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Old August 9th, 2007, 07:41 PM
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Default Revisionist History Sports Wise and Otherwise

Today at work we were discussing the Barry Bonds situation in respect to his breaking the all time home run record...The actual ball will go for about $500,000, but the ball that Mark McGuire hit his 70th home run for a single season record went for 3.1 Million..both players are tainted with the steriod issue, so why the difference in value ? We further discussed that several baseball purist say that Hank Aaron should still hold the record because he did it the "natural way", but these were the same purist that villified Hank when he broke the record set by Babe Ruth..the same goes when Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth's single season home run record and had an *asterik* placed by his name and he was villified..

Muhummad Ali today is considered one of the great all time athletes and is recognized for his courage for standing up for his principals..yet he was villified and stripped of his title and labeled un American in the late 60's because of his stand against Viet Nam and changing his name...and it took a Supreme Court ruling to gain back his license so he could box and provide for his family

Harry Truman was villified in this country for firing General McArthur and dropping the H-Bomb..Yet today he is recognized as a POTUS who demonstrated great leadership and courage

Funny how time (both backwards and forwards) can cause people to revise history as they see fit
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Old August 9th, 2007, 08:12 PM
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It isn't history that's being revised, it's people's take on it.

Truman is respected a little more today than he was in the early 50's, partly because of the presidents we've had since. And remember, the president before him, FDR, was exceptionally highly regarded, beloved even. He had tough shoes to fill in his day.

Ali took a lot of heat, but so did most Americans who were in the public eye back then and spoke out against the war. Jane Fonda is another notorious example. Ali had an especially hard time because our country had a lot more overt racists then than now. Plus the name change was only incidental to the religious issue, which a lot of people didn't appreciate back then. So he was the "perfect storm" for abuse, some of it self-inflicted. Today we recognize that he was a good boxer and a funny showman, and we respect him for it. But it's not revising history, it's revising how we now react to the same set of facts.

My recollection of Maris was not so much that he took a lot of grief personally (there were lots of issues with the team as a whole, of course), but the controversy centered around whether the record was an "apples and apples" comparison based on the fact that the season had lengthened to 162 games since Ruth's time. That's a fair point for discussion, and there were those who surely didn't want to see Ruth eclipsed, but my memory is far more of the issue than the man as far as controversy was concerned. It's just like some people said that Cal Ripken shouldn't break DiMaggio's iron man record, because he just shouldn't. I never understood that, and Cal just went ahead and did it, and nobody seriously attacked him for it.

But Bonds and McGuire, they're innocent until proved guilty, I guess, but everybody knows their story. The juicing controversy has to to with the people and not the records they broke, and that's different. It's more like, but not exactly like, the Pete Rose situation.

As far as the $3.1m vs. $500k, refresh my memory: didn't the big juicing story re McGuire hit AFTER he broke the record? I have a sense that it did. If so, that could account for a lot of it. In other words, it was considered a clean record when it happened, and maybe the controversy didn't happen until after the price was paid, whereas with Bonds, the whole world knew what had gone on before he set it.

Did you see the tapes of Bonds' rookie year that they were running on ESPN? Jeez Louise. He looked like the runt of the litter.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 09:40 PM
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AR..you make some valid points..but my point was it was the same people (sportswriters or historians) that lived during the periods of the events that so villified in one moment, hero the next

I lived in Oakland during the "Bash Brothers Days" and McGuire "pumped up at the same time as did Canseco..so he too went from sort of big to very big overnight..I saw Bonds play at Candlestick when he first came up..yea he was alot smaller but boy could he hit them out the park even then

IMHO, of all the sports, baseball is perhaps the most passionate about their records..when in fact most of the record books should be asterik because of the fact that athletes of color were shut out of major league sports for so long

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the big 3 sports halls of fame (baseball, basketball, football) tour them twice..once with the mission of marveling at the athletic achievement..then do them again from the perspective of sports as a reflection of the society at the time of the accomplishments

My son and I have been to all 3 and the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown IMHO is the most hallowed
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Old August 9th, 2007, 11:57 PM
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Venice,

Here are a few things to chew on, in no particular order.

Bonds doesn't deserve the home run title in my view. He's probably got more chemicals flowing through his body than Dow Chemical. Hank Aaron hit all those 'taters without all that "help."

And let's talk about Babe Ruth for a minute. He was the very first player to hit a home run in Yankee Stadium (thus The House That Ruth Built.) He used a 44 oz bat (Paul Bunyon would have trouble lifting that piece of lumber!), and the fences were a LOT farther back than they are now. If you could bring the Babe back today, imagine how many he'd hit with the more tightly wound balls, and those awfully short fences.

Plus the season is much longer today than it was in years past. Both Ruth and Aaron would out-hit Bonds on an even playing field and no drugs.

And how about Sammy Sosa? Just as the Mark McGuire thing was getting started, Sammy wasn't really all that big. And then the next season, he was HUGE! and hit a whole lot more home runs. How did that happen? Lifting weights for a couple of months during the off-season??!

And how about Marion Jones? She was a record-setting machine, and then when the Balco bit became public, and she was regularly tested, the next season she couldn't win a race.

Unfortunately, the steroids work. You can go from big to really big in a relatively short time. But they wreck your body and your health.

I don't think it's really worth it, and that's why I don't have much interest in home run records, especially if Bonds is involved.

Sorry for the rant! I just had to get all that off my chest!

And yes, I do feel much better now, thanks for indulging me,

Dean
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Old August 10th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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anytime Mean Dean..us fellows have to stick together
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Old August 10th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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ok..what's everyone's view on this topic..in baseball it's called the World Series but I have never heard of another country's team being invited to play in it..In Japan, baseball is wildly popular and when MLB teams tour the games are very competitive..there are no international teams invited to play in the NBA World Championships and judging by how international teams consistently beat "American's Best" lately I can see why

The only true World Championship is the World Cup in soccer and the male USA teams don't do so well (the USA women however, do darn well)

what's your take on that
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Old August 10th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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I feel that Bonds deserves the title.

Do steriods make you stronger? Yes. Do steroids improve contact when swinging the bat? No. You've still got to put the bat on the ball to get it over the fence.

I understand and can't deny that steroids would help someone get more home runs simply by the fact that the added strength might get a few extra feet on a ball. However, the technological advances over the past 40 years have had the same affect, no? Tighter wound baseballs, lighter bats, and so on...

What about golf? Do the technological advances in golf take away Tiger Woods accomplishments? What happens when he gets his 19th major? Will he have an asterik because his equipment is far superior to the equipment Jack Nicklaus used?

Juiced or not, I think Barry Bonds deserves respect for his accomplishment.

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Old August 10th, 2007, 11:53 AM
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What bothers me in this whole thing is that the information that is fed to us is subjective and with anything subjective a person will read or pay attention to what supports their pre-conceived notions.

There are groups of writers who feel that Bonds shouldn't be recognized because he juiced.

There are other groups that just do not like him because he isn't a "reporter's player".

There are other groups who are just plain racist jerks.

There are other groups that say he hit the ball over the fence more than Aaron and that's that.

My personal take is the last. I believe he juiced and juiced hard. You don't go from a good all around hitter to a "huge" home run hitter in two seasons. However he hit the ball, thrown by great pitchers, over the fence more than any other player in history.

There is a Twins/Phillies pitcher named Bert Blylevin who has almost similar or better stats than pitchers such as Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Jim Perry, Tommy John but has not been voted into the Hall of Fame in fourteen years of eligibility. Why? Because he wasn't a reporter's player. He didn't "play" with them and spoke his mind. He was great with fans but he told the reporters to write about his playing on not his life. Well, you see where that got him. Most of the current reporters who voter for the Hall of Fame don't really remember him and the ones that do still hate him. It shows that if you don't play the "PR Game" you can lose.

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Old August 10th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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Juicing is also quite dangerous. One has only to look at Chris Benoit ("juice" + alcohol) OJ Simpson ("juice" and Indocid and cocaine)
and about 40 or 50 now dearly departed folks employed by the WWE.

I had friends who used the stuff. It's astonishing how fast they shrink down when they stop.

I used to work out regularly when I worked as a Club Doorman years ago. I never touched the stuff (because I took Indocid for my gout), but managed to shred my shirts if I flexed the wrong way, so natural is possible... if unlikely. It also took years, rather than months to achieve.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice
ok..what's everyone's view on this topic..in baseball it's called the World Series but I have never heard of another country's team being invited to play in it..
Ever hear of the Toronto Blue Jays? World Series Champions in 1992 and 1993. And probably would've in 1994 except for the players strike.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 12:16 PM
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There was a story that in that last week before Bonds hit the homers, he walked out of the clubhouse one day, saw a gaggle of reporters, turned around and walked back into the clubhouse.

One reporter yelled after him, "I guess that means six more weeks of winter, huh?"

No, there's no law that says a player has to be friends with reporters, or with anybody else. Then again, I had the honor of having Cal Ripken help me raise my kids. Never met him, of course, but he was there for us every day, if you know what I mean. Matt drove to Cooperstown the other day to honor his induction. Role models count, and it's nice to have them around. For the money these guys are paid, more of them could give it a shot, and take Ripken's ethic seriously.

It matters.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 12:22 PM
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I find the whole discussion rather academic myself. No matter what Bud Selig does, the truth of it is that Barry Bonds has hit more home runs then Hank did, so even if Selig has an astrik put by his name or isn't officially put in the record book because of steroids, eveyone knows Bonds hit the homers and has more than Hank. I say it is academic because that record will be broken again in a short 5 - 6 years by A-Rod of the Yankees. A-Rod has 500 home runs now and he is only 32 years old. Unless he suffers some devisatating injury (which we hope he does not of course) he will break the Bonds career home run record, and all this debate about Bonds will be academic.

I also find it ironic that Bud Selig has taken the "non-interested" stance he has towards Bonds and this record. This whole steroid use problem has been on his watch as commissioner. After the devistating stoppage of play in 1994 because of the stike, baseball needed something to bring it back. The tighter baseballs, smaller parks and steroids brought about the 1998 single season home run derby between Sosa, McQuire and Griffey. (Many people forget Ken Griffey Jr. was a part of that home run race that year until he got hurt midway throught the season) This brought back baseball, filled the seats again and made the owners money again, so they have allowed the players to "juice" and hit homers and fill the seats. So now, Selig and the owners who have turned a blind eye to the issue to put more people in the seats, now seem embarrased that one of their "juiced" playes has broken the most revered baseball record in history.

GO CUBS!!!
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Old August 10th, 2007, 02:23 PM
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It's not necessary to choose between Bonds and Bud light. It's a perfectly reasonable position to dislike them both.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 02:55 PM
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I have no real comments except it really sadens me to see so much drugs in sport. Also how the older kids talk of them, with disallusion in their voices yet when younger they were hero's to those same kids. DS said it was kind of crummy to think some one really acheived their personal best and then you find out they cheated, and CC you are right about the shrinkage..............your muscles may expand, but that doesnt mean everything is......... Had a patient years ago come into emerg who was doing them and he went into one of those rages, he severely damaged his body and seriously hurt people physically causing much damage and emotionally leaving a train wreck. You are also right CC that real physical fitness is achieved as a long and constant process and does not happen in a couple of months time without help from drugs.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice
ok..what's everyone's view on this topic..in baseball it's called the World Series but I have never heard of another country's team being invited to play in it..
what's your take on that
Just because a MLB team is located in a US city, doesn't mean the players are from that city or the country it is located in. MLB has players from all over, including Japan, the Domincan Republic, Canada, Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela in addition to the US just to name a few. It is a "World" Series since the best teams that play in it have many players that do come from the best baseball countries in the world.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AR
It's not necessary to choose between Bonds and Bud light. It's a perfectly reasonable position to dislike them both.
I don't dislike either of them. It's a bit of a dichotomy really, they have both done a lot to advance the game of baseball, and they have both done things (or not done things they should've) that has hurt the game of baseball.

Say what you want about Barry Bonds, the man can hit a baseball! That's why it doesn't matter what the "official" baseball record book says, right now Barry Bonds is the all time Home Run king, but eventually, A-Rod will take the crown from him.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 03:43 PM
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I often wonder how players such as: Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle would be treated by today's media and how the public would judge their off field behavior.

They sure weren't angels and in some instances not too great of role models.

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Old August 10th, 2007, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
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I often wonder how players such as: Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle would be treated by today's media and how the public would judge their off field behavior.
I don't think it's fair to judge someone from another era or time by today's standards and norms. Ty Cobb was a great ball player, but a well known racist and mean person. However, Ty Cobb was a product of his time and his upbringing, and to judge his views and actions from 100 years ago by todays standards is really not right. This does not mean I condon his views or actions in any way! But I recognize his was a different era and the norms of that time were different then they are now. Maybe had Ty Cobb been born in a different era, lived in our modern times and had a different upbringing, he would've been a great ball player and a tolerent person as well, we will never know.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 09:34 PM
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Blueliner..great points you are making..I had forgotten about the Toronto Blue Jays and since we are talking Canada the Montreal Expos...refresh my foggy baseball mind...did teams from the US relocate and start up there or was the franchise fresh from the beginnning?..which team relocated from Canada to Washington D? Little known history fact..when the Brooklyn Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson, they actually sent him to their farm club in Montreal first to "test the waters"

If we extended your logic about not judging a player because of the "norms" of the times that he played in, perhaps history will be kinder to Barry Bonds and just say he played in the "steriods era" of baseball

I just think baseball is very hypocritical and somehow has lost it's mantle as "America's Game"
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Old August 11th, 2007, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice
Blueliner..great points you are making..I had forgotten about the Toronto Blue Jays and since we are talking Canada the Montreal Expos...refresh my foggy baseball mind...did teams from the US relocate and start up there or was the franchise fresh from the beginnning?..which team relocated from Canada to Washington D? Little known history fact..when the Brooklyn Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson, they actually sent him to their farm club in Montreal first to "test the waters"
The Montreal Expos started as an expansion team in the National League in 1969. The Toronto Blue Jays started as an expansion team in the American League in 1977 after the San Francisco Giants new owner decided in 1976 not to move the Giants to Toronto. Both Canadian teams came in as expansion teams, and except for the 2 Toronto World Series wins in 1992 and 1993, neither has had great success.

The Montreal Expos were without an owner since 2003, and when MLB finally worked out a deal to move the team to Washington DC in 2004 to start play in 2005 as the Washington Nationals, the Expos finally get new ownership. Washington DC was chosen since the Washington Senators vacated Washington 30 years prior to become the Texas Rangers, and MLB promised the city many years ago it would have a MLB team in Washington at some point. Of MLB's ownership, only the Baltimore owner voted against moving the Expos to Washington.
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Old August 11th, 2007, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
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If we extended your logic about not judging a player because of the "norms" of the times that he played in, perhaps history will be kinder to Barry Bonds and just say he played in the "steriods era" of baseball

I just think baseball is very hypocritical and somehow has lost it's mantle as "America's Game"
I'm sure this era of MLB will be known as the "steroids" era. However, I was speaking of more than just baseball players, I meant any historical figure. Of course I mean historical figures that did great things but also had some "bad" habits as well. Like Columbus who discovered America, but enslaved Native Americans, or many of our founding fathers in the USA who created a great nation, but many also owned slaves. We should recognize these figures did some great things, and try not to let the wrong things they also did that were considered "OK" in their time period, but very wrong by today's standards diminish those accomplishments. I do not mean those of pure evil no matter what time or era they lived in, like Khan or Hitler.

Basball was a uniquely American game, but has, and continues to become very international in nature. More and more non-US players are coming to professional baseball. The Yankees just signed 2 Chinese players to contracts this week! I, and many other baseball fans, like this trend. I like to see great baseball on the field, I don't care where they were born, what their Nation of origin is, or the color of their skin.

It will be very interesting to see how history treats Barry Bonds. Will baseball history focus on his home run feat and forget the steroids, as baseball history has focused on Ty Cobb's baseball feats and forgotten his overt racism, or will it just focus on the "steroid" issue? We shall see.
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Old August 11th, 2007, 04:19 AM
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Blueliner..have you been to Cooperstown ? Are you a Cub or White Sox Fan ?...I still think some of the best baseball is watching the Little League World Series ..That's where the true international flavor of baseball can be found on a yearly basis
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Old August 11th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
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Blueliner..have you been to Cooperstown ? Are you a Cub or White Sox Fan ?...I still think some of the best baseball is watching the Little League World Series ..That's where the true international flavor of baseball can be found on a yearly basis
I have not been to Cooperstown, I will go when they finally induct Ron Santo into the Hall of Fame.

I'm a True Blue Cubs fan! Have been all my life. And yes, I watch little league baseball.......everytime I'm forced to watch a White Sox game! HA HA HA
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Old August 11th, 2007, 09:58 AM
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I do somewhat judge the past heroes by today's standards. I will never negate their on field accomplishments. The facts don't lie but the truth is that the legends are created by those write about them.

The virtues we were told they possessed and role models that many of them were are as much a set up by the writers of the time and of history as they were the true facts.

Babe Ruth could have been made out as easily an illiterate, womanizing lout other than a fun loving, big kid. All of the baseball insiders knew Mantle was an alcoholic hard partying player who could be the biggest creep to people but he was portrayed as the All American boy. In Ruth's case, it was the depression and America needed a hero and they got one.

I personally believe Roger Marris' asterisk was as much due to the fact it wasn't Mantle who surpassed Ruth as the fact that he had more games to hit in. Marris' was a shy guy from North Dakota who went on a streak and beat out Mantle. He wasn't "popular".

Perhaps I'm more of a realist who believes that the "Good ole days" weren't quite as good as people remember and today isn't quite as bad as people think.

Take care,
Mike(Who really does love the game of baseball)
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Old August 11th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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Mike..I think if we ever met, we would like each other alot because we share some basic common thought processes...I think the big difference in professional sports today is what I would like to call the "ESPN syndrome" meaning if there was ESPN back in the day, all of the "faults" of those athletes of yesterday would have been brought under the intense scrutiny that today's athletes are held to...there was an unwritten agreement between the sports writers and the owners about keeping such things out of the "light", where today, due to ratings that would never exist

But a jerk is a jerk , a racist is a racist, regardless of what era the player was a part of...and an athlete of great courage and ability regardless of the era they played in will stand out

Point in case..the Brooklyn Dodgers Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese...Pee Wee volunter to room with Jackie in the height of the 50's and because of his courage they became life long friends and an example of what is right with sports

I also say we should not hold sports hero's up as role models..they are human and like all humans have faults...

Blueliner..life long Cubs fan You have my deepest sympathy
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Old August 11th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice
Blueliner..life long Cubs fan You have my deepest sympathy
...and as a lifelong Red Sox fan, I'd like a bit of that sympathy as well. Yeah, so they won it all in '04 (with the help of the Yankees). But how about all those 65 years (1939-2004) that I had to wait as I entered puberty and way beyond? It was in '39 that I got my first look at Fenway, Ted Williams, Jimmy Foxx, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, et al. And that was when my "waiting period" began.

But then, it has been an even longer period of suspense for all those faithful Cubs fans. :evil: Guess I shouldn't complain! Your turn will come, Cubbies, and it could even be this year (if Lou P. has his way). Look how well he did with the Devil Rays!

Until I spoiled it, this was a very interesting thread. Carry on if you will, and try to forgive my lapse into Beantown fantasies. You've all made some impressively valid points on topic.

Jack 8)
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Old August 11th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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Jack..you get Zero..I repeat Zero sympathy from me I am a born and bred New Yorker and a Yankee fan and I was on the Zuiderdam the week that the "Soxs" beat the Yankees...when we boarded on Sunday everything was" right" with the world and then all hell broke loose..Anyone that did not live in New York all of a sudden became Red Sox fans and to say it was a hostile Yankee fan ship is putting it mildly

I actually grew up in Litchfield County in CT and the area was Red Sox area, but the town also produced Steve Blass who was a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 60's so I was more of a national league type kid anyway and always hated the Red Sox

but you did not disrupt the thread you gave us comic relief about the Red Soxs
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Old August 11th, 2007, 05:25 PM
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Blueliner..Santo is not in the Hall of Fame already ? Why not ? Also, were not Ferguson Jenkins and Ron Santo teammates for a number of years ? Did Jenkins make it into the Hall ?, I can't remember and now that I think about it, I did not see either bust in the Hall when I went back in the 90's


I always loved to watch Fergie pitch on TV, but my all time favorite starting rotation was with the Mets in the 60's...Tom Seaver, Jerry Kossman, Gary Gentry, Nolan Ryan...I really loved the pitching duels when they went up against Juan Marichal, Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins etc

Don't have great pitching duels like that anymore
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Old August 11th, 2007, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by venice
Blueliner..Santo is not in the Hall of Fame already ? Why not ? Also, were not Ferguson Jenkins and Ron Santo teammates for a number of years ? Did Jenkins make it into the Hall ?, I can't remember and now that I think about it, I did not see either bust in the Hall when I went back in the 90's


I always loved to watch Fergie pitch on TV, but my all time favorite starting rotation was with the Mets in the 60's...Tom Seaver, Jerry Kossman, Gary Gentry, Nolan Ryan...I really loved the pitching duels when they went up against Juan Marichal, Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins etc

Don't have great pitching duels like that anymore
Fergie Jenkins was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991 with 284 career wins. He pitched for the Cubs from 1966 - 1973 and was a team mate of Ron Santo. Fergie also finished his career with the Cubs in 1982 - 1983. Fergie holds the distinction of being the first Canadian MLB player to ever be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Other team mates of that era that are in the Hall include Ernie Banks and Billy Williams.

Ron Santo has been passed over for the Hall of Fame for many years because he never reached any of the career milestones that the baseball writers use to make their votes for induction, like 3,000 hits, 500 home runs, or 300 pitching wins. While Ron Santo was a regular winner of the gold glove at 3rd base, an all-star team pick every year and was one of the best clutch hitters in baseball in his era, sports writers from outside the Chicago area never felt he deserved their vote. His career stats will rank up there with any other Hall of Famer, but he never had the one big stat he needed to make the writers take notice. His only chance now is the veterans committee.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 12:20 AM
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Did you see the tapes of Bonds' rookie year that they were running on ESPN? Jeez Louise. He looked like the runt of the litter.
Perhaps, but remember, steoids weren't prohibited by MLB until 2002. If they truly enhance performance and weren't banned at the time, you can't blame players for using them.

Cheers, Aidan
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