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Hall of Fame absurdity continues as Marvin Miller excluded, three PED-aided managers inducted

Dec 9, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT

Marvin Miller

I think Tony La Russa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox are no-brainer Hall of Famers. Congrats to them and to the Committee for voting them in.

I think that the rest of the Hall of Fame ballot contained mostly borderline selections. I’d vote for Ted Simmons. I’d consider Steinbrenner for historic reasons. But I shed no tears for them not getting in. They clearly aren’t as deserving as those three managers who made it, and realistically you’re never going to see more than three guys get in from such a small group of voters.

But I do have two problems with this vote, one direct and one indirect.

The direct problem is one I’ve mentioned many times before, and that’s the horrendous exclusion of Marvin Miller. He’s been passed over multiple times now, and he’s probably never getting in. I’ve accepted that. I’ll never accept, however, that the Hall of Fame is anything approaching legitimate without Miller’s inclusion. Many owners, executives and commissioners — many feckless at best, some actively harmful to the game — are in the Hall. Very few of them if any have had as big an impact on how baseball operates than Miller.

The only reason people care about these Winter Meetings is free agency and the hot stove league. The only reason we have free agency and the hot stove league is Marvin Miller. Also: there are a lot of players on the Veteran’s Committee who made way more money playing baseball than they would’ve if not for Marvin Miller, if at least that subset of the committee didn’t vote for Marvin Miller, well, shame on them.

The indirect complaint: we now have three managers in the Hall of Fame whose greatest fame and success came during what has come to be known as the Steroid Era. La Russa has at least one less World Series ring and three fewer pennants if it was not for PED poster boys Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. Torre has two fewer rings and three fewer pennants without Roger Clemens. There were certainly other PED dudes on the Yankees, Cardinals, A’s and Braves teams managed by Cox, Torre and La Russa. The Veteran’s Committee obviously does not consider their accomplishments to be any less worthy, even if they were aided by performance enhancing drugs. Why, then, does the BBWAA still consider that a disqualification for the Hall of Fame?

I don’t suspect anyone will provide a satisfying answer to that. We’ll all just have to continue to live with that ridiculous contradiction. And ridiculous exclusions. It’s an imperfect process and an imperfect institution. But it’s still worth pointing out the absurdities, because they never cease to be galling.

  1. Jack Marshall - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Huh?

    Benefitting from the surreptitious use of PED’s by one’s player or players does not impugn the ability, sportsmanship or integrity of a manager, and he should not be penalized for it. Aiding such use by deception or willful ignorance should be a disqualifier, however. I probably wouldn’t vote for LaRussa on that basis.

    • NatsLady - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      What about cocaine? I’m thinking of Davey Johnson. Does being a “players’ manager” include enabling (if not encouraging) illegal activities? I’m pretty sure he’ll get in.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        Davey Johnson? HOF?

        I ‘ll grant you, his win totals are higher then I would have guessed, but one WS appearance isn’t going to cut it. He is lower then Bruce Bochy on wins and Pennants – and Bochy ain’t getting in either

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      hahahahahahahahhah

      I love that headline,,,, PED AIDED MANAGERS, I hope their plaques recognize the achievements, that was hilarious!

    • clydeserra - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      “Surreptitious.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA {breaths} HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    • sportsfan18 - Dec 9, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      but does the sportsmanship of managers come into question when they KNOW that they have players who were juicing and would continue to juice?

      I personally can’t say that any of these 3 managers knew, but I would not be surprised in the least to find out that they did know.

      In my own mind, I think LaRussa had to know what was going on his his clubhouse right under his nose.

      So you speak of sportsmanship and integrity of a manager shouldn’t be affected by players using PED’s. I think when they know those players are using, it should.

      But, I will say that back in the mid to late 90’s (after the strike in 1994 and certainly in the summer of 1998 when Mac and Sosa were hitting HR’s every other at bat seemingly) that many people knew of the PED use and looked the other way.

      Bud knew of its use, many players knew what many were doing and so did many managers and G.M.’s.

      I guess it’s tough to hold it against one manager when basically all in the game back then were aware of what was going on.

      I would still vote to put these managers in the HOF but I wouldn’t personally use the words sportsmanship and integrity the way you did.

  2. dohpey28 - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Awww a lawyer schilling for another lawyer isn’t that sweet.

    • Jack Marshall - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      Double “Huh?”. Which part of “I probably wouldn’t vote for LaRussa” confused you? Let’s see—I wasn’t shilling for Craig, Craig wasn’t shilling for Tony, and neither was I. Are there some additional lawyers in this equation that I’m not aware of?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        He’s talking about Craig advocating for Miller.

    • cur68 - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      Marvin Miller was not a lawyer. What’s your point again?

  3. danindelray - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    You truly are shameless Calcaterra.

    You defend PED users every way you can, tell us how and if it should color our expectations regarding apologies but when it suits your purposes, now suddenly these three are somehow besmirched because they had PED users on their teams and their reputations were enhanced.

    Pathetic.

    • zzalapski - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      Try reading the entirety of his post instead of just glancing at the title.

    • chrisdtx - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      “I think Tony La Russa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox are no-brainer Hall of Famers. Congrats to them and to the Committee for voting them in.”

      Reading comprehension is hard.

    • tridecagon - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      Craig is not saying that these guys don’t belong in the hall of fame. He’s saying that if you can let in a guy like La Russa, whose career accomplishments were enhanced by the PED use of his players, how can you justify barring those same players from the HOF for their PED use?

    • clydeserra - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      Thet didn’t teach reading at your school?

      • clydeserra - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        they.

  4. bigharold - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    “… and that’s the horrendous exclusion of Marvin Miller.”

    Miller isn’t and shouldn’t, in my opinion, be in the baseball HoF because he neither played professionally nor worked in any capacity for a MLB team.

    I’ve no doubt about the historical significance of Miller’s efforts and contributions but his field of expertise is labor relations. If there is ever a Labor Relations HoF, he should be inducted as a charter member along with John L. Lewis. But unless one is going to start considering someone like Scott Boras for the HoF, Miller was just a hired gun by the players, .. like any lawyer, or agent.

    I can see it now, .. the Scott Boras wing for the HoF for MLB agents…

    • NatsLady - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      George Steinbrenner–or any other owner? Negro League players? Seems like there are possiblities for guys who were not in MLB uniforms being in the HoF, but the bottom line is no one knows for exactly-sure what is the definition of being “eligible” for HoF membership. For example, Torre was elected as a “manager” not as a “player,” even though he said the instructions to voters were to consider the “totality of his career.”

      • bigharold - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        Steinbenner owned a team and Negro league players played professionally, .. ergo they qualify. Torre was elected as a manager, .. yes so what’s your point?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Bowie Kuhn is in the Hall of Fame. He neither played professionally nor worked for a team.

      And he sucked at his job.

      • mayorrobford - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:57 AM

        Red Ruffing is in the Hall of Fame, so Jack Morris should be too, see how dumb this type of argument is?

      • bigharold - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        Kuhn was the Commission, employed by MLB. Ignoring that he worked for MLB in an official capacity is astoundingly myopic.

        Because someone that “.. sucked at his job.” is in the HoF is not an excuse to induct someone that shouldn’t be eligible.

      • clydeserra - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        Steinbrenner was never “Employed” by the yankees, was he?

      • bigharold - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        “Steinbrenner was never “Employed” by the yankees,”

        Yeah, that adds a lot. Go back to sleep.

    • pastabelly - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      Okay, I guess you would like to like to throw out Peter Gammons and other media members then never played professionally nor worked in any capacity for a MLB team. Not sure what your agenda here really is.

      • bigharold - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:41 PM

        There is a specific criteria to elect baseball journalist. There is no historical president nor foundation for electing MLPA union leaders. And, if you are wiling to change that then you must be willing to, at some point, consider inducting Scott Boras, . or any other agent. Miller might have helped set up the frame work but Boras is the guy that gets players ridiculous contracts.

        “Not sure what your agenda here really is.”

        Perhaps because you’re not thinking? I’ve no “agenda”. In fact, I not only appreciate the historical significance of Miller’s contributions I generally prefer that players get a more equitable share of the profits. I just don’t think that a union leader belongs in the baseball HoF. He was never in baseball. What next, .. the official beer of MLB inducted, .. it makes about as much sense.

      • largebill - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:41 PM

        Peter Gammons is not an enshrinee in the Baseball Hall of Fame. People mistakenly confuse recipients of the Ford Frick award as being Hall of Famers but they are not.

    • natstowngreg - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      Hmmm, interersting question about electing an agent. Not that the establishment would ever elect an agent (The Hall of Fame being part of MLB).

      However, one can ask, was there some ground-breaking agent? Don’t know if there is one, just asking. If there was one, I doubt it was Scott Boras.

    • clydeserra - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      Henry Chadwick is a Hall of Famer. He never played or was employed by a baseball team

  5. aceshigh11 - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Marvin Miller was a union thug and a communist!

    I figure as long as we have lunatics attacking NELSON MANDELA this morning, we might as go full Bircher in the comments sections.

    • pilonflats - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      before you go overboard on the comments yourself you might want to take a look at what nelson and his wife did to OTHER black Africans to put themselves and their friends in $ and power. HINT: kidnapping, torture, murder, assassinations, etc. these are facts btw.

      • natstowngreg - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        Going overboard is thinking aceshigh was being serious.

      • cogitobaseballergosum - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:47 PM

        Best not to use big complicated words like “facts” unless you know what they mean.

      • dprat - Dec 10, 2013 at 12:12 AM

        I’d love to see a citation for these “facts” in regard to Nelson Mandela. At the time the events happened for which Winnie Mandela was convicted, Nelson Mandela was being treated to the comforts of the Robben Island Extended Stay Inn. Jeebus, the level of ignorance in this country (yes, making an assumption here) is so incredibly depressing.

  6. jlinatl - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Wheras I do not agree with your stance on PED users much of the time, I agree that it is hypocritical to overlook PED impact on a manager’s HOF credentials.

  7. misterj167 - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    If Marvin Miller hadn’t been around, baseball might not be around today for some of you to badmouth Marvin Miller.

    • gibbyfan - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      Baseball was around and doing well long before Miller came on the scene………yes he was great for affording the players an opportunuity to become insanely wealthy and that’s fine, but I’m pretty sure had that not happened the game would not have perished, even if the players were stuck with shorter contracts and say salaries of only a million or so per year, somehow I think they still would have been thrilled to play as they were in the old days

    • eagle100x - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      When Marvin Miller negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement for the MLBPA in the late 1960’s, baseball was the top sport in the country. Ahead of the NFL. Today it is a distance 2nd as a result of, in part, the legacy of Marvin Miller and others. Although great for the players, free agency alienated portions of the casual fanbase.

      • bigharold - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        ” Today it is a distance 2nd …”

        That may well be accurate but that has more to do with the NFL marketing their game much better. The NFL has always been a more collaborative effort and the results show that it has worked better than MLB’s which is more a lose confederation of owners that rarely agree. This can best be demonstrated by the way the NFL handles TV contracts. Everybody gets an equal share while MLB it’s everyman for himself.

        I think Miller’s efforts didn’t negatively affect baseballs ranking so much as pro football is a more exciting game to watch. With TV, a medium much better suited to highlight the action in the game of football, becoming popular AND widespread in the 60s it was only a matter of time before it overtook baseball.

      • pastabelly - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Football, basketball, and hockey also have free agency and it’s doubtbul that has alienated any significant portions of the casual fanbase.

        There are many reasons why the NFL ahead of baseball. Baseball and Football free agency just isn’t one of the many.

      • largebill - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        Biggest reason NFL has surpassed baseball is television.

      • nbjays - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        Biggest reason the NFL has surpassed baseball is viewers’ short attention spans.

    • misterj167 - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      The average value of an MLB team in the seventies, when free agency began, was $12.62 million ($41.96 in 2002 dollars). In the nineties, even as player salaries escalated, the average value of an MLB team was $172.71 million ($203.68 in 2002 dollars). I’d say that’s a damn good thing for the ungrateful egomaniacs who own the teams.

      (source: http://eh.net/encyclopedia/the-economic-history-of-major-league-baseball)

      Baseball was dying in the seventies and it was dying in great part because of the owners, who have continually had to be dragged into modern times by force of law. No group of people has done more to harm the game than the owners, I cite apartheid and the reserve clause as the biggest examples of this.

      When the arbitrator ruled against MLB, getting rid of the reserve clause and basically making every player a free agent, Miller understood how that would devastate the game and negotiated with the owners for a better system. So Miller did more than just get rid of the reserve clause, he established the ground rules that made more teams competitive and made baseball wildly successful financially. If it weren’t for Miller, the reserve clause might still be around, and baseball would be competing with lacrosse for air time.

      And as always, just because baseball had things all to themselves before the popularity of the NFL and NBA doesn’t mean a thing, it’s still making gobs of money.

      That too many commenters here continue to carry water for the owners or intentionally fail to understand what Miller did despite not being a player, is what’s really disgraceful, but then these are probably the same people who think the best way to motivate rich people is by giving them more money and the best way to motivate poor people is by taking away what little they already have.

      I realize it’s a waste of time talking to brick walls like this, so I should apologize to myself for once more being forced to explain what should be patently obvious to anyone with three active brain cells. Oh wait. Never mind.

      • bigharold - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:49 PM

        “The average value of an MLB team in the seventies, when free agency began, was $12.62 million ($41.96 in 2002 dollars). In the nineties, even as player salaries escalated, the average value of an MLB team was $172.71 million ($203.68 in 2002 dollars). I’d say that’s a damn good thing for the ungrateful egomaniacs who own the teams.”

        This may all be true but it’s also irreverent. Free Agency had nothing significant to do with team valuations. What you fail to understand is who is paying the bills and how. Where are these revenue streams coming from and how are they multiplied? While the increase in valuations might coincide with free agency, .. free agency is not the cause. It’s TV, .. or more to the point cable TV. Paid, subscription based TV that allows the team vast amounts of revenue they didn’t have during the era of broadcast “free” TV. As a kid I watched the games that were TV, .. mostly WPIX, the local station carrying the Yankees for about 100 games a year. Now, I watch a lot more than 100 games, for a fee on cable. Not to mention my MLB audio subscription. How do you think an imbecile like Frank McCourt can buy the Dodgers, loot them by borrowing against them and still sell them a few years later for and still walk away with $100s of millions? They got a bigger cable deal. Free agency did nothing to increase the value of a franchise and other than the circumstantial facts you point out there is no other evidence to support it. Anybody with two brain cells on speaking terms can see the correlation between cable TV and team value, .. after all it is a profit making business. The more profit potential the more the business is worth. One could argue that free agency drives up labor cost thereby constraining profitability and subsequent value.

        “That too many commenters here continue to carry water for the owners or intentionally fail to understand what Miller did despite not being a player, ”

        I fully understand the historical ramifications Miller had on baseball’s labor relations but that doesn’t mean he did anything per se to improve or add to baseball. He helped correct a huge point of economic fairness, or social justice if you will, but other than that the game is played the same way. Branch Ricky, on the other hand, not only ended a heinous practice and advanced social justice but he also got a large number of talented players in baseball that were previously denied their opportunity, .. so it can be said he added to baseball. Miller, the same guys were going to play anyway, .. they were just going to get less while the owner kept more.

        I’m glad that Miller did what he did. If it wasn’t him, it would have been another a few years later. I think the group that risk most are the players and they deserve their share. I’ve no interest in wealthy guys getting richer while the players take all the risk. I just don’t have a problem with Miller not being in the baseball HoF because he was never “in” baseball. He is and always was outside the game. And, If your going to put him in can Scott Boras be far behind?

  8. proudlycanadian - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    At least they did not elect a convicted felon nor a guy with a very serious alcohol problem.

  9. xdj511 - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Wow, talk about your headline not quite matching up to the content of the article. Nothing about the “PED-aided managers” in there. And yes, Marvin Miller does belong, more so than any of the commissioners of the era who fought against him but got their plaques.

  10. pastabelly - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Yup, Calcaterra’s indirect point here is to legitimize players who used PEDs during the PED era. Calcaterra may not like the answer, but Baseball is holding direct users responsible and not their teammates and managers. I would think that any evidence were to be uncovered that showed Torre, Cox, or LaRussa to be advocating or encouraging use of steroids, then those managers would have been excluded. Calcaterra has some problem differentiating direct users from indirect beneficiaries, but many others do not.

    I agree on Marvin Miller. If it were me, I would revoke Bowie Kuhn’s admission and induct Miller in his place.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      Setting aside that (1) MLB does not control the HoF, and (2) this was a Veterans Committee vote and not a BBWAA vote–point 2 directed at Craig–

      The voters do not hold a player’s teammates against them? Back to the BBWAA, there were columns by voters last year in which they admitted the reason they did not vote for Jeff Bagwell or Craig Biggio last year was the fact that they were on the same team as known PED user Ken Caminiti.

    • Marty McKee - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      LaRussa still believes McGwire never used PEDs. He may be too stupid to be in the HOF.

      It’s also appears the Veterans Committee was able to overlook LaRussa’s drunken driving and his enabling of similar behavior in the clubhouse.

  11. nobody78 - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    “Also: there are a lot of players on the Veteran’s Committee who made way more money playing baseball than they would’ve if not for Marvin Miller, if at least that subset of the committee didn’t vote for Marvin Miller, well, shame on them.”

    It’s shameful not to vote for someone for the Hall of Fame because he made you a lot of money? You don’t have to have a very elevated view of the Hall to think its standards should be higher than that.

    (And I say that as someone who favors Miller’s induction.)

  12. nobody78 - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Also, there’s no “ridiculous contradiction” in admitting managers whose players used PEDs but not admitting players who themselves used PEDs. The difference between the two cases is obvious.

    If you want, you could argue that the managers were in fact complicit in PED use and you’d be able to make an argument. Really, managers are supposed to be the mature ones and are supposed to exercise some stewardship over the game. If they knew about and encouraged PED use, that’s arguably worse than what the players did. I’d agree with that argument.

    But your use of the term “PED-aided managers” is obfuscating and silly. It’s the kind of thing that gets you called a steroid apologist.

  13. innout10 - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Pretty big assumption to say there were obviously more PED users on the braves and other teams… Never assume anything calcaterra… Making comments like that push this reputable “news site” down towards the feel of a bitter fans blog post

  14. Marty McKee - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    I don’t know about Torre. I don’t think anyone would argue his managerial career was HOF-worthy except for those years with the Yankees. But let’s face it–I could have won 6 pennants managing that roster. I just don’t see that Torre brought anything special to the table there. If he had amazing managerial ability, why didn’t he win anywhere else? Is a manager only as good as his players? And if so, shouldn’t that affect whether or not he goes into the HOF?

    Your thoughts?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      I agree, but be prepared to hear some insane reasons from other Yankee fans that he was the reason they won.

    • clydeserra - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      I think his time with the braves and Dodgers (did he manage the cardinals too?) show that managing is mostly about the players.

      Whereas I don’t think any joe off the street could have won as much with the 90s-00s yankees, most competent baseball people would have.

      So, yeah, not a better manager than others, I don’t think he belongs. I would say the same thing about LaRussa too. I don’t think there is enough info on cox, but I don’t hate his inclusion.

    • bigharold - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      “I don’t know about Torre. … I just don’t see that Torre brought anything special to the table there. If he had amazing managerial ability, ”

      I’ve frequently questioned Torre’s tactical ability and his handling of pitchers was terrible. Nonetheless, I think he gets the nod for the HoF. While it’s easy to say that anybody could have won with the teams he had nobody else did, .. he did. Also, part of managing is what Torre was best at, .. handling the clubhouse and the external pressures. In NY, the media is far more intense, .. the Yankees have far more high profile players, … with egos to match. This is an environment where these two things can feed off each other and complicate issues exponentially. Torre management of the clubhouse, media personalities was practically flawless. He excelled at dealing with all the hoopla that surrounds Yankee baseball. Most importantly, … he dealt with the owner. The guy that was accustomed to firing managers like most guys swap leased cars. And, keep in mind that when he first started George Steinbrenner was still large and in charge. Torre got to deal with the extra strength, un- deluded, full bore GMSlll, .. not the aged addled kinder gentler version that he was his last few years. For that alone he deserves some recognition.

      It’s easy to say anybody could have won with the team he had but Torre did.

  15. plmathfoto - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    LaRussa is the most blatant of all of them, he’s a really smart guy (if you don’t believe it just ask him!), but seriously dude has a law degree, etc and has always given lawyer like answers on the whole PED thing, and he has always had major PED guys, and claims to have had no knowledge when he had the bash brothers as mentioned, who I nicknamed the roid brothers. He even hired McGwire as a coach later. I think, however, that the group electing here is not the writers, and I think that made the difference.

    As for Miller, yes he had huge influence, but what I hated was the players never ever backed up in negotiations, they always started at where they were and always wanted more (whether right wrong or indifferent). I appreciate the recently deceased guy who ran the deal now, where they had obvious cooperation and where they put things in that weren’t always take take take (sorry no disrespect about forgetting his name at the moment).

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      As for Miller, yes he had huge influence, but what I hated was the players never ever backed up in negotiations, they always started at where they were and always wanted more (whether right wrong or indifferent).

      People come to the games to see the players, not the owners. Why should the players back down from salary demands, especially since they just spent 70+ years dealing with the reserve clause?

      • plmathfoto - Dec 9, 2013 at 7:26 PM

        It wasn’t just salary demands, it was anything, drug testing, every single thing. They started at where things were and always negotiated upward, never giving in on anything, never a question of right or wrong, that’s a lot of what caused the whole PED issue

    • misterscmo - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      Why shouldn’t the players, the best of the best in the world at what they do, benefit from their own performance?

  16. mayorrobford - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    If they put Derek Jeter in the Hall they are hypocrites, he played with players who used, it affected his run & RBI totals and put rings on his fingers.

    – Craig C in 6 years

  17. eagle100x - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    bigharold – you certainly make some good points.

    Where I was going with my comment was that more than any other sport, identified with the players not just the teams. I not just the star players but all the players. When baseball was the “great American pastime” fans could go and the teams stayed pretty much the same from year to year. The casual fan did not have to stay up to date with all the transactions to know who was not only on their favorite team, but also the competitors. “I want to see Mickey Mantle play, when are the Yankees coming to town?”

    The NFL doesn’t seem to have this problem. Take the 1987 strike year. By the 3rd replacement game many stadiums were back to full capacity even though the caliber of play wasn’t as good. It was about being a Cowboy fan and seeing the helmet with the blue star.

    Baseball’s power that be, have certainly made many other poor decisions over the years. Just an observation that free agency was bad for casual baseball fans.

  18. mj2sexay - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    I didn’t know Joe Torre was cycling Winstrol!

    The thought itself is hilarious. Could you imagine 96 Joe Torre roid raging on Paul O’Neill because he wanted a cup of water and the cooler just got thrown down the third baseline?

  19. louhudson23 - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:43 AM

    Why people continue to incorrectly gauge the popularity of football over baseball is baffling. Football is not as popular as baseball,other than in single game broadcast TV audience using traditional ratings mechanisms(which is the easiest way to sell advertising).In real numbers ,accounting for local broadcasts for both teams,internet streaming and radio ,the cumulative audience for baseball far surpasses football . Which is why baseball continues to receive ever escalating broadcast rights deals and teams continue to do so individually, as well. Not to mention the much larger number of asses in the seats over the course of a 162 game season compared to an NFL team which is lucky to draw 500,000 over the course of a season….. In an ever more fragmented marketplace,and in a time of ever shorter attention spans and a multitude of distractions it is a strong testament to the beautiful game that so many continue to watch so many games over such a long period of time….A Football game is a weekly event to it’s many fans.Baseball is a part of the flow of life and time.Like life,it is an ongoing process,not a once a week extravaganza….

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