Monday, December 29, 2014

Dan Shaughnessy will see Murray Chass's stupidity, raise him lots more stupidity

I'll bet you thought this blog was dead.  Nope, not yet.  It's dying, true, but it's dying reeeeally slowly.  I don't think I'll stop posting entirely for another 15 years or so.  Anyways, back to the HOF articles, because like I said before, it's the most wonderful time of the year for bad sportswriting.  Apparently Dan saw what Murray did and was like "Fuck that, he's barely even trying.  I can top that in half the word count."

More than a quarter of a century after getting my first ballot,

And around 24 years after I should have stopped getting one,

the Hall of Fame selection progress just keeps getting more challenging.

Each year I say to myself, "How antagonize people who actually use their brains even more than I antagonized them last year?"

Wednesday my ballot will be mailed with boxes checked next to the names of Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Curt Schilling, Tim Raines, and Alan Trammell.

Big ups to him for voting for Raines and Trammell.  Big downs to him for everything else in this article or that he's ever done since entering the workforce.

This means I am not voting for (among others on the ballot), Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, Larry Walker, Lee Smith, Carlos Delgado, and Nomar Garciaparra. Oh, and I also am not voting for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Gary Sheffield, Mike Piazza, and Jeff Bagwell.

To be fair about one of my earlier jokes, if he were trying to be even more worthless than Chass in half the words, obviously he wouldn't have bothered to write those sentences.

Six votes. I think it’s a personal high.


Yikes. Imagine going into a seven-game series with a roster of the guys I’m not voting for: Piazza behind the plate. An infield of McGwire, Biggio, Nomar, and Bagwell. An outfield of Bonds, Sosa, and Sheffield. Edgar at DH. Clemens on the mound. Lee Smith in the bullpen. Mussina ready to pitch Game 2. Who wouldn’t take their chances with that team against any team?

Where are you going?  Are you lost?  Do you need help?  Did you actually attend college and take any courses in writing or critical thinking?

So let it rip. Bring on the hate. 

Yeah, I mean, we can't rule out the idea that this is merely a troll act designed to increase pageviews.  (If that is the case, I sincerely hope he put at least Biggio and Mussina on his ballot, if not some of the other deserving guys from his obviously "not steroid users" list above.)

Bring on the humiliation.

Oh, it's here.

Bring on the blogboy outrage. 

Needs more reference to basements and virginity.

Bring on the analytic arrogance. 

"Bring on the people that use numbers to make arguments about how good people were at a quantifiable activity."

Bring on the PED Hall Pass. 

Hall of SHAME if you ask me.

It’s a tradition like no other.

Yes, the Masters Tournament certainly is.

Voting for the Hall is a great privilege. It’s the most important function of the vast lodge

of cuntrags

known as the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Some newspapers don’t allow their writers to vote. 

I have no idea what those papers' logic for that regulation might be, but no matter how misguided, they're probably doing baseball fans everywhere a favor.

Thankfully, the Globe still lets us participate. Still, it has become almost impossible to be consistent with this ballot.

Yeah, if you're a fucking idiot, I agree that it might be hard to apply a consistent standard to guys who all played the exact same game under substantially the exact same rules over time.

Voters in this election are baseball writers who were on the beat for at least 10 consecutive seasons. There are approximately 570 voters. 


We are allowed to vote for no more than 10 players. 

Or six, as the case may be.

Players are not eligible until five years after they retire. A candidate must be selected on three-quarters (75 percent) of all votes cast to walk into Cooperstown next July.

Thanks, Wikipedia!

In my view, Pedro, Johnson, Smoltz and Biggio will be announced as new Hall members on Jan. 6.

Which is exactly why he CAN'T vote for Biggio.

None will be unanimous. No one has ever been a unanimous selection. You cannot get 570 baseball writers to agree that the earth is round. 

Because at least twenty of them legitimately don't understand that fact.  IF IT'S ROUND WHY DON'T WE FALL OFF OF IT?????

Since no one has been elected unanimously, some voters withhold to keep that stupid record intact. 

If you're wondering whether he'll explain why he's not voting for Biggio, don't worry, he will, and it's awesome.

Brother Bob Ryan addressed this thinking nicely in a Nov. 30 Globe column. Look it up.

No thanks!

So don’t expect Pedro to be unanimous. 


His win total of 219 (accompanied by a mere 100 losses) will put off some voters, but Pedro (three Cy Young awards) should come in well north of 90 percent. Johnson is a 300-game winner (always Hall-worthy, unless you cheated), won five Cy Youngs, and ranks second lifetime in strikeouts (behind Nolan Ryan). Johnson is a lock. Smoltz gets in because he’s the only pitcher with 200 wins (213) and 150 saves (154) and he went 15-4 in the postseason. 

Totally fair.  Of course Mussina's 270 wins, a 123 ERA+ and 83 WAR (one fewer than Pedro, and more than Ryan or Tom Glavine) gets left out, but he'll cover that with spectacular idiocy below.

Biggio missed by only two votes last year. He has 3,000 hits, four gold gloves, and almost 300 homers. I would put him in the Hall of Very Good (only one 200-hit season), 


That's great.  Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron?  Three 200 hit seasons a piece.  I guess those two extra seasons where they exceeded a totally unimportant threshold that Biggio only exceeded once are the difference between being among the best ever and being in the Hall of Very Good.  On the other hand, Beantown legend Carl Yastrzemski NEVER had a 200 hit season.  Neither did Eddie Mathews or the greatest leadoff hitter of all time, Rickey Henderson.  REVOKE THEIR ADMISSION, BWAA.  HAVE YOU NO SHAME?

but that won’t matter. He’s going in. This year.

In spite.  Of my assholish.  Refusal to vote for him.

Raines and Trammell are problematic and I am guilty of inconsistency with their candidacies.

That's OK, Dan.  Even Mother Teresa wasn't perfect.

Raines was a rare combination of power (170 homers) and speed (808 steals). He had six 100-run seasons. Trammell is going to be off the ballot soon, and won’t make the Hall with the BBWAA, but there’s lots of value in a shortstop who hit .300 seven times, won four Gold Gloves, and should have been MVP (he lost to George Bell) in 1987.

Bringing up the MVP reminds me of that great post the other FJM did about Colin Cowherd yelling that anyone who won that award even once should be in the hall.

Schilling also is borderline. He won 216 games compared with 270 for Mussina. But Schill gets this vote because he went 11-2 in the postseason and was one of the great strike machines in baseball history. Who would you want on the mound in a big game — Mussina or Schill?

I know, right?  You can't vote for both.  It's not allowed.  Meanwhile, to answer that question, I dug around and found this one time that they opposed each other as starting pitchers.  Who would you have wanted on the mound in that game?  I have no clue what happened in their other matchups (if other matchups exist), but I think this one game sample answers the question for me.

The Roids Boys are the greatest burden on voters. 

Oh, woe is you!  Such a burden!  Keep pushing that rock up that hill, Sisyphus!

Some voters don’t care. Some cherry-pick the cheaters. 

You mean like if they wanted to vote for Bonds, because he was one of the best ever, but not for Sosa, because he really wasn't all that great?  How dare they!

Some turn away from anything that even looks dirty.

Like you, by designating Bagwell and Piazza as cheaters!

Withholding votes for guys who cheated and guys who look like they cheated is unfortunate, sometimes unfair, and almost impossible to impose consistently.

This is correct.  He has walked to the door of logic that has awareness and enlightenment on the other side.  All he has to do to pass through is realize that since it's so hard to impose this kind of thing consistently, maybe you should just vote for the guys who have HOF numbers and not vote for the guys who don't.  Unfortunately, he can't find the knob.

Objection to the Roids Boys is gradually eroding. As years pass and new voters replace older voters, it is likely there will be increased leniency. Each year there are more voters who don’t care about PEDs. The thinking becomes, “This was the era. They were all doing it.’’ Or, “Bonds and Clemens were already Hall of Famers before they started cheating.’’

The first one of those two justifications is flippant and not a great way to go about making voting decisions (although is also a truism that shouldn't be ignored).  The second one of those two justifications is a perfectly good way to go about making voting decisions, and it would be great if mouth breathers like Dan used it.

Sorry, I am not there. No votes for guys caught using. 

Fine, but Bagwell and Piazza--

And worse — no votes for guys who just don’t look right. Bagwell and Piazza are the two players most penalized for this arbitrary crime. By any statistical measurement, Bagwell and Piazza are first-ballot Hall of Famers, yet their vote totals (62 percent for Piazza last year, 54 percent for Bagwell) remain considerably lower than their résumés merit.

Thanks to shiteaters like you.

This was a lot more fun when it was just Trammell vs. Biggio, Schilling vs. Mussina, or Jim Kaat vs. Don Drysdale. When it was about baseball.

Yeah!  Who in the world ever decided to make it about something other than baseball????  Could it be... the moralizing chodes in the BWAA?  Why yes, I think that might be correct!

At this point in writing this article, I guess he realized that some kids were playing on his lawn, so he decided to wrap it up rather abruptly.

Happily, none of the bad stuff ever touched Pedro. Long after the votes are counted and the arguments subside, Cooperstown in July is going to be a Boston baseball party.

And there you go.  That's the only conclusion you get, dedicated Shaughnessy readers.  I'm glad we settled the whole steroid user/suspected steroid user debate though.  That was fun.

Six votes!  A personal record!  Good for Dan.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Here's something that doesn't suck

Normally I just link when I do a "something that doesn't suck" post, but this was ESPN Insider, so I'm posting it in full.  What you need to know is this: Buster Olney sometimes has dumb ideas.  This time, he has a really, really smart idea.

Mike Mussina spent each of his 18 seasons in the most treacherous waters pitchers have ever faced, among the whitecaps of what will always be remembered as an era of rampant steroid use -- and in the offense-rich American League East, no less. He was a fly ball pitcher who called two homer-happy ballparks -- Camden Yards and Yankee Stadium -- his home during his career.

It’s as if he navigated his way daily through one of those monstrous marble-hard golf courses in Scotland covered with bunkers that have names (such as St. Andrews' Road Hole Bunker), as compared to the Executive Par-3s of 2014. In 2000, Mussina’s last season with the Orioles, 47 hitters mashed 30 or more homers; in 2014, only 11 batters reached 30 homers.

Mussina finished his career with a 3.68 ERA and is 19th all time in strikeouts. He also is 24th in WAR among pitchers, and most of the guys ahead of him on the list are in the Hall of Fame. 

A park-independent stat would help (ERA+ of 123), but yeah, Mussina is a HOFer for sure.  UNLESS HE HAD BACKNE.

But his chances for induction will improve slightly this year because I’m abstaining from the voting for the first time, and won’t submit a ballot. The same is true for Curt Schilling, and Tim Raines, and at least two others who I think should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

Also both HOFers.  And I'm sure you all understand why Olney isn't voting, but I'll let him explain it.

To repeat: I think Mussina, Schilling and Raines and others are Hall of Famers, but it’s better for their candidacy if I don’t cast a ballot.

If that sounds backward, well, that’s how the Hall of Fame voting has evolved, squeezed between rules that badly need to be updated and the progression of the candidates linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The process needs to be pruned to allow voters to get back to answering a simple question about each candidate: Was his career worthy of the Hall of Fame?

How novel.  It's almost like, let's just put the best players in the hall (allowing for disagreement re: steroid users; that's not even why I'm posting this, even though Olney agrees with me), instead of making some guys wait because fuck you I'm a self-important sportswriter, or not voting for guys like Rickey Henderson on the first ballot because no one's ever been unanimous, or whatever.  Christ.  Baseball writers are the worst people on earth (besides NFL-only fanboys).

When I started covering Major League Baseball, getting the opportunity to participate in the Hall of Fame voting was something to really look forward to, a nice carrot through the long days of spring training, the travel delays of the summer and extra-inning games. 

Well now you're just mocking those of us with regular shitty jobs.

After being a member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America for 10 years, receiving a blank Hall of Fame ballot for the first time, with voting instructions and pages of notes on each candidate also in the envelope, carried the same excitement as receiving a thick college admission letter.

So it's incredible that declining to cast a ballot is even a consideration. But in light of where we are, it seems like the right thing to do for the candidates involved, until the rules are adjusted.

For years, the rule that each writer can vote for no more than 10 candidates was probably irrelevant; it certainly was for me, given that I usually voted for anywhere from four to seven players. It's not clear why the "Rule of 10" was put in place, but I suspect it was originally designed to prevent writers from flooding their ballots with names of players who had no chance of being elected, just so they could report to their buddy that they had voted for them.

Christ.  Baseball writers are the worst people on earth (besides NFL-only fanboys).

A decade ago, nobody could have anticipated the quandary that has developed because of this rule, and because of the debate surrounding the steroid-era candidates.

Mark McGwire first appeared on the ballot in December 2006, five years after he retired, and he became the first real test case for what the voters would do with players either directly linked with performance-enhancing drugs or suspected of doing them.

As written in this space many times, I think all players should be judged within the context of the era in which they played, 

I'd like to burn that last phrase into Murray Chass's lawn.  Sadly, I won't be able to do that, because it's a crime, and because I don't know where he lives.

and during McGwire's career, the sport was saturated with performance-enhancing drugs, largely because over the period of about 15 years, no one within the institution of baseball -- not the union leaders, not MLB owners, not the commissioner, not the clean players, nor the media that covered the sport -- 


aggressively addressed the growing problem. 

Good thing Tony La Russa was triumphantly inducted into the HOF last summer!  Now there's a guy who is in no way linked to PEDs.

Through that inaction, what evolved was a chemical Frankenstein of a game. Like it or not, that's what the sport was in that time: no drug testing, lots of drug use, lots of drug users, lots of money being made by everybody. (And by the way, no team, baseball executive or player has offered to give back the money made in that time.) 

And this is why park- and era-adjusted stats are so useful--we can tell from McGwire's 163 OPS+ that even in an era when everyone and their brother was hitting 25 HRs per season, he was still way way way above and beyond most other players.  (I think he's a fringe HOFer, though; just 64 WAR, probably not on an HOF track when he started using.)

The idea of retroactive morality is ridiculous, 

I would also like to burn that into Chass's lawn.

especially given that the folks in the sport had a strong idea by the mid-'90s that there was a growing problem and nobody did anything about it. Here's Jose Canseco being asked about his steroid use on national television before the 1988 playoffs, right after Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson was stripped of his gold medal. And here's a Bob Nightengale story from 1995 in which then-interim commissioner Bud Selig was asked about the problem, and made mention of a "private meeting" the year before. Yet serious testing and penalties really weren't in place until 2006.

McGwire was a star during that time, with 583 homers, including his record-setting 70 homers in 1998, so I voted for him. That was a minority opinion, for sure: 23.5 percent of the 545 voters cast ballots for him, far short of the 75 percent needed for induction, but more than the 5 percent required to remain on the ballot. The McGwire test case continued, however, because his candidacy carried over to the next ballot, and so did that of Rafael Palmeiro and others, until they became stacked up like planes on a runway, their Hall of Fame situation stuck in a weird sort of purgatory.

This is how the rule that limits writers to 10 players became a serious problem. Roger Clemens became eligible, and Barry Bonds. Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza also hit the ballot, and while there is no indisputable evidence of steroid use by those two as there is for Palmeiro, who was suspended in 2005 after a positive test, a high number of voters apparently withheld votes for them because of suspicion of PED use. The career numbers for Bagwell and Piazza are overwhelmingly worthy for Hall of Fame election, but Bagwell has never finished higher than 59.6 percent in his four years on the ballot; Piazza, the all-time leader in homers for catchers, got only 57.8 percent of the vote in his first year.

If McGwire, Palmeiro and Sosa never make it, that's fine with me.  Bonds I will be more upset about, although it'll be annoying.  But fucking fuck, if Bagwell and Piazza never make it, I'm going to go to Cooperstown just to take a piss on that building.  Christ.  Baseball writers are the worst people on earth (besides NFL-only fanboys).

So the list of serious candidates grew well beyond 10 spots. Last year I counted 17 players I thought were Hall of Fame-worthy, from Greg Maddux to Tom Glavine to Craig Biggio. But because of the Rule of 10, I had to leave off seven players who I believe are of Hall of Fame caliber. That included Mussina, Schilling and Raines. For the first time since McGwire became eligible, I didn't cast a vote for him.

The way I picked among the 17 was to rank them in order among the first nine, from the best player on down, regardless of the PED question. I also included Jack Morris, who was in his last year of eligibility; I wanted to give Morris a fair last shot with my ballot, knowing that Mussina, Raines, Schilling and Jeff Kent probably would get enough votes to stay on the ballot for this winter.

Morris got his fair shot during his mediocre career, and during the previous 14 years.  But whatever.  This is all mostly reasonable.

But really, that didn't seem right, because there's nothing in the voting rules that suggest I should weigh the candidates against each other, or must consider the landscape of the ballot. There is no guidance for picking 10 players from a 17-man field of worthy candidates. There is only this:

"Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played."

That's actually more complex than I thought it was.  That's a lot of criteria.  You could elect Jeter based on any one of them!  Especially integrity, or something!

The practical reality was that I wasn't deciding on whether to vote for Mussina based on career performance. My vote was predicated entirely on his standing among an extraordinary volume of candidates, from Maddux to Glavine to Bonds to Piazza to Frank Thomas. (Let's again dismiss the notion that the "character" was ever used by writers as a serious criterion for election before McGwire's name appeared on the 2007 ballot. We all know the stories about some of the racists, alleged cheats, drunkards and PED users who already are in the Hall of Fame.)

If that commenter from last week who made the slavery argument wants to come back and discuss that analogy further, I encourage him/her to do so.

And while I think Schilling and Mussina are Hall of Fame-worthy, my ballot hurt them. My ballot counted against their percentage. Five hundred seventy-one voters cast ballots last year, and my ballot was among the 450 that didn't have Mussina included, which lowered his percentage.

That makes no sense. 


Christ.  Baseball writers are the worst people on earth (besides NFL-only fanboys).

The Rule of 10 seemed to factor heavily in the voting last year, dragging down the vote percentages for everyone from Morris to Clemens to Alan Trammell, whose numbers plummeted from 33.6 percent of the vote to just 20.6 percent. Clearly Trammell wasn't being judged based on his career; he lost votes last winter because of the choices made under the Rule of 10. 

Poor Trammell.  I'm sure White Sox fan Chris W feels the same way.

Maddux was a slam-dunk candidate after posting 355 career wins and four Cy Young Awards, 

BUT DID YOU BUY A TICKET TO WATCH HIM PLAY???????????  -stupid baseball writers

Christ.  Baseball writers are the worst people on earth (besides NFL-only fanboys).

but he was left off 16 ballots entirely. I don't know who all of those 16 were, but a couple of writers mentioned to me privately that in dealing with the confines of the ballot limit, they thought about not voting for Maddux and Glavine, knowing that they'd probably get in anyway. It would be a shame to think that Maddux lost any votes because of the Rule of 10 problem.

I'm sure he did, as well as the "we can't vote anyone in unanimously because DURRRR" problem.

Christ.  Baseball writers are the worst people on earth (besides NFL-only fanboys).

During the summer, the Hall of Fame adjusted some of its rules. Voters are now required to register to receive a ballot, writers can lose the right to vote, 


and players could remain on the ballot for a shorter period of time.

Surprisingly, however, the Rule of 10 was not altered. The same impossible math remains: I'm counting 15 worthy candidates right now for those 10 spots. Other writers are telling me they see anywhere from 12 to 20 worthy candidates, which means that in their eyes, they'll be leaving players they feel are Hall of Fame-worthy off their ballots. It means that as great as Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez were -- both should be unanimous, in light of their accomplishments -- they might lose votes as writers struggle with the question of how to deal with the ballot guideline that seems completely arbitrary. (Why not a ballot limit of 11? Why not 12? Why not eight? Why not six? Is it 10 only because it's a round number?) 

Since this was written a week ago, they have bumped it to 12.  Obviously the problem is now fixed, just like how the NFL fixed the totally idiotic fact that there are still ties by really really really mildly tweaking the regular season OT rules a couple years ago.  WE'VE GOT A GOLDEN GOOSE HERE, BOYS.  LET'S NOT MAKE A SENSIBLE RULE CHANGE AND RISK KILLING IT WHILE IT'S LAYING THESE GOLDEN EGGS.

Christ.  NFL owners are the worst people on earth (besides baseball writers and NFL-only fanboys).

Maybe I should've figured it out last year, but this puzzle cannot be solved. There's no way to judge each candidate strictly on his merits given the current ballot limitations, no fair way to vote.

I can't stand the protest ballots we've seen in the past, when someone signs a blank ballot that counts as a vote against all candidates. That's unfair. 

Someone, please fire this asshole and take away his ballot (and possibly his children, if he has any).

I've hated to hear the stories of voters who haven't voted for a player because they didn't like them personally. 

Baseball writers would never be so petty!  Don't be ridiculous!

The voting shouldn't be about the writer; it should be only about the players and whether they're worthy of induction.

You lost me there.  Please revisit that sentence, and figure out where backne fits in.

And I can't stand the idea of casting a ballot that works against players that I think should be inducted, such as Mussina, Schilling or others. So as much as it has been an honor in the past to participate in the voting, I'll abstain, and hope that in the future the rules change.

Christ.  You know the rest.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


By Murray Chass


It's the most wonderful time of the year for bad sportswriting!  Hall of Fame voting season!  

P.S.--I got this from Murray Chass's blog, because Murray Chass is a blogger who writes a blog.

(Before we begin, Simmons was back to his old tricks last weekend, going 5-11, yes that's right, 5-11, putting him at 59-61 on the season.  Dogs went 8-8, they are now 92-96.  Year of the Dog, Simmons is a dicktoaster, etc.)

Hear ye! hear ye! hear ye! 

I am listening!  Also, not sure if that's an olde tyme Englyshe thing there, but you should capitalize the first world of every sentence!

Barry Bonds deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, 


and he shall be elected to the Hall of Fame.

Maybe, maybe not.

Who makes such a proclamation? 

As to the first part of your sentence, everyone who follows baseball and isn't a wrinkled old puckering asshole.  As to the second part, probably Bonds himself.

Why none other than Bonds himself.

True, he is arrogant.  Fun fact: he is the only arrogant pro athlete who has ever lived, and he should be pilloried for it in the town square.  How dare he request enshrinement after the career he had?  Chass favorite Jim Rice, of course, was guilty of the same thing, but Rice is different, because he's not a CHEATING CHEATER and also he was NOT THAT GOOD AT BASEBALL.

In a typically arrogant and self-serving interview with an reporter who has long been a Bonds sycophant, Bonds said:

“I love Major League Baseball. I always have and I loved playing the game. I don’t have any doubts that I’ll get there in time. I’m bothered about it, but I don’t sit here going, ‘I’m not going to make it.’ I don’t see how it stays the way it’s going. In my mind, in my head, I’m a lot more positive about it than I am negative. I think eventually they’ll do the right thing.”

Wow, that's not even that arrogant.  That's more like "I like the idea of being in the HOF, so I picture myself being there, and I think voters will eventually elect me."  Old age has perhaps mellowed Barry's sociopathic ways.

And he said:

“I deserve to be there. Clemens deserves to be there. The guys that are supposed to be there are supposed to be there. Period. I don’t even know how to say it. We are Hall of Famers. Why are we having these conversations about it? Why are we talking about a baseball era that has come and gone?

OK, that's a lot more arrogant.  Barry needs some PR help.  Still, he's conservatively one of the twenty best hitters ever (if you take his career from start to 1999, when he allegedly started juicing--that's a mere 445 HR, 460 SB, a 163 OPS+, and 103 WAR--and then discount the numbers he put up from 2000 to 2007 against what you'd expect a non-user with his history to do during that period of his career).  So let's go ahead and put him in the Hall.  I probably hate Clemens even more than I hate Bonds, but he's conservatively one of the 20 best pitchers ever, so fuck it, let's put him in too.  Doesn't seem too complicated to me.

“Era, era, era. Do the best players in the game deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Yes. Everything that everyone has accomplished in baseball is in that book. Correct? So if that’s correct, then we need to be in there. End of story.”

Well, that's less arrogant than brutally realistic.  I can get with that.  Not a bad look on Barry.  Maybe he hired that PR person I was just talking about in between quotes.

Bonds referred to the baseball record book, not the excellent 2006 book “Game of Shadows” that tells you all you need to know about Bonds and performance-enhancing drugs.

Pictured: Murray Chass

But Bonds indeed is in the record book – for having hit the most home runs in a single season (73) and for having hit the most home runs in a career (762). He is there, on page 19 of The Elias Book of Baseball Records, because Major League Baseball has not amended his achievements.

Because doing so would be insultingly stupid to any baseball fan or player with a brain.  You know the reasons why.  I don't need to list them.  If I were to pick my favorite, it would probably be "And what do we do with guys who used amphetamines in the 70s and beyond?  Or the guys who used coke in the 80s and beyond?  What do we do with guys who aren't so easily proven to have used steroids?  What, Murray?  WHAT WHAT WHAT NOW GO LIVE IN THE MOUNTAINS SOMEWHERE AND DON'T BOTHER PEOPLE ANYMORE."

Seymour Siwoff, decades-long head of Elias Sports Bureau, explained why Bonds is there.

"God dammit, is that you again, Chass?  Stop calling me.    No, I know it's not Bud Selig.  I know it's you.  Stop."

“He wasn’t accused of anything,” Siwoff said in a telephone interview Saturday, then referring specifically to the 73 home runs Bonds hit in 2001 added, “When he did it, he wasn’t guilty of anything we knew of so he was put in. It was the record. I couldn’t dispute it.”

In retrospect, Siwoff said, “We know it’s a fraud. He never hit more than 49 home runs and he suddenly hits 73.”

As if the 73 is the only argument he has for enshrinement.

As for Bonds’ linking the record book and the Hall of Fame, Siwoff said, “The book has no bearing on the Hall of Fame.”

That's a good point (from a guy who doesn't seem to like Bonds), one that Chass immediately drops, because Chass is a shitty writer and a shittier logician.

Bonds is not in the Hall of Fame because in the two years he has been on the ballot, the voters – members of the Baseball Writers Association – 

A group as known for its intellectual prowess as professional athletes themselves--

have rejected his achievements, believing they were chemically aided.

Voting individually but collectively coming to the same conclusion, they have done that because they believe Bonds achieved his record numbers with the aid of performance-enhancing drugs.

They have also come to many other conclusions, like the idea that Jim Rice was a HOFer and Alan Trammell was not.  So.  Yeah.

[bunch of garbage about how Bonds and Sosa were totally using steroids skipped]

Like Bonds, Sosa eluded detection, but is any more circumstantial evidence needed? Convicts have been executed on less.

Ah, yes, executions: those are definitely something to hang your hat on in terms of "the authorities always get it right."

In an interview a couple of years before the recent one, the same reporter, Barry Bloom, quoted Bonds as saying about the Hall of Fame:

“You have to vote on baseball the way baseball needs to be voted on. If you vote on your assumptions or what you believe or what you think might have been going on there, that’s your problem. You’re at fault. It has nothing to do with what your opinion is. Period.

“If that’s the case, you better go way, way back and start thinking about your opinions. If that’s how you feel life should be run, I would say then you run your Hall of Fame the way you want to run your Hall of Fame. That’s what I think. That’s my personal opinion. If you want to do the Hall of Fame the way the Hall of Fame is supposed to be done, then you make the right decision on that. If you don’t, that’s on you. To stamp something on your assumptions, it doesn’t work for me.”

This article is like 25% quotes from Bonds, showing that he's kind of a jerk, and maybe in denial about the fact that everyone knows he used steroids.  OK, cool story.  It's only been told about 5,000 times in the last ten years.  I know you're a blogger, Chass, but let's start making some point or drawing some conclusions or something.

Bonds, I believe, uttered that mouthful before the voters judged him for the first time. 

You "believe?"  Does the interview have a fucking date on it or doesn't it?  Here, I'll Google.

/Larry B spends ten seconds copying and pasting a couple of those sentences into Google

August 6, 2012, which was before his first appearance on the ballot.  Do some fucking research for your blog, you dumb fucking hack. 

His words did not sway them. With 75 percent of the vote needed for election, Bonds received 36.2 percent, less than half. In his second appearance on the ballot last year, he fared even worse, dropping to 34.7 percent.

All of this is true.  Also true: last year's ballot was astonishingly stacked, and some of the socketfuckers in the BBWA have among their many unwritten HOF ballot rules "Don't vote for more than three guys even though you can vote for up to ten," so he probably lost some votes that way.  I'd be surprised if many voters who voted for or against him solely on his own merits/faults changed their mind between the 2013 and 2014 ballots.

The history of Hall of Fame voting shows that when players of star status appear for the first time, others on the ballot suffer. There’s no sensible logic to that because with 10 spots on the ballot, voters can vote for the super first-timers and still vote for others.

And yet they don't.  Look at this dolt who just revealed his ballot: he didn't vote for Randy Johnson.  Or John Smoltz.  Or Tim Raines.  Or Curt Schilling.  BBWA voters are the stupidest fucking people on earth.  They're stupider than NFL fanboys and fangirls.  Yes, I said it.

However, the ballot presence of Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine did not affect Bonds. If any of the writers wanted to ignore the PED allegations and put an X next to his name, they would have done it.

Foolproof logic.  WE KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE.  The HOF voting process is broken, and should be fixed, starting with sending Murray Chass on a one way trip to Jupiter.

It is always possible that something could happen that would catapult Bonds into the Hall of Fame, but he shouldn’t hold his breath. The voters generally have demonstrated their unwillingness to elect tainted players, and a huge bloc of them would have to change their stance.

Yeah, definitely no tainted players of any kind in the HOF.  None at all.  If you aren't pure as driven snow, you're out.  Just ask Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, etc.

The Hall’s board of directors has made Bonds’ task more difficult with a change in rules of eligibility that also applies to other candidates. Players will no longer be eligible for 15 years; the board has cut that period to 10 years.

That change leaves Bonds with 8 years of eligibility instead of 13, a significantly shorter period in which lightning could strike on Bonds’ behalf.

Give Murray this: he's got subtraction down pat.

The Hall’s board also knows that players already in the Hall object to being joined by players whose credentials includes PEDs. 

Let's send Goose Gossage on that one way trip to Jupiter, too, while we're at it.  Here's what I'd say: ask the guys in the HOF who played with and against Bonds if they want him in there.  Ask Tony Gwynn, Greg Maddux, etc.  See what they have to say.  I'm pretty confident I know how it would turn out.

Some members have gone so far as to say they would boycott induction ceremonies if steroids users are elected.


This far into the candidacy of PED players the Hall of Famers need have no fear of bad guys being elected. The decline in Bonds’ percentage of votes fits the pattern of voting for the most seriously challenged PED candidates. Their percentages have continued to drop, moving farther away from the 75 percent needed.

Yes, McGwire and Sosa and Palmeiro (off the ballot already) haven't fared well.  But here's the thing: add up the career WAR of those three guys--you get 172.0.  Bonds, on his own, had 162.4.  So there you go.

[Summary of the decline experienced by Clemens, McGwire, Sosa and Palmeiro skipped, because this is what we came for coming up next.  This is the good stuff.  This is the meat.]

Three other players on the ballot have resumes that are foggier than these five. 

Do tell--bring on the backne stories!

Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio have never been linked to steroids by anything other than news media mention, 

And we know how reliable those baseball writers are.  Why, take fringe one day-HOFer Todd Helton, a guy whose career arc couldn't scream much more emphatically "I DIDN'T DO STEROIDS."  Some asshole with a microphone decided to throw him under a bus once.  As a Rockies fan, I won't be furious if he never gets into the Hall (LOL COORZ FEELD), but I will go on a puppy punting spree if any writer dares to say "He was once linked to steroids by the baseball media..."

but in my view more time is needed to learn more about their past practices.

Like fucking what?  What the hell can we learn in the next however many years?  Should we wait for other players to out them?  Should we wait for Doc Brown and Marty McFly to show up and take you back to 1994, so you can see with your own eyes what those guys did in the locker room?

I voted for Bagwell on his first appearance on the ballot, when he received 41.7 percent of the votes. After several people told me that he had been heavily involved in steroids, 

Oh my God.  Kill yourselves, all of you anonymous Murray Chass sources/assholes.

I left him off my ballot the second year. He received 56 percent of the votes that year and climbed to 59.6 percent the next year. But last year he slipped to 54.3 percent, perhaps a victim of the newcomers on the ballot.


Biggio will almost certainly be elected this time. He was only two votes short of election in the last election and should clear the threshold, even though a reporter friend told me that a dozen or more players told him that Biggio used steroids. 

Another strong killself candidate right there.

When I wrote that, Biggio’s fans were outraged.

Why, it's almost like a guy was having his character assassinated for no reason and people got mad about that!

If it’s not clear by now, I don’t vote for steroids-tainted players. 

Classic blogger self-righteousness.  

If steroids were legal, I’d have no problem with players using them. But they are illegal, and players who use them cheat. I can’t vote for players who cheat at the expense of their fellow players who don’t cheat.

Or for players who were once linked to them by quadruple hearsay, apparently.  Seriously, you "need more time" to figure out if the douchecanoe who told you that about Biggio was right or not?  What's the presumption here?  

/Larry B's head explodes

That brings me to Piazza. Piazza has been on the ballot for two years and avoided the falloff problem in his second year. 

Wait for it

He gained 57.8 percent, then 62.2 percent, an indication that he could be headed for election. 

Wait for it

But I have written about my belief that he was one of the steroids gang.


His many fans have excoriated me for my view, but they are blind to what I believe is strong evidence of his use. When he played for the New York Mets, he didn’t hide his acne-covered back. 

/game show sirens and buzzers and bells
/confetti falls from ceiling
/crowd cheers wildly

Steroids experts say that Piazza’s condition is one of the signs of steroids use.

I am happy to have the relative anonymity of the internet to tell everyone reading this two things that are absolutely true: 1) I have never used steroids, and 2) I have a medium amount of acne on my back.  Draw what conclusions you will.  You're welcome for the visual, by the way.

When I first wrote about Piazza’s possible use several years ago, his fans ridiculed me. They completely ignored a critical aspect of what I wrote. Piazza’s back cleared up completely when baseball began testing for steroids and remained clear to his retirement. It was not a stretch to conclude that Piazza had stopped using steroids to avoid being caught by a urine test.

OK, so, "not a stretch" that your hunch that was based on the flimsiest of anecdotal (and somewhat voyeuristic) evidence was not incorrect is the standard.  You know what?  I heard from a friend's grandpa whose uncle once worked the scoreboard at Shibe Park that Jimmie Foxx used to use pure opium to give himself superpowers.  REMOVE THAT MAN FROM THE HALL, BBWA.  HAVE YOU NO SHAME?????

Also, this next part is fun because it's the end of the article.  This is it.  Just a non-conclusory sentence, a chart, and blogger Murray Chass is done.  Time to go yell at the kids who are playing near his lawn, and then settle down with a nice warm glass of tomato juice.

Percentage of votes in Hall of Fame elections for players who have been linked to steroids use, some more specifically than others:

Chart (2014-11-30)

Murray Chass is a bad person who should be fired from his job as a blogger.  That is all.