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Thursday, February 12, 2009


So, in lieu of a massive rant about ARod, I'll just link to this piece on, which lays out precisely the opposite opinion as mine.
In it, he mixes a bunch of banking metaphors, in an attempt to pander to the non-baseball watching audience who are reading his article because, with Obama as president, they no longer have anything to feel wronged about.

Summarizing that piece, he suggests three steps to fixing baseball:

1) punish teams not just players. If a player is found to have taken PEDs, his team is barred from the playoffs.

That is insane, and utterly besides the point. The reason we punish individuals is cause they're professionals. The NCAA punishes teams because it's college, and the burden of responsibility is shared between student and program. Plus, this would nearly guarantee at least one year in the near future where 0 teams are eligible for the playoffs, were baseball to really ramp up testing (which I think they should).

2) Put all PED users on the permanently ineligible Hall of Fame list.

This is myopic as hell. He blabbers about how the Hall isn't just for the best players, it's for the players who demonstrate sportsmanship, integrity, etc... You know, guys like Ty Fucking Cobb? What about all the players popping greenies throughout the 70s-90s? "The world is grey, Jack!" The Hall isn't some virginal, lily white beacon of "all that was once good, and could be again", it's simply a historical record of human achievement. And humans are hopelessly fallible. Let us celebrate their achievements through the lens of our common humanity.

Look, Bonds should go in, McGwire should go in, dorA should go in, and when I take my grandson there someday, and we look up at Bonds' gigantic melon immortalized in bronze, I can moralize about what a cheating dick he was until lil' Alex begs for me to shut up so we can go get a choco taco already.

3) Players shouldn't be eligible for the Hall until 10 or 20 years post-retirement, to better allow history to judge them.

While I suppose that this longer time period might give us better perspective, it would also result in WAY less interesting Hall of Fame induction speeches. I shouldn't have to wait until I'm old and grey to see my childhood heroes (many of whom would have died already) canonized. Also, with modern statistical analysis, it is relatively easy to compare players to the league average, and so make immediate judgements about their ability, regardless of differences between eras. So the only reason to wait 10-20 years would be to judge their moral failings or lack thereof, and I've already rejected that point.

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  • It's diorA now, no?

    Here is what I think about Bruce Reed's opinion.

    This is the most infuriatingly terrible piece of sportswriting I have read in a long time. It's as bad as the Bill James NCAA piece was good. Every single one of his points is just flat-out ignorant.

    It embodies everything that's wrong about the steroid moralizers. It also demonstrates the central problem in allowing anyone involved in politics to speak in public: they will just end up speaking some black-and-white boilerplate pap instead of speaking the truth.

    Also, since we're talking about him, is there any doubt in anyone's mind that no one would give any semblance of a shit about this revelation if it were Vlad Guerrero? This entire outburst or moralization has taken place because a) it's a polarizing figure, b) it's the Yankees, and c) because everyone had previously tagged him, incorrectly, as the game's savior. It's got nothing to do with preserving the game; it is 100% personal.

    Has anyone noticed how inflated A-Rod's stats in Texas are? Of course not, because they aren't. What, he got an extra 5-6 home runs a year on a shitty team? Who cares? The only taint on A-Rod's stats is that of America, which is rubbing its witch-hunting nether-regions all over his legacy.

    I think I actually like A-Rod more now...

    By Blogger Jeff, at 11:55 AM  

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