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NBC SportsTalk: What do Bonds and Clemens face in next year’s Hall of Fame vote?

Jan 10, 2012, 8:26 AM EDT

I went on NBC SportsTalk on the NBC Sports Network last night to talk about the Hall of Fame vote. As you might expect, Larkin, Bagwell and the specter of a candidate backlog including guys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens came up.

Also: I used the word “boned” on live television which in hindsight wasn’t the best decision. Watch my face and see if you can tell the exact moment where I was grasping for something that was not profanity and almost, but not entirely, avoided saying something regrettable.  My guess: I’m on a five second delay for the foreseeable future.

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  1. mattjg - Jan 10, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    In light of Craig’s closing comments, I don’t think Bonds and Clemens should be on the ballot. A lot of people say that getting on the ballot in and of itself is an accomplishment, but that’s a hollow accomplishment and can actually hurt baseball if you’re just clogging up the ballot. These guys aren’t paid to get on the ballot and clog it up; they’re paid to clear the ballot quickly and if they can’t do that they shouldn’t be on it.

    • phillyphreak - Jan 10, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      “These guys aren’t paid to get on the ballot and clog it up; they’re paid to clear the ballot quickly and if they can’t do that they shouldn’t be on it.”

      – I have no idea what you’re trying to say here. Are you saying a) the players are paid to be so good that they should be locks to get in, b) the writers are paid to not quibble or c) I’m totally missing your point.

      As an aside, I don’t think it hurts baseball at all. Unless you get a year where there are 15 deserving candidates but only 10 can be selected. If anything the HoF talk may help the HoF- makes it relevant every year.

      Bonds was awesome before he used steroids too.

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      Next we turn our attention to whether or not a player elected in his first time on the ballot kills a voting rally.

      • mattjg - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:34 AM

        There really should be no first-ballot Hall of Famers anymore since there haven’t been any truly GREAT players since the ’70s. The most deserving player not in the Hall of Fame, one Dave Concepcion, is not even on the ballot anymore.

      • phillyphreak - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        “..there haven’t been any truly GREAT players since the ’70s.”

        I wanted to post that again to see if it still looked as crazy a second time. Yep. Still does.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        The most deserving player not in the Hall of Fame, one Dave Concepcion, is not even on the ballot anymore.

        Hi Joe Morgan, nice of you to join us.

  2. bigleagues - Jan 10, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    Craig, if boned triggers S&P review, then NBC really hasn’t changed much and we’re in for a wild ride when when my lord and savior, Howie Feltersnatch, joins AGT this summer.

    That said, the counterclaim is that ‘boned’ is a highly versatile phrase that isn’t just a euphemism for passionate intercourse anymore.

    Lest we forget the opening scene from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ when the apes discover bones are useful for clobbering rivals over the head.

    In a more contemporary context, boning is a technique in woodworking, for example.

    • Francisco (FC) - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      “In a more contemporary context, boning is a technique in woodworking, for example.”

      That actually provides more fodder for euphemisms.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      I do my best wood-work when I am boning

      • Old Gator - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

        I always initiate a pot of lima bean or split pea soup with a ham bone. Now, given our colloquial proclivities to make verbs out of nouns, couldn’t one say I was boning my soup?

        Imagine how we could enrich our language if we took this same creative attitude towards all nouns. In what other novel ways could you use “to bone”? I mean, we say we’re “boning up” for an exam, right? Doesn’t the monolith bone (embone?) the primitive hominids at the opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey? Don’t paleontologists go boning?

        Why should NBC consign the Craigster to a tape delay for such an at once innocent and evocative phrase? Bone ’em if they can’t take a joke.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:19 AM

        Scratched off “to eat” list. Gators split pea soup. I’m not sure I like your stirring method much Gator.

      • Old Gator - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:29 AM

        Johnny, relax. Those are the parsnips that you taste.

      • Gamera the Brave - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM

        Gator, I agree that our tendency to use nouns as verbs disrespects the English language.

      • Old Gator - Jan 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        Well, yes and no. At least you do get a few nifty, useful neologisms that way.

        Now Twitter, on the other hand….

    • Cris E - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      “Boning your bat” was a common (and openly practiced) act from earlier in baseball’s history. There are even pictures of it that are safe for work. Really. Here’s Joe DiMaggio, for example. (scroll to the end)

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        It doesn’t mean this?

    • cur68 - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      Damn. I picked the wrong day to be productive all AM, didn’t I? Craig said boned on national TV, eh? heh, heh…heh, said boned…heh, heh….….

    • oldpaddy - Jan 10, 2012 at 5:12 PM

      Perfect post! May I add something?
      Howard Stern’s Penis!!!
      Hell, Howard Stern’s Penis for President ’12!!!!

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    If we lived in a perfect world, where the BBWAA actually did a little research and stopped thinking they were the moral gatekeepers for the hall, the following guys would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013 IMHO…

    Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Sosa, Schilling, Biggio, Raines, Trammell, Bagwell, and Edgar.

    That’s a helluva list.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      Insert McGwire and Palmiero and remove Trammell and Raines. Those two guys are going to be hurt by not getting in soon enough. Wow what a loaded list.

      • paperlions - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:17 AM

        Chris, I’d love to make your day by arguing with you, but I don’t disagree with much of that….though I think you add McGwire and Palmiero without taking anyone out.

      • paperlions - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:18 AM

        Wait, I might not disagree with you at all….I thought you were just listing guys that are deserving (all 12 are), but it looks like you were listing the top 10 that you (or a reasonable BBWAA member) would check on their ballot. Sorry, nothing to argue with you about.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM

        yeah, my point was that guys like Trammell and Raines are going to get screwed next year…and I didn’t even bring up Morris, who may be one of those guys who gets close but no cigar and needs the veterans committee to put him in. I definitely think Mac and Palmiero deserve to be in the top 10 for next year. Another problem is that not too many guys load up their ballot. Some have self-limits of 5 or 6. Some only do 2 or 3. Some do steroid guys. Some do not. Some do first ballot guys. Some do not.

        All I do know is that 2013 will be the craziest year for Hall of Fame voting in the history of the vote.

  4. paperlions - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Craig *sigh*….one does not hoe a road, one’s hoes a row, as in a row of crops. It is a “tough row to hoe” not a “tough road to hoe”….all roads are tough to hoe….though I’m not sure why you would hoe one as the primary function of hoeing is to remove weeds….that adage gone awry is much more embarrassing than saying boned.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      I heard the phrase as “A tough road to ‘ho” as in, a difficult stretch of road to prostitute. This Craig we’re talking about, a guy who used the term “boned” while explaining how Larkin got f@cked last year.

      • Kyle - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        Spot on, sir.

  5. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Old timers used to regular bone their bats.

  6. unlost1 - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    i didn’t think Bonds officially retired

    • Detroit Michael - Jan 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      Hall of Fame eligibility depends on when a player last played in the majors, not when he announced his retirement.

  7. thefalcon123 - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    (Disclaimer: Jim Thome and others named here are used for the purpose of hypothetical examples. I in no way accuse them or have any reason to believe any of them did steroids)
    At some point, the BBWAA is going to elect someone who did steroids and just wasn’t under the Bagwell level of suspicion (they may have already). So…does Jim Thome get honored because he got away with it? If we find out Frank Thomas did ‘roids after his election, do they throw him out of the hall of fame or give him a pat on back and congratulate him for successfully deceiving BBWAA?

    If Bonds and Clemens don’t get into the hall, it’s a travesty. They combined for 14 MVP/Cy Youngs, and in all liklihood, the BBWAA is going to pass them over because they did the exact same thing as roughly half the league. Yes, ‘roids are the wrong thing to do, but MLB played willfully ignorant and allowed it to happen. The writers wrote the praises of these guys every day and ignored the cartoon like head-size explosion of Bonds and hundreds of other players who were using just as many steroids. But now, when it comes time to cast stones, they’re only being thrown in the direction of the players themselves. It’s ridiculous.

    It’s becoming clear the Cooperstown’s representation of the 1990s will be Barry Larkin, Greg Maddux, Roberto Alomar, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine and that’s probably it. Where they clean? Fuck if I know. If we learned anything from the Mitchell report, it’s that ‘roid users came in all sizes, positions and skill levels. Yet this is ignored by the BBWAA who continues to use the HOF ballot as a system to retroactively punish the cheating players of the 1990s while giving a pass to the system that gave them a wink and a nod while doing it. Because after all, cheating with steroids should keep you out of the hall. Spitballers and amphetimine users (which, BTW “research shows that 10-30 mg methamphetamine improves reaction time, increases the feelings of alertness, decrease a sense of fatigue” for those who claim it is NOT a performance enhancer) are more than welcome…because they cheated less?

    • mattjg - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      I think Smoltz and Biggio and maybe Bagwell and Schilling make it, but other than that, you’re spot on.

    • paperlions - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      I can’t find the quote, but I remember an article last month in which a baseball executive stated unequivocally that multiple steroid users have already been elected to the HOF. He wouldn’t name names.

      Considering that there were front page articles in Sports Illustrated about steroids in sports (including baseball) all the way back in the 60s, it would be shocking if there weren’t several steroid users already in the HOF. Are we supposed to think that baseball players are so stupid that they wouldn’t check out the drugs being used by olypians and football players?

  8. crashdog - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Does it really matter anymore? With the elections of Larkin, Santo and Rice, the Hall of Fame isn’t what it once was.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      The Hall of Fame is a museum.

      • crashdog - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM

        For those with below average levels of intelligence or sense of humor, let me rephrase that “Election to the Hall of Fame isn’t what it once was”

      • Kevin S. - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM

        Only one of those inductions did what you claimed it did.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        I really don’t think your original comment was either humorous or thought provoking. And I stand by my statement that the Hall of Fame is a museum, with a gift shop selling keychains, calendars, coffee table books, and other forms of high-priced shlock.

        Maybe you should deal with that.

      • paperlions - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM

        The original statement was also incorrect. None of those guys is even remotely close to the worst player at his position in the HOF….and Larkin and Santo are each among the top 12 all time at their positions.

  9. realgone2 - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    No first timers are worth it? Well just wait until a Mr. Maddux is eligible.

  10. hushbrother - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    That was the most egregious use of profanity on NBC since Charles Rocket dropped an f bomb on SNL in the early 80s.

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