Tag:Rafael Palmeiro
Posted on: January 5, 2011 2:21 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 5:33 am
 

Blyleven debate ended with trip to HOF

Bert Blyleven This year's Hall of Fame vote signals the end of the great Bert Blyleven debate, as the right-hander finally got in to the Hall of Fame.

It was long a debate that had grown old and, thankfully for Blyleven, ended in what is his rightful place in Cooperstown.

Blyleven's case shows the power of the internet and its influence on what is a membership slow to movement, the BBWAA electorate. Blyleven started with 17 percent of the vote in his first year of the vote and 15 percent in the second, all the way to more than the required 75 percent this season, his 14th year on the ballot.

Maybe that's a bit of hope for the likes of Barry Larkin, Tim Raines and Alan Trammell, but the "was he good enough" debate has officially become passé.

With the exclusion of Jeff Bagwell and Rafael Palmeiro, the BBWAA voters are now voting on morality over baseball.

I'm as big of a supporter of the BBWAA and its election as anyone you'll find without a vote. In its defense, I offer only the Gold Gloves (voted on by coaches and managers), All-Star starters (fans) and the Veteran's Committee for the Hall of Fame which has kept Marvin Miller out. But on this latest test, the BBWAA voters have failed.

Jeff Bagwell has no-doubt Hall of Fame numbers, he also has the aura so many ask for in their voting. When he was at the plate, he didn't look out of place in Cooperstown. Instead, he's on the outside because of suspicions, not facts. As journalists, we are supposed to write what we can prove. Nobody has been able to prove anything about Bagwell other than what he produced on the field.

Jeff Bagwell For too many writers, the voting is based too much on their own insecurities for how they did their job. They wish they'd been able to break the big story -- or even look good in retrospect by throwing out a suspicion -- and are using that to now stand a ground, despite having no ground on which to stand.

Things will get even more interesting next year, as those focused on the Blyleven case will shift their focus to the suspected steroid users. There's no real compelling first-year eligible players next season (Bernie Williams, who will not be elected, is the biggest new name on the ballot), so it seems like the year that Larkin will be enshrined and we could even see great gains by the likes of Trammell and Raines. But that won't be the story.

Instead, we'll be looking at Palmeiro and Bagwell as test cases for the 2013 first-year nominees in Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza and Sammy Sosa. If this year's voting is a guide, the Hall of Fame will be without some of its greatest players in the next 20 years. Bonds and Clemens, in the discussion for the greatest of all time, could be left in the cold with Pete Rose signing autographs outside the Hall of Fame instead of having their picture hanging in it.

As Rose has found, a simple admission of guilt won't do. The voters want to serve as judge and jury, sentencing some of the best players of all time to a future without the Hall of Fame. Mark McGwire was judged for the first time since he admitted his steroid use last January. He went from 128 votes (23.5 percent) of the votes in his first year of eligibility in 2007 to 128 votes (23.7 percent) last season. This year his vote total went down, to 19.8 percent. Palmeiro -- one of just four players with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs -- garnered just 11 percent of the vote, while "whispers" kept Bagwell to 41.7 percent.

As tiresome as the Blyleven/Jack Morris debate had become it's about to get more contentious.

Here's the final voting
Name Votes Pct.
Roberto Alomar 523 90.0%
Bert Blyleven 463 79.7%
Barry Larkin 361 62.1%
Jack Morris 311 53.5%
Lee Smith 263 45.3%
Jeff Bagwell 242 41.7%
Tim Raines 218 37.5%
Edgar Martinez 191 32.9%
Alan Trammell 141 24.3%
Larry Walker 118 20.3%
Mark McGwire 115 19.8%
Fred McGriff 104 17.9%
Dave Parker 89 15.3%
Don Mattingly 79 13.6%
Dale Murphy 73 12.6%
Rafael Palmeiro 64 11.0%
Juan Gonzalez 30 5.2%
Harold Baines 28 4.8%
John Franco 27 4.6%
Kevin Brown 12 2.1%
Tino Martinez 6 1.0%
Marquis Grissom 4 0.7%
Al Leiter 4 0.7%
John Olerud 4 0.7%
B.J. Surhoff 2 0.3%
Bret Boone 1 0.2%
Benito Santiago 1 0.2%
Carlos Baerga 0 0.0%
Lenny Harris 0 0.0%
Bobby Higginson 0 0.0%
Charles Johnson 0 0.0%
Raul Mondesi 0 0.0%
Kirk Rueter 0 0.0%



-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 29, 2010 5:15 pm
 

'Tis the season for steroid denials

With Hall of Fame ballots due Friday, two players on the ballot for the first time are speaking out about steroid use -- or more specifically not using steroids.

Both are likely to fall on deaf ears -- well, one is, and the other will be laughed at. Jeff Bagwell and Rafael Palmeiro both denied they used steroids this week. Bagwell spoke to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick and Palmeiro spoke to SI.com's Mel Antonen .

Palmeiro is a test case for the steroid era -- he's the first person with Hall-worth numbers (3,000 hits, 500 home runs -- numbers that made a player an automatic selection before the steroid era) to have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He's also further tainted by appearing before Congress and denying steroid use, only to then test positive.

From Antonen's article:
"I was telling the truth then, and I am telling the truth now," Palmeiro, 46, said in a phone interview with SI.com. "I don't know what else I can say. I have never taken steroids. For people who think I took steroids intentionally I'm never going to convince them. But I hope the voters judge my career fairly and don't look at one mistake."
Palmeiro continues to stick to the reacher unbelievable story that he used a tainted vial of "vitamin B-12" given to him by Miguel Tejada and injected by his wife.

There's no smoking gun with Bagwell, just a ton of hearsay and innuendo.

From Crasnick's article:
"I never used [steroids], and I'll tell you exactly why: If I could hit between 30 and 40 home runs every year and drive in 120 runs, why did I need to do anything else? I was pretty happy with what I was doing, and that's the God's honest truth. All of a sudden guys were starting to hit 60 or 70 home runs and people were like, 'Dude, if you took [PEDs], you could do it too.' And I was like, 'I'm good where I'm at. I just want to do what I can do.'
"I know a lot of people are saying, 'His body got bigger.' Well, if you're eating 30 pounds of meat every single day and you're working out and bench pressing, you're going to get bigger. You can go to every single trainer and they'll say, 'He was the first here and last to leave, and that dude worked his ass off.'

"The heavy lifting all started in 1995. I was going through a divorce and I came to spring training, and I thought everything was good. Then I got to spring training and I'll never forget it: Mike Hampton looked at me and said, 'Dude, what's wrong with you? You're so skinny, you look like you're on crack.' I look back at the stats and they weren't bad [21 homers, 87 RBIs and a .290 batting average in 114 games]. But I told myself, 'I'm never going to have somebody say that to me again.' I said, 'I'm going to find a trainer and get strong.'
30 pounds of meat a day? That's more impressive than 449 career home runs, an MVP and six Top 10 finishes in the MVP.

Honestly, I think Bagwell would be an interesting case for the Hall without the steroid suspicions, but with them, I don't see him getting as much support this year as his numbers would warrant.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb   on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.




Posted on: August 16, 2010 11:24 am
Edited on: August 16, 2010 4:16 pm
 

Palmeiro sticking to his story


Rafael Palmeiro Rafael Palmeiro is sticking by his story -- in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram , Palmeiro says he never knowingly took steroids, but instead took a "tainted shot of vitamin B12" for an energy boost and hopes he can still make the Hall of Fame.

Fat chance.

I'm not a Hall of Fame voter, so it doesn't matter if I'd vote for him or not -- but enough people aren't voting for Mark McGwire and his implied doping that there's zero shot Palmeiro gets in with a positive test.

The Star-Telegram 's Drew Davidson caught up with Palmeiro while one of just four players in the game's history with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, is unlikely to get the 75 percent of votes from 10-year members of the BBWAA in Hall of Fame voting.
"I'd hope voters would look at my body of work over my career and maybe put more emphasis on that," Palmeiro said. "That one steroid incident is unfortunately all people remember. They don't remember the other 19 years that I played the game the right way." Palmeiro also said he knew he'd failed a test when he recorded his 3,000th hit in 2005.
"Usually, baseball celebrates something like that, it's almost like an achievement of baseball instead of an individual or team achievement," Palmeiro said. "But I can honestly tell you, that was as dark of a moment in my career as ever. I don't even like thinking back on that." Anyway, go read the whole thing . It's very interesting. I still don't buy his story, but he's sticking to it.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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