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Congratulations HBT readers: you’re officially my minions

Jan 5, 2011, 11:53 AM EDT

Dr. Evil

Jeff Pearlman unleashes a new load of incoherence over at SI today, explaining that it’s totally OK to ignore the concept of innocent until proven guilty when it comes to PEDs. Why? Because finding evidence of PED use is hard, man.  At least that’s what I take from it.  And he may be right.  Indeed, I went back and checked all of Pearlman’s baseball columns from the late 90s and early 00s for his expose about PEDs in the game and I couldn’t find any mention of the juice.  Those steroid-users are a wily bunch. They’ve even taken to erasing media archives!

But maybe I’m not being objective here. I might be blinded by … evil!

As NBC Sports’ Calcaterra rightly pointed out in a recent post, “There is just as much evidence against [stars like Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken Jr., Randy Johnson, etc.] as there is against Bagwell.” Again, the problem with the flawed logic of Calcaterra (one of the leaders of the leave-these-poor-guys-alone movement) and his minions is: There is no evidence. Against anyone. Because baseball made certain of it.

At least I think that makes me evil. At any rate I don’t know of any forces for good that have minions.  Oh well, I’ll accept that. Evil is way more fun anyway.

And don’t just sit there looking at me, minions. Go do minion things. Drag a fair maiden back to my lair or something. And for god’s sake, learn to shoot straight. I won’t be done dirty like Darth Vader was. If one Stormtrooper had half-decent aim that afternoon Luke, Han and Leia escaped the Death Star, he’d still be ruling the galaxy.

  1. billtpa - Jan 5, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    “We live in a nation where — rumor has it — all citizens are supposed to be presumed clean until evidence shows otherwise….hat happens, however, if proof is impossible to ascertain?”

    Gee, it would’ve been nice if the founding fathers had thought of that brilliantly evocative question before founding the nation and everything. If they’d known “innocent until proven guilty” might sometimes make it HARD to find people guilty, I’m sure they would’ve scrapped the whole idea.

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:01 PM

      It’s good to see Pearlman championing the cause of illogical individualism. He’d rather be madly wrong than groupthinkingly careful and just.

    • IdahoMariner - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:12 PM

      Yikes. I just went and read the whole insane thing. Jeeeeezzuus. That’s some scary stuff, there Pearlman.
      billtpa said it with much more wit and understatement than I could, so I’m just gonna go with:

      Speaking as a prosecutor, Pearlman, what happens is — you don’t prosecute. You just have to let it go. And if you think you have enough evidence, but the jury doesn’t agree and acquits, that’s just how it goes. You have to let it go. And I’m talking criminal prosecution here, protecting society from murderers, drug dealers, drunk drivers, etc. We let it go. The prosecutors who don’t are rightly vilified. The rest of us live by our basic, guiding human and democratic principles and let it go. Because if we can’t prove it, we have to.

      It’s astonishing to me that you cannot do the same when you are talking about, as Joe Pos put it yesterday, a MUSEUM. I revere the game’s history. I think the Hall of Fame should be small-to-medium, that it is reserved for the best of the best, and I wish that every baseball player could be a role model for everyone as human beings, not just as players, but it’s..a museum. and for a museum, for a place where we say not “here are the best people who played baseball” but we say “here are the people who played baseball the best”, you can’t let it go. You can’t let it go and uphold our basic democratic principles, our basic human principles, for the sake of a museum. One which, by the way, has the opportunity to put steroid use in context just like it has the opportunity to put speed and other forms of cheating in context, and just like it has the opportunity to put the exclusion of non-white-guys in context.

      Let it go. Get a grip on yourself and let it go.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:47 PM

        Well said. I’d also add that the attack on Craig’s logic is idiotic. From an intellectually honest point of view, the only way to proceed would be to vote for everyone (with a possible exception for admitted cheats and/or people with positive tests) or vote for no one (because there is no way to know who used PEDs and who did not use PEDs).

        And that’s before you get to the point that none of these self-appointed judges seem particularly offended at all the guys who popped greenies until this decade who got into the Hall.

  2. jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    But what old Anakin wanted was to rule the galaxy together with his little boy. I think what really killed him, rather than his finger-zapping emperor, was a broken heart.

  3. Jonny 5 - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Dibs on the torture chamber. THAT sounds fun.

    • JM Lattanzi - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:05 PM

      I’ll bring the rusty ax, the hair shirt, the stocks, and the cat o’nine tails.

  4. Adam - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    I prefer to think of the minions from Despicable Me. Little yellow guys in overalls who don’t actually speak English but rather something unique that only they understand.

  5. IdahoMariner - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    wow. I’ve never been a minion. I shoot pretty well (it’s required in Idaho, look it up, I’m sure it’s in the Idaho Constitution somewheres), but other than that, I dunno. I guess if I am blowing off work reading HBT, I could just as easily be blowing off work trying to find a fair maiden to drag back to your lair…in Ohio? Yeah, um, that’s not gonna work for me. I gotta pick up the munchkin at 530, I don’t think I’d make it back, so…can I just snivel and suck up to you from way over here? or are there other minion duties I can do from long distance? like maybe leave snotty comments for Pearlman?

    • Rooster Amaro - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:03 PM

      I’ve never been so proud to be an HBT reader in all my life.

      • IdahoMariner - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:14 PM

        Well, now, that’s a much more succinct way of putting it than I did. Me, too. Well done.

  6. coryeuc - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Blame it on the Storm Troopers, really? Vader had Luke’s X-Wing in his sights in the trenches and blew that chance all on his own. No man/Sith Lord worthy of minions should have hesitated with his chance to end the Rebellion and rule the galaxy just because he didn’t want to kill his own son.

  7. jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    Pearlman quoting Howard Bryant:

    “Baseball is incredibly cowardly on this subject. They gave us a road map on Pete Rose and on the Black Sox. But they can’t give us one here? Why not?”

    OK, here’s the roadmap, and it’s the same one given for Pete Rose and other players regarding eligibility: if players are eligible for involvement in the league, such as Mark McGwire and everyone else in this discussion, than they are eligible for the Hall and should be considered on the merits of their performance. Extra points for character may be given, for whomever has displayed personal character that is highly esteemed, but there is no need for further eligibility considerations.

    What is so hard about this?

    • IdahoMariner - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:16 PM

      jkcalhoun — please repeat this comment to pearlman and bryant…and any other bbwwa voter you can find. Nicely put.

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:22 PM

        I am even now picketing the local BBWAA lodge.

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        Also, I e-mailed that comment to Pearlman and Bryant. If either one follows up, I’ll post about it here.

    • Detroit Michael - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:31 PM

      What’s so hard about it is that your proposed paragraph is not in the guidelines for the BBWAA balloting for the Hall of Fame.

      On the other hand, even if it was in the short written guidelines to the ballot, the writers still might ignore it. For example, many ignore the guideline that says pitchers are eligible for the MVP.

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:43 PM

        Yes, it is. Here is the BBWAA’s rule on eligibility among players, in full:

        3. Eligible Candidates — Candidates to be eligible must meet the following requirements:

        A. A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning twenty (20) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.

        B. Player must have played in each of ten (10) Major League championship seasons, some part of which must have been within the period described in 3 (A).

        C. Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.

        D. In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five (5) full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible shall be eligible in the next regular election held at least six (6) months after the date of death or after the end of the five (5) year period, whichever occurs first.

        E. Any player on Baseball’s ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate.

        Everyone else — including McGwire, Bonds, and Clemens — is therefore eligible. And there is no provision here for BBWAA electors to impose additional eligibility requirements. So I’m pretty sure my eligibility summary is accurate, as far as it goes (I skipped the playing time and time elapsed since retirement etc., since none of that is under consideration.)

        And here’s the second part:

        5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

        So, what I think this says is that it’s appropriate to consider character in an evaluation of whether to extend a vote. But it is not, as above, appropriate to exclude consideration of all other factors on the sole basis of a character evaluation. That would be an eligibility decision, and those are governed entirely by rule 3. A player whose character is in question, either during his era, such as Cobb, or subsequently, such as Anson, can still easily be qualified for inclusion on the basis of his ability and contributions to his teams.

        So I look at all that and come away with the conclusion that writers who want to exclude Bonds and Clemens on the fuzzy basis of character haven’t got a leg to stand on. No?

      • IdahoMariner - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:58 PM

        I agree with Detroit Michael that the writers still ignore any guidelines they get…

        and I agree with jkcalhoun on his reading of the guidelines. they list all the things that exclude you from consideration, or put another way, put you in the pool for consideration. then, assuming a player is in the pool, voters look at everything from a “plus” viewpoint — the more positives you have, the greater your case. if bad character kept you out of the hall, then it would be in the list of things that exclude you from consideration, so you wouldn’t be in the pool to be considered in the first place. and if bad character kept you out, Ty Cobb would certainly NOT have been the first player in the hall.

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:06 PM

        That’s the gist of it, yes. Of course I don’t mean to suggest that these guidelines compel a BBWAA member to vote for anyone in particular, as there is plenty of freedom here for determining how to evaluate the various “pluses”, such as ability etc.

        I was just objecting to Bryant’s criticism of the Hall for not providing guidelines that cover PEDs or any other ponderous issues, when the current guidelines are in fact sufficient to cover it. To wit, if MLB doesn’t consider the player ineligible, he’s eligible if he meets all the other terms of Rule 3. He and Pearlman may not like it, but that’s the “roadmap”.

  8. yankeesfanlen - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Who’s the Dwight Schrute among us, and does he send you fresh beets daily? Those red teeth you had one day on HBT Update were a political comment, I thought.

  9. BC - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Pearlman is a card-carrying member of Chipwich Nation.

  10. billybeaneismyhero - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Really? Pearlman is lecturing you about flawed logic? Talk about irony. Now, if he wants to be the authority about how to write over-the-top BS that appeals to the lowest common denominator of readers, then I have no problem with that.

  11. proudlycanadian - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    What is a minion?

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:19 PM

      A miniature onion? A miserable companion? No, we are the minions, and minions are we all.

      What we need is a minion anthem.

      • BC - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:34 PM

        Google minion anthem. Apparently there is one.

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:48 PM

        Uh, an HBT minion anthem then.

    • BC - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:19 PM

      It’s a mini onion.

  12. sdelmonte - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    I attend a minyan (a prayer group of ten males, according to Orthodox Jewish rules). So now I am a minion in a minyan!

    But Darth Vader didn’t rule the galaxy. He was just as much a minion of the Emperor – and even Grand Moff Tarkin – as the stormtroopers.

    • Lukehart80 - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:56 PM

      I’ve always wanted some background on Grand Moff Tarkin, what was his story? Did Vader stop force-choking that guy out of respect for Tarkin or out of fear? Hard to imagine Vader feared anyone.

      • sdelmonte - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:39 PM

        Peter Cushing was just THAT cool.

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:53 PM

        Peter Cushing, From Osric To Tarkin coming soon to an imaginary biography near you.

  13. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    I can’t wait until Pearlman changes around this blog to remove all the evidence of his stupidity, and responds with the “lol i was just trolling u gais” like he’s done before.

  14. youcantpredictbaseball - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    “They’ve even taken to erasing media archives!”

    Speaking of erasing archives, before the 2009 season, Pearlman wrote this preview of the AL East: “AL East
    1. Boston Red Sox—Oddly, I like their moves more than the Yankees. Penny and Smoltz could easily win more games than Sabathia and Burnett.
    2. Tampa Bay Rays—I smell a letdown. But not a huge one.
    3. New York Yankees—They’re becoming the 1980s version of themselves, Remember Steve Kemp, Don Baylor, Roy Smalley, etc …”

    Months later, when it became apparent how completely wrong he was, he edited the column to make his “predictions” accurate. He also didn’t edit the comments, which mock him for his predictions that are no longer there. Andrew Miller for Cy Young, anybody?

    http://www.jeffpearlman.com/my-2009-baseball-predictions/

    • jeffrp - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:36 PM

      Those edits are clearly a joke on Pearlman’s part.

  15. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    I’m your huckleberry. -minion #35

  16. Utley's Hair - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Drag a fair maiden back to your lair? What, Tiffany isn’t enough for you, my liege?

  17. Old Gator - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    Poll time! Vote early and often!

    Question: who is the biggest asshole:

    (1) Jeff Pearlman

    (2) Mike Shaughnessey

    (3) Jon Heyman

    Note: suspicion of PED use is not a valid reason for finding one of these…eh…gentlemen an asshole of any magnitude. You are directed to consider only the qualities of arrogance, hypocrisy, illogic, stupidity, contempt for objective evidence, gratuitous irascibility and frequency of use of split infinitives in coming to your decision.

    • sdelmonte - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:45 PM

      Heyman has written some columns I liked from time to time. He doesn’t seem like a total idiot.

      Pearlman…well, he can be funny on occasion. But he is good way down the path to total tool-dom.

      Shaughnessey…yeah, he gets my vote.

      But only because you left out Wally Matthews.

    • BC - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:50 PM

      Shaughnessey. Definitely.
      Honorable mention to Bob Klapisch.

    • thinman61 - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:07 PM

      Shaughnessy… but it’s Dan, not Mike. Unless you want to make it a composite vote for both Shaughnessy and Mike Lupica. Now there’s an idea.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        Imagine if you combined them into one person. You could get holier-than-thou commentary and uninformed drivel that both Sox and Yankees fans hate.

      • Old Gator - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:53 PM

        Heh – yeah, you hit it. Mike Lupica was going to be #4 but the phone rang and I got distracted. Go with it.

    • iftheshoefits2 - Jan 5, 2011 at 3:03 PM

      (1) Jeff Pearlman, by a landslide. The Lord Douchebag of sports journalism.

      Look at the body of his work- it’s all spewing vitriol and anger. Hate on Bonds, Hate on Clemens, the Bad guys won, getting John Rocker to spew his moron anger. Hell, he even declared himself eligible for the NBA draft, which got him started at SI.
      He carries the anger of a young man who got shot down one too many times at Delaware on mug night at the Stone Balloon. Jeff, it’s ok. It’s ok, let it go. She was too good for you anyway……

      (2) Shaughnessey is a caricature of himself, and is clearly out of touch. He plays his tune because people expect it from him.

      (3) Jon Heyman might be pompous at times, but at least he provides insights and news that others don’t.

      I broke your rules Old Gator, because Pearlmans qualities all stem from pompous righteousness and arrogance.

  18. Jonny 5 - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    I’m glad to become a minion once again, I miss the work myself. My last overlord Flew the coop. honestly he was REALLY Fruity. You might have heard of him before, he was considered a cereal killer and went by the name of “Tucan son of sam”.

  19. Utley's Hair - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    This demonstrates it pretty well, don’t you think?

  20. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    As your loyal minion, what are my marching orders?

  21. giant4life - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    Craig,
    I am proud to be one of one of your minions…I like the Maiden thing…Pearlman is an idiot.
    .I wonder how Caple would have said it,.
    .” Perarlman is a @#$%$#@@^%%$##&&&&&*^&%%$$$#$%^&*(*&^ idiot.”

  22. giant4life - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    By Pearlman’s sick logic, no one would get in the hall.

  23. giant4life - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Just went over to the SI site and read the article….funny Pearlman has no place for comments as does HBT..(did send him an email)….Sorry Craig, we cannot be minions…you give us the chance to actually think for ourselves.

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:00 PM

      Thinking for myself, I choose to wear the minion moniker proudly.

      • BC - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:04 PM

        We’ll have to come up with lapel pins, too.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:04 PM

        I like the idea of an all-volunteer minion army.

  24. phukyouk - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    “I won’t be done dirty like Darth Vader was. If one Stormtrooper had half-decent aim that afternoon Luke, Han and Leia escaped the Death Star, he’d still be ruling the galaxy.”

    Again sir flawed Logic. Had luke been killed by the stormtrooper Sidious would have just found someone else to take Vaders place. if you remember correctly Vader (as Anakin) killed Dooku at Sidious’ request jsut as Sidious requested that Luke “killed vader and take your fathers place at my side”. if you cant get Star wars right you have no shot at baseball.

    (please forgive the spelling)

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:23 PM

      It’s cute that you think those awful prequels set any meaningful precedent for the original Star Wars trilogy.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:39 PM

        Well, they seta meaningful precedent in so far as a way to judge Lucas’ legacy.

        With that being said, we all know that any stormtrooper with accurate aim was probably using PEDs, so he wouldn’t be elected to the Stormtrooper Hall of Fame.

  25. ta192 - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Didn’t feel like a real minion until that Star Wars comment. All these years thinking I was the only one appalled by the absolutely miserable marksmanship of the characters in that series…Craig’s my new hero…

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