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Hall of Fame voter continues to write in Pete Rose because, um, it’s cold in April

Dec 27, 2012, 9:30 AM EDT

pete rose getty Getty Images

Really, that pretty much sums up this guy’s Hall of Fame column. Despite Pete Rose being ineligible and absent from the Hall of Fame ballot, Marc Maturo of the Rockland County Times — who has a Hall of Fame vote despite the fact he hasn’t covered baseball for 27 years — writes in Pete Rose’s name every year.

Why? Because how can baseball bar Pete Rose due to his lack of integrity when baseball itself lacks integrity? OK, I would at least give such a charge of hypocrisy a hearing. He starts with ticket prices being high, but ultimately all Maturo seems to be on about is how it gets cold in April and October:

And this is not to mention opening the season in weather better suited to curling than to baseball, and ending in weather also best suited to curling than to baseball. Baseball is, after all, “The Summer Game.” But don’t tell this to players seen in postseason dugouts sporting parkas, Trapper’s hats and arctic hand warmers; and don’t tell that to the very people who make it all possible, the suckers, er, fans, who also can be seen sporting Antarctic-like gear, wrapped wonderfully in blankets. Integrity my foot!

Also bugging him: no day games for the World Series. Then he goes back to complaining about “blizzard baseball.” Then he makes his pro-Pete Rose case. Starting with this:

If we have to depend on Rose’s word alone, there’s good reason to accept it.

Given that Rose has spent over two decades lying his hustling butt off, I’m not sure why that is, but go read Maturo’s column if you want to hear the case. It has mostly to do with the fact that Rose played hard and such.

Anyway, that’s the latest from the BBWAA and its strange rules which allow guys who haven’t covered baseball since the Reagan administration to vote for the Hall of Fame while denying that right to a huge number of active, working baseball writers.

  1. jarathen - Dec 27, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    It is difficult not to be jaded by the rampant idiocy being spewed from the mouths of those who actually decide who gets into the hall of fame.

    • ha5ko - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      you nailed it!

      Ryne Sandberg is in the HOF, there is no reason everyone else should be kept out

  2. soxfan1966 - Dec 27, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Let’s see. Baseball writers don’t want to induct anyone who may have taken PEDs because it affects the integrity of the game, and then in the same breath they feel that a guy who gambled on baseball — including games played by his own team — and then repeatedly lied about it should be in the Hall? I think these guys need to bone up a little more on the early history of the game to see how much gambling truly affected the players and the fans’ perception of the game.

    Personally, I’d have an easier time voting for inducting guys like Palmiero, McGuire and Bonds to the Hall of Fame than I would Rose.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM

      To be fair, if you read the linked article, he also voted for Bonds and Clemens.

  3. xmatt0926x - Dec 27, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    What’s more absurd? This guy’s reasoning or the fact that the rules allow a writer who hasn’t covered the game for close to three decades to vote to begin with? Why is it so hard to just have a rule in place that if you don’t cover baseball then you lose your vote?

    • paperlions - Dec 27, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      Because, the guys that would pass such a rule may someday not cover baseball, and they like voting for the HOF, whether they cover baseball or not, so they are not voting to give up that privilege.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM

        Considering the number of columns available to read where writers are bemoaning their HoF selection, and criteria, do they really enjoy it?

      • paperlions - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:19 AM

        Of course, how many people do you know that don’t love to bitch about something?

      • badintent - Dec 27, 2012 at 7:49 PM

        I rather vote Pete’s girlfriend in before Pete, at least we know she’s mostly fake and proud of it(them ) , whereby Pete is a compulsive liar.He would have made a better lawyer than ball player on that genetic defect alone.

  4. soobster - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Bonds is the only one of the lot that should be in. He was a HOFer before the HGH use.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      Are you saying Bonds is the only one on the ballot that should be in the HoF? I’m honestly confused because you also think he used HGH…

    • ramrene - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      Actually… I’m not so sure. So many people keep saying that “Bonds was a sure in for the HOF even if he didn’t take steroids…” That I decided to check into that.

      About a year and a half, maybe two years back I decided to take on a project of determining Bonds true statistics minus his steroid use. At the time, I didn’t have any idea of what it would entail or how big my project ended up being.

      Because Bonds is primarily considered a power hitter, I decided to compare his stats to those of the top-5 power hitters of all time who played in non-PED eras to get to some numbers I knew I could trust as non-PED enhanced from the very best of all time. Then, I broke their careers into thirds:
      1. start of their career
      2. prime of their career
      3. end of their career

      Next, I averaged out out each segment to get a percentage of change from one segment to another. As these were the greatest power hitters of all time the percentage of change showed what was possible (non-enhanced) from the very best.

      I used those percentages of changes and applied them to Bonds career through the same stages. Because Bond’s Pirate years are pretty much considered non-PED years, I allowed Bonds his initial Pirate years statistics without adjustment. I used the date mentioned in the “Game of Shadows” book to start adjusting for his PED years.

      Interestingly, after adjustments, Bonds didn’t hit 500 total home runs, and all his corresponding numbers also dropped i.e. RBI’s, batting average, etc.

      So… whether or not he would have made the Hall of Fame is really still up for grabs and arguable. What the peoject showed me and isn’t arguable is his true numbers wouldn’t be anywhere close to what they are today. Heck, his most powerful Pirate year was 34-home runs in 1992 7-years into his career.

      Now, factor in that he did cheat and in my book he doesn’t get in.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:11 PM

        Because Bonds is primarily considered a power hitter

        Your initial premise is wrong, so unfortunately much of what follows is incorrect. Bonds was a legitimate GG caliber LF with plenty of speed on the base paths. It’s widely assumed he started juicing in ’99 after the McGwire/Sosa HR chase. So taking his statistics from 1986 to 1998, we get a hitter who put up:

        .290/.411/.556 for a .966 OPS and 164 OPS+ (11th all time)
        403 2bs
        411 HR
        445 SB (how many members of the 400/400 club are there?)
        1357 BB/1050 Ks

        That’s Hall worthy if he decided to quit right there, let alone suffer any sort of decline phase. The guy already had 3 MVPs, 8 GGs and probably could have had another 1-2 MVPs. Would it have mattered if he didn’t hit 500 HR (89 in the next 3 years?)

        What the peoject showed me and isn’t arguable is his true numbers wouldn’t be anywhere close to what they are today. Heck, his most powerful Pirate year was 34-home runs in 1992 7-years into his career.

        A guy had his peak years at the age when players peak? This is a new revelation?

      • ramrene - Dec 27, 2012 at 6:12 PM

        Bonds averaged 35 steals during his Pirate years… of course, those are the years we ‘re comfortable saying he didn’t take steroids. Back then he was a combination of decent power (not elite) and speed. After 7-years he had 251 stolen bases. A number that doesn’t really scream HOF.

        According to ‘Game of Shadows’ he started taking steroids in 1998 because that’s when the Balco boys started helping him but… is it too much of a leap of faith to think he started earlier? I mean after all, he is a liar so why should we give him the benefit of the doubt that he started in 1998? Couldn’t he have started taking in 1997, or 1996, or 1995? The Balco steroids were the designer steroids of the times… virtually untraceable but there were other steroids available at the time so again I ask… Is it too much of a leap of faith to think that a lying steroid taking cheater would actually take maybe a lesser quality steroid prior to 1998? What exactly is in Bonds history that anyone should give him the benefit of the doubt?

        His power numbers were only “ok”.. he hit 176 over those first 7 Pirate years for an average of 25/year. Also a number a far ways from HOF.

        So, if you’re going to tell me somebody who hits 25 home runs a year and steals 35 bases a year is a HOFer I’d have to say no, he’s not. And that was the player Bonds was during the time we know, or reasonably think, he was clean.

        The rest of his numbers have to be adjusted because of their abnormal spiking when compared to what guys like Aaron, Ruth, Mayes, Robinson, & Kilebrew were able to accomplish during their primes and ends of their careers.

        Again, the raw numbers just do not make a strong enough case for Bonds to make the HOF. He needs his PED numbers and those are the numbers that are keeping him out.

  5. hushbrother - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    How about instead of blaming the BBWAA for its eligibility rules, blaming the Hall of Fame for giving them the vote exclusively, while denying it to, as you mention, active writers and bloggers, and also television analysts, historians, former players and people in the industry (save for those on the various special committees) and, of course, fans. It’s hard to understand why the Hall of Fame won’t expand its electorate beyond that small and ever-decreasingly relevant group.

    • jwbiii - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      Broadcasters like Jon Miller and Len Kasper would certainly increase the average baseball intelligence of the electorate. Tim McCarver and Chris Berman, on the other hand. . .

  6. paperlions - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    That column is fantastic. Allow me to sum up:

    Maturo hates the wild card, which calls into question the integrity of World Series Champions (gee, I wonder if he is a Yankee fan).

    Maturo hates cold weather (probably because it prevents playing golf year around).

    Fans are saps for liking baseball and paying to see games, especially when it is cold.

    Day baseball is better than night baseball.

    Maturo is a baseball purist, if you don’t share his opinions, then you are not a purist, and the opinions of purists are better, truer, and more correct than your opinions.

    Yeah, Rose bet on baseball, but baseball’s rule should be about throwing games not betting on them. Besides, he loves to win too much to throw games (apparently, he doesn’t love to win his bets enough to throw games).

    Yes, betting on his own team showed poor judgement, but….well….let’s just move on.

    Pete Rose hustled a lot and he always talked to us reporters, so…you know…the betting and lying isn’t as important as it would have been if he didn’t hustle and always talk to us reporters.

    What he did was like insider trading, and those people aren’t banned from the investment HOF.

    Maturo has talked to Rose for more than 5 minutes, you haven’t, so his opinion is better than yours….it also allows him to call Rose “Petey-boy”.

    Maturo actually still uses an email address, which, of course, is fantastic.

  7. paperlions - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    There is actually a really short argument that makes more sense than anything Maturo says. There is no reason for HOF eligibility to be tied to one’s status with respect to the baseball eligibility list.

    • blacksables - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      Except for the fact that its in the charter of the Hall of Fame, you mean?

      • paperlions - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        …but there is no reason for that to be true. What is the basis for that rule? It serves no purpose whatsoever.

      • kalinedrive - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        Except for the fact that it was never a part of the Hall of Fame’s “charter” and was in fact a special rule added in 1991 specifically to make Pete Rose ineligible.

        HOF Rules History
        Feb. 8, 1991: Persons on baseball’s ineligible list cannot be eligible candidates.

      • blacksables - Dec 27, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        Then why was Jackson not voted in? What rule did they use for that?

      • kalinedrive - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:11 PM

        He was unofficially black-balled from the HOF.

        From a 2001 Rob Neyer article: And of course, eventually Kenesaw Mountain Landis, baseball’s new commissioner, permanently suspended all eight of the so-called “Black Sox” from organized baseball. However, none of them were officially ineligible for Baseball’s Hall of Fame. It wasn’t until 1991, in response to the Pete Rose “situation,” that the Hall ruled that players on baseball’s ineligible list would not be considered for election. And so finally, after 70 years, the Hall of Fame’s doors were officially barred to Shoeless Joe Jackson.

      • jwbiii - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        No need for a rule. Voters were not going to vote for anyone associated with gambling.

    • Roger Moore - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      Yes, there’s a very good reason for eligibility to be tied to being on the ineligibility list. The Hall of Fame is baseball’s greatest honor. Being banned from the game is its worst punishment, reserved for people who have done something that endangers the integrity of the game. It makes no sense to say that somebody has done something so terrible that they should never again be allowed to associate with the game in any way and then turn around and award them the game’s highest honor.

      • paperlions - Dec 27, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        To me, that just feels like being petty. The honor is bestowed for baseball greatness. Being ruled ineligible does not take away that greatness.

        With respect to Rose, he didn’t actually agree to a “life-time ban”, he agreed to be put on the ineligible list; there is no such thing as a lifetime ban, per se because being put on the list does not come with a priori durations. A LOT of people have been removed from the ineligible list, some with a year of going on the list, others after slightly longer times.

  8. mikekinser - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Rose should be in based on his accomplishments as a player. His gambling came while he was a manager, after those accomplishments. This seems so clear and simple to me. Make him eligible for the HOF based on his playing days, but keep him away from baseball activities based on his gambling.

    And semi-unrelated…put Tommy John in the HOF. How many careers have been revived because of his surgery? Plus he still had 288 victories, which puts him in the top 10 all time for lefties. Put the doctor that came up with that surgery in as well as a contributor to the game.

    I would put any of those 3 guys into the HOF before Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Palmeiro.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      His gambling came while he was a manager, after those accomplishments

      Why do you believe this? What possible reason do you have to believe anything Rose says? Hasn’t it been obvious that Pete Rose looks out for Pete Rose, and only Pete Rose?

      • ryanrockzzz - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM

        That’s not the point. The point is someone with over 4,000 hits who played as long as Pete Rose did as a player was probably not throwing games. If you have an agenda against Rose, you can obviously make a blanket statement like your making. If you go on the facts however, there is no proof that suggests he did gamble during his playing days, true or not.

        You have to go off his numbers as a player. If you went off the whole good person/bad person, then throw someone like Ty Cobb out of the hall also.

      • mikekinser - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        I believe this because that is what was in the Dowd report. Ever heard of it? It is the one that was used as the basis for his ban from baseball. It detailed how he bet on games as a manager, in the later years of his managerial career not the whole time. It was written by John Dowd, not Pete Rose. So it is based not on what Rose says, but what Dowd discovered in his investigation.

        Take your personal little grudge and learn the facts before you caste judgements.

        I have no bias towards Rose and he wasn’t my favorite player growing up, so I am not an apologist. What he accomplished as a player deserves enshrinement in the Hall. What he did as a manager should keep him out of the game.

    • yahmule - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      Tommy John is one of the many pitchers I would enshrine before Jack Morris.

      I also like the idea of putting Dr Frank Jobe in the HOF. Though not as beloved to many of the posters here as, say, Victor Conte, he was a true medical pioneer who contributed a lot to the game.

      I considered Pete Rose to be rather overrated during his career, but he should have been voted into the HOF as soon as he was eligible. Banning him from ever holding a job in MLB is just common sense.

    • onehokiefan - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:10 PM


  9. hisgirlgotburrelled - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    It’s not like the active writers are any more responsible with their vote. At least he didn’t send in a blank ballot.

  10. sincitybonobo - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    “Lifetime Member of BBWA” is a title that should not be bestowed on anyone, as it pertains to HOF voting. Actively covering and attending games is a minimum qualification for casting an annual ballot. I always wondered what percentage of HOF voters are guys who “used to cover baseball”. I’m actually glad Maturo let us inside his head, logic be damned. Perhaps BBWA powers that be will amend rules bestowing lifetime HOF votes on anyone. I would be embarassed as a BBWA voter, much less his paper’s Sports Editor, after reading this.

    “As most know, he didn’t throw any games..”

    What message did it send to his bookmakers on nights Rose chose not to risk his own money on that night’s Reds game? Inside information on a key player’s injury that it not known to the general public can be worth untold amounts of money to the right person- without a single wager being placed. A corrupted manager is uniquely positioned to negatively affect the outcome of a game.

    I’m no PED apologist. I believe, as Mitch Williams does, that during an imperfect era, users stole money from the game and, in effect, traded an objective comparison to prior players for inflated contracts. I won’t cry for anyone who signed a nine-figure deal based on chemically-induced prowess who is not voted into Cooperstown.

    But, equating PED use with gambling on baseball is misguided. If fans suspect that player performance is subject to ulterior motives (i.e. being into gangsters for multiple boxes of ziti), baseball becomes jai lai or professional wrestling. Nothing could jeopardize the game more. One rule is posted in every MLB clubhouse, along with its penalty. Each year during Spring Training, MLB Security hammers home the message to every player. Rightfully so.

    Other than a manager, an indebted and corrupted SP is in a unique position to throw a game. Tossing a reverse scouting report or hanging an opportune breaking ball in order to settle a bet with gangsters who have action on the opposing team could potentially wipe out years of black market debt in one night.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      I’m no PED apologist. I believe, as Mitch Williams does, that during an imperfect era, users stole money from the game and, in effect, traded an objective comparison to prior players for inflated contracts. I won’t cry for anyone who signed a nine-figure deal based on chemically-induced prowess who is not voted into Cooperstown.

      So if they were up for vote today, would you be in favor of keeping Mantle, Mays, Aaron and many others from the 60s and 70s out for using PEDs as well, or just the current crop of players? Do people not understand the logical inconsistency of not caring about previous generations using PEDs but thinking this current crop destroyed the game?

      • sincitybonobo - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM

        I’ve been through this before. The spike in power numbers coincided with an increase in PED use, not amphetamine use.

        Offense Vanished in 2011

        • Teams averaged 4.28 runs per game this season, the lowest since 1992’s 4.12 and down from a Steroids Era peak of 5.14 in 2000.

        • The home run average was down to 0.94 each team per game, also the lowest in 19 years and a sharp drop from 1.17 in 2000.

        • The major league batting average of .255 was the lowest since 1989.

        • The 3.94 ERA was a level last seen in 1992.

        — The Associated Press, via STATS LLC

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        Actually, most of that isn’t true. Let’s go bit by bit:

        The spike in power numbers coincided with an increase in PED use, not amphetamine use.

        Most consider the current steroid/PED era to begin after ’95 (post strike). However, data shows that the offense spike began earlier, in ’93. See this link(1).

        • Teams averaged 4.28 runs per game this season, the lowest since 1992′s 4.12 and down from a Steroids Era peak of 5.14 in 2000.

        • The home run average was down to 0.94 each team per game, also the lowest in 19 years and a sharp drop from 1.17 in 2000.

        All other dotted points are essentially the same

        Putting these together. I’ve linked this before, but it’s still a must read. Dave Cameron did a study earlier this year on home runs vs contact compared across the steroid year. Offense, and home runs, were down because players were striking out far more often than they have the last 15+ years. When you adjust to when balls are actually hit, offense is essentially steady over the last 10 years. (2).

        1 –
        2 –

        As to your larger point, so it’s a matter of degree that steroids matter more than amphetamine usage? Is that what you are arguing? Doesn’t it seem odd that people punish someone for taking a substance that allows you to work out longer and recover quicker than a substance that gives you instance energy without doing anything other than swallow a pill?

      • paperlions - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        No, the spike in power did NOT come with steroid use. Do you really believe that a large group of players suddenly started using steroids in the middle of the 1993 season? That is when MLB introduced a new baseball, and HR rates increased that day (aided for some time by the tendency of parks built in the 90s to be smaller, hitter friendly venues (compared to the larger parks that have been built in the 2000s).

        Steroid use slowly increased over years, starting in the 1960s. Power numbers changes when ball composition changed (especially the introduction of more synthetic fibers that don’t hold moisture as well as wool, making the ball lighter, similar to the effect of the humidor in Colorado (only in reverse).

        In addition, power number did not go down when steroid testing began. They actually went down when amphetamine testing began (I am not sure, but would not be surprised, if MLB again change balled composition to reduce power numbers).

        All of this has been covered in detail. The fact is that many analyses have been conducted to look for the signal of steroid use in power numbers, and none can be found….instead, what was found was that changes in power output throughout time have occurred in jumps, usually associated with changes to the ball.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        If you are going to distinguish between steroids and amphetamines, then say steroids. Both steroids and amphetamines are PEDs. Also, amphetamine abuse first became wide spread in baseball in the 1960s and possibly even earlier. Sports Illustrated actually had an article on the problems of performance enhancing drugs in sports in 1960. Of course, even if you use 1960 as the “amphetamines era” cut off, your comparison would be with a MLB that was still not fully integrated, not to mention various rules changes over the years. In other words, you really have no clean comparison. All your numbers indicate is that steroids might be more potent PEDs than amphetamines, at least for hitters (don’t forget both hitters and pitchers took both).

        Your argument seems to be that steroids are bad and amphetamines are not because steroids work better for hitters. To this I will only reply that I disagree with the reasoning. It’s still the same violation of the very same rule.

      • paperlions - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        In addition, evidence suggests that steroids actually help pitchers add velocity and stay stronger throughout the season more than they help hitters.

      • sincitybonobo - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM

        Which number posted below is not accurate?

        Are you suggesting that if Bonds took nothing but “greenies” that he would still have the HR records?

        Through an unnatural recovery process, steroids allow users the opportunity to build super-human muscle mass. This, combined with existing world class talent, allowed legendary players to post video game numbers.

        Amphetamines were a staple in every major league clubhouse for decades and there simply was not a corresponding spike in offense until the early-mid 1990’s.

        Beyond the HR’s, hitters benefitted from ground balls that rocketed through infields just beyond the reach of gloves, due to increased force created by strategically added, chemically enhanced muscle. “Greenies” produce no such physiological change.

        Pitchers, too, used. But, on balance, the numbers indicate a substantial edge towards hitters.

      • paperlions - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

        It is not the numbers that are wrong….it is the cause you are applying to them.

      • cur68 - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:29 PM

        sincity: here’s a link to tests done on baseballs from the various years where we see big changes in HRs.

        -the synthetic fill of the “juiced” ball allows less moisture. Synthetic appears in balls from 1989, 1995 & 2000.
        -The core, or “pill”, of the “juiced” ball bounces 1/3 again higher than than non-juiced counterparts.
        -It is unclear when this “juiced” ball was introduced, but the ones tested were from 1995 & 2000. 1995 is pretty much the start of the official “steroid” era but, as COPO points out, it was actually 2 years earlier.
        -Rawlings’ website stipulates only wool in the baseballs and does not describe the cork “pill” as being changed or different from the older Spalding ones. This is patently false, given the very different materials and performance found in dissected baseballs from 1989, 1995 & 2000.

        There is some argument to made for age affecting the baseballs. However balls from 1963 & 1970 (7 years apart) performed the same and balls from 1995 & 2000 (5 years apart in age) performed the same. If age was affecting the balls then there would be differences within those 2 groups.

        If I was an MLB hitter, I know which ball I’d like to be hitting.

      • Roger Moore - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:37 PM

        Another point on the issue of declining offense is that the rules about bats have changed. Until 2010, bats were allowed to be 2 3/4″ (2.75″) in diameter. Starting in 2010, the rule was changed to limit them to 2.61″. It seems very hard to believe that forcing batters to use smaller bats didn’t have something to do with the rapid decline in offense at the same time.

    • sincitybonobo - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      Rose voluntarily signed an agreement banning him for life from baseball, in exchange for there being no official finding from Giamatti that he bet on baseball.

      He spent 15 years lying about ever gambling on baseball, despite all evidence to the contrary. His mea culpa coincided with a requisite book deal. He’s been signing autographs in his sleep since he’s been banished, including a few miles from the HOF during induction weekend.

      Going to bat for Pete at this point seems misguided. When can misdeeds as a field manager possibly negate HOF induction for a worthy player? Only one instance comes to mind.

      • sincitybonobo - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        I acknowledge that ball composition has been manipulated to produce more offense and that composition was not entirely consistent throughout the past 20 years. But to suggest that juiced balls had a greater impact on offense than juiced players seems to be quite a stretch. Players who stopped juicing and were exposed by declining offensive numbers were hitting essentially the same balls during consecutive seasons.

        Richard Hidalgo

        Check out his 2000 season in the context of his larger career. Were these numbers a product, primarily, of ball composition or alleged steriod use? He posted a 1.028 OPS at age 25 and was done at age 30. Are we to attribute this spike and decline largely to ball composition?

      • cur68 - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:46 PM

        Sin: It seems like its you against a lot of other people. I don’t care to pile on you, so I’d stop with these replies if you were getting offended with all of this. But you seem like a person who’ll change your opinion in the face of evidence.

        So, just to get an idea of how much baseballs affect hitting performance check out the “Dead Ball ERA” (pre 1920) vs the “Live Ball Era” (after 1920). Wikipedia has an excellent review of the whole business. As you might expect the difference is stark from when a player could see the ball vs when they could not but for a long time people assumed the ball had been physically changed. Its a sort of similar controversy to the “Juiced ball” vs “steroid” argument. However, ignoring that it would be 1920 and steroids weren’t developed till 1930, you could also say “STEROIDS did it!” and ignore rule changes & ball use. Assuming that one factor explains everything isn’t based in fact.

        Now, Richard Hidalgo. I cannot find any evidence from any failed test, admission of guilt, or eye witness accounts that Richard Hidalgo used steroids. I do find considerable evidence of a knee problem, though. I’m going to say that its pretty hard to keep up a torrid hitting pace if you can’t stand up. In the course of my searches I found an article by Perry Schwartz which lists the 25 most significant steroid driven careers:

        He’s got Bagwell, Piazza, Hidalgo, Brady Anderson, and others on a list of steroid users without any evidence. Please note: spike in power for lots of these guys co-incide with the critical ~1993 “juiced” ball being introduced.

        That’s the problem with calling out people for steroids without any evidence of actual use. We assume performance = use, do we? Might as well get on with calling Mike Trout a ‘roider if we’re going down this road. Doing so ignores other factors that explain performance spikes and subsequent fall off.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        But to suggest that juiced balls had a greater impact on offense than juiced players seems to be quite a stretch.

        Why? For every Barry Bonds there’s an Alex Sanchez, and for every Jason Giambi there’s a Jeremy Giambi. Just taking steroids doesn’t make you from AAAA player to MVP. I provided evidence that showed a spike in run scoring could have more to do with outside factors than steroids. Where’s the numbers to disprove it?

        Richard Hidalgo

        This is evidence? A person who has zero ties to steroids having one good year is proof he took them? Cur already took care of the knee injury part, but looking at his bref page I also noticed he tended to never be healthy. He played in 150 games once in his career, and that was the year he put up big numbers. Isn’t it possible that he was finally healthy for once, and that’s his potential was?

        Also, if we’re going to look at outlier years, here’s a person who was the single season HR leader. The year he broke the record, he increased his highest HR total by 1.5 times! No, it’s not Barry Bonds, it’s Roger Maris. It’s baseball, tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of games have been played. When you get to that high amount, you get absurd things happening, like Fernando Tatis hitting 2 Grand Slams in one inning, Brett Boone and Mike Cameron both hitting 4 HR in one game, RA Dickey throwing multiple one hit games in a month, etc.

  11. hooockey - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Pete Rose should be in the hall of fame because of his greatness as a player, even if he is a jerk.

    Ty Cobb was a far worse jerk than Rose and he is in the hall.

    I know Pete hurt the game’s integrity, but he has been penalized greatly with his 20+ year ban.

    It’s time to let him in the hall of fame.

    • jwbiii - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      Pete Rose is not banned from the Hall of Fame because he is a jerk. Pete Rose is banned from the Hall of Fame because he bet on baseball games in which he had a duty to perform, which puts him on baseball’s permanently ineligible list, and players on the permanently ineligible list are not eligible for Hall of Fame induction. This is a rather simple chain of reasoning.

      The character clause was not added to the voting rules until 1945. So the voters who elected Ty Cobb, John McGraw, etc. were not instructed to take their characters into account.

  12. anxovies - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Craig: As a younger man you and other persons commenting will never understand the old age and cold winter months thing until you get there and start snarling about December like the rest of us geezers. But Maturo has a point if for the wrong reasons. For those of you who never had the privilege of watching Pete Rose play baseball it was like watching Mike Trout’s ROY season for 24 years. Every bit of Rose was left on the field after 3500 baseball games. As far as the gambling and lying about it, as one commenter pointed out there is no evidence whatsoever that he threw a game. Any analogy to the Black Sox is not only misplaced but fatuous. Anybody with an iota of good sense who watched him for almost a quarter-century will tell you that the idea is inconceivable, That Pete is not eligible for HoF consideration while former players such as Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, et al. are eligible is an insult to the game and the players who have played it. PED use not only cheats the competition but it also cheats the players such as Pete Rose who played their games and accumulated their records and statistics honestly. In addition, every PED user has publicly lied about it at one time or another, except perhaps Jose Conesco. What kind of false morality accepts cheaters but condemns Rose for lying?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      such as Pete Rose who played their games and accumulated their records and statistics honestly.

      Good god man, how can you say this? When has Rose ever been honest about anything? How does someone who lied about something for 15 years ever get the benefit of the doubt about anything?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      What kind of false morality accepts cheaters but condemns Rose for lying?

      No one is condemning Rose for lying. They are condemning Rose for lying about BETTING ON BASEBALL which is THE cardinal sin.

  13. fraleyr - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    i mean honestly why isnt the hit king in the hall of fame? his record will never be touched

    • raysfan1 - Dec 27, 2012 at 5:12 PM

      I don’t really think that record is completely untouchable, not the same way as Cy Young’s wins and losses records at any rate. Take Ichiro Suzuki for example. He played parts of 9 seasons in Japanese baseball and amassed 1279 hits, I think. Japanese baseball is often rated as “AAAA” quality, but they play 144 games seasons (at least some of his were 130 game seasons, I don’t know when they switched). Regardless, it seems a reasonable estimate to state he could have another 1200 hits if he had played his whole career on this side of the Atlantic. That would have him over 3800 hits now. Another 450 or so hits at his age would be very hard but not impossible.

  14. fraleyr - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    4256 hits… nuff said

  15. fissels - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Rose is never getting in

  16. bat42boy - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Maybe the active, working baseball writers don’t deserve to be HOF voters since most don’t have a clue what they are writing about. All of baseball should come to their senses and vote Pete Rose into the HOF where he belongs. Future generations will not know about how great a ball player he was. At least he didn’t cheat while he was playing. Can’t wait until Bud Selig leaves baseball for good. He’s old and senile and doesn’t know what he’s doing especially with Rose and the way he has changed the game to where it is today. It’s just not the same.

  17. stew48 - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I’ve seen Rose at the park; I’ve seen Rose at the track. If you want to know why Rose is not in the HOF, I submit three words: Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

  18. somekat - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    I will say I think it is stupid for Pete Rose to be banned to the extent he is. To not have him personally enshrined in Cooperstown? OK, I can give you that, especially if you think PED users shouldn’t be in baseball (personally, I’m split. I think they should be, but stats should be taken with a grain of salt from that time period. Guys like Bonds and Clemens I let in, guys like Palmerio and McGwire don’t. Basically, anyone with any doubt it out). But its’ ridiculous to have him banned to the point where he is. for example, if I didn’t know the girl who makes the jersey’s at the Majestic shop at the stadium, it is literally impossible to get an authentic throw back Pete Rose jersey. MLB will not allow them to make it. That’s ridiculous.

    That being said, if you are willing to allow PED users in (and this extends to guys like AROD), I don’t see how you can continue to keep Rose out. If guys who knowingly cheated are allowed in, why wouldn’t he? As far as I know, it was only ever proven that he bet ON the Reds, not against them. Although insanely stupid because of the obvious possible losses, doesn’t prove he threw any games. If anything, he’s of done anything to win them. If they are getting in because their numbers are so good, it is just ridiculous to keep them out, you can’t not apply that logic to the all time hit leader (with nobody else even close)

    • raysfan1 - Dec 27, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      There are still problems even if it is true that Rose bet only for his team to win. They deal with perception. First, if he did not bet for his team every game, or for that matter did not bet the same amount every game, then a question comes up in which there is room to doubt if he tried as hard in games that he did not bet on, or bet less. Second, variations in betting patterns could also be messages to the bookies–Rose didn’t bet today, adjust the line to favor the opponent. (If proven, that could set him up for a racketeering charge.). Third, the betting places him in a position in which it is conceivable that organized gambling interests could pressure/extort him into providing information or shave runs.

      Maturo is right about one thing–ultimately MLB, like any other business, only cares about the bottom line. Their worst nightmare is having people start thinking that the results of games are fixed because it could relegate MLB to a niche sport like boxing. I’m not saying Rose did any of the things I listed above, but MLB simply does not care; they will not take the risk of allowing such perceptions.

      • onehokiefan - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        Yea lets talk about perception, like Selig is an idiot. That one happens to be true, he’s a YES man for all of the wrong reasons. Now we’re gonna let Bonds in………and keep Rose out. Are you kiddin ??? Yes Rose gambled, and after such a long time recanted and fessed up. But at least he admitted it. Bonds has admitted nothing and as a result will be voted in….. now how f’d up is that ?? Lets set an example that the younger generation will see, isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing ? The day Bonds is voted in with Rose still out in the cold is when I will become a true football fan.

  19. kalinedrive - Dec 27, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    I won’t argue in support of this writer, but I do think it is unfortunate that the most important games of the season (the World Series) are sometimes played in bitter cold. It is obvious that cold negatively affects play. Yes, both teams play in the same conditions, but it would be nice if those conditions were more conducive to getting the best quality of play. The season is too long, with the additional playoff series, and should be shortened. I know that means less revenue and lower season and career stats. But it would be better for the game.

  20. thebigtim2012 - Dec 27, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Well written post until the end. Jealousy over not having a vote?

  21. sincitybonobo - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Unboubtedly, I am outnumbered on this page and, yes, I often change opinions when presented with compelling evidence. I make a conscious decision to live in the reality-based world where science and calculation carry the day over dogma and superstition.

    Trout’s 2012 OPS was .963. He was also subjected to drug testing throughout the season and faced a 50 game suspension if caught using PED’s. No such punitive measures were in place in 2000, when Hidalgo posted 1.028 OPS. Those gaudy OPS numbers from Hidalgo barely stood out in 2000. One can say with a much stronger degree of certainty that Trout is the real deal. Hidalgo’s knee injuries and subsequent decline, also, follow a pattern that is not unfamiliar among roiders. Suggesting Hidalgo may have taken steriods is not the most speculative proposition.

    Again, if Bonds took nothing but amphetamines, would he have the HR records?

    The most live ball in the world would not have produced the gaudy numbers during the steriod era, which peaked right around 2000. Steroids work. During the era, runs scored and HR’s increased by over 20 percent. I won’t attribute this primarily to Rawlings’ chicanery.

    Flukes happen and baseball is a greater game because of them. Dickey may just be the most unlikely success story in baseball history and has been a joy to watch over the last three seasons.

    A reasoned criticism of ball-focused argument is that the effects of roids on offensive production is minimized. Sure, a livelier ball will skip past more infielders and extend more innings. Based on discussions with former players and the raw data from a 20 year stretch, I believe those focusing on the ball as the primary reason for an offensive spike are overlooking the room’s elephant. Steroids, taken by world class athletes, warped the game in a way that nothing else has done or has the potential to do. The game is exponentially cleaner and the numbers have reverted.

  22. jdillydawg - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Well, the last bit of respect I had for the HOF just went out the window. My dead grandpa was a beat writer back in the day, I wonder if he’s still voting.

    That said, I’m totally with the guy on the cold, though. I hate the cold. For that, I vote for Pete. Who’s been iced for plenty long.

    Anyway, I’m pretty sure the back of this cereal box says I’m qualified to vote.

  23. joerymi - Dec 28, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Rose’s lack of integrity FOLLOWING his betting is why few are fighting for Rose. His long run of dishonesty and lack of contrition after are why he doesn’t deserve to speak at that podium. He made a clown of himself.

    His bust should one day be in the HOF, as he is one of the 50 greatest players of all time. The veterans committee should consider him, however, posthumously.

  24. genexxa - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Pete Rose is a bad example of an example to promote good behavior in the National Baseball league. Allegedly Pete Rose is being used as an example of what not to do. Pete Rose’s past bad behavior does not seem to be the deterrent everyone thought it would be some 20 years later.
    You can literally count on one hand the number of members of the National Baseball League that have never used alcohol, smoked, gambled, fornicated, adulterous, and doping. And you would have some fingers left over if you looked at the great members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
    I am for good behavior of our professional athletes, however the rules have to be fair and just! Either abide by the Pete Rose example or use the statistics and records to justify entry into the Hall of Fame. What is the real reason Pete Rose is being excluded?

    Romans 3:23

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