"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 2/12/09

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Here’s the news:

  • At the News, Mark Feinsand profiles 19-year-old Jesus Montero, the supposed heir apparent to Posada:

Though there’s been speculation that Montero, a burly, 6-3, 230-pound Venezuelan, might have to switch positions, the Yankees say they are committed to him as a receiver.

“That’s our intention and, more importantly, that’s his intention, too,” said Mark Newman, the Yankees’ vice president of baseball operations. “Right now, he hasn’t shown us anything that tells us he can’t do it. He improved his throw-out percentage last year. He’s a big boy, so he’s got to maintain lower body flexibility, but he’s got very good arm strength and he’s very bright, so he’ll run a game very well.”

“The conventional wisdom might be that he’s too big. But our attitude is that he can do it and we expect him to do it. He’s a catcher and he’s nothing beyond that, at this time.”

Montero, who played in the Futures Game at Yankee Stadium last summer, had a huge season at Charleston, the Yankees’ low-Class A affiliate in 2008, batting .326 with 17 homers and 87 RBI. It was his first full season. Montero likely will move up to high-A Tampa in 2009, Newman said.

Even though Rodriguez might have a long process to go through, from the possibility of scorn from his own teammates and fans and insulting chants in opposing ballparks, Chamberlain feels confident he will thrive, baseball-wise. “He’s still going to go out and play the game,” Chamberlain said. “He’s going to be the Alex that we’ve counted on and he’s going to be there for us…. He’s one of the greatest players to ever play, so he’s going to continue to do what he does.”

  • Teixeira has thrown his support behind Rodriguez too:

“I know he’s going through a rough time right now, and I think his apology said it all,” Teixeira said. “He’s disappointed in himself, he made a mistake and we’re all going to move on … I’m just going to open up my arms, give him a big hug, tell him I love him and we’re going to get through this.” …

“I’ve never touched steroids or any of those kinds of things — it’s something I feel very strongly about — but at the same time I’ve made mistakes, I’m not perfect, no one’s perfect.”

  • Jason Giambi is happy other players have come forward about their use of steroids.
  • Newsday’s Ken Davidoff has a problem with Derek Jeter not talking to the media about A-Rod just yet:

His plea, instead, appeared born of convenience: He wants to wait for all of the media to arrive in town before addressing the hot topic. And he wants to answer all of the questions just once, and then move on.

Which sounds reasonable, in a vacuum. Except that anything involving both Jeter and A-Rod becomes, naturally, a reflection upon their highly scrutinized relationship.

You think, therefore, about the inconsistencies here. How Jeter repeatedly spoke up on behalf of Pettitte, Giambi, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, and didn’t set a deadline or a limit on any of those subjects.

And you think about the consistencies here. How Jeter often goes through more effort, or so it seems, to not do entirely right for A-Rod. How he refused to ask Yankees fans to stop booing the slumping A-Rod in 2006, citing a lack of precedent, even though in 2005 he requested that they stop getting on Giambi.

  • Goose Gossage isn’t too happy with Mr. Rodriguez’s actions:

Goose said steroid users like Rodriguez should not be given a free pass into Cooperstown just because they put up huge numbers. Rodriguez likely will be the all-time home run king when it is all said and done.

“The greatest record of all time is at stake here,” Gossage said. “I don’t know where all this goes, the Hall of Fame is a hallowed place. I can’t understand what his thinking was. The history of the game is everything.

“Alex is probably going to break the [home-run] record, but all credibility is out the window.

“Henry Aaron did it clean and that’s the bottom line,” Gossage said. “Anything else is tainted and what does it mean?

“And if you let one in,” Gossage said of the steroid-tainted stars’ entrance into the Hall of Fame, “you are going to have to let them all in. What they’ve accomplished, would they have accomplished had they been clean?”

  • Bobby Abreu has apparently found a place to play for ’09.  He’ll be signing a 1-year deal with the Angels for a base $5 million.
  • In light of the Abreu signing (and Dunn signing with the Nats), PeteAbe believes the Yanks are now in better trading position with the Braves.
  • Pete also lets us know the Yanks have invited three more players to Spring Training.
  • And the last item on the LoHud update … Posada looks good to Pete so far:

I’m also surprised by what I’ve seen from Jorge Posada. He is showing good pop in the cage and I think it’s a good sign that on Feb. 11 he’s receiving balls in a crouch and coming out of it to throw. The Yankees will be cautious with him all camp but he seems to be on pace for Opening Day.

Poll time!

[poll id=”9″]

  • Tim Redding turns 31 today.  Redding had one awful start for the Yanks in 2005.
  • Juan Bonilla turns 54 today.  Bonilla had cups of coffee with the Bombers in ’85 and ’87.
  • On this date in 1932, George Weiss is named head of the Yankees’ new minor league system. Weiss will eventually become the general manager of the Yankees, and along with manager Casey Stengel, will oversee an unprecedented five consecutive World Championships from 1949 to 1953. In 1971 Weiss will eventually gain election to the Hall of Fame in 1971.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 RIYank   ~  Feb 12, 2009 8:30 am

The catcher news stands out for me today, Diane. The present: sounds like Posada might have the potential for a good year, which would make a huge difference (as Cliff has pointed out to us a few times). And the future: Montero is still on track to be Jorge's replacement in a few years. I've been worried about what comes next after Posada's retirement... now there's something to look forward to, even if it's only an improving 'maybe'.

2 Mattpat11   ~  Feb 12, 2009 8:56 am

Oh good. Its going to be another A-Rod/Jeter year. Yay.

By the way, i've got 100 pages left in the Torre book. Still not outraged.

3 Bum Rush   ~  Feb 12, 2009 9:13 am

Gee Goose, you and Hank never used greenies? Wait, what's that you're saying? It was a different culture back that...

4 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 12, 2009 9:36 am

I'm also a big fan of Oswalt's comments

"A-Rod's numbers shouldn't count for anything," Oswalt said in a phone interview with MLB.com. "I feel like he cheated me out of the game."

"It does bother me," Oswalt said. "Especially for the guys that went out there and did it on talent. We're always going to have a cloud on us, and that's not fair at all.

"The ones that have come out and admitted it, and are proven guilty, [their numbers] should not count. I've been cheated out of the game," Oswalt continued. "This is my ninth year, and I've done nothing to enhance my performance, other than work my butt off to get guys out. These guys [who took PEDs] have all the talent in the world. All-Star talent. And they put times two on it.

"I'm going out there with the ability God gave me. They have that ability, too, and they're putting something on top of it."

so when A-Rod gives back the '03 MVP, Roy can mail the NLCS championship ring he won with the help of Andy and Roger back to Drayton McClane and we'll call it even.

5 rbj   ~  Feb 12, 2009 9:56 am

Didn't Nef! Perez get caught with steroids too? Didn't seem to help him much.

6 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:03 am

[5] The number of players who really never did much in their careers, but were caught doing PEDs, is much bigger than the number of (super)stars who were caught doing PEDs. Somehow this fact is always lost in the "we need to wipe so and so's numbers from the books!" outcry, which is just silly. It seems like its always pitchers who offer this suggestion. Of course, doing so would greatly benefit pitchers' own numbers.

[4] That's an excellent point. I'd like to genuinely know if Oswalt has ever done anything about the issue. That is, did he speak up (continuously) about PEDs at union meetings, or in the clubhouse, or by contacting the MLBPA or MLB itself, and request that action be taken, as, for example, Rick Helling did? (Helling first spoke out in 1998.) Its one thing to say "its not fair to me, wipe his numbers off the books". Its another thing to have never tried to doing anything about it and then complained later.

7 Mattpat11   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:05 am

People keep their league championship rings?


8 Raf   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:14 am

[7] Why not? It's a big accomplishment.

9 Mattpat11   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:18 am

Its a constant reminder of failure.

10 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:20 am

I am not sure why Pete Abe and other think the Yankees have an "extra" OF. Aside from Melky/Gardner being a huge question mark, Damon and Matsui have been far from models of health. I think the Yankees have just the right number of out fielders.

As for his proposed trade, I am not sure why the Yankees would deal for Gorkys Hernandez, who is a lesser CF prospect than Austin Jackson.

11 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:23 am

[10] And, from the Braves perspective, why would they deal two of their top-10 prospects for Nady, when they could have Abreu for less money without giving up anything (including a draft pick)?

12 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:24 am

[9] Agreed, but I think it depends on the pennant won. I remember reading an interview a few years back with (I think, but not sure) John Smoltz who said he wore his 1991 NLCS ring more often than his '95 WS one because that '91 season was so memorable.

[6] Yeah thats all I'm saying, its the same reason someone like Schilling needs to watch what he says about steroids guys giving their MVP's back. You won a series with Matt Williams and (I don't care what anyone says, he's a juicer) Luis Gonzalez on your roster, in a addition to who knows who else. You don't seem to be in a rush to give that ring back.

13 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:24 am

[9] Failure? I agree with [8]...it is indeed an accomplishment.

14 Raf   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:25 am

[9] No, that would be the Pirates or Royals organization. That a team doesn't win the world series, that they were able to make it as far as they did means something. It's an accomplishment, they did something the rest of the teams in their league didn't do.

15 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:26 am

[12] The 1993 Phillies had some curious players like Daulton and Dykstra too...without them, the Phillies don't win the pennant.

16 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:28 am

Personally I'm just glad the odd tradition of losing teams having a parade has faded away ('91 Braves, '82 Brewers, etc). I mean go ahead and be proud of having a great year, but having a parade 2 days after losing Game 7 is a little much.

17 Yankee Fan in Boston   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:28 am

If you're bored, need a chuckle and have yet to reach your fill of all things Rodriguez, the Onion has a few hilarious Alex-related links here:


18 Raf   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:29 am

[15] I seem to remember Dykstra mentioning something about vitamins... Too bad I threw out all my articles I clipped from "The National"

19 Raf   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:32 am

Personally I’m just glad the odd tradition of losing teams having a parade has faded away (’91 Braves, ‘82 Brewers, etc)

The fans didn't seem to mind...

The 91 Braves went worst to first, and had appeared in their first World Series since 1958. The Brewers had won their first pennant in franchise history. I can understand why they would have a parade.

20 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:34 am

[15, 18] Dykstra all but shot up in the dugout between innings, and I'm not even judging him for that. Thats the thing about all of this, even the players who never did anything, chances are at some point they directly benefitted from the success of a teammate who had been doing something. And I'm not trying to make this a guilt-by-association thing, I'm just saying when it was helping the clean guys win pennants and championships they seemed to be just fine with it.

21 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:37 am

Calling a league championship a failure is (sorry) just silly.

Pos is interesting today, actually (I disliked the earlier one linked and quoted for a whole bunch of reasons) of the morals aspect of the HoF. For me, the point is mostly about trends in society. Nobody cared in the 60s and 70s, the guys who used various substances are safely retired. Today there's a sense of being 'cheated' as fans ... but WE are complicit too as we loved the long ball and ignored the signs. Baseball took its cue from the fan base.

Oswalt ... if you read it carefully it is a flat-out request that everyone who used keep quiet. "The ones that have come out and admitted it, and are proven guilty, [their numbers] should not count." The ones who successfully hide it ... ticker tape parade and a Cooperstown speech? And the comment here about giving back his ring, if teammates used ... bang on. Shows how complex this is. And how stupid it is to hyperfocus on one or two guys ...

I still think too many people don't get it on the Neifi Perezs of this world. To say it didn't help him much misses the point. It may have helped him enough to get a marginal ML career! That is a lot of money compared to AAA or selling insurance or aluminum siding! And someone else did NOT get a ML salary because Perez had a job for awhile.

22 monkeypants   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:38 am

[6] "The number of players who really never did much in their careers, but were caught doing PEDs, is much bigger than the number of (super)stars who were caught doing PEDs."

Undoubtedly true.
Still, the fact that now 5 out of the top 12 all time HR hitters have been implicated in PED use, all of them playing in this most recent era, maybe has something to do with the more strident response.

23 monkeypants   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:42 am


Mattpatt is one of those "if you don;t win the world series, you fail" guys. We've gone around on this point before; the conversation is more or less futile.

I still think too many people don’t get it on the Neifi Perezs of this world. To say it didn’t help him much misses the point...

Excellent point.

24 Raf   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:45 am

It may have helped him enough to get a marginal ML career!

No, the stupidity of GMs helped him get a marginal ML career.

And someone else did NOT get a ML salary because Perez had a job for awhile.

That has happened whether players were juicing or not.

25 Raf   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:47 am

FWIW, Perez was busted for greenie usage, IIRC.

26 monkeypants   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:47 am

[24] Of course it has happened for other reasons. That does not negate Horace's argument. You're implicitly setting up a false dichotomy.

27 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:49 am

[22] Excellent point that I missed. After all, the home run record has been the cause of many a heated argument (and newspaper column) for what, 48 years now? Its not going to stop now.

[21] h-c-e, I'm not sure I buy the "PEDs helped ____ go from AAAA to marginal big leaguer" argument. If the statistical effect on the best of the best (say A-Rod) is maybe an extra home run, I'm not sure its possible for PEDs to take a guy from AAAA to 25th guy on the bench. I'm not sure the line is that fine (one extra HR?). Even if it was/is, teams frequently do a fine job of making AAAA players into marginal big leaguers by themselves. Guys get their 15 seconds of spotlight and then some GMs and managers never forget their names when they're looking to fill out the backend of the roster.

There's the healing/restorative aspect to consider too, I guess, but I'm not sure how to address that one.

28 Yankee Mama   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:51 am

Of course A-Rod hit those dingers because he is talented. How can Oswalt attribute A-Rods accompl"ishments solely to PEDs? In the immortal words of an old friend, That just don't make no sense!"

Give me perfomeance enhancing drugs and I still don't think I could turn around a fast ball, or a 40 mile an hour pitch down the middle for that matter.

Of course, he did it on talent. The problem is, we just don't know how PEDs ultimately affected his homerun totals. How could someone with that kind of ability feel the need to supplement. Was the pressure truly that great? After all, he was on a last place team.

29 Raf   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:52 am

Also, the point about Neifi is that he failed 3(!) separate occasions. Where's the witchhunt for him? Where's the moral outrage? Where are the pleas to strike his stats from the hall of records?

30 Yankee Mama   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:54 am

Also, are PEDS going to be more helpful to a marginal player? Or, do they stay marginal? It hasn't been proven that PEDs causes greatness. Do they enhance the innate talent of a superstar? Isn't this all rather murky?

31 monkeypants   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:57 am

[29] Come on man, you can do better than that. There is no call to strike his numbers from the hall of records because his numbers don't matter historically (within the context of baseball history). Goose may have said it inelegantly, and he may be a hypocrite, but he hit the nail on the head: in baseball, "history" and "records" (especially certain records) are held in immense esteem, more so than other major sports in North America.

Had Perez smacked 75 HRs one season, or hit 600 or 700 for his career, or hit .400, or had a 60 game hitting streak, etc., then the hue and cry would be just as loud for him.

32 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 10:57 am

[19] Exactly...if people want to have a parade because the sun comes up, good for them. The Brewers turnout in 1982 was better than some championship gatherings. That team is still revered in Milwaukee, so there is no reason to disparage the celebration they held.

33 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:05 am

[21] There has been a very stringent minor league drug policy for some time, so I think it is logical to think that many marginal players started using when they made it to the majors...not only because testing was relaxed or non existent, but also because they were earning enough money to afford them. If you could show how a marginal player made it to the bigs and supplemented his performance enough with PEDs to stick around, I think your point is stronger. With Neifi, however, he was an awful hitter his whole career, so he either stuck around because GMs are stupid or his glove was that good. Either way, I don't see how PEDs + Neifi resulted in someone losing an opportunity.

34 Raf   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:06 am

There is no call to strike his numbers from the hall of records because his numbers don’t matter historically (within the context of baseball history)

Which brings me back to the point I made the other day, that it was okay to "cheat" as long as you don't break any records. Pardon me, if I find that to be a bit odd. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says or does it. Whether it's a superstar or the last man on the bench, it shouldn't matter.

35 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:11 am

[30] You raise an interesting point. In economics, the concept is referred to as marginal utility. For example, $1 has much less marginal utility to a rich person than a poor person; or, a cup of water has much less marginal utility to someone who has a well than someone who is stranded in the Sahara.

If PEDs really do only add $1 worth of performance to a player, then the impact would be much greater on the marginal player. In that sense, PED use by the marginal players should be the game's bigger concern.

36 Yankee Mama   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:14 am

I think a lot of there is so much pressure for marginal players, who are always at risk of being cut or sent down to act desperately. I'm sure that of those 103 players, we'd find a good number of those. The Neifis of the world.

I believe that no substance is going to miraculously make them great. Sad that they risk their health and career to attempt to make the grade.

37 Yankee Mama   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:18 am

I don't know. They marginal players might have a greater need, therefore making PEDs more valuable to them. But, is it a difference maker? Do PEDs make players more valuable even if PEDs have more value for them? No evidence that it does.

38 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:23 am

[31] "Had Perez smacked 75 HRs one season, or hit 600 or 700 for his career, or hit .400, or had a 60 game hitting streak, etc., then the hue and cry would be just as loud for him."

Well yes - but doesn't that say more about us as sports fans (and about baseball writers) than anything else? Why are people outraged over Bonds? Because he took away the record from Hank Aaron, beloved national icon, and he did it unfairly. That is, without PEDs (so they argue), Aaron would still have the record.

In which case, and I think Raf made this point the other day, PEDs are just another element of an era of baseball to be taken into account (albeit a questionable one). The outrage over Maris was that he broke Ruth's record unfairly, because he didn't break it in 154 games - he had an extra 8 games, without which the record would still be Ruth's (the argument went).

Obviously an extra 8 games on the schedule vs PED use is quite different, but its that "unfair" aspect that I think strikes most people. Especially when the former owner of the record is a beloved national icon whose legend of goodness has been built up positively for decades.

To put it another way, the hue over someone hitting in 57 straight games would far surpass the hue over someone hitting .407 in a season - because DiMaggio is/was a beloved national icon, and Williams was not. Or, why was there so little outrage over Rose breaking Cobb's hits record at the time? Was it because Cobb had last played almost 60 years prior - or because the "story" of Ty Cobb is that he was a rude, racist SOB who could hit well, and not a beloved hero like Ruth, Aaron, or Mays?

39 PJ   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:30 am

Not to be offensive, but who reads a book in order to be outraged? I thought our opinion of the book was supposed to fall under the philosophy of, "Joe Torre betrayed the very mantra he insisted that his players observed in keeping everything within the clubhouse." and "This is just a sad old man who now knows why he was always treated like an outsider with the Yankees." Torre's book coming out at this time, with such confidential clubhouse material inside, when he's not even affiliated with the Yankees anymore, is offensive enough for me. It's every bit as bad as not being with a company any longer and divulging what goes on there when you agreed to keep everything inside.

And screw Roy friggen Oswalt! Who died and made him the validity arbiter of baseball statistics? We'll let him know when we need stats thrown out! Hell, we can just throw his stats out since they don't really matter, just like his opinion. I mean are we supposed to take seriously some athlete schlub talking about God and ability as he can't even beat the one-hit wonder ChiSox in the World Series? Maybe if he did use, he might have his ring already! He couldn't even help Clemens and Pettitte when they needed him, who by the way he's conveniently silent about. Hypocrite! A-Rod never even played against him to accumulate stats that "shouldn't count for anything"! Isn't Oswalt late for a tee time or something right about now?

Phony self-righteousness and comments from the peanut gallery piss me off even more than cheating with banned substances! Oswalt is a member of the MLBPA so he's just as guilty as if he used like Canseco! They were all complicit, every last one of them, end of story! Whether or not you used a banned substance, playing with and possessing knowledge of teammates who cheated and not coming forward out of loyalty to the union, who places profits and earnings above the lives and health of their members, is equally as bad as using the PEDs themselves! That shows their loyalty lies only at the feet of their earnings, not whether or not baseball stats are valid. If the truth were known, none of them deserve to play. I could never take seriously a player who gives his union precedence and priority over the game itself. I mean one really does come before the other. If it weren’t for the game, there would be no union.

I believe the end of the current CBA can’t come soon enough for me. I would just as soon watch college baseball, but the NCAA and NAIA are infinitely more corrupt than any pro sports league! In fact, if any statistics should be thrown out, it’s the NCAA’s!


40 ms october   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:33 am

[1] me too riyank!! some good baseball news about po.
buster olney thinks the yanks will be cautious with him though and will onlt attempt to catch him about 100 games this year.

[38] i know you know this sahun, but just wanted to state that very few people at the time wanted hank aaron to break babe ruth's reord. there is some revisionist telling of tales by the sportswriters that make aaron, mays and others beloved heros today.

poor neifi, he's become the poster boy for sucky ped users

41 ms october   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:35 am

[40] man sorry for all the typos and mis-spellings in that post

42 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:37 am

Just say neifi to drugs!

43 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:39 am

[40] Let's save us all the trouble and simply re-install Ruth as the HR king. As much as we all admire Aaron, no one matches Ruth;s HR/AB output, not to mention the amount of HRs he hit as a percentage of the league. Haven't we really been kidding ourselves for years in thinking anyone has even come close to approaching Ruth's output?

44 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:39 am

[40] Oh yes, you're absolutely right - the outrage over Aaron breaking the record was quite large. And that's my point - people usually don't like it when a beloved icon's record is broken, but especially when there's an element of unfairness to it. Of course with Aaron breaking Ruth's record there was another element at play in the dislike, sadly.

Then the record is broken and twenty years later, the new record holder is the beloved icon and it starts all over again.

45 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:41 am

I heard some ask an interesting question the other day...if Mantle is still known for hitting the deepest blasts ever, and guys like Feller and Gibson were known to throw in the upper-90s, why don't we see today's juiced players, with their better training and equipment, regularly surpassing these milestones? Where are the 600 foot blasts and 105 mph fastballs?

46 Raf   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:44 am

Haven’t we really been kidding ourselves for years in thinking anyone has even come close to approaching Ruth’s output?

I don't think anyone has done that. But yes, looking at his numbers, he was head and shoulders above everyone else.

Maybe he was on something ;-)

47 Start Spreading the News   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:47 am

[9] Mattpat, would you not wear a Silver Olympic medal as well? Or should only the LCS championship deserve such treatment?

48 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:49 am

[40] "poor neifi, he’s become the poster boy for sucky ped users"
... huh, imagine the mess this would all be if the PEDs actually did help him hit 60 or 70 HRs...

49 monkeypants   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:53 am

[43] As much as we all admire Aaron, no one matches Ruth;s HR/AB output...

I dig your (sarcastic?) suggestion, but didn't McGwire actually retire with a higher HR/AB rate? I'll hafta check.

[38] Well yes - but doesn’t that say more about us as sports fans (and about baseball writers) than anything else? Why are people outraged over Bonds? Because he took away the record from Hank Aaron, beloved national icon, and he did it unfairly.

I'm not sure that's the whole story. It's not just that a beloved icon has been usurped, though certainly that plays into it. In addition, people tend to be more angered by the (a) magnitude of a crime (stealing a million is worse than stealing twenty bucks) and (b) the magnitude of the individual (the president getting caught shoplifting would anger people more than Joe Blow getting caught for the same crime).

With the steroids + records + baseball, both factors come into play. The biggest superstars get the most attention--the most adulation, the most money (often disproportionate even to their excellence), the most scrutiny. Plus, given the status of records and statistics and history in MLB, for a record-holder to have achieved his mark (possibly/in part) through PEDs will naturally generate more anger, because that is considered a worse "crime" (ie, a crime against the history of the game).

[45] I don't know, but McGwire and Bonds sure hit some HRs, in bunches, that didn't *seem* natural to me.

50 ms october   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:54 am

[43] [46] really only bonds is even close at 7.7% hrs/ab with the babe at a crazy 8.5% - most of the other top hr hitters were in the 6% range -(with alex right at 7%)

51 ms october   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:55 am

[49] [50] yep monkey was right - didn't go as far down the list as mcgwire but he was at 9.4%

52 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 12, 2009 11:56 am

[45] I know that with regards to 105 mph fastballs, its because testing of the shoulder and arm have shown that the human body is at the upper limit of what it can do to move a baseball with an overhand motion. 102/103 is it. IIRC, Drs. Glenn Fleisig and James Andrews did the research; to throw a ball, say, 105 mph, would put much force on the shoulder and arm than they could withstand. The result would not be repeatable. =)

53 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 12, 2009 12:00 pm


paging Brady Anderson!

54 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 12, 2009 12:02 pm
55 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 12, 2009 12:14 pm

[31] Yeah, but he's Cal's "best friend"... was Neifi! best in anything? >;)

56 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 12, 2009 12:15 pm

[55] Why did I put [31]? I meant [53] duy!

57 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 12, 2009 12:22 pm

[54] Thanks, Diane!

58 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Feb 12, 2009 12:22 pm

Diane, yeah, I was thinking about Brady's blip too. He was ... he was ... Neifi on steroids!

59 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 12:44 pm

[49] No sacrasm was intended. While McGwire did surpass Ruth in AB/HR, he doesn't come close to HRs as % of the league. When you look at those two statistics, I don't see how anyone could debate who is the real HR King. All the fretting over the HR record is really a longevity issue more than anything else.

60 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 12:46 pm

[52] I saw that report too, and I think it makes a point about the limitations of the human body and how magic drugs can't overcome them.

61 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 12:50 pm

[58] Brady Anderson is the prototypical case study, but for me, the question is why did he suddenly stop hitting HRs. If he was taking steroids, did he suddenly stop on his own?

62 monkeypants   ~  Feb 12, 2009 1:06 pm

[59] HR King is an amorphous title. I could care less who is "HR King" (whatever that means). I consider Ruth to be the best hitter of all-time (with Williams a close second), based on the various factors you cite. .

But regardless of whether we call the all time leader in HRs (career) the "King," the record itself is held in high esteem by baseball fans. Indeed, it is often called the most important of all of the records (that's what Gossage, a pitcher, even called it). Is this rational? No. But then again, neither is rooting for a sports team.

What you are proposing in effect, William, is to replace Career HRs with another statistical marker as the most important, most coveted record in the game. In a way, I agree with you entirely, because for me the All-Time HR list holds a lot less meaning than it used to. Thanks Steroid era.

63 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 1:26 pm

[62] I am not really proposing anything, but am suggesting that because records are not park/era/league adjusted, we shouldn't get to preoccupied with how the events and impacts of one era influence the integrity of the game's milestones. Ruth's era never faced Satchel Paige; Aaron's era endulged in amphetamines; and Bonds' era had steroids. To be honest, I can tell you which one had the greatest impact.

Also, I think it is interesting to note that league HR totals went up and down from 2003 to 2006. In other words, it was hard to see an impact on HRs from the testing. When amphetamines were added to the testing regime in 2007, however, we did see a drop that continued in 2008. Now, that could be a coincidence, but again, with more questions than answers, I can't come to same the definitive conclusions as others.

64 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 12, 2009 1:26 pm

Love how the thread comes to a dead stop around this time...

65 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 12, 2009 1:28 pm

[63] Thanks for making [64] moot; my faith restored in the system! >;)

66 k24wu   ~  Feb 12, 2009 1:43 pm

Everyone benefited from the PEDS, even the fantasy baseball players. So, stop the moral outrages. (The response by the commissioner is particularly comic and pathetic!)

67 monkeypants   ~  Feb 12, 2009 2:02 pm

[63] "we shouldn’t get to preoccupied with how the events and impacts of one era influence the integrity of the game’s milestones."

Maybe you're right. But such milestones are truly deeply ingrained into baseball culture, in part because unlike other sports (especially NFL), many of the milestones stand up to the test of time. Sure, there will never be another 500 game winner. But 700 HRs has been both extremely difficult but also possible since Ruth's day: it required excellence and longevity (which Ruth and Aaron had), and a bit of luck (which Williams and Mays did not have). Baseball emphasizes the timelessness of its milestones and the importance of numbers in a way that no other North American sport does. Indeed, on a personal level, it is one of the things that always attracted me to the game.

So, from a rational perspective, what you are saying makes sense: why fret over one arbitrary numerical marker? But that is easier said than done. Moreover, for me personally, a piece of what I love about this game has died (and no, I am not talking about innocence).

68 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 12, 2009 2:08 pm

[67] I think it's great that the milestones are ingrained in the game's culture. I love the records for more than anyone. I just don't see steroids as a threat to that culture...partly because I have a strong feeling that steroids only have a marginal impact, and partly because I think each era has had its share of "marginal impacts".

69 monkeypants   ~  Feb 12, 2009 2:30 pm

[68] Maybe your right. But I look at the list of career HR leaders, and I see lots of guys who played in the last 15 years--more than any other era, really--and of those, a big chunk all have been implicated. For you, there is not enough evidence to prove anything more than marginal impact. For me, I tend to focus on the negative, the cloud of suspicion, possibilities, what ifs, etc.

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