I think I wrote and stated most about McGwire yesterday. The steroids may have helped him extend his career and put up the numbers he did. Which is unfair to anyone whose career was shortened but who did it the right way.
Put it this way. Say steroids would have helped Mickey Mantle (and considering some of Mickey’s tape measure shots, could you imagine Mickey on steroids?). Say Mickey is healthier in those last four years, 1965-1968. Say they add a few more years to his career and that instead of 1968 being his last year, it’s 1971 instead. Say Mickey winds up with 600+ HR instead of 536. Who knows? Would Mickey have taken steroids had they been around in 1962? Who knows. McGwire says he did it to get back on the field. Given Mickey’s injuries that he played through, we just don’t know, do we? I wrote a few years ago about the shot Mickey got from a quack at the end of the 1961 season. That shot was supposed to cure a cold that Mickey had. Who knows what was in the needle that infected Mickey and caused him to miss the end of the season and most of the World Series?
Can you imagine if steroids could have helped Don Mattingly? If they could have cured his back problems and restored him to the 1984-1989 Donnie Baseball? McGwire may have had his career saved. Could they have done the same for Donnie?
Kevin Kernan’s column in the Post today (1-12-10) was worth reading. It’s Title says it all…”Truth remains he’s a cheat.” I wouldn’t vote for McGwire for the HOF. My stance is that if he, or for that matter, Rose or a Joe Jackson ever get in, that the last line on the plaque should read gambling, steroids or whatever to let the fan visiting the hall…many years later…know exactly the controversy that surrounded the individual.
This doesn’t only go for McGwire. You wonder how Commissioner Landis would have handled this vs. the spineless, gutless Bud Selig. I’ll tell you this. Landis, if getting a sniff of this, would have barred them all. Clemens, Bonds, A-Rod, all of them. Granted I’m a Yankees fan and hope that A-Rod helps lead the Yanks to a WS title in 2010 as he did in 2009, but if he were barred, I’d accept it.
It’s one thing for a Pettitte to do it once or twice (50 game suspension in my eyes). But Alex admitted to three years of it. McGwire admits to years of doing it. Different scenario. Bar for good? I’d go with it, even if it is Alex and it hurts the Yankees. The problem here, of course is that Alex did it while with Texas. Who should then get punished, Texas or New York? Alex, definitely. But which team?
Sad music news. Knack frontman Doug Fieger has cancer. It looks pretty bad. They may have been one-hit (or one-album) wonders, but in 1979, they were a refreshing sound to those who were tired of the disco sound that permeated that year.
The summer of 1979. I’d still rather hear My Sharona
or Good Girls Don’t than We Are Family.
Good article also in the Post regarding the Rooney Rule. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reason and concept of the rule. Good intentions. But when there are obvious candidates out there like Shanahan (2 Super Bowl wins) or Carroll (a pair of national championships), then bringing in a minority candidate to interview for a job they have no chance of getting—when we all know it’s a sham interview to satisfy the Rooney Rule—makes no sense. If there is no clear cut candidate, enforce the Rooney Rule. When there is an obvious candidate, waive the rule. Don’t make a joke out of the process.
Put it this way. In 1969, the Redskins let Otto Graham go. The replacement? Some guy named Vince Lombardi (who only coached the Redskins for one year before colon cancer took his life). Would you have enforced the Rooney Rule back then? I mean, if the ‘Skins could get the best candidate available…Lombardi…would you really want to…or need to…interview anyone else? I mean, come on.
Lane Kifflin, former Raiders coach and then Tennessee, is going to replace Carroll at USC.
Forget some of the celebrity weddings. Jolie/Pitt. Streisand/Brolin. Can you imagine what the circus of paparazzi will be like, all (like the National Enquirer) trying to get shots of Jeter’s wedding?
Joel Sherman in the Post is reporting that apparently the Yanks are budgeting $2M for their LF situation this year. Hairston? Nady? Reed Johnson? But if that is the truth, certainly not JD. No way he goes from $13M to $2M.
For what it’s worth, compare Greg Maddux to Roger Clemens. Compare Ken Griffey Jr. to McGwire. For what we know, Maddux and Griffey’s numbers are clean…and better than Clemens’ and McGwire’s. Just saying…and why the respect (and first ballot votes) should be so much greater for Maddux and Griffey.
The worst part about the steroid era is that we suspect. Our suspicions about McGwire have proved true. But for others, we just don’t know…Peter Gammons writes,
Last spring, Mike Piazza talked to me about the accusations of steroid use and seemed legitimately shaken. Piazza is a smart, good man — one we all hope was clean — but he is going to have to deal with rumors and innuendo.
Sammy Sosa will have to answer the assumptions. So will Clemens and Barry Bonds and many others.
So will Jeff Bagwell when his name appears on the ballot next winter. Bagwell’s name has never turned up on any report. He lost bulk his last few seasons, but he couldn’t lift a weight for five years because of congenital arthritis in his shoulder. This summer, two of his closest friends in the game adamantly maintained there is no chance he cheated.
Bagwell, according to Elias Sports Bureau, is one of nine players with 1,500 runs, 1,500 RBIs and 200 steals — the other eight are in the Hall of Fame. Compare him to Jim Rice, and you’ll see that Bagwell had 67 more homers, 78 more RBIs, 268 more runs, 135 more extra-base hits, 84 more total bases and one more Gold Glove. His on-base percentage was 56 points higher than Rice, his slugging 38 points higher, his OPS 94 points higher and his OPS-plus 21 points higher. No doubt, no question a Hall of Famer.
I wrote the other day about Bagwell and the suspicions. If I definitely, positively KNEW he was clean, then I would consider him a HOF worthy player. But we don’t know, and that is the problem. We’d like to believe Clemens, a sure-shot 1st ballot HOF if clean, but the suspicions are too great.
God forbid someone like Jeter or Rivera be guilty. I can’t think of two cleaner players in the game.