24 July 2014

Bryant Gumbel is dead-on about the Tony La Russa-Mark McGwire Hall of Fame hypocrisy

Bryant Gumbel is always certain to bring an unvarnished and at-times controversial commentary to Real Sports and he did it once again last night. This topic? Tony La Russa, Mark McGwire and a double-standard regarding enshrinement in Cooperstown. Let's go to the videotape.

And you know what, Gumbel is absolutely correct. McGwire couldn't sniff the Baseball Hall of Fame if he were if he were in Otsego County, while La Russa is entering the Hall without much if any qualms. Of course, La Russa won much of his games with McGwire and his proclamations of innocence while McGwire, Jose Canseco and various others were juicing.

Of course as we all know, it was a concerted effort by Major League Baseball, journalists and others. That includes La Russa, who fought to get the Associated Press banned from the St. Louis locker-room when they were snooping around on the issue. For more on this, read this tremendous piece by Grantland's Bryan Curtis.

You know who also made this point? The one and only Rick Reilly, who wrote this back in December:
Under La Russa, the Oakland clubhouse became a kind of leather-upholstered showroom for creams, rubs and injections that allowed players to work out harder, recover quicker and attack the game like a wolf in a hen house. It didn't change much in St. Louis, either, where he says he didn't notice what McGwire, Troy Glaus, Fernando Vina and Ryan Franklin were doing. 
He spent eight hours a day around these guys, eight months a year, and yet he never saw a thing. Maybe he dressed in a different clubhouse?
Is there a double standard here? Without question. That is even factoring in that McGwire's Hall of Fame is more borderline than folks generally think. And I think that La Russa should be in Cooperstown as he was a tremendous and one of the better ones in baseball history. But why should the steroid taint totally miss managers like La Russa.

Of course we all know the Hall is broken as is, this is just the latest chapter.

H/T Deadspin

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