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  #31  
Old 01-19-2020, 02:11 AM
TDog TDog is offline
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McDowell also started three games against the White Sox in Chicago after they traded him to the Yankees (for an overall frustrating season where he once defiantly made an obscene gesture to fans while he was being booed on the way back to the dugout -- google "McDowell finger"). He never said anything about being concerned about potential of electronic sign stealing. For that matter, He started a dozen games against LaRussa-managed A's teams in Oakland and despite his outspoken nature, never said anything about LaRussa having rigged his old home to steal signs.

He went on a rant five years ago in the media about players not playing a clean game and left out sign-stealing. In 2004, he accused Mark Prior of being on steroids, which has never amounted to more than suspicion inspired by his comments.

Now he is making an allegation about events he never witnessed, and no one, even some bitter ex-ballplayers whose pensions aren't under the control of the White Sox or LaRussa, has never alluded to, from a ballpark that no longer exists. There aren't even any details about such a mechanism ever being used.

At least when Albert Belle was caught with a corked bat (in the first inning of a start against McDowell), Gene Lamont complained about it on the spot and some extraordinary efforts were made to prove the claim. Indians teammates later came clean about what was going on. Belle corking bats with the team's knowledge has been part of tell-all books. Strangely enough, five of the Indians who started in the field that night would later play for the White Sox. Team loyalty among baseball players can be nebulous, which is what led to the specific actions of the Astros to steal signs and the subsequent proof. McDowell's allegations strike me more as trying to bring new relevant criticism to someone he has been on the attack against for years. Even if true, without any documentation of such a setup ever having been used to steal signs in a game (which existed with the Astros), McDowell is certain that it wasn't installed by Don Kessinger or Larry Doby? The answer to that question might determine the credibility assigned by people on this site. No way the Southside Hit Men in 1977 would have been in on such a thing, but totally believable if the system was set up by LaRussa, Jerry Reinsdorf or a young Greg Walker.

The fact is, the White Sox were a pretty good team 1981-83 under LaRussa, although they didn't play very well at all after baseball resumed from the strike in 1981. Otherwise, they had only one mid-80s-win year under LaRussa. Charley Lau was the hitting coach from 1981 through 1983, and I have never believed that was coincidental. The 1980s White Sox weren't successful enough to be suspected of cheating. It was the pitching in 1983 that made the team potentially great, really, just missing the World Series. Except for 1977, there wasn't a team in the old ballpark with hitters that looked like they knew what was coming.

Without the scandals against the Astros and the Red Sox actually winning championships with strong evidence of cheating, McDowell's comments wouldn't have been given the credibility of being reported, except perhaps with eye-rolling from his blog (where he complained that Felix Hernandez didn't deserve to win the Cy Young Award). But without the proven current cheating scandal, the elaborate cheating devices that once existed but no longer do wouldn't have come up.
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  #32  
Old 01-19-2020, 01:35 PM
Jollyroger2 Jollyroger2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Boondock Saint View Post
Shame that he wasn't "tired of this crap" while he was playing, instead of a quarter century after the fact. There's no whistle to blow, Jack. Everybody involved in your "scandal" is out of baseball, and nobody is going to be any more afraid of doing the same thing because of your "exposť" than they were by the Astros scandal. This feels like an embarrassing "teacher's pet" show.
Couldn't we say the same thing about Fiers though? He doesn't say a thing when it was going on in Houston, gets traded/released whatever, goes to Detroit, comes back to Houston the following season as a Tiger and happily accepts a WS ring. Still says nothing even after going to Oakland, a division rival of the Astros.

Oakland did make some accusations about sign stealing in 2018 in regards to clapping in the dugout, but nothing about the actual scheme or cameras, etc. Why wait until 2 years later? But when he comes out and says it, it's immediately accepted.

There's so much crap going on in baseball/has been going on. It's going to be awful trying to sort out what's legit and what's not as more and more comes out. Who knew the Angels had a whole drug ring going on inside their clubhouse? That results in the death of a player and nobody says anything. Nor is MLB really looking into that.

Why would McDowell come out and say something with nothing to gain other than a few days in the press? And what are we going to do as more comes out? I don't think any of us would put money down that this is the last we hear of things going on.
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  #33  
Old 01-19-2020, 02:11 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Originally Posted by Jollyroger2 View Post
...
Why would McDowell come out and say something with nothing to gain other than a few days in the press? And what are we going to do as more comes out? I don't think any of us would put money down that this is the last we hear of things going on.

Does he have nothing to gain by making vague statements he can't back up about teams he wasn't a part of and a manager he never played for? How long has it been since he's been relevant?
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  #34  
Old 01-20-2020, 12:28 PM
Tragg Tragg is offline
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How in the world would McDowell know? He was nowhere near this team when Larussa managed. At first I thought he was talking about Oakland-Larussa - at least he was geographically proximate to Oakland, while at Stanford.
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  #35  
Old 01-20-2020, 12:33 PM
Irishsox1 Irishsox1 is offline
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Originally Posted by TDog View Post
McDowell also started three games against the White Sox in Chicago after they traded him to the Yankees (for an overall frustrating season where he once defiantly made an obscene gesture to fans while he was being booed on the way back to the dugout -- google "McDowell finger"). He never said anything about being concerned about potential of electronic sign stealing. For that matter, He started a dozen games against LaRussa-managed A's teams in Oakland and despite his outspoken nature, never said anything about LaRussa having rigged his old home to steal signs.

He went on a rant five years ago in the media about players not playing a clean game and left out sign-stealing. In 2004, he accused Mark Prior of being on steroids, which has never amounted to more than suspicion inspired by his comments.

Now he is making an allegation about events he never witnessed, and no one, even some bitter ex-ballplayers whose pensions aren't under the control of the White Sox or LaRussa, has never alluded to, from a ballpark that no longer exists. There aren't even any details about such a mechanism ever being used.

At least when Albert Belle was caught with a corked bat (in the first inning of a start against McDowell), Gene Lamont complained about it on the spot and some extraordinary efforts were made to prove the claim. Indians teammates later came clean about what was going on. Belle corking bats with the team's knowledge has been part of tell-all books. Strangely enough, five of the Indians who started in the field that night would later play for the White Sox. Team loyalty among baseball players can be nebulous, which is what led to the specific actions of the Astros to steal signs and the subsequent proof. McDowell's allegations strike me more as trying to bring new relevant criticism to someone he has been on the attack against for years. Even if true, without any documentation of such a setup ever having been used to steal signs in a game (which existed with the Astros), McDowell is certain that it wasn't installed by Don Kessinger or Larry Doby? The answer to that question might determine the credibility assigned by people on this site. No way the Southside Hit Men in 1977 would have been in on such a thing, but totally believable if the system was set up by LaRussa, Jerry Reinsdorf or a young Greg Walker.

The fact is, the White Sox were a pretty good team 1981-83 under LaRussa, although they didn't play very well at all after baseball resumed from the strike in 1981. Otherwise, they had only one mid-80s-win year under LaRussa. Charley Lau was the hitting coach from 1981 through 1983, and I have never believed that was coincidental. The 1980s White Sox weren't successful enough to be suspected of cheating. It was the pitching in 1983 that made the team potentially great, really, just missing the World Series. Except for 1977, there wasn't a team in the old ballpark with hitters that looked like they knew what was coming.

Without the scandals against the Astros and the Red Sox actually winning championships with strong evidence of cheating, McDowell's comments wouldn't have been given the credibility of being reported, except perhaps with eye-rolling from his blog (where he complained that Felix Hernandez didn't deserve to win the Cy Young Award). But without the proven current cheating scandal, the elaborate cheating devices that once existed but no longer do wouldn't have come up.

The funny thing is corked bats don't help hitting homeruns at all. They actually deaden the bat. It's better to just get a lighter bat that has a solid core than a bat hollowed out and filled with cork.



Steroids, HGH and tipped pitches help a lot more than a corked bat.
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  #36  
Old 01-20-2020, 01:15 PM
Jollyroger2 Jollyroger2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Tragg View Post
How in the world would McDowell know? He was nowhere near this team when Larussa managed. At first I thought he was talking about Oakland-Larussa - at least he was geographically proximate to Oakland, while at Stanford.
He joined the team the year after La Russa left. His statement clearly says this happened through the late 80s. All he says in the article is that La Russa instigated the setup. It sounds like he's saying that it was still happening after he left.

It would be helpful if more players from that era came forward and either confirmed or denied this.
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  #37  
Old 01-20-2020, 08:59 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Originally Posted by Jollyroger2 View Post
He joined the team the year after La Russa left. His statement clearly says this happened through the late 80s. All he says in the article is that La Russa instigated the setup. It sounds like he's saying that it was still happening after he left.

It would be helpful if more players from that era came forward and either confirmed or denied this.

Ron Kittle was on WGN radio and said he didn't know anything about any such setup, if that's the sort of thing you're looking for. But unlike McDowell, he was there and doesn't have an axe to grind against LaRussa.
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  #38  
Old 01-21-2020, 01:12 PM
WhiteSox5187 WhiteSox5187 is online now
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Okay, so I have WAAY too much free-time at work and looked up the Sox offensive home-road splits from 1980-1985 (each full season that Tony was there):

1980:
Home: .246/.305/.358; 41 HR; 322 Ks; .663 OPS; 3.97K per-game
Away: .271/.317/.380; 50 HR; 348 Ks; .697 OPS; 4.29K per-game

1981:
Home: .262/.337/.365; 31 HR; 222 Ks; .702 OPS; 4.53 K per-game
Away: .279/.334/.404; 45 HR; 296 K; .739 OPS; 5.19 K-per game
I should note, because of the strike the Sox only played 49 games at home vs. 57 games on the road in '81

1982:
Home: .273/.337/.399; 51 HR; 393 Ks; .737 OPS; 4.91 K per-game
Away: .273/.337/.425; 85 HR; 473K; .762 OPS; 5.76 K per game
Note: The Sox only played 80 games at home vs. 82 on the road in '82

1983:
Home: .276/.344/.445; 84 HR; 428 Ks; .789 OPS; 5.28 K per game
Away: .250/.314/.383; 73 HR; 460 Ks; .697 OPS; 5.68 K per game
Note: '83 and '84 are the most dramatic home-road Sox splits the Sox had in Tony's tenure, but it should be noted that according to ballparks.com the Sox moved the fences in '83 to 341 feet down the lines, 374 in the alleys and 401 feet in center (from 349, 382 and 409). Sox pitchers also gave up 21 more homers at Old Comiskey in '83 compared to '82 despite having a lower ERA.

1984:
Home: .256/.326/.430; 103 HR; 411 K; .756 OPS; 5.07 K per game
Away: .237/.302/.361; 69 HR; 472 K; 5.83 K per game

1985:
Home: .248/.314/.397; 74 HR; 421 K; .711 OPS; 5.2 K per game
Away: .258/.316/.388; 72 HR; 422 K; .704 OPS; 5.15 K per game

My takeaway for what it is worth: If the Sox were stealing signs at Old Comiskey when Tony was manager, it didn't really work that well because there were only two years where the Sox offense was markedly better at home than on the road and they were still under .500 in one of those two seasons.
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  #39  
Old 02-06-2020, 11:33 AM
Juice16 Juice16 is offline
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Or distorted knowledge. Harrelson's ego was the reason Harrelson fired LaRussa. He got the job hypercritical of LaRussa and his predecessor and made a priority out of doing things the way he always said they should be done, even if the rest of baseball thought he and his moves were a joke. LaRussa was always a good company man. He even tried to take the blame for Harrelson insisting Fisk play left (like turning his back on on an friend, Fisk said after starting a game in the Fenway outfield). With everything that came down after LaRussa left, all the White Sox who played for him in the White Sox leaving the organization, a nearly four-decade conspiracy of silence to protect him seems unlikely.

I know this is about LaRussa and McDowell, but I believe the Harrelson forcing Fisk to LF has taken a life of its own over the years. I was recently watching a Sox game from 1985 on youtube. Bob Costas was talking about how LaRussa was already wanting Fisk to play LF.
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