Baseball Writers Deem Bagwell “way, way too hot” for Hall

Get well soon, Jake Peavy
Open Thread: Kind of a big deal
Bagwell ponders a career without the "Ab Rocket." (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The sports blogosphere was flooded with angry demands for a revamped Hall of Fame voting system on Saturday after it was reported by that scores of members of the Baseball Writers Association of America had denied Houston Astros great Jeff Bagwell the requisite votes needed for entry due to, as one reporter put it, the former slugger’s “smoking white hotness.”

“Not that I’m gay or anything,” wrote Adam Roberts of the Star-Ledger, in a mid-day online chat, “but in his playing days, that guy was jacked up, shredded to bejesus, and way too hot to not be taking something. Again, not that I’m gay. But, seriously, you could practically feel the heat from the press box.”

Roberts was not alone. The results of a Sunday morning Google search revealed that, “Not that I’m gay or anything” to be the phrase most commonly used by baseball writers attempting to justify their omission of Bagwell based on his impressive physique.

Said former Astros beat writer Pete Scales of the Houston Chronicle, “There’s absolutely no way a guy with a body like that who played in the steroid era was clean. And even if he was, this isn’t the Hall of Bodybuilding were talking about, and it’s not the Hall of Smoking White Hotness – it’s the Hall of Baseball.”

In a prepared statement, Roberts later admitted to completely omitting Bagwell from his ballot in favor of, among others, B.J. Surhoff. “Now there was a ballplayer,” he said, referring to the former Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles catcher. When asked about the portion of Surhoff’s final stat line that deemed him worthy over other eligible candidates like Bagwell, Barry Larkin, and Tim Raines, Roberts replied, “Stats? I throw all stats out the window when it comes to measuring someone’s greatness. Games aren’t won on calculators or spreadsheets. What set B.J. apart were all the little things he did that unfortunately didn’t show up on the stat sheet.

He then added hastily, “Aside from him being the consummate gamer, people forget the way in which B.J. could light up a clubhouse with that million-dollar smile of his. If that isn’t worth ten extra wins a season, nothing is.”

When pressed by a reporter of the difficulty in measuring the impact of a player’s personality on a team, Roberts shot back. “I realize this is probably going to ruffle a lot of feathers for all you new-age amateur mathematicians out there, but there are far better ways to measure a player’s greatness than by using statistics. You ever hear of heart? Guts? Baseball I.Q.? B.J. had ‘em all in spades. Him and Ron Karkovice. Plus, he looks like just a normal guy, a guy who won’t snatch away your Meister Brau and try and replace it with Muscle Milk – or steroids.”

Other sportswriters have echoed Roberts’ line of thinking in recent days.

When confronted by ESPN radio host Dari Nowkhah Saturday morning as to what he did with his allotted ten votes, Dale Simmons of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch conceded to voting for former New York Mets reliever John Franco, “and then for Doug Dascenzo with my other nine.” Simmons explained that voting for the former light-hitting Chicago Cubs outfielder, who has never been included on a Hall of Fame ballot, was a “no-brainer” as well as a “protest of everything that’s wrong with baseball and society.”

Said Simmons, “Guys like Jeff Bagwell and that Bonds had it easy. They were born with natural talent and then took all those pills and shots to puff up their bodies into oblivion. But no one – and I mean no one – played the game like Doug Dascenzo. Maybe Pat Listach. When you talk about Double-D, you’re talking about a real ballplayer. The kid had all the tools: Running, hustle, sliding, diving, diving into fences – the works.

When it was pointed out that Bagwell stole more bases in a two-year span than Dascenzo’s entire career total, Simmons replied, “All right already with your stupid stats! Why don’t you go plot some graphs or something?”

Bagwell, whose career OPS of .948 ranks him 21st all-time, conceded with his usual aplomb that he may have been snubbed due to his impressive physique in an era when all muscular players are now deemed guilty by suspicion. “Honestly, I can sort of see where they’re coming from,” said a wistful Bagwell from his home in a Houston. “I guess in retrospect I shouldn’t have ordered both the Ab Rocket and the Solo Flex.” Bagwell’s eyes grew misty. “God knows the monster I would’ve become had the Shake Weight been around.”

The office of Commissioner Bud Selig issued a statement late Saturday afternoon praising baseball writers “who continue to boldly serve as the moral gatekeepers for the national pastime.”

Jan Spillman, a spokesperson for the league office, added that Major League Baseball is currently piloting Operation Spartacus Blood and Sand, a digitized computer simulation that will superimpose scant articles of clothing, such as lycra half-shirts daisy dukes jean shorts, and loin cloths, over future Hall of Fame candidates during their playing days in an effort to weed out PED-using culprits.

“Bottom line,” said Spillman, “any full-grown man wearing a skin-tight, fishnet tanktop who still somehow looks hot is taking something illegal.”

Get well soon, Jake Peavy
Open Thread: Kind of a big deal
  • Jerome S.


    is this real?

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      The gullibility around here never ceases to amaze.

      • Jerome S.

        what? I didn’t know Raul Mondesi was a congressman.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Yup, he was. He’s a mayor now.

          • Steve H

            Does he have enough money left to be president someday?

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              By phrasing that as a question I take it to mean you think there’s any doubt?

              • Steve H

                He only made $66 million in his career. He may have gone all Antoine Walker.

  • matt :: Sec105

    “Not that I’m gay or anything…”

    Huh? Was that serious…is it april fools? what is going on here?

    As far as writers not voting him in because they thought he juiced, that’s a veeeeeeeeery slippery slope.

    I don’t remember his name being leaked as part of the 105 list, or Mitchell report, or anything more than he was just jacked.

    Slippery slope my friends, slippery slope.

  • Kiersten

    Wait… is this The Onion?

    • first name only male (formerly Mike R. – Retire 21

      This is exactly what I was thinking.

  • Jerome S.

    Oh. i get it.

    I ain’t used to your writing; well done.

  • Xstar7

    So these writers don’t want to vote for Bagwell because they THINK he did steroids and because they think he’s too handsome? What the F**k is this?

  • Tank the Frank

    “Bottom line,” said Spillman, “any full-grown man wearing a skin-tight, fishnet tanktop who still somehow looks hot is taking something illegal.”


    Well done. I think a little parody is a welcome addition around here.

  • mike c

    that hansel is so hot right now

  • Craig

    Not that I’m gay or anything, but the offseason slowness is starting to irk me

  • frank

    Articles like this shouldn’t be on this site.

    Whether or not it is good, who cares, it is just wrong for this site.

    • art vandelay

      i agree. i’m all about satire but that’s not what this site is about.

      oh well.

      • Big Juan

        I understand if you don’t like it, that’s your opinion. But I don’t think we’re the one’s to say what this site is, or is not, about.

        • Kevin

          This article was pointless, if the readers didnt have a say as to what was on this site, why would we be asked to fill out surveys on content and how to improve the site?

          This was a waste of time

          • Steve H

            It was pointless in your opinion. Judging by most of the comments, your opinion is likely not the majority.

      • Esteban

        I don’t know, on the weekends it could be a good complement to the regular analysis.

      • Steve H

        I think there’s a link on the top right for your refund.

        • Jimmy

          There’s nothing wrong with constructive feedback. I didn’t see anything wrong with the post. It wasnt inflammatory or whiny. I agree with the sentiment that this type of article, although funny, doesn’t fit the tone of the blog.

          • whozat

            “You shouldn’t write what you write” isn’t constructive feedback.

      • Steve H

        Funny thing about the Surhoff vote. If you’re one of those guys that either looks at body types or stats to determine steroid use, Surhoff’s stats are fishy. In his first 985 career games he hit 44 HR’s. In his next 1019 games he hit 126. In his first 9 years, he had 8 seasons of single digit HR’s, in the other he hit 13. Then on the 1996 Orioles (the Brady Anderson year) he hit 21. But he was a gamer, so nothing to see here.

        • Steve H

          Damn reply fail.

    • Graig not Crag

      From the author (if you actually read this blog you would have spotted it…)

      I plan on doing some combination of satire and analysis.

    • Joe Pawlikowski

      I beg to differ.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Yeah well who are you to say what’s good and what isn’t good for this site?

        Everyone’s got an opinion, huh.

      • Mattchu12

        I agree with Joe. This kind of writing could easily become a favorite on RAB. There is nothing wrong with some humor, in fact, it adds a great dimension to the site.

    • hogsmog

      Would you rather read another article about Alfonso Soriano? There is nothing going on in baseball right now, and I’d rather read something funny than nothing at all.

    • Evan3457

      Replies like this shouldn’t be allowed on this site.

      I came here for baseball and the Yankees, not literary criticism.

      • Pasqua

        I hope you’re being ironic, but I’m afraid you’re not.

        • Evan3457

          Replies like this shouldn’t be allowed.

          I come here for the Yankees and baseball, not irony and fear.

          • Chops

            Replies like this shouldn’t be allowed.

            I come here for the Yankees and baseball, not redundancy and redundancy.

            • Evan3457

              Replies like this shouldn’t be allowed.

              I come here for baseball, the Yankees, and baseball.

              Oh, and the Yankees.

  • Chris A

    Well done. I think a little satire here and there could really be a nice addition for RAB.

  • Mattchu12

    I thought it was funny, slow your roll guys.

  • Big Juan

    I’m really going to enjoy the overreactions to this piece. Well done.

    • Esteban

      I mean, how could anybody not see the title and automatically assume it’s satire?

      • hogsmog

        I am so, so embarrassed that it took Doug Dascenzo for me to get the joke.

        Which I guess is an insult to the Baseball Writers Association…

      • JNNLVRZ

        YEAH BABY

  • chris q. murphy

    nice work, boys. you got me on this one. love it.

  • Graig not Crag

    Shake-weight. Heh-heh. Good one.

  • Lance Bass

    Has this offended anyone yet? In this politically correct world I am just waiting for someone to step up and say this hurt their feelings and is a shot at the gay and lesbian community. I don’t think it’s offensive, I’m just saying.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      Awesome comment/username combo. Yeah, I really liked the piece, but everyone here is hypersensitive to just about anything that may be slightly offensive if taken the wrong way.

      • pete

        I don’t get that sense. I think when people are overtly insensitive, they get called out. I’ve never seen anything like this (more a subtle jive at society’s latent homophobia than anything else) receive a negative reaction.

        I realize that sometimes the things people are called out for seem not to be a big deal, but the “not a big deal” posts don’t get deleted, and their authors don’t get banned. People come out against them (almost always very politely) to maintain the civility of this blog’s discourse, and it seems to work. I don’t think I’ve seen any other blog – let alone a sports blog – that has a comments section this friendly/safe.

    • OldYanksFan

      I for one think homophobic satire is sick, sick, sick!

  • Mike

    Amazing. Absolutely amazing. Nothing wrong with a little parody. Very funny.

  • Longo

    This is great. Well done.

  • YankeesJunkie

    It was interesting article, definitely different what I am used to on this site.

  • Kevin in Princeton

    I think satire is a nice change from pace from the usual articles on the website (not that the usual articles are bad). Well done!

  • Carlosologist

    A good satirical piece generates responses like those above. Well done.

    • pete


  • Thomas

    what the heck did i just read? get it off of here.

    • pete


      (yeah, that’s right. I’m meme-ifying “you should demand your money back”)

  • Regis

    That wasn’t bad!
    And it was totally unexpected from this site!
    Well done.

  • JGS

    I’ll admit, you had me until the paragraph about Surhoff.

  • Mickey Scheister

    I’m buying everyone I know a shake weight with a card attached, “Not that I’m gay or anything…”

    Priceless. Well done, sir, well done!

  • Tony

    Looks like a meth head in that picture.

  • Jim Johnson

    I was hoping for better.

  • Sean C

    Funny, funny stuff. This reminds me of (IIRC) Mike’s piece about a veteran scout giving his assessment of the Yankees.

  • Miked


    Someone please spare us his crap.

  • Al

    BJ Surhoff is this idiot’s example of the anti-steroids player? The same BJ Surhoff that never hit over 7 HRs in his career until the age of 30? Let’s look at his HR stat line: 7, 5, 5, 6, 5, 4, 7, 5, 13 (age 30), 21, 18, 22, 28 (age 34), 14, 10. And in each of these seasons (except the one when he hit 4 HRs) he had around 400+ ABs. There is a good chance Surhoff juiced up on those late 90s Orioles teams, just like half their roster. I am willing to bet it was BJ who was injecting the juice into Brady Anderson and Rafael Palmeiro’s butts. I’m not gay, by the way. Just sayin…

    • Al

      And by idiot I mean the Adam Roberts, not Brock Cohen. Funny piece, Brock.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        (Not sure if you realize this, but Adam Roberts doesn’t exist.)

        • Captain’s Blog

          Just insert Barry Stanton for Adam Roberts.

      • Pasqua

        Wait. You recognize that it’s a comedic piece, but you think it’s real too? You’re making my head hurt.

  • Captain’s Blog

    I don’t mind the humor (all work and no play…), but it did take a few paragraphs (admittedly, I skipped down to the Roberts portions) for me to realize it was parody. After all, much of the reasoning for Hall of Fame votes has been so absurd that even the most outlandish parody isn’t that far off base.

    • the tenth inning stretch

      I think that’s what made this article so great, the fact that this HOF-steroids debate is getting so outlandish that it COULD be true.

  • rbizzler

    Bravo. Nothing wrong with lightening the mood. I look forward to a little more satire to help pass the tundra days until ST begins.

  • pete

    bravo, sir.

  • Jonathan

    Hahahha this might have gotten me if the James Dolan article hadn’t have been written…

  • Ray Fuego

    Bravo. That was amazing. I loved the satire! I think me and you are going to get along just fine.

    btw, we are baseball fans, you guys seriously cannot take a bit of satire based on what’s going on in our baseball world?

    • hello9

      Yeah, the reason I’m not a fan of this is because I hate satire and clearly must take everything seriously.

      Surely there can’t be any places that can serve as a refuge from ironic, smarmy, unfunny satire and actually just discuss events and the team.

      • bexarama

        Because you can’t do that in 95% of the posts at RAB

  • claybeez

    Cracked me up. Well done.

  • MikeD

    Satire is a welcome addition. I can see why some might be thrown at first since it’s out of character for the site, but no reason it can’t be added in moving forward.

    Welcome aboard.

  • John Ryan

    I wasn’t aware this was The Onion. Bad form.

  • Greg C

    I know this guy got a lot of votes on American Idol, but I never knew he was considered hot. I just figured people liked his white guy soul singing style. I’m a straight guy who really doesn’t understand what is considered “hot.” I mean, I have my own ideas, but they never seem to match the popular sentiment.

  • Preston

    I have a hard time thinking this is funny. Only because it is so close to the truth. A lot of the people who vote for the hall are unqualified, reactionaries, with no accountability. Otherwise, well done.

    • Pasqua

      The first two sentences of your comment pretty much explain the intent of satire.

  • hello9

    Awful. Go defecate on deadspin or sports pickle.

  • aRX

    Sad thing is, as I was skimming thru the article, I almost fell for it, since I can imagine some of these HOF writers saying stuff that’s even dumber.

    Well done.

  • Emmit Fitz-Hume

    Funny article and a cool new wrinkle to the site. The idiots who 1) didnt pick
    up on the satire immediately or 2) write nasty reviews of it when they can simply quit reading this particular post are sad.

  • Yanks413

    Too much. Over the top. Too too much.

    • Pasqua

      Out of curiosity, what about it was “over the top,” in your opinion?

      • Klemy

        The part where Sylvester Stallone arm wrestles in an effort to win back his son’s love and a new truck.

  • Yankeegirl49

    I loved it….had me all through the article and after starting to read it a second time I thought ‘No way this can be true”.

  • Dax J.

    I loved it. Specially the part about the Shake Weight. Great article, Brock.

  • Nick

    Well done!

  • Mike Irish

    This was incredible. So far, Brock, you’ve done a terrific job. Your 2 reads have been great and this reminded me of something from the sports section of The Onion. A little more of the same would be totally refreshing mixed in with all of the advanced baseball analysis here, not that I don’t like all of the intelligent conversation. But this… was just great.

  • Poopy Pants

    Brock:RAB = Comments section:Nomaas = Beginning of the end

    • Pat D

      Tell us how you really feel.

  • Matt Imbrogno

    I find it amusing that so many love and hate this piece for the exact same reason. Nice job, Brock.

  • derek

    you write well, you’re just not very funny

  • MattG

    I will try some constructive criticism, while conceding this is a hundred times better than I could do it: you did have me going for a while, but I was definitely let down once I was certain this was satire. I enjoyed it more when I thought it could be real.

    I think for satire to really work, you can never be 100% sure it’s fake.

  • Dela G

    i read this and thought it was the onion

  • Zack

    Man people need to laugh a little.

  • Msheezy

    I am an avid reader of RAB, but have never been moved to comment until now. Brock, great stuff, keep it up. I can’t believe there are so many joyless, fun-suckers out there who can’t have a laugh.

    • A fan

      I am an avid reader of RAB, but have never been moved to comment until now. Brock, that sort of article was hackneyed and kind of unfunny. Hope to see better (and funnier, if you should try again) content in the future.

  • Joseph Cecala

    You had me going for a while and honestly reading the comments was funnier than the article. I think this got so much bad rep because of the gay issue which is absurd, but maybe put the whimsy tag on it so the overreactions are not as bad. Way to get me more excited for Onion Sports Dome though!

  • steve s

    Late to the party but if Lou Brock Cohen is the guy that survivied the intense RAB screening process imagine how bad the losers actually were.

    • Dexception32

      Man, I expected more from you. Petty and sad Steve. Interesting work Brock,god forbid someone try something unique during doldrum time.

  • Klemy

    I found it pretty amusing and had me going for a bit. At the same time, I guess I just don’t expect this type of writing on the site. I’m not opposed to it, but not expected. This time of year, it’s probably the perfect time for it.

  • Pat D

    So after reading all of the comments, I think I understand what those who don’t like this article feel about it.

    But I’ll allow Mr. Luigi Vercotti to sum up:

  • alwaysnineteen

    What a perfect subject for a satire piece. My only issue is that you had me going for a few paragraphs there… shame on me. Great job!

  • Yankeescribe

    Tha sad thing is that this satire is probably not that far from the truth. Bagwell probably didn’t get enough votes just because of the ‘suspicion’ that he was juicing…

  • swo

    I’m on the fence here. The article made me laugh, but the web is already so saturated with The Onion knock-offs. Obviously satire existed long before The Onion did, but this article’s style VERY closely mirrors the stuff they publish…you know, that “More about humor, less about making a point” vibe that they all carry.

    Was this article really intended for RAB readers? I mean, I’m not suggesting that every article here needs to be Yankee-related or in some way pander to Yankees fans. But for an article written for a site that prides itself on not worshipping one form of sports analysis over another, it seems to do a lot of traditionalist-bashing without much statistical analysis of its own. Yes, it’s a satire, but simply being satirical isn’t a guarantee of poignance.

    I know, I’m being too critical here. I guess I’m used to the high level of quality and analysis that I’ve come to expect every time I visit this site. This article is very anti-sports-journalistic-establishment, while I’ve always considered RAB to be an establishment unto itself.

    I want to be clear: the article isn’t bad at all! I just don’t know if this particular one fits.

    • Mike HC

      It is definitely a change in style. But I like the change of pace and it will only be a small dose because he is one of three weekend writers. I think it is a nice addition.

  • neo

    Totally snookered me. I read the Newark Star Ledger (yes, some people still get newspapers delivered) and got focused on the mythical Adam Roberts.

    The interesting thing is that I’ve been very impressed with the Ledger because they have added more SABR stuff to baseball articles over the last few years. So, when the Ledger reporter said throw out the stats, I got really sidetracked.

    Got me hook, line and sinker on the rest, even Bagwell’s comment. Thought it was all true.

    Great satire!

  • Mike HC

    Ver nice write up. I really don’t mind people suspecting players of using steroids based on their physiques and/or the way they play the game. The proof is in pudding many times. I do have a problem keeping them out of the HOF, at least without a positive test, and for me, keeping even known users out at all.

    • Mike HC

      hahaha … definitely got me. I loved that!!!!! I can’t add enough exclamations points. Fucking great man. You are some weekend edition. More of this stuff.

      • Mike HC

        addition. not edition, ha.

    • Mike HC

      After reading the all the other comments, if I were more into the HOF stuff or reading any other baseball site but RAB, I definitely would have picked up on the satire. But because I am in my own little RAB bubble where other writers get skewered as imbeciles, this actually seemed like it was possible. I don’t read the onion either, so I am not “satired out” like many of the other commenters seem to be. Just well done for me.

    • Yankeescribe

      Steroids shouldn’t keep players out of the HOF given that there are players in the HOF who cheated or used Greenies to enhance their performance. Plus, there’s no evidence that steroids enhance baseball player performance anymore than along the margins…

  • Sly Robbie

    Brock Cohen, please go back to wherever you slithered in from. You are not funny. Seriously. Go and count the number of times you have used the words “I, me, my” in your first post as a member of the RAB team. A little self-centered, aren’t we?

    Your comments about Jeff Bagwell really cross the line. You don’t like the guy? Fine. Make your point, toss a barb his way, and then get over it. A sustained frothing-at-the-mouth rant replete with homophobic overtones is juvenile and disgraceful. You are a teacher at a High School? You come off more like an immature middle school child.

    It is a mystery why the PTB at RAB would feature trash like this on their normally fine site. Humor, parody, and satire are good things — but Brock Cohen lacks any credibility to bring these things to RAB. The other new weekend writers have at least tried to begin earning a reputation for themselves as intelligent and knowledgeable about the sport of baseball. After establishing themselves with the readership, that’s when they will earn a right to some tomfoolery. With his first posts here Brock Cohen has established himself as a mean-spirited self-centered homophobic buffoon. Not funny, but sad… very sad. Cohen’s credibility is ZERO, he is little more than “white noise” that has done nothing but harm the River Ave Blues and brands.

    A word to the people in charge at and River Ave Blues — Rein in your little Mad-Dog Russo wanna-be puppy, lest you create more damage to the brand and witness an exodus of those who have come to enjoy your otherwise fine offerings.

    • swo

      To be perfectly fair, Russo wishes he could write (or speak, for that matter) as coherently as Mr. Cohen does.



  • Captain Bawls

    Glorious satire. At the risk of saying what dozens of other comments have, the tone of the article took me by surprise, but once I (finally) realized it was a joke, I enjoyed it. Keep it up! A nice change of pace.

    For the record, I didn’t realize it was fake until the ‘million dollar smile’ part ._.

  • James G.

    Wow. So…um…RAB…some of your new writers kind of suck…is it too late to fire ’em?

  • Sly Robbie

    Oh, wow. To the PTB at RAB, I offer my exalted apologies. It appears that this post is no longer under the guise of “Days of Yore,” but is now listed as “Whimsy.” Congrats to Brock “Whimsy” Cohen for squirming out of this one!

    Great job of covering your collective asses, RAB. Down the “memory hole” it goes!

    Say it ain’t so, Joe…

    Say it ain’t so — Mike, Ben, and Joe.