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When do you bring up the 800...or maybe 300 in this case gorilla in the room?

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  • When do you bring up the 800...or maybe 300 in this case gorilla in the room?

    Just got the book 300 Club and skimmed through the chapter before sitting down and reading it. It has chapter profiles of all the 300 win club members so I'd figure it would be an interesting read.

    I get to the Clemens chapter, and there is zero mention of PEDs in the entire section. Come to think of it, Dan Schlossberg, the author, almost bends over backwards trying to stay even handed with any controversial issue that Clemens has been involved with. I.e. Clemens "allegedly" threw a piece of a bat at Mike Piazza during the 2000 WS. Allegedly? Really? What are you buying the "I thought it was the ball" theory?

    Well, anyway, I wondered if he did avoid talking about the 800 pound gorilla because the nature of the book was more to celebrate the accomplishments of winning 300 games, not delve into off the field nature, sportsmanship and personalities of the controversial nature. But, he delves into the whole spitball controversy with Gaylord Perry! Okay, I know one thing is a major social issue talking point that transcends even the toys and games department and the other is about gamesmanship, inside baseball and "getting inside the batter's head" but it does seem odd that the 800 pound gorilla with Perry is discussed, but not with Clemens.

    So, what say you B-F Arts & Literature readers? You have a book profiling the members of the 300 Win Club, do you bring up the PED issue about Roger Clemens? Or do you leave it alone because the book is about the accomplishment and not the person? And how do you reconcile the cheating aspect of Gaylord Perry's accomplishment?
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  • #2
    Honestly I don't have any problem with the whole cheating element because I read about some awesome pitcher who was a spitballer every time I turn around. I also remember the rules back then weren't nearly as strict if we're talking about a very early pitcher. And Will Leitch has argued that the whole steroid thing isn't because it's a form of cheating but we're pissed at it because it has negative side effects and is illegal. I really do believe myself that steroids can and will be used in many vaccines in a couple of decades, and people will eventually see them the same way they see the spitter.
    The Evil Empire shall strike back again!


    • #3
      Thank you for the heads up on this, because 300 Club is currently in my Unread Book Collection, and I intend to get to it soon. Really.

      In any case, BaronSamedi is probably correct. This is why I don't pursue steroid debates, because IMHO they degenerate into generational differences of opinion. Over time, Clemens will probably be exonerated by baseball if and when he is able to address how he has handled what he has already said to Congress to this point. Since Clemens adds to his own mess, why should we?

      The 800 pound gorilla of steroids will have to be addressed over the next 20 years or so by Hall Voters, and by fans who debate who deserves its recognition (or other forms of honor for that matter). Beyond 20 years, it won't matter to voters. So, IMHO, what will matter will be whether Randy Johnson is still the last 300 game winner. I believe he will be.
      Catfish Hunter, RIP. Mark Fidrych, RIP. Skip Caray, RIP. Tony Gwynn, #19, RIP

      A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Winston Churchill. (Please take note that I've recently become aware of how this quote applies to a certain US president. This is a coincidence, and the quote was first added to this signature too far back to remember when).

      Experience is the hardest teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson later. -- Dan Quisenberry.


      • #4
        No one really seems to pay any mind to steroids unless it's one of the game's great superstars who's been caught anyway. Even A-rod got off fairly lightly. Bonds and Clemens proved to be exceptions, but I think that has more to do with the way they acted.
        The Evil Empire shall strike back again!


        • #5
          I tend to think that the spitter became part of the fabric of baseball -- its myth and lore -- in a way that steroids have not because of their stigma.

          I do believe it's true (and not an article of faith) that the spitter was banned after the influenza pandemic of 1919-20. At least that was one reason.

          But people like Gaylord Perry made the spitter seem clever and entertaining.


          • #6
            it could quite posisbly be the publisher has left out the controversial content for legal reasons. Gaylord Perry has admitted to throwing spitballs, so there's no real controversy over libel or slander there. Clemens has never admitted actually throwing a bat at Piazza and he has not admitted or been convicted of taking PEDs. Given the fact his perjury trial is still pending, the publishers (and author, perhaps?) probably just thought it best to leave the whole issue out instead of opening themselves up to countersuits by Clemens.


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