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Jeff Passan on David Ortiz's HOF credentials

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    It's an interesting case. Ortiz, of course, has the DH thing going against him, which is legit and pretty much stopped the candidacies of Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines in their tracks. Ortiz, of course, is better than either of those two.

    And then there is the leaked positive PED test. Ortiz claims, according to Passan, he is one of eight out of the 104 players who were flagged for a legal supplement. Regardless, Passan says he'd vote for him, and all PED users, for a lot of the reasons people have articulated here.


    I think this all brings up an important question:

    Is someone who made a one-time mistake different than someone like Bonds or Clemens who basically built an enormous part of their legacy on PEDs?

    The fact that we can't know who all used and who didn't clouds everything, of course. But what if you could know, hypothetically. Are there gradations?
  2. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    How do you know its a one time mistake?
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Did you read the next paragraph?

    It's interesting to think about, I think, at least as a hypothetical.

    That said, Ortiz hasn't been busted since, with more transparent testing in place. He hasn't been connected to scandals like Biogenesis. I know guys beat the tests sometimes, but, at some point, I suppose we have to take them at face value. And Ortiz looks like, at least compared to others, a guy who at most tried them at some point in his career, early on, and then abandoned them.

    Is it a sin that can never be washed off?
  4. Gehrig

    Gehrig Active Member

    There is still something to be said about going out and playing in the field everyday, instead of sitting on the bench and doing nothing but concentrate on hitting. Playing a corner OF or 1B might not be as demanding as other positions, but going out there everyday over the course of the season does wear down on you, increase the risk for injury, and gives you something else to think about other than hitting. I've said before that there have been too many great hitters in history before the DH that saw their careers end by their mid 30s because they no longer had value in the field, even at 1B. Guys like Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Hank Greenberg, Orlando Cepeda, Ralph Kiner, Frank Howard, come to mind as great hitters that could have prolonged their careers and enhanced their production if they were able to get in the lineup as a DH.

    Take Edgar Martinez for example, with his injuries and poor defense, what would his career have been like in a DHless league? I don't think he would have had as long or as productive a career as he did, and would probably have been more like Ted Kluszewski - a good hitter, who saw his career end early because injuries and defensive ineptitude kept him out of the lineup. How many players of yesteryear may have had HoF caliber careers if they could have DH'd like Martinez? I think that's a fair question to ask because when we're talking about the Hall, we're talking about players through the ages, so if a modern player is afforded an advantage that was a big factor in his Hall of Fame candidacy that players of earlier generations were not, I think that should very much be factored in.

    This all being said, I would not say that a DH should not be in the Hall per se, but I do think they should be held to a very high standard of offensive output. This is because a DH isn't doing anything different from anyone else - everyone else hits and plays the field, a DH just hits, so they should be better at hitting than position players.
  5. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Not impressed with or persuaded by Passan phrases like "retroactive justice" and "the voting bloc will skew younger and likely more progressive annually."

    1. Justice is justice, often "retroactively." We don't jail murderers before they kill. Part of baseball "justice," if you want to stick with that word, is a player's legacy. Some guys get suspended or fined or whatever while they're playing. Some of those, and maybe others who snuck through, find that PED use works against HOF status. It's not even like throwing Al Capone in the slammer for tax evasion because you could never get him for killings or bootlegging. All of a piece.

    2. Passan uses "more progressive." Could just as well have used "more pliable" or "more comfortable with cheating" or "less comfortable with judging others," as seems to be the style these days. (Except of course in judging those who judge. There, the verdicts are swift and harsh.) Sad truth is, though, that voting IS judging. If you can't draw lines and make judgments, you should not be voting.

    Also not persuaded by any arguments that try to gain sympathy for PED users based on how their suppliers were exposed or not, turned state's evidence or not, etc. Either you used or you didn't, and how you got found out really doesn't matter.

    As for Ortiz's case specifically, sure, one-time use -- if that's what it was, which we cannot really know -- is different from repeated juicings, done brazenly and almost defiantly.

    But I continue to submit that the HOF voting guidelines allow for a thoughtful consideration of all this, because they provide for a 15-year eligibility window after the five-year cooling-off period. There is nothing wrong, by rule or in practical terms, with withholding a vote on someone who is suspected of having cheated (to the point of being named in a report, certainly). Going into the Hall in one's 14th or 15th year on the ballot is no less an honor than going in on your first, second or third, once you're in. Only sports media have made a big deal of the first-ballot stuff.

    I've said it before: If the price a guy pays for cheating or just the guilt-by-association (and maybe participation in a non-snitching culture), is waiting longer while voters get better info and context over time, that's not much of a price at all. A lot of HOFers who did nothing wrong had to wait a lot of years, and still were thrilled when they did get in. And look at it this way: If you cheated, you must not have thought you were as good as HOFers in the first place.
  6. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    Anybody who holds steroid/PED use against anyone in terms of keeping them out of the Hall of Fame should have their Hall of Fame vote revoked. It is idiotic, especially since we really don't know who did or didn't use what and for how long.
  7. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    How old were you in 1998? Or 2001? My hunch, under 25.
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Age is an interesting part of this. Isn't it worse when 35-year-old Barry Bonds uses as compared to 21-year-old Jordan Schafer or 18-year-old Jose Quintana or 28-year-old Jose Quintana? What if Quintana wins 300 games?
  9. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Putting the PED argument aside, you have to base a DH's Hall of Fame credentials more on stats than a regular player, since their defensive value is obviously zero. Ortiz has been very good -- I'd argue he was a more well-rounded hitter than Edgar Martinez -- but are his career numbers (2,031 hits, 431 homers, career .292 hitter) enough to put him over the top?
    I think they're borderline. However, when you factor in his key role on two (and possibly three) World Series winners, and that he'll likely have another productive season or two still in the tank to creep closer to 500 homers and 2,500 hits, I think he's worthy.
  10. Della9250

    Della9250 Well-Known Member

    Martinez and Ortiz are essentially even. The edge Ortiz has in power is negated by Martinez's ability to get on base.

    The difference is Ortiz has the Boston background, helping them breakthrough for their recent run and his playoff heroics that will tip the balance in his favor while Martinez will languish on the ballot before the Veterans Committee puts him in at some point.

    The biggest factor for Ortiz is going to be who else appears on the ballot for the first time with him? If he's by far the biggest name, he is going to get a great head start by virtue of no competition.
  11. H.L. Mencken

    H.L. Mencken Member

    How is "justice just justice" Joe when steroids weren't even against the rules when Ortiz tested positive and the only reason you even know it happened is someone violated the shit out of his right to privacy, seeing as the players were assured the names would not be leaked while baseball determined the scope of the "problem" with an initial round of testing?
  12. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    I understand where Zag is coming from. Back then no one gave a damn about PEDs. My point has always been the players still competed. No one can ever take away Bonds' homers or Clemens' victories.
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