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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Head hunting psychopath elected to Hall of Fame, steroid suspect not. Hypocrisy run rampant.

I boycotted yesterday's Hall of Fame announcement and intended to ignore the election results.  Today I am reacting to the vulgar hypocrisy of those results and the associated commentary.

Elected on first ballot: Pedro Martinez, head hunting psychopath.
Passed over again: Mike Piazza:
2013 BBWAA (57.8%)
2014 BBWAA (62.2%)
2015 BBWAA (69.9%)

Mike Piazza
Juxtapose these two.  Piazza was the victim of another head hunting psychopath: Roger Clemens, who threw the shattered barrel of Piazza's bat at Piazza during a 2000 World Series game and a few years later hit Piazza in the head because he, Clemens, could not get Piazza out.  Martinez was praised by a New York area writer this week for intimidating batters.  One anecdote was when Red Sox Martinez threw at Yankee Gary Sheffield.  Supposedly Sheffield was so incensed that after the game he waited for Martinez outside Yankee Stadium.  Sheffield is supposed to have warned Martinez never to do that again and that Martinez complied.

I've heard Mike Piazza interviewed.  He doesn't have much of a personality but always seems pleasant.  Piazza has never been implicated directly in steroid use, including the Mitchell Report, which drew much from the Met clubhouse during the years that Piazza played for the Mets.  Yesterday I heard of one veteran writer who supposedly had been told by a teammate of Piazza that Piazza has used steroids or some performance enhancing drug (PED).  That seems to be the extent of it.  So far the greatest hitting catcher of all time has been passed over three times but the biggest head hunter of his generation waltzes to election in his first year of eligibility.

One other point and I hesitate to bring up old stuff but it seems pertinent in this context.  Some media types are apoplectic over the fact that Tim Raines has not yet been elected.  Brian Kenny of the Bud Selig MLB Network advocates for Raines and even for Keith Hernandez.  Please note:

Pittsburgh drug trials

The Pittsburgh drug trials of 1985 were the catalyst for a Major League Baseball-related cocaine scandal. Several current and former members of the Pittsburgh Pirates — Dale Berra, Lee Lacy, Lee Mazzilli, John Milner, Dave Parker, and Rod Scurry — and other notable major league players — Willie Mays Aikens, Vida Blue, Enos Cabell, Keith Hernandez, Jeffrey Leonard, Tim Raines, and Lonnie Smith — were called before a Pittsburgh grand jury. Their testimony led to the drug trials, which made national headlines in September 1985.

Eleven players were officially suspended, but all the suspensions were commuted in exchange for fines, drug testing, and community service.[1] The Pittsburgh drug trials are considered one of baseball's biggest all-time scandals, albeit one that was "behind the scenes" and did not affect play on the field...

Ex-Pirate John Milner talked about getting amphetamines from Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Willie Stargell. Milner added that he bought two grams of cocaine for $200 in the bathroom stalls at Three Rivers Stadium during a Pirates-Houston Astros game in 1980. Keith Hernandez revealed he'd used cocaine for three years. Hernandez later added that about 40 percent of all Major League Baseball players were using cocaine in the early 1980s[3] — he quickly backtracked, however, saying that he might have been "grossly wrong."[citation needed] Tim Raines told how he'd keep a gram of coke in his uniform pocket (as well as revealing that he snorted during games), and that he only slid into bases headfirst so as not to break the vial.
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OK, that's enough.  So, Brian Kenny can support both Raines and Hernandez even though both admitted using performance de-ehancing drugs?  How does that square with four of six Hall of Fame criteria dealing with character?  "Raines ... snorted (cocaine) during games".  Mike Piazza can be excluded based on suspicion but Raines and Hernandez can be supported even though they were forced into admitting?  This is without even addressing their playing credentials where Piazza is clearly a Hall of Fame calibre player, Raines is marginal at best and Hernandez seems to be supported by Brian Kenny and possibly no one else.

Hall of Fame criteria: 66% about character, which is all but ignored.  Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Voting shall be based upon
- the player's record
- playing ability
- integrity
- sportsmanship
- character
- contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.
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Tim Raines: not MVP, not Hall of Fame. Rickey Henderson Lite.  Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Henderson played in 3,081 games from 1979 through 2003.   Raines played in 2,502 games from 1979 through 2002.  Say, that's not even close.  Henderson had 13,346 plate appearances (PA).   Raines 10,359.  Henderson OPS+ 136.   Raines 123 in 3,000 fewer PA.  Henderson set the records for stolen bases (SB):  1,406  career, 130 season.   Raines: 808 career (5th), season high 90, topped by Henderson four times...

When they played:
Who didn't think that Rickey Henderson was a Hall of Famer?
Who thought that Tim Raines was a Hall of Famer?
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Maybe Raines would have played more and compared more favorably with Henderson if Raines had not been a drug addict.

Pedro Martinez v. Mike Mussina: Hall of Fame character criteria judged by Hit by Pitch.  Monday, January 5, 2015

Pedro Martinez intentionally hit batters.  That's against the rules...

While Mike Mussina was an active player he explicitly renounced intentionally hitting batters, even in retaliation for his teammates being hit by an opposing pitcher, who sometimes was none other than Pedro Martinez.  Mussina does not get such credit even from his supporters who concentrate exclusively on Mussina's "record" and "playing ability"...

In terms of Hall of Fame election criteria integrity, sportsmanship character and being a good teammate, which pitcher gets more credit: Martinez or Mussina?  If Mussina, how come that is never raised as a positive attribute in his consideration for election to the Hall of Fame?
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Mike Mussina Hall of Fame:
2014 BBWAA (20.3%)
2015 BBWAA (24.6%)

Mark McGwire is the one PED user who on January 11, 2010 explicitly admitted what he had done and has been a humble hitting coach for several years.  How have the baseball writers treated Mark McGwire?
Hall of Fame
2007 BBWAA (23.5%)
2008 BBWAA (23.6%)
2009 BBWAA (21.9%)
2010 BBWAA (23.7%)
2011 BBWAA (19.8%)
2012 BBWAA (19.5%)
2013 BBWAA (16.9%)
2014 BBWAA (11.0%)
2015 BBWAA (10.0%)

Since McGwire's 2010 admission his vote percentage has gone down every year.

So the one character offense from which even a confession cannot redeem you is PED use .... if you are a home run hitter.  If you are a mere head hunting psychopath, then you can be elected on the first ballot.

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