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Old 11-22-2017, 03:25 PM
 
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Grandstander, agreed fully with the assessment of Joe Morgan as a player. He was indeed a smart player and as you rightly pointed out, he excelled at things sabermetricians value.

But as the examples you mentioned show, it’s as if he totally misunderstood what made him such a fine player in the first place. And I also have a serious dislike for people who dig in their heels when they’ve wrong and take any criticism as a personal affront. People make mistakes all the time, but it’s a total fool who doesn’t learn from his mistakes and digs in instead. I’ve changed my mind on lots of things in my lifetime, both on and off the ‘net. No shame in that. He can and should do better. Lots better.

FWIW, he’s not the only baseball personality I can’t stand. Add Bob Costas, Harold Baines, most of the old school sportswriters/HoF voters (think Dan Shaughnessy, Bruce Jenkins, Juan Vene, and Murray Chass), and several of the more obnoxious sports TV “personality” types (think Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith). Though for me, it absolutely doesn’t get worse than Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock. Much as I love baseball and football, I avoid sports shows on TV unless they’re live games, rarely read sports columns, and never indulge in sports radio.
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Old 11-22-2017, 04:00 PM
 
714 posts, read 328,403 times
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And if one needed more ammo to dislike Joe Morgan:

-he was an early proponent on the bogus idea that Jack Morris is worthy of the HoF. See this article:

https://www.baseballprospectus.com/n...g-a-bandwagon/

-the title of a popular sports journalism criticism blog was “Fire Joe Morgan.” See this Wiki entry about the site:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_Joe_Morgan

Lots of reasons to think he’s a moron, if you ask me.
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post

But as the examples you mentioned show, it’s as if he totally misunderstood what made him such a fine player in the first place..
The above is very well put. Morgan was either too lazy or too arrogant to attempt mastering sabermetrics, so he instead devoted his time to attacking that which he did not understand, a phenomena often manifest in this forum.

Having seen Morgan play, he disappointed me as analyst. Sometimes your fantasies get popped. Willie Mays was my first baseball hero, I checked his progress in the box scores first thing each day. I was thrilled when he won the MVP in '65, I squirmed as I watched him falling down in the outfield for the Mets in the '73 Series.

After he retired, Mays would now and again be an invited guest on the Giants radio and television broadcasts. Mays was churlish, Mays constantly tooted his own horn, Mays was nasty in his criticism of what was taking place on the field. Even when he praised a player, he would always swing it around so that this player compared unfavorably to Mays. Mays would get to rambling about something and wouldn't let the announcers intervene to describe the play. The first time I heard him I thought that maybe he was having a bad day, but subsequent appearances were just the same. Willie Mays, my childhood idol, was a king hell D-bag. He came across very much the way that Barry Bonds, his godson, would do later. Barry learned at the feet of a master.
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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I'm sorry to hear that about Mays. He was a hero to kids in NYC even before he came to the Mets. Many latched on to the Mets after the Giants and Dodgers made them baseball refugees because they couldn't bring themselves to root for the Yankees. That was the case for my grandmother and father, who grew up in the shadows of the Polo Grounds.

But I digress. Chipper is first ballot, and I think Guerrero and Hoffman get in this year, and that's it. Next year, Mariano Rivera and probably Roy Halladay get in on the first ballot. Steroid guys are in a holding pattern until we see how this year's voting shakes out.
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Old 11-24-2017, 04:56 AM
 
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Looks like there’s been some fallout from Joe Morgan’s letter. Jeff Passan is giving up his HoF vote in protest:

https://sports.yahoo.com/giving-hall...144738128.html

I understand his anger, but am thinking the best thing he could have done is keep his vote and include every proven or suspected PED user on it. And then written an article explaining why he voted as he did.

His ballot last year was a good one. A shame this happened.
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
Looks like thereís been some fallout from Joe Morganís letter. Jeff Passan is giving up his HoF vote in protest:

https://sports.yahoo.com/giving-hall...144738128.html

I understand his anger, but am thinking the best thing he could have done is keep his vote and include every proven or suspected PED user on it. And then written an article explaining why he voted as he did.

His ballot last year was a good one. A shame this happened.
Someone else had an opinion different from mine, so I'm giving up my HoF vote? What an emotionally fragile fellow Passan must be. This isn't some ideal stance, it is a futile gesture which isn't going to improve the situation in any manner.

Further, Passan's reasoning is full of holes. Trying to compare amphetamines to steroids fails on two levels. 1. No one on amphetamines suddenly increased their home run rate in a breathtaking manner as did the 'roid boys. No one on amphetamines suddenly began having the best seasons of their lives at ages when everyone else has gone into decline. Amphetamines make a player more alert, they can take a player too tired to perform at his best and restore him to normal levels of energy. Amphetamines didn't add distance to line drives.

2) It is absurd to conclude that because someone in the past got away with cheating, we are now obligated to look the other way when we catch cheaters. That argument is one which holds that since we did the wrong thing in the past, we are now stuck doing that wrong thing forever.

I agree very much that the smarter thing for Passan to have done would have been to keep his voye and use it to support his position. Taking his ball and running home serves nothing and no one.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:01 AM
 
714 posts, read 328,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Further, Passan's reasoning is full of holes. Trying to compare amphetamines to steroids fails on two levels. 1. No one on amphetamines suddenly increased their home run rate in a breathtaking manner as did the 'roid boys. No one on amphetamines suddenly began having the best seasons of their lives at ages when everyone else has gone into decline. Amphetamines make a player more alert, they can take a player too tired to perform at his best and restore him to normal levels of energy. Amphetamines didn't add distance to line drives.

2) It is absurd to conclude that because someone in the past got away with cheating, we are now obligated to look the other way when we catch cheaters. That argument is one which holds that since we did the wrong thing in the past, we are now stuck doing that wrong thing forever.
I disagree with much of this.

1. Where is the line drawn with ďcheating?Ē Gaylord Perry, Whitey Ford, Don Sutton, Don Drysdale, and Greg Maddux are all in the HoF and according to various sources, threw doctored or otherwise illegal pitches. Perry and Ford in fact have admitted so publicly after being elected. Hank Greenberg had a spotter with a telescopic lens sit in the stands stealing signs and conveying the information gained via sign language. Managers Leo Durocher and Earl Weaver spoke openly about cheating anytime they could away with it; reportedly, Durocherís dramatic 1951 pennant run was fueled in part by a similar kind of sign stealing tactic Greenberg used. John McGraw used to grab baserunners by the belt surreptitiously to hinder baserunning progress. If thatís not cheating, I donít know what is. Thatís nine names, too, so itís not just one or two anomalies. And this of course assumes PED users pre-testing (pre 2005) were ďcheating,Ē which Iím going to have to be convinced of. Post 2005 PED users, like Manny Ramirez, A-Rod, and Rafael Palmeiro, thatís different ó there was a ban in place with testing when they were caught, and I have no problem leaving them out despite their Hall-worthy stats.

2. PED use is nothing new in baseball, and I donít just mean amphetamines. Hall of Famers Pud Galvin and Babe Ruth (animal derived extracts) and Mickey Mantle (a quack pain reliever containing steroids, animal derived extracts and a host of other stuff) experimented with non-amphetamine PEDs, and not always to their benefit:

https://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/...ed-user-122516

https://www.thenation.com/article/bonding-babe/

The Secret Service Gave Him the Code Name

3. The idea that steroid use pre 2005 is somehow dirty and amphetamine use pre 2005 isnít strikes me as wrong. Both were used to try and gain a medically enhanced performance boost, which may or may not have succeeded. In fact, one might argue that amphetamine use is more insidious because it in theory affects things most useful to ballplayers, such as a boost in alertness helping hand-eye coordination, crucial to hitting a baseball and anything else involving reaction time. And amphetamine use was ubiquitous in clubhouses since at least the 1960s, with known users including HoFers Mike Schmidt, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Willie Stargell.

4. I do not hold the lifetime home run record in any kind of special reverence, and further think any argument that any particular playerís record is the only pure, clean one holds no water with me. Ruth set his records pre-integration (that is, not during the best level of competition) and experimented with goat gland extract to try and obtain a performance edge. Aaron used amphetamines. Maris played during a time when amphetamines were used in the sport, and further played on the ďcheatingĒ culture-based Yankees squad with Ford and Mantle; he and Mantle were actually close friends.

5. The Character Clause was not officially codified for HoF voting consideration until several years after election of the first class, in 1945. By then, some of the worst HoF character problem children (Ruth, McGraw, Cobb, Speaker, Anson, Hornsby) were already in, and Ed Delahanty would be inducted that year ó so the horse had long been out of the barn. And as the election of the spitballers, sign stealers, amphetamine users, and such since then shows, the CC is at best a moving target, applied inconsistently at best and often not at all. Most recently, Bobby Cox, who was arrested for spousal assault in 1995, waltzed right into the HoF on his first try. I have no respect for the concept as it has been historically used.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
I disagree with much of this.

1. Where is the line drawn with “cheating?” Gaylord Perry, Whitey Ford, Don Sutton, Don Drysdale, and Greg Maddux are all in the HoF and according to various sources, threw doctored or otherwise illegal pitches. Perry and Ford in fact have admitted so publicly after being elected. Hank Greenberg had a spotter with a telescopic lens sit in the stands stealing signs and conveying the information gained via sign language. Managers Leo Durocher and Earl Weaver spoke openly about cheating anytime they could away with it; reportedly, Durocher’s dramatic 1951 pennant run was fueled in part by a similar kind of sign stealing tactic Greenberg used. John McGraw used to grab baserunners by the belt surreptitiously to hinder baserunning progress. If that’s not cheating, I don’t know what is. That’s nine names, too, so it’s not just one or two anomalies. And this of course assumes PED users pre-testing (pre 2005) were “cheating,” which I’m going to have to be convinced of. Post 2005 PED users, like Manny Ramirez, A-Rod, and Rafael Palmeiro, that’s different — there was a ban in place with testing when they were caught, and I have no problem leaving them out despite their Hall-worthy stats.

2. PED use is nothing new in baseball, and I don’t just mean amphetamines. Hall of Famers Pud Galvin and Babe Ruth (animal derived extracts) and Mickey Mantle (a quack pain reliever containing steroids, animal derived extracts and a host of other stuff) experimented with non-amphetamine PEDs, and not always to their benefit:

https://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/...ed-user-122516

https://www.thenation.com/article/bonding-babe/

The Secret Service Gave Him the Code Name

3. The idea that steroid use pre 2005 is somehow dirty and amphetamine use pre 2005 isn’t strikes me as wrong. Both were used to try and gain a medically enhanced performance boost, which may or may not have succeeded. In fact, one might argue that amphetamine use is more insidious because it in theory affects things most useful to ballplayers, such as a boost in alertness helping hand-eye coordination, crucial to hitting a baseball and anything else involving reaction time. And amphetamine use was ubiquitous in clubhouses since at least the 1960s, with known users including HoFers Mike Schmidt, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Willie Stargell.

4. I do not hold the lifetime home run record in any kind of special reverence, and further think any argument that any particular player’s record is the only pure, clean one holds no water with me. Ruth set his records pre-integration (that is, not during the best level of competition) and experimented with goat gland extract to try and obtain a performance edge. Aaron used amphetamines. Maris played during a time when amphetamines were used in the sport, and further played on the “cheating” culture-based Yankees squad with Ford and Mantle; he and Mantle were actually close friends.

5. The Character Clause was not officially codified for HoF voting consideration until several years after election of the first class, in 1945. By then, some of the worst HoF character problem children (Ruth, McGraw, Cobb, Speaker, Anson, Hornsby) were already in, and Ed Delahanty would be inducted that year — so the horse had long been out of the barn. And as the election of the spitballers, sign stealers, amphetamine users, and such since then shows, the CC is at best a moving target, applied inconsistently at best and often not at all. Most recently, Bobby Cox, who was arrested for spousal assault in 1995, waltzed right into the HoF on his first try. I have no respect for the concept as it has been historically used.

We do disagree. Your argument is very much what I was identifying as one without utility. That is....we didn't do a very effective job of policing the game in the past, therefore we are perpetually obligated to overlook violations which we do catch in our own times. Do you not see how this opens the door to all forms of cheating on a permanent basis? Soandso corked his bat? Well, let's do nothing about that because Whitey Ford got away with scuffing the ball.

Further, in no other case than steroids, was there such an obvious and unmistakable alteration of the game on a wide basis. Whitey Ford didn't win 35 games or pitch eight no hitters with the scuffball. Henry Aaron didn't hit 73 home runs in one season due to amphetamines. All of the complaints you list above...can you roll out the evidence found in the outcomes that these actions had a massive impact on the game or on individual records? We may do so for steroids.

And unlike you, I have a respect for the records. 60 home runs and 61 home runs meant something, and it meant something to most baseball fans. If it did not, then what was the incredible media focus and national attention paid to the McGwire/Sosa race in 1998? People were thrilled by the new record setters at the time they were performing their heroics, and it is now just a bitter memory of fraud since the revelations of what fueled those assaults on the Maris record.

I became a baseball fan because of the numbers, no other sport has anything to match the romance of those numbers. When I was ten and just beginning to pay attention to baseball, someone gave me a Hall of Fame baseball card set. It was bubblegum cards, but ones depicting past rather than present players. I became fascinated with the numbers on the back. At the time there were only seven players who had ever hit as many as 50 home runs in a season. That meant something to me as a kid, and the very next year after I got those cards, Maris and Mantle staged their twin assault on Ruth. That thrilled me no end. The year after that Maury Wills broke Ty Cobb's stolen base record, and the year after that Sandy Koufax broke the single season strikeout record. By 1964 I was a complete junkie and had most of the famous records memorized. I could name everyone with 500 or more home runs, everyone with 3000 or more hits, everyone who had ever hit .400 or better in a season.

The numbers were always magic to me. Then in 1979 I got a hold of the second Abstract Bill James published, back when it was still a mimeographed and stapled, self published booklet. I was only a few paragraphs into it when I saw the future, saw that all of the conventional wisdom was in danger..and even saw that it would take decades for these ideas to gain traction on the big league level. James was taking those magic numbers and playing with them...to create an entire new field of knowledge. I found this impossibly exciting and perhaps I am revealing too much about myself when I say that for the for the duration of the '80's, I looked forward to the arrival of each year's new Abstract more than I looked forward to anything else in life.

And that is why I strongly resent the steroids crowd. They disrespected and fouled up the numbers in a manner that none of the other phenomena you review above did, or could have.

Finally, there is on the field and off the field in terms of character. If the hall was really designed to admit only players who not only excelled at the game, but were also examples of the best in human beings, it would not have many players in it. Barry Bonds is a jerk, hardly what anyone would call an ambassador of baseball, but if that was all we had against him, I would certainly not cite his poor personality as a reason for keeping him out of the Hall. His cheating? Yes. His boorishness? No.

Ted Williams was often a jerk, plenty of players like Pete Alexander and Hack Wilson were alcoholics, but that is their private lives. I could never stomach Pete Rose while he was a player, but had it not been for the gambling, I would certainly agree he belongs in the Hall.

So you see we have differing perspectives on this. I respect yours and think no less of you for those positions. I am hopeful that I have explained myself well enough to earn your respect in return.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:23 PM
 
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Grandstander, several things, starting here.

If the issue is that on field character issues are all that count, note well that when Bobby Cox was elected first time out, so were Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre. Both of them presided over clubhouses with PED users, in LaRussa’s case two clubhouses (with at the very least Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, and Andy Pettitte as members). I find it extremely hard to believe they didn’t know about this, and if one is going to be logical on the issue, one should well wonder why they sat there and did nothing about it. Were they complicit? Did they not care as long as their players produced? Were they truly unaware of what was going on? (Incidentally, see below about LaRussa’s reaction to a reporter finding Andro in McGwire’s locker). Given their position of authority and the fact they did nothing, that should be a serious issue if one gets feathers ruffled about PEDs for players. Regardless, it’s ridiculous and hypocritical that they skated right in first chance while Mark McGwire is left at the curb. And then there’s Bud Selig. Remember when McGwire was setting the single season HR record? Here’s a couple quotes from him at the time. Re McGwire’s Creatine use, ca. 1998:

“I have no knowledge of it. The Cardinals are a disciplined organization, and I don’t think anything goes on there that shouldn’t.”

BASEBALL; McGwire Admits Taking Controversial Substance - The New York Times

And when confronted with a story by sportswriter Steve Wilstein about McGwire’s Andro use, ca. 1998:

“I think what Mark McGwire has accomplished is so remarkable, and he has handled it all so beautifully, we want to do everything we can to enjoy a great moment in baseball history.”

ESPN.com - E-Ticket: Who Knew?

And guess what? Once again, the first ballot red carpet gets rolled out for him. Should also note that this same article describes Tony LaRussa getting hot under the collar at the reporter in question, saying this is an invasion of McGwire’s privacy. Yeah sure, he didn’t know, either. The pattern here is unmistakable, and reinforced by Joe Morgan and his ilk — it’s fine to systematically induct steroid apologist managers and commissioners into the HoF while letting the players twist in the wind. Talk about a double standard.

More to come as time allows.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
it’s fine to systematically induct steroid apologist managers and commissioners into the HoF while letting the players twist in the wind. Talk about a double standard.

.
Okay, but is the solution to repeat the mistake with McGwire, or regret the mistake with LaRussa et al and vow not to repeat it?

We would have an ineffective criminal justice system if we based it on how well past offenders had been able to elude the law, would we not? We can't prosecute this guy for cheating on his taxes because we failed to prosecute that guy some years back?

Do you not see that what you advocate is more or less institutionalizing a mistake and insuring that it will be made again and again?
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