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Article: Don't strike the stats... By Tom Stanton

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  • Article: Don't strike the stats... By Tom Stanton

    Heres a nice article...

    LOCAL COMMENT: Don't strike the stats

    Whether with corked bats, uppers or spitballs, players have always sought edge
    April 5, 2005







    BY TOM STANTON




    This opening day, you didn't see any Tigers flaunting their muscles the way Rocky Colavito did in his day.


    Forty-five years ago, Colavito, playing in his first season with Detroit, made a show of stretching in the on-deck circle at Briggs Stadium. The defending home run champion clutched a bat behind his shoulder blades, forced it back and thrust his chest forward. He looked fierce and powerful, and soon 10,000 Michigan kids were trying to look just like him.


    But today, after a spring campaign dampened by a steroid storm, no ballplayer wants to draw attention to his physique. Thick necks, broad torsos and bulging biceps have fallen out of vogue. They make a man seem as suspect as, well, any home run record set since 1997.


    The scandal now scorching the major league landscape has been fueled by former star Jose Canseco's mostly nonfiction book, "Juiced." But it didn't start there.


    For more than a decade, baseball observers have been grumbling about inflated slugging statistics. A 50-home-run performance used to be a rarity. From 1930 to 1994, players reached that plateau only 14 times; in the last 10 seasons, they've done it 17 times. Clearly, something has changed.


    When Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa surpassed Roger Maris' record in 1998, we celebrated the moment -- even while arching our eyebrows. When Barry Bonds trumped McGwire three years later, we wondered whether more than mere talent and good fortune were involved. Could the ballplayers of this generation really be that much better than those of yesteryear?


    Leaked steroid test results and grand jury testimony validated our concerns. In response to media demands, baseball officials took modest steps to address the problem and hoped the controversy would dissipate. Then Canseco's revelations struck, inspiring a congressional hearing that saw this era's biggest players swearing to tell the truth before the nation.


    Now what?


    Some critics want to attach asterisks to the achievements of McGwire, Bonds and lesser idols thought to have benefited from performance-enhancing drugs. Cleanse the sport, they say. As a fan who has been savoring the sport for most of his life, I am saddened to see the game I love soiled and shamed. But we should not assign scarlet stars. If we begin footnoting the honors of those who cheated, where will we stop?


    Before steroids, many big leaguers of the 1960s and 1970s illegally took amphetamines to "pep up" their performances. Should their records be reconsidered? How about the forbidden spitballs of wet-master Gaylord Perry? They greased his path to Cooperstown.


    And given Denny McLain's history, might there not be a question or two about his 31 victories in 1968, a mark no one has since equaled? Closer to my own heart, what about Norm Cash's 1961 batting title? He swung a corked bat that year. But we wink and chuckle at the thought because we loved Stormin' Norman. He kept us smiling through a dozen-plus summers.


    Steroids, of course, present a more serious challenge because of the health issues. We should not diminish the use of drugs, but if we truly want to rid baseball of steroids, we can do it by enacting stiff penalties for players who test positive: a yearlong suspension for the first offense and permanent expulsion for the second.


    As Barry Bonds closes in on Babe Ruth's magical 714 home runs and then takes aim at all-time champion Hank Aaron's 755, the calls for action will intensify. I would hate for the record of an honest player such as Aaron to be stolen by a cheat. But I would hate more for baseball officials to formally erase the chase.


    Baseball fans argue issues tirelessly. Our grandfathers debated whether Ruth was better than Ty Cobb, and we still haven't settled that one -- or, more recently, whether Aaron and Willie Mays eclipsed both of them.


    Rid baseball of steroids, but leave it to us to sort the legitimate triumphs from the tainted exploits -- to weigh the significance of the infractions. We can handle it. Confiscating ill-gotten statistical gains would destroy more than it would resolve.


    Under oath in the U.S. House on March 17, McGwire practically took the Fifth. He neither denied nor confirmed that he had used steroids, but he grew teary eyed before pledging, "I will use whatever influence and popularity that I have to discourage young athletes from taking any drug ... not recommended by a doctor."


    No, we shouldn't strip McGwire or the others of their numbers. But if any of them is actually sincere about delivering a potent message to our youth, he could start by stripping himself of his "achievements."


    That would be a truly bold statement with immense and welcome repercussions.


    TOM STANTON lives in New Baltimore and is author of "Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America." Write to him in care of the Free Press Editorial Page, 600 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226.



    http://www.freep.com/voices/columnis...e_20050405.htm

  • #2
    Just thought I'd bring this article up, been almost a year since I made this topic

    Comment


    • #3
      It's impossible to " erase " statistics in baseball. This isn't the olympics.

      Anyway, even if it were possible, I wouldn't condone it, bonds is just as much of a " cheater " as roger hornsby, who admitted to cheating.

      "I've cheated, or someone on my team has cheated, in almost every single game I've been in."

      http://baseball-almanac.com/quotes/quohorn.shtml

      Ridiculous - It seems like the " cheaters " of the modern era are the only ones singled out for this crap. In all honesty It wouldn't bother me at all if bonds passes aaron. It would be one drug user passing another. Big whoop.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Taco De Muerte
        It's impossible to " erase " statistics in baseball. This isn't the olympics.

        Anyway, even if it were possible, I wouldn't condone it, bonds is just as much of a " cheater " as roger hornsby, who admitted to cheating.

        "I've cheated, or someone on my team has cheated, in almost every single game I've been in."

        http://baseball-almanac.com/quotes/quohorn.shtml

        Ridiculous - It seems like the " cheaters " of the modern era are the only ones singled out for this crap. In all honesty It wouldn't bother me at all if bonds passes aaron. It would be one drug user passing another. Big whoop.
        While I agree Aaron probably did cheat, 99.9% of people do (I'd be willing to bet every person on this board has cheated at something atleast once in their life), a great deal of people may want to disagree with you on that

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Astro
          While I agree Aaron probably did cheat, 99.9% of people do (I'd be willing to bet every person on this board has cheated at something atleast once in their life), a great deal of people may want to disagree with you on that
          I really could care less who disagreees with me. I'm just stating the facts. I'm not here to bash anyone's favorite player, I'm just stating the truth.

          Hank aaron took amphetamines, he took it to get an edge over his opponents. Perry threw spitballs, ruth corked ( according to billjames atleast), the list goes on and on.

          It's no different than what bonds did, I don't care about the " degree " of it, the intentions for all cheaters are the same, well except cheaters like shoeless joe who choose to throw games for money. That type of cheating is the worst.

          Comment


          • #6
            Nothing can or should be done about anyone's stats. They have a testing program in place now and it's about time baseball caught to almost all the other major sports, now lets move on.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Taco De Muerte
              Hank aaron took amphetamines, he took it to get an edge over his opponents. Perry threw spitballs, ruth corked ( according to billjames atleast), the list goes on and on.
              the worst.
              I wish Bill James would put up or shut up, he talks with no proof. In 1923 Babe Ruth and Ken Williams used the "Crawford bat" for a few weeks.

              On the date that Bill James that umps " caught" Ruth using a corked bat in 1923 there was nothing in the NY.Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, washington Post nothing. Babe Ruth's bat shatters during a game and no paper carries the story the next day, your dreaming Bill.

              It was not against the rules, Ruth and Williams were surprised when Ban Johnson told them they could no longer use the bat since there was no rule on it.

              Most important, it was not corked, it was laminated. In fact in later seasons laminated bats were not illegal in the game.
              Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 04-06-2006, 09:17 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Taco De Muerte
                I really could care less who disagreees with me. I'm just stating the facts. I'm not here to bash anyone's favorite player, I'm just stating the truth.

                Hank aaron took amphetamines, he took it to get an edge over his opponents. Perry threw spitballs, ruth corked ( according to billjames atleast), the list goes on and on.

                It's no different than what bonds did, I don't care about the " degree " of it, the intentions for all cheaters are the same, well except cheaters like shoeless joe who choose to throw games for money. That type of cheating is the worst.
                I'm still not convinced Joe Jackson fixed games, he had a .375 batting average, threw out five baserunners, and had thirty chances in the outfield with no errors during the 1919 series

                While it is bad to fix games, the players were horribly underpayed and I can see why they did what they did

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3
                  I wish Bill James would put up or shut up, he talks with no proof. In 1923 Babe Ruth and Ken Williams used the "Crawford bat" for a few weeks.

                  It was not against the rules, Ruth and Williams were surprised when Ban Johnson told them they could no longer use the bat since there was no rule on it.

                  Most important, it was not corked, it was laminated. In fact in later seasons laminated bats were not illegal in the game.


                  One at a time Joe, one at a time. Might as well just keep that retort nearby so you can just paste it whenever someone reads Bill James' crap.

                  As for the article, I agree with it. We can handle judging things for ourselves. We will all make mental notes, and rightly so.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3
                    I wish Bill James would put up or shut up, he talks with no proof. In 1923 Babe Ruth and Ken Williams used the "Crawford bat" for a few weeks.

                    On the date that Bill James that umps " caught" Ruth using a corked bat in 1923 there was nothing in the NY.Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, washington Post nothing. Babe Ruth's bat shatters during a game and no paper carries the story the next day, your dreaming Bill.

                    It was not against the rules, Ruth and Williams were surprised when Ban Johnson told them they could no longer use the bat since there was no rule on it.

                    Most important, it was not corked, it was laminated. In fact in later seasons laminated bats were not illegal in the game.
                    Well... steroids werent against the rules either... but I think we've went over this before

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=Astro]Well... steroids werent against the rules either... but I think we've went over this before[/QUOTE

                      Yes we did, steroids banned after the 2002 season, before that not against the rules.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=SHOELESSJOE3]
                        Originally posted by Astro
                        Well... steroids werent against the rules either... but I think we've went over this before[/QUOTE

                        Yes we did, steroids banned after the 2002 season, before that not against the rules.
                        it was banned but was not tested for
                        2009 World Series Champions, The New York Yankees

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Astro
                          I'm still not convinced Joe Jackson fixed games,
                          Jackson took the money, $5,000 to be exact, and quickly spent it.


                          Originally posted by Astro
                          he had a .375 batting average, threw out five baserunners, and had thirty chances in the outfield with no errors during the 1919 series
                          Read this - On the other, Jackson hit .250 with one run scored and no RBI in the four thrown games, while batting .500 with four runs and six RBI in the other four. In each of the first two games, both of which were thrown, Jackson allowed a two-out, two-run triple to left field. And even if the evidence that Jackson actually threw the Series is equivocal, the evidence that he was paid to do so is overwhelming.
                          http://www.businessofbaseball.com/shoelessjoe.htm


                          Originally posted by Astro
                          While it is bad to fix games, the players were horribly underpayed and I can see why they did what they did
                          Oh please, that's a cop out excuse apologists use. He did what he did, and deserves the lifetime ban, period.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Taco De Muerte
                            I really could care less who disagreees with me. I'm just stating the facts. I'm not here to bash anyone's favorite player, I'm just stating the truth.

                            Hank aaron took amphetamines, he took it to get an edge over his opponents. Perry threw spitballs, ruth corked ( according to billjames atleast), the list goes on and on.

                            It's no different than what bonds did, I don't care about the " degree " of it, the intentions for all cheaters are the same, well except cheaters like shoeless joe who choose to throw games for money. That type of cheating is the worst.
                            Aaron, according to his Bio took Amphetamines once because he felt run downand, hated the way It made him feel and never took them again. Taking something once and never taking it again is much different than what Bonds did.
                            The intentions of all "cheaters" is not the same. I'm willing to bet that most peple took steroids to get more money/bigger contracts. Some people took them because they erroniously believed it would help them with their injuries.
                            And then there is Barry who took them because (supposedly) he was jelous of McGwire and Sosa.

                            There are different penalties for amphetamine abuse and Steroids and those penalties are different from those who have corked a bat or scuffed a ball.

                            You can't just lump everyone who has done something to get an advntage togeather reguardless of the level of their infraction just as a judge couldn't in todays criminal justice system. Its an oversimplification of the problem and basicly a cop out because what Bonds has done in my opinion calls the integrity of the game into question today just as much as the black sox scandal did in the early 20th century.
                            Get out the Vote!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ESPNFan
                              Aaron, according to his Bio took Amphetamines once because he felt run downand, hated the way It made him feel and never took them again. Taking something once and never taking it again is much different than what Bonds did.

                              I dont care if aaron took it " once ", he took it to get an edge over his opponents, period. No different from what bonds did. Stop making up excuses. That's like condoning tom house's use of anabolic steroids and amphetamines because he didn't " know " what he was doing.



                              Originally posted by ESPNFan
                              The intentions of all "cheaters" is not the same. I'm willing to bet that most peple took steroids to get more money/bigger contracts. Some people took them because they erroniously believed it would help them with their injuries.
                              And then there is Barry who took them because (supposedly) he was jelous of McGwire and Sosa.
                              All of this does nothing but further prove my point. Bonds, a great player, was jealous of two other players getting all the attention, so he felt compelled to use steroids, as I'm sure aaron felt compelled to use greenies because others did it. As I said before, all cheaters have the same intention, which is to somehow " enhance " their game. Whether it's helping yourself recover from injuries, workouts, increasing energy and endurance, making yourself " hit better ", or " pitch better ", the intentions are EXACTLY the same, period.

                              Originally posted by ESPNFan
                              There are different penalties for amphetamine abuse and Steroids and those penalties are different from those who have corked a bat or scuffed a ball.
                              That's fantastic.

                              Originally posted by ESPNFan
                              You can't just lump everyone who has done something to get an advntage togeather reguardless of the level of their infraction just as a judge couldn't in todays criminal justice system. Its an oversimplification of the problem and basicly a cop out because what Bonds has done in my opinion calls the integrity of the game into question today just as much as the black sox scandal did in the early 20th century.
                              Call it a cop out, an excuse whatever, I could care less. The simple fact is, bonds took steroids to get an edge over his opponents, as did aaron with greenies, cash with corked bats, schmidt with greenies, and well you know the rest.

                              Whether or not it calls the " integrity " of the game into question is a matter of opinion.

                              Comment

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