Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Staggering Display of Idiocy

This is the article that dude emailed me way back when. It's old as hell. That's OK. It's still worth going over. Pull up your socks, everyone. This is going to get rough. Mets beat writer Marty Noble wants all of us to know: we is dumber than him is.

The final word on Alomar and the HOF...until next year

Yeeeeeah. I can see you nodding. You knew it was going to be good, but a HOF article? Betcha weren't expecting that. Yup. It's gonna be goooooooooood.

Amazed, amused and somewhat disappointed I am,

OK, Yoda.

having read and heard the uproar caused by my Hall of Fame ballot. How dare I not vote for Robbie Alomar and Bert Blyleven? How senseless it was for me to check Dave Parker.

Parker has crummy credentials. Blyleven (or should I say CRYleven) has been discussed way too much here so I won't get into him. Aaaaand... not voting for Alomar is dumb.

I should have my voting privileges - or, as one outraged All-Star speller wrote, "privledges" - revoked.

There are 21 comments on Marty's post. I think about 17 of them point out to him that he has misspelled numerous words throughout it. It's always great when sportswriters have pot/kettle problems.

My mistake. Mea culpa, mea culpa. If only I knew what I was talking about, I would have devised a method to determine how all others voters would act and then submit a ballot that matched the consensus. Nothing like unanimity to sooth the masses and silence an uproar before it develops.

Right, great point. When people attack you for not voting for someone who they think is deserving, I mean, technically they're attacking you for not "match[ing] the consensus." Great straw man. "How dare you criticize me for not falling in line!" No, dipshit. They're criticizing you for not making a good decision based on whether or not Alomar was a Hall of Fame caliber player. This is like someone cutting a line of 50 people waiting to get into a bar, and then responding to their booing by claiming that they're just upset that you're too much of an independent thinker to follow the rules.

It seems a good number of people are opposed to independent thought, which begs the question "Why vote at all?" Anyone whose OPS exceeds half of Barry Bonds' in 2003 or whose WHIP is comparable to Roger Clemens' gets in automatically.

No one is opposed to independent thought, and no one with a brain thinks "automatic" qualifications would be a good idea. we're just opposed to idiocy. Let's keep moving so I can establish for the nice readers exactly what I'm talking about.

From much of what I've read, any player who had distinguished himself for an extended period ought to be inducted immediately upon retirement regardless of whatever else he has done, be it steroid use, wagering on the game or spitting in the face of of the on-field authority.

Another GREAT straw man. "Well, a lot of people think players who did bad things should be let in no matter what! You don't want that, DO YOU?" Look, Alomar did something dumb. He did it once, in the heat of a moment, got suspended, paid his dues, and then kept on playing. Was it reprehensible? Sure. Was it juvenile? Absolutely. Is it worth getting your panties in a bundle over the fact that it happened? Once? Not at all. To compare steroid use or betting on the game to one hot-headed moment (that unlike some hot-headed baseball moments, see: Young, Delmon, didn't threaten anyone's safety) is moronic.

I enjoy the exercise of voting, of annually using the perspective gained in nearly 40 years at the ballpark to decide who is deserving of my vote and who isn't. It hardly is life and death, but it is important to me. I choose carefully. I have to be convinced - each year -- of a candidate's worthiness before I check the box next to his name.

And somehow... Dave Parker... OK.

Alomar wasn't worthy this time. Call it punishment if you choose.

Mr. Tough Guy over here.

He did voilate an understood code of behavior. We don't spit at others, Johnny.

And I'm sure Marty has never done anything in the heat of a moment that he wishes he hadn't. I'm not saying he's ever spat on someone. Just saying, that's really not the kind of thing that should be swinging HOF votes. Gambling and steroids, sure. To quote Pulp Fiction, they ain't the same ballpark, they ain't the same league, they ain't even the same fucking sport.

I never have been convinced that Blyleven meets what I see as the Hall of Fame standard; too many losses.

Of all the anti-Blyleven arguments out there, this one is by far the worst, which is saying a lot. Better get Cy Young and his 316 losses out of Cooperstown. Nolan Ryan (292), Walter Johnson (279), Phil Niekro (274)? Out, out, out.

Until this year, my view was shared by at least 35 percent of the electorate.


Now people on the radio and television who never have been around the game on a daily basis

Easily the stupidest reason stupid sportswriters give to support their stupid opinions/reasoning. Has been discussed extensively here and on other blogs, so I don't need to go into it again here. But really, Marty, fuck you and fuck your "experience."

are calling for a change in the voting because this year merely 73.7 percent of 539 ballots cast included checks for Alomar. The best second baseman I ever saw received 395 votes and came closer to election than any other first-time candidate who feel short.

Is that... good? That's like being the best AAA player of all time who never played in the majors.

And the ripple effect of that vote ought to be that the system be overhauled? Now I will ask the question. Are you serious?

I don't think the voting process needs to be overhauled. I do think we should be waiting longer (15 years?) after players retire before voting on them. And they shouldn't stay on the ballot any longer than 5 years.

So if eight others had voted for Alomar, the system would been deemed acceptable and allowed to remain in place to determine whether Blyleven, Tim Raines, Barry Bonds, Derek Jeter and Johan Santana are Hall of Fame worthy. Eight more votes would have made all of us look so much wiser? Are you serious?

Look, it's not about Alomar. It's about a long history of cuntery on the part of numerous BBWA members.

I was unaware first-year election was the undeniable right of a player who committed an on-field misdemeanor

Well I certainly hope you wouldn't have voted for Ty Cobb on the first ballot. Sure, he had the highest batting average of all time, but he went into the stands and beat up a dude in a wheelchair who had been heckling him once. As awesome as that sounds I think it counts as a misdemeanor.

and occasionally left his motivation in his locker.

Well that's a nice, easy, objective criterion. Roberto Alomar: THE ANTI-ECKSTEIN.

I'm pretty sure Alomar hasn't been banned from the Hall. His inclusion on the next ballot is certain. His election borders on foregone conclusion. I will vote for him next year, not because I've been persuaded by the harsh outcry of those without voting privileges (and some with), but because that has been my intention since I received the last ballot.

Because that makes sense. Just like it made sense for some of those fucktard voters to not put Rickey Henderson in on the first ballot.

As I early this month that Alomar didn't deserve my vote this time.

No verb! Typo!!!!!

He offended me - and the game - by spitting in John Hirschbecks's face and by his occasionally compromised effort.

And now you're handing down a punishment. But ask yourself this- does that make any sense? Or as you might say, "Are you serious?" What does that prove? How is that a good and sensible usage of a hard-earned voting privilege? Either Alomar was HOF worthy or he wasn't. Time might shed a little light on how good he was relative to players from subsequent eras, but other than that, it changes nothing. It's a fucking travesty that Jim Rice got in after 15 years on the ballot. And another that Blyleven will probably have to wait until his 14th year to do the same. Really, let's just cut the bullshit by cutting the years. I said above that I think players should be on the ballot for no more than 5 years. But if you think about it, assuming you wait long enough after their retirement (for any dirt on steroids or other information that voters might find relevant to come out) to put them up for election... is there any good reason the voters should need more than one or two years? Either you were good enough or you weren't. Rarely do I think anything is this simple, but at least for the moment, I'm willing to think it here.

Now Alomar waits a year. Whitey Ford was elected in his second year on the ballot, Ralph Kiner was elected in his final year of eligibility, receiving one ballot more than he needed. Kiner is one of the most distinguished gentlemen in the game. No spit! And Alomar will be just as much a Hall of Famer as gentleman Kiner next year if enough of the electorate looks past his transgressions and sees what a terrific player he was.

Ah, classic justification. "We've been making this same dumb mistake for years... why should we stop now? I say that when Ken Griffey Jr. comes up for election, we make him wait THREE years! Just for the fuck of it!"

If mine had been the lone dissenting vote on Alomar's candidacy, or if it had sentenced the second baseman to 50 years of HOF exile with no chance of parole, then, by all means, question my ballot. But 143 other voters found fault with Alomar.

"We all think alike! How could we be wrong??" Oh wait, that's pretty much the same point he made earlier in the article. It certainly works so much better here though. Remember- if you just want everyone to vote the same way, you're an asshole. But on the other hand, if someone disagrees with your vote, make sure you cite to all the people who voted the same way you did to prove that your point is legitimate.

And I only can assume the fault they found was in his behavior not the totality of his performance. He spat at an umpire. Where else can that be done without someone being offended by it or without some consequence? What would have happened if he had lost his composure outside the ballpark and spat at a cop?

Hmm. This is such a ridiculous question that I'm really having a hard time imagining Marty thinking that it could be legitimately passed off as rhetorical. But I'll treat it as such because writing this post is tiring. It's like trying to explain the physics behind planetary motion to a three year old.

I've been told I shouldn't consider Alomar's behavior off-the-field, and that makes me chuckle. May I point out that what I view as his transgressions happened on the field.

You sly dog! Master of logic and argument!

And to those who say because Babe Ruth caroused and Ty Cobb did whatever he did and gained election anyway, all subsequent candidates should be measured as Ruth and Cobb seemingly were - with one eye closed. . .To those folks, I say the instructions that come with the ballot direct voters to consider integrity and character. I never had the chance not to vote for Ruth and Cobb.

Wow, he really might not have. That's incredible. At least that would be some consistency. Idiotic consistency, but still.

Why should Alomar be treated as Joe Morgan, Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, and Ryan Sandberg were, as Derek Jeter

Classy guy! So classy! Oozes class. Bleeds class. Invented the idea of class. Has he ever done anything to establish this? No. He's just a good player for a popular team. But just ask any Marty Noble out there- classy guy.

will be, when he has fallen short of the standards they have established/maintained? Or should we create a special corridor within the Hall for players without rap sheets?

No. We should just put the best baseball players of all time in the Hall of Fame, and let the other stuff play out as it does. Fans know Cobb was an asshole. Fans know Ruth was a drunken moron. That's OK- doesn't really affect their overall status alongside the Ripkens and Gwynns. It makes them different, but certainly not unworthy of enshrinement.

Since my vote and reasons for it appeared on this Web site, other people in the game have expressed reservations about Alomar's candidacy. A radio interviewer in Baltimore said during our time on the air that, during his time with the Orioles, Alomar performed as expected four games out of six and that he often seemed disinterested.

Whoa. Come on now. We can't just publish anything as fact if someone called it in on a radio show. At least find someone on the internet who says that Alomar was lazy.

Players, general managers, announcers and writers I have known were startled by periods of disinterest by a player so well equipped otherwise. We've talked about them, not as gossip, but a gathering of information so that our accounts of games would be properly shaded if Alomar's performance on a given day was pertinent.

Right, so, you're convinced he's lazy. Which means you will vote him into the HOF the second time you have the opportunity- not the first. Makes sense.

People in my business who are at the park everyday have hundreds of conversations each year - on planes, in airports, in cabs and at he batting cages. Opposing managers will inquire. "Hey, what's up with so and so? Our scout tells me. . ." People without that sort of entry aren't privy to that perspective.


They get their perspective from Web Gems,

By using it in this context, it's obvious you have no idea what those are.

box scores

Yeah, and extensive video highlights and statistics (besides AB R H BI).

and 20-20 updates

You also don't seem to know what these are.

and what we write.

Occasionally. Beat writers such as yourself are good sources for information on trade rumors, injury-related stuff, information about who the manager plans on giving more/less playing time to, those kinds of things. You're pretty useless otherwise. I certainly don't need you to tell me who's playing well and who isn't. And given your kind's penchant for occasionally holding grudges, I also don't need you to tell me who's playing hard and who isn't. Fuck that.

Few of the voices that have the public ear are at ballparks as often and for as many hours as the laziest baseball writer.

Yeah, sitting in the press box is really so much different than watching the game on TV and reading about it later. Good God in heaven. The day idiots like Noble drop the I GO TO THE BALLPARK AND YOU DON'T thing can't come soon enough.

Consider my take on Alomar. Dismiss it if you choose,

Definitely didn't need your permission to do that.

take it as gospel if you're so inclined. But it is an outlook formed carefully and without prejudice.


In my time watching the game, he was as skilled a position player as any with the exceptions of Mays, Mantle, Aaron, Frank Robinson, Bonds before his head grew, Griffey, Rickey and Beltran and a half dozen others.

But what I saw of him playing on a regular basis said he didn't play the game with the equal motivation everyday. Adn


when his skills eroded and he no longer was a magical second baseman, he didn't care about his performance.

I have been stunned by the silly proposals that others - besides BBWAA members of 10-year standing - should vote or even replace us as the electorate.

Well, since a lot of you are stupid, I don't think that should be stunning. Then again, if you're stupid like Marty seems to be, you might be stunned by just about anything that makes sense.

No sports hall of fame has prestige remotely close to that of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Questionable assertion.

How do you all suppose that came to pass? To a great degree the prestige is a result of the way BBWAA members have voted - with two discerning eyes open wide and with objectivity.

Right, because "he wasn't trying hard" is an objective determination.

We have elected merely 109 players over the years.

Not every House, Hall and Hanebrink -- Tom, Dick and Harry - even appears on the BBWAA ballot, and players of high quality - Vada Pinson, Steve Busby, Ted Simmons, Mike Cuellar, Dan Quisenberry, Robin Ventura and Keith Hernandez - often disappear from the ballots after few years. We are a discriminating group. I can't explain and won't defend votes for David Segui or, a few years back, Jim Deshaies. But those sorts of votes are in the tiny minority.

Not voting for Alomar or Henderson on their first ballot is roughly as stupid.

The undeserving seldom gain election by the BBWAA vote. And if a candidate waiting one year in some way assures that result, then let him wait and hope he handles it as Kiner did, with class and without whining.


Some have endorsed the idea of having the Hall of Famers themselves vote. Has anyone noticed how few candidates they elect now that they do have a second-look say? Once they have gained the elite status they are of a mind to maintain it.

But it's a good thing the writers are so discerning, as we just learned.

I've distributed and collected the ballots of players who've been asked to vote All-Star teams for The Sporting News, and I've heard their arguments about Hall of Fame candidacy. The Hall would need a new wing every other year if players voted.

No one is suggesting that. It would definitely be a terrible idea though.

Good players who work diligently at their craft often are on players' unsent ballots. If effort were enough, Mookie Wilson, Juan Pierre and Jay Payton would be in the Hall. Friends and players who have succumbed to injury would be too.

And those who have their noses pressed against their computer screens and think VORP is a valid means of measuring a player's performance

Pwned. Pwnpwnpwnpwnpwnpwn. Got a comeback for that one, nerdy nerds? Way to think that a statistic which measures how much better a player is than bad players is legitimate in ANY way. NERDS. (Not that I'm the biggest SABR advocate ever- in fact, the FanGraphs crowd annoys me more often than they make me nod along in agreement- but I really don't think it's unreasonable to attach the adjective "valid" to VORP.)

ought to get a life and a credential that would allow them to see and hear the game up close.

So you can hang out with the Marty Nobles of the world and REALLY see how dumb many sportswriters are.

Then determine the players whose numbers actually contribute to winning and those who are equipped only add the next run in a 15-3 game.

Again, like he just said- writers only use objective standards to evaluate players.

And, while they're at it, they ought to take a breath.

Of delicious basement air.

Alomar's close enough to the Hall to grab the doorknob. That he's not already shoulder to shoulder with Andre Dawson is his own doing, not the fault of the electorate.

Just as it wasn't the ref's fault that the US didn't win their game against Slovenia- it was their own fault for going down 2-0 in the first place. And when someone breaks into your car to steal your stereo, that's not their fault- it's yours for parking there and having a stereo in the first place. And if a restaurant screws up your order? Not the waiter's fault- your fault for ordering the wrong thing. Etc., etc. Anyone who actually thinks this way should find the nearest street and jump in front of the first bus they see. "Fault" isn't quite the right word, but yes, Marty- it is the "fault" of mouth-breathers like you that Alomar isn't in the hall yet. You're too busy taking pointless holier-than-thou stances on irrelevant issues to just elect the best players. It's cute that the guidance manual says that you should consider character, but I have a hard time believing that whoever wrote that line intended it to be used to keep a guy with 10+ great seasons out for a year because he lost his cool and quasi-assaulted an ump once. Good fucking grief.

I hate baseball writers more than anything else in the world.


rich said...

His inclusion on the next ballot is certain.

So... um... why exactly is Marty getting so worked up about fans being upset? If he's a "certain" hall of famer, why don't you just, you know, vote him in and stop being a bitch about it?

This is like being told that you're going to be able to have sex with Megan Fox, but you have to wait a year to do it because you melted some crayons back when you were six. Once it happens, no one cares about the wait, so just make it happen you dipshit.

integrity and character

A quick look at Dave Parker's wikipedia page mentions cocaine use and weight as reasons why he started to play poorly. Alomar has to wait a year because he spat once and seemed disinterested. Parker got voted for despite regular drug use and weight problems (disinterest). Maybe that's why Parker had to wait until his 12th ballot to get Marty's vote.

Biggus Rickus said...

In fairness, the rules of HOF voting do include a character clause. However, not voting for a guy one year when you plan to vote for him the next is fucking absurd. Either his transgressions warrant denying his inclusion entirely or they don't. What difference does a year make if you're ultimately going to include him?

Also, the appeal to authority by sports writers is maybe the most annoying thing they do. "I've been in the locker room. I've smelled the sweat, heard the off-color jokes, saw some naked dudes. You just can't understand if you haven't seen a main in all of his naked glory." Just stop it sports writers. The behind-the-scenes might help inform your decisions, but ultimately I can learn more from baseball reference than your anecdotal bullshit.

Chris W said...

Dave Parker was an incredible asshole and (as rich pointed out) basically derailed his career because of cocaine. But he never spit on an ump once when the ump called him a cocksucker!

Anyway, I think you might be underrating Parker a little bit Larry. This guy's a moron, but Parker as a HOFer isn't absurd. The guy did end up with 2700 hits and a 120 OPS+--which wouldn't be that incredible, but the fact of the matter was most people thought he was the greatest player in baseball for about 4 years in the 1970's--offensively and defensively--before the Bolivian Marching Powder took over.

Certainly he doesn't belong before Alomar and Blyleven (or Edgar, Dick Allen, Ron Santo, Bobby Grich, Minnie Minoso, Billy Pierce, Rock Raines, etc.) but he's not a terrible HOFer, imo.

Chris W said...

also, I had to comment on this

1.) Homeboy argues that Alomar didn't always give his best effort.

Guess what--games he didn't give his best effort still count in the stats sheet and the MVP and ASG voting. And Alomar giving effort in 2 out of 3 of his games (supposedly) is still better than 75% of 2B in the HOF

2.) Traditional "statboys think vorp-a-dorp is da way to say da player is good"

Well, that would be a reasonable argument (well, no it wouldn't) if we were talking about a Bobby Grich or Jack Clark whose value shows up best in advanced stats. Last I checked

a.) Career batting average of .300
b.) 2724 hits
c.) 474 stolen bases
d.) 13 straight all star games
e.) 10 gold gloves
f.) 4 top 10 MVP finishes
g.) 1508 runs scored

are about the exact opposite of advanced stats. I guarantee you if this chotchsack were making the case why Ryne Sandburg was better than Robbie (he isn't) he would use these exact same stats (but include HR instead of BA). "But it's the vorpies! the vorpies who'll never get herpies because they can't taste the sweet embrace of a woman while talking to underwear clad players in the clubhouse whilst breathing the smells of the game of BASEBALL!"

Jack M said...

This guy is a total ponce.

Anonymous said...

The problem isnt his failure to vote for Alomar this year; it's his failure to vote for Alomar this year while acknowleding he's going to vote for him next year. That's just being strident for the sake of being strident. And it's dumb. Also, Dave Parker????

Tonus said...

Idiots like this guy are the reason that the Hall of Fame is such a mess.

Adam said...

1. So this Marty Noble guy covered the Mets for like 30 years. I know Almomar played a couple years with the Mets when he was old, but how many times do you think Marty watched Robbie play in person when he was at his HOF prime? MAYBE if we was at all WS games he was in that's still only like 10 games. This is one reason why stats matter. Nobody can watch every player in every game over a 10-15 period.

2. It seems like he is trying to argue that people are overlooking his conduct just because it happened during a game instead of having real life consequences. I would argue that the only reason people even remember he spat on an umpire is because dumbass baseball writers complaining about integrity of the game and bullshit like that. If Alomar had spit on a cop, I think a lot less people would remember or care.

3. One day I hope to go to the Baseball Hall of Gentlemen located in DEREK JETER's house.

Kurtis said...

Why the animosity toward Dave Parker? Parker had a very good career, won one MVP award, finished second in voting in 1985 and finished in the top five three other times. I thought he was far more deserving than Andre Dawson.

Also, you lost all credibility when you mentioned Blyleven. That guy was never even close to being a great pitcher. He was good and won a lot of games because he played a long, long time. Since when does playing a long time as a good player = great? Would you also endorse Jamie Moyer for the Hall of Fame?

Biggus Rickus said...

Dave Parker and Andre Dawson are almost the same player, and neither should be in the Hall.

As for Blyleven, he is so clearly deserving it's not even funny. He is punished because he played on a lot of awful teams, which kept him from winning 300 games. The fact that he ranks 5th in strikeouts all-time alone should put him in (a point I'm ripping off from Joe Posnanski). 16 pitchers in the history of major league baseball have struck out 3,000 batters, and he's one. He also has a career 3.31 ERA, a 118 ERA+ (which is only very good honestly), a career WHIP of 1.198 and so on and so forth. If he'd gotten adequate run support in about one extra game every other season he'd be a no-brainer for everyone.
And if you're into postseason clutchiosity, he was 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA in 8 Games (6 Starts). To compare him to Jamie Moyer whose stats are worse across the board and 20 fewer wins in two more seasons (not that wins are a good stat) is fucking insane.

Chris W said...

Andre Dawson SHOULD be in the hall man. Andre Dawson was a great player. He certainly shouldn't have been the first to go in of all the players remaining but I mean just because he did one thing poorly (get on base) doesn't erase all the other things he did excellently for many years. One of the best power and speed players in history.

Biggus Rickus said...

Eh, he strikes me as the exact kind of player who is almost, but not quite good enough to get in. He was awesome at power and speed before the injuries hit him, but he just didn't last long enough. So his power doesn't make up for his deficiencies in getting on base, which is the primary job of a hitter.

If he belongs, then you have to think strongly about putting somebody like Dale Murphy in, who from '80-'87 was maybe the best player in baseball. And, much as I love me some Dale Murphy, I don't think he belongs in either.

Adam said...


Not only did Dawson not do it for long enough as Rick said, you are trying to put somebody in the Hall for their skills, tools, or athletic ability rather than how good they actually were at baseball. If you do that you could justify any number of reasons for voting somebody in. "Hey let's put in Joel Zumaya and Mark Wohlers because they have the hardest fastball in history" Dawson was an exciting player, but wasn't that special. Look at some of the numbers put up by guys like Bobby Bonds, Eric Davis, and Alfonso Soriano before they hit their early 30s. They don't belong in the Hall of Fame and neither does Dawson.

Dawson is mostly known for winning the MVP on a last place team in 1987. Interestingly enough, Eric Davis hit 37 HR and stole 50 bases with a .399 OBP/.991 OPS the same year Dawson won his dubious MVP. Dale Murphy also put up a cool 44 HR .997 OPS year.