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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Bitter blogger Chass rips another Hall of Famer Gibson

Following his retirement from the New York Times, Hall of Fame baseball writer Murray Chass became an angry and bitter blogger.  Living off his past accomplishments, Chass now seems focused on settling the score with others against whom he holds grudges from the past.

Chass’ latest target is none other than a fellow Cooperstown inductee, former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson.

Following a sparse, two-paragraph review of the upcoming HBO special about the late Curt Flood and his fight against MLB’s reserve clause which bound a player to a team, Chass quickly turned to his specialty, attacking others.

Chass labels the former Cardinals hurler a “tin man,” in other words, heartless, because Gibson did not come out publicly in support of his teammate Flood’s legal challenge against baseball’s owners in 1970.

Even as he completed his skewering of Gibson, Chass undercut his own position by admitting that Gibson was far from alone. In fact, the writer acknowledges that not one major league player came to Flood’s defense at the time.

In other words, Gibson was simply one of 599 other major leaguers in 1970 that did not step out of line to risk the ramifications of crossing the then-all-powerful owners.

Though other contemporaries of Flood such as Joe Torre and Tim McCarver are quoted in the article about their own indifference to the Flood situation, they were spared Chass’ slander.

Apparently one reason Gibson was singled out was because the candid former pitcher was willing to discuss the situation in depth with the HBO filmmakers, providing Chass quotes to dissect.

Another reason appears to be that Gibson’s long-tenured dislike of the press remains stuck in Chass’ craw.

“As a player, Gibson intimidated opposing batters with his blazing fastball and reporters with his menacing stare and gruff responses to questions,” Chass wrote. “In retirement he has not mellowed. He neither takes phone calls from reporters nor returns them.”

Did Chass single out Gibson because he spoke with HBO and not him?

One final question.

In his 1970 writings, did Chass spring to Flood’s defense, joining the lonely fight against baseball’s barons? Or instead, did he “wimp out,” just as his headline over 40 years after the fact accuses Gibson of doing?

One thing we have learned from the steroids era is that silence was wide-spread at the time. Moralizing after the fact about what should have been done simply creates the impression of hypocrisy by the accuser.

More than likely, the pot is calling the kettle black here and it is not becoming.

Update:  A reader provided this link from the NYT, noting that in 1971, the very brave and visionary Chass wondered if players who demand change have mental issues.

Notes: “The Curious Case of Curt Flood” is a 90-minute documentary that premieres on HBO at 9 P.M. EDT on July 13. I also highly recommend reading “A Well-Paid Slave,” a Flood biography written by Brad Snyder.

The above photo is from the aftermath of game seven of the 1964 World Series. On the far left, an exhausted Gibson is helped off the field by catcher McCarver, while Flood, number 21, is in the far right of the shot.

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72 Responses to “Bitter blogger Chass rips another Hall of Famer Gibson”

  1. crdswmn says:

    I can’t wait to see the documentary.

    Didn’t Chass write some nasty stuff about Stan Musial recently? Must hate the Cardinals.

  2. Brian Walton says:

    Cardinals announce Pujols to be activated tonight with corresponding move to be announced before the game.

  3. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    “Nobody else knows your body better than God and you,” he said. “So (the team doctors) have to go by how I feel and at the same time (trust) what I’m telling them. I don’t want to put myself in a situation where I can get hurt and turn it into something worse. I’ve done it in the past. If I can play, I’ll play, if not, I’ll wait until the time comes.”

    Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bryan-burwell/article_21c65ba0-85f9-558e-ba12-7c4c47ea44f5.html#ixzz1RGOPaoY1

    I mean…………..how can Tony not put him in the line up???????????????????? Without Jay in right yesterday, we loose that game……and Tony knows it…………. I think he is a little surprised on how this has worked out……especially the front office position………. the goat smell the sacrifice….maybe…………… he will study the situation……….least he be the fool…………..

  4. blingboy says:

    Hamilton saved by a sneeze. Now he and Dan can pick cobwebs off each other.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      The precedent for Berkman playing first has been established BB………… Hamilton is useless……………. they will keep 3 catchers……..allowing for a wider use of of all……….. Cruz should stay…or they’re stupid…………….

      • blingboy says:

        Most likely go back to 13 pitchers. When Sanchez comes back if nothing else.

        • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

          For some reason BB, I don’t feel like Sanchez will come back………. if he does, Lynn isn’t staying…….
          There are going to be some plays made coming up in the FO/OF death match…………. lets watch how the AP show plays……….. Fireworks for 6 more days…………

  5. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Why don’t the pretty boys take the play by play today……………. Jumbo….. Brazilian……. 52………why don’t you guys entertain us with you’re…”astute observations”…………..

    • CariocaCardinal says:

      Prettier than you I have no doubt :)

      that would be “astute observations” as opposed to “rambling conjecture and fantasy”? If I had a live game feed I might but your disciples would miss you Westie.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Thanks very much. Westie. Yes, I have been blessed and given more than my fair share of handsome genes. I bet from their intellects Bw52 and Carioca have been blessed as well.
        But keep your chin up, Westie, old sport. We are rooting for you to turn the corner and get your head straight. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Yes Westie Can!

    • Bw52 says:

      Maybe some of us don`t feel the need to be a ratchet jawed windbag.

  6. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Garcia has his armor on…………he’s taking names…………….

  7. Kansasbirdman says:

    Rick reporting that HR by Berkman (his 350th) was the longest at Busch III – 452 ft

  8. crdswmn says:

    Jaime is looking good so far.

  9. blingboy says:

    What’s with Freese and the white shoes, anybody know?

  10. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    2 runs………… Garcia hasn’t been going deep……………..you figure he will hit a crisis by the end of the 7th…………. I wish we had 4 runs or more…………….at least by then………… you know how it goes …completely in command………..until he isn’t………….

  11. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Albert has been welcomed back by the hero’s…………… little guys better wake up….

  12. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    a nice stroke by Freese…………… first pitch failed HR by the sport………Molina likewise………. Skip makes one swing…………….so intent on finding a pitch he goes out of the strike………like a blind man with a white Cain………….. not to spoil a close pitch……..but just insecure contact………..pitchers dream……the white bat…….DP if one was needed……….

  13. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Jamie sits at 80 through 5………….he will be on a short leash……..

  14. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    I ask you……….. Theriot keeps the ball out of the air……..Jay takes a controlled cut…………and Matt misses a good pitch……and hits a down and in pitch for the round tripper………. he is ready to saddle up AP………….. Freese and Colby….shrinkage………. we need roll players to set the stage for these guys……………Garcia has a longer leash…….but you watch how fast Tony pulls on it if he relaxes too much……….

  15. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Colby was as bad in that AB as I’ve seen him………….. he turns up his nose at the OPO gaper….and then they give him what he’s waiting for…………something down and in……………….. but not so good……….wastes a pitch and shows him the sucker pitch again……….. Colby back to his inferior set up, trying to swing off his shoulder……………… RC ……he is just radiating a point by point self evaluation when he is standing there………….. and it is not a good one…….whenever he has any success, he isn’t doing it that way…………….. Tony will pinch him with Jay…….. heads up…….. you don’t want that………you may think you do………trust me……….you don’t……….. I see that this is a balance issue with that damn leg kick……… have him push it back on the wind up………….separate the kick and the hand positioning ……………… he looks anemic except when they put it in his favorite spot……… That sure as hell isn’t MM setting him up………..

    • JumboShrimp says:

      We are slaughering the Reds. How about give the patented negativism the rest of the night off? Save it up and slam the Cards all the harder tomorrow.

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        Jumbo…………….. talk about the game if you have any insights……….. the social commentary is hardly your strength…………… tell us about tomorrow. There is more to this game than your autographed Pujols jersey……….. talk about what you see………… Not what you’re unable to understand about the dialog here………..

      • CariocaCardinal says:

        If he did that he’d have nothing to say and I doubt he could handle not hearing himself ramble.

        • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

          Since you write on Brian’s site Brazilian…………I trust you are here for a reason……………. tell Brian I’ll check in after the break to see how you and Jumbo do……….. have some fun with it……….

  16. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Does Tony throw a taken AB at AP……………….. instead of waiting to see if he’s sore from todays workout?????????? Albert in chains has empowered the Lilliputians……….. lets see how it goes tomorrow………… ESPN is call for Jay in center………….

  17. Kansasbirdman says:

    Brian, a fan held a “Cardinals va Reds- Let the fireworks begin” sign, probably a blog reader, stole your headline :-)

  18. Kansasbirdman says:

    I am liking Lynn more and more every outing :-l

  19. JumboShrimp says:

    Kind of Tony to give Colby the night off, rather than face Chapman. Who needs to stand in their against a 103 mph pitch from a southpaw? Strange to see a 91 mph slider.

  20. JumboShrimp says:

    Great to see Mo sign Blaine Boyer again and ink up Ron Mahay too. Good to tickle Tallet too, help him to sneeze.
    Sammy Sosa went on the DL once, after injuring himself via a sneeze. What a contrast. One team has a star who cannot be stopped by a broken bone. The other team has a slugger knocked out by a sneeze. A tale of two cities.

  21. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    The issue now is not who plays center…………its, who hits second…….lets see how Tony solves it…..
    You know Berkmans going to be in right………… Skip moving up………… Danny D gonna hit second……………..Punto? To bad that Boggs is struggling………

  22. CariocaCardinal says:

    Would it have made too much sense to get Dickson an inning in an a non-pressure situation to get his feet wet?

  23. JumboShrimp says:

    During spring training, lots of worry worts and nervous nellies about Lance Berkman. http://thecardinalnationblog.com/2011/03/27/lance-berkman-drops-to-the-mendoza-line/

    Tonight, Lance hit the longest homer yet in Busch III. 23 dingers before the All Star game. We have not one, but 3 walk on water hit machines.

  24. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    They just showed a closeup of how AP hand was wrapped……… there’s tape under the wrap and the brace……………… In my opinion that is going to be the best thing that ever happened to AP….the only way he stays on the field is if he uses right side….. right hand………if he is turning out and pulling off, it won’t go well for him……… I say he does what he needs too ……… God is good……… but of course if it doesn’t……….. he will take the injury out……………seeing if he could hope a ride in September…….

  25. crdswmn says:

    Pardon the interruption of the male bonding ritual of CC, Jumbo and BW for an actual baseball topic.

    I’d like to know if anyone thinks the Pirates have the stamina to stay in the race the rest of the season. They have been such a surprise so far.

    • Bw52 says:

      Pardon your interruption of your Westie worship for a baseball answer.No i don`t think the pirates have the horses to stay in the race.Another year of maturing and then they can be a real factor IMO.Now back to your regurly scheduled role of Westie advocate Crdswmn.

      • Kansasbirdman says:

        BW, before you can offer testimony that one poster does indeed worship another we are going to need to see your CV as I object based on your qualifications as an expert, plus you have failed to lay a foundation. I have seen nary a scintilla of evidence that anyone here “worships” WC as far as the lexicograpers at Oxford would define it Let’s take me for example. Have I said that I enjoy his posts? Yes. Have I said that I agree with all of his contentions or statements of alleged fact? No. Does that amount to worship? Objection.
        This is not the proper venue or forum to make that determination.

        That being said, the privilege to post here (and it is a ‘privilege’ and not a right as Mr. Walton does not preside over an Article III Court and hold a due process hearing before a post is deleted or a poster vanquished from the site) applies to all that are granted accesss. The space upon which posts can be made are equally available to everyone. The rules are set forth by Mr. Walton, and TCN, owner of the site. No one poster or group can silence any other poster or group. You, Jumbo and Carioca have the exact same privilege to post here as WC, Crdswmn or myself. WC posts about baseball, even if many do not agree with the content of his posts. When one poster denigrates another, or reverts to ad hominems, that is not posting about baseball. I enjoy your baseball posts as I do Jumbo’s and Carioca’s. The different perspectives make this site great. It would be myopic or solipsistic to think that there is or to require that there be only one ‘type’ of Cardinal fan. Only totalitarian regimes would require that.

        So please, keep up the great baseball posts. Please skip over the ones you do not enjoy reading, and forego the comments about other posters. Or if you must, provide a reply to the premise or contention of the post and not make comments about the poster ( I can’t speak for everyone, but when someone replies to an argument with a personal attack, the reply is not persuasive to me). We are all here free to decide for ourselves which to read, and we are all adults that can think for ourselves and do not require policing to censor posts that may be in the negative nature about the team. Just keep posting your positive posts about the Great MLB team that is the St. Louis Cardinals and let your baseball wisdom persuade Cardinal fans that are trying to get an education about baseball and the Cardinals (like me).

        Yours in Cardinal fandom,

        KB

        • Brian Walton says:

          If I had an award for the Comment of the Week or Month, I would bestow that recognition on KB’s final two paragraphs.

        • crdswmn says:

          Great post. Legal talk makes me feel all googly inside. :)

        • Bw52 says:

          KB-I appreciate reading your thoughts and opinions.I have a very poor opinion of overblown wordy BS that a certain poster relishes.I make no pretensions of insider knowledge or feel the need to get a case of self-importance while commenting on a simple flyout.If that offends you i apologize.I try very hard to ignore the so called omnipotent verbose one.Thanks.

        • Bw52 says:

          KB-While not a cheerleader for the team i do try to find and enjoy something positive about each game.Life has enough problems without dwelling constantly on every little error or popup or manager decision that doesn`t work out.Apparently that outlook is conrary to a few posters.As a fan of almost 50 years i don`t need a conspiracy behind every decision or a plot over each playermove.If thats your thing then have at it.As for me when i step in crap i usually will tell you it stinks.

          • Kansasbirdman says:

            I as well appreciate your thoughts and opinions on the Cards and baseball and didn’t mean to pigeonhole you.
            So, back to Crdwmns question, maybe restated a little, is the Pirates being two games back the result of the Cards not being at the level in terms of wins they should be (whether due to injury, blown saves or weaker BP or whatever reason) orand if so, will we pull away after the break when we have the full squad and maybe some bp help, or is Pitt and for that matter cincy and the brewers gonna all be at the front of the pack breathing down our neck for the dog days ahead? I suppose it depends on our schedule and it looks like we have a lot of division games left so that should help the analysis. From my pov, pitt has come out of nowhere but it seems younger teams don’t sustain

            • Bw52 says:

              KB- pitt has some talent that has come along.They have some question marks (Catcher-injuries,youth,inexperience etc).How many have dealt with pennant race pressure instead of pl;aying fairly meaningless games in August and September?Pirates have some fine players Pedro Alvarez 3B,Walker,Tabata,and others.IMO reality will hit them .If management in Pitt is smart they will look as 2011 as a springboard season and try to improve instead of dumping payroll like they usualy do.The NL central can be different division next year because of Free agency and options.
              Brewers have Fatboy Fielder as a FA plus others.
              Reds have a option on Ramon Hernandez,Brandon Phillips has a 12 million dollar option,The vaulted Reds pitching staff has had several injuries.
              Astros are rebuilding
              Cubs are in deep dodo
              Cards have big decisions with Albert and Carpenter,Lefthanded bullpen and deciding if Theriot and Schumacker will be worth over 3 plus million each.Plus Do you bring Berkman back and he will want over 10 million probably.
              All in all the Central could have a different outlook in 2012.

              • Brian Walton says:

                I think the Pirates have been pitching over their heads and am not yet convinced they match the talent of Cincy or Milwaukee. If the Cubs are in it deep, which they are, what does that say about Houston?

                • Bw52 says:

                  Brian-Houston still has the contract of Carlos Lee to suffer for.At least Houston admitted they are rebuilding.The Cubs continue to wallow in place.
                  The Astros have several; young players to try and build around Pence Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace.The Astros haven`t been able to develop a decent MLB catcher in years.
                  Heres a question for you Brian; Do the Reds pick up the 12 million dollar option of Brandon Phillips or take the 1 million buyout and go with a kid?What about Cordero their closer;same option as Phillips?

                  The Cubs have a 16 million club option on Aramis Ramirez or a 2 million buyout.
                  Where do you see Fielder in 2012? Cubs or Angels or Brewers?

                  • Kansasbirdman says:

                    Lots of flux next year in the central it sounds, lots of big (not just size -PF :-) ) free agents, three first base free agents if you count Berkman. Plus, is Houston gonna be in the AL next year?
                    For this season, if we don’t get first place, which I think we will barring an unforseen setback, there is no postseason with the w-l records of the NL east teams, specifically the Braves and Phillies I think the wild card is gonna come out of that division

                • crdswmn says:

                  Which pitchers do you specifically think are pitching over their heads? Morton? If it is as you say, when do you think they will hit the wall?

          • Brian Walton says:

            By now, we all know how certain posters feel about certain other posters. What benefit is there in repeating the same negative comments over and over? As KB suggests, please try focusing on the discussions that are of interest and let the others go.

          • crdswmn says:

            What is one man’s crap is another’s flower garden. Try accepting that BW and stop trying to mow the flowers down. That is all KB is asking.

  26. CariocaCardinal says:

    I make no apologies for engaging Westie or anyone’s comments. I believe posters have an implied obligation to defend their opinions and to source those things they present as fact.

    Have I crossed the line into personal attacks? Regrettably yes, but almost always in defense when someone has attacked me. (btw, I don’t consider mocking someone’s post that they refuse to defend as a personal attack.)

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