I’m not going to discuss Mark McGwire because my opinions is basically that “Big Mac” was a victim of circumstance and of the times. We forget so easily that he and Sammy Sosa set their records at a time when baseball was coming back from the brink following the 1994 strike. Steroids or not, McGwire helped save baseball, and it’s a damn shame that (a) baseball needed saving and (b) McGwire may have cheated in his accolades.
But as a Bostonian, I’m going to say it, and I know Dan Kennedy will back me up on this one.
Jim Rice should be in the hall of fame.
And for that matter, Goose Gossage should be too. They played in a different era. Closers weren’t as beloved as they are now–and as long as Yankees fans are taunting “Marino Rivera, first ballot,” Goose deserves the nod. Jim Rice played in an era where the stats were different–before McGwire and Bonds (caugh) for that matter.
That’s my opinion.
Red Auerbach was one of the biggest contributors to professional basketball in history and what he did for the Boston Celtics has cemented his legacy in the hearts and minds of New Englanders.
I simply cannot write it better than Bill Simmons in his ESPN Page 2 column today.
You can say what you want about Kenny Rogers. Sure he’s a hotheaded cameraman abuser who may or may not have cheated in the first inning of last night’s game 2 of the World Series, but he’s been at it for 19 years and the bottom line is, he wiped whatever-the-heck that was off his hands after the first inning and still threw seven more shutout innings against Pujols and company.
The 41-year-old leftie has been virtually unhittable this postseason, but a smudge of brown stuff on his hand has fueled his naysayers and Cardinals fans longing for the world title, a championship Rogers has gotten in the way of.
But except for Rogers’ existing enemies and people who love Sir Albert, no one really seems phased by the possibility of impropriety. The media is focusing on the old man’s stellar pitching of late. The “dirt’ creates scandal, so the media has obviously talked about it, but this isn’t exactly BALCO. Today’s Sports Illustrated report on the subject indicated all parties involved seemed to shake it off, so to say.
Rogers insisted he merely had a scrape of dirt on his hand that he wiped off upon realization. That was enough to satisfy both sides’ coaches and home plate umpire, Alfonzo Marquez, who noticed it first and asked Rogers to clean up.
“Dirt is not a foreign substance,” Palermo said. “That’s what we play on. That’s the playing surface.”
Even Aaron Miles, a Cardinals infielder, admitted Rogers threw good pitches all game, whether he had dirt/pine tar on his hand or not:
“Somebody said they thought they saw pine tar on him. That’s about it,” he said. “Whether he got rid of it, or he never had it in the first place, we don’t know. His stuff was good all game.”
And his stuff was good all game, and it’s been good throughout the playoffs where he enjoys a 3-0 record. The four-time All-Star has 207 regular season wins over 19 seasons. He was 17-8 this year, which tied for his second best regular season win total.
The buzz around him isn’t all that bad. No one is looking to put an asterisk on his stats and he’s a probably hall of famer. If he did doctor the ball, he’s as stupid as the golfer in the HDTV commercials, if not then he should learn to wash his damn hands.