Results tagged ‘ rafael palmeiro ’
Yeah, I can’t pass up anything that A. takes a swipe at a known PED user, B. makes fun of the Snorioles in any, way, shape or form, C. shows how poorly rendered the Gold Glove Awards are and D. alludes to just how pathetic Canada (and their sports in general) are.
This is too funny:
Rafael Palmeiro was awarded an American League Gold Glove in 1999 in probably the worst awards decision in sports history. Here we look for anybody who might have come to Palmeiro’s defense.
Dec 2, 2011 – Hyperbole is everywhere you look in the world of sports. This guy is the best shortstop of all time. This guy is the worst quarterback in the league. This highlight was the best play of the year. There is so much careless exaggeration from all sides at all times that I think a lot of us have grown numb to it. Hearing that something was the worst or the best just means that it was bad, or good, and seldom more that that.
But I am being completely, absolutely honest when I say that Rafael Palmeiro’s American League Gold Glove award in 1999 is probably the worst sports award ever. It’s the sports award equivalent of those CFL teams drafting dead guys. You probably don’t need me to go over the history, but to quickly go over the history, Palmeiro won the Gold Glove at first base in ’99 despite starting 28 games at first base and 128 games at DH.
It’s not that Palmeiro was necessarily a bad first baseman – he had won consecutive Gold Gloves as a full-timer in 1997 and 1998. It’s that, in 1999, Palmeiro wasn’t a first baseman. He won an award for a position he hardly played.
Terrible. And also, an opportunity. An opportunity to test a theory of mine that, no matter what happens, and no matter the consensus, there will always be a contrarian. According to my theory, there must have been somebody who came out in defense of Palmeiro winning the award. I spent too much time trying to track that somebody down. Below are some of my findings.
To give you an idea of how frequently Palmeiro’s Gold Glove award is cited, even today, one needs to look no further than the Google drop-down when you enter his name:
It really is terrifying how accurately that captures the things for which Palmeiro is remembered. Palmeiro is most remembered for his stats, his hilarious Gold Glove, and his endorsement of Viagra. While Rafael Palmeiro won more than just the 1999 Gold Glove, it is safe to say that people aren’t searching in huge volumes for information about his two previous seasons.
Whenever Palmeiro’s Gold Glove is cited now, it’s done to remind the audience that the Gold Gloves are flawed and barely relevant. Nobody now is going to come to Palmeiro’s defense. So I narrowed my search to results from 1999. I figured my best bet would be looking at responses that were fresh, immediate.
The responses were critical. Heavily, consistently, predictably critical. A representative response, from Jack O’Connell:
The biggest oversight was at first base in the American League. The choice was the Rangers’ Rafael Palmeiro,which was ludicrous not because he isn’t a good fielder, but because he played only 28 games at the position this year.
Even the Associated Press threw in some voice. The opening of the AP article on the awards:
Seems like some managers and coaches weren’t paying much attention this year.
Texas Rangers first baseman Rafael Palmeiro won his third straight American League Gold Glove despite playing just 28 games at the position this year.
All right, so maybe a Rangers beat writer stood up for the team’s star player. Evan Grant?
The off-season is becoming an embarrassment of riches for Rangers designated hitter and first baseman Rafael Palmeiro.Tuesday, the emphasis was on embarrassment.
What about Palmeiro himself? Surely Rafael Palmeiro would support Rafael Palmeiro winning the Gold Glove, right? Phil Rogers:
“When I heard about it, I laughed,” said Palmeiro, who nevertheless is expected to cash the $50,000 check he will receive because of a bonus clause in his contract with the Texas Rangers. “I guess people are respecting me for what I’ve done in the past.”
The $50,000 bonus check is an overlooked part of this story. Palmeiro didn’t just win an award he shouldn’t have won – he won an award he shouldn’t have won, and got $50,000 he shouldn’t have gotten. That is $1,786 for every game he started at first base!
From the same Rogers article:
“That’s a joke,” one AL executive said. “What are those guys thinking?”
I was just about to give up after two hours of research when I stumbled across this article at CNN/SI, written by … Ticker, whatever that is. No author put his name to this, which maybe isn’t surprising.
[...] Texas Rangers first baseman Rafael Palmeiro was a stunning recipient of his third straight award today.
Palmeiro, steady when healthy, was banged up the entire year and committed one error in 246 chances. By contrast, Palmeiro’s own teammate, Lee Stevens, posted a .994 fielding percentage over 1,292 chances at first base.
This does not support Palmeiro winning the award. However, this is the most supportive article regarding Palmeiro winning the award. Literally, the most supportive that I found. “Steady when healthy.” “He shouldn’t have won, but hey, when he played, he was all right!
My theory is in tatters. Granted, I did not consult responses from everybody on the planet. I was limited in my research. It’s possible that there was somebody out there who thought Palmeiro deserved his Gold Glove. But based on what I found, I think Palmeiro’s win might literally be among the most indefensible things of all time. I don’t know that anybody even tried to defend it.
Including the voters. Rogers:
White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said he was taken aback when he learned Palmeiro had been named to the elite team of fielders. But while he can’t recall his exact ballot, he believes he could have voted for Palmeiro.
The Gold Gloves are so horrible.
As the dust continues to swirl around the “A-Roid” issue in Major League Baseball, I continue to sit back and marvel at the sheer hypocrisy that is flooding airwaves and bulletin boards alike.
One by one, writers, fans, major league baseball executives, and even, laughably, owners (yeah, I’m talkin’ to you, Tom Hicks) have all lined up to take their pot shots at the ever-growing list of major league baseball players that have been found out to be “cheats.”
Now make absolutely no mistake about this: I cry for the game. I truly do.
All of my friends only “kind of laugh” when they hear me use my all too familiar line, “Baseball isn’t a sport to me; it’s a religion.” Thus it saddens me to see my beloved pastime suffer from yet another self-induced blow of the performance-enhancing drug variety.
That being said, nothing gets me more irritated than this “holier than thou” attitude that is being dumped on the players involved in this whole fiasco.
I am sick and tired of these so-called “moralists” acting outraged at the fact that these players could do such a thing. Everyone under the sun is just piling on these guys like they are the vilest of the vile, insulting our sensibilities at each and every turn.
To them I say, “Where were you when all of this was going on?”
Where were you, mister commissioner, when you presided over the dirtiest era the sport has ever seen? You were busy patting yourself on the back as revenues exploded like balls off of Barry Bonds’ bat, that’s where.
And where were you, Major League Baseball Players Union chair Donald Fehr? You were too consumed with protecting the players that were juiced up, as their ill-gotten productivity was driving up revenues that you could secure in your collective bargaining agreements.
Where were you, the fans, as record after record fell at a meteoric rate? As prodigious home run after home run left the bat of players like McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, and Rodriguez, did you once speak out in protest of what should have been all too obvious?
Even now as we mire through this never-ending saga of dishonesty and betrayal, why did it take an economic recession the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the late ’20s to finally drive down ticket sales?
And lastly, where were you, “Mister/Ms. Sportswriter” (and yes, my finger is pointed squarely at myself as I type this), while all of this was going on? Was it not you that was closest to all of this without actually being on the inside? Were you not there, day after day, chronicling all of this without so much as a peep about PEDs?
Who had greater access to the game, its players, its owners, and all of its “dirty little secrets” than you? Yet, save a handful of cries that went completely ignored, not a word was said about what from all accounts was “a culture that was prevalent throughout all of major league baseball.”
Yet here we are, all of us looking down our noses at the players involved, chastising them as cheats, narcissists, and greed-fueled monsters devoid of any morally redeeming value.
We were all partners in this crime that has tarnished our wonderful game.
MLB executives, the players union, and owners that did absolutely nothing to stop this; players that not only used the PEDs but those that turned a blind eye to what was obviously going on; fans that uttered every “ooh” and “ah” at the towering home runs that dominated the landscape of the era; and yes, the so-called “journalists” that somehow couldn’t figure out what was going on right under their very noses.
Alex Rodriguez and others should indeed be held accountable in the court of public opinion for what they have done.
But then again, shouldn’t we all?