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Rafael Palmeiro: “voters are putting too much weight on the one incident”

Jan 5, 2011, 5:23 PM EDT

Palmeiro Orioles

Mel Antonen caught up with Rafael Palmeiro today after the Hall of Fame vote was announced. Palmeiro is understandable disappointed with his vote total. After saying some nice things about Roberto Alomar and saying that he thought he himself would get more support than he did, Palmeiro made an appeal to the voters:

“I hear some voters talk about how they’ll probably vote for Barry Bonds because he was a Hall of Famer before he (allegedly) took steroids. Well, why can’t they do the same thing for me? I had one bad mistake at the end of my career. Voters are putting too much weight on the one incident. I wish they would look at my whole career. If they want, why don’t they use throw out the last season of my career? I would still have Hall of Fame numbers.”

I’m actually kinda skeptical that Bonds will get in the Hall any time soon after he first becomes eligible.  The voters drew a line in the sand today: if you’re merely suspected of ‘roiding, less than half of them will vote for you.  If you were ever caught, you’re getting less than 20% of the vote.  Bonds didn’t test positive, but there’s a mountain of evidence against him and I predict that he’ll be in Mark McGwireland when he comes up for a vote.  Maybe 30%, because he was so darn good, but not much more.

As for Palmeiro: good luck thinking that people will change their minds on you, but they won’t.

  1. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Rafael from TMNT has a better chance at the baseball HOF at this point.

    • Chipmaker - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:45 PM

      Donatello, whose weapon was the bo staff, probably has skills that better translate to hitting excellence.

      Rafael’s ability to throw his sai knives could give him the edge at pitching, though.

  2. snprime - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Interesting that he has forever maintained that he didn’t use steroids and now refers to it as “one bad mistake at the end of my career.”

    • Glenn - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:55 PM

      Maybe the one mistake was getting caught. His career does not follow a normal arc and he should be the poster boy for players who wouldn’t get a sniff of the Hall unless they cheated. I agree with Craig that is impossible to know of everyone who cheated and who didn’t, we shouldn’t have witch hunts, etc., but Palmiero did cheat.

    • davidw7 - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:57 PM

      To be fair to Rafael though he has said more than once that it was a bad mistake. It was careless and what is turning out to be a very misguided action whatever the intent behind it was.

      I actually do hope next year he gets a better chance to be judged by his numbers.

    • Richard In Big D - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:59 PM

      The positive test came AFTER the famed Congressional sound bite.

    • Ick McWang - Jan 5, 2011 at 6:00 PM

      thats the first thing i was thinking as i read this post

      its too late no, raffy. should’ve owned up when you had the chance. Even a partial owing-up, a la Pettite, probably would have sufficed. But instead, you lied. Flat out.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 6, 2011 at 12:55 PM

        What does owning up get you? The guys who admitted it, like MacGwire, are being shut out, the guys who tested positive are being shut out, and guys like Bagwell, who have big arms, are being shut out.

        The HOF is about to become a joke. It is a museum of baseball history, but they are excluding some of the most important figures from one of the most important eras in baseball history.

        Look at it this way: Nixon (resigned in disgrace) and Clinton (impeached) both have presidential libraries. The effed up, but they are not scrubbed from the history books.

  3. jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Bonds is exactly the kind of guy who’s capable of telling the BBWAA not to bother. There’s no provision for opting out of the vote if you’re eligible, so to do so he’d have to repeat his comments about not accepting his election even if the writers vote him in — which he originally made in regard to this item in the Hall’s permanent collection.

    Would enough writers vote for him anyway, perhaps out of spite, just to string him along on the ballot in order to deny him annually, in light of something like that? Could be interesting.

  4. davidw7 - Jan 5, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    I don’t agree that Rafa’s career displayed a weird arc. He was a consistent HR hitter. From his last year during his first Texas stint in ’93 he posted 37 HR’s in 686 AB’s. Next year during the shortened year he still had solid 23 HR’s in almost 200 AB’s less (498 AB’s) then from ’95 to 2003 he didn’t hit less than 38 Homers. I’m just saying it’s not as cut and dry as some make out. Whether he did use once or more seems in question. I think his career stands up and is a HoFamer.

  5. uyf1950 - Jan 5, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Didn’t Rafael just say a couple of days ago that he blamed his positive test on another player. That he thought he was getting a Vitamin shot. Now he wants people for forget the one bad incident at the end of his career. Do we not see a contradiction here.

    • hackerjay - Jan 5, 2011 at 7:22 PM

      To be fair to Palmeiro, he’s always reffered to the positive test as a mistake. However, he has also always said that the mistake was that he wasn’t monitoring what he was putting into his body. He still holds that he didn’t know he was taking steroids.

  6. teej414 - Jan 5, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    Probably tainted meat. HAHA Bye Bye Juicers. Good Riddance. One “incident”? Oh yeah, I believe that one.

  7. stankfinger - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    Basically silent for 5 years and now shocked and scrambling to explain himself? Dude’s lied so much that he’s lost all sense of reality. It’s over.

  8. goforthanddie - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Begging for HoF votes is bad, mmkay?

  9. grumpy00 - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    He told us he never used………..now he’s telling us that he did…..I’m so confused.

  10. Panda Claus - Jan 5, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    Palmeiro is a HOF player, but may not get the plaque to prove that for a while. I don’t buy the comment that “good luck thinking that people will change their minds on you, but they won’t”.

    Americans have among the shortest attention spans and memories than anyone out there. Even more so with sports fans. The biggest thing working against Raffy at this point is that he can’t re-win his jilted followers by coming out of retirement and putting up a 30HR/100RBI season for a playoff contender this year.

    Michael Vick resurrected his career and while he may never win back most of his haters, he has won back some.

    Perhaps Palmeiro could go into broadcasting and work on his image makeover that way. The latest results show that coming back as a major league hitting coach may not work.

    • stankfinger - Jan 5, 2011 at 11:25 PM

      Problem is he only has 14 more years now to wait for the tide to turn (if it ever does). And in the next 14 years you’ll have slugger upon slugger coming up for their first time and the fresh wound opens back up. Bad timing for him.

    • mtner77 - Jan 6, 2011 at 2:56 AM

      Michael Vick?

      “The” Michael Vick??

      The guy who spends his spare time electrocuting his own dogs?

      Yes, he certainly belongs in a conversation about Hall of Famers, regardless of which sport is being discussed.

      Yes. All is forgiven. He is really a great “American Hero”.

      Yes. Sports fans are so fickle, we now “love him”.

      Yes. He has great prison tats. (Are you sure he played at VT and not “the” Ohio State?

      I am sure he will be a “first ballot” into Canton. After all, running QBs ALWAYS work out in the NFL. Don’t they?

      • Panda Claus - Jan 6, 2011 at 7:54 AM

        I introduced Vick’s name into the discussion as an example of how the perceived overall opinions about that person can turn around. It was less than six months ago that Vick was basically an after thought throughout much of the league, certainly in the eyes of most fans. Yet his rejuvenated play, while not intended to be used to make a case for him to be in any Hall of Fame, has generally lessened the amount of criticism towards the man.

        There still a clear dividing line on whether or not Vick is or isn’t a good person, whether he has sufficiently been punished for what he did with those dogs. Legally he’s paid up, but that will never be enough for some people–and I don’t have a quabble with that.

        Palmeiro, in my opinion, can help his case by being more open and showing a more “human” side to himself, while not appearing too arrogant or over-playing the victim card like Pete Rose has done. Over time, Americans seem to show more compassion towards aging entertainers or athletes. Not saying that happens in Raffy’s case, but it certainly could.

        Baseball purists will probably have a very difficult time forgiving Palmeiro’s failed test and may always assume that was only the tip of the iceberg for him. In the grand scheme of things other people have done far worse things and were eventually forgiven for those transgressions by most people.

  11. fquaye149 - Jan 6, 2011 at 4:39 AM

    Not that I think voters aren’t in the wrong here, but considering Palmeiro’s entire HOF case hinges on two numbers, perhaps it’s not inappropriate

    • paperlions - Jan 6, 2011 at 7:46 AM

      Don’t most HOF cases hinge on one or two numbers? Rose’s HOF case hinges on one number. Some of these number require decades of excellence to achieve, that it is a single number doesn’t diminish the achievement.

      • fquaye149 - Jan 6, 2011 at 8:21 AM

        Yes and no. If Rose had never broken Cobb’s hits record he would have had plenty of support based on his profile and reputation in the game. Actually, the majority of HOF players DON’T have numbers to hang their hats on. Posnanski wrote an article pointing out how 400 HR’s used to be a benchmark for HOF and then Kingman came around, hit 400 HR’s and got no consideration. Because everyone knew he wasn’t a HOFer. If Dave Winfield had 2,999 hits, I don’t think anyone would doubt his HOF credentials. Ditto to George Brett and Ty Cobb. Or Mantle or Mays, had they had 499 HR’s. However, if Palmeiro had 2,999 hits and 499 HR’s, would anyone be making a passionate argument for his enshrinement, HOF or not? My guess would be no.

  12. Chris Ross - Jan 6, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    Roberto Alomar really did deserve the Hall of Fame and as a Toronto Blue Jays fans I’m so glad they put him in this year, especially with a close to unanimous vote. If the only thing stopping him was the spitting incident, which it seemed to be, then there should have been no reason for them to keep him out. I was also happy to see the steroid guys not receiving too much of the vote because I think there is a great difference between those guys and guys like Alomar with character issues.

    http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/musings-on-the-2011-hall-of-fame-class/

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