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Observations From Cooperstown--The End of the Hall of Fame Game
2008-02-08 07:30
by Bruce Markusen
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Last week’s news regarding the death of the Hall of Fame Game came as no surprise, considering that strong rumors of its demise had been floating for weeks. Still, the news is no less disconcerting; the game, while only an exhibition, has meant so much to fans in upstate New York (many of whom cannot afford to attend major leagues games in person), not to mention the benefits to the Cooperstown economy. It has also provided a natural link between the Hall of Fame—the repository of baseball history—and the current-day game as it exists at the major league level.

The Hall of Fame and MLB are taking the bullet for the termination of the game, and that’s really not fair. Some internet posters immediately tried to blame Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey, perhaps because of their dislike of him over the Tim Robbins/Bull Durham incident of a few years ago. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Petroskey, along with just about every high-ranking Hall of Fame official, wanted this game to continue. The game promotes the Hall of Fame while providing an economic boost of about $30,000 to the local economy. As the saying goes, what’s not to like? The end of the Hall of Fame Game—that’s the last thing that Petroskey and other Hall officials wanted to see happen.

MLB has tried to absorb some of the heat, citing the scheduling difficulties created by inter-league play and the lack of available off days during the regular season. Scheduling problems have certainly created large roadblocks, but that’s largely because of contemporary major league players, who have made a habit of complaining about the trip to Cooperstown. Even if a team has a day off and happens to be somewhere east of the Mississippi, the team’s players still have to approve participating in the game. And that was becoming increasingly difficult, because of the growing number of players who wanted nothing to do with traveling to upstate New York during one of their scheduled days off. Now, let’s keep in mind that a player might have to play in one, maybe two Hall of Fame games during the course of his entire career. That was apparently too much of an inconvenience, weighing more heavily than the wonderful public relations that the HOF Game created for baseball on the whole.

The termination of the Hall of Fame Game represents the opposite of public relations. The decision to end the game after this year’s June matchup between the Cubs and Padres has created such a firestorm in upstate New York that Senator Chuck Schumer has lent his efforts to a petition calling for MLB to reverse its decision. (The online petition, for those who are interested, can be found at ipetitions.com.)

While I applaud the efforts of those who are supporting the petition, the realist in me dictates that it’s time to move forward. After this year, the Hall of Fame Game will have ended, nearly 70 years after its inception, and there’s likely nothing that can be done to change that. Very smartly, the Hall of Fame realizes that the game needs to be replaced with some other tangible event. The Hall has already begun exploring alternatives, including some kind of a "Futures Game," a game involving minor league teams, or perhaps even an "Old-Timers" or "Legends Game." And I’m all for that. While each of these concepts carries logistical problems, their potential benefits will bring some much-needed juice to the Hall of Fame calendar.

Last week on MLB Radio, afternoon host Seth Everett asked Hall vice president Jeff Idelson about the possibility of a Futures Game featuring prospects from two different organizations. Idelson seemed receptive to the idea. A mid-season Futures Game, coinciding with the All-Star break and featuring top prospects across the board, has already proved successful since its inception in 1999. By narrowing the concept, the Hall of Fame could take advantage of existing rivalries, such as the "future stars of the Red Sox against the future stars of the Yankees." Still, such a game would require some compromise. Since it’s highly unlikely that all of a parent team’s affiliates would have off on the same day, the parent team would have to be willing to give their top prospects a one-day leave of absence. For organizations that value winning at the minor league level, that stipulation could pose a problem.

As for the second possibility, a game featuring minor league teams will actually take place at Doubleday Field this May. It’s not affiliated with the Hall of Fame, but has been scheduled as part of the International League’s 100th anniversary celebration. This matchup, pitting the nearby Syracuse Sky Chiefs against the Rochester Red Wings, will count in the International League standings. Some Cooperstown observers believe that the Red Wings-Sky Chiefs game could become a precursor to an annual minor league game at Doubleday Field, one that the Hall of Fame might affiliate itself with. Hey, how about a game featuring the Yankees’ top affiliate at Scranton-Wilkes Barre against the Mets’ top minor league team, currently stationed in New Orleans? That would become even more feasible if the Mets relocate their Triple-A team to Syracuse, which has been hotly rumored.

An Old-Timers Game would be an even better idea than a minor league game or futures game, given the name value of retired stars. Such a game could be attached to Induction Weekend, when 50 or so Hall of Famers are already in town. Hall officials have resisted the idea in the past, in part because of worries that some Hall of Famers wouldn’t want to embarrass themselves in a game setting. Fine, that’s a legitimate concern. So let’s supplement the Old-Timers Game with a few non-Hall of Famers who are a little bit younger and in better physical condition. Twenty or 30 retired players, in addition to the Hall of Famers, usually attend Induction Weekend anyway. Another possibility would be to invite retired players who are scheduled to appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. The Hall could easily offer each player a reasonable honorarium to have their names introduced to the crowd, followed by two or three innings of participation in a game.

There is precedent for Old-Timers games at Doubleday Field. In 1989, the Hall of Fame celebrated its 50th anniversary by featuring a game of retired legends, including Hall of Famers and recently retired stars like George Foster and Manny Sanguillen. I’ve talked to a number of longtime Cooperstown residents about that game; every one of them has raved about the commercial and artistic success of that game. Not only did the game draw a strong crowd, but the participants also did well in playing to the fans, taking full advantage of the intimacy of Doubleday Field.

Perhaps the time is right to bring the old-timers back to Doubleday Field. That would be a great way for the Hall of Fame to counteract the unhappiness that came with last week’s demolition of a Cooperstown institution.

 Bruce Markusen, the author of seven books on baseball, writes "Cooperstown Confidential" for MLB.com.

Comments (56)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-02-08 07:43:36
1.   Yankee Fan In Boston
I'd love to see any of the types of games you suggested at Doubleday Field. It looks like a great little ballpark. I've never seen a game there, but I make a point to peek at it every time I'm in town.
2008-02-08 08:03:39
2.   Raf
Hopefully, I'll remember when tickets go on sale? I got hit with work when Dodger LA Coliseum tickets went on sale, and I didn't get a chance to pick them up...
2008-02-08 08:16:34
3.   standuptriple
While I think it's great that the tradition has been carried on for so long, if it's not feasable then I don't mind it going away. There seem to be decent alternatives and I believe Cooperstown is about baseball pure and simple, professional players are nice, but not required, IMO.
2 I missed the boat on that as well. Would have been cool. 90+K (and they're looking at adding more) at a baseball game seems hard to fathom. I have a feeling it will be filled with fans not rooting for LA, in which case I'm almost wishing for a meteor to strike there.
2008-02-08 08:30:40
4.   unmoderated
as a local (oneonta( let me tell you that i an BUMMED.
2008-02-08 08:34:19
5.   unmoderated
nice punctuation, buddy.
2008-02-08 08:53:36
6.   lentnej
It is not wrong to blame MLB, in part. The demise of doubleheaders is a huge culprit. Not only do owners refuse to schedule DH's but now, rainouts are rescheduled as separate admission doubleheaders. This means there are very few days off.
The above in no way excuses players who complain about missing a day off every dozen years. They even have to moan about it to local (central NY) media when they come up for the game.
2008-02-08 09:38:55
7.   williamnyy23
6 I have a different take. I think not having DHs is more fan friendly because it gives more people more opportunities to see a game, especially fans of teams that regularly pack the park. Besides, do most fans really want to sit through 7 hours of games anyway? Every time I watch a non-split admission DH, the stands in the first game are usually pretty empty. Remember, when DHs were popular, a single game might take only 2+ hours. While tradition is nice, sometimes I think we wax poetic a little too much. The same holds true for all the laments about late starting post season games. I am sure West Coast fans wouldn't be thrilled with games that start at 7PM ET.

As for the HoF game specifically, I think that is another tradition that just might no longer be practical. For starters, unless I am mistaken, "regular" players seldom do more than make cameo appearances anyway. So, there should be no problem with converting the game to minor leaguers. Quite frankly, I don't see what the real value of having a major league exhibition is anyway. It's not like the old days when "country folks" never had a chance to see the big leaguers play. As a fan, I'd rather watch a tightly contested "real" minor league game, or a star-studded exhibition (perhaps an Old Timers Game, gimmick game or even one of those old-time baseball recreations). What we have now is basically the worst of all options…minor league replacements playing an exhibition game.

2008-02-08 09:49:56
8.   chiros13
None of the articles I've seen have been able to accurately describe what a nice slice of Americana the Hall of Fame Game day was. Having gone for the past 6 years, I'll miss it.

Classic, old-style parade down Main Street, with the players riding in open-side trolleys. The pre-game homre-run derby, with plenty of shots being hit onto roofs of houses that abut the field. The local high school getting fund for their senior trip by doing all the concessions. The fans all decked out in their team gear. For a baseball fan, it really was a great day--particularly when the sun was shining.

But it was always clear that some players relished the experience--Johnny Damon was great a few years back--but that most barely tolerated it. And that's probably the knife in the heart of the game.

And just one thing to add to the main post--one of the articles I saw said that the HOF was also considering a game with foreign teams. I think the futures or old-timers games would probably draw more.

2008-02-08 09:52:19
9.   Sonny Mooks
Personally, I prefer a futures game, but something more akin to what the yankees are doing with the AA team facing the AAA on April 1st.

I'm not to big on a legends game, I just like the idea of prospects and the future (and hopefully a future hall of famer) playing.

Hope, its a good thing.

2008-02-08 10:29:08
10.   Sliced Bread
Bruce,

I hadn't heard about the Mets moving Triple-A to Syracuse. I'm up there several times a summer to see the inlaws, and we usually get to a Sky Chief's game or two. Are the Blue Jays pulling out of Syracuse? or would the Mets be joining them there?

2008-02-08 10:51:08
11.   williamnyy23
10 I think it's still all speculation at this point (in fact, it has to be as both the Mets and Bluejays have current contracts with their respective AAA teams), but Syracuse hasn't been happy with their Bluejays affiliation and would very much like the Mets to trade places when their contract with New Orleans expires this year. Syracuse is basically in the same position Scranton was with the Yankees last year.
2008-02-08 10:52:27
12.   williamnyy23
10 To answer your question more specifically, the SkyChiefs would be dumping the Bluejays in favor of the Mets.
2008-02-08 11:07:46
13.   Sliced Bread
12 interesting, thanks.

Actually, didn't the Mets dump their AAA team for Johan? Heh.

2008-02-08 11:29:27
14.   Yankee Fan In Boston
13 "Actually, didn't the Mets dump their AAA team for Johan?"

well played.

2008-02-08 11:55:08
15.   williamnyy23
13 Very funny...almost as amusing as the game of musical chairs that minor league cities and major league teams have been playing over the past few years. It seems as if a lot of long-time affiliations have been broken recently, which I think is a sign of the growing economic strength of minor league baseball.
2008-02-08 12:06:23
16.   Yankee Fan In Boston
bedard has officially been traded to the Ms.

http://tinyurl.com/35rayt

2008-02-08 12:13:59
17.   Yankee Fan In Boston
mcnamee says that MRS. clemens was taking HGH, too? really?

http://tinyurl.com/2vnd42

2008-02-08 12:31:56
18.   Raf
9 I think it would be just as cool to see something like the Red Sox did with "Futures at Fenway." What you suggested is also cool; it'd be nice to see the different levels square off against each other.

15 Yes it is. Those running the minor leagues want to be able to draw people too. I suspect that those in Syracuse are having the same problems those in Rochester, SWB, Ottawa, etc, etc, etc were having with attendance and drawing fans.

Having said that, since I missed out on MacArthur Stadium, I wouldn't mind taking in a game at P&C

2008-02-08 12:37:06
19.   Sliced Bread
17 McNamee also claims he injected Roger's little dog with something that was not a rabies vaccine... and here's his proof.

http://tinyurl.com/2yuf3o

2008-02-08 12:48:40
20.   Yankee Fan In Boston
19 damning evidence indeed. can't wait to see the crushed keg full of "doggy evidence" get rolled into the room for that one.

this whole thing keeps getting more and more bizarre... even before the clandestine canine revelation.

2008-02-08 12:52:18
21.   Bama Yankee
13 Good one, Sliced.

19 I wonder if RV's drive up and sniff the back door of that building? ;-)

2008-02-08 15:27:40
22.   williamnyy23
19 As each day passes, it is becoming clear that McNamee is definitely injecting something...or smoking...or maybe snorting.
2008-02-08 15:35:40
23.   williamnyy23
It looks like Radomski avoided jail time, which is clearly the motive for McNamee. Does anyone else find it odd that the federal investigators are offering drug dealers immunity for evidence against their clients? Talk about a perversion of justice.
2008-02-08 15:47:27
24.   Chyll Will
19 That's why I don't like dogs that just sit around the house...
2008-02-08 19:43:45
25.   horace-clarke-era
23 Piling on. Misuse of 'immunity' as well. Here's the factoid, note six months was max, in law:

"Radomski, who had no prior offenses, had faced no more than six months in prison. Assistant U.S. attorney Matt Parrella recommended that Radomski receive probation because of his extensive cooperation.

There's a culture of "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" when it comes to steroid abuse in sports and Radomski's naming of names "is at least a first step to turning that around," Parrella said."

2008-02-08 19:48:19
26.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Off topic but ESPN has a blurb about Carl Pavano playing "catch" for 12minutes at the Yankee Complex in Florida. ummm....12 minutes?
2008-02-08 19:49:55
27.   JL25and3
23 I thought we were going to give this one a rest. If you're going to start theorizing and editorializing, I'm going to have to respond, and no one wants to start that up again.
2008-02-08 22:31:01
28.   tommyl
26 I did see that. Maybe by the all star break he'll be up to 13. Gotta add a second at a time, don't want to push it. Plus at some point he might get an eyelash in his eye that will put him out for a couple of weeks.
2008-02-09 06:44:12
29.   horace-clarke-era
27 I'm with JL25, in fact ... some of us obviously have wildly differing views on aspects of the steroids issue as a whole, and Clemens/McNamee specifically. It can (already has!) become pretty intense ... and boring to those preferring to talk rosters and pitching staffs, and in a discussion group it is harder to avoid seeing/reading a debate you don't want to follow. (I'm guilty of long posts, too - apologies for that as well).

So I'll hold my fire/comments on this now, too.

2008-02-09 09:26:59
30.   wsporter
I think the problem, if you can call it that, is that when you have smart and opinionated people involved on a board like this they want to talk about the things that are interesting and challenging and perhaps provocative to them. Face it the nuances involved in Roger, PED, Mitchell and Bud Gates extend from science, to the law, to business and elsewhere and are much richer than the forcasted effects of a 30+ inning increase on the kids arms or who our BUC will be. The conversation is one hell of a lot more intelligent and informative here than it is elsewhere. So to the extent that I've made people feel uncomfortable 'Bantering' about that topic I apologize.

My problem is I wish that this crap had never happened, that Mitchell had not been hired by Bud to do his report but that ship has sailed. We can't hide from it so we might as well understand it and at least try to come to a consensus about what it all means. There's a lot of good faith here among the posters so we can handle a little good faith even if heated disagreement, we always have before. So I say let fly if you have the urge. But also lets talk some baseball when we can: I can't wait for our next sac bunt discussion and the inevitable Markov chain model link. You can only get that here on a game thread!

2008-02-09 09:27:43
31.   Chyll Will
Why does it seem like the writers' strike affects us more than DT?
2008-02-09 10:12:30
32.   wsporter
31 Well then good news, it looks like they're going to settle.
2008-02-09 10:46:46
33.   OldYanksFan
30 I agree. While this whole Roger/PEDs/Mitchell thing has been somewhat 'talked to death', it is a very important and complicated issue... and of course, ever evolving.

My feeling is I would like to see the "Is Roger guilty" aspect taken somewhat out of the discussion, as I just don't think, based on what is known, that we can make an informed judgement.

But irregardless of 'Roger', I think we can look at things like Mitchell's conflict of Interest, naming names vs. not, McNamee saving bio-waste for 7 years, and a number of other issues, and make better informed judgements.

I am also one who believes that a 'general' must take some responsibility for what the 'troops' do. I am very bothered by the fact that there is SO much discussion of Roger, Andy, Barry, et al, and so little of Bud, Fehr and the owners.

I personally think the way this entire Mitchell Investigation has been carried out has been one giant cover his ass, smokescreen for Selig. He should be the MOST accountable and yet his contract gets renewed. On top of that, he is responsible for 'punishing' players HE thinks deserve it. Doesn't anyone else think this is a horrible conflict?

2008-02-09 10:49:44
34.   OldYanksFan
By the by: Over the last three years, Abreu has posted a .763 OPS against lefties. Over the same period, Mench has posted a .919 OPS. Is this an obvious platoon situation. Should Bobby sit against lefties? Does this make Mench as better candidate then Shelly or Lane and whoever else for the 25 man squad?
2008-02-09 11:55:10
35.   JL25and3
33 Please, those things have been just as beaten to death. There's absolutely nothing to be said about them that we haven't said over and over and over and over and over and over and over.
2008-02-09 12:00:19
36.   JL25and3
30 Maybe, if it weren't all smoke and mirrors and supposition and inference. We don't really know anything.

Personally, I find it wearying to read daily reports on why McNamee is a liar. I'm sure others find it just as wearying to read my treatises on why that doesn't mean Clemens is telling the truth. The daily story might change, but the arguments are immobile.

2008-02-09 12:05:49
37.   wsporter
34 It's hard to imagine they opted to pick up that $16 million option to platoon him but if any team could afford to it might be us. I could see Abreu and/or Mench entering a DH rotation rather than simply sitting Abreu. I guess a lot depends on whether we pick him up or not; I've read that KC and Tex are also interested. There might be more playing time available elsewhere although I'm not sure he'd get a ML contract in any location.
2008-02-09 12:15:28
38.   wsporter
36 I really don't intend to engage in it anyway and have tried to stay away from it (hence my lack of posts). I find the whole thing pretty depressing on a number of levels. I felt a little badly that some folks here may feel shut down and that was basically my point.

There is a lot of speculation and BS being tossed about and a lot of 'Law and Order' fans are having fun playing lawyer out there. The stuff here has been a lot better than most of the crap I've seen. If we are finished with it you won't here me squawk about it one little bit. I fear though that we are only beginning with it.

2008-02-09 13:12:04
39.   OldYanksFan
I'm not sure if the RF ABs are split 80%/20% a traditional platoon. Bobby should probably rest 1 day in 10 anyway?

Would we rather have Shelly in that spot?
Its hard to imagine both Bobby and JD not missing any games to injury, but it could happen.

Just throwing it out there.
Unless we need to talk Clemens some more.

Actually, our lineup seems pretty set. I guess who does what in ST will be what deterines our bench and maybe the BP.

2008-02-09 14:25:30
40.   horace-clarke-era
39 "Actually, our lineup seems pretty set. I guess who does what in ST will be what deterines our bench and maybe the BP. "

Rotation. Rotation. Rotation.

Want one more. Kei Igawa is not him. Or it.

2008-02-09 20:43:21
41.   OldYanksFan
re: Sorry-to-bring-it-up Dept
Clemens provides Congress proof that he was never at the Canseco party that McNamee says initiated him to start using steroids.

http://www.abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory?id=4268178

2008-02-09 21:49:36
42.   williamnyy23
25 27 It may not be the most pleasant issue to discuss, but I don't think this story has reached the point where it is no longer worthy of discussion. Sadly, this isn't a dead horse...in fact, it hasn't even hit the stretch.

Besides, I don't think I reopened the McNamee versus Clemens debate anyway. My question was specifically about why the feds would be cooperating with dealers to identify users. I find that practice to be very suspicious. Usually, a drug investigation is defined by the profile of the dealer, not the users. For that reason, I don't think you can dismiss the idea that the agents involved have been overly zealous is ensnaring bigger names.

All that aside, when I encounter a post in which I am not interested, I simply ignore it. If no one responds, the issue dies.

41 That's very compelling evidence. On this matter, it is clear that McNamee lied. Using that logic of "why would he tell the truth about Pettitte and lie about Clemens", I guess you also argue that why would he lie about the party and tell the truth about injecting Clemens? Of course, and not suprisingly, this issue hasn't made the same headlines. It seems as if the papers would rather splash headlines about dubious claims such as saved syringes and Clemens' wife using HGH, but have no use for those actually supported by hard evidence.

2008-02-09 21:59:59
43.   JL25and3
42 We have no idea why the feds are pursuing the case this way, and it seems entirely pointless to speculate about it - again.

You've opened up the same debate again, even if it's from a slightly different angle than yesterday. You don't find anything about the case credible, and every event, every word that's uttered about it, can be made to bolster that argument. I get it. But it's long beyond shedding any light.

2008-02-09 22:10:37
44.   williamnyy23
41 More news on the "Sorry-to-bring-it-up Dept."

http://preview.tinyurl.com/2ob42w

One of the congressmen, Edolphus Towns, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, gave the most complete account yet of what Clemens has been saying in the closed-door meetings. Towns said he came away believing that it was Clemens's accuser, Brian McNamee, who might ultimately be charged with perjury.

2008-02-09 22:15:20
45.   williamnyy23
43 Since when is speculation pointless? This entire topic is based on speculation. If speculation is off limits, there isn't going to be much to discuss.

As for my opening up the debate, an earlier post referenced the McNamee claim about Clemens wife. Secondly, the point I raised has nothing to do with Clemens. It was centered around Radomski and raised a more macro issue. You can certainly bring it around to Clemens, but that's up to you. I can appreciate you are tiring of this issue, but it is still alive and is only going to grow.

2008-02-09 22:39:18
46.   JL25and3
Fine. It's not up to me to dictate the discussion, obviously. But I'm hardly the first person to comment on this. SEveral weeks ago, some posters said that they weren't coming around much because the horse seemed dead then. Well, they've been around even less since. You may feel the subject's just heating up, but the community's been shrinking.

I've been one of the most engaged, but I'm tired of talking to a wall. Your mind's made up, every piece of information is interpreted in that light, and there's precious little room for discussion. Maybe you could wait until there's actually something new to say?

2008-02-10 04:58:18
47.   OldYanksFan
46 Are you suggesting that the rather limited discussions we have had here on Clemens is keeping others from making posts on Baseball? It has been a very slow winter here. Some spikes for ARod and the release of the M.R., but very quiet in general. So much so, that out of desparation for Yankees talk, I have been reading and participating in the Lohud blog.

Yes.
My name is OldYanksFan.
And I am a Lohud Blogger
(God help me)

There haven't been many offseason aquisitions this year, but berween Torregate, ARod coming back, our resignings, and news on the kids (and not to mention ongoing M.R. news) there has been stuff to talk about.

Actually William and I, and a few others have kept this place on life support this winter. If you got something to discuss about the Yankees or Baseball please put it out there.

And lastly, while we try to avoid discussions on 'abortion and politics' here, the political ramifications of this whole M.R. mess are staggering. The process has become far dirtier then the crime. For instance, to respond to 42 , is it possible that Mitchell had a mandate from Selig to make sure the report had some major teeth? Without Clemens the report is colder then yesterday's coffee.

The nameing of names was in the very worst judgement and has only been deleterious. Did Selig arrive at the conclusions first (find some big scapegoats) and simply have Mitchell build a story around it? It would explain a lot of things.

2008-02-10 06:16:06
48.   monkeypants
47 "Are you suggesting that the rather limited discussions we have had here on Clemens is keeping others from making posts on Baseball?"

Well I for one have pretty much stopped posting, and I at best only skim the entries and discussions, especially if they veer into Clemens/PED/etc land.

2008-02-10 06:44:52
49.   horace-clarke-era
46 " I've been one of the most engaged, but I'm tired of talking to a wall. Your mind's made up, every piece of information is interpreted in that light, and there's precious little room for discussion."

Yup. Exactly right. william, you see, there's some difference between a debate where one feels the other party is willing to reflect on what is said, and a pissing match. This feels, for me, certainly, too much like the latter.

While the Banter is a very civilized place, lines like he ones about the swimming pool incident (where I only pointed out there were no CHARGES, let alone a conviction, and had to field a suggestion I was trivializing date rape), or - more recently a complete failure to at least acknowledge you got the Radomski story WRONG (and you just broght it up again without conceding the errors ... to remind you ... this was NOT immunity, and 5 years probation for a first offense when the MAX is 6 months is not remotely out of line in the context of cooperation). You might have certainly engaged with the prosecutor's explanation, which I copied here. Instead, you ignore the points offered and charge ahead as if there had been nothing said in response! This, I believe, is what jl25 is notiing.

This is also, frankly, dispiriting.

TRhe issue is, of course, in-progress and SURELY you will admit can be seen and responded to in different ways. There's an AP report, today, for example, making the same point I did last week: how appallingly bad it looks that Clemens and lawyers (and a PR man!) are having private visits with the people who are about to be his judge and jury, in a POTENTIALLY criminal context. Notes how we would have reacted if McGwire or Sosa or Palmeiro had done that. (The report here from the Rogerites was 'what else can a man do if falsely accused?') AND you just cite one of these gladnanded guys as saying 'McNamee's more like to face perjury!' Wow, and wow, that's a pretty amazing case of prejudging, isn't it? But you cite it APPROVINGLY.

Same piece notes that if it was just mano a mano Roger might beat McNamee, but that Pettitte WILL deepen credibility, and Knoblauch is 'likely' to (a quote, guess he has same shiny nickel down that I do). The party? My DIME would be McNamee got that wrong. But read what he says happened there, how marginal it is, and consider how easy it is to get a setting wrong years after. I absolutely see that as going to his credibility, you betcha, and would weigh that against Pettitte and maybe Knoblauch, and a LOT else in this, some of which we haven't even heard.

You find the hgh story about Clemens' wife to be an obvious hilarious lie, others will find it so specific and unusual a story as to be far more likely true. Two journalists I've talked to have said exactly that. (It takes real imagination to make up something like that - and something else, under oath.)

My main point ... I do agree with you that this is a major issue in a winter season, I sometimes feel it is almost avoidance to NOT address it, that failing to look at the drug culture in baseball is what fans DID that was complicitous. But JL25 feels right to me AND I do note monkeypants' comment and feel badly that my own notes here on the topic might have pushed people away. (I do agree there's not much else to talk about right now!)

2008-02-10 07:41:47
50.   JL25and3
I was probably out of liine last night, for which I apologize. But my post 27 was a followup to another banterer's reqauest from the day before. Other people are getting weary, and have been for quite some time, and have been asking us to lay off a little. I thought that deserved a little more respect than, "Tough, just skip the post."

OYF: sure, those things are possible. But they were discussed at great length when the report was first released, so why rehash them now? Nothing's changed. Did Mitchell have a secret mandate from Selig? What is there to say about that that wasn't said in December?

"...the political ramifications of this whole M.R. mess are staggering. The process has become far dirtier then the crime...It would explain a lot of things." No, they're really not all that staggering, and this is starting to sound like old-fashioned conspiracy theories. The flaws in the process have little to no relevance to the allegations themselves. The report shouldn't have named names, but the names can still be accurate. The feds might have been gunning for stars, but they'd rather gun for stars who were actually guilty. Attacking the accusers does nothing at all to exculpate the accused.

"Actually William and I, and a few others have kept this place on life support this winter." Yes, and I'm one of the few others. But, as monkeypants suggests, maybe that's partly because others are feeling crowded out. There may not be a lot of Yankee news, but then this isn't Yankee news, either.

Bottom line: people will post what they want, and I shouldn't have tried to tell people what to do. For that, I apologize. But I also believe it's worth listening when other posters say it's been beaten into the ground, and other posters have been saying that for some time. I believe we should consider that before we rehash the same arguments over and over (and, william, yesterday's argument really was the same).

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-02-10 10:41:22
51.   OldYanksFan
OK Gents, we can try this.
Pete Abe just posted some News:
The Bad News:
So what can we expect this spring? Lots and lots of steroids talk.

The Good News:
Here are the major topics for the Yankees:

1. Joe Girardi replacing Joe Torre.
2. The return of prodigal son Alex Rodriguez.
3. How best to use Joba Chamberlain.
4. Phil Hughes trying to validate the faith shown in him.
5. Ditto Melky Cabrera.
6. Is Mike Mussina finished as he enters the final year of his contract?
7. Ditto Jason Giambi.
8. Can Jorge Posada repeat his walk-year production?
9. Is Mariano still Mariano?
10. Who's at first base?
11. Who's pitching the eighth inning?
12. Who's pitching the seventh inning for that matter?
13. Can Brian Cashman live in harmony with the Steinbrenner Brothers?
14. Is Hideki Matsui healthy?
15. Can Bobby Abreu hit lefties?
16. Beyond the Big Three, who do the Yankees have coming up?
17. Will Robbie Cano let his new deal go to his head?
18. Can Chien-Ming Wang recover from the ALDS disaster?
19. Can Kei Igawa pitch?
20. Is Derek Jeter still Derek Jeter?

anything here worthy of discussion?

2008-02-10 10:43:28
52.   OldYanksFan
Also, a nice story on Joe G. from the NYT
http://www.nytimes.com/pages/sports/baseball/index.html
Warning: Some nice things said about Joe Torre.
2008-02-10 11:06:30
53.   horace-clarke-era
First shots at some of it:

1. Joe Girardi replacing Joe Torre.

I think he'll be cut a bit of slack. I think Mattingly's very sad domestic woes will ease pressure on Girardi.

2. The return of prodigal son Alex Rodriguez.

I hope he'll be cut some slack if he doesn't have a 2nd season for the ages in a row. I have a vague sense that Melky +Cano to sandwich him (literally) has helped Rodriguez feel he's in a clubhouse where he's a leader.

3. How best to use Joba Chamberlain.

Starter, for sure. Eventually. No problem here with 60-80 games in relief and a gradual shift around the Break ... but turns, obviously on health of others and performance.

4. Phil Hughes trying to validate the faith shown in him.

He'll get a LOT of slack.

5. Ditto Melky Cabrera.

Melky is likely, to my mind, to settle is as solid top 10 CF, neither brilliant nor worrisome.

6. Is Mike Mussina finished as he enters the final year of his contract?

Yes.

7. Ditto Jason Giambi.

Probably.

8. Can Jorge Posada repeat his walk-year production?

Not a hope. The hope is split-the-diff.

9. Is Mariano still Mariano?

Probably.

10. Who's at first base?

Lou Costello.

11. Who's pitching the eighth inning?

Joba to June then Bud Abbott.

12. Who's pitching the seventh inning for that matter?

Flip a coin, pick a card.

13. Can Brian Cashman live in harmony with the Steinbrenner Brothers?

Yeah, sure.

14. Is Hideki Matsui healthy?

The All-Knowing I Ching says, 'The future is cloudy.'

15. Can Bobby Abreu hit lefties?

I say yes.

17. Will Robbie Cano let his new deal go to his head?

Doubt it, big time. Wrong team to try for complacency.

18. Can Chien-Ming Wang recover from the ALDS disaster?

Oh, for sure. Silly question.

19. Can Kei Igawa pitch?

Pass.

20. Is Derek Jeter still Derek Jeter?

Bad phrasing ... DJ is an evolving entity, and may be evolving towards a slughtly-better-than-average 1stbaseman, but my guess is he's okay where he is for 2-3 more years.

2008-02-10 11:14:17
54.   williamnyy23
46 Believe me, I would much prefer to discuss on field issues, but most of those threads have died a slow death. Usually, the only "banter" that occurs is when the Clemens name emerges, which has been frequent with the daily revelations. Take this thread...I posted three times about the minor leagues and HoF game. That lasted 16 posts until someone raised the latest McNamee allegation, after which the conversation expanded. If you want to blame me for that, well, I am a big boy, although I do think it is (unfortunately) the most vibrant story heading into Wednesday's testimony.

49 I didn't realize you were seeking an admission that I mis"spoke" when I mentioned immunity. My main point was that it was odd that prosecutors were working with drug dealers against users. Whether that involves immunity, a favorable sentencing recommendation or whatever, that doesn't change the point.

50 Again, I don't think my original point was raising the same argument. The implications of it go far beyond Clemens and McNamee. The method of drug enforcement has always been to get users to rat out dealers, not the other way around. If you think raising that issue is the same as debating whether McNamee is a credible witness, well, I sincerely disagree.

2008-02-10 11:17:33
55.   williamnyy23
51 Those are a lot of topics. I think the ones most relevant to the upcoming season involve the development of Joba/IPK/Hughes as well as the progress of the bullpen. I think that Girardi will transition nicely and that the offense as a whole will keep up the pace (maybe a drop from Arod and Posada, but a tick up from Abreu, Matsui, Melky and Cano).
2008-02-10 11:26:11
56.   OldYanksFan
1. Joe Girardi replacing Joe Torre.
— Yes, he will
2. The return of prodigal son Alex Rodriguez.
— History in the making. It will be a good year for ARod
3. How best to use Joba Chamberlain.
— BP in the first half ONLY because of his immings limit and the BP will be worse in the first half then second. STOP WHINING! He will be a starter forever after.
4. Phil Hughes trying to validate the faith shown in him.
— Phil's cool. He will just do his thing. 4.0+/- ERA this year
5. Ditto Melky Cabrera.
— It's his last year in Pinstripes if he doesn't put up a .780 OPs or better
6. Is Mike Mussina finished as he enters the final year of his contract?
— He will be about league average and eat innings
7. Ditto Jason Giambi.
— An .880 OPS in a relatively healthy year
8. Can Jorge Posada repeat his walk-year production?
— of course NOT. Are you nuts? I'll settle for average Jorge
9. Is Mariano still Mariano?
— Not as many 2 inning stinks, but still an excellent closer
10. Who's at first base?
— Round robin most of the year. Giambi against righties.
11. Who's pitching the eighth inning?
— Joba to the ASB, Farns and kids later
12. Who's pitching the seventh inning for that matter?
— Whoever doesn't walk their first batter
13. Can Brian Cashman live in harmony with the Steinbrenner Brothers?
— Yeah, it's better then pre-2005 George
14. Is Hideki Matsui healthy?
— He will mostly DH, maybe start 25-30% of games in the OF, so he should be OK
15. Can Bobby Abreu hit lefties?
— In line with his career numbers, so a relative yes
16. Beyond the Big Three, who do the Yankees have coming up?
— If they are in first, nobody, except for a cup of coffee. If behind the Sox, everyone past puberty.
17. Will Robbie Cano let his new deal go to his head?
— If he does, Girardi will knock it off. So, no.
18. Can Chien-Ming Wang recover from the ALDS disaster?
— Sure. The guy is cool. What disaster?
19. Can Kei Igawa pitch?
— We will see him in the BP, and at times he will be effective.
20. Is Derek Jeter still Derek Jeter?
— No worse then last year. He is motivated.

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