COMMENTS FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY
Written by: Mike in DA
Date posted: 2/3/2011
THE BAGWELL NON-BELIEVERS (FOLLOW-UP TO POST Of 1/3)
This is a follow-up to the 1/3 post entitled, "THE BAGWELL NON-BELIEVERS" (http://sheltonmedia.blogspot.com/2011/01/bagwell-non-believers-mike-in-da.html), in which a bunch of e-mails were included that mostly agreed with me that Jeff Bagwell will not or should not be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
However, there are a lot of local sports talkers and callers who disagreed and expect Jeff to make the Baseball Hall of Fame sometime during this decade. But not so fast, my friends, as Lee Corso would say.
Along with a few e-mailers to recent Peanut Gallery posts regarding Jeff’s Hall of Fame chances, I called Jeff a first ballot “Hall of Very Good Players” inductee.
Jeff got over 41% of the votes earlier this month in the Hall of Fame voting, which is 15% or so more than I thought he would get. I don’t think Jeff belongs in Hall of Fame, period, as I explained in a post about five months ago.
A large part of my reason that Jeff won't make it to Cooperstown as an inductee is the one most love to hate. I don't know for sure that Bagwell took steroids or any other performance-enhancing drugs to help him attain his Hall of Fame-caliber numbers. There is no evidence, like they have against Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro. But I, like a bunch of the voters, have suspicions. And this year, that suspicion was enough to make almost 60% of the voters send back their ballots without the Bagwell box checked. I’m sure they’d rather withhold the vote based on suspicion than vote the guy in only to find out later that he cheated.
I understand the position of those voters (and any non-voters, for that matter) who insist it's not fair to take such an action without hard proof. I understand it and actually agree. It's not even slightly fair. But it's the world in which the voters and Bagwell and his fellow Hall candidates now live. It is a world of the "cheaters'" creation. If Bagwell's upset about it, and if he truly is innocent, then he has my apology, but I'd also advise him to seek one from McGwire and Palmeiro and all of his peers and contemporaries who decided they had to cheat and break the law in order to play baseball better.
Bagwell insists he’s innocent, which is what you'd expect him to do whether he is or isn't. The Steroid Era (and the supposedly post-Steroid Era) has shown us repeatedly that the cheaters don't admit to anything until they've been caught and even then they'll only admit to the exact thing for which they were caught, nothing more. Bagwell surely wouldn't be the first to deny guilt only to later be proven guilty. So with all due respect to the guy's words, I don't think they're worth very much in this debate.
This isn't about whether I believe what Bagwell says. It's about suspicions I had back in 2003 long before he spoke out on the issue. It's about where he played and when he played and the teammates with whom he played and a whole bunch of circumstantial evidence that I admit wouldn't hold up in a court of law.
But this isn't a freakin' court of law. This is a Hall of Fame vote. Voters don't need proof beyond a reasonable doubt in order to cast a vote for any candidate in either direction. They could refuse to vote for someone because they didn't like him personally, though I think that would be wrong. They could refuse to vote for somebody based on racial, ethnic, or religious grounds, though that would be despicable. They could withhold a vote because they don't want people in the Hall of Fame who have red hair, or owned pit bulls, or ever played for the Houston Astros. It's their vote, and the only standards to which they are held to are their own.
So yeah. I'm suspicious of Bagwell, and though I do not belong to the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America for the acronym-challenged) and therefore not eligible to vote for the Hall of Fame, but if I was, he wouldn't get my vote.
If Bags ever registers a "yes" with 75 percent of the voters, then congratulations to him, he earned his way in. But if he doesn't, it will probably be partly because a bunch of voters agree with me. They just won't vote for the PED guys. They didn't vote for McGwire or Palmeiro and probably won't vote for Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and others of that ilk.
Some of those voters could change their mind, but in order to be consistent with that position, I don't think they can vote for anybody they suspect, even if that standard seems to be unfair to Bagwell.
The withholding of a Hall of Fame vote based on suspicion of illegal activity is not the same as writing a newspaper story accusing someone of illegal activity. These non-Bagwell voters aren't accusing Jeff of taking steroids or any other performance-enhancing drug, but they are suspicious.
Others on the most recent Hall ballot, such as Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Barry Larkin, Jack Morris, and Tim Raines have escaped many of the voters' suspicions, and though they could be wrong about any or all of them, they are doing the best they can with their ballots and I understand their thinking behind it.
THIS HOMELESS GUY IS UP ON HIS SPORTS AND POP CULTURE; MAYBE HE COULD CO-HOST A SHOW WITH THE GOLDEN-VOICED HOMELESS GUY
COOLEST SPORTS NICKNAMES: “LOSING PITCHER”
Today’s sports nicknames are terrible, such as Bags, Bidge, A-Rod, and L.T. They are nothing more than a combination of a player’s first and last name. But nicknames haven’t always been so bad.
Here is another cool one from the past: Hugh “Losing Pitcher” Mulcahy.
Despite making an All-Star team in 1940, Philadelphia Philly pitcher, Hugh Mulcahy, never enjoyed a season in which he won more games than he lost, including 20 losses in 1938 and 22 losses in 1940. As further evidence of his luck, Mulcahy was the first MLB player to be drafted in World War II. His career record of 45-89 emphasizes his futile efforts on the mound. Mulcahy played with the Phillies who are, not coincidentally, the only team to lose 10,000 games.
STAN VAN GUNDY (OR IS THAT RON JEREMY?) LOOKS UPSET AFTER LOSING TO THE GRIZZLIES!
GANGSTA NAMES FOR HMW
Concluding with the schtick with gangsta names using gangstanames.com, here are the names for the HMW staff to replace our boring-ass names for something harder:
Craig Shelton - Rotten Slim Jimma
Lamont Mann - Butt-Jugglin Tang Chasa
Mike in DA - Janky Canadian
STAN VAN GUNDY (DEFINITELY NOT RON JEREMY) CELEBRATES HIS FIRST ERECTION SINCE HE STARTED COACHING IN THE NBA!
NO CHEERLEADERS FOR SUPER BOWL 45?!
I heard several local sports talkers saying earlier this week that the Packers and Steelers will not bring cheerleaders to the Super Bowl. The reason given was that neither the Packers nor the Steelers have cheerleaders. That is partly wrong.
It is true that for the first time, no cheerleaders will appear in the Super Bowl. The Steelers have never sponsored such a group and, while the Packers brought cheerleaders into the NFL in 1931, they no longer field a squad of official cheerleaders and haven’t done so since 1988. The Packers discontinued their squad of official cheerleaders in large part due to fan indifference and have no plans to return to official cheerleaders.
Though the Packers have no official cheerleaders, they do have cheerleaders, just not their own. They are the University of Wisconsin Green Bay Dance Team and the St. Norbert College cheerleaders who alternate at home games.
FYI - six NFL teams have no cheerleaders of their own: the Bears, Packers, Lions, Steelers, Browns, and Giants.
"TEACH ME HOW TO DOUGIE"
TEACH ME HOW TO RAJI!
URBAN MEYER AVOIDS FAMILY FOR ESPN
In a move, that might have come as somewhat of a surprise to you, but not to me, Urban Meyer has signed on to be an analyst for ESPN next College Football season.
When he left his coaching job at Florida, remember when he claimed it was to spend more time with his family. Having to be in Connecticut several days a week and then be on-site for a game each week during the season, isn't exactly devoting time to his family.
ONCE AGAIN, LOCAL SPORTS TALKERS FORGET TO TELL THE REST OF THE STORY
Last Friday (1/28) on some of the local sports talk shows, one of Tracy Morgan’s (“30 Rock”) comments on the previous evening’s TNT NBA pre-game show, which was mostly about revealing the 2011 All-Star starters, was aired.
The comment was in response to a Charles Barkley question: "Sarah Palin's good looking, isn't she?" Morgan answered, "She's good masturbation material."
Tracy Morgan is a funny and unpredictable guy, but as far as Sarah Palin being "good masturbation material", to each his own.
Anyway, in response to Morgan's line, which had nothing to do with basketball and everything to do with his warm feelings for the former governor of Alaska, TNT issued the following statement: "It's unfortunate Mr. Morgan showed a lack of judgment on our air with his inappropriate comments," the statement, in part, read.
This is a big lie. The only person who "showed a lack of judgment" here was whoever at TNT decided it would be a good idea to put Morgan on live with Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson, Jr. This decision maker was the misguided soul who "showed a lack of judgment."
Morgan was just doing his thing, which is attempting to be provocative and produce some laughs. That often means crossing a line that doesn't exist in his, or other comedians, minds. Did anyone at TNT really think Morgan was going to look at Barkley and say: "I better watch what I say and just talk basketball?"
That would've been like Artie Lange going on the now dead Joe Buck HBO show and deciding to work clean because it was a sports show. In case anyone forgot, Lange hijacked the show by dropping F-bombs and a whole bunch of other assorted pleasantries.
And Morgan with a few words stole this hour-long TNT show. History shows TNT has always pushed the envelope with its NBA coverage, mostly through Barkley's big mouth. There's probably a file somewhere in Atlanta filled with a bunch of TNT statements apologizing for Barkley's lack of judgment following one of his insulting rants.
TNT's NBA coverage remains the best in the business. Still, no one can deny the coverage, especially the studio show, comes with an edge. Morgan's presence offered further proof. And when the edge got too rough last Thursday night, TNT bosses ran and hid behind a bullshit statement.
It was them and not Tracy who really displayed a "lack of judgment".
GILBERT ARENAS DID NOT PLAY BECAUSE HIS KNEE WAS CONFUSED!
ERIN ANDREWS: REPORTER OR CELEBRITY
The sports journalism world got itself caught up in some commotion recently regarding comments by Erin Andrews during the TCU/Wisconsin game in the Rose Bowl. Andrews said that TCU players were having trouble with the footing on the field despite their “new Nike cleats”. Something like that normally would go unnoticed, except that it turns out Erin is a paid Reebok endorser, which means she’s on the payroll of Reebok. That makes her comment very much out of line.
Let me be clear; sports journalism is not a bastion of independence and the absence of biases or conflicts of interest. There are plenty of examples of sportswriters being the co-authors with athletes of autobiographies of that athlete. Coaches and sportswriters also have some very cozy professional relationships. Even by those standards, Erin's comment is out of bounds and the fact that she tried to pass it off as being of no consequence tells me that she is an entertainer and not a reporter. There is nothing wrong with being a celebrity to be sure; just be sure that the appropriate label is put on her.
Let's mark down yet another reason why sideline reporters are worthless additions to televised sporting events.
VINCE LOMBARDI SNOW TROPHY: I WONDER HOW THE KID MADE THE STEELERS NAME PART YELLOW
Yesterday’s Record ATS: 7-4 (UTEP game was postponed)
Cumulative Season Record ATS (excludes “pushes”): 306-204
Today’s Action (for reading purposes only):
GOLDEN STATE* (-3) over MILWAUKEE
A pair of teams with contrasting styles will go at it. Warriors’ Monta Ellis would be a lock for an All-Star appearance if he played on a winning team, while the Bucks have had a hard time scoring all season and only average about 91 a game, which is the least in the Association. David Lee has given the homers some sense of stability down low. GOLDEN STATE, 114-102
WRIGHT STATE* (-6) over LOYOLA CHICAGO
Reasonable number looms for Raiders, building decent measure of Horizon momentum with strong conference tournament effort the primary reasonable goal. Would expect Ramblers will fight the good fight, but injuries have hindered visitors’ hoped-for ’10-’11 senior-spearheaded run. WRIGHT STATE, 72-60
DETROIT* (-10.5) over ILLINOIS-CHICAGO
Though our pet Horizon entry continues to boast balanced scoring distribution, marked favoritism is not a habitual favorable role for this program, so will tread gently, especially since the Titans have a habit of not finishing games with a flourish. DETROIT, 71-55
ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK* (-1) over DENVER
Pioneers remain in stroke, as evidenced by their smashing of North Texas (a Best Bet, on these pages), but this can be a stupefying environment, and pacing towards the conference tournament remains a priority, since Sun Belt is absolutely a one-bid league. ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK, 68-62
TENNESSEE (-10) over AUBURN*
The Tigers zoned overrated South Carolina to perdition for long-overdue win within SEC, but Tennessee is coming off one better, going after the in-state road sweep after holding Ole Miss to 25.9% from the floor in a game many a Mississippi adherent were confident they were going to win. This is a tricky read at this number, since the Tigers are trying to slow things down in many cases in an effort to keep things “respectable”. TENNESSEE, 68-53
NOTRE DAME (-11.5) over DEPAUL*
Unless they’re somehow flustered by the Blue Demons’ damn-the-torpodoes uptempo style, Dame should cruise, though it was interesting that Irish felt compelled to resort to throwing a slow-tempo curveball at proficient Pittsburgh when they shocked the top-drawer Panthers ten days ago. At full speed, this should only go one way. NOTRE DAME, 86-60
PORTLAND* (+3) over GONZAGA
The Pilots have been laying for this all season, and the Zags are clearly not all they’ve been cracked up to be . . . certainly less than the sum of their parts. PORTLAND, 73-67
CAL SANTA BARBARA* (-2.5) over PACIFIC
Pacific's 6'2" sophomore guard Huddleston drained six 3-pointers, had a career-high 23 points, and his four steals helped ignite Pacific's fast break in a 75-58 win in their last game against Big West doormat Cal Riverside. Huddleston averages 8.7 points per game, so guess who won't be draining six treys tonight against what is probably the best defensive team in the conference next to Pacific? Each of UCSB's last two opponents hit 50% of their 3-point shots, and Pacific hit 63.6% of theirs vs. Riverside (14-for-22). Time for the percentages in that category to revert back to normal, all in favor of the Gauchos. UC SANTA BARBARA, 71-60
MIKE IN DA
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