Jan
09

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

By

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 Newsday.com 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.”

Categories : Whimsy

126 Comments»

  1. Jerome S. says:

    lolwut?

    is this real?

  2. matt :: Sec105 says:

    “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.

  3. Kiersten says:

    Wait… is this The Onion?

  4. Jerome S. says:

    Oh. i get it.

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

  5. Xstar7 says:

    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?

  6. Tank the Frank says:

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

    Priceless.

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

  7. mike c says:

    that hansel is so hot right now

  8. Craig says:

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

  9. frank says:

    Articles like this shouldn’t be on this site.

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

  10. Chris A says:

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

  11. Mattchu12 says:

    I thought it was funny, slow your roll guys.

  12. Big Juan says:

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

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

  14. Graig not Crag says:

    Shake-weight. Heh-heh. Good one.

  15. Lance Bass says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

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

  16. Mike says:

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

  17. Longo says:

    This is great. Well done.

  18. YankeesJunkie says:

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

  19. Kevin in Princeton says:

    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!

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

  21. Thomas says:

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

  22. Regis says:

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

  23. JGS says:

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

  24. Mickey Scheister says:

    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!

  25. Tony says:

    Looks like a meth head in that picture.

  26. Jim Johnson says:

    I was hoping for better.

  27. Sean C says:

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

  28. Miked says:

    Haha?

    Someone please spare us his crap.

  29. Al says:

    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…

  30. 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.

  31. rbizzler says:

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

  32. pete says:

    bravo, sir.

  33. Jonathan says:

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

  34. Ray Fuego says:

    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 says:

      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.

  35. claybeez says:

    Cracked me up. Well done.

  36. MikeD says:

    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.

  37. John Ryan says:

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

  38. Greg C says:

    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.

  39. Preston says:

    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.

  40. hello9 says:

    Awful. Go defecate on deadspin or sports pickle.

  41. aRX says:

    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.

  42. Emmit Fitz-Hume says:

    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.

  43. Yanks413 says:

    Too much. Over the top. Too too much.

  44. Yankeegirl49 says:

    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”.

  45. Dax J. says:

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

  46. Nick says:

    Well done!

  47. Mike Irish says:

    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.

  48. Poopy Pants says:

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

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

  50. derek says:

    you write well, you’re just not very funny

  51. MattG says:

    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.

  52. Dela G says:

    i read this and thought it was the onion

  53. Zack says:

    Man people need to laugh a little.

  54. Msheezy says:

    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 says:

      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.

  55. 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!

  56. steve s says:

    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 says:

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

  57. Klemy says:

    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.

  58. Pat D says:

    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:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fNvi6xG-5Y

  59. alwaysnineteen says:

    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!

  60. Yankeescribe says:

    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…

  61. swo says:

    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 says:

      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.

  62. neo says:

    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!

  63. Mike HC says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

      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 says:

      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…

  64. Sly Robbie says:

    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 YESNetwork.com brands.

    A word to the people in charge at YESNetwork.com 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.

  65. Captain Bawls says:

    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 ._.

  66. James G. says:

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

  67. Sly Robbie says:

    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.

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