January 13, 2013

HoF Cheaters, Mayor Canseco?, Sox Links

Bryan Grosnick, Beyond the Box Score, January 9, 2013:
When a player uses a substance banned by Major League Baseball, they immediately get labeled a "cheater", someone who breaks the rules of the game in order to give themselves or their team an unfair advantage. But many players have done this over their careers ... many of whom are in the Hall of Fame. By their own admission, both Hank Aaron and Mike Schmidt have used "greenies" ... amphetamines that are considered performance-enhancing drugs. Players like Gaylord Perry threw spitballs, a pitch deemed illegal by the rules of the game.

These players don't seem to be considered with the same type of venom as Bonds and Clemens, both of whom will likely not reach the Hall this year. But aren't these players, by definition of the term, "cheaters" as well?

What makes a player a "cheater?"
Rob Neyer, SB Nation, January 8, 2013:
I have another, bigger issue with Verducci's argument. While he seems to acknowledge that amphetamines and spitballs constituted cheating, just like steroids, he seems to consider the latter far worse because of its impact. Why does the impact matter. I'm trying to imagine a player's thoughts here ... "Gosh, those amphetamines seemed to help a little, so even though it's cheating I think they're okay to use. But golly, these steroids everybody's talking about ... I'd better not mess with those, because they seem to help a LOT."

That just defies everything we know about human nature and, specifically, the nature of world-class athletes. If there's a small advantage to be taken, big-time athletes will take it. If there's a larger advantage to be taken, they'll take that. ... [T]he notion that baseball before steroids was a pure game, a fair game, is (to use one of Verducci's words) a canard.
Michael MacDonald and Colin MacDonald, Beyond the Box Score, January 10, 2013:
Bonds did not set the rules. He played within rules that were set, implicitly and tacitly, by the guardians of the game.

The purpose of rules is to establish and enforce level playing field. But if rules are written but are not enforced, like when umpires call a letter high pitch a ball, they are not real rules. Players must adjust to the game as it is called. When baseball celebrated the 1989 A's without reservation, when it glorified McGwire and Sosa, and when insiders chose not to see evidence that would dash their illusions, they sent a clear message to Bonds and those who came late to steroids.

Sadly, Jose Canseco will not (cannot, actually) run against the proudly ignorant right-wing bully/buffoon/world-class asshole Rob Ford in Toronto's mayoral by-election:
I do want to run. It's a good cause and I know I can do well. But I am not a citizen so it's a moot point. Unless the rules are different.
The rules are not different.


Alex Speier, WEEI: "Pipeline Overfloweth? Why Outlook For Red Sox Pitching Prospects Is Promising"

Gordon Edes ESPNBoston: Sox Prospect Bradley Full Of Promise

Mike Andrews has the projected 2013 lineups for Pawtucket, Portland, Salem, and Greenville.


allan said...

"Bradley could follow a similar development path, particularly if Ellsbury is traded or suffers another one of his lingering injuries."

I thought for sure Cafardo wrote this, but it's Abraham.

laura k said...

I'm not one for celebrity candidates, but in this case, I'm sure it would be an improvement. Too bad Jose can't quickly get Canadian citizenship.

Jere said...

About what Neyer said (cheating a little vs. cheating a lot)--he seems to think that's not how humans act, but don't many of us, for example, roll through stop signs when nobody's around, knowing that it's not hurting anyone but IS still against the law? I think there is some truth to humans thinking "I won't do this because it's REALLY bad but I'm okay doing this because it's only mildly bad."

laura k said...

Neyer is not talking about the thought process of the rule-breaker, he's talking about the thought process of the commentor/critic, in this case Verducci. Neyer is saying if rules are broken, they are broken, and it doesn't matter if breaking the rules give one a small or large advantage, the fact is a rule was broken.

Also, PLEASE don't roll through stop signs, even it appears that no one is around!

laura k said...

Also, what makes you think greenies are "cheating a little" and steroids are "cheating a lot"? Uppers were the performance-enhancing substances that were available to those players at that time. It's not as if players in the 1970s had a choice between steroids and greenies, and chose greenies because they were cheating less.

allan said...

And many writers are asking for simple consistency. If a voter will keep someone out of the HoF for breaking the rules of the game, then that writer should want EVERYONE who broke the rules of the game out of the Hall. But they don't. Instead, they joke about some forms of cheating (corking, spitballs) and poo-poo others (greeenies) and make steroids out to be the worstest evil thing in the world. It's ignorant and inconsistent.

9casey said...

Greenies might have killed more people than steroids as well. But would I be surprised to find out alot of these steroid users used some sort of " greenie" as well a s steroids, not at all.
Think about mix the right amphetamine and steriod toghether and what you might get? You just might get Barry Bonds, which he did test positive for amphetamines, and I am only guessing he used steroids......
Watched the 60 minutes special on Lance Armstrong.....wow... Now there is a fraud and a bully, he should go to jail, but no he is going on Oprah instead.

laura k said...

Unless everyone who profited off Barry Bonds' and Roger Clemens' POD use donates every dollar they reaped from that use to charity - owners, pundits, media shareholders - everyone - then I want Bonds and Clemens and everyone with HoF numbers in the HoF. All the hangers-on shouldn't get to enjoy the profits while they point fingers and pontificate self-righteously.

laura k said...

* PEDs, of course

9casey said...

What does the Hall of Fame have to do with money made? Bonds benefited from the use of steroids to make more money and the others made it as well. I dont think those people who made money of him are keeping him out of the Hall of Fame.

This is clearly a voter issue, and their self righteous ways of trying to make this world a better place.

laura k said...

It has to do with the culture of baseball that allowed players to use steroids, benefitted from the use, then turned on them and hung them out to dry. Who us? We had no idea! The writers are part of that culture and benefitted from it, too.

So seriously, do you think keeping Barry Bonds out of the HoF makes the world a better place?

9casey said...

No, I believe they do.. That is why I called them self righteous. The hall of fame is for the players, they should vote. I have been there once and may never go back.

laura k said...

Ah, I gotcha now. I rarely understand you the first time. :)

9casey said...

It makes it more fun that way....:)