June 16, 2003

Clemens threatens Hall of Fame boycott if he doesn't get his way.:
He wants to go in as a Yankee but conventional wisdom suggests the Hall will induct him with a Red Sox cap. Most statistical analysts agree that his HOF career was defined in Boston, but he insists his 5th Cy Young and two World Series Rings in New York say otherwise.

posted by grum@work to baseball at 09:42 AM - 25 comments

The fact that he despises the Sox doesn't have anything to do with it, I'm sure...Funny how being given up for dead can make someone hate a team.

posted by bcb2k2 at 09:55 AM on June 16, 2003

Sorry..that was his 6th Cy Young he got with the Yankees. My opinion is that the Hall shouldn't back down (if they want him in a Boston cap). I don't think he'd actually boycott his crowning achievement in career over a baseball cap. He's got about 6 years to change his mind. As for the stats, it's obvious that he belongs in a Red Sox cap. Number of games, wins, Cy Youngs, MVP, Ks, emergence of dominance This leads to an interesting discussion about which cap these players will be wearing if/when they get inducted: (my choice in bold) Mike Piazza - Dodgers or Mets (but another year or two will change that) Mark McGwire - A's or Cardinals (historic seasons) Fred McGriff - Blue Jays or Braves or Padres or Devil Rays (or Cubs) (peak career years) Randy Johnson - Mariners or Diamondbacks (or Astros or Expos) (Cy Youngs, World Series ring, historic Ken Griffey Jr. - Mariners or Reds (just better seasons)

posted by grum@work at 09:55 AM on June 16, 2003

I think the players should be able to pick the hat they were, if any at all. The hall is mainly for individual accomplishments, and for the player he should be allowed to honor any team that he played for by wearing their hat.

posted by corpse at 10:00 AM on June 16, 2003

It's pretty hard to win 300 games without decent teams behind you.

posted by Bryant at 10:31 AM on June 16, 2003

corpse: The reason they changed their policy of letting the player decide (it had been that way for 60 years) is because of Wade Boggs. Word got out that part of the contract he signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays was that if he were to be inducted into the HOF, he would ask for a Tampa hat instead of a Red Sox or Yankee hat. Worried that this would set an ugly precedent, they changed the rule. I believe that history/statistics should decide what team a player should be affiliated with when they are inducted into the HOF. If there really is a truely difficult decision to be made (Roberto Alomar is going to be a tough decision) then they should be given some input. Imagine the silliness if the following players were inducted into their respective HOF with the following teams logos (if they use them): Hakeem Olajuwon - Toronto Raptors Bobby Orr - Chicago BlackHawks Babe Ruth - Boston Braves O.J. Simpson - San Francisco 49'ers

posted by grum@work at 10:52 AM on June 16, 2003

The HOF becomes less than a special place when players and agents treat it like another perk. The HOF can simply tell the boycotting Clemens, that's okay, we can wait for you. Pete Rose is still waiting.

posted by cg1001a at 10:55 AM on June 16, 2003

I'm aware of the sillyness, but I really don't care about it. It should still be up to the player. If Boggs wanted that as part of his contract, he should be allowed to go in as a Devil Ray, despite his motivations. Is this more of an issue in baseball because of those fancy plaques? Doesn't seem like it's that big of a deal in other sports, except for maybe hockey.

posted by corpse at 11:28 AM on June 16, 2003

Column coming from me when it's posted. :)

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:08 PM on June 16, 2003

Clemens does have a point, though, even if his threat to boycott the cermony is childish. If the induction ceremony is supposed to be about his accomplishments, does he really need to be reminded about the bitter way he left Boston? If he goes in with a Boston cap, doesn't that in some way honor the people who were ready to toss him to the curb?

posted by Jugwine at 12:36 PM on June 16, 2003

Grum, I generally agree with your assessment of which hats those multi-team players may go into the hall on. McGriff may go in as a Brave though; he made such a huge difference when he was acquired and then there's the matter of the World Series ring (I know it's hard to remember that Atlanta did win the World Series once). Here are some others to think about as well (whether or not they make the hall at all is a different story: Greg Maddux: Cubs, Braves, or ? - too many Cy Youngs here Arod: Mariners, Rangers, or ? - Assuming he plays out his contract covering his peak years Rafael Palmeiro: Rangers, Orioles Barry Bonds: Pirates, Giants - He was awesome with Pittsburgh, but 73 home runs is 73 home runs

posted by trox at 01:05 PM on June 16, 2003

I think there's a better way to deal with the Boggs-type contract issue--outlaw that type of clause. MLB has plenty of rules dealing with what is permissable in a contract, so no reason they couldn't cover it. Then, players could freely choose a hat.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:48 PM on June 16, 2003

Mind you, as a Boston fan, I wouldn't want Clemens in there wearing a Red Sox hat. I just think he's an arrogant putz. I believe the canonical Boston fan opinion is that he should wear a Blue Jays cap, so you can tell we're just bitter.

posted by Bryant at 01:54 PM on June 16, 2003

As a Yankee fan I like the Yankees, of course, but the logic still says Boston. however, it's hard to fault his reasoning, he felt like he got booted out of Boston and of course he holds a grudge. The fact that he gets booed like crazy there can't help either... his "Boston is still home to me" attempt before win 299 didn't really help his image there, and if he goes in to the Hall he's still going to get booed in Boston, Sox hat or not. Might as well do the Yankee one. I wouldn't want to wear a hat only to be booed by fans of that team. (I still tend to agree with the idea that if he had gotten his way in Boston in 97, he never would have worked as hard as he did, and would not have had the same success that he has had since, and Duquette did actually make a reasonable decision, especially since CLemens didn't even try that hard in his contract year, when greedy players traditionally crank it up. I think either way, that decision would have bitten Duquette in the ass.) Outlawing those clauses won't help change their minds. If Boggs asked to have it in there then maybe he would have made that same dumb decision anyway. And there were rumors that this was a major side discussion when the Yankees resigned Clemens for this year...

posted by Bernreuther at 02:29 PM on June 16, 2003

if they are going to associate/induct hall of famers as a member of a specifc team (something they don't do at the NHL hall of fame) then there has to be something in place to prevent those Boggsian sell offs of allegiance. the baseball hall of fame is known as one of the toughest to get into, no? certainly not like the NHL which inducts a few question marks now and then. they have to protect the value of what it means to be a hall of famer and it is best to have an across the board rule that the hall of fame decides what team the player is associated with. such a move prevents the obvious wrong doings of a wade boggs sell off though it might also catch a few cases where one could conceivably sit on the fence. of course, they could put the decision into the hands of science. can sabermetrics decide? boo hoo roger, rules are rules. lots of guys don't make the hall of fame. it could be worse. campaign for your position but don't sulk about it. sure he has pride and a case to make but i guess i don't have much sympathy for someone receiving an honour like that.

posted by gspm at 04:27 PM on June 16, 2003

As for McGriff, I think he's a good candidate for entering with a logo-free cap like Catfish Hunter. Granted, the story is a little different from McGriff's in that Hunter only split time between two teams, but still there is a modern day precedent. In addition, Clemens is not the first person to not want a particular cap on his plaque due to differences with management. Didn't the same thing happen with Yogi Berra?

posted by Jugwine at 04:30 PM on June 16, 2003

The thought occurs to me that the HOF may be out of line by attempting to ban Boggs-like clauses. Baseball is, after all, all about the money and so why shouldn't the player make a little extra cash if he can? Oh the horror of diluting the purity! Talk to me again when ballparks stop selling naming rights and the owners lower ticket prices next time they get a bigger TV contract.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:39 PM on June 16, 2003

I wouldn't say the Baseball HOF is any more exclusive than other sports... they (er, the Veterans committee) have let in some question marks too. I wouldn't be surprised if the media was making a bigger deal out of this than Roger is, but I don't know so I should shut up. I tend to think it's not that big a deal. I'd be interested to know more about the Boggs clause. Was he mad at Boston or mostly just desperate to sign somewhere? Was it his idea or did they say "fine, we'll let you get 3000 here and hang on, but you have to go intot he Hall in a Rays hat" and he reluctantly agreed? I don't remember anything about this...

posted by Bernreuther at 05:59 PM on June 16, 2003

9 seasons in Oakland. 4 seasons in New York. And still, Reggie Jackson was allowed to go in as a Yankee. Why not The Rocket?

posted by herc at 02:06 AM on June 17, 2003

The HOF is a museum, and museums are run by their curators, not by fiat of their subjects. It would suit me just as well if they never put that scumbag in there.

posted by Scottymac at 04:11 AM on June 17, 2003

Thank you Scotty! This is just another case of the inmates attempting to run the asylum. If Roger wants to build his own Hall with his own rules, let him. Let's see the Rocket build one with 20 plaques of himself wearing all different kind of hats! A sombrero! A pillbox! A derby! We can also have a monument to his stupidity (getting kicked out of that playoff game, throwing the bat at Piazza) and a separate wing for his wife's breasts (which are amazing man-made structures all their own)! Jackass.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:27 AM on June 17, 2003

Reggie Jackson was allowed to go in as a Yankee. Why not The Rocket? When Jackson was selected to the hall, the policy was that the players could pick their cap. Jackson was all set to go in as an Athletic, but just before that he felt he was snubbed by them for a coaching job (or maybe he was fired or something, I don't remember exactly) -- so he went in as a Yankee. Since the HOF only recently changed its policy, it's no suprise that some sure-fire first ballot candidates who have switched teams feel like they're getting a raw deal. Personally, I say the Hall should avoid the issue entirely by putting him in profile or giving him an upturned cap like Satchel Paige.

posted by Jugwine at 10:46 AM on June 17, 2003

I just want to mention something that someone pointed out to me: When Roger Clemens held his press conference for the 300th win, he wasn't wearing a Yankees cap. He was wearing an Adidas cap. Just a couple more drops of fuel to add to the fire.

posted by grum@work at 12:29 PM on June 17, 2003

My girlfriend (from Toronto) introduced me to this word, and never has it been more appropriate. Asshat.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:09 PM on June 17, 2003

...he wasn't wearing a Yankees cap. He was wearing an Adidas cap. reason #126 not to ever watch another baseball game.

posted by lescour at 11:29 PM on June 17, 2003

reason #1 of course, is the cancelled series. you don't think i'll ever forget, do you?

posted by lescour at 11:32 PM on June 17, 2003

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