Jim Caple Day
Is it all that shocking that steroids were around the league for a while now? When baseball players went from looking like Ozzie Smith and beer league softball players to Mr. Universe look-a-likes, did no one question what was going on? We all know from the report that people did in fact know what was going when you read the various sections about players like Dykstra, Gagne, and LoDuca. What is also so interesting is how haphazard the players were about it and how they basically did not care who knew.
You would have to be dumb to not get what was going on when guys like Anderson came into camp looking a lot different than last year while blasting fifty homers after never hitting more than sixteen in a season. Only Roger Maris, Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, Hack Wilson, Ralk Kiner, Mickey Mantle, George Foster, Willie Mays, Cecil Fielder, Johnny Mize, and Albert Belle managed to hit fifty homers prior to 1996 and Brady managed to do that at age 32 while on the downside of his career. In fact, the only other players prior to 1996 to hit fifty or more homers for the first time during the year they turned 30 or older was Johnnie Mize and Hack Wilson.
Mize at least hit 40 earlier in his career, but Wilson's season was more of an anomaly because he showed good power, but not great until that one prodigious year. After 1996, McGwire, Bonds, Luis Gonzalez, Anderson, David Ortiz, Jim Thome, and Greg Vaughn all topped fifty homers for the first time after turning 30. Of course some of those guys had legit power and other factors were at play and probably did not do steroids, but it should be noted regardless since a good number of those guys did juice. From 1920 to 1995, nineteen guys hit fifty or more homers. From 1996 to 2005, eighteen players hit fifty or more homers. In '06 and '07, two guys hit fifty or more in each season.
I just wanted to credit Jim Caple for that above link because I do not want anyone to get the wrong idea about what I go searching for on the internet.
Also from Jim Caple's link:
Jose Rijo: This is actually his second time on the ballot; he was also on the ballot in 2001 after missing the previous five seasons to injury. He received one vote, then returned to win five more games before retiring for good after the 2002 season. This is something Pete Rose might want to consider to get the clock ticking again on his eligibility. (By the way, Rijo is Juan Marichal's son-in-law, giving the two of them 359 combined victories at family gatherings.)
One fucking vote? Seriously. Who was the guy who voted for Rijo and why is he allowed to vote? Joke vote or not, that is just ridiculous.
Also, Caple brings up a great point when talking about runs scored.
I don't understand why the run total is so undervalued. It is the only statistic that matters in the outcome of a game yet all the glory goes to the batter who drove the runner the final 90 feet home rather than the man who got himself in scoring position in the first place. Given that a batter can only score one run per plate appearance but drive in as many as four, run totals should be more highly valued than RBIs. Please explain then why it is considered more of a feat to drive in a run than to score one.
You could make the argument that a guy like Jeter benefited from exceptional offenses, but I guess he deserves some recognition for getting on base consistently in the first place. That is not to say runs should be the only metric considered when some certain player's time comes, but Raines had a pretty substantial body of work to support his candidacy.
Caple also lays it down about Bonds:
When Barry Bonds was indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice there was a fair amount of speculation on how the indictments will affect his Hall of Fame chances. Bonds pleaded not guilty last Friday but the final verdict won't influence my vote either way. I'll vote for him.
For one thing, most of us already suspected that Bonds lied to the grand jury about never knowingly taking steroids, so I don't see why the indictments should change our opinion. A player who many considered a liar is now formally charged as such. This is like the government charging Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria with being cheap. Making it official shouldn't really change your opinion. Either you already felt that Bonds deserved to be in the Hall or not.
Booo-yah!!! I love what he wrote and I wholeheartedly agree. Some will not agree with his next statement, but I again agree with the brilliant Jim Caple.
You'll read and hear about how the Hall of Fame ballot instructs voters to consider a player's "character and integrity" but that's just a convenient dodge. Integrity? Gaylord Perry bragged about cheating much of his career -- he "wrote" a biography titled "Me and the Spitter" in between winning his two Cy Youngs -- and writers still voted him into the Hall. Character? We happily vote in players who we know cheated on their wives. The Veterans Committee voted in Orlando Cepeda who did time for trying to smuggle marijuana with the intent to distribute. Racists such as Ty Cobb and Cap Anson are in there, along with owners Tom Yawkey and Charles Comiskey who worked to keep out blacks as long as possible.
Integrity and character are good traits but if they were truly considered by voters, the Hall would have a lot fewer members.
Of course we all understand guys cannot be taken out of the HoF, but a lot of people certainly do not believe that having 'bad' people in the HoF already should be the reason for future transgressions to be ignored and you can certainly find value in that statement. But the fact remains people knowingly voted for players that cheated in the past and players will continue to cheat in 2008 and beyond in some way, shape, or form. It sounds like a copout to say cheating will always be in the game, but sadly enough it will. There will be some borderline guys who maybe got that extra bump they needed to get into the HOF by cheating and there will be guys that were sure fire HoFers that cheated as well. I guess that is up to the voters to make that judgment call and this scandal will certainly affect some players bid for the Hall while not hindering other players bids.
Finally, he also dabbles into the BBWAA and how slowly they move and how slowly they have been to embrace internet writers. The funniest part is how their website is very indicative of how they have been a bit behind in regards to this newfangled internet fad. I think it is safe to say they could have gone to this site and been up and running with something that was not vicious on the eyes for under $30 I presume.
"I heard a few names on the list and wow,'' said Strahan at Thursday's Giants practice. "Guys have been sitting at home sweating for a long time when they knew this was coming out and now for it to come out it just kind of tears up the sport."
Giants teammate Osi Umenyiora had a similar reaction.
"It is sad; to be honest with you, to see how many people were involved with it and that type of thing," he said. "Everybody is looking for that edge and I guess they went about it using steroids, but it is very, very difficult to sit back and see that so many people cheated in the baseball world.
"I don't understand how they weren't caught before now, but maybe they were. I just don't understand it to be honest with you."
There are no performance enhancing drugs in football at all. I hope someone goes after football so they can post that on the side of Giants Stadium. And for those of you who think that this report would have stopped trades from happening, players getting signed, etc., think again.
"Our goal is to field the best team possible based on information we have in hand," general manager Doug Melvin said in a statement. "While we were disappointed to see information from 2004 related to Eric in the report, we still firmly believe that his addition to the club makes us a much stronger team as we head into the 2008 campaign."
These GMs are not the morality police and are trying to win ballgames above all. It should not be shocking to see this report have no effect on how most teams go after players. It might drop someone's value a bit, but not much will happen in regards to these guys finding work if they are still capable and looking for it.
Also from the above link, it appears as if some players might have gotten advanced warnings of steroid testing.
"It's a slap on the hand," he told Fox Business Network. "The report proved nothing. It just proved what we already knew."
Not inflammatory enough for you? Got you covered.
Prodded further about players not included, Canseco said this of Alex Rodriguez: "All I can say is the Mitchell Report is incomplete. I could not believe that his name was not in the report."
It seems like a lot of the guys that got caught were not all that smart about it being they left impressive paper trails of canceled checks and shipping labels. However, I am sure there were a lot of guys that were much more discreet and intelligent about their usage.
As for Radomski, he kept calling him 'Dombroski' or something and said he could not pick him out in a crowd. He said if someone says something untrue about him, he would not hesitate to stand up and defend himself and said he would have talked to Mitchell had they contact him. After the initial contact with them, he changed phones twice and his house burned down. He said if they followed the proper channels, he would have spoken to them happily to try and clear up his name.
What do I think? Nothing! No one cares if David Justice did it for a few shitty years at the end of his career.