Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt was in Clearwater, FL yesterday — site of his abortive managerial tenure with the Phillies’ FSL affiliate — spreading the good vibes about his forthcoming tome, ‘Clearing the Bases: Juiced Players, Monster Salaries, Sham Records and a Hall of Famer’s Search for the Soul of Baseball’. I’ve not seen an advance copy of the book yet, but it could clearly use a longer title. From the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Todd Zolecki.
“My position is to try and tell the story from an insider’s perspective. What interested me more was the psychology of it. Not only from a player’s standpoint, but from how people outside perceived the game and that issue. There’s a lot of discussion about the money in baseball and the pressure and the standards that current players are held up to as opposed to when I played. It’s sort of a study in the human nature on how things like this can happen and how they did happen, how turning a blind eye on the subject allowed baseball to recover in the late ’90s and 2000 with the offensive explosion. And now, how the right steps have been taken by the players association and the commissioner’s office to cleanse the game of pretty much everything.”
Schmidt talked about other topics yesterday, too:
Mark McGwire, and whether he would vote for him to make the Hall of Fame: “Yes. Players need to be judged against their peers today and not against players over time for a lot of reasons. Obviously, the speculation about substance abuse is somewhere in the mix, but there are smaller ballparks, livelier balls, livelier bats and different strike zones… . These guys have not been banished from the game. With these guys, their accomplishments on the field stand for themselves.”
If he would vote for Rafael Palmeiro, who tested positive for steroids: “I think Palmeiro is a little bit of a stronger issue. I think what he’s gone through in the past year and a half may have hurt his chances altogether… . I might take a pass on Year 1, [but] he certainly is a Hall of Fame caliber player.”
If he thinks Pete Rose’s chances at the Hall of Fame are dead: “Major League Baseball has created a Pete Rose purgatory, and that’s where he is. And that’s where he’s always going to be. It’s unfortunate that the commissioner’s office has decided to allow that to be the reality. I don’t think Pete would mind if they said ‘No’ to Pete. Pete wants them to go one way or the other and get him out of the void he’s in.”