Bill Simmons on Rafael Palmeiro

Bill Simmons chimes in with an article about Palemeiro’s Hall of Fame candidacy. And this is a perfect example of why Simmons should stop writing about baseball. I even came up with a little ditty to make my point:
I’m David Gassko and I’m here to say
That Bill Simmons should stick to the NBA.
Ok, that’s actually all I came up with. Anyways, Simmons chimes in with gems like these:
The current era of juiced balls, ravaged pitching staffs and a drug program best described as “Um, you guys shouldn’t do that stuff” has rendered everything else irrelevant.
Really? So how come Palmeiro is the first hitter in this “juiced” era to join the 3,000/500 club? How come no one else is really close, except for Barry Bonds, who could be there with or without steroids, and who might not make it anyways? Palmeiro probably didn’t even take ‘roids, so how do they affect him, except perhaps making it tougher because some of the pitchers he faced were juicing? As I showed a few days ago, even when adjusted for era, Palmeiro’s accomplishments are extremely impressive.
That’s no knock on Raffy, a scary hitter who turned unstoppable whenever his team fell 10 games out of the race.
Really? Does he have any proof? I don’t have the time to run the numbers at this moment, but ESPN has a great team of researchers. Does Simmons want to provide any numbers that back up what he’s saying, or has “The current era of juiced balls, ravaged pitching staffs and a drug program best described as ‘Um, you guys shouldn’t do that stuff'” rendered any numbers irrelevant? Or is it that the numbers go against what Simmons is saying? Palmeiro’s teams made the playoffs in four out of 11 seasons during his peak (1991-2002, with no playoffs one year). That’s a pretty good percentage, meaning he was constantly playing on better-than average teams during his prime. His best performances came on good teams, not otherwise as Simmons states.
And finally:
The question is this: do career baseball numbers matter anymore? Suppose that in 1992, the NBA had introduced smaller basketballs, 9-foot rims, a rule that held five roster spots per team for D3 players and designer drugs that increased jumping ability. Then suppose that as a result, 25 or 30 players averaged between 35 and 40 a game, culminating with a juiced-out Larry Johnson scoring 135 in Minnesota before his pituitary gland explodes and frags everyone in the first three rows. Would you care so much about NBA records anymore? Of course not. We’d have tossed every post-1992 record out the window long ago.
So why pretend every stat from baseball these days is on the level? Elias needs to create a formula that waters down every power number from 1993 to 2004. There has to be a way to determine the performance fluctuation of someone’s power numbers compared with the average power hitter of that season. For instance, The Babe hit 59 homers in 1921 and the next guy had 24. Bonds hit 73 homers in 2001 and seven other guys that season hit 47 or more. Which record is more impressive? Let’s make it simple: reduce every HR/RBI number by one-third. Who would be against this?
Until that happens, I don’t want to hear about 500 homers or 3,000 hits or any other tainted achievement

Seriously, does anyone proofread these articles? First of all, baseball has had similar offensive levels before, namely in the 20s and 30s, in the late 40s and early 50s, and in the 19th century and early 20th century. Should those numbers not count too? Babe Ruth played in an era with a park-adjusted .753 OPS; Palmeiro played in an era with a park-adjusted .760 OPS.
Secondly, Baseball Prospectus has posted translated numbers for years. Palmeiro’s translated home runs totals are still better than Eddie Murray’s, Mark McGwire’s, and Mickey Mantle’s.
So next time Bill Simmons opens his mouth, if he wants to talk about baseball, he should shut before embarrassing himself once again.

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2 Responses to Bill Simmons on Rafael Palmeiro

  1. William says:

    You are the one embarrassing yourself, but not even acknowledging that Palmeiro is an overrated cheater.

  2. David says:

    You do realize this was written BEFORE the steroid scandal broke?

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