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.


Chris W said...

Two facts about Larry B:

1.) larry has bacne but the b stands for butt
2.) larry has the personality of a dead moth

Anonymous said...

I get the argument that Bonds should be elected to the HoF because, warts and all, he's one of the very best players of all time. I disagree with it, but I get it. I'm not sure how you dont get the argument that we know he cheated and, as such, we're not going to elect him to the HoF. Responding to that by arguing, "Yeah, but you already let in guys who also cheated," is a great argument for the continuation of slavery.


Ask Tony Gwynn, Greg Maddux, etc. See what they have to say. I'm pretty confident I know how it would turn out.

I'm also pretty confident I know how asking Tony Gwynn about it would turn it out.

Larry B said...

Suh-WWWIIIIIIING andamiss on your slavery analogy. Besides the fact that you're being hilarious heavy-handed, the continuation of terrible treatment of people in an active, ongoing situation does not compare well with decisionmaking related to administration of a static entity like a Hall of Fame. There is something morally wrong with treating people badly because you've treated them badly before. There is nothing even in the vague neighborhood of close to as wrong with continuing to have "loose" standards for who gets their name on a wall, because the standards for previous names added to the wall were also "loose." I put loose in quotes because in fact, it's nearly impossible to get into the HOF, and anyone who plays like they belong there should be there.

Fair point on Tony Gwynn--I should have added the qualifier that these players be asked off the record. Sure, some guys will always make a big show of moralizing (possibly as feedback from the writers they hear it from all the time) when cameras are on, but when push comes to shove and it's a secret ballot, I think even Gwynn votes Bonds in. Bonds was that good.

PS--Baskin Robbins called Chris W--they said they're down to only five flavors

tony harding said...

Uhhhh....Larry? Tony Gwynn died 6 months ago.

Chris W said...

The other major problem with the slavery analogy is that the writers voting against Bonds,et al are the same who hold Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron up as exemplars of the game.

Larry B said...

Yeah my bad. R.I.P. Tony. I was thinking he had also been outspoken about NO CHEATERZ IN THE HALLS OF FAME, which it doesn't seem like he was. My general theory stands--ask every HOFer who played at least a season in the NL with Bonds, or whose career overall overlapped with his by at least a few years. No way would 25% or more say he didn't belong.


I am probably more sympathetic than you, Larry, to the people who don't want Bonds in the HOF (even though I do).
My problem is, there's technically no rock-solid legal proof that he juiced. To paraphrase Big Pussy, we know, but we don't know. So even if you exclude Bonds in good faith, you open up the door to excluding other guys based on rumors and hearsay, and that's I think a greater injustice than letting Bonds or even McGwire in.

I am willing to give some benefit of the doubt, even to the moralistic assholes I usually hate because this is legitimately a prickly situation. That said, Chass is not truly wrestling with the issues here, he's just pontificating like a cocksucker so none of that sympathy extends to him.

SOB in T.O. said...

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

Yeah, everyone else: do some investigative reporting while I simply repeat what people voluntarily say about other people which I do not source-check, because source-checking is for losers at print media.

This is the same Murray Chass who used to deride bloggers, right?

dan-bob said...

"is any more circumstantial evidence needed?