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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tuesday Morning Sports Report

posted by on November 28 at 9:45 AM

Seahawks: There was snow. There was wind. There were four turnovers in the first half. But in the end, the Hawks managed to beat the Green Bay Packers 34-24 thanks to 201 yards rushing from Shaun Alexander (on 40 carries!), and a second-half effort by Matt Hasselbeck that served as a complete reversal of his 30 minutes of blundering before halftime. Even better: the D played a full game—probably because our offense, in the final 30 at least, was able to stay on the field.

So here we are: 7-4, with a two game lead in our division. ESPN’s John Clayton finds much for Hawks fans to be hopeful about. The Seattle P.I.’s Ted Miller…well, he doesn’t. And as for “Shrug” over at Field Gulls:

Out of the 12 games I’ve attended personally at Qwest Field, Monday night’s 34-24 Seahawk victory over the Green Bay Packers was, unquestionably, both the most bizarre and thigh-slappingly hilarious contest I’ve witnessed. This was more entertaining than free towel night.

Up next, former AFC West rivals the Denver Broncos, who just kicked Jake Plummer to the curb in favor of rookie QB Jay Cutler. It should be interesting.

Baseball: Cal Ripken Jr., Tony Gwynn, and Mark McGwire are on the 2007 Hall of Fame ballot. Ripken and Gwynn are shoo-ins, McGwire not so much.

RSS icon Comments


Anybody who doesn't vote for McGwire should have his press card pulled and be forced to get a real job.

Seahawks: STILL outscored on the season.

Posted by Fnarf | November 28, 2006 9:55 AM


(1.5) Cheeseheads

Quaint. Darling little things. We need a Seattle equivalent. We were thinking one of these:

  • Coffeeheads

  • Microchipheads

  • Fishheads

  • Chowderheads

  • Thatsrightbostonhasnotcorneredthemarketonchowderheads

  • Commuteheads

  • Bothellheads

  • Syringeheads

Posted by charles | November 28, 2006 10:03 AM

If you vote for McGwire than u have to vote for Bonds when the time comes.

They were both hall of famers before the juice and I would vote for them. But I dont get why McWire gets a pass and Bonds doesnt. Im not saying is racism, Im just sayin'..

Posted by SeMe | November 28, 2006 10:04 AM

Josh Brown kept the Hawks in the game.

Jerramy Stevens is a drunken piece of shit.

Favre should've retired two years ago.

Sans 'roids, Mark McGwire is Dave Kingman.

Posted by DOUG. | November 28, 2006 10:08 AM

I was at the game. Man it was fun, eventhough the Hawks made the Packers look like the Colts. Part of it was the weather Im sure, but the Hawks should have pimped that Packers' offensive line, most of em dont even shave yet. Surprised to see a lot of Packer faithful at Qwest. Some of em got their cheese heads thrown down and a couple of fights could have gone down, but for the most part Seattle fans are classy working class folk. Though I gotta say, having grown up in Philly, with the best football fans in the world, if those same fans had been talking mess back in Philly they would have gotten a serious beat down. I agree Josh Brown is a man amongst boys. He was the MVP of the game. Hawks will go deep in the play offs. I can feel it.

Posted by SeMe | November 28, 2006 10:15 AM

Who said I wouldn't vote for Bonds? The question of who's "on the juice" and what it actually does for you on the field is a complex one not easily answered here (for one thing, no one has ever proved that it makes you hit better), In Bonds's case, EVEN DISCOUNTING the home-run record years, he's one of maybe three players who can legitimately challenge Babe Ruth as the best player of all time -- Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb being the others.
I grew up a Hank Aaron fan, and Bonds far surpassed him. My dad was a huge Ted Williams fan, and Bonds surpassed him, and Stan Musial, and Willie Mays, and Mickey Mantle, and everybody's darling Cal Ripken, Jr., and all, all the others. Bonds was by far the best player in all of baseball all through the nineties, back when he was "only" hitting 30-40 HR a year or so. He should have 12 MVPs. He would be an inner-circle HoFer if he'd dropped dead in 1998 and had never hit even 50. So, yes, he gets a pass.

But not this year, because he's not eligible.

Posted by Fnarf | November 28, 2006 10:15 AM

Well said Fnarf, I couldnt agree with you more. However, dont u think that Mcwigre gets a pass and Bonds is held up as everything thats wrong with baseball?

Posted by SeMe | November 28, 2006 10:18 AM

seme -- i think the bonds thing would have more overt racial element if it wasn't for the fact that barry bonds is generally considered to be the biggest dickhead (literally during the last few years) in baseball. if he was a nicer guy and he still got the shaft you might have something, but if you kept their personalities while swapping their races, a white bonds would probably still be hated because nobody likes an asshole. bonds is just "that guy"

Posted by charles | November 28, 2006 10:25 AM

maybe Charles but George W's boy Kurt Schilling is a big arrogant asshole and most people would agree that broken bat throwing Roger Clements is a douche bag, and Mcgwigre was not known to be warm and fuzzy or a hella of a nice guy. Bottom line is if the sports media dont like ya, than they will emphasize your assholeness. If they like u they talk about your courage and your bloody tampon sock, but if they dont than an asshole u will be. I dont know if its racism,but African American athtletes seem to be held to a higher standard, and it seems the media wants them all to be Willie Mays or Hank Aaron whereas white athletes like Schilling get a pass. Maybe is not racism, but itcould be, thats all Im saying. And I agree Bonds seems to be arrogant and a lousy team mate.

Posted by SeMe | November 28, 2006 10:34 AM

You left part of that out, Charles: it should read "Bonds is generally considered to be the biggest dickhead in baseball BY REPORTERS" -- the same reporters who treated him with mind-blowing disrespect throughout his career, back in the days when he didn't hit 70 HR but was, by far, the best player in the game, but not in the eyes of the reporters who apparently, and still, have little clue about what wins baseball games.

This is similar to the oceans of shit that washed over another inner-circle Hall of Famer widely derided as a selfish jerk by people who were not qualified to hold his jock: Rickey Henderson. And yes, it is racism. Mark McGwire never ever faced that kind of questioning until the andro business popped up, and even then it was still pretty friendly and buddy-buddy, unlike the endless bitching Bonds faced.

And yes, Bonds could very well be a hopeless prick. I wouldn't know; I've never met him. In fact, ALL of my personal contact with the fellow has been mediated by not-particularly-bright sportswriters bearing grudges. Which might, uh, color things a little.

What I DO know, however, is what he accomplished on the field, which is unlike ANYTHING I or anyone else alive has ever seen before, not just in quantity but in quality. Bonds is not just better, he's DIFFERENT; he plays the game differently than anyone else before him. How many players can say that? McGwire, for all his tremendous skill, was never more than a feared hitter; Bonds was beyond that, not just feared but completely befuddling.

A .609 OBP. Six-Oh-Nine. That alone puts him in the center square. It really is ridiculous.

But I think Seme is wrong; McGwire ISN'T getting a pass. He's unlikely to get in this year. Many, many writers have said they won't vote for him. These writers should have their passes pulled; they're not qualified. They don't understand the first thing about baseball. They know less than my dead grandmother, because they THINK they know, and they are wrong, wrong, wrong.

Posted by Fnarf | November 28, 2006 10:42 AM

You guys are forgetting the most important factor here. The voters are humans. Humans with snobby attitudes because they are big time BB writers. That means they have grudges that they will grind until doomsday. Their beef with McGwire will keep him out this year. Their beef with Bonds is much bigger/deeper; it may keep him out forever. Which would be a shame/sham. See Pete Rose.

Charles: My vote is for fishheads. Make them all gory with realistic scent...

Posted by Mike in MO | November 28, 2006 10:54 AM

If Pete Rose wants to go the Hall of Fame, he can buy a fucking ticket.

Posted by Fnarf | November 28, 2006 11:00 AM

i like fishheads too. and conveniently the idistrict is only a few short blocks away from qwest field... :D

Posted by charles | November 28, 2006 11:19 AM

For a while now I've felt that Bonds was a victim of his own greatness, or rather his pride in his greatness. At the time McGwire was going for the homerun record, Bonds was so obviously the best player in the game. Most half-way intelligent baseball players (and sportswriters) must have known McGwire was juiced, yet the press not only gave him a pass but put him on a pedestal. All the sports writers now grinding on Bonds at the time set the bar for how greatness would be measured and what would be allowed to achieve it.

I doesn't surprise me that other great hitters would say to themselves, "Duh, I could hit 20 or 30 more homeruns a year if I wanted to poison myself with that crap." In Bonds case, he let his sense of injustice and pride overwhelm his reason and self-respect. He's paying now because the standard of allowable means to the end changed. I do think the way his story is being coverred is clouded by racism and a resentment against his ongoing lack of humility, but I dont think it was racism that caused the change in industry and media attitude toward steroids. Anybody with half a brain could see it was only a matter of time before baseball would follow other sports.

I'm surprised there isn't more interest in the dramatic tragedy of Bond's story, The media still wants the big black guy to say uncle. If he hadn't taken the steroids Bond's would be laughing at them like Ali, but...

If McGwire hadn't taken steroids, he would have been just another quality power hitter who couldn't run.

I must be said again as FNARF did, "A .609 OBP. Six-Oh-Nine. That alone puts him in the center square. It really is ridiculous." Even with the steroid cloud, this number is amazing.

Tragedy is about what could have been. Even if you hate his personality, tragedy is an apt description of Bond's fate and weakness. For McGwire, there is no tragedy, because there is no "could have been."

blah blah blah blah

Posted by mirror | November 28, 2006 12:02 PM

Bonds' OBP is .443, not .609. That's his slugging percentage, fools.

Posted by DOUG. | November 28, 2006 12:11 PM

In 2004, Bonds's OBP was .609. I'm asking you again, think about that. Ruth and Williams never came close to that.

Posted by Fnarf | November 28, 2006 12:19 PM

Yeah, because he had 120 INTENTIONAL WALKS in 2004! That's directly related to the juice. And the fact that he had a series of hacks hitting behind him.

Posted by DOUG. | November 28, 2006 12:31 PM

Regarding Bonds... If you believe it's fair that Pete Rose isn't in the HOF - for actions taken AFTER he stopped playing - then it's definitely fair to keep Bonds out. That argument about him being the best player before '98 may be true, as is the fact that he might be the best all around player. But he juiced, and the evidence is there to show that he did - see Game of Shadows. McGwire almost certainly did too. Keep both bums out of the Hall.

Posted by Matt from Denver | November 28, 2006 1:05 PM

Good thoughts all, but I'm sticking to my guns. Bonds belongs in there, his achievements merit that. Hell, Gaylord Perry admited he cheated as did a lot of hall of famers. This puritan wish to want all of our players to be like Edgar or Robinson is crap. Sometimes players are assholes like Cobb or Bonds, but that doesnt take away their greatness.

Posted by SeMe | November 28, 2006 1:21 PM

Regardless of your take on the whole steroids/greatness/HOF debate, I think we can all agree that this is going to make sports radio and TV completely fucking unbearable for the next God-knows-how-many years.

My personal wish is to see all HOF's burn to the ground. All it amounts to is sportswriters mutually masturbating each other over the past. An argument can be made for inclusion or non-inclusion for almost every player ever (except maybe Carl Everett [who don't believe in no Dinosaurs]).

We must cast off the chains of our Sportswriter masters. Our blood is the ink in their wrap-ups. Viva the sports revolution!

Posted by The_Pope_Of_Chili_Town | November 28, 2006 1:49 PM

Pete Rose threw games.

There is only one offense that's beyond the pale, and that's undercutting the integrity of the game. "Integrity of the game" is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, but no one ever really says what it means. It means that you can believe in the games: you can believe that the results are real, that the teams are both trying as hard as they can to win. It's what separates baseball from pro wrestling.

Pete Rose violated that pact. He violated it when he was a player-manager, and manipulated his lineups to gain himself playing time, so that he could chase the hits record at the expense of his team, and at the expense of every baseball fan who was assuming that those games were being contested fairly. He violated it when, as a manager AND A PLAYER, he bet on baseball games that he was involved in. By betting on some games and not others, he called the legitimacy of those results, the ones he bet on and the ones he didn't, into question.

All of the above is true EVEN IF he didn't actually manipulate the results. Perception is everything. There is a huge sign in every baseball clubhouse Pete Rose has ever been in that explains how and why his actions are prohibited, and what the penalty is.

Barry Bonds, on the other hand, may have "juiced". Doug, how many home runs is that juice worth? You're always hearing people say "20-30 HR" -- but that's completely ridiculous. None of the other guys who juice got 30 extra HR out of it. Is it 10? 5? Any? You have no idea, and neither do I, and neither does anyone else.

What do steroids do for you, exactly? I'm hoping, Doug, since you're so dead set against them, that you have some sollidly-documented evidence to back up your claims. I hear they help body-builders gain muscle mass. Got any evidence that body mass helps hitters? I'm pretty sure that bat speed is more important, and I don't hear anyone saying steroids help bat speed.

And, hey, aren't most of the guys who've been caught juicing pitchers, not hitters? And aren't most of them crappy nobodies like Ryan Franklin, trying to hold on to the league, not established superstars?

And juice or not, it doesn't change the fact that Barry, and Mark, were trying to win. They weren't their own manager, for one thing. Steroids are (supposedly) a competitive advantage; they're trying to win, not lose. Pete Rose was trying to lose.

It makes all the difference in the world, and it means Pete Rose should not, MUST not, be allowed to come within 100 yards of the Hall while Barry and Mark belong inside.

Posted by Fnarf | November 28, 2006 2:19 PM

Here's the thing, Fnarf. You want proof? Read the book Game of Shadows. Here's what happens with steroids. 1) Your body heals from injuries faster, including the kind of wear and tear that happens over a 162 game season. 2) The muscles built include ones that determine how fast and hard you can swing a bat, and therefore how hard and far you hit a baseball. It does affect the total number of HRs hit per season. 3) Steroids also shrink your testes and give you horrible back acne - according to Game of Shadows, Bonds' mistress can testify that he suffered through those side effects.

Do you not think that calls the integrity of his game into question?

Posted by Matt from Denver | November 28, 2006 2:41 PM

I'm with The Pope. Play the fucking game already.

TV media: shush already. Skip the graphics and the dumb bullshit and talk about the game at hand, morons.

Flash bulb bright at Qwest last night with the lights on the snow. The crowd was loud and into the whole snowy, mnf shebang. Josh Brown, Shaun Alexander made a nice ball-peen. Again with the Jerramy Stevensing. Derp!

Sorry all you unlucky bastards that had long, icy rides. I had the fortune of a nice, not too long walk.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | November 28, 2006 2:48 PM

Just a bit more... the anecdotal evidence, though not conclusive, is pretty staggering. The best home run hitters from the late 80s to the early part of this decade - McGwire, Bonds, Sosa, Palmiero, Canseco - are all suspected of steroids (in Pamiero's case, proven) and those still active when MLB started testing for steroids saw huge drops in production, drops that can't be explained merely by age. (Bonds started hitting huge numbers of HRs at an age when his own father's career was ending.)

Trying to win is great, but integrity of the game is based on certain things being equal, and not every batter juiced. Giving these bums a pass is not right.

Posted by Matt from Denver | November 28, 2006 2:49 PM

I don't know. I still want someone to tell me how many HR it added. Because if you say it's 20 or 30, I'm not going to believe you. Otherwise, why haven't a bunch of Willie Bloomquists started hitting 30 or 40 HR?

Specific to your question: no, I don't think it calls the integrity of his game into question, because I am not using that phrase in its cliched sense. See above. No one could possibly call into question whether Barry Bonds was trying to win or not. You could say he was using unfair means, but he was still trying. It's a difference in kind, not degree. Pete Rose was not cheating to get ahead IN THE GAME; he was cheating the game. Pete Rose is my personal candidate for biggest scumbag of all time, and yes, I've had this argument before.

The whole subject hinges on race and personal style and the attitude of sports fans who sometimes aren't as interested in true sports performance as they think they are. People like Barry Bonds and Rickey Henderson are vilified for being difficult or unpleasant or selfish or what-the-fuck-ever, for not basically not being deferential enough; while players like Pete Rose are revered for their "gritty", "down-home", "workmanlike" style of play and deportment. Too often this is couched in terms that present themselves as being sports-related, but are really race-related, and are even sexually tinged; it becomes about machismo, rather than performance. It's the kind of thing that makes white baseball fans in Seattle think Willie Bloomquist is a good player, and it drives me up the wall.

Rickey, who is by far my favorite player ever (challenged only by Edgar Martinez), was CONSTANTLY being attacked throughout his career for "dogging it", loafing in the outfield (despite the fact that he was a SPECTACULAR outfielder), jogging to first on a walk (despite the fact that he was a SPECTACULAR on-base threat), selfishly trumpeting his own accomplishments (despite the fact that his accomplishments were mind-blowing but frequently derided), and in general being the best player on every team he ever played on -- but being hated for it, while lesser teammates like Don Mattingly were drooled over by the sportswriters.

Barry has suffered the same way. Has he handled it badly? Sure, fine, whatever. But the humble, gritty, dirty-uniform white guy doesn't even have to handle it. the question never comes up. And, you know, the game isn't about dirty uniforms, or humility, or pretending you're a regular joe; it's about playing the best. Barry Bonds minus every drop of steroids in the world is still better, better by far, than all the other guys on the list.

Posted by Fnarf | November 28, 2006 3:03 PM

"Pete Rose threw games." Because you post it, it must be true, huh?

Posted by DOUG. | November 28, 2006 3:05 PM

Sammy Sosa’s gotten a pass, but then again, he’s a nice guy.

Bonds might be the best ever, agreed. That said, the .609 figure is worthless—he was juiced. It shows you what happens when one of the best players ever takes steroids—no one wants to pitch to him, so he gets 1 ½ walks per game.

Rickey Henderson's statistics, on the other hand, are bulletproof. How many first at-bat homers did he hit against the M's? 100?

Posted by A | November 28, 2006 3:52 PM

The numbers have been crunched over and over by the best sybermetricians. Ruth still blows everyone away for best ever, but Bonds still comes in the very top tier even when an effort is made to factor out steroids.

Nevertheless, he is tragic. Also, he displays the classic signs of a personality deeply hurt at the core by racism, but unable to avoid having the justified anger and child-like confusion at the injustice become part of his self-identity. Some people feel too much and cant let it go, no matter how much money they have. Then sometimes they do really stupid shit.

HOF is bogus. If Buck O'Neil cant get in the Hall, then fuck it. All that integrity and contributions stuff is BS. Never forget, however right it was, the gambling statement was put on the wall by Commissioner Landis, the same racist slime who delayed the integration of baseball by at least 10 years.

Posted by mirror | November 28, 2006 5:40 PM

By BS, I meant hypocritical BS.

Posted by Mirror | November 28, 2006 5:42 PM

He's admitted that he bet on some games and not others. That's tantamount to throwing games, the ones you didn't bet on. It is also tantamount to throwing games when you are the manager and continue to put yourself in at first base, even though you are by far the worst-hitting first baseman in baseball and there are literally hundreds of better players either on your team or available in the minors for free, so that you can chase the hits record.

Posted by Fnarf | November 28, 2006 6:23 PM

I agree with you that Rose shouldn't be in the hall, but as far as who he chose to play at first base, knowing he would continue as a player, the general manager and owners made their choice about what was going to happen with the team. They knew Rose would keep playing for his record, etc. It is not a smear on the integrity of baseball every time a manager or owner puts a player on the field who plays worse than some other choice they could have made.

I love this discussion. It's so unstranger-like.

(and how about my spelling, dramatically improved after one of my many recent upgrades put a spell check feature in my blog post writing. I wont let them fix my grammar though.

Posted by mirror | November 28, 2006 7:19 PM

Ruth is untouchable. Shit man, not only did he play drunker than Freddy Garcia and Carlos Guillen, but he was also a pitcher who threw hard. What hitters today can say that?

Truth be told, the Sports threads on Slog always have good discussions and comments are fat.

Posted by SeMe | November 28, 2006 7:32 PM


I personally don't care about the personalities of the players when it comes to their achievements. I disliked Bonds years before he was home run king, and it didn't have anything to do with the sports columns because I didn't read them before the big home run derby year of 1998. I saw his showboat style a lot when I lived in Denver before I move to Seattle in 97 and didn't like him for that. But I sure respected him and won't take that away from him.

Problem is, it wasn't enough for him. He was jealous of the attention McGwire and Sosa were getting and wanted some of it for himself. Again, that's per the book Game of Shadows.

it's clear that what he did was unfair, and I for one don't want to see any of them in the Hall of Fame - not Bonds, not Sosa, not McGwire, not Palmiero. And that's not because of race or some sports hack's opinion.

Posted by Matt from Denver | November 28, 2006 10:17 PM
Posted by play slots | December 10, 2006 4:26 AM
Posted by play slots | December 10, 2006 4:26 AM

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