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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Mark McGwire for the Hall of Fame
2006-11-27 20:50
by Jon Weisman

In March, I defended Barry Bonds' Hall of Fame candidacy thusly:

Barry Bonds hit 613 home runs in his career, including 73 in 2001, before baseball prohibited steroids and began testing at the start of 2003. His performance was as permissable, however much some may want to say it was immoral, as stealing signs.

So for this period of his career, as much as I may deplore what he did, Bonds was not a cheater. J.A. Adande of the Times covered this ground this morning, capturing for the most part what I had been thinking.

Baseball let Bonds do what he pleased - failed to nip it in the Bud, so to speak - and baseball has to live with it. Bonds was a joyrider, but baseball is what let him - and others - run amok.

You can't rewrite all the history you want. You can't erase all the bad because it feels wrong. The best you can do is learn.

Barry Bonds is part of history. Baseball is a game with runs, hits and errors, and he represents all three. Let his deserved presence in the Hall of Fame be a lesson to baseball. It wasn't just Bonds. Baseball took steroids.

Basically, though their histories aren't identical, the same line of reasoning applies to Mark McGwire. The idea of demonizing him when others - pitchers and hitters alike - operated under the steroid cloud just doesn't make sense to me.

A broader Hall of Fame discussion is taking place on The Griddle.

* * *

I've long had a history of not allowing myself or encouraging others to use bad umpire calls as something to gripe over in a loss, even for the Dodgers. We go into every baseball game knowing that the umpires are human (oh, are they ever human), and you simply must be able to beat both the opponent and the umpires whenever necessary.

If your victory depends on an umpire's call, it's not a convincing enough victory to be worth fighting over. That's not to say that some bad calls aren't particularly painful, but given that these things tend to even out over time, it's just not worth losing your cool over. Don't be bitter - be better.

With the above in mind, though not just because of that, I find it amazing that people are still complaining about how referee mistakes cost the Oklahoma football team a victory (and in turn a possible major bowl bid) by preventing the Sooners from beating an Oregon team that is 6-5 in all other games this season.

If your season depends on the referees ensuring your victory over a team that tied for fifth place in the Pacific 10 Conference, then your season has bigger problems than the refs. Maybe the best team from the Pac-10 is just better. (And it's not as if I have great sentimental feelings for the top two teams in the Pac-10.)

Comments (77)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-11-27 20:59:29
1.   Bob Timmermann
Let's see if Jon ever gets invited to the Governor's Mansion in Oklahoma City.
2006-11-27 21:00:40
2.   Jon Weisman
Heck, I doubt I'll ever get invited to the Governor's Mansion in Oregon.
2006-11-27 21:03:39
3.   Bob Timmermann
The governor of Oklahoma has an easier name to spell: Brad Henry.

The governor of Oregon is Ted Kulongoski.

2006-11-27 21:08:03
4.   Xeifrank
I think Bonds is a HOF candidate with or without the steroids. He's that good. I don't agree that what he did is no worse than stealing signs, or that baseball is to blame. I think there is plenty of blame to go around, but in the end it was Bonds (and others) who put the substance(s) in their body. I believe that there may have been some kind of law against taking steroids, I am not 100% sure of this. If this were the case, I would think "the law" would take precedence over baseball having a policy against it. As far as McGwire goes, I'd probably not vote for him on the first ballot like I read one of the writers is going to do.

As for complaining about poor officiating. I don't mind complaints about obvious errors in judgement, especially in cases where instant replay is used. I probably have the biggest beef of errors in the interpretation of the rules and you don't see that too often. My pet peeve is all the whining in the NBA whenever a foul is or isn't called. I am glad the NBA is cracking down on this behaviour with technical fouls.

vr, Xei

2006-11-27 21:16:15
5.   Steve
Brad Henry in turn defeated Steve Largent, tying things together nicely.
2006-11-27 21:32:12
6.   jakewoods
makes a lot of sense to throw guys like mcgwire under the bus and no one else who played from 1970-2003

its absurd and insulting to fans and players

2006-11-27 21:41:26
7.   D4P
In other news, $8 million seems like a lot more than Randy Wolf should be getting paid.
2006-11-27 21:45:44
8.   Big Game
Imperfection is an integral part of sports. If every call were perfect, watching sports would be far more predictible and far less fun.
Imperfection is one of the reasons I love baseball and a little part of me would die if the umps on the field had to call games with the spectre of a replay booth hanging over their heads.
2006-11-27 21:46:26
9.   saltcreek
7. But its only for one year...i think its a good move
2006-11-27 21:49:02
10.   StolenMonkey86
7 - This free agent market seems like another world, and the exchange rate is like this other world uses either Euros or British Pounds as dollars.
2006-11-27 21:50:16
11.   underdog
7 You could say the same thing about most baseball players right now. But all things being relative, it seems fair 'nuf to me, and 1 year seems pretty low risk. I think it would be a smarter deal than many we've seen so far this off season, actually.
2006-11-27 21:52:48
12.   KG16
10 - well, at least they aren't using the Yen... that'll be next year.
2006-11-27 22:00:13
13.   natepurcell
this is ridiculous...

On the shortstop front, the Red Sox are said to be fading from the lead pack of suitors for free agent Julio Lugo. The New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, the team that traded for Lugo during last season, are believed to be the most aggressive pursuers.

why does colletti want to bring lugo back?

2006-11-27 22:11:35
14.   Jon Weisman
13 - I believe there is simply no way that is true.
2006-11-27 22:11:36
15.   Jon Weisman
13 - I believe there is simply no way that is true.
2006-11-27 22:12:06
16.   jujibee
13. Now that Lugo has said he is willing to play CF, maybe he fits right into our plans. We already have Nomar and Martinez as infield reserves (loney at first), why on earth do we need another infield utility player? But we'll leave it up to Ned to do what has to be done. Oh wait, I almost forgot, we just signed Pierre to play CF. Maybe he's thinking tha RF is more suitable for a player of his caliber.
2006-11-27 22:13:25
17.   saltcreek
13. that has to be a mistake...god let it be a mistake
2006-11-27 22:15:23
18.   natepurcell

I cant really believe it either but Colletti is an enigma. Like what gobears (or was it suffering bruin) said, he is an enigma wrapped in a mustache.

2006-11-27 22:17:08
19.   regfairfield
14 I agree, but that's also what I said when we first traded for Lugo.
2006-11-27 22:18:35
20.   Jon Weisman
Stick with me on this one, folks. Someone wants people to think the Dodgers are in on Lugo because it makes Lugo more interesting.
2006-11-27 22:19:54
21.   Jon Weisman
19 - There's no comparison between then and now. Then, Nomar and Kent were on the DL, Loney and Betemit had barely been Dodgers, and Lugo had no bad history with the team.
2006-11-27 22:20:10
22.   natepurcell
Lugo should go to the mets. Its in his best (and the dodgers) interest to go to the mets.

unless the mets sign Zito too. Then he should go to the red sox if it comes down to just those two teams.

2006-11-27 22:21:35
23.   natepurcell

also, why would lugo want to come back? Hes not going to unseat a better player at SS in Furcal and we need Kents bat at 2b.

Before signing pierre, I wouldnt have mind Lugo, but he just doesnt have a spot on this team now. And besides, I want those draft picks.

2006-11-27 22:25:21
24.   CanuckDodger
Could the Dodgers be thinking of trading Furcal for an outfielder, opening up shortstop for Lugo? Pierre is a leadoff hitter, so perhaps as far as offensive roles are concerned, Furcal is now deemed superfluous by the Dodgers.
2006-11-27 22:25:44
25.   regfairfield
23 The only think I can think of is that Kent's contract suddenly doesn't look so immovable. But, like Jon said this can't be true.
2006-11-27 22:26:32
26.   Steve
With dog, all things are possible
2006-11-27 22:28:28
27.   xaphor
But is not voting McGwire into the Hall demonizing him? I look at the Hall, probably unjustly, as a canonization, so to speak, from baseball player to recognized baseball hero. Saying he was a good player but not deserving sainthood is hardly casting him into the smoldering depths. The Hall has set a precedent with the Black Sox and Pete Rose in recognizing not only what one does on the field, but how one upholds the sanctity of baseball off it as well. There are plenty of arguments to be had in regards to this policy, who and what it should apply to, but if we break it down to the bare minimum of bringing the game into disrepute then McGwire, Bonds, etc. are certainly snub worthy. To those who argue that it is unfair to pull aside just those we know, you could easily say the same about everyone who gambled on the game as well. It's not a perfect science, nor does it need to be. The Hall is a snapshot of those people who made the game great. McGwire and company turned the game into a farce.

He can keep his fame, money and records and live a full and complete life without HOF recognition and be as much a demon as I. Welcome to the human race Mark, the paper is on the left.

2006-11-27 22:29:12
28.   Louis in SF
Realize this should have been in the last post, but I have not found any place where it shows that the Dodgers are trying to get Manny Ramariez. The rumors seem to make no sense...However, as Jon says the rummor for Lugo makes even less sense....Unless the Dodgers are contemplating trading Furcal for Manny!
2006-11-27 22:29:49
29.   natepurcell
The only think I can think of is that Kent's contract suddenly doesn't look so immovable. But, like Jon said this can't be true.

well, if the red sox want kent and penny for Manny and play pedroia at SS, then okay sounds good to me.

2006-11-27 22:33:00
30.   LAT
Mark McGwire has not tested positive for steroids. He has not admitted using them, intentionally or accidentally. No one other than Cansaco, who's voracity is suspect, claims to have witnessed him using steroids and he has never been accused of perjury concerning the subject. There is no legitimate reason to keep him out of the Hall of Fame.

Now, I am not naive enough to think that McGwire was not abusing steroids the way Lasorda abuses a bowl of linguini, but he has not been proven guilty of anything. Until it is established that he indeed used steroids at a time when it was against the rules of MLB, or there is at least some credible evidence to support such a conclusion, there is no basis for excluding him.

Moreover, if you exclude McGwire for "suspected" use where do you draw the line? Was Clemens using? Many think so, and his rising stats as he aged suggest as much. How about our own "Game Over". Many, including me, have speculated that his spike from mediocricy to dominance back down to injury riddled was fueled by steroid use. Many have posited that Nomar's power and subsequent brittleness was the product of performance enhancers. Denying a qualified player admission to the HOF based on a complete lack of evidence is the first step down a very slippery slope.

2006-11-27 22:35:21
31.   trainwreck
I doubt Lugo is coming back, unless Ned plans to trade LaRoche and put Lugo at third and then move Betemit to second once Kent retires. Because all of that helps our lack of power.
2006-11-27 22:38:15
32.   Jon Weisman
24, 25 - In the sense that signing Lugo would really mean a trade of Kent for a slugger, the rumor is plausible and nothing to be alarmed at. But the idea of just adding Lugo without a corresponding move is preposterous on its face.

I don't know why the Dodgers would be wanting to trade Furcal. Furcal for Manny?

2006-11-27 22:39:36
33.   natepurcell
I would miss the little furball if we traded him.
2006-11-27 22:40:43
34.   D4P
But the idea of just adding Lugo without a corresponding move is preposterous on its face

But not as preposterous as adding Lugo with the Corresponding Move being "subtracting Guzman"

2006-11-27 22:44:16
35.   LAT
Can Kent be traded w/o his consent? Everything I have heard from Kent is that he loves it here. But I guess I heard the from Drew as well so maybe Kent would green light a trade, especially if someone gave him a couple of more years. But why would someone do that. He is in decline now, two years from now will be really ugly. I can't believe Ned is seriously interested in Lugo its got to be a smokescreen.
2006-11-27 22:47:55
36.   Jon Weisman
34 - No, it is more preposterous. I didn't like the Lugo trade, but there was more reason to get him then than now, unless other moves are imminent.
2006-11-27 22:56:56
37.   D4P
I guess we are looking at it differently. I'm comparing "Adding Lugo in exchange for his salary and Guzman" with "Adding Lugo in exchange for his salary," and finding the former to be more "preposterous."
2006-11-27 23:00:57
38.   natepurcell
37, see 21
2006-11-27 23:03:13
39.   Steve
He only had bad history with other teams.
2006-11-27 23:06:07
40.   Jon Weisman
37 - You're ignoring relative need.
2006-11-27 23:08:25
41.   Steve
No, he's not, he's simply asserting (correctly) that we had no need for another banjo-hitting shortstop at the time, just as we have no need for one now.
2006-11-27 23:09:06
42.   D4P
"Needing Lugo" needn't justify "Trading Guzman for Lugo". I was not a big Guzman fan, but I'm not willing to give Ned the benefit of the doubt in thinking that Lugo was the best possible return for Guzman.
2006-11-27 23:17:14
43.   Jon Weisman
That's not the issue. I had no desire to get Lugo either, as I keep saying. But it's wrong to say that there is no difference betwwen then and now.
2006-11-27 23:59:53
44.   Uncle Miltie
Add a big power hitter, while getting rid of Kent and improving the defense up the middle? That sounds awful!
2006-11-28 00:01:48
45.   natepurcell
from henson at latimes..

Wolf, who played at Pepperdine and Woodland Hills El Camino Real High, accepted a one-year deal for $7.5 million with a vesting option for another year based on 180 innings pitched. There is also a club option in the event Wolf doesn't pitch enough innings to trigger the vesting option.

great terms for the dodgers

2006-11-28 00:04:25
46.   natepurcell
and this little piece...

The Dodgers also are pursuing a power hitter, most likely through a trade. They have had discussions with the Boston Red Sox regarding left fielder Manny Ramirez, but the asking price has been too high. According to a source, the Red Sox want three players, including budding slugger Matt Kemp, the top outfield prospect in the organization.

it sounds like maybe Kemp is safe from the words henson choosed to describe him. Or im probably just reading into it as optimistically as possible.

2006-11-28 00:07:54
47.   Uncle Miltie
Henson is one of the few trustworthy writers who cover the Dodgers. I've read that Ned has been reluctant to part with Kemp in the past. Being that he is one of Grady's favorites should only help. Kemp is one of the few prospects in the Dodgers system who I believe has star potential.
2006-11-28 00:24:02
48.   trainwreck
The Giants and Padres could offer there three best prospects and it would not be enough for Manny.
2006-11-28 00:24:41
49.   Jon Weisman
It's well-established that Colletti likes Kemp. I don't know why there continues to be mystery about this.
2006-11-28 00:47:17
50.   overkill94
30 Didn't McGwire plead the fifth when asked in front of Congress whether he ever used steroids? I don't remember the exact goings-on, but I remember the backlash was that he basically admitted his own guilt.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-11-28 00:50:23
51.   overkill94
I agree with Jon, there would definitely have to be a subsequent move if we signed Lugo...unless Ned has no faith in Betemit and wants Lugo to play 3B. I'm sure Lugo would take the deal if the money was right, but I still don't think Ned would have any interest in doing that (again, unless a trade was in the works).

And D4P, you might be trying to prove a point, but please stop trying to act like the current Lugo situation is the same as when we traded for him, you just come off as very stubborn.

2006-11-28 00:52:07
52.   StolenMonkey86
50 - All I remember is that apparently "Government Reform" can mean anything.

But that's as far as I want to get into the politics of it.

2006-11-28 00:56:17
53.   trainwreck
2006-11-28 00:57:20
54.   StolenMonkey86
51 - that would mean Ned had no faith in Betemit or Laroche

I'm going to make a John Madden quality prediction that Pierre will look better than LA in Julio Lugo, but Marlon Anderson will probably hit more home runs as a Dodger than Pierre.

2006-11-28 01:03:35
55.   overkill94
54 I've never seen someone have dyslexia with entire sentence fragments ;)

Well, except for the Knight of Rottingham from Robin Hood: Men in Tights

2006-11-28 01:04:32
56.   StolenMonkey86
55 - I need to go to bed. It's 4AM
2006-11-28 01:04:40
57.   xaphor
30, 50. I keep forgetting that refusing to claim innocence dose not prove one guilty. Of course the HOF isn't a court of law but a court of opinion.

The boy has strange value prioritization though. Cheating is good; lie about cheating is bad. He could be a new folklore hero on par with old pal George and his cherry tree if he would only fess up completely and go on to actually help the situation (psst don't follow the path of former bud, present betrayer Cansaco). If it carried any weight, I'd sanction his ascendance then.

In any case, this is me covering my ears and blocking out all this Lugo talk. Only bad things can come of it.

2006-11-28 01:10:30
58.   PDH5204
42 You are making the assumption that a player who has not done squat in the bigs has any value at all. He hasn't and might never. And if the hasn't becomes never, then it was worth it, as Maddux pitched good enough for us, and Lugo otherwise beat out that grounder to short, Martin went to third, scored on the wild pitch following, and so the Dodgers tied for the National League West crown. Lugo's almost double play ball has meant more to our team than anything that Juan Guzman has done in the major leagues to date, and so never mind Maddux for now. Time will tell if that changes.

Now back Maddux, this is how ridiculous the criticism otherwise is. Maddux and 2mil for Guzman and Pedroza. Izturis for Lugo. Is that so bad? Izturis otherwise only went to Chicago because they didn't need Guzman and Pedroza but a major league shortstop. If the Cubs had needed two young outfielders, we'd have given them Guzman and Pedroza and still have Izturis and so you'd have likely never seen Lugo in a Dodgers uniform. And with Kent and Nomar both down and out at the time, there was a need to replace Izturis. So think of it that way, since that is what it was. And if Guzman never does squat, and he might very well not ever do squat, then that one Lugo grounder to short will be more than he's ever done.

32 Furcal for Manny? God, I hope not. I don't otherwise think that they'd want just Furcal, as they will probably want Broxton as well. And with our man Saito not having declared if and when he'll make his triumphal return...

2006-11-28 01:17:09
59.   Vishal
jon, the reason people complain about catastrophic mistakes of officialdom is because they are exactly that, catastrophic. it doesn't matter to people that their team should have played harder, or had a bigger margin so that the call wouldn't have affected the outcome. the point is that when it DOES affect the outcome, and you feel like your team should have won, played well enough to win, but didn't, and the consequence is something like being kicked out of the playoffs or losing a major bowl bid, then of course people are going to still think about what could (and in their mind should) have been.
2006-11-28 01:39:05
60.   xaphor
I foresee a future in which all the officiating robots of the future are joined together by Refnet, a constantly online intelligently thinking brain that can process and officiate every game played at the same time. Within minutes of activation, Refnet becomes self aware and in an effort to stop fans from blaming it for every minor call that goes the other way turns against us and launches a full scale attack against sports. Balls that were in are called out, home runs are ruled foul, and the in neighborhood tag is spotted correctly. This leads to a rapid decline in sports viewer ship. Without sports to vent our frustrations world tensions escalate ultimately climaxing in nuclear armageddon.

You have been warned.

2006-11-28 01:56:05
61.   overkill94
61 I tend to agree with Vishal. Oregon's current record is taken out of context since they were ranked at the time. Also, even the most highly ranked teams have games they squeak out - so even if Oklahoma had barely gotten past Oregon, it would still be a win on their schedule and would have definitely helped their bowl plans. It's not like they were playing someone so bad that even a close win would reflect poorly.

I agree with the fact that Oklahoma partly has themselves to blame for the loss, but all things considered they deserved to win that game.

2006-11-28 01:56:33
62.   overkill94
61 I hate it when I reference myself...time to go to bed.
2006-11-28 05:06:03
63.   dan reines
jon, i see why you might hate the pac-ten's top team, but what's wrong with that lovable number two?

also: i see where the times is losing its best (in my opinion) sports reporter/writer in tim brown. who do you think takes over the MLB beat now? i vote for weisman...

2006-11-28 05:57:26
64.   50 years a Dodger Fan
This might be one reason Lugo suddenly became relevant: What if Kent has told Colletti he wants to retire now and they are keeping it quiet to make it easier to get a secondbaseman?
2006-11-28 06:00:24
65.   50 years a Dodger Fan
Is BluBleeder 87 banned for life? I sort of miss his terrible spelling and willingness to wander into any swamp without a map...
2006-11-28 07:00:46
66.   Bumsrap
If nothing else it is fun to explore why Lugo and Dodgers are being mentioned in the same sentence.

I am not a Lugo fan so the idea of swapping Furcal with Lugo does not appeal to me.

But, swappping Kent for Lugo works for me. I think the Angels would like to have Kent's bat in their lineup and would find a place for him. It could be first or DH or even second giving Kendrick another year before he plays full time.

The Dodgers would want a pitcher from the Angels in return.

2006-11-28 07:13:31
67.   Jon Weisman
61 - It's not that Oklahoma didn't deserve to win the game - it's that they didn't deserve to win it by that much that we should still be hearing about it.
2006-11-28 08:05:24
68.   Big Game
If anyone on my HS basketball team complained about a call, our coach would always tell us "The refs wont win or lose the game, winning or losing is on you." The Oregon/OU game is a perfect example of that...

I watched that Oregon/OU game and OU did get hosed on that call...but OU let Oregon score after the recovery. Its not like Oregon recovered the kick and, poof, game over.
OU even had a chance to win the game with a late field goal, regardless of the bad onside kick call, but couldnt convert.

2006-11-28 08:33:20
69.   D4P
But it's wrong to say that there is no difference betwwen then and now

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Ned felt like there is as much need for Lugo now as there was then. It looks to me as if Lucille II is the backup shortstop. The fact that Lugo was acquired in the first place (rather than using Lucille II) seems to indicate that Ned didn't really want Lucille in the starting lineup. As the roster stands now, if Furcal gets hurt, Lucille would presumably be next in line for the SS throne. Unless Ned has changed his mind, why would he now be more comfortable with Lucille II than he was last season?

2006-11-28 08:55:51
70.   jujibee
69, You're forgetting about our other super-utility player. Part of Ned's wording, with regards to signing Nomar, were that players that will play wherever the team needs them are invaluable. We don't need to consider Lucille as our only backup infielder with Nomar around. The way I see it Nomar will be at 1st, loney in right. If something were to happen to Furcal, you shift Nomar to short and Loney to first and Kemp in Right. We also have Laroche to bring up if need be. If these horrifying rumors are true, you can bet that Ned has something in the works for one of our other infielders. I really doubt he's looking into Lugo as anything other than a starter, and we already have our infield set.
2006-11-28 09:08:56
71.   D4P
You're forgetting about our other super-utility player

I guess I'm just figuring that, like last year, Nomar won't play anywhere other than 1B. But I suppose anything's possible.

2006-11-28 09:18:56
72.   Jon Weisman
Finally squeezed in a new post at Screen Jam, if anyone wants to look.
2006-11-28 09:23:15
73.   Jon Weisman
Bluebleeder update (and by the way, he was only suspended for a week from DT, not banned).

2006-11-28 09:28:58
74.   fan 4 40 plus
The Wolf signing is official ... Apparently he is a good citizen as well, "Wolf, whose older brother, Jim, is a Major League umpire, has been committed to the Philadelphia community throughout his career with the Phillies, earning him the club's Roberto Clemente Award nomination in 2003. He began co-hosting an annual charity event in 2001 to benefit the Philadelphia Futures mentor program, raising nearly $500,000 since the event's inception. Among his numerous charitable endeavors, Wolf also serves as a spokesman for the Children's Miracle Network, purchasing more than $6,500 in tickets each year for CMN children and their families."
2006-11-28 09:30:09
75.   overkill94
Not sure if this was brought up before, but did a crystal ball for Ethier:

Does everyone agree with this forecast? Given the somewhat modest numbers expected, should we be looking to sell high this offseason by including him in a deal for Manny or Burrell?

2006-11-28 09:31:34
76.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2006-11-28 09:32:27
77.   screwballin
70 I'm betting Betemit is a more likely backup if Furcal goes down. He did that quite a bit in Atlanta.

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