Been working on a post about Jonah Keri's MLB trade value rankings, but it's not done, so I thought I'd share this tonight. Holy ballsack, there is no way Rick Reilly wrote the first 95% of this. You can bet your bottom dollar he wrote the last 5% though--particularly the last sentence. You'll see. Most of this is so inoffensive (and at times, even dryly funny) that I can present it with very minimal comment. The subject matter: while HOF voters are taking idiotic (and often completely unfounded; Bagwell, Biggio, and more to come) stances regarding players who are allegedly tied to PEDs, the expansion era committee voters happily sent in three managers who managed several of STEROID HISTORY'S GREATEST MONSTERS for extended periods of time. Although the two voting bodies consist of different people, that's fucking dumb, no?
I'm so pumped up for next July in Cooperstown!
I can't wait to see who's going to be in the crowd at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony for new members Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre.
Maybe Mark McGwire will show up? It might be as close as he'll ever get. La Russa managed him for 15 seasons in both Oakland and St. Louis and says he never saw McGwire do a single steroid. Imagine that.
Maybe Alex Rodriguez will attend? He probably won't get in, either. Former New York Yankees skipper Torre says he didn't even notice A-Roid's alleged PED use in the four years he managed him. A-Roid's got plenty of time to go to Cooperstown. He's appealing a 211-game suspension for PEDs. Torre? No ban for him. In fact, he's an executive vice president of Major League Baseball now.
Maybe former Atlanta Braves manager Cox will look out in the crowd to see his old star Gary Sheffield. Probably not. Cox says he never saw all the PEDs Sheffield was taking when he had him right under his nose in the Atlanta clubhouse.
In all, the three managers being inducted oversaw at least 34 players who've been implicated as PED users and never noticed a thing wrong.
Now this isn't entirely fair. It's not like any of these managers have (to my knowledge) gone on record and swore that they never once ever suspected any of their players ever took any steroids ever ever cross my heart and hope to die on a stack of Bibles. But the general point here is 100% fair--the national media and a good chunk of baseball's fanbase have spent the last 15 years getting preachy and angry about steroid use. It's escalated during the course of the last 5 or so years to a fever pitch. It's probably not going away anytime soon. So given that the role of a manager is to know his players inside and out so he can put them in the best possible position to succeed on the field, how is there zero outrage directed at these guys? I'm not saying that steroidmongers should treat managers exactly the same as they treat players. I'm saying, given that there are dozens of writers and hundreds of thousands of fans bursting with moral indignation at the idea of guys like Clemens and Bonds getting into the HOF, why hasn't there been ANY discussion at all on the national level about the role managers played in enabling steroid use?
You could build a wing with the admitted and suspected drug cheats they won with: A-Rod, Roger Clemens (Torre), Jason Giambi (Torre and La Russa), McGwire, Jose Canseco (La Russa), Melky Cabrera (Torre and Cox), David Justice (Torre and Cox), Andy Pettite (Torre), Manny Ramirez (Torre with the Dodgers) and Sheffield (Torre and Cox.)
If we get really lucky, maybe disgraced HGH pitcher Darren Holmes will show up. He played under all three of them!
It's just another year in the Hall of Farce,
Hail The Great Enablers!
La Russa's slipping on the Hall of Fame jersey Monday is the sight that really tested my gag reflex. He did more for juicers than Jack LaLanne.
Under La Russa, the Oakland clubhouse became a kind of leather-upholstered showroom for creams, rubs and injections that allowed players to work out harder, recover quicker and attack the game like a wolf in a hen house. It didn't change much in St. Louis, either, where he says he didn't notice what McGwire, Troy Glaus, Fernando Vina and Ryan Franklin were doing.
He spent eight hours a day around these guys, eight months a year, and yet he never saw a thing. Maybe he dressed in a different clubhouse?
But he goes into the HOF and those players never will. Maybe he can send them some Instagrams.
Hey, you think any of the three skips will mention how PEDS helped them get to that sunny afternoon in Cooperstown?
Oh, and I can't forget to thank Katalina at Tijuana Pharmacy for all her help. Like my players always said, "We can't get cut without Kat!"
You won't even have to be in Cooperstown to smell the hypocrisy. Even the faintest scent of a rumor of PED use is enough to sink a player now.
Take Houston Astros great Craig Biggio. He had more than enough career to get in, and even though there isn't a stitch of evidence against him, the writers have kept him out because they have a niggling hunch he might've used.
Again, the BBWAA is not responsible for the election of these managers, but the broader point is absolutely worth talking about. Currently, the discussion about steroid use by subtopic is split up as follows: 90% players, 5% MLB itself, 5% owners. Managers need a chunk of that pie. A pretty big one. (Obviously the owners and league could also stand to gain at least twenty percentage points as well.)
Can you imagine this in any other sport? Do you think for a second Johan Bruyneel, the manager of all of Lance Armstrong's cheating, champion Tour de France teams, didn't know what was going on? You figure Bonnie and Clyde's driver just thought they were always running late?
Next month, the writers are expected to vote down McGwire for the eighth time and Clemens for the second time.
Jesus. That's so disappointing. Just please don't finish with one of your signature horrendous one liners--