FIRE JOE MORGAN: Unfair Juxtaposition of the Day


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Thursday, January 11, 2007


Unfair Juxtaposition of the Day

Gwen Knapp has a ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Gwen Knapp did not vote for Mark McGwire in the latest Hall of Fame election, but she did vote for Ken Caminiti. Gwen Knapp's latest column is entitled Morals should be a factor in voting for Hall of Fame.

Gwen Knapp, meet Ty Cobb's Wikipedia page. Specifically, thes two lines.:

Cobb once slapped a black elevator operator for being "uppity." When a black night watchman intervened, Cobb pulled out a knife and stabbed him.

Let's put them back to back, just for fun. I inserted a few extra words.

Morals should be a factor in voting for Hall of Fame

Hall of Famer Ty Cobb once slapped a black elevator operator for being "uppity." When a black night watchman intervened, Hall of Famer Ty Cobb pulled out a knife and stabbed him.


Yes, I know doing steroids has to do with baseball and stabbing a black night watchman maybe doesn't have as much to do with baseball, but still. He stabbed a guy.

I know "Integrity, sportsmanship, and character" are among the supposed criteria for the Hall, but Ty Cobb stabbed a guy.

Can we get some perspective in here? Gwen?

People who voted for McGwire have a moral code, too, one that reveres what happens on the field regardless of how it happened, and one that equates not receiving the ultimate professional honor with not being allowed to roam free in the world.

Well, no. I'm not saying that. But as many of your more reasonable colleagues -- including Jayson Stark, who ain't perfect -- have argued, we just don't know who did these PEDs. We can assume that McGwire and Sosa did because they were huge and hit a bunch of taters. But Alex Sanchez also did them. He's 5'10", 180. Ryan Franklin did them.

Gwen, hundreds of players did steroids and some probably still do. Are you going to be your own judge, jury, and executioner and just guess who did them over the next twenty years of Hall voting? My guess is yes, you will do this. You are the kind of person who voted for Ken Caminiti as a "symbolic gesture."

They stretch the principle of "innocent until proven guilty'' to "no felony conviction, no foul.''

Mark McGwire was never suspended from baseball for using steroids. You're using the principle of "I retroactively condemn this guy for doing something not against the rules of the game at the time." I'll stick with "innocent until he is caught actually breaking a rule of the game."

Come to think of it, maybe they should referee in the NBA.

Or publish O.J. Simpson's book.

Gwen Knapp is apparently a pseudonym for Wilmer Valderrama, 'cause she just got me like I was "Yo Mamma."

These same people also like to cite statistics without any context. They talk about McGwire's 583 home runs the way Nigel in "This Is Spinal Tap'' brags about the amp that "goes to 11.'' They can't wrap their brains around the idea that the number just might be bogus.

1. Yes, "goes to 11." Hilarious. A clever new spin on a 23-year-old reference. Original, yet familiar.

2. I can wrap my brain around the idea that McGwire used PEDs. But again, do you want to spend the next decade picking and choosing who else did? When Albert Pujols comes up in fifteen years, are you going to demand old urine samples? You should do this. I hear he keeps a gorgeous mahogany cabinet full of them.

3. Don't ever say I cite statistics without context. Mark McGwire had a career OPS+ of one-fucking-sixty-three and a career EqA of .335. He had 109.5 career WARP3. You voted for Dave Parker, whose comparables are 121, .286 (!), and 86.3.

At the same time, McGwire's most ardent supporters don't appear to like the human element of the process at all.

If the "human element" means establishing "hey, who's the best guy because this is clearly the Hall of Being the Best Guy," then no, I don't like that element.

If 583 home runs make McGwire an automatic inductee, then a computer program can do the job, eliminating all those pesky moral guardians.

These moral guardians welcomed with open arms a man who stabbed a black night watchman.

I can build this computer and have it on your doorstep by nightfall.

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posted by Junior  # 11:02 PM
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