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Friday, October 30, 2009
Pearlman on McGwireJeff Pearlman brings the Mark McGwire sanctimony:
Worst of all, however, McGwire was a baseball thief. At the very moment his 341-foot home run landed behind the outfield fence, he robbed Roger Maris of the most important record in professional sports. He robbed the Maris family of future income from 61-related merchandising and events. He robbed the Hall of Fame -- which swooped up McGwire memorabilia as if it were free Twinkies -- of its credibility, he robbed those fans who spent hundreds of dollars for a ticket in order to witness history and he robbed thousands upon thousands of kids of a seemingly genuine role model.
Pearlman often writes how disgusted he is with what baseball has become. I can't help but think that if he hadn't had such a ridiculously idealistic notion of what it was in the first place, he never would have crashed so hard to begin with.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 2:56pm
yg bluig said...
@ Mike H, “I paid to watch him play and I’ll pay to watch him coach. ”
Dude, you’ll pay money to go to the park to watch him be a batting coach? Really? What does a batting coach do during the game that is worth paying to see. All you’ll be able to see from the stands is him spitting sunflower seeds and nodding approvingly to everything LaRussa says.
Actually, McGwire’s contributions at that Congressional hearing are best remembered but of all the people there, he was actually the most ethical one there. He basically took the 5th Amendment and refused to incriminate himself. It is a right. If they don’t have any evidence against you, you don’t have to supply it for them.
If the Cards want to hire McGwire to be a hitting coach, I don’t see it as a slap in the face of the honorable men, past and present, who have served in that capacity.
Posted 10/30 at 09:55 PM
Ahhhhh, the good ol’ days, when the alltime hit king was a violent, racist lunatic rather than a pathetic degenerate gambler.
Posted 10/30 at 11:16 PM
Pearlman should be showing up any time now to defend himself. A few years ago on my 25-hits-per-day blog I criticized something he wrote, and he took the time to fire off a dismissive comment. Man’s a self-Googler.
Posted 10/31 at 08:28 AM
Perlman’s rantings aside, the problem with steroids in the game is that it takes average players like McGuire and turns them into superstars. Unlike other great athletes, his ‘greatness’ came after age 30. Comparing his 30 and under stats to his 31 and over stats, he hit an additional 165 HR (238 vs 403) in only 40 additional AB (3342 vs 3385). He never had an OPS over 1.000 for a 100+ game season until age 31 & then only had 1 season under 1.000 after that.
The top 5 HR list for age 31 and after highlights the issue. They are: 1) Barry Bonds 2) Babe Ruth 3)Hank Aaron 4)Rafael Palmeiro 5) Mark McGuire. The 2 HR kings and 3 roid boys. Babe started as a pitcher and didn’t get 500 PA until 24. Aaron is number 7 on the 31 and under list and 31 is the midpoint of his career. As you would expect of a normal athlete he hit more HR when younger than older (398 vs 389).
Illegal or not roids is still cheating because it gives the player an artificial advantage over non-roided players. If you reward the roid cheaters then you need to let in Pete Rose and any other player that has been kept out of the HOF for cheating.
Posted 10/31 at 12:39 PM
Alex K said...
kilroy1234- Rose hasn’t been kept out for cheating. He’s been kept out for gambling.
Posted 10/31 at 04:39 PM
Alex K - cheating is defined as using artificial means to influence the outcome of the game or a performance by either artificially improving your performance or weakening your opponents. This
Gambling on baseball is banned for the same reason. The outcome of the game is determined via artificial means and fans can’t tell if the performance is real or the game is fixed.
The game is supposed be about who is the best athlete, not who has the best pharmacist or bookie. The only difference between Rose and McGuire is that Rose worked under a commission, Giamatti, who cared deeply about the integrity of the game and enforcing standards while McGuire worked under Selig who doesn’t seem to care much about anything but making $.
Posted 10/31 at 09:27 PM
Alex K said...
Gambling and steroids are not the same thing.
Trying to fix the outcome of the game and taking substances that may or may not help your performance will never be equal.
Posted 11/01 at 10:05 AM
Gambling and steroids are the same issue.
Nobody ever accused Rose of fixing a game, simply betting on the game. However, once the betting is there people question if the game has been fixed.
Once roids are in everyone questions who is taking them and who isn’t, whose performance is real and whose is chemically induced. Since when have roids NOT improved a performance? There is no question that performance enhancing drugs significantly enhance performance. McGuire doesn’t do roids and he simply becomes another guy with a great rookie year that never panned out.
Again the game is supposed be about the best athletes, not the best pharmacist.
Posted 11/01 at 10:32 AM
Alex K said...
Are spit balls and scuff balls the same as gambling? They are also trying to gain an advantage.
Can you name every player that took PED’s? How do you know if they improved their performance? I’m not saying that steroids do nothing, I’m just not going to paint every steroid user with the same brush.
Posted 11/01 at 11:27 AM
You really need to stop alluding to things like this, as you couldn’t be more wrong. Here are his stats. Career 162 OPS+ hitter, only two years below 129 and one was his last year. The guy was a great hitter with a triple slash of .263/.394/.588.
Unless you are assuming he took steroids for his entire career, of which there is no proof, stop saying that he was an average hitter.
Posted 11/01 at 11:36 AM
so, pearlman writes a book about what a hoot the drug taking, cheating, violent, drunken ‘86 Mets were…a celebration, really.
and, he writes a book about what a cheating cocksucker barry bonds is/was…
and, now, he’s down on Mac.
i don’t find a continuous thread of well considered, rational opinion tying the three of these topics together. is it possible that pearlman’s one of those guys who like to hear himself talk so much that it really doesn’t occur to him that reflection’s a necessary thing…when you write for a living…so that you’re presenting some sort of coherent viewpoint?
without the coherent, consistant viewpoint…the writing is a mush of addled bullshit.
could pearlman not know this?
Posted 11/01 at 12:53 PM
MJ - please go back and read my previous post about pre age 30 and post age 30 performance. You can’t use his roid numbers to justify he was great player with or without roids. His post age 30 numbers are significantly better than his under 30 numbers which is a pretty clear sign of performance enhancing drugs since without them athlete’s performance declines with age.
If you use his career PA and average his age 30 & under (prime of an athlete’s career) performance numbers to calculate non-roid career numbers you get a line of 0.258/0.372/0.524 with only 455 HR. His numbers would match up pretty closely to Fred McGriff and he would move from #8 on the all time HR list to #33. Respectable numbers but not HOF numbers. My ‘never panned out’ statement was misleading. What I meant was he would be an above average player, but not an all time great player.
Alex - yes, cheating is the same as gambling, that is why both are illegal and why players get fined for that activity. As for who uses PEDs, my posts are rather clear. Anyone defies the effects of aging and starts posting consistently improved numbers year over year after age 30 is almost certainly using PED.
Posted 11/01 at 03:10 PM
This is a false setup because you don’t know definitively when he started taking steroids. You can’t just say everything after age 30 = roided years b/c (wrongly) every athlete performs worse after age 30.
The following athletes all had fantastic seasons after age 30, some better than pre-30 seasons, did they all take steroids?
Posted 11/01 at 05:57 PM
Wonderful job finding excellent examples to prove my point. These numbers are the averages for ba/obp/slg/ops for each player from the age they started playing thru age 30 and from age 31 thru their last year (B-ref has some cool functionality that made this very easy)
Gee, wonder which of the above players used roids?
I am not saying that a player cannot have a great season or 2 after age 30, of course they can. But human beings get weaker as they get older so power numbers will reduce as a player ages. That is why Killebrew’s, Aaron’s, and McCovey’s power numbers are significantly lower after than 30 than before. NONE of them shows the almost 30% improvement in OPS & 35% improvement in SLG after age 30.
Posted 11/01 at 07:33 PM
Alex K said...
Just to be clear you think that doctoring the ball, steroids, and gambling are all equals?
Posted 11/01 at 07:42 PM
Anyone defies the effects of aging and starts posting consistently improved numbers year over year after age 30 is almost certainly using PED.
This statement simply cannot be made with any authority or sincerity, because it’s completely unfalsifiable. If you wish to be taken seriously, it’s best not to make outlandish general statements such as that (I’m not saying this as an insult so much as a person who once almost daily made statements like these about baseball, and then realized that stating incorrect things unequivocally is much worse than being wrong in the first place).
Let’s say that the odds of a player being better after his 30th birthday is 90:10 against. Even with those incredible, over-the-top odds, 10 percent of players should experience a spike in performance in their 30s. And considering most of the people you’d incriminate with your statement are also among the best players in baseball (or were at the time), it would follow that they’re prime candidates to be a part of that 10 percent.
Age and growth curves are based on massive samples and indicate a trend, not law. Not only do individual data points three or four (or more) standard deviations from the mean occur naturally and frequently, they MUST occur, or the mean would be lower.
This isn’t to say no one was using PEDs. It’s just to say that your method of rooting them out is as scientific as saying only witches float.
Posted 11/02 at 07:17 PM
Diesel - I found a variety of great players, with exceptional careers after 30, that prove my point. Let me know when you find a single person that played more than 1 or 2 years after 30 that proves yours. Let me know how many players you find that improve their power number by 30%+ as they get older.
Alex - all are forms of cheating, but obviously doctoring the ball is less important. Is your point that steroids isn’t cheating?
Posted 11/02 at 08:40 PM
My familiarity with the wisdom of Oscar Wilde prevents me from engaging you further. I encourage you to read him as well, Kilroy.
Posted 11/02 at 08:48 PM
Alex K said...
My entire point was that gambling is worse than steroids. And they are not even remotely similar.
Posted 11/02 at 09:20 PM
Diesel - I’m glad you found my argument convincing, hopefully you didn’t find it vulgar.
Alex K - Why is gambling worse than steroids? Betting on a game has no impact on the outcome. Steroid use obviously has an impact on the games, in the favor of the cheater.
Posted 11/04 at 08:19 AM