seem to feel it would be even odds, Tyson vs. Hawking (Stephen). Berbick was just one of a bunch of his opponents who were far from tomato cans in their prime. From Wikipedia:

    In 1982 he beat undefeated prospect Greg Page, and in 1984 he moved to Miramar, Florida and signed with promoter Don King. Wins over undefeated Mitch “Blood” Green and David Bey scored him another title fight, and he won the WBC world heavyweight title by upsetting Pinklon Thomas with an easy unanimous decision on March 22, 1986.

    Granted, the level of competition was not like the ’70’s. But these were talented fighters when he beat them. I did not know about all his legal troubles & brutal murder. Sad.

    Reading Cooney’s entry, I was surprised to see that Holmes, Lyle & Foreman said he had the hardest left they ever encountered! Though he did little with his right, & never fully developed his skills.

  321. Mike Felber Says:

    Where is Tyson’s Maori warrior tattoo in that video Raul? Removed?

    You have a typically extreme outlier argument in preferring the old timers Chuck.

    Harder to draw fouls does not nearly counteract the other factors. Size is just one. Also the athleticism & skill of the average player had grown significantly from his time to Jordon’s. If fouled more, he just could not sink them-barely over .500 for a career. Did Jordan have any significant weaknesses?

    He is still near the very best player ever, maybe #2. I assume you strongly disagree with Brautigan that he was a choker though-no GOAT candidate can consistently disappear in the clutch.

    Any way, to continue the “fight”: Anyone look at late ’80’s Tyson footage & not find his speed, power, lateral movement & aggressiveness did not make him great? Not the long lasting dominance of an Ali, did not have the fortitude to rise so high again after his own exile 9by prison term).

    But still amongst the very best at his peak.

  322. Chuck Says:

    “You have a typically extreme outlier argument in preferring the old timers Chuck.”

    I don’t know how old you are Mike, or what your background athletically is. I do know without sabermetrics some of the players you argue so vehemently for in regards to greatness or HOF candidacy you probably wouldn’t have heard of.

    For the most part, the games themselves are the same, ESPECIALLY baseball, which is unquestionably easier to play to day than it was fifty years ago.

    In other sports, when you combine rule changes designed to protect players and make the game more enjoyable for those less knowledgeable by attracting TV viewers, what we end up is a perception athletes today are better.

    It’s simply not true.

    Physically players are bigger and stronger, but fundamentally the games are not played as well. Sadly all sports, including baseball, are now more specialized, so players aren’t as well rounded as they were in the past.

    Take Mark Belanger for instance.

    Catching and throwing a ball is the same today as it was in 1969. With better equipment and playing fields, he would be no worse defensively today than 40 years ago, would you not agree?

    But with smaller parks and clearly worse pitching, an argument could be made he would be more valuable today offensively, therefore he would be better today.

    Michael Jordan in 1965?

    No way he consistently drives the lane without eating some teeth for lunch. So he becomes more of an outside shooter (maybe his only weakness) and loses the best part of his game.

    Great players constantly make adjustments, which is why they remain great over such long careers, I understand that, but Jordan in a defensive league simply wouldn’t be as good.

    Shooting percentages on 15 footers are much worse than on layups.

  323. Brautigan Says:

    Chuck: It was a different game of basketball in the 60’s. I mean, look at how many shots were attempted per 48 minutes compared to now. It was a layup drill compared to today.

    And a hell of a lot more exciting.

  324. Brautigan Says:

    Chuck: I think it begs the question: Is pitching worse today? I don’t know if it is or isn’t. All I know is that with expansion, and the emphasis on smaller parks and tighter baseballs, is pitching worse? That would be hard to quantify.

  325. Raul Says:

    Born today:

    Kirk Rueter is 41.

    Larry Walker is 45. While it’s probable they were both heavy juicers, a stronger argument could be made for Larry Walker’s Hall of Fame candidacy than Jeff Bagwell’s. Yet Bagwell received double Walker’s support in last year’s voting (41.7% to 20.3). To consider: baseball has seen three players retire with career slugging percentages north of .540 (McGwire, Walker and Bagwell) and neither has cracked even 50% in the voting. I’m sure this is unprecedented.

    Reggie Sanders is 44. Perhaps one of the more under-appreciated players of the steroid era.

    Dan Schatzeder is 57.

    George Foster is 62. From 1975 to 1981, Foster hit .295/.367/.533 helping to lead some great Cincinnati Reds teams. There are bound to be interesting stories floating around about him.

  326. Chuck Says:

    #323.

    True, but a layup is still a more quality shot. I’d much rather watch a defensive 115-112 game than a bunch of 20 footers in a 92-92 game. Just because there were more shots doesn’t mean the defense was worse.

    #324

    Unquestionably worse. There’s two or three guys on every pitching staff that have no business collecting major league paychecks. This isn’t even about the pitch counts and innings limits (although limiting a bad pitcher does happen…right, Joba?), it’s about pitchers going to three ball counts on almost every hitter and being afraid to throw inside.

  327. Brautigan Says:

    “it’s about pitchers going to three ball counts on almost every hitter and being afraid to throw inside.”

    Again, I don’t know if the perception meets the reality because it seems to me, anytime a pitcher goes Bob Gibson on you, the batter charges the mound. IF I were the manager and a player charges the mound, that son of a bitch is going to get chin music every time up against my team.

    I don’t think I ever saw Willie Mays or Frank Robinson charge the mound, and those guys spent more time on the seat of their pants than any other player I can think of.

  328. Brautigan Says:

    A great moment in sports:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocm_GvpEUVQ

    Note the fan reaction.

  329. Brautigan Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Fnkjb12Nn8&feature=related

    My favorite baseball moment in the past 20 years.

  330. Brautigan Says:

    Angels trade RHP Tyler Chatwood to Colorado for C Chris Ianetta.

    Is this the Angels finally acknowledging they should not have gotten rid of Napoli?

  331. Chuck Says:

    And Ramon Hernandez signed with the Rockies, which clears the way for Devin Mesoraco to win ROY.

  332. John Says:

    I hadn’t realized that Ramon Hernandez hasn’t played 100 games since 2008. I wonder how he’ll last…but then again, he’s just a placeholder anyway.

    Solid maneuvering by the Rockies.

    Ianetta has a career road line of .208/.333/.369, which I guess isn’t bad for a catcher. Better than Jeff Mathis.

  333. Cameron Says:

    So Hank Conger and Willin Rosario are both platooning this year. Fair enough. Both guys have good ceilings, but are pretty raw.

  334. John Says:

    Rosario isn’t making the team out of spring training, is he?

  335. Cameron Says:

    I’m pretty sure he was on the 40-man at the end of the year. Don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t.

  336. Chuck Says:

    “I’m pretty sure he was on the 40-man at the end of the year. Don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t”

    So, then by that theory Bryce Harper will make Washington?

  337. Cameron Says:

    By 40-man, I meant call-ups. Rosario played sixteen games last year and Colorado has no backup catcher. I don’t see much of a choice for them.

  338. Chuck Says:

    They have Alfonso and Pacheco as backups.

    Rosario will either start in Colorado or in AAA, he won’t make the team then ride the pine.

  339. Brautigan Says:

    Unless Grandal leapfrogs Mesoraco…..which he might. Devin will get the job, but I’m not certain he is the better catcher.

  340. Chuck Says:

    Grandal is trade bait.

    And Mesoraco is most definitely the better player.

  341. Cameron Says:

    I don’t know, I think he’ll find his plate appearances in Colorado. Ramon’s good to catch about half a season and if Helton gets hurt, Hernandez can play first. Wilin could get in a hundred games in Colorado easy.

    And I’ve seen Mesoraco play. No way in hell he doesn’t play in Cincy next season. Mesoraco and Cozart are there, Votto and Bruce are beasts, soon as the pitching gets its shit together, this team is gonna be scary.

  342. Chuck Says:

    I agree with the 100 game thing considering Hernandez’ past record like John said, but most of them will be post All-Star break.

  343. Cameron Says:

    Probably, but I’d rather have a guy get in a hundred games and fight for PAs in Colorado than have him start all season in AAA. Wilin’s pretty much got nothing left to learn in the minors at this point. It’d be stunting his growth if you ask me.

  344. Cameron Says:

    And Taylor Teagarden has been shipped out to Baltimore to back up Matt Wieters. Mike Napoli’s still a Ranger, and Tony Reaigns is still a jackass.

  345. Chuck Says:

    It’s hard to jump anyone from AA to the majors, especially a catcher who doesn’t know the pitchers.

    And it’s not like Rosario set anything on fire offensively last year, so I retract what I said.

    He’s not ready, and a full AAA season is exactly what he needs.

  346. Cameron Says:

    Hm… Taking a look at the numbers again, you may have a point. He hit .249 in the Texas League last year. That’s kinda hard to do. Same time, he only played about 100 games there and sixteen in Colorado, as well as missing half a season last year.

    You think those numbers were the result of trying to shake off a big injury? He slugged .457 in that batting average, so the hits he made counted. Granted, it IS the Texas Lague.

  347. Jim Says:

    From Peter Gammons

    “It was between innings of a Sunday night game in Anaheim, July 20, 2008. I was sitting at the end of the visitors’ dugout when Terry Francona walked down, looked me in the eye and said, “Manny Ramirez is the worst human being I’ve ever met.” He turned and walked back.”

  348. Chuck Says:

    I’m really surprised Francona’s never met Barry Bonds.

  349. Brautigan Says:

    LOL @ Chuck.

  350. Bob Says:

    That is a mouthful.

  351. Raul Says:

    10 days later, Manny went to LA.

    Anyway, I think Tony LaRussa is the worst human being to sit in a dugout in a century.

  352. Cameron Says:

    …How the fuck was Magic Johnson a point guard? The guy’s as tall as most small forwards.

  353. Raul Says:

    You’re just now figuring this out?

  354. Bob Says:

    The Lakers had Worthy.
    The Lakers had Rambis.
    The Lakers had Wilkes.
    And they also had Norm Nixon.

  355. Bob Says:

    LOL at Raul.

  356. Cameron Says:

    It’s one of those things that I don’t really remember. He was before my time, so it’s fun stuff I’m digging up by playing the NBA’s Greatest mode in my game. It’s a fun gateway for me to discover old teams. Gonna play as Erving’s 76′ers next.

  357. Raul Says:

    Hey Cam,

    I don’t know how to break this to you…I hope you’re sitting down for this…but Magic Johnson is HIV positive. Not only that, we landed on the moon, too.

  358. Cameron Says:

    And Gaylord Perry finally hit a home run. It’s crazy!

    In all seriousness, though, this game mode isn’t what I thought it’d be. It just looked like you could have a pickup game with these legends and kick the ass of new school players, but there’s info there and you play as the old teams against the big teams of their era. Chamberlain’s Lakers vs. Frazier’s Knicks, Bird’s Celtics vs. Wilkins’ Hawks, it’s an immersive experience and they redid the AI to play like the old teams instead of now. So instead of throwing three pointers constantly and dunking everywhere, it’s all about getting up in people’s faces and landing good layups. It’s making learning fun.

    Okay, granted when I played as Erving’s 76er’s I dunked on everyone’s ass, but isn’t that what Dr. J did?

  359. Cameron Says:

    And Milwaukee seems to have thrown in the towel on Reyes and are going full-blown with Fielder, looking at “a ceiling” of a 6/120 offer for him and they’re talking to Alex Gonzalez to be the new shortstop.

    …I’m okay with this. Fielder staying a Brewer is an idea I like and Gonzalez is a Milwaukee kind of player. …By Milwaukee kind of player, I mean a bat that plays better than his position and a glove that’s worse than average.

    Still better than Yuni.

  360. Raul Says:

    2011

    Alex Gonzalez – .241/.270/.372
    Yuniesky Betancourt – .268/.292/.381

    Alex Gonzalez – 76 OPS+
    Yuniesky Betancourt – 75 OPS+

    Alex Gonzalez – 15 HR, 52 RBI
    Yuniesky Betancourt – 13 HR, 68 RBI

    Alex Gonzalez – 434 Assists, 12 Errors
    Yuniesky Betancourt – 418 Assists, 21 Errors

    How much better?

  361. Cameron Says:

    Uh… Until last season, a lot better. The fuck did this happen? No wonder Pastornicky’s getting fast-tracked.

  362. John Says:

    Well, defensively, Gonzalez is way better. Like, a billion times better.

    Offensively, its a wash.

  363. Mike Felber Says:

    You make some good arguments Chuck. Some points are hard to take a strong position one way or another, since factors like relative pitching strength are hard to measure. Expansion does water down twirler quality more, also fundamentals have had some decline. But that can be overstated, & even so, the increase in athleticism generally more than counters this, in terms of total performance. That is what most believe, me too.

    The effect may be at least moderated with pitching. And in boxing, they lost many potential athletes to other sports, & there is a limited value in being especially heavily muscled, so we agree that the best were better in the ’70’s.

    I have said my age several times here, it is now 46. There are few folks I would never have heard of absent SM, & most I knew a fair amount about, but SM has helped me learn more about them.

    In what way are you saying baseball is today easier to play? Less sandlots, much smaller minor leagues, less of the central sport, many less blacks play it. You must mean something about the rules of the game.

    I agree that a Belanger would be at least as valuable today-for his glove. But I am unsure about whether pitching is worse in an absolute sense, & you could argue that less balls in play-more Ks & HRs-would make him a little less valuable. But it is not a big difference. The bigger difference is that the sport has competitively evolved, so that having such a weak bat is tougher to justify. He would still have value, but as much overall relative to other SS w/better bats but not his glove?

    Seems he did have a preternatural ability to intuitively predict where the ball would go. That will always be rare & valuable.

    Jordan is ‘65? Who really ate teeth then? Would he really be unable to drive nearly as effectively? I just had never heard that. Nobody could? All would get hard, illegal fouls that were rarely called?

    Jordan also developed a great fadeaway jumper, a 3 point shot…& for years lived off of faking the drive, guys did not want to be embarrassed, & pulled up & drained shots. Though granted for years he was primarily a superb inside player & ball of constant energy.

    Not saying a good argument can’t be made for Wilt. But given his foul shooting weakness, & that I really think the average player was better a generation later, I have the conventional opinion of Jordan as GOAT. Jordan rules are my only reservation, but I still must take him 1st. If his defense was not also so good, I would not pick him.

    So you do NOT think Wilt wilted often in big games? This I was surprised to hear here. I am not aware of AI doing so, do not see it reflected in his stats, but your perspective is welcome on both.

    Throw at a guy for charging the mound continually Brautigan, all you are going to get is more of your pitchers lost for the game, meaning hurt your team, & more brawls. I think anyone who throws at someone or orders it should be willing to face heat inside too, & risk a braining or shattered face.

  364. Mike Felber Says:

    I wanna know why you think Walker juiced Raul-though Coors itself was the juice.

    But besides this, how is Walker better than Bagpipes? He has the defensive edge, played a more important position, but this is not huge. But the adjusted #s of their bats, especially the OBP portion of OPS + clearly show Bagwell created more value, over 1400 more PA. Their stadiums provided starkly different contexts.

  365. Chuck Says:

    “I wanna know why you think Walker juiced Raul…”

    Why do you think he didn’t?

    I mean, it’s almost like you assume the five guys who sat in front of Congress are the only five people in history who juiced.

  366. Bob Says:

    The Marlins signed Heath Bell.

  367. Lefty33 Says:

    Interesting pickup by Florida.

    I’ll be interested to see how the ball carries in the new stadium because after years of pitching in that Grand Canyon in San Diego he may not be the pitcher Florida thinks he is at 34.

    Brief statistical tangent on Bell overall versus the NL East:

    Atlanta .265/4.85

    Washington .244/3.42

    New York .257/3.06

    Philly .211/.293

    Over the course of his career he’s only really had “closer worthy” success against Philly and NY and ATL have really knocked him around.

    Most of his success against even Philly was in San Diego as the oppositions average and his ERA on the road have been:

    .268/3.77 at Citizens Bank Park

    .176/3.50 at Nationals Park

    .261/5.06 at Citi Field

    .280/7.30 at Turner Field

    Career road ERA versus:

    Atlanta 7.30

    Houston 5.87

    Mets 5.06

    Phillies 3.77

    Pirates 5.25

    Cardinals 16.88

    Nationals 3.60

    To me I think the Marlins made a costly mistake.

  368. John Says:

    I could be wrong, but I think the Bell signing was more about proving to their fans that the Marlins are actually going to invest in the on-field product, if Pujols/Reyes/Buehrle/Wilson fall through.

    With the Marlins reportedly interested in literally every free agent, they’d look quite silly if they didn’t reel something in.

  369. Raul Says:

    What are they paying him? 9 million per year?

    They wasted about 5 million dollars.

  370. Lefty33 Says:

    “I could be wrong, but I think the Bell signing was more about proving to their fans that the Marlins are actually going to invest in the on-field product,”

    Agreed.

    That is also why this signing stinks even more.

  371. Chuck Says:

    Another sign the market/available talent sucks, when you have a closer signing first.

    Everyone knows Pujols is going back to St. Louis.

    With every passing day I’m more convinced Fielder will stay in Milwaukee.

    Jose Reyes ain’t getting $20 million a year, and Brian Cashman won’t even talk to CJ Wilson’s agent anymore.

    There’s going to be a whole lot of disappointed guys when this is all said and done.

  372. John Says:

    “Another sign the market/available talent sucks, when you have a closer signing first.”

    …and second.

    Chris Capuano just signed with the Dodgers for 2y/10M…great story, I’m happy for him.

  373. Mike Felber Says:

    So Walker, or anyone, was a cheater & liar because so many others were? That is not fair or rational.

    I never acted like only 5 guys used PEDs Chuck. You have seen me write many times-including to you-that many used. But there is no good evidence if it was 20 something or 80% who used, at least dabbling at one point.

    Too many are willing to assume all who have any increase in power & muscle mass beyond the norm are guilty. That is absurd in the extreme: there always were outliers before there were any detroids & HgH in baseball. And weight lifting is the main type of help that has let folks cleanly change or transform their game.

    With Walker, are there ANY traits that even could be called possible red flags? Did he ever get much bigger, especially in a short period of time? Did he have a sudden explosion of power, mainly at an unlikely age?

    I do not think so on both counts. No OPS + explosion. One year where he had more homers than any other. But that was at 30, in his 3rd year playing at pre-humidor Colorado, & had more AB & Games than any other time-83 G the year before.

    I do not expect that those who find anything at all unusual about a player’s progression & will damn.malign him/find him guilty without any other evidence will change their mind when they are called on this.

    But jeez, assuming guilt without supplying or being able to cite anything at all suspicious about a guy than that he played in the steroid era…That seems highly cynical. Can’t you be satisfied with saying he or any other slugger could have used, but you have no reason to smear him as guilty?

  374. Chuck Says:

    “Did he ever get much bigger, especially in a short period of time?”

    C’mon, really?

    Walker was listed at 6′2″ 185-190 pounds.

    In his Colorado prime, he was easy 225-230, he was a beast.

    And remember, it isn’t what a player does on steriods that raise the flags, it’s what happens when he gets clean. Walker went from a GG All Star caliber player at 36 to a journeyman pinchhitter at 38.

    I think of all the guys who played in Colorado at that time, Helton, Galarraga, Castilla, Bichette, Burks, etc, Walker is the LEAST likely steriod candidate, but I still lean more “yes” than “no” on him.

  375. Mike Felber Says:

    OK, but I gotta check those weights. You described Bagwell’s range going from 170 to 230 or so-I asked you about the latter-& I am aware only of 180-215.

    If he got clean, that could account for his decline. But it is hard to separate aging from whether he was using. I dunno. The others? When they all have such a large park effect, then they at least reduce it by introducing the humidor, it really muddies the waters.

  376. John Says:

    “Walker went from a GG All Star caliber player at 36 to a journeyman pinchhitter at 38.”

    While I don’t disagree about Walker specifically, that’s true of a lot of people. Skills decline really fast when you start getting into your late 30’s.

  377. John Says:

    As a Cardinal, Larry Walker actually put up a very solid line in roughly a full-season’s worth of plate appearances.

    144 G, 545 PA’s, .286/.387/.520, 26 HR, 134 OPS+.

  378. Mike Felber Says:

    121, 153, 130. Walker’s OPS + his last 3 years. Compared to 140 for his whoile career. While they picked his spots, it is also harder to get into the flow of a game when you do not see a pitcher’s stuff all game.

    This end of career decline is not at all greater than usual. Could it have come earlier than otherwise because he was actually off the juice? Sure.

    But it could also easily be that more guys have their careers peter out in their late 30’s if they always were clean!

  379. Chuck Says:

    “121, 153, 130. Walker’s OPS + his last 3 years.”

    Irrelevant.

    Games played

  380. Mike Felber Says:

    What, it is so strange to go to 143, 82, & 100 GP in your late 30’s? Especially since he never was a miss only a game a month guy to begin with-his 2 highs in GP in the past? 153 & 143.

  381. Chuck Says:

    I’m just thankful none of you have HOF votes.

    You’d have 800 guys in.

  382. Bob Says:

    And speaking of voting, Herman Cain is going to make an anouncement tomorrow. I am .999% sure of it.

  383. Chuck Says:

    “Herman Cain is going to make an anouncement tomorrow.’

    We already know he’s an asshole, so what else can he say?

  384. Bob Says:

    He will tell us tomorrow!

  385. Chuck Says:

    Wake me when it’s over.

    He should go back to re-inventing the Whopper.

  386. Cameron Says:

    Oh Herman Cain, you’re like a presidential campaign out of a bad 90s comedy movie.

  387. Cameron Says:

    “I’m just thankful none of you have HOF votes.

    You’d have 800 guys in.”

    I’d like Hall of Fame votes. Of course, I’d like the ability to kick out all the shitty VC selections more.

  388. Chuck Says:

    I was looking at a site the other day that was a saber slanted HOF, some of the guys in pretty much defeats every single argument criticizing the BBWAA or the VC.

    I may look for it tomorrow and post a link.

    No matter who votes, no matter what criteria is used, there’s always going to be a handful of questionable choices.

    We have to get over the thought process Bill James wrote books for any other reason but to make money.

  389. John Says:

    I can’t speak for Mike, but I think I would end up with a smaller HOF if I just started from scratch and hand-picked who I wanted.

    Take 3B. Lindstrom? Out. Kell? Out. Traynor? Out.

    Santo: in.

    See? Smaller. More exclusive. Less Ludicrous.

  390. John Says:

    Also, now that Blyleven is in, I can’t think of a single pitcher that deserves to be in, but isn’t.

    Over the summer, I suggested Hershiser, because he’s pretty good and should have had 3 straight Cy Youngs, thus practically guaranteeing him a spot. But really, as a whole body of work and with just 1 Cy Young and a cool record, no way.

    I estimate there are around 20 pitchers I would remove, however.

  391. Chuck Says:

    #389

    LOL

  392. Cameron Says:

    I’m with John. There’s more guys I wanna take out than put in.

  393. Cameron Says:

    Uh, Chuck, you’re #389 on my count.

  394. Bob Says:

    1. TGIF!!!
    2. More importantly GO SPARTANS!!!

  395. Mike Felber Says:

    I would need to consider exactly or right around how many guys deserve it that i would put in. But my sense is that with those who would be booted, my HOF would be not larger than the current one.

    James did not write just, or mainly, to make money. Those mimeographed 1st issues were a labor of love. There is no reason to believe him at all insincere.

  396. Chuck Says:

    Not the point Mike.

    It’s those who rely on his stats and theories to try and make arguments for guys like John Olerud for the HOF.

  397. Bob Says:

    Speaking of Magic Johnson, just read an article that said he wants to purchase the Dodgers. Hoss, your team could do worse.

  398. Mike Felber Says:

    True, but your point was clearly that James just developed his theories & sold his books only to make money. Also implying he did not even believe in them:
    :
    “We have to get over the thought process Bill James wrote books for any other reason but to make money”.

    That is completely false.

  399. Chuck Says:

    Holy shit Mike, are you dense.

    The reference was TO THE PEOPLE WHO BUY HIS BOOKS, not the author.

    Fuck me.

  400. brautigan Says:

    John @ #389:

    You’d take Pie Traynor out of the HOF?

    It was pretty much gospel that Traynor was baseball’s premiere 3B of all time until Brooks Robinson and Eddie Mathews came up.

    Why on God’s Green Earth would you take Traynor out of the HOF?

  401. Chuck Says:

    Braut,

    See #396

  402. brautigan Says:

    Bingo

  403. John Says:

    @400, because he wasn’t that good. Pretty easy, really.

  404. Mike Felber Says:

    I’ll leave it for folks to decide, but those words & the context sure sound to me like you were referring to James’ motivations. though i am sure it was unintentional.

    And thanks for the offer, but I do not happen to swing that way.

  405. Raul Says:

    I’ve pretty much given up on trying to convince you jagaloons of anything. It’s just easier to call you a dumb ass.

    It’s lazier, but I’m comfortable with that.

  406. Mike Felber Says:

    Though If I can just get the NYC Metropolitan area male population up to 85% huggin’ & buggerin’ just each other, my calculations show that I will be swimmin’ in woman! So i am redoubling my R & D efforts into my top secret “Gay Ray”. ;-)

  407. Mike Felber Says:

    I prefer Jagaloon, it is more elegant & esoteric. And since basically unknown &/or antiquated, it is funny & nobody will take offense.

    Question is, have you given up in being convinced of anything yourself?

  408. Chuck Says:

    Pie Traynor=Hall of Famer

    Ron Santo=Not Hall of Famer, going on 40 years of waiting.

    Methinks if Traynor “wasn’t that good”, then what does that make Santo?

  409. brautigan Says:

    “because he wasn’t that good. Pretty easy, really.”

    John McGraw called Traynor “The greatest team player in the game”.

    Traynor struck out 7 times in 540 at bats in 1930. He struck out 278 times in his career.

    Traynor led the N.L. in double plays for 3B at lesat 4 years in a row. He tied a record for most consecutive leaders for put outs by a 3B. (7)

    From 1925 to 1930, he hit .342.

    In 1969 during baseball’s centennial, he was selected to the all time team.

    Yeah, he wasn’t very good. Jagaloon is right Raul.

  410. Cameron Says:

    Watching Bob Costas from last night’s Daily Show. No matter what side of the interview desk he’s on, Costas knows how to handle himself like a true pro.

  411. Mike Felber Says:

    It is clear Traynor has been overrated like forever. The best things were not always proportionately valued, though McGraw certainly knew about the value of walks.

    Striking out seldom has historically been overrated. It just does not add great value, though it would have been more valuable if Pie played in the dead ball era. But as it is, if he doubled his walks but TRIPLED his Ks, though with the same # of outs, he would clearly have been a better player. But that is hard when you are not a power threat.

    BA has of course also been overrated. Especially when you are taling an unadjusted # in the heart of a huge offensive era.

    I am prepared to be very skeptical about BR.com giving him a career negative defensive metric. but there is no way to gloss over that he had a 107 OPS +!

    Santo we have talked to death, & was clearly better. He was amongst the very very best players for a few years-Traynor never was.

    His defense would have to have actually been “The Human Vacuum” elite to merit the HOF. The true impact of his just OK bat was not recognized.

  412. brautigan Says:

    Unless you’re willing to say Jimmy Collins or Ned Williamson or Homerun Baker were the greatest 3B prior to Ed Matthews, who would you have given the nod too?

    Which begs another question, put Graig Nettles in old Forbes Field and what power numbers does he produce……..?

    Perspective gentlemen, perspective. (7 times Traynor had over 100 RBI’s…….yeah, that must be over rated too.)

  413. Cameron Says:

    “Unless you’re willing to say Jimmy Collins or Ned Williamson or Homerun Baker were the greatest 3B prior to Ed Matthews, who would you have given the nod to?”

    I’d give it to Baker.

  414. Mike Felber Says:

    OF COURSE RBIS’s are overrated! You know they are massively context dependent-given his era, line up, field & how they effected them. His slugging for the era is not very high at all. The only way that his relative slugging is not a tremendously better measure of his RBI ability than what RBIs he racked up, is if he had a uniquely great ability to slug with men in scoring position. As you know, this kind of variation is vanishingly uncommon.

    Nettles would have less HRs. But more other XBHs. Traynor would not have had a great deal of power most anywhere.

    There were not a lot of HOF 3B guys before the 50’s, then some best ever guys. Amongst your choices, i would take Hone Run Baker, his decent glove, & 135 career OPS +.

  415. Mike Felber Says:

    Mantle had only four 100 + RBI seasons, though playing on many excellent teams during his prime. And he struck out a lot.

    I guess Traynor was a WAY better slugger, or pressure slugger, than The Mick.

    Despite the leeeeetle difference in OPS +, Mantle having a 172 over a longer career, Traynor, 107.

    When there was a thread a long while ago about who was better in RISP & late & close situations, The Commerce Comet was one of the very few who had ANY significant variation in those stats compared to career #s. And while I do not recall the exact #s, he was over 10% better in these cases.

    Yes, RBIs are horrible ways to judge even slugging ability. Too many factors way outseide of any player’s control go into them.

  416. Raul Says:

    If Traynor tripled his strikeouts, he’d have been out of a job.

  417. Mike Felber Says:

    Not under the conditions I specified: that he produced the same # of outs & (overvalued) average. He would not have been as good, but while not a negligible difference,it would not be a massive difference, a very low K rate tripled, in actual value. But if he doubled his walks, he would have increased his value more than he lost.

    Going to see OWS in Times Square 24 hour shows/events now.

  418. Raul Says:

    “Not under the conditions I specified”

    So?
    You think you can just create your own specifications of what a player should have done and judge them because they didn’t meet your standards?

    Seems highly arrogant.

  419. Chuck Says:

    “Unless you’re willing to say Jimmy Collins or Ned Williamson or Homerun Baker were the greatest 3B prior to Ed Matthews, who would you have given the nod to?”

    I’d give it to Baker.”

    Only because you never heard of the other two.

  420. Chuck Says:

    “Not under the conditions I specified”

    Typical stathead argument.

    Translated, it means’

    “I don’t know jack diddly-squat, but using stats even I don’t understand and quantifying the criteria, I sound like I do.”

    Again, comment #396.

  421. Cameron Says:

    I’ll admit the name Williamson doesn’t ring a bell, but I’ve heard of Jimmy Collins.

  422. John Says:

    ““I don’t know jack diddly-squat, but using stats even I don’t understand and quantifying the criteria, I sound like I do.””

    “You think you can just create your own specifications of what a player should have done and judge them because they didn’t meet your standards?”

    The ONLY arguments for Pie Traynor revolve completely around (raw) batting average and RBI’s. Oh, and strikeouts. Please.

    Try to use an argument without using one of those arguments.

    “Perspective gentlemen, perspective. (7 times Traynor had over 100 RBI’s…….yeah, that must be over rated too.)”

    Perspective gentlemen…Traynor played during an era of offensive explosion. His .366 batting average in 1930 looks a lot less impressive when you consider that it was NINTH in the league that year.

    Ron Santo had the same OBP and a better SLG while playing in the 19-freaking-60’s.

    “John McGraw called Traynor “The greatest team player in the game”.”

    That sounds like an Eckstein-ian compliment if I’ve ever seen one. I guess he did lead the league in sac bunts twice in 1927-1928. It’s about the only offensive category he ever led the league in.

    The comparison between Santo and Traynor isn’t particularly close:

    OPS+
    Santo: 125
    Traynor: 107 (64th all-time among 3B’s with at least 3000 at-bats. Tied with Larry Parrish and Casey Blake)

    Times on Base
    Santo: 3400
    Traynor: 2919 (never once finished top-7 in the league)

    RBI’s (stupid, but also the crux of the argument)
    Santo: 1331
    Traynor: 1273 (with guys like Max Carey and Kiki Cuyler hitting in front of him)

    WAR
    Santo: 66.4
    Traynor: 37.1 (Traynor had a career high of 4.6, which would’ve been Santo’s NINTH best season).

  423. Cameron Says:

    If George Kell is worthy of the Hall of Fame and Santo isn’t, then I’m the son of a Portuguese fisherman.

  424. Raul Says:

    Nothing in that rambling comment has anything to do with what I said.

  425. JohnBowen Says:

    In 1949, Kell edged Ted Williams by a single hit to prevent Williams from winning his THIRD triple crown.

    A cool tid-bit. Say, Bill Mueller won a batting title in 2003, and is on this year’s ballot. Hall of Fame?!

  426. Chuck Says:

    Thankyou John for proving (again) just how fucking stupid WAR is.

    “RBI’s (stupid, but also the crux of the argument)
    Santo: 1331
    Traynor: 1273 (with guys like Max Carey and Kiki Cuyler hitting in front of him)”

    Santo, with guys like Billy Williams and Ernie Banks hitting in front of him.

    Ass.

    Career PA’s: Santo: 9396, Traynor: 8293

    So, Santo has 58 more RBI in 1103 more PA’s?

    Wow, convinced me.

    Considering that’s the crux of the argument.

  427. Cameron Says:

    Yes, but Traynor also played against the pitchers of the 20s and 30s. …Who sucked.

  428. Chuck Says:

    In his first year on the ballot, Santo got 3.9% of the vote and was kicked off.

    In 1984, the BBWAA got together and downed a few gallons of Jack Daniels and decided to re-instate a handful of players who had been “wrongfully” overlooked players, Santo included.

    From 1985-1998, Santo remained on the ballot for his remaining 14 years of eligibility, only twice receiving FIFTY PERCENT of the required 75% needed for induction.

    Newsflash, statheads.

    Ron Santo is not a Hall of Famer.

    None of your fabricated bullshit acronym stats are going to change that.

    Being the hottest fat chick in a room full of fat chicks doesn’t mean you’re qualified to be Miss Universe.

    “Times on Base
    Santo: 3400
    Traynor: 2919 (never once finished top-7 in the league)”

    Career OBP: Santo .362, Traynor .362.

    ALWAYS take the guy whose OBP results from more balls in play and fewer walks. Hitting the ball is better than not.

  429. Chuck Says:

    “Yes, but Traynor also played against the pitchers of the 20s and 30s. …Who sucked.”

    Prove it.

  430. JohnBowen Says:

    “ALWAYS take the guy whose OBP results from more balls in play and fewer walks. Hitting the ball is better than not.”

    Does context not matter to you at all?!

    Pie Traynor played in the 1920’s and 1930’s. EVERYONE hit .300. Being a .300 or .320 hitter in the 1920’s is NOT an accomplishment, especially if it’s not backed up with power OR walks.

    The ONLY stat that Pie Traynor did particularly well in was SAC BUNTING. No fucking Hall of Famer, EVER has been called upon to fucking BUNT every time up.

    “Ron Santo is not a Hall of Famer.”

    Yes, he is. It’s literally retarded that he’s not in.

    “Considering that’s the crux of the argument.”

    It’s the crux of YOUR argument. RBI’s are a stupid way to evaluate players for the HOF. Especially when comparing a guy from the 1920’s and a guy from the 1960’s.

    I didn’t prove how stupid WAR is, you proved how stupid batting average is.

  431. JohnBowen Says:

    I love how Chuck says shit like this:

    “None of your fabricated bullshit acronym stats are going to change that.”

    And then backs up all of his arguments with his own fabricated arguments.

    BA. RBI.

    These are all fabricated acronyms. Just because you learned about them first doesn’t make them better; in fact, they’re categorically worse.

  432. JohnBowen Says:

    Wow…

    If Santo had played during Traynor’s time:

    .314/.404/.525, 2600 hits, 1687 RBI

    If Traynor had played during Santo’s time:

    .298/.339/.406, 2300 hits, 1125 RBI

    See what happens when you put things into some context?

  433. Raul Says:

    In 37 years since his retirement, Ron Santo was unable to generate the support of his contemporaries, the writers who covered him, or the Veterans Committee.

    Listen, there’s no other way to say this…

    If you’re going to fly in the face of all that expertise with an argument hinging on “times on base”, you’re showing a staggering amount of arrogance and you really show your true colors as to what you think about people in the baseball community.

    If you can’t see how that’s highly insulting to a baseball player, a manager, a scout or a voter, you’re really fucking high up on that horse.

  434. John Says:

    What makes the writers experts, exactly?

  435. Cameron Says:

    League Average ERA for the 1920s
    -
    1920 – 3.46
    1921 – 4.03
    1922 – 4.06
    1923 – 3.99
    1924 – 4.05
    1925 – 4.33
    1926 – 3.92
    1927 – 4.02
    1928 – 4.01
    1929 – 4.48

    For the 30s…
    -
    1930 – 4.81
    1931 – 4.12
    1932 – 4.18
    1933 – 3.81
    1934 – 4.28
    1935 – 4.24
    1936 – 4.52
    1937 – 4.27
    1938 – 4.28
    1939 – 4.27

    And the 60s Santo played in
    -
    1960 – 3.82
    1961 – 4.03
    1962 – 3.96
    1963 – 3.46
    1964 – 3.58
    1965 – 3.50
    1966 – 3.52
    1967 – 3.30
    1968 – 2.98
    1969 – 3.61

    Lot harder to score runs in the 60s.

  436. Cameron Says:

    For the record, I missed a quote. Chuck, you wanted proof pitching in the 20s and 30s sucked, 4+ runs a game is league average for a lot of that, and there’s years where it got damn near five. Five runs on average.

  437. Mike Felber Says:

    Well Cam, it pitching was beat like a rented mule in Pie’s day, but how much it was due to what part of the balance between offense & defense is hard to quantify. Ruth basically started a trend-taking advantage of the cork ball used since ‘11-& teams recruited & found more sluggers. It took years for pitching to catch up.

    Chuck. Ask someone else: you seemed to communicate what i said in #396. I also do not believe you think i do not know any of the stats I referred to. Also, I do not think you know what I was saying there! I was clearly NOT using a remotely saber argument! I just said that if Pie tripled his Ks, but they merely took the place of other outs, he would be worse, but not greatly. And that doubling his walks would have easily added more value.

    Not striking out IS a skill, more so for a slugger. But the game does not proportionately reward all skills. In terms of how it effects run production. remember when I asked Kerry if Mantle struck out a much more modest amount? He agreed with my estimate that would have added, effectively about 5 more points to his OPS +. Don’t make me bring him over from the other site to give you a spanking! :-)

    I really do not know why you bother (ignoring Santo’s greater even absolute slugging), to compare as similar identical OBP between Santo & P.T. Given the league average, Santo was MUCh better in this regard! It is not even in the proverbial ballpark!

    By any measure Santo was amongst the very tip top best players over several years. Trainer NEVER created that kind of value for even one year. Though he was a quite good & valuable player-comapred to an average player.

  438. Mike Felber Says:

    Seems you have a mini trend going of labeling opinions as arrogant Raul. At least make sure you do not assume facts not in evidence about what the other guy is claiming. Otherwise you are condemning your illusion of their opinion.

    I did not commenting on what Mr. T should have done. Sure, more walks would be better-though given his lack of power I do not know how many more he could have drawn. Probably some, but fully double would be doubtful.

    I merely was showing the much greater value of keeping everything else equal-like any good double blind study should-& just adding walks in one case (which does imply instead of outs), & in the other case adding 3X the Ks 9also in place of other outs).

    Also, most all of us, most in the baseball community, have real problems with the BBWAA & especially the VC. I do not think John is merely using times on base for Santo. His total game, especially offense, & his peak value in a huge pitcher’s era was not recognized. Also overshadowed by a few obvious even better players at the time.

  439. Mike Felber Says:

    The league, Yankees, & sluggers did not run much at the time, but you know what Mickey’s SB-CS rate looked like over an 8 year string (‘55-’62)?

    108 SB, 15 CS. On damaged legs.

  440. JohnBowen Says:

    So, on last night’s Clubhouse Confidential, they did an old school vs. new school debate style thing. One of the questions was about Edgar Martinez’s HOF credentials.

    Pretty typical…except they went the opposite way as to what you would think. Chuck’s nemesis, Joe Sheehan, was absolutely against inducting a DH. The old-school guy was all for it…of course, the old school guy was former teammate Harold Reynolds.

  441. Bob Says:

    Oh boy. The SEC is investigating the terms of the Marlins new stadium. Merry Christmas Florida.

  442. Bob Says:

    After acquiring Chris Ianetta, the Angels were able to parlay Jeff Mathis for Brad Mills.

  443. Cameron Says:

    “Oh boy. The SEC is investigating the terms of the Marlins new stadium. Merry Christmas Florida.”

    Something stupid happening in Florida? My surprise, it never ends.

  444. Chuck Says:

    “It’s the crux of YOUR argument. RBI’s are a stupid way to evaluate players for the HOF. Especially when comparing a guy from the 1920’s and a guy from the 1960’s.”

    I never mentioned RBI, you did.

    I really don’t understand this Santo argument, honestly.

    He never came close to getting elected, only once did he get more than 40% of the ballot and just twice did he get HALF of the required percentage needed to get in.

    Not only that, but more often than not Kenny Boyer, who was a NL peer at the same position actually got more support on the ballot.

    If Santo had spent ten years getting between 55-65% then yeah, I can see the argument, he just couldn’t get those extra thirty or so votes he needed.

    But there’s no argument for him now, only twice did he come even halfway to getting elected, so you can bitch and moan how “retarded” it is that he’s not in, but the fact is the BBWAA and VC have treated him exactly as they should have.

  445. Chuck Says:

    MLB has ruled in favor of Mike Trout and he will be eligible for the 2012 ROY.

  446. brautigan Says:

    Gentlemen, Ron Santo didn’t play in 1925. Pie Traynor did not play in 1964. Get over yourselves.

    Look at some of Traynor’s contemporaries at 3B in the N.L.:

    Chuck Dressen
    Heinie Sand
    Les Bell
    Pinky Whitney
    Tony Cuccinello
    Buster Chatham
    Wally Gilbert
    John Butler
    Joe Stripp
    Johnny Vergez
    Babe Pinelli
    Ty Howard Freigau

    Can someone then explain to me why he was the premeire thirdbaseman of his time, consistently recieving top 10 MVP votes year after year, yet he isn’t worthy of the HOF?

  447. Raul Says:

    “Can someone then explain to me why he was the premeire thirdbaseman of his time, consistently recieving top 10 MVP votes year after year, yet he isn’t worthy of the HOF?”

    Because OPS+ and Park Factors and Bill James and WAR said so and 40 years of colleagues, writers and voters are stupid poo poo heads.

  448. brautigan Says:

    ” Jagaloon is right Raul”.

    Off to some afternoon Sapphire gin and tonics and LSU vs. Georgia. A perfect Saturday.

  449. brautigan Says:

    Ron Santo’s contemporaries?

    Ken Boyer
    Richie Allen
    Eddie Mathews
    Jim Ray Hart
    (check out Deron Johnson’s 1965 season at 3B)
    Tony Perez

  450. Raul Says:

    Hoping Georgia upsets…

  451. Chuck Says:

    I’m sorta watching the SEC too…Arkansas getting their lunch handed to them by the alma mater in hoops.

  452. Chuck Says:

    Jon Heyman is leaving Sports Illustrated for CBS.

  453. Mike Felber Says:

    In case it is not just meaningless talk, I should point out that we are not full of ourselves describing the massive differences in play & run environment between the decades. It has nothing to do with Ego.

    That Traynor’s contemporaries were not very good says nothing about his own fitness for the HOF. Any more than, say, George Brett needing to be as valuable as Mike Schmidt for admission. It is not how good folks were compared to a few guys, but the whole pool of players then.

    Their is a circular argument that due to someone like Santo not getting near selected, he does not deserve it. That makes no sense. If Blyleven’s allies/campaign never got off the ground, he would still be very worthy.

    Sapphire Gin. I had a blind (Internet dating site related) date. Got there less than 10 minutes late, friendly-the lady pretty much chewed me out for being late. I took her to a nice Meatpacking District watering whole. She was out of work for a long time, seem embittered & her Ego was wounded. She spent a good deal of time on her phone. She criticized my shirt as not being “bright” enough. It was not even a dull/plain shirt…

    She asked me for a Bombay Sapphire. I found it was $16 before any tip. So, though I have not otherwise, I got her the generic version instead. 1/2 price. She never knew the difference.

    When we said good bye, she actually said, almost wistfully, to call her if i became less “granola”. She had shown no kindness or softness before then. All sub rosa anger & Ego.

    I did not feel bad in my deception.

  454. brautigan Says:

    She deserved bathtub gin.

    Mike, as the lady deserves perspective, so does your argument. I provided it. Traynor was indeed that good.

  455. Mike Felber Says:

    You merely compared him to contemporaries when their were no excellent HOF players. You have no response to, or independent evidence of, arguments about his playing ability. No runs created based, or other traditional analysis, whows how he was different than his OPS + of 107 shows. No very high peak. No slugging to speak of, few walks so for that era an undistinguished OBP.

    Now, if he was shown to be a Brooksie or Ozzie with the glove, maybe he would be deserving. But empty average-little power or walks-means that is the only way he was great.

    As it was, he was certainly good & valuable.

  456. Raul Says:

    “That Traynor’s contemporaries were not very good says nothing about his own fitness for the HOF.”

    YES
    IT
    DOES

    It’s the very fucking basis for HOF induction. You’re judged based on your contemporaries.

    …fuck this shit. I give up.

  457. Chuck Says:

    If the BBWAA voting rules were the same in 1937 as they are today, Traynor would have been off the ballot in his second year of eligibility.

    He was “voted off” at one point, and like Santo, was the receipient of a “reinstatement vote” which reinstated his eligibility and he was subsequently elected several years later.

    Traynor was considered the best 3B of the first half century, it’s irrelevant he had a negative dWAR or didn’t draw walks because the game was much much different in his era.

    When you compare him to the other third baseman in the HOF he doesn’t stack well, but when you compare him to his contempories of the first fifty years or so, he stands out.

    Over the second half of the century, can you say the same thing about Santo?

  458. John Says:

    Traynor had a 107 OPS+.

    That’s what Casey Blake has.

  459. Chuck Says:

    Who cares about OPS+?

    Remember, park factors are bullshit.

    But to each his own.

  460. John Says:

    “Traynor was considered the best 3B of the first half century”

    Amputation was considered a go-to medical treatment for any infection for thousands of years.

    Doesn’t mean it was accurate.

    Home Run Baker, Stan Hack, Bob Elliot, and Heinie Groh were all superior, with Baker being the class of the first 50 years of baseball.

    154 players had at least 3000 PA’s between 1920-1935.

    Traynor ranks 72nd in OPS.

  461. John Says:

    “Who cares about OPS+?”

    Anyone who wants to compare a player to his peers, which is what we’re doing.

    Pie Traynor was slightly better than his peers.

    He once led the league in triples; the only other offensive statistic he ever led the league in was sac bunts.

    How many all-time greats were regularly called upon to bunt runners over? Seems to me that if you have an all-time great, you let him swing the damn bat.

  462. Chuck Says:

    “Traynor had a 107 OPS+.”

    Brooks Robinson’s was 104.

    C’mon John, let’s see you make an argument Brooksie’s not a HOFer.

    Would sure be an interesting article.

  463. John Says:

    “Brooks Robinson’s was 104.”

    Brooks Robinson was far and away the greatest defensive 3B of all-time.

    Swing and a miss.

  464. Chuck Says:

    “He once led the league in triples; the only other offensive statistic he ever led the league in was sac bunts.”

    It’s frustrating when an obviously intelligent person pretends to be stupid just to win an argument.

    Sacrifice flies didn’t become an official statistic until 1954, prior to that they were all counted the same.

    A guy with five career 190 hit seasons (in a 154 game season, mind you) isn’t going to bunt.

    Probably 25-30% of his sacrifices weren’t bunts at all.

    Context big guy.

  465. John Says:

    So he was putting up 20+ sac flies a year?

    I doubt that.

  466. Chuck Says:

    “Brooks Robinson was far and away the greatest defensive 3B of all-time.

    Swing and a miss.”

    On you.

    Traynor was the best of his era.

    And yet all you want to mention is his meaningless 107 OPS+.

    It’s a two way street, you can’t argue defense for one seemingly inept offensive player, and ignore it for another.

    Santo’s been retired for 37 years.

    I was a junior in high school.

    Bryce Harper’s mother was three.

    We’re WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY past the point of saying Santo got screwed by the system.

    He’s not worthy, period.

  467. Chuck Says:

    “So he was putting up 20+ sac flies a year”

    He sure as hell wasn’t bunting 40.

  468. John Says:

    Oh wait, nevermind.

    Still, ok. 42 “sac hits” in 1928.

    So you’re saying that he had about 11 sac flies (which is a ton) and 30 sac bunts?

    That’s still a lot of times that his offense sent him up there to lay one down.

    Seems kind of a weird thing to do with a player your perceive of as great.

  469. John Says:

    “He’s not worthy, period.”

    As of Monday, he’ll be in.

    You do realize that offense in the 1960’s was scarce, right? And that anyone who’s anyone, besides a few old-timey writers, thinks he’s one of the top-7 3B of all-time.

    Santo’s OBP was 30 pts higher than league average. His slugging was 66 points higher.

    Traynor’s OBP was all of 9 points higher than league average. His slugging was 19 points higher.

    He wasn’t nearly the elite player you’re making him out to be. Santo was.

  470. Chuck Says:

    “As of Monday, he’ll be in.”

    Care to place a little wager?

  471. John Says:

    Sure.

    The Big 10 Championship game is so frustrating. The Badgers have an incredible running game with Montee Ball and James White…and we’ve passed (or dropped back to pass) on our last 9 consecutive plays, resulting in 3 consecutive 3-and-outs.

    This would be like if the Giants had insisted that Barry Bonds square around to bunt every time up.

  472. Cameron Says:

    “This would be like if the Giants had insisted that Barry Bonds square around to bunt every time up.”

    Ozzie Guillen managed the Giants?

  473. John Says:

    LOL @ Cameron

  474. Raul Says:

    Yeah, amputation was considered a good tool for a long time.

    Doesn’t mean you can sit back and call them wrong and assholes for doing it.
    Asshole.

    Just like you can’t blame the HOF for people saying Traynor was the best 3B given his time.

  475. John Says:

    …and they happened to be wrong.

    Not a big deal. Traynor’s in the HOF, and he’s not coming out. Not really anyone’s fault, it’s whatever.

    If I could redo it, he’d be out, as would Kell and Lindstrom. Santo would finally be in. I’m not going to redo it, but Santo should still be in, regardless of what batting average tells you.

  476. Mike Felber Says:

    Raul, I can see how you could object to my statement. I do not mean that Pie should not be compared to his peers. In fact, the 107 OPS +, & undistinguished defense, are why he is not a good HOF man. I am saying that though John, pointed to a few better guys, there were NOT many 3B men over average. It happens sometimes that the talent pool is relatively flat.

    Nobody has any arguments of how the 107 OPS & his recorded defense misrepresents his skills. Clearly he is like a poor man’s George Sisler-who was also overrated, should never have been one of the very 1st elected-but the latter is HOF material. Their .320 & .340 averages, the latter with the single season hit record, looked impressive to people.

    Who did not fully appreciate the value of walks/secondary average & power.

    The fact that Santo never got close is being used as a circular argument to show there is nothing to complain about. We went over this in depth before, but any reasonable measure of peak value shows him quite elite for a few years.

    Nobody is saying those slicing off limbs or electing Pie were evil. Part of the problem was a holdover from the Dead ball era & the many decades before. When walks & HRs became common, still it was not fully appreciated by many the value they created. Since before you could not rack up too many of both, so “small ball” was over valued in the no longer at all new contexts.

    Things like sacrifices & bunts tended to be overused, but they had more place in olden days. But certain things were just not known. Ever see the steal % of some even great players? Even given the run environment (& many years we do not even have CS recorded) many who swiped 100’s of bases would have been better off NEVER trying to steal bleep!

    That is a case where it was common not to realize the value of preventing outs & losing a base runner.

  477. Mike Felber Says:

    This whole Penn State affair is just tragic.

    Paterno was imperfect, but it is looking increasingly like Penn State was in deep denial mode. Keeping the money machine going at all costs. Then there is the missing DA & hard drive to consider.

    Sandusky fits the profile of a his ilk. He is utterly delusional about what he did. Reality did apparently penetrate when he said “I wish I was dead” after being confronted by a victim’s Mom. I would not be surprised to see him commit suicide when he cannot keep from seeing his own demons. How many victims there were may never be known.

    This is all so very sad. And now others who just adore & help kids but are not predators will be looked at as potential molesters.

    With all the exaggerated fear of litigation & societal paranoia, for this to have gone on for years with more than warning signs was just insane.

  478. Chuck Says:

    I agree Traynor’s .320 lifetime BA is a factor in his status as a HOFer, but Santo’s BA has nothing to do with him not being a HOFer.

  479. Chuck Says:

    John, you sound like Mike with his ERA+ support of Curt Schilling.

    If your only argument for Traynor not being HOF worthy is his 107 OPS+, then it’s not a very good one.

    And you know what, while I’m more than willing to bet you a steak dinner or a good bottle of whiskey on the vote tomorrow, I happen to think you may be right.

    And if so, I will be disgusted.

    Not that Santo got in, but that it took 37 years and he only got in because he’s dead.

    What a slap in the face to Santo’s legacy, not only as a player but as a person, and to his memory.

    Seriously, if he gets in, I’m going off on someone.

  480. John Says:

    “If your only argument for Traynor not being HOF worthy is his 107 OPS+, then it’s not a very good one.”

    Me: Pie Traynor shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame.
    Chuck: You’re just saying that because he was only a slightly better hitter than his peers.

    “Not that Santo got in, but that it took 37 years and he only got in because he’s dead.
    What a slap in the face to Santo’s legacy, not only as a player but as a person, and to his memory.”

    The fact that he won’t get to give his speech in person is a travesty.

    If he gets in because of sympathy votes, then you’re right, that’s an insult to his memory.

    Fact of the matter is that he should have been in on the first damn ballot. The writers disagreed, and they were wrong. Simple as that.

    Wade Boggs, Mike Schmidt, George Brett, Chipper Jones and Eddie Matthews were all distinctly better 3B than Santo. Really, that’s it. Brooks Robinson, perhaps, but Santo was a much better hitter and an elite glove in his own right.

  481. John Says:

    “And you know what, while I’m more than willing to bet you a steak dinner or a good bottle of whiskey on the vote tomorrow, I happen to think you may be right.”

    Well let me know if you find yourself in Charleston next year.

  482. Bob Says:

    As it is I owe you a 6-pack. John, I jst sent you an e-mail. Not an article, as I am tapped out of ideas.

  483. Chuck Says:

    John: Pie Traynor’s not a HOFer because he had a 107 OPS+

    Chuck: You’re a moron if you think OPS+ matters, or that’s all that should matter.

    See, I can play this too.

    I wouldn’t be caught dead in Charleston.

    Pick one, and if he gets in, I’ll mail it to you.

    Should Santo be in the HOF?

    Maybe.

    First ballot?

    No fucking way.

    And he’s overrated as a defender.

  484. Mike Felber Says:

    You gotta be kidding Chuck. You did not like Sabermetrics, & challenged me to make an argument using other factors beszides ERA +. Thus restricted, I used a bunch: Go back & see the majroity, not quite all, that John summed up for you afterwards. The central, not sole, part of my argument then referenced the few things a pitcher can overwhelmingly control: rates of walks, Ks, & HRs. I men tioned the defenses behind him & unearned runs. I avoided giving you detailed era & park adjusted #s you are somehow averse to, instead let you informally consider them.

    Mostly what it meant to do these things when your whole catreer was in the steroid era. I did not even need the post season to show it was an easy case, WITHOUT referring to ERA +.

    Yes, if Santo gets in it will be the right thing done for the wrong reasons. But since he was deserving, much better that he be in.

  485. John Says:

    “Chuck: You’re a moron if you think OPS+ matters, or that’s all that should matter.”

    Translation: You’re a moron if you think “hitting” is something we should look at for the HOF.

    “Should Santo be in the HOF?
    Maybe.
    First ballot?
    No fucking way”

    Well, I’ve always thought that the distinction between “1st Ballot HOFer” and “HOFer” was stupid. Either you’re good enough or you’re not. Everyone’s plaque hangs in the same room, so this in-between nonsense is just silly. And it’s not like we need the writers to clarify that Hank Aaron and Ron Santo were on completely different planes of greatness; trust me, we know.

  486. John Says:

    “And he’s overrated as a defender.”

    What makes you say that? Just curious, I never saw him field.

    He won 5 gold gloves in a row; not positive that he deserved them, but I like to think that the award meant *something* once upon a time, before the days of Palmeiro and Jeter.

    As far as the defensive metrics go, he’s basically average. +1.1 dWAR in 15 years. Above average FP and RF.

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