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Great Moments in Changing One’s Mind

Jan 10, 2013, 9:52 AM EDT

Closing Arguments Delivered In Barry Bonds Trial Getty Images

In 2011, right after Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice, Jon Heyman had this to say about Barry Bonds:

While I do believe Bonds took steroids, I don’t believe all steroid users should be excluded from the Hall of Fame. I’m not here to sit in moral judgment of another human being.

I was rather surprised at that when it happened, but was quite pleased too, lauding him for his sensible take.

Heyman did not cast a ballot for Barry Bonds in this year’s election, however, saying he “didn’t want to reward the cheats.” He went on Twitter last night to congratulate his colleagues for taking a stand against the steroid guys too, quite proud of barring the doors to the Hall of Fame to the likes of Barry Bonds.

Everyone is entitled to change their mind, of course. Indeed, the worst thing is for someone to make up their mind once about something and never reconsider it again. Facts on the ground change, people mature and their opinions change. We should always revisit or conclusions and test our convictions about things lest we turn into stubborn, calcified stumps.

But I’m not sure what happened in the past 21 months to change Heyman’s so thoroughly about Barry Bonds, and he has done nothing to explain why, in April 2011 Bonds was a Hall of Famer in his eyes and in December 2012 he couldn’t abide the thought.

  1. chill1184 - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Another sports MSM writer nothing but a pathetic hypocrite? You dont say…..

    • paperlions - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      At this point, I’m not sure if they are simply hypocrites, or if they are attention whores and being a hypocritical is just collateral damage, so to speak.

  2. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    I am begining to think Craig has strong feelings on this topic

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    At least ADMIT it Jon. The small Mike in the morning on ESPN radio at least admits he completely changed his mind…but he went the other way. At first, he said he wrote in his book that they should not get in. But now he says they should. I think he basically parrots whatever Buster Olney says, even begging him to come on the air whenever he needs to be reminded of how he should think about this issue like he did the other day.

  4. stlsportsfan84 - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    One of my favorite Heyman’s was on MLB Tonight a couple of days ago. Stated that he wasnt voting for Biggio as a “compiler” but does vote for McGriff (with obviously no justification) and also said that Mattingly had a few good years but that is typical of a player that was “clean”

    So apparently if you are good for a long period of time there is 0 chance you are “clean”

  5. dcfan4life - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Bonds has less of a shot to get in than most other implicated steroid users due to the fact he was so unlikeable. He also hated the media and sports writers. Throw that together with PEDs and its quite possible a man with so many records will never be in cooperstown.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      The writers disliked Jim Rice. Didn’t stop him from getting in.
      The writers liked Steve Garvey. Didn’t help him get in.
      The writers seem to adore Dale Murphy. It’s not helping.

      I enjoy a media bash as much as the next guy. But I rarely see evidence that the likeable players are the ones who get bonus points. There’s usually another explanation.

      • dcfan4life - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:42 PM

        Jim Rice played in a different time than Bonds. When Bonds spoke, the entire country saw the clip. He routinely insulted the writers as a whole. Even though both players may have said similar things, Bonds words were heard a lot more. Plus i did say you have to combo that with the PEDs. Rice never had all that to deal with.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 11, 2013 at 7:49 AM

        Yes, that’s why there’s only radio evidence of the 1978 season: television hadn’t been invented yet.

  6. klownboy - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    I couldn’t disagree more with Heyman. Bonds and Clemens were among the best of all time at their positions before the alleged steroid use. This snubbing was unfair, period.

  7. raysfan1 - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    For all those applauding nobody getting in, I hope they all make sure they attend Hank O’Day’s induction in August and spend lots of money to help out the businesses in Cooperstown and the HoF itself. Their “pure” HoF already was $2 million in the red last year and without help will now be worse off this year.

  8. raulduke11 - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    You mad

    • El Bravo - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      He mad.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        She bop.

  9. ebrownwareagle - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    I Find it funny how these Sports writers who really never contribute anything positive to Sports or even played the game past grade school if at all; has the most to say When it comes to who was and wasn’t a HOF’er. And why. I think it is a absolute JOKE! And snub their noses and sit on their High horse and say “we’ll he is a HOF’er, just not first ballot!” You either are or you aren’t And if no one see that there’s something wrong with this process has been Hoodwinked!

    • thereisaparty - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      So you want sportswriters to also be great athletes?

    • jwbiii - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      Bob Klapisch pitched in college and I don’t think that’s made him a great writer. It did give him a great article about talking pitching with Al Leiter and, well, pitching with Al Leiter. I can’t find the original, but the gist of it is reprinted here:

      Shirley Povich was a great writer and a heckuva caddy as a lad.

      Joe Morgan? If you want to go there, go here:
      He certainly was a great ballplayer.

      I don’t think that there’s much of any connection between being a great athlete and a great sportswriter.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      It appears you haven’t read a book since 8th grade, but you’re commenting on professional writers?

  10. drkincaid - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    I listened to Heyman this morning on Chicago 670AM and he admits he has seen the backlash about his stance on Bonds and he changed his mind. I would’ve changed the station but was hoping he’d mention Or allude to Craig. I wonder if any of these guys are Boras clients and if he’d vote for them if they were, since they’re BFF.

    • paperlions - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      Changing your mind due to “backlash” is weak. If he changed it because the backlash included presentation of information he had not previously considered, fine…..but to change one’s mind simply because your view didn’t go over well with some of the public is rather pathetic.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        Weak indeed Paper. I would at least have respect for someone who stood their ground against the backlash and/or changed their mind based upon information they were not privy to previously. Just the latest example of Jon Heyman being the Captain of all things “tool” related. I swear if I ever run into this dude I will be going to jail.
        Look out HBT friends. I will be contacting you first for bail money!

      • jwbiii - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        You’re good in Chicago. Spare bed to sleep it off. We’re not so strong on breakfast foods, though.

  11. klbader - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Lost in all this nonsense is how much the baseball writers actually benefited from the steroids era. They talk now as if they have been cheated by players who took PEDs. We point out, correctly, that the writers had access to the players during the steroids era, had to have at least suspected that something was going on, and said nothing. Their own culpability for the steroids era has been well documented.

    But we seem to here much less about how the writers themselves benefited from the steroids era. Baseball was suffering in the mid-1990s, and its popularity grew again on the backs of the Sosa-McGuire pursuit of the HR record. Now more people were paying attention to baseball again. More people we reading about it in the papers, or buying books about it. As the game regained its popularity (arguably because the players were using PEDs and hitting more homeruns and such), there was a greater demand for baseball information. This, in turn, led to a greater need for baseball writers. So many of the members of the BBWAA voted to keep players out of the hall of fame off of which the writers reaped real economic benefits. It really is shameful.

    In the interest of fairness, one can only hope that the Hall of Fame also bars the entry of any journalists who worked during the steroids era and failed to report that which should have been obvious.

  12. kirkvanhouten - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Umm…wow. Did my comment get taken down? Are commentors no longer allowed to question the intelligence of Jon Heyman?

    • paperlions - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      I doubt it was taken down. More likely that it was a word press problem.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      Unfortunately if you post a bunch of comments in rapid succession, you can get hit with a spam filter which will prevent commenting for a few hours.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      Sorry Kirk. No one took your comment down and, obviously, questioning Heyman’s intelligence around here is not verboten.

      Assuming it’s a filter thing or a glitch in WordPress. It happens around here, unfortunately.

      • kirkvanhouten - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        Damn. I was developing a really wonderful martyr complex too.

      • Old Gator - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:50 AM

        If you keep on using WordPress or WordPress-based sites, you can go on eating your martyr complex and having it too. As a platform, it’s just a bit less stable than the Eurasian plate underneath Krakatoa.

    • cur68 - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:51 PM

      And if you make a mistake I GUARANTEE that one gets in but your 3 paragraph, carefully researched, proofread, brilliant response is punted. I say hang on to that martyr complex. You’ll need it.

  13. dowhatifeellike - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    He probably does believe what he said. What people believe and how they act on those beliefs are not always consistent. It’s human nature.

  14. braddavery - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    “I’m not here to sit in moral judgment of another human being.”

    But you ARE. That is what you are SUPPOSED TO DO. It’s in the BBHOF’s rules for voting. The head of the BBHOF just came out and said that it is EXACTLY what Hall voters are to do. Sportsmanship and integrity on the field. That’s what you vote for. You ARE obligated to play “moral police” when placing your BBHOF votes. That’s just a fact. That’s how it is. Case closed. Jesus Christ.

    • braddavery - Jan 10, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      You can all downvote me as much as you need. It won’t change the truth. The BBHOF voters are voting exactly how they are told to vote, for integrity and sportsmanship on the field. Using PEDs does not equate to integrity and sportsmanship. Sure, it’s sad that some players will be “punished” without ever having failed a drug test, but it’s a judgement call on the voters part. So be it. It really doesn’t matter that you disagree. You don’t get a vote and you will deal with their choices.

  15. rvnc - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Bonds was such an @sshole during his career that I wonder if in some cases the PED issue is just an excuse for some sportswriters to repay some favours. He treated them with contempt his entire career and now he needs them to get into the Hall they’re not voting for him out of spite. Almost certainly not the case for most BBWAA voters but i’d bet a few are thinking along these lines….

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