Bonds and Clemens Aren’t Getting Into the Hall of Fame. What a Joke.

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20+ years ago, while I was working as a student assistant at the Radford University, my boss Mike Ashley said something I never forgot. We were arguing about the Baseball Hall of Fame (as sports nerds, that wasn’t all that uncommon) and I had brought up the outrage that Shoeless Joe Jackson was kept out of the Hall. Mike glanced up and said, “Being kept out of the Hall is the best thing that ever happened to Shoeless Joe Jackson.” I was stunned. Mike was one of the most knowledgeable sports mind I knew (still is) and I couldn’t believe what he had just said.

“What?”

“Best thing that ever happened to him. You know what happens the day after he gets inducted? Everybody in America forgets who he was.”

It was a great point. Other than Ty Cobb, Cy Young, and maybe Walter Johnson, there are almost no pre-Babe Ruth era Hall of Famers that modern fans ever knew existed. But they all know Shoeless Joe, and as long as he’s kept out of the Hall, they always will.

The Shoeless Joe argument tends to lead one to the Pete Rose argument that has been brewing for so many years now. Should he or shouldn’t he? In a sport that ultimately defines players by whether or not they can hit, having more hits than anyone else ever is a pretty damn big deal. But the player with the most hits in the history of baseball isn’t in the Hall of Fame.

And now it appears that the player with the most Home Runs in MLB history won’t be joining him either. Barry Bonds, the greatest player of our lifetimes, isn’t joining the Hall any time soon. Roger Clemens, arguably the best pitcher of our lifetimes, won’t be either. The reason is, ostensibly, steroids. That is of course only part of the story, as Clemens and Bonds had something else in common: both were world class pricks.

Not a prick? Harold Baines. By all accounts one of the nicest guys in baseball. Despite having an OPS 0.230 lower than Bonds, he will be going into the Hall of Fame.

You know who else teammates loved? Mike Mussina. Despite rather pedestrian numbers over his career, he’ll be going in largely because he “won with elegance” as the Washington Post said.

I’ll tell you who didn’t win with elegance: Curt Schilling. What a world class jerk-off that guy was, and still is. But let’s be clear: there is no statistical measure by which Mike Mussina was a better baseball player. None. And yet, he heads to the Hall of Fame while Schilling rushes off to the nearest radio to blame the immigrants or Hollywood or whomever else he’s hating on today.

So what do we have? We have a Hall of Fame that has decided it’s not just an arbiter of baseball but an arbiter of proper behavior. And quite frankly, if they don’t like you, they’re not letting you. Either win with “elegance”, either answer their questions and smile, or else.

Thus “good guys” who were highly suspected of being steroid users such as Pudge Rodriguez and Jeff Bagwell are in the Hall of Fame*. The churlish assholes such as Clemens and Bonds are not. And even Schilling, who isn’t suspected of using steroids** and who should be a shoo-in for the Hall is on the outside looking in.

There’s something else about the steroid era that makes the motion to keep out Bonds and Clemens even more absurd: they weren’t breaking the rules. Hard to believe, but in the 1990s, Major League Baseball had no steroid policy. None. Why are so many players held under suspicion from that era, but there are seemingly no definitive answers? Because there was no testing, and until 2005 there was simply a blind eye turned to the whole thing.

And why is that? In large part because baseball was reeling after the disastrous 1994 strike that cancelled the World Series. And there’s precedent for what came next: in 1920, the Black Sox scandal rocked baseball, and threatened the survival of the sport. But some genius decided “We should juice the ball. The fans seem to like home runs.” That and the charisma of Babe Ruth saved the league.

Fast forward 70+ years, and again baseball was up against the ropes. And the answer to bring the fans back was obvious. But this time, not just the ball was juiced. The combo of a juiced ball and the chiseled from stone Greek Gods Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa brought the fans back in that thrilling Home Run race of 1998. Yes, these two behemoths looked more like defensive ends than baseball players, and there were more than a few whispers about steroid use. But you know what? Nobody cared. It was a gravy train for everyone: the league, the players, the writers, and the fans. And so we all pretended that what was so obvious was not; that these two men were juiced out of their minds. Bud Selig, who ran the league, certainly had no problem letting steroids flow like wine as long as revenue returned to baseball. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2017. The sportswriters, whose papers saw an explosion in interest as people kept up with the home run race, didn’t say what they all knew. Nobody wanted to spoil the fun until it was all over, and even then it wasn’t a reporter but a dipshit former player, Jose Canseco, who spilled the beans. Sportswriters were absolutely derelict in their duties when it came to steroids.

And now those same sportswriters who let the steroids run amok without any investigative journalism have the temerity to wag their fingers at Clemens and Bonds, as if they weren’t part of the same problem. They dare plant themselves on that moral high ground, as if they are entrusted with allowing these men into Heaven and not a baseball museum. Bonds and Clemens weren’t penitent enough, they didn’t grovel enough, and therefore (unlike Bagwell, Pudge, Piazza, etc) they will not be allowed past the gatekeepers. The Schilling snub just proves that the Baseball Hall of Fame has little to do with baseball…it has to do with kissing sportswriters asses. And THAT is why Clemens and Bonds, the best hitter and best pitcher of our lifetimes, will not go to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Who knows, maybe in 80 years it will be the best thing to ever happen to them. But right now, it is nothing short of an outrage.

*When Rodriguez was asked in 2009 if he was on the list of players who allegedly tested positive for steroids during baseball’s 2003 survey it instituted that year, he told the Associated Press, “Only God knows.” Both Bagwell and Mike Piazza admitted taking androstenedione, a substance that would be banned by MLB.

**though he obviously drinks plenty of the FOXNews Kool-Aid

Boston and LA Suck Week Begins Today

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Our topic is “Boston and LA Suck”, and yes we WILL be back at the Sidecar tonight at 8 p.m. No question of the week this week.

Food and Drink Week This Week

Food and Drink Week

We’re gonna be playing a Food and Drink quiz this week. Pretty self explanatory. One notable change: no Sidecar quiz on Tuesday, as they are closed for renovations. I will be at Dilworth tonight at 6, and Car will be at O’Neals at 8. No question of the Week this week. Hope to see ya tonight!

New Facebook Page, and New Quizzo Bowl Page

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We’ve moved over to a new JGT Quizzo Facebook Page. If you want to know all the latest and greatest things happening in the quizzo world, head on over there.

I’ve also just launched a Quizzo Bowl XV FB page. If you’re planning on going, or at least thinking about it, be sure to like that page. I’ll then harvest all your data and sell it to the Trump/Pence 2020 campaign.

Prizes for Best Aloha Shirt and Muumuu at QB XV

JGT, circa 1999.

JGT, circa 1999.

When I first moved to Hawaii with my childhood buddy Bo in 1998, we decided to attend services at the Mokuaikaua Church, the oldest Christian church in Hawaii. I put on my typical church wear: an Oxford shirt and a tie. Bo said, “You don’t need to wear a tie.” Being from the South, I knew that was outrageous.

“Of course I have to wear a tie, it’s church.”

“OK but you’re going to look like an idiot.”

I decided to take my chances. We started to walk into church, and the usher, sure enough, says, “Why you wearing a tie? Take it off. Relax.” And that was the last time I was dumb enough to wear a tie in Hawaii. The tie simply doesn’t exist there. For formal occasions, men wear Aloha shirts and women wear muumuus. And so it shall be at Quizzo Bowl XV, where you will be expected to wear Aloha wear. I mean, if we’re going to do a Hawaiian party, we’re going to do it right.

If you’re really looking to wear something nice that you can wear again, I recommend Hilo Hatties. An actual Hawaiian store that has beautiful clothes. And if you sign up on their website they give you 20% off your first order. It is a bit pricer than your other options, but if you want to support a true Hawaiian business and have an awesome shirt or muumuu when it’s done, that’s the spot.

If you’re looking to do it on the cheap, the move is always local thrift stores, but if you’re in a rush, yes of course you can use amazon. They’ve got some decent aloha shirts and muumuus for under $20.

And yes, we will have prizes for best Aloha shirt, best muumuu, and best dressed team.

Birds Vs Saints Week

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In honor of the Eagles next playoff appearance, I’m writing a quiz about Birds and Saints….don’t worry, you won’t need to be an ornithologist, a football junkie, or a religious scholar to do well on this quiz. Finally a full slate of action this week!

TUESDAY

  • Dilworth Plaza 6 pm
  • Sidecar 8 pm
  • O’Neals 8 pm

WEDNESDAY

  • Locust Rendezvous 6:15 pm
  • Founding Fathers 8:30 pm

THURSDAY

  • Birra 8 pm
  • Bards 9:15 pm

Quizzo Bowl XV: Hawaiian Style

Quizzo Bowl XV

PHILADELPHIA (January 7th, 2019)- Slowy and the Boats will provide the Aloha, and Johnny Goodtimes will supply the trivia, at the longest running trivia event of it’s kind in America. It’s the 15th edition of Quizzo Bowl, and the fifth straight one at the World Cafe Live.

The event is open to the public, and teams will be competing in teams of up to eight players for over $1200 worth of prizes. Taking home the title won’t be easy, however. Among the teams expected to compete are five time winners Sofa Kingdom, as well as the defending champs the Cracked Eggheads. There will be an extra $100 bonus prize to any team that can win their first title this year, knocking off all previous champions.

For JGT, the quiz will be a homecoming of sorts: he lived in Hawaii from 1998-2000, where he trained dolphins. For insurance reasons, there be no dolphins at this event.

There will,however, be tons of prize giveaways, great live music, Hawaiian drink specials, Philly comedians, and plenty of surprises.

Tickets are on sale online now, and Goodtimes will also have them for sale at his weekly quizzes.

Quizzo This Week

We are back in action tonight! (January 2nd) Action starts at the Vous at 6:15 and on to Founding Fathers at 8:30. No Question of the Week this week. An annual tradition for round 2, a little bit of history for a wild card, and expect something new in the audio round. Quizzo is also on for Thursday at Birra at 8 and Bards at 9:15. See ya this week!

Year in Review Quizzo This Week

We’re ON for this week. Boots Bocutti will be hosting the following quizzes:

WEDNESDAY

  • Locust Rendezvous 6:15 pm
  • Founding Fathers 8:30 pm

THURSDAY

  • Birra 8 pm
  • Bards 9:30 pm

No question of the week, all questions about 2018. Make it happen!

Question of the Week

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What country music artist was the first to release the song Jingle Bell Rock, doing so in 1957?

JGT Holiday Spectacular on Friday!

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The First Annual JGT Holiday Spectacular will take place on Friday the 21st at the Bourse! In addition to a Holiday themed quiz, we’ll have Christmas music between rounds performed by the Chain Gang (including the INCREDIBLE Bob T on guitar), food and drink specials, and an Ugliest Sweater Contest. It’s free to play and it’s gonna be a ton of fun. Action starts at 6 pm and you can RSVP here. If you have not checked out the new Bourse yet, you are in for a treat. We went today to see the Grinch and grab some lunch and it is awesome in there.

Our Annual Christmas Toy Drive Is Now Underway!

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Hey gang, we’re getting a late start and we’ve got more kids than ever on the list, so please do me a favor and help spread the word on this! Here’s our situation:  For kids who have a gift next to their name, please put your name and email address on the sheet  and send that gift if possible (shoes seem to be a popular gift). For kids that do not have a gift listed, please either send me $25-$50 via Paypal (johnny@johnnygoodtimes.com) and let me know which name to check off the list or send a Visa gift card in their name and Cheri (head of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign) and I will go shopping for them right before Christmas. As for you, in addition to doing something awesome for your city, you’ll get a 30% off code to shop at Shibe Sports

The good news is that we’ve got a bit more room for storage this year, as we opened a pop-up store at Gloucester Premium Outlets, and you can mail your gifts there. Please have gifts/gift cards mailed to:

SHIBE SPORTS
GLOUCESTER PREMIUM OUTLETS
100 PREMIUM OUTLETS DRIVE
SUITE 240
BLACKWOOD, NJ 08012
 

If you’d prefer to just drop your gifts off, please feel free to do so at Shibe Sports in Center City, at 137 South 13th Street. Thanks in advance for your incredible generosity, and hopefully we can get every name knocked off this list!

Question of the Week

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What is the official state motto of Indiana?

Quizzo Bowl Poll

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Hey there, folks, there is a major poll on the JGT Facebook page that will help determine what our between round entertainment is for Quizzo Bowl. I need to decide this today so please vote ASAP. Thanks!