We’re flipping the blog schedule around a little bit this week due to the news that came from the Tigers’ camp late last week. So today, let’s pretend it’s really Monday and cover those smaller stories hitting the media.
These tidbits may be bite-size, but often they are just as important as the headline-grabbing news. Sometimes, even more.
So, let’s kick off this week’s musings… er, tidbits.
The Cubs are continuing the trend of some teams to fund new off-season training programs for a select number of their top prospects. The program is more like a summer camp in that it is 4-months long and an intensive program that also covers the costs of housing, meals and transportation.
The Tigers are not doing anything like this yet, despite replenishing a farm system with top draft prospects. While I don’t expect A. J. Hinch’s and Ryan Garko’s influence to create immediate solutions, I will be watching closely to see if Detroit moves more quickly to become updated and proactive in their player development.
The Tigers have never been great at developing a conditioning program of their players. I am reminded of when Bo Schembechler became the President of the Tigers in 1990 and was horrified to learn that Detroit had no training or conditioning program in place. The Tigers expected their players to come to camp fully conditioned on their own with no expert guidance. Bo ended up bringing in his Michigan football trainers to help out.
Thirty years later, this department continues to be seriously behind the times.
Former Commissioner, Fay Vincent, wrote a shocking opinion piece on the failure of the Hall of Fame voters to get it right. And boy, did he hear it from the readers.
Vincent has always been outspoken but this particular piece challenged history as well as the standards of civilized society. Simplifying events in order to serve his narrative.
Specifically, he was upset that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were not in Cooperstown. He wrote: “The writers seem to have punished Messrs. Bonds and Clemens for steroid use, though neither tested positive…”
Never mind the fact that everyone saw both of them grown physically larger. Never mind that Bonds grew so much that his jersey size changed from a size 42 to a size 52. Or that his hat size increased substantially. And his feet? They went from a size 10.5 to 13. If that’s not proof that steroids were being used, then what is?
And somehow, if that isn’t enough proof, there’s the BALCO records and testimony.
Like some others, Vincent uses the excuse of players never having tested positive when the fact is that methods of covering up test results remain ahead of the testing methods. The evidence of PED use comes primarily from documents and testimony in the BALCO and Biogenesis cases. With Alex Rodriguez, it was his medical “advisor’s” partner who was stiffed financially and released a ream of medical records to a Florida newspaper implicating ARod. Within these documents were clear instructions about how to beat drug testing results.
Mr. Vincent conveniently forgets all about this.
But his most shocking revelation is his call to “dump the character standard.” He writes: “By trying to inject nobility into its election standards, the Hall of Fame aimed to maintain the old-fashioned view that honors should accrue to the honorable. Messrs. Bonds and Clemens may not have been saints, but they were great players. Pretending anything else matters is hypocrisy. “
In other words, he says that character is old-fashioned and no really longer matters. And that the end results, no matter the methods, is what counts.
Maybe he should be listening to those currently in the Hall. While he was alive, Joe Morgan was the voice of the Hall of Famers, expressing how dissatisfied they were with PED cheaters and how they should never be elected.
This year, a number of Cooperstown members told the Board of Directors that they would not attend the ceremonies this summer if players like Bonds or Clemens were elected.
Apparently, character still matters to them.
Especially to Hank Aaron who said “My feeling has always been the same — the game of baseball has no place for cheaters. There’s no place in the Hall of Fame for people who cheat.”
That’s good enough for me.
Which one of these stories resonated the most with you?
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What did you miss on our Twitter feed yesterday? (And why aren’t you following TT yet?)
- The very best article, hands down, ever written about why PED users have no place in the Hall of Fame.
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