Roger and Me: Heyman's HoF votes.

E5 Yaz

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Can we talk about how Heyman was one of the guys that voted for Bonds but not Clemens? I know it's not the right thread for this, but where's the logic?
This is Heyman's rationale, from last year:

Bonds vs. Clemens: They are a package deal for almost everyone, and that’s understandable. They are a couple of alltime great who took steroids and lied about it, so it makes sense most see them together. I voted for neither the first few years they were on the ballot (justly, they went on together) but have begun to vote for Bonds. The main reason I vote for Bonds is that I believe the narrative that Bonds didn’t take steroids until he saw two great but lesser players (Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa) start to surpass him via their own use of illegal chemicals and I don’t know what to believe with Clemens, whose lying far outstripped that of Bonds. Clemens went to the point of volunteering to lie on “60 Minutes,” and lying before Congress, which is of course a crime. Ultimately Clemens was found not guilty of perjury, but the standards aren’t the same here as there. He did lie. Many times.

 

BaseballJones

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Somehow I missed that last year. Not that I'm surprised given the source, but that is batshit insane reasoning.
Is it really though? I mean, I see that. But: if Bonds only started using in 1998 and Heyman is convinced of that, then he has all of Bonds' pre-1998 career with which to work. And that career, all on its own, is a slam-dunk hall of famer:

1244 runs, 1750 hits, 374 homers, 1094 rbi, 417 sb, .288/.408/.551/.959, 162 ops+, 91.8 bWAR, 7 all-stars (in 12 seasons), 3 MVPs, 7 times top-5 in MVP voting, 7 gold gloves, 7 silver sluggers

But if he thinks it's possible that Clemens started doing steroids earlier, then maybe his whole career is tainted. Heyman can't be sure, and maybe he thinks that it's entirely likely that Clemens was doing PEDs much earlier. If he thinks that, I can see why he'd vote for Bonds and not Clemens. It's not completely crazy, I don't think.
 

lexrageorge

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Is it really though? I mean, I see that. But: if Bonds only started using in 1998 and Heyman is convinced of that, then he has all of Bonds' pre-1998 career with which to work. And that career, all on its own, is a slam-dunk hall of famer:

1244 runs, 1750 hits, 374 homers, 1094 rbi, 417 sb, .288/.408/.551/.959, 162 ops+, 91.8 bWAR, 7 all-stars (in 12 seasons), 3 MVPs, 7 times top-5 in MVP voting, 7 gold gloves, 7 silver sluggers

But if he thinks it's possible that Clemens started doing steroids earlier, then maybe his whole career is tainted. Heyman can't be sure, and maybe he thinks that it's entirely likely that Clemens was doing PEDs much earlier. If he thinks that, I can see why he'd vote for Bonds and not Clemens. It's not completely crazy, I don't think.
What evidence does Heyman have that Clemens was juicing at the start of his career? Clemens looked much thinner his early years, just like Bonds.
 

BaseballJones

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What evidence does Heyman have that Clemens was juicing at the start of his career? Clemens looked much thinner his early years, just like Bonds.
No idea. But if he believes it’s likely that Bonds only started in 1998, and that it’s likely Clemens has been juicing way longer than that, then his logic isn’t crazy.
 

splendid splinter

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No idea. But if he believes it’s likely that Bonds only started in 1998, and that it’s likely Clemens has been juicing way longer than that, then his logic isn’t crazy.
He doesn’t even have to believe he was juicing his whole career. He just doesn’t know - he can’t find a clear delineation between pre-steroid Clemens and steroid Clemens. So he can’t assess his “real” achievements and so can’t give him a vote.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Maybe this is Sox fan wish casting, but I always thought the “line” with Clemens was when he went to Toronto and connected with McNamee, the S&C coach. McNamee followed Clemens to NY, got fired eventually, but then resurfaced as Clemens’s and Pettitte’s personal trainer.

Was there ever any allegation of steroid use by Clemens in Boston? If not, couldn’t Heyman use the same sort of rationale he does with Bonds? Clemens fizzles in Boston as his health fades, goes to Toronto, gets and stays healthy with McNamee’s “assistance,” and resurrects his HOF career. I know the details aren’t quite that perfect (Clemens was healthy his last season with Boston, etc), but If that’s the story, Heyman could choose to judge Clemens’s (quite good) HOF credentials based only on his Boston years...
 

tims4wins

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Maybe this is Sox fan wish casting, but I always thought the “line” with Clemens was when he went to Toronto and connected with McNamee, the S&C coach. McNamee followed Clemens to NY, got fired eventually, but then resurfaced as Clemens’s and Pettitte’s personal trainer.

Was there ever any allegation of steroid use by Clemens in Boston? If not, couldn’t Heyman use the same sort of rationale he does with Bonds? Clemens fizzles in Boston as his health fades, goes to Toronto, gets and stays healthy with McNamee’s “assistance,” and resurrects his HOF career. I know the details aren’t quite that perfect (Clemens was healthy his last season with Boston, etc), but If that’s the story, Heyman could choose to judge Clemens’s (quite good) HOF credentials based only on his Boston years...
I have no idea when Roger started juicing, but let's not forget that while his 1996 was overall fairly mediocre, here's what his last 10 starts looked like:
77 2/3 IP (7.77 IP / start)
58 H
18 ER
29 BB
89 K
1.12 WHIP
2.09 ERA
3.07 K : BB
10.3 K / 9
.566 OPS against

His 2 seasons in Toronto:
7.44 IP / start
1.06 WHIP
2.33 ERA
3.37 K : BB
10.16 K / 9

He found something late in 1996. Maybe steroids, but also that nasty splitter.
 

terrynever

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My memory is Will McDonough ridiculed Clemens for being fat in his final couple seasons in Boston. McNamee got him in shape in Toronto and then things got crazy.
 

E5 Yaz

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Why is the talk about when Heyman thought Clemens started juicing? Here, once again is what Heyman says about Clemens:

" I don’t know what to believe with Clemens, whose lying far outstripped that of Bonds. Clemens went to the point of volunteering to lie on “60 Minutes,” and lying before Congress, which is of course a crime. Ultimately Clemens was found not guilty of perjury, but the standards aren’t the same here as there. He did lie. Many times."

When Clemens started wasn't Heyman's point. He says he doesn't know what to believe about that.

What separates him from Bonds, in Heyman's view, is the lying ... particularly before Congress
 

mauf

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If you’re going to exclude Clemens or Bonds, it has to be based on character, because their enshrinement would not be a close call if only on-field results mattered.

The case against Clemens and the case against Bonds share obvious similarities, but they are not identical. Heyman’s argument is stupid imo (implicitly, it hinges on Bonds’s testimony not being televised), but I think a rational argument could be made for the position that Clemens was worse than Bonds.
 

BaseballJones

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Why is the talk about when Heyman thought Clemens started juicing? Here, once again is what Heyman says about Clemens:

" I don’t know what to believe with Clemens, whose lying far outstripped that of Bonds. Clemens went to the point of volunteering to lie on “60 Minutes,” and lying before Congress, which is of course a crime. Ultimately Clemens was found not guilty of perjury, but the standards aren’t the same here as there. He did lie. Many times."

When Clemens started wasn't Heyman's point. He says he doesn't know what to believe about that.

What separates him from Bonds, in Heyman's view, is the lying ... particularly before Congress
I read his point as being that Clemens was willing to lie in front of Congress, and because of that, we have no idea how long he'd actually been juicing. He specifically pointed out that "The main reason I vote for Bonds is that I believe the narrative that Bonds didn’t take steroids until he saw two great but lesser players (Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa) start to surpass him via their own use of illegal chemicals and I don’t know what to believe with Clemens"....because Clemens lied to everyone about everything. It wasn't just that Clemens lied to everyone; it was that his lying made it impossible for Heyman to know when, exactly, Clemens started juicing.
 

E5 Yaz

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Minneapolis Millers

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To E5’s point, I think Heyman is saying both things: (1) that he believes Bonds didn’t start until after McGwire/Sosa, that he can therefore delineate a before and after Bonds, and that the before Bonds was clearly a HOFer; and (2) that Clemens is such an inveterate liar that he can’t delineate any line and won’t vote for him for that reason plus the character concerns.

That’s ok, I guess, but both pretty clearly cheated, both have character issues, and both had HOF talent and production. I have a hard time not viewing both the same way.
 

BaseballJones

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To E5’s point, I think Heyman is saying both things: (1) that he believes Bonds didn’t start until after McGwire/Sosa, that he can therefore delineate a before and after Bonds, and that the before Bonds was clearly a HOFer; and (2) that Clemens is such an inveterate liar that he can’t delineate any line and won’t vote for him for that reason plus the character concerns.
I can see that.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I think Heyman is - and always has been - an idiot and no one can make any delineation on when either (or any) player started juicing. Who gives a shit what he thinks.
 

Kliq

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I’d have them both on my ballot, but a rationale for having Bonds and not Clemens is that when Bonds was on the juice, he was downright historic. He put up numbers that nobody had ever seen before and based purely on raw counting numbers, baseball has never seen a run quite like early 2000s Bonds. Perhaps Ruth in the 20s, but that is pretty much it. He could have looked like Hulk Hogan and I’d still be impressed by someone with a 1.400 OPS and an OPS+ of 262.

Clemens was great, a top five pitcher during his juicing seasons, but he wasn’t historically great like Bonds.
 

tims4wins

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I’d have them both on my ballot, but a rationale for having Bonds and not Clemens is that when Bonds was on the juice, he was downright historic. He put up numbers that nobody had ever seen before and based purely on raw counting numbers, baseball has never seen a run quite like early 2000s Bonds. Perhaps Ruth in the 20s, but that is pretty much it. He could have looked like Hulk Hogan and I’d still be impressed by someone with a 1.400 OPS and an OPS+ of 262.

Clemens was great, a top five pitcher during his juicing seasons, but he wasn’t historically great like Bonds.
This is a very interesting argument and something I've never seen presented before. I think both deserve to be in, but you are right, we have never seen anything like steroid-Bonds. My favorite season of his was 2004 when he had 120 intentional walks, a .609 OBP and 1.422 OPS. He got on base 367 times in 147 games or 2.5 times per game. The second place guys (Helton / Abreu / Berkman) walked 127 times each in total. Bonds had 120 intentional walks and another 112 "unintentional" walks (ha).
 

BaseballJones

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This is a very interesting argument and something I've never seen presented before. I think both deserve to be in, but you are right, we have never seen anything like steroid-Bonds. My favorite season of his was 2004 when he had 120 intentional walks, a .609 OBP and 1.422 OPS. He got on base 367 times in 147 games or 2.5 times per game. The second place guys (Helton / Abreu / Berkman) walked 127 times each in total. Bonds had 120 intentional walks and another 112 "unintentional" walks (ha).
Steroids-Bonds is the ultimate freak baseball player. It's the answer to the question of: What happens if we put PEDs in an already elite Hall of Fame player? He goes from being an elite Hall of Famer to an absolute freak of nature.

I mean, here are Bonds' top 4 seasons, and compare them to Ruth and Williams' top 4 seasons (by ops+):

Bonds
2002 - .370/.582/.799/1.381, 268 ops+
2004 - .362/.609/.812/1.422, 263 ops+
2001 - .325/.515/.863/1.379, 259 ops+
2003 - .341/.529/.749/1.278, 231 ops+

Ruth
1920 - .376/.532/.847/1.379, 255 ops+
1923 - .393/.545/.764/1.309, 239 ops+
1921 - .378/.512/.846/1.359, 238 ops+
1926 - .372/.516/.737/1.253, 225 ops+

Williams
1941 - .406/.553/.735/1.287, 235 ops+
1957 - .388/.526/.731/1.257, 233 ops+
1942 - .356/.499/.648/1.147, 216 ops+
1946 - .342/.497/.667/1.164, 215 ops+

So Steroids-Bonds is simply put the greatest player ever to play the game, by a sizable margin.
 

Kliq

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Steroids-Bonds is the ultimate freak baseball player. It's the answer to the question of: What happens if we put PEDs in an already elite Hall of Fame player? He goes from being an elite Hall of Famer to an absolute freak of nature.

I mean, here are Bonds' top 4 seasons, and compare them to Ruth and Williams' top 4 seasons (by ops+):

Bonds
2002 - .370/.582/.799/1.381, 268 ops+
2004 - .362/.609/.812/1.422, 263 ops+
2001 - .325/.515/.863/1.379, 259 ops+
2003 - .341/.529/.749/1.278, 231 ops+

Ruth
1920 - .376/.532/.847/1.379, 255 ops+
1923 - .393/.545/.764/1.309, 239 ops+
1921 - .378/.512/.846/1.359, 238 ops+
1926 - .372/.516/.737/1.253, 225 ops+

Williams
1941 - .406/.553/.735/1.287, 235 ops+
1957 - .388/.526/.731/1.257, 233 ops+
1942 - .356/.499/.648/1.147, 216 ops+
1946 - .342/.497/.667/1.164, 215 ops+

So Steroids-Bonds is simply put the greatest player ever to play the game, by a sizable margin.
And those numbers were put up in his late 30s. Imagine if he started juicing ten years earlier?
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Key word being ‘probably’. PEDs aren’t as simple as people think. ARod was juicing since high school, it took a while for his body to get bigger. They aren’t a magic pill - if you don’t put in the time in the gym they’re pretty much useless.
 

RSNKiwi

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Probably around when his head grew five cap sizes and he hit 73 home runs.
Just to add a little bit of background information, I collect game worn/used memorabilia. About five or six years ago I bought a couple of Bonds Pittsburgh era items from a former Pirates batting practice pitcher during that time period, including a size 71/4 hat. He also had a Bonds early 2000 Giants hat for sale that he had received from a friend on the team. That hat, too, was size 71/4. I do know that there is a bit of variation in how well two hats of the same size actually fit, so the effect of HGH on his head growth was actually not quite that extreme.
 

Ale Xander

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Has Heyman written an article yet to campaign that Cobb or Anson or anyone else should be removed from the HoF? Until then, his character clause carries little weight.
 

Marciano490

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Is Clemens a HoF if he has a couple more average seasons in Boston or Toronto and ends up with around 250 wins and a 3.50ish ERA? I think he started juicing in Toronto, so that'd be how I'd make my decision.

Taking on faith Bonds started juicing when he did, he was clearly a HoF'er already. Though, didn't Bonds face perjury charges? Not sure why his credibility is any greater than Roger's, even if Roger seems like the shittier overall person.
 

scottyno

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Is Clemens a HoF if he has a couple more average seasons in Boston or Toronto and ends up with around 250 wins and a 3.50ish ERA? I think he started juicing in Toronto, so that'd be how I'd make my decision.
Yes, he was at 81 war and a 144 era+ when he left Boston, that's pretty comparable to Mussina, Glavine, and Pedro (And Schilling who likely gets in next year). Also would have had 3 Cys which seems to basically be the magic number where if you get 3 you're in for sure. Give him a couple more years without totally falling off a cliff and he ends up somewhere between the 10th and 20th best of all time. Only negative would be minimal postseason stats, since he only made 9 starts with the Sox.
 

Kliq

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This is a very interesting argument and something I've never seen presented before. I think both deserve to be in, but you are right, we have never seen anything like steroid-Bonds. My favorite season of his was 2004 when he had 120 intentional walks, a .609 OBP and 1.422 OPS. He got on base 367 times in 147 games or 2.5 times per game. The second place guys (Helton / Abreu / Berkman) walked 127 times each in total. Bonds had 120 intentional walks and another 112 "unintentional" walks (ha).
My favorite Bonds highlight is a random showdown with Eric Gagne in 2004. Dodgers are up 3-0 in the ninth, Giants have a runner on first. Gagne quickly gets ahead 0-2 and is throwing between 98-101 mph. Bonds works the count to 2 and 2, and then hits a 101 mph Gagne delivery approximately 800 feet, but foul. Gagne then tries to sneak another fastball by him, and this time Bonds puts it into the center field bleachers. Were both guys on the gas? Absolutely, but it is amazing to watch:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkdgJeqeCxM
 

Rough Carrigan

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My favorite Bonds highlight is a random showdown with Eric Gagne in 2004. Dodgers are up 3-0 in the ninth, Giants have a runner on first. Gagne quickly gets ahead 0-2 and is throwing between 98-101 mph. Bonds works the count to 2 and 2, and then hits a 101 mph Gagne delivery approximately 800 feet, but foul. Gagne then tries to sneak another fastball by him, and this time Bonds puts it into the center field bleachers. Were both guys on the gas? Absolutely, but it is amazing to watch:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkdgJeqeCxM
And that's my rationale for supporting Bonds and Clemens for the hall of fame. Bonds was batting against juiced Eric Gagne. Clemens was pitching to juiced hitters. Which players from that era do you *know* were not juicing? It was so widespread by the early 2000's that the only default presumption that makes sense was to assume that player X about whom you knew nothing was juicing. But we can't support Bonds and Clemens, the best and second or third best of their time for the hall? And it's all these jerk writers who didn't want to curtail their access and say that something was going on who now refuse to vote for Bonds and Clemens because something was going on.
 
And it's all these jerk writers who didn't want to curtail their access and say that something was going on who now refuse to vote for Bonds and Clemens because something was going on.
Take the power away from the writers, and make it so people like Heyman don't get a phone-it-in column and undue attention every year.

The fact that awards voted on by writers during the player's career (MVP, Cy Young) can be used as justification by writers after their career for Hall of Fame voting made the thing into a joke long ago.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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And that's my rationale for supporting Bonds and Clemens for the hall of fame. Bonds was batting against juiced Eric Gagne. Clemens was pitching to juiced hitters. Which players from that era do you *know* were not juicing? It was so widespread by the early 2000's that the only default presumption that makes sense was to assume that player X about whom you knew nothing was juicing. But we can't support Bonds and Clemens, the best and second or third best of their time for the hall? And it's all these jerk writers who didn't want to curtail their access and say that something was going on who now refuse to vote for Bonds and Clemens because something was going on.
I dunno, Pedro? If he was juicing, he wasn't getting bigger or staying healthy, so he clearly wasn't doing it right!

I think the counter narrative that everyone was doing it is also wrong. Plenty of athletes either have the integrity to not cheat or the brains to appreciate the serious health consequences of doping. But if you have teammates who are, it becomes difficult to blow the whistle.

If writers want to make an example out of guys like Bonds and Clemens, I'm fine with that. The Hall of Fame is a privilege not a right.
 
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If writers want to make an example out of guys like Bonds and Clemens, I'm fine with that. The Hall of Fame is a privilege not a right.
Is 'fake news' a privilege or a right? Would you think it appropriate for a reporter who doesn't like a player to make remarks implying his misbehavior to belittle him? And note, that is a generalized question.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Is 'fake news' a privilege or a right? Would you think it appropriate for a reporter who doesn't like a player to make remarks implying his misbehavior to belittle him? And note, that is a generalized question.
I don't understand what you mean, especially by "fake news." If you mean does a reporter have a privilege or right to libel someone, then no. If you mean point out concerns based on information in the public record, including admissions by the subject and generally credible statements made by others against their own interest (e.g. Pettitte's self-incriminating admissions and allegations against Clemens) as the basis for a HOF vote, then yes, that's the reporter's general right to express and privilege to print in an article.
 

joe dokes

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I don't understand what you mean, especially by "fake news." If you mean does a reporter have a privilege or right to libel someone, then no. If you mean point out concerns based on information in the public record, including admissions by the subject and generally credible statements made by others against their own interest (e.g. Pettitte's self-incriminating admissions and allegations against Clemens) as the basis for a HOF vote, then yes, that's the reporter's general right to express and privilege to print in an article.
Which world do you live in?
Everybody know's what the term means. The question is how is it possibly relevant to the Heyman/Clemens/Bonds issue?