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The Bleacher Bums: July 16, 2005 Archive

Raffy in the HoF? First time. Every time.

Posted at 6:15 PM on July 16, 2005 by David Zingler (2 Comments)

Last night Rafael Palmeiro joined the 3,000 hit/500 homerun club. Ok, you probably already knew that and you probably know that he joined only Hank Aaron, Wille Mays and Eddie Murray it that elite group, but can you understand why anyone would question his Hall of Fame credentials?

Skip Bayless, for example, wrote an anti-Palmeiro column on ESPN.com’s Page 2. In my book however, 3,000/500 gets you first ballot induction. Case closed.

Nobody thinks Palmeiro is as good as Aaron or Mays (no way, no how) or even Murray (pretty close), but he did it. He reached both of the game's most glorious offensive milestones. He did what Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial couldn’t. He did what military service took away from Ted Williams.

Now he’s taking aim at – gasp – 600 homers. Aaron, Mays and Palmeiro. That thought makes a lot of old timers cringe.

Raffy & ‘roids

Palmeiro is the only player tainted by steroid rumors that I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to. He went in front of congress and, without being asked, denied all the allegations with authority and the appearance of sincerity. Nobody else did that. Not Mark “I am not here to discuss the past” McGwire or Sammy Sosa, who gave a timid denial only after being badgered.

The 40-year-old also never had an unnatural single season homerun total – 47 is his career high – and never got hurt – minus the 1994 strike year, he’s played 154+ games in 15 of the last 16 seasons. Plus, he just never got that big.

Comment on this post

The seventh-inning skim.

Posted at 7:24 PM on July 16, 2005 by Josh Lee

Baseball is a game of nuance, of the little things. The outcome of a game can hinge on something as seemingly insignificant as the distance between two fingers on a pitcher's left hand, or an infielder standing a couple of steps too far to the right. TiVo can be a valuable tool for those who like to focus on these sorts of things: The ability to watch a game on your own personal tape delay, to control the replay of a crucial at-bat, to skip commercials and stay in the flow of the game; these are all things that can enhance the experience of watching a game on TV.

There's a potential downside to TiVo as well, though. Once you get into the habit of fast-forwarding through commercials, the temptation becomes greater and greater to skim over a boring 1-2-3 inning, and once you get into the habit of skimming, it's not long before you get to the point where you're just skipping straight to the parts of the game with the big hits, at which point you might as well just be watching Baseball Tonight. All the subtlety is drained out of the game, and it's simply reduced to a brief series of big swings.

One the other hand, watching a game in fast-forward gets Joe Buck and Tim McCarver off of my television set that much faster, and that can't be a bad thing.

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