published Monday, July 23rd, 2012

5-at-10: Penn State gets pounded, Els wins big and a busy weekend

Wow, football hasn't even started and that was a full blown weekend of meaty sports goodness. Where do we begin?

As always, from the "Talks too much" studios, here we go...

Statue down, hammer to fall

  • photo
    In this file photo, Mark A. Emmert speaks during a news conference after being announced as the president elect of the NCAA in Indianapolis in April 2010.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NCAA chairman Mark Emmert announced heavy penalties against Penn State for the cover-up of the Jerry Sandusky nightmare. The Lions lost a slew of scholarships and bowl eligibility for the next few years. It was issued for a "conspiracy of silence" and the disinterest of the children as said by Edward J. Ray, who said the NCAA not only had the authority to punish Penn State but the duty to do so.

The penalties were harsh. Sure, there had been talk of the death penalty, and this was not death but it was in the team picture. Emmert said of the penalties: "What we can do is impose sanctions that reflect the magnitude of these acts and that Penn State will rebuild an athletic culture" in the right way.

Well, there will be a lot of rebuilding, that's for sure. Emmert delivered a truckload of penalties:

— The NCAA fined Penn State $60 million with the funds used to help child abuse charities and Emmert said it was roughly the gross revenue for one year of the Penn State football program;

— Penn State will face a four-year postseason ban;

— Penn State's football program will be cut from 25 scholarships to 15 for each of the next four years;

— Any entering or current Penn State football players can transfer without sitting out a season;

— Penn State will vacate all wins 1998-2011 and the records will reflect that, and yes that means as of 9:10 this morning Joe Paterno is no longer the winningest coach in major college football;

— There will be a five-year probation for Penn State in which they will have to work with an academic counselor;

— The NCAA reserves the right to impose sanctions on any individual involved at a later date;

Emmert said there was extensive discussion about the death penalty and after much debate that the sanctions needed to reflect a change in culture as much as just punishing.

You could argue that it was too much, punishing the innocent because of the sins of the few many moons ago. You'd be right technically, but you'd be wrong in that your argument is at worst defending and at best downplaying the sins of a child predator and his enablers. When have the sins of the fathers not been felt by the sons? And if ever there was a father of a program it was Joe Pa and Penn State.

You could also argue that it was not tough enough, that if the NCAA was ever going to use the death penalty this was the case. You'd be right, too, but that decision would nuked an entire town — seriously how many business would go belly-up without a fall of Saturdays in State College? — because Sandusky was the devil and the silent partners of Paterno, Spanier, Curley and Schultz cared too much about their legacies and their program. Yes, the sins of the masses can affect the many, but do those sins need to kill the majority?

This decision came in the wake of Sunday's morning's announcement that Penn State removed the statue honoring Joe Paterno outside of Beaver Stadium. (Yes, we know we were asked in last Friday's mailbag when were we ever going to stop talking about Joe Pa and Penn State. The answer has no moved to who know?)

Debate the meaning of the statue removal all you want, but remember two important facts. First, this is in the wake of the school-sponsored Freeh report that detailed the silence and gross inactivity by the upper levels of the Penn State administration in and out of the athletic department. Second, that report caused a complete flip within the Penn State leadership because it was was roughly six months ago that reports surfaced that Penn State had approached the Paterno family about naming the stadium after Joe Pa. (Or maybe the current administration is taking every possible step to disassociate itself from Paterno, which could be a matter of guilty conscience or an early response move in preparation for the river of legal paper work that is on the horizon?)

So where are we this morning, in the wake of the "unprecedented" punishments handed down quickly (too quickly?) and fimrly by Emmert?

We know Emmert's action was quick — as out ace columnist Mark Wiedmer pointed out here — but they were not without heavy counsel and consideration. By all reports, Emmert has been consumed by this case since learning of it last November. (That said, the complaint that the NCAA moved too quickly has to be an all-time first, no?)

We know Emmert deeply believes this is the right thing. He has stepped on a slew of toes and surely has put his job on the line with this move.

We know that Emmert is bound and determined to change the image and the role of the NCAA as the policing agent of college football. Does that mean Penn State was used as an example, well, in some ways absolutely. But that happens in all walks of life and in the wake of scandals and coverups of this magnitude.

We know that the future role of the NCAA and its rule book will much bigger scope than the current mumbo-jumbo that is in place. Gone are the days where there is hand-wringing about too many text messages during this month or secondary violations because this prospect's name was mentioned on the radio. There are bigger problems in college sports.

Chief among them is its image. And that image for far too long was eroded by the lack of action and consistency by the NCAA governing body. Emmert's action Monday certainly answered the former, and let's all pray we never have to apply this precedent ever again.

Open and closed

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    Ernie Els of South Africa holds the Claret Jug trophy after winning the British Open Golf Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes golf club, Lytham St Annes, England Sunday, July 22, 2012.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

OK, that's as enjoyable a Sunday round of golf as we can remember at least since Tiger and Rocco showed out at Pebble in 2008. That was great.

And if you weren't pulling for Ernie Els, well, we're worried about your soul or you're related to Adam Scott.

Els was so money down the stretch, and to think that dude was not invited to the Masters this previous April and now he's the champion golfer of the year is staggering. What a great run and what a great finish for a guy that has been nothing but class from Day 1. (Side note: In our day job we get to see some of these guys behind the scenes and sometimes you see things away from the course or behind close doors that are way more revealing than any answer in a news conference or image shaped by handlers. We don't believe all of that should be shared in an open forum, but we can without hesitation say that Ernie Els is a class act and good dude.)

The final round of this British Open was filled with drama from the start. The weather started to fight back and the wind started to blow. It was not much wind but it was enough and way more than the first three days — and image the agony and carnage on the course if this had been a typical British Open (Side note on the ultimate juxtaposition: Our round got rained out here in town on Saturday morning and the British Open was playing in Chamber of Commerce conditions).

Nerves got Brandt Snedeker. A pot bunker claimed Tiger Woods, who made triple on No. 6 after failing to solve a greenside bunker, one of the 205 sand traps on the course. Graeme McDowell, playing in the final group in his second consecutive major, was unable to make up ground and when he was forced to press, he faded.

That left Adam Scott, who played beautifully for 68 holes and had a four shot lead with four to play. He made four bogeys coming in and Els birdied 18 for the one shot win. It was great golf and great drama. And it was over by 1 p.m. or so.

And as much as we felt for Adam Scott, we took some twisted sense of pleasure in that Stevie Williams didn't win. Granted that may not be all that noble a feeling, but so be it. That said, who believe this will be a wound that is a long time healing for Scott.

Here are the results to contest (and it was even closer than it appears since both OTWatcher and Weena dropped Jason Dufner; OTWatcher won in a scorecard playoff in which first submitted entry wins):

17 — OTWatcher — Els (1), McDowell (5), Scott (2), Kuchar (9)

17 — Weena — Els (1), Z. Johnson (9), A. Scott (2), Donald (5)

19 — wannabe — Tiger (3), Scott (2), McDowell (5), Z. Johnson (9)

20 — Spy — Zach Johnson (9), Luke Donald (5), Ernie Els (1), Graeme McDowell (5)

22 — scole023 — Woods (3), Els (1), Z. Johnson (9), Kuchar (9)

That's some world-class picking right there.

Braves split

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    Atlanta Braves shortstop Paul Janish makes a throw to first base after fielding a ground ball during their baseball game against the Washington Braves in Washington, Sunday, July 22, 2012. The Nationals won 9-2.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

It was a tough weekend in Washington for your Atlanta Braves.

Like so much of the dichotomic weekend, it could have been better and it could have been worse.

The Braves rallied from a 9-0 deficit to take Game 1 Friday night 11-10 in extra innings. It was a wild game and figured to be one of "those" games that served as a springboard to big things and possibly the catalyst for the NL East-leading Washington Nationals.

That thought was strengthened Saturday when the Braves took the first game of a day-night doubleheader behind six strong innings form Ben Sheets and a pinch-hit homer by Chipper Jones.

The Nationals rallied Saturday night and punished Jair Jurrjens on Sunday to salvage a series tie for Washington that felt like a win.

As the Braves leave the Capitol still 3.5 games behind the Nationals, what did these four games tell us:

— The Nationals do not have the look of a team that is going away quietly, especially since Jayson Werth is rehabbing and will be back in action within a week to 10 days. That said, the back-end of the Nats bullpen is woeful.

— Ryan Zimmerman is killing it right now. Dude is hitting .392 with 11 homers and 28 RBIs since June 24.

— Despite the unforeseen success of Sheets, the Braves are going to need another starting pitcher to make a real run at this thing. The Braves are 27th among 30 big league teams with 41 quality starts in their 95 games.

— At what point do the Braves start quietly talking Chipper into coming back next year. Dude is hitting .317 for crying out loud. The reverse of that question is at what point do the Braves start asking Dan Uggla for some of that $62 million contract back. Dude is hitting .217. ANswer of course is now — for both.

This and that

— Miami is in more football trouble with the NCAA. Side note: With all that's happening right now: Paterno, the wake of Els' feel-good win at the British Open, the Olympics on the horizon, etc., if you had some sort of sports scandal to drop, now would be the ideal time, right?

— Sweet buckets, Barry Larkin and Ron Santo were inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame and it barely registered. Larkin is a sound choice — dude was the best shortstop in the National League for an extended period. Santo however was not. Santo probably deserves to be in the humanity Hall of Fame — he raised more than $65 million to fight diabetes, the disease that cost him his legs — but not in the baseball Hall.

— Along those same lines, Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour de France to become the first Brit to win the Masters of cycling, and the guy is like story 28 of the weekend. So it goes, we supposed. Hey, Bradley, as Casey Kasem might say, "Keep your feet on the grooves and keep reaching for the bars."

— We were wondering why NASCAR wasn't racing this weekend, and maybe it was because there simply was too much other stuff going on.

Today's questions

We have three for you today — you can answer one or you can answer them all.

First, do you agree with Emmert and the NCAA's iron hammer of penalties?

Second, what was your favorite event of this weekend?

Third, what Olympic hopes to you have, because remember the Olympics start Friday?

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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ordinaryguy said...

The punishment seems to fit the crime, far worse than a death penalty the Nittany Lions are finished in football, never again to be a factor, now perhaps the Big Ten should kick them out of the conference

The Open was amazing, to watch Scott become one of the all time choke artists along side his hero Greg Norman was both sad and errily pleasing to behold...now we just await the USGA ban of the mutant putters

Since the Olympics are on NBC, I could care less! Old school here, without Jim McKay the games just dont matter

July 23, 2012 at 10:14 a.m.
Salsa said...

Why would they kick Penn State out? The Big 10 leads the list when it comes to teams that have spent the most time on NCAA probation.

July 23, 2012 at 10:25 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Why not? I would say that the SEC is right there with them...

July 23, 2012 at 10:29 a.m.
chas9 said...

Come back, Chipper.

I'm amazed at the picking ability of the contest's top four. Even Spy. Are they good or lucky?

Did you note that Pitino has proposed Jay Bilas for Big 10 commish? He might be the right breath of fresh air.

I think the PSU sanctions are about right. I'm assuming the scholarship cuts will be devastating to the ability to be competitive. And the death penalty would have hurt a lot of good people economically. The statue had to go. No doubt.

On Sunday before the sanctions, I heard a national network talking head say that if you had a Mt. Rushmore of college football coaches, you'd start with Paterno. I'd start with The Bear, but then I'm from around here. And it's good the Rushmore hasn't been built. Removing THAT statue would've been harder.

July 23, 2012 at 10:40 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Great Buckets of British Rain and realizing not getting in the hole puts one in a deep hole! After church I was at O'Charly's watching the playback with Scott ahead by 4 with 4 to go. Imagine my underwhelmedness to arrive at my N. GA abode after hearing Chicago's If You Leave me Now and BTO's Let It Ride, to see that not Adam G'dye Scott but Ernie Els had won the Claret Jug. It was sad for Adam and likely not a good EVE afterwards but I am glad to see the Big Easy back atop a Major event leader board. PennState...well it was bound to occur. It could have been worse. And yet I wonder if we a)have the full story, b)ever will know even after the civil suits likely hanging in the closet(did I put closet?). I am heart-broken at how this all came down and am no N. Lion fan. I can only hope the Paterno keep the investigation alive movement will abate before something really ugly on him surfaces. I hurt for the children who were damaged irreparably and to see the fine equals only one year of the PSU football income; COME ON MAN! Now can we try to get on with the rest of college football like HAMMER MIAMI?(joking that's sad too) At least let's focus on the start of the 2012 season. QUESTIONS: Yes I agree with the penalties and the statue needed to come down at least for now. However, where does JoePa now stand in the wins as head coach department? My favorite event was hearing my son in grad school in Rhode Island got a job...oh you mean sports, well Happy for Ernie Els in his OPEN win. OLYMPICS: what are the Olympics?

July 23, 2012 at 10:42 a.m.
btn128 said...

You are a complete tool and know nothing about baseball. There is a reason you do not have a HOF vote and never will.

Using Baseball-Reference's Wins Above Replacement (bWAR), Larkin compiled a career mark of 67.3 with a peak, the sum of the top five seasons, of 30.9; Santo's career total was 66.6 and his peak was 40.5. Thus, their career values are nearly identical while Santo's peak was clearly superior.

Similarly, in raw numbers, both rank seventh in career bWAR at their respective positions (using only those seasons in which the position in question was their primary one). But while Larkin ranked 15th in peak among shortstops, Santo ranks third in peak among third basemen, not far behind Mike Schmidt (42.3) and Wade Boggs (41.6) and effectively tied with George Brett (40.4), all first ballot Hall of Famers.

Santo also has a higher peak (40.5) and career avg (54.5) bWAR then your beloved Chipper Jones whose peak is 34.0 and avg 52.8. Yet I am sure you believe Chipper is head and shoulders above Santo. Chipper only has a slightly higher career overall bWAR then Santo beating him 71.5 to 68.4. Stats show Chipper was only 3.1 Wins better then Santo, who in your opinion does not even belong in the Hall Of Fame.

Lets not forget that Santo played in the dead ball era, not the steroid era where power numbers exploded. Lets not leave out any other relevant stats like from 1964 to 1968 he led the National League in walks four times and on-base percentage twice. Stats that did not become relevant until only recently.

He made nine All-Star teams, won five consecutive Gold Gloves and four times finished in the top 10 in the National League MVP voting.

And lets not forget that many of the third basemen in baseball history had not even established themselves when Santo first came on the ballot. When the 1980 ballots went out to the writers, Wade Boggs was still in the minors, George Brett was 26 and Mike Schmidt hadn't won any of his three MVP awards.

Using the bWAR figures (which, of course, didn't exist then), Santo was at worst the third-best and arguably the second-best third baseman in baseball history when he first hit the ballot.

Santo did all this with diabeties which they did not even know how to control when he was playing. If you read up or watch anything on Santo you would know the struggles he faced even being able to see straight and was still able to put up some of the greatest numbers for a 3B up until that point.

These stats came from the story below which goes into more detail. You are a complete tool for thinking Santo does not belong.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/cliff_corcoran/07/20/ron-santo-hall-of-fame/index.html

July 23, 2012 at 11:10 a.m.
jgreeson said...

OG —

Wow, great call on the Shark comparisons. What a meltdown that was compelling and sad at the same time.

McKay is greatly missed, no doubt. But we still get grabbed by the Olympiad. And how cool wouyld it be to carry the flag for your country. That would boss.

Salsa —

Fair question, but every conference has their run-ins. Although the Big 10 should get a couple out — or change their name. The Big 10 with 12 teams is neither leaders or legends.

9er —

There are way worse choices than Bilas, who would be way better than Delany.

Chipper's A-Mazing.

Livn(Large) —

Joe Pa went from first with 409 to eighth with 298.

Congrats on Livn(Large) Jr. landing a job.

— 5-at-10

July 23, 2012 at 11:13 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

Without reading anything else, are you sure that it reduction from 25 to 15 every year for 4 years? The ESPN.com story looks like it says 10 initial and 20 total scholarships per year. I assumed that meant losing 20 total scholarships. If it means losing 40 total scholarships, then that's a much bigger deal.

Let's look at something

USC paying Reggie Bush vs. Penn State covering for child stuff (being an famiily based interweb column and all)

Scholarships: USC-30, Penn State- 40 (per your count) Bowl Ban: USC- 2 years, Penn State- 4 years Money- USC- ?????, Penn State- $60 million Forfeited wins- USC- all of them during the alleged violations, Penn State- all of them during the alleged violations.

I'm unsure about the money USC had to forfeit, but I believe there was some, though I couldn't find the dollar amount in a quick Google search. So- USC having a rogue booster paying Reggie Bush was 3/4's as bad as covering for illegal actions in terms of scholarships and 1/2 as bad in terms of a bowl ban? Really? Personally, I find Penn State's stuff far more deplorable. If you are going to say you have the authority to punish Penn State, these penalties are simply not as harsh as the crime....or USC was hammered way too hard.

This is just crazy. This is why I didn't really want the NCAA involved, because it makes for really, REALLY lousy comparisons to other things that happened. When Baylor had a player on the basketball team get murdered by another player, and the coach attempted to cover up how he had been paying the player's scholarship illegally, and started spreading rumors of his selling drugs, including telling the police that and hampering their investigation, Baylor was not hit this hard. No postseason ban. Scholarship reductions, and not allowed to play any out of conference games for a year and some recruiting restrictions. To me, those were more clear violations of NCAA bylaws and were pretty much just as egregious as what Paterno and Co. did. (Not Sandusky, mind you, but Paterno and Co.)

I'm sorry. I feel like this seems just a little hollow, somehow.

July 23, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.
Todd962 said...

The whole Penn State fiasco makes my head hurt. The two sides of my inner monologue debate everytime it comes up. I go from defending a man's 60 year body of work, to asking why a man who harbored a child molester in his program for a decade deserves any mercy, to just being overwhelmed and disgusted by the situation in it's entirety. There is very little gray in this matter and almost every point has its counter point that leads back to a sickening realization that we live in a screwed up world where monsters like Sandusky exist. No NCAA penalty is going to bring justice for the atrocities that took place. Lets just hope this is the beginning of the final chapter in this portion of Penn State's history.

Moving on now...the Olympics are almost here! I am super pumped and ready to go. I'm going to an Olympics party Saturday that includes a Beer Olympics to accompany our viewing party. I've got my USA tshirt ready, my "'Merica, Running things since 1776" koozie ready, its going to be awesome. Two weeks of unadulterated patriotism in its finest form.

July 23, 2012 at 11:20 a.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, you chided me about choosing "Justine" Rose, but that's exactly what the sports fans got.

At Penn State, another failed leader's statue is removed. Who can forget Lenin's statue pulled from its pedestal in many corners of the old, defunct Soviet Union, or Saddam's likeness pull down to earth. The there's the destruction of the Berlin Wall, which at this point in the Penn State saga represents the wall of silence surround Joe Pa and the administration.

In stripping Jo Pa's wins we may strip away the b/s surrounding them. All Jo Pa wanted was those wins, to be top in the NCAA forever, to not allow anything and anyone to interfere.

When this thing began to unwind, I remember saying this will be the biggest sports scandal since the Chicago Black Soxs.

Tragically, even with steroid abuses spiking home run records and bounty hunting in New Orleans, nothing else comes close to seeing the NCAA's scathe cutting a low and sure path through Happy Valley.

July 23, 2012 at 11:21 a.m.
jgreeson said...

btn —

Welcome to the dialogue.

Do you believe the Veteran's committee was using Sabermetrcis like WAR and the like when they voted Santo in? No, neither do we.

As for the knowing "nothing" about baseball, well, ask yourself this — how many .277 hitters that never led the league in homers or RBIs deserve to be in the Hall?

Sure he led the league in walks four times, and in retrospect that was better than now than they believed then.

Average year for Santo: .227 average, 25 homers and 96 RBIs; he's a good player but not a Hall of Fame player in our opinion. You obviously feel differently.

As for being a tool, well, guess that depends on who you ask.

StuckinKent —

Fair points and we'll expound them shortly (late for a meeting),

The number variances are 15 scholarships per signing period with no more than 65 players on scholarship per year (that's the loss of 20 each year, since big schools can have 85 on scholarship).

— 5-at-10

July 23, 2012 at 11:25 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

As one of the older scribes...I grew up watching Ron Santo...He IS a HOF'er...to play with diabetes in those days took more courage than any of today's players could possibly muster...The old timers got it right, all you had to do was watch the special on WGN last night and Bench, Fisk, and Molitar talk about Santo...

July 23, 2012 at 12:03 p.m.
memphisexile said...

The punishment did fit the crime, and this is effectively a "death penalty" for many years to come. Losing that many scholarships will prevent Penn St. from being competitive for many years. I am just glad the NCAA is allowing all the current players to transfer without penalty. Most of them probably will, the good players anyway. I saw that the Big10(12?) also stepped in and cut them out of bowl money and the Big10(12?) Championship for the next 4 years, not that Penn St. would have made it there.

The Open was the best weekend event by far. I was really glad to see Ernie get one more title. He seems like a nice guy. What an epic melt down.

July 23, 2012 at 12:42 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Oh so close to winning. Story of my life....

This wasn't the death penalty for Penn State but dang if the NCAA didn't put its football program in a coma. The loss of scholarships, both in number and duration, will have a huge impact for very long time. Penn State has now just been relegated to also-ran status in the FBS. I'm not sure how much the bowl ban will hurt recruiting - which affects a Penn State prospect more, not going to bowls or the preparation for a short-lived NFL career?

And as someone who has debated baseball with 5 before, you can take all your WARs and VORPs and other alphabet soups that have been invented and contrived in the last handful of years and tell them to shut up. But if the veterans committee felt Santo deserved it, I can't argue with that. Many of them played with him or against him and have a better insight than I do. For his era, he was easily one of the best third basemen.

July 23, 2012 at 12:44 p.m.
jgreeson said...

OG —

Hey, we never saw Santo, and whether dude deserved it or not is certainly debatable. He has strong support among his peers so that speaks well (it also means he was a likable guy). And we said Santo should be the Hall of Fame as a person just not as a player. He never finished higher than fourth in the MVP voting — and did that just once — and never hit better than .315 in any season. He was a very good player.

That said, the diabetes debate is of little merit here, unless you think Jim Abbott deserves to be in the Hall.

Plus the debate that he was a nine-time all-star is nice. Want to know who else was a nine-time all-star Dave Concepcion, Joe Torre, and Fred Lynn. Steve Garvey was a 10-time all-star. That means they were good players that were very popular.

Maybe this is our view on Hall of Fames in general. Here's our litmus test: Ask yourself if Player X was a Hall of Famer? If you have to think about it for more than five seconds, then the answer is no. Period. Was Greg Maddux a Hall of Famer? Yes. Absolutely. Was Jamie Moyer? Hmmm. No.

Exile —

Els is a very good dude.

And great call on the NCAA letting current Penn Staters transfer. That was the right move.

Spy —

There is a fair argument to be made that this is worse than the death penalty. Also-ran status is the goal for Penn State for the next decade. That said, Bill O'Brien just got a huge jolt of job security.

After all this, as long as he's a decent dude, who can fire him now with everything that has happened around him that he had nothing to do with?

— 5-at-10

July 23, 2012 at 1:05 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

One other point-

Giving the money to help abused and exploited children is something that I have been in favor of. Isn't it ironic that this was exactly the sort of foundation that the Second Mile is? It makes me want to vomit every time I think about that, and I just wanted everyone else to feel that same level of disgust. We just have to hope and pray that wherever this money goes, it does not wind up in an organization with another Jerry Sandusky as their head, because, unfortunately, there are probably more out there.

July 23, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.
btn128 said...

We can compare him to fellow 3B HOF Brooks Robinson.

Santo: 277 avg, 25 HR, 96 RBI, Robinson: 267 avg, 15 HR, 76 RBI

Santo Career: 277 avg. 342 HR, 1331 RBI, OBP .362, Runs 1138, SB 35. Robinson Career: 267 avg, 268 HR, 1357 RBI, OBP .322, Runs 1232, SB 28

Keep in mind, Santo played for 15 seasons and Robinson 23. There is no doubt Robinson is one of the best defensive 3B of all time, but Santo was no slouch at 3B. He had 5 consecutive gold goves himself.

I think they are comparable, they played in the same era. They put up similar numbers where Santo's offensive numbers are actually better in an average year and overall even though he retired sooner.

Ron Santo had a career .277 average.

Higher then

Eddie Matthews Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt

What he lacked in average compared to other 3B HOF, he more then made up for in power and production.

He has 342 HRs which puts him 3rd on the list of other HOF 3B only behind Schmidt and Mathews. He had 1331 RBIs which puts him 5th on the list on the 11. And he didnt play as many years as the others. And these are comparing him to 3B already in the HOF.

And it should also be taken into consideration that players like Mike Schmidt, Wade Boggs, and George Brett all who I would place above Santo did not play until after he played. So if you take them out, since he should have been judged before their numbers were complete..

Santo would rank

2nd in SLG 2nd in HRs 3rd in RBI 4th in Runs 4th in OBP

among HOF that played before him or during the same era. Also factor in Santo was playing in the "dead ball era" where stats across the board dropped for everybody and his numbers stand out even more. And none of this is taking into account he played with a disability.

So the only real arguement is that he has an average that is .277 which is higher then other 3B HOFs like Schmidt, Mathews, and Robinson who were all no doubt HOF players.

When you compare Santo against other third baseman throughout the history of the game, his numbers stack up. You can not seriously look at the other 3B in the HOF and not say Santo does not compare to them.

July 23, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

One last thing on the Penn State saga. The best course action for the school is to shut up and not say another word. Just take your penalties and go back to your corner of the room and sit there. Sometimes no comment is the best comment.

July 23, 2012 at 1:18 p.m.
Todd962 said...

So how does all of this work with the vacated wins? Are they going to send us the 2007 Outback Trophy or are Phil and I going to have to road trip up there to get it? Just let me know cause I may have some vacation time coming up.

Too much hostility for a Monday. Lets leave the tools in the shed and reserve our name calling for the smelly French people in the Olympics.

July 23, 2012 at 1:32 p.m.
jgreeson said...

btn —

Fair points all around. We have always compared Brooks Robinson to Ozzie Smith — neither was ever much more than above average at the plate but each was so out of this world defensively it really didn't matter. (And we were way under-educated about Brooks Robinson's struggles with the bat.)

Maybe it's because we don't believe being among the best at your position during your career is enough to be in the Hall of Fame. And while he did not play in the time of Brett, Schmidt, Chipper, Boggs and even Molitar (before he became a full-time DH), he was selected in the last year by the Veterans Committee, so those numbers do apply.

Here's another comparison for Santos: You wrote "Santo Career: 277 avg. 342 HR, 1331 RBI, OBP .362, Runs 1138, SB 35." How much better is that than Player X who had .267 avg. 294 HR, 1182 RBI, OBP .362, 1006 runs and 38 SB and six gold gloves?" Or what about player Y who has .281 avg., 317 HR, 1,268 RBI, .364 OBP, 1,196 run, 117 steals and eight gold gloves?

Player X is Robin Ventura and player Y is Scott Rolen (who to be fair has had a better career than we thought). If Santos had been inducted when he retired, then you could say those comparisons are unwarranted, but the Veteran Committee picked Santo 12 months ago. Would that same group vote for Ventura and/or Rolen?

Hey, we're not saying we know more than the Veterans Committee. Santo is in the Hall no matter what the 5-at-Tool thinks, so it's a mute point. But by our view, Santo did not have enough credentials then, so what has changed in 20 years. And in truth, by your fair comparison, we are starting to doubt whether Brooks Robinson deserved to be in too.

— 5-at-10

July 23, 2012 at 1:43 p.m.
fechancellor said...

btn, I'm I missing something? Where's your man's hardware? Robinson out did Micky Mantle for the AL MVP in his Rookie Season. That's a must have on the way to Cooperstown. An MVP in the All Star cam only help.

No wait there's more. Winning the 1966 World Series, and coming in second to Frank Robinson as ALVP.

In '70, Brooks burned down the Twins with a .583 average in the ALCS. Extend to the '70 World Series where Robinson's torrid clip of .429 with two dingers and exceptional glove play made him World Series MVP.

July 23, 2012 at 1:57 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

That's the most undeniable truth of today. Period.

And who wants to set the odds that Jay Paterno says something stupid in the next 24 hours? Would that even be on the board in Vegas?

Mr. 962 —

We apologize for missing your first point, which was brilliant.

"Moving on now...the Olympics are almost here! I am super pumped and ready to go. I'm going to an Olympics party Saturday that includes a Beer Olympics to accompany our viewing party. I've got my USA tshirt ready, my "'Merica, Running things since 1776" koozie ready, its going to be awesome. Two weeks of unadulterated patriotism in its finest form."

If we were not going to be in NYC this weekend, we'd be asking where that shindig is and find us a T-shirt with a photo of George "O.G." Washington with a stein of hard cider and the caption "Who's your Daddy?"

As for the 2007 Outback Trophy, they may have already sent it back, but Arian Foster fumbled it and it busted. (Too soon?)

FE to the C —

This is scorched earth. It's overwhelming and it nukes Penn State. For at least a decade.

And the more we think about it, some of this is so harsh it's head-scratching. That said, vacating the wins is something that hits the Paterno legacy the hardest. That's ironic, telling and poetic at the same time.

— 5-at-10

July 23, 2012 at 1:58 p.m.
chas9 said...

Not too soon.

Todd, I kinda like smelly French people.

But they can have their berets back. No way American Olympians should march in wearing berets. NO WAY BERETS. Let 'em wear good old American baseball caps, forward, backward or sideways. Even the ones the Pirates wore in the '70's would be better.

July 23, 2012 at 2:43 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

The American team ought to march in wearing tri-corner hats and T-shirts that say, "George sent us" on the front and "Valley Forge" on the back.

Good Lord, that's excessively jingoistic, even for me.

July 23, 2012 at 3:05 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Yeah, I never thought that the pre coverage for the Olympics would have so much emphasis on the outfits the athletes wear. A majority of our products these days are made overseas. I dont see the fuss over our blazers being made in China. I am in total agreement that the silly sloopy hats must go. We should wear blue jeans, a t-shirt with no sleeves that has an American flag on the front and "These colors dont run on the back", and a truckers cap that says "Back to Back World War Champions." That is a message sender and a trend setter for the rest of the games.

I guess I dont really have much strife with the French, I've just never been that big of a fan of braided underarm hair on my women.

July 23, 2012 at 3:08 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

5/10 - so what do you think of Dempster going to the Braves? Any details yet?

I like the cowboy hats worn in various olympics past - berets? can 'em.

July 23, 2012 at 3:09 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - By far the British Open was the event for me this weekend. Sergio's gonna win a major...someday. It appeared to me that Tiger lurking all weekend made no difference to the other golfers. While he might win another major or two, his total domination and ability to step on the necks of his rivals and make the competition quiver at his very presence seems to have vanished (despite the numerous talking heads attempts to create and maintain that illusion).

July 23, 2012 at 3:34 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Rather than berets, the 'Mericans should enter with Yankee caps on, although we'd be OK with the Pirates lids from the '70s. Maybe Cowboys helmets.

Spy —

The tri-corner hat has promise too. We got no idea what this jingo-mumbo-jumbo is, but that sentiment was over-the-top patriotic. U-S-A. U-S-A.

Mr. 962 —

We're cool with blue jeans and T-shirts. No jorts though. This is no negotiable.

We love the "Back-to-back World War champions" slogan.

We don't know any French folks. Tried to introduce ourselves to one, but they surrendered before we could get out our hellos.

Mcpell —

Saw that rumor. Have to make that deal if you're the Braves, as long as you don;t sell the entire farm. (Mark Teixiera).

sportsfan —

Great point on Tiger being just another name on the board now. Heck you could make the argument that Tiger intimidated Els as much as anyone back in the day. Now, despite Tiger being in the think of it, Els closed and Tiger stood still.

Tiger still has game, he does not have that aura any more.

— 5-at-10

July 23, 2012 at 4:04 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Penn State has had close to 30 four star recruits sign in football the last four classes. The feeding frenzy by college coaches will be like Shark Week.

Miami will be the next with a bowl ban.

July 23, 2012 at 4:12 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

Love the Dempster move for the Braves.

Dempster, Hanson, Hudson, Beachy are very formidable in the playoffs if they are all healthy. Throw in Sheets fro the rest of the year, along with Minor, and the staff is not bad, suddenly, especially if Sheets keeps on pitching like this...or something close to this, because 12 shutout innings is pretty unlikely to be able to be "kept up."

Waiting for more on your thoughts on Penn State. The HOF arguement is interesting. You both have excellent points. I find it a little odd to be using WAR to talk about the HOF, even though I use WAR all the time in talking baseball today. It just doesn't fit in the history of baseball for some reason. I guess I don't trust it completely from a historical perspective.

July 23, 2012 at 4:15 p.m.
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