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Thread: Baseball Hall of Fame

  1. #21
    Senior Member Lou Schuler's Avatar
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    Baseball Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by "Siltz":1v7rqe4s
    Yes, I read your post, I just disagree with you. I don't think you're a dick, we just have different opinions.
    But you understand the expertise he brings to his opinion, right? Which also tracks with mine, as a lifelong fan and journalist who has done some reporting on this issue?

  2. #22
    Siltz
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    Baseball Hall of Fame

    Yes, I'm not arguing anyones qualifications, we just don't share the same opinion.

  3. #23

    Baseball Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by "Siltz":6yg6o00i
    Yes, I'm not arguing anyones qualifications, we just don't share the same opinion.
    So do you bring any expertise to the convo or just your opinions?

  4. #24
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    Man you guys appear to be ganging up on a guy who just seems to be trying to state that his opinion is different.

    Did I miss an inflammatory post some where?

  5. #25

    Baseball Hall of Fame

    Nope. Not ganging up. Just trying to figure out what his level of experience is. Is he someone that we should take note of and reconsider our assessment based on his new-to-us perspective??

  6. #26
    Siltz
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    Baseball Hall of Fame

    Former small college football player, high school football and wrestling coach, physical education teacher. Masters Degree in Sport Administration. Never used steroids. Played Babe Ruth level baseball. A fan of the game, by no means an expert. As for the ganging up, I was warned by others who frequent this forum that this may happen if you disagree with some of the people here. I do not take offense. Feeling strongly about our positions and discussing them passionately is what makes things interesting. Your arguments may change my opinion in the end. My original post (rant?) was not meant to say that PED usage is the right thing to do. I was trying to point out hypocrisy in the MLB. I also think there are much more important issues that we, as a society, should tackle instead of worrying about sports.

  7. #27

    Baseball Hall of Fame

    I agree with some of your thoughts:

    -- Pitchers used PEDs just as much as hitters. Good point, and their performance (velocity, recovery) benefitted greatly from steroids.
    -- Bonds was HOF-level before steroids. Absolutely! He was one of the best and most versatile players of all time before he began juicing. Afterward, he was the best power hitter of all time and had no versatility.

    On the "gang up" thing, I think what you saw was people reading your conclusions and asking for your thought process. Lou and I laid out some details of how we got to our perspectives, and you noted you disagreed, which is fine. We're just trying to learn about why you disagree, and how you formed that perspective. I change my mind on things regularly, often driven by discussions in this forum, so I'm open to input.

    I'll admit it'll be tough to change my opinion on the idea that steroids don't help a player put the bat on the ball. Because at the pro levels of baseball, all players have the incredible hand/eye coordination it takes to make solid contact. That's not their limitation. Their limitations are the bat speed to get ahead of the fastball, the inability to train and maintain strength during a grueling season, and the struggle to stay healthy over the course of 162 games. I think steroids help immensely with all three of those limitations, which allows their incredible "bat on the ball" skill to be fully utilized.

    Your stance on the HOF vote is interesting and I feel some of those same things. It was a somewhat even playing field in the last 80s and through the 90s since so many players (but not all) were using. And previous generations used other substances to try and get an advantage. My struggle is that I don't believe greenies and painkillers had anywhere near the effect of steroids, either on the game-by-game performances or the career statistics.

  8. #28
    Siltz
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    Baseball Hall of Fame

    I think we agree on most points. PED's will never make an average athlete into an elite athlete. Elite performers are blessed with enormous god given talent. They work hard and hone it to a razors edge. Any advantage they get, or believe they get, from taking steroids puts them one step ahead of the competition. What I find fascinating is the psychology behind greatness. What drives someone to commit all their time and energy to the accomplishment of one goal? How do you justify the sacrifices some athletes make to be great?

    Your point about steroids helping a players "bat on the ball" skills is very accurate. They wouldn't be in the majors if they couldn't make solid contact. Those warning track outs now clear the fence by 30 feet. Perhaps the benefit of greenies and pain killers was that it gave the athletes more opportunities to use those "bat on ball" skills. The law of averages must have gotten them a few more hits in the long run.
    For the record, despite our differences of opinion, I enjoy our conversations. I try to learn something new whenever I can and appreciate your insight.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by "Siltz":328mmxl7
    PED's will never make an average athlete into an elite athlete.
    Though PEDs can make an average elite athlete an elite elite athlete...

  10. #30
    Siltz
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    Agreed!

  11. #31
    Senior Member Lou Schuler's Avatar
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    I meant to rejoin the conversation earlier, but life interfered.

    Great points all around.

    Some thoughts:

    For some players of the steroid era, it was simple enough to see the difference the drugs made.

    Rafael Palmeiro, for example, was never a power hitter in college or early in the majors. He became a different kind of hitter between his age 25 and age 26 seasons when he was with the Rangers.

    One article I read a few years back made a statistical case that nobody in baseball history before Palmeiro had changed his slugging profile so completely. He went from hitting 14 home runs in 1990 to 20+, then 30+, then 40+ 4 different times, including his age 36 and 37 seasons.

    Years ago, I think on my blog, I noted that the most difficult thing to figure out would be the guy who takes steroids all through the minors and then throughout his major-league career. We'd never have the "before" picture to use for comparison, and as a hitter he'd probably peak right about when you'd expect him to.

    That fits Mike Piazza perfectly. When he reached the majors at age 24, he was an instant superstar and Rookie of the Year. His peak years came when he was 26-29 -- exactly where you'd expect them to be.

    The only red flag with Piazza is the fact he was such a nonentity when he started. He was drafted by the Dodgers in the 62nd round out of a junior college, and even that was regarded as a favor to his godfather, Tommy Lasorda. His first couple years in the minors he showed little power. You can see a big jump at age 22, when he went from 6 HRs in one minor league to 29 in another, but he also went from a pitchers' league to one more conducive to hitters.

    If Piazza juiced all along, he did a great job of covering his tracks. There's been innuendo about his backne, but AFAIK nothing close to a smoking gun.

    Compare that to A-Rod. He was a #1 overall draft choice, and universally seen as a future superstar. The guy came up hitting and never stopped. It's really only because of his sloppiness that we have anything. He flunked one drug test (in 2003, IIRC), which the public was never supposed to know about. He admitted it and apologized. But now through his association with Biogenesis we can infer that he never really stopped. He just got much better at passing drug tests.

    Where does that leave us now? I don't know how we'll end up evaluating steroid-era guys. But short of building a special wing on the Hall of Fame for the sluggers of the '90s and early '00s, I think we're going to have to settle for whatever the sportswriters choose to give us. They've already inducted without hesitation at least one steroid-era guy, Rickey Henderson, and will probably wave a couple others on through while possibly keeping out some who were clean.

    I think it's going to be much easier with the pitchers. I'm sure some of them did their share, but I'm pretty sure the drugs didn't help them the way they helped the hitters, for the reasons I laid out earlier. As soon as baseball started testing, offense dropped. Pitchers now throw harder on average than they did in the steroid era, and rack up more strikeouts.

    Training protocols for ballplayers have changed quite a bit in the past 10 years or so, thanks in part to guys like our friend Eric Cressey. They certainly don't train like bodybuilders, as they did during the steroid era. But those training methods have improved pitchers' velocity and overall effectiveness more than they have for hitters.

    Overall, I think this is a great time to be a baseball fan. To me, it's a more balanced game, with a greater range of factors that can produce a win. I guess that's one of the reasons why I'm so adamant about the effects steroids had. I prefer this type of baseball, and I hope MLB can figure out how to preserve it.

  12. #32

    Baseball Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by "Siltz":31yxb715
    I think we agree on most points. PED's will never make an average athlete into an elite athlete. Elite performers are blessed with enormous god given talent. They work hard and hone it to a razors edge. Any advantage they get, or believe they get, from taking steroids puts them one step ahead of the competition. What I find fascinating is the psychology behind greatness. What drives someone to commit all their time and energy to the accomplishment of one goal? How do you justify the sacrifices some athletes make to be great?

    Your point about steroids helping a players "bat on the ball" skills is very accurate. They wouldn't be in the majors if they couldn't make solid contact. Those warning track outs now clear the fence by 30 feet. Perhaps the benefit of greenies and pain killers was that it gave the athletes more opportunities to use those "bat on ball" skills. The law of averages must have gotten them a few more hits in the long run.
    For the record, despite our differences of opinion, I enjoy our conversations. I try to learn something new whenever I can and appreciate your insight.
    I disagree. Bret Boone is the best example of an average player who became a great player due to steroids.
    http://www.complex.com/sports/2012/0...ry/steroids-25

  13. #33

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    I think the overall point of that sentence was that average person in the rec league won't become a guy who OPSes 900 in the show with PEDs.

    Bret Boone was already an elite baseball player in the grand scheme. he just went from average to elite in the elite baseball player category

  14. #34
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    What is the point of an HOF if the best players of an era are not in there? The fact is, many of the great ones from this era were "dirty." (IMO, we are only beginning to find out how many). Baseball fans just have to deal with it. They are never going to get to feel about the records in their game like they used to. That is just the reality of the situation.

    It is a little like the underfunding of our municipal pensions. Everybody knew about it in the back of their heads, and there have been this or that article about it for decades. But "officially" it was not to be recognized. Now it is what it is. Reality, as always, intrudes.

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