WEEI>On Demand>>Larry Rocca, Baseball Hall of Fame voter: Explains why he voted for Hideo Nomo

Larry Rocca, Baseball Hall of Fame voter: Explains why he voted for Hideo Nomo

Jan 10, 2014|

Larry Rocca joins Mut and Merloni to explain his Hall of Fame ballot where he didn't vote for any of the three players elected and voted for Hideo Nomo.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Former baseball writer for the New York star ledger Lawrence rock ROC CAA he -- right cover baseball anymore -- second Kelly stop covering baseball full time. In 2004. -- this year among his affiliation with the Baseball Hall of Fame is honorary he's allowed to keep his vote as an honorary member. Of the BB WAA. He voted for four people this year he left six opened spots on his ballot he voted for. Yeah all members to get into the hall of fame this time around. Zero he voted for Jack -- he boarded for Tim Raines he voted for Alan Trammell and he voted for Hideo Nomo. On -- Lawrence Rocca began an honorary member. Large Rock -- Larry -- Said Lawrence on the BB got via web -- I believe our next guest goes by Larry rock I don't wanna get that wrong in effect Larry Rocco who. Covered baseball Mets Dodgers and yankees look columnist new York New Jersey nice up the joint -- -- -- talk about his vote for the hall of fame hey Larry -- -- -- -- -- Could get a great to be with you guys. Jeff thank you for taking a few minutes here I fly it like I'll make sure I have the background correct because. You covered baseball in new York New Jersey beat writer for the Mets the Dodgers the Yankees a columnist at the angels ansari. Yes and no problem I covered the angels the night before recover the Dodgers in 95 and ninety -- both of those speaker for the Orange County Register. And those were no must first two years so I saw that you know up close every day and then in 97 and went to new York and I covered the -- for the Newark Star Ledger. And halfway through the 98 season I get higher by needs data covered the Yankees -- carry them through the 98992000. World Series. Went back to cover the -- and 01 for the star ledger and then once baseball columnist for them in 020304. You left that that media game and went to work with Bobby Valentine in Japan 2005. I did I did so you know for. He went back to Japan and we -- I get to. -- known as well as -- beat writer in really liked him and we also had dated mutual interest in Japanese people he had been in Japan at midnight east. In that we went back to Japan. You know for I remember thinking I'd love to go. In he actually kind of bitter about it she had to go in and but I just gotten engaged in -- My I just been promoted columnist here before in my dad was sick and my dad who by the -- group in London surpassed my dad is still. Flash forward to end of nova and the vote for my dad died October 28 the day after the Red Sox won the World Series. -- November 1. Fiance and I broke things off November 16. I called Bobby in November 8 and enough that offer last year Israel or not but yet he added here at the and that ten days later he had a flight to Japan on 8300 dollar business class plane ticket for an interview. To be the director promotions for the cumulative Marines could do that with him for five years there. It was a great run in two one that ended. I came back and I'm now actually did development director and my high school all the mater Georgetown prep in Maryland facility. So Larry to get it right you voted for. Alan Trammell Tim Raines Jack Morse and Hideo Nomo and because you don't. Beat you don't wanna -- for anybody have anything to do with the -- -- guess like anything to do with the steroid errant. My question would be two things to be two -- one. -- entire career was in the steroid era and what is your case for him to ever be ever step foot in a hall of fame. -- -- The leaders -- that election apparently that I have I have I have been on the ballot. You know I think -- Well so to answer the first part about the steroid era I as of now at least. -- I feel like I don't want to vote for anybody that played the bulk of his career. In this steroid era and I and make an exception -- -- out of the possibly unite totally not possibly nine a belief that he did not use. But I think that nobody had more power. To read the game steroids in the biggest stars in the game that it would not have been that hard for them. The reunion meeting between elephant property she's excellent reporting. Rick Helling stood up -- -- -- immediately that we need to address this we need to address steroids in any and it either silent crickets chirping it would not have been that hard. In a guy like Tom Glavine and pragmatic in the other guys didn't at all they had to say -- I agree. It would gain traction and it's gonna happen so you know it it was it's buried night went on to. They don't think Glavine and medics did use that to you and I think. I think implicating Kennedy the you don't think they took steroids either. Can the bystander. I'm not I'm not saying whether they did or not I think that they're all complicit though it was like a bystander effect Kitty Genovese -- put that together in the -- New York. Whatever it was 37 people hurt nobody called police who didn't want to get involved. These guys knew they all -- they all -- people -- Chris and the writers. And that we relate OK we relate absolutely I wish I had done more to how it was a baseball writer of the. -- started molecular that it took back to back to normal back and I'm one of the best pitchers you've ever seen him play. Was he one of the best -- you've ever seen over long -- Certainly he blazed a trail he absolutely blazed a trail it it was so he's going doubts that he left that lead to come here. He was a huge impact pitcher. Those first years especially through the no hitter coarse field -- -- the all star game rookie year edged out Chipper Jones. I'm not used to do not to -- I'm not pretending -- Jackie Robinson but on a much smaller scale he blazed a trail. So this historical importance without a doubt he was an an. Excellent picture hearing -- the picture there my appreciation for Japanese -- poker after witnessing it up close for five years working in the game there. It and I'm not pretending that a Major League Baseball so I'm saying. Is he a hall of Famer I mean clearly he's not because only six people voted. -- think Tony Harris is a hall of Famer. Men don't like it's a good question it's a good question because the data Tony weren't -- benefited. From some of the big -- user that's my point to keep Maddux and Glavine though for heavenly voice and only time I didn't vote for terrorism we don't the writers don't vote for the man. Manager blood do you think he's all favor. I would say now I -- Tony lyricist career was built on the back of the biggest security abusers in baseball that they were they were ahead of the game. That does those late eighties and Oakland -- teams. Welcome to everybody now knows they were completely out of control -- steroids and so why would he get the credit for. We're talking to Larry Rocco who nice enough to post his ballot online at BB WA web -- not a lot of people ordeal when it and Larry did it he voted for people. Including Hideo Nomo on the problem is the problem having is I understand we say trail -- like I think that they're probably should be. You know some sort of and I'm not saying this before but some sort of it's exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame talk about guys like -- -- noble what they did but. To look at him as a picture Larry Wright and say he should be in the one point 2%. Of all baseball players who ever played the game that somebody represented in the hall of fame and on top of that. Not penalize him because I think he's clean and I'm not I wanna penalize everybody else generous and it. -- acknowledged that I acknowledge that won that one has that one is not easy to defend and I've I'm not -- I'm not taken a back -- don't regret voting at. But I understand. All the opposition to it. So. And make and I fully acknowledge it might be really -- -- me to believe that he didn't use and I also. Think that there's no question he would had no chance to influence. Legislation against steroids meaning that he's not the kind of guy -- have any credibility or any ability to stand up in the union meeting. At the beginning of this. -- he gets the benefit could you don't think he had a voice in Italy played during that era. The I think that when you when you factor everything India and I'm not I'm not going out here passionately in and ripping on the other guys who didn't vote -- so. Mean but I you know so. The records they also never voted for the winner in the US presidential election. That the well elicited a team that you said you're out now on you teach -- at Georgetown prep. And I don't fundraising fundraising for you don't cover the game anymore right. I know but I called very closely I mean no animal most of my best friend -- stupid operators like at the basal package are watching very closely. Do you feel that. Though you don't you don't cover the game and you just you watch it very closely the should still have a vote. Why not I mean that's the way the baseball writers association of America has the rules which and that changed. I don't know. I don't know I mean a year you're supposed to have you want people that have. Perspective historical perspective to it it take five years for a player to be eligible he can be on the ballot for up to fifteen years. So if you only have people are active. Covering baseball now he could have somebody that. You know in a twenty year period. That they would have never actually cover themselves speak be eligible so the news today that guy even in his this year covering baseball now. Has can make better insight. On whether or not. You know commemorating her for her so much make it. -- -- -- -- -- You know he's the first guy in baseball history. To bring it seem to the finals in the US and in Japan while the first this noble in the he's the first American to win the World Series in Japan he's the first guy to me it's an American League you actually get the Japanese public and an -- Biggio is also. The first got to get fired in the American League in the National League the Japanese -- -- I think he's not as of now no he's not but I I don't think it's farfetched to believe this yet one more run. In either country that he would be. That he be strong candidate. Well I gave -- a lot of credit for coming on Larry talking about this I was born in the great city limits during my mother's whole family's there after my dagger up I would I would take your vote today I would take your vote is I would not evil for the hall of fame ever again I really would not -- -- -- you -- for Nomo and the explanation is -- I I think that he was clean it. And even have a voice. Actually my first legislation he blazed a trail blazed trails -- so we get an exhibit it's a nice exhibit is not all favor. Or its clubs. If you only look at Jackie Robinson's numbers. He would not be all that he can't compared to get -- On cannot go there what Jackie Robinson did as far as facing trails I'm not to what Hideo Nomo was welcomed with open on or was it didn't lazy and can't be that guy paid handsomely -- You gotta you gotta go back at the absolute obviously of course as far as the as the players that is absolutely of course not and I says the BM not to period but as far as. Obstacle to getting here there a cultural obstacles -- league rules against it if it took it it incredible. It took incredible -- god for him to leave Japan come here. And take that risk OP change he'd absolutely changed the relationship between the two -- actually change Major League Baseball. There's how many guys that are making huge impact here. That may may not have come our our you know -- knew how different history would have been Ichiro Suzuki gets the record for most hits in a season and -- do as a World Series MVP I mean you know. I'm not again you know I'd wanna over emphasis and not pretending that it's on the scale -- -- Robinson but he did he did blatant betrayal and he was. He had stretches of excellent absolutely. And. So anyway I guess I would just say that I'm glad that you don't haven't got the ability to change Cuba. I definitely don't and open up a vote like sending Eddie Royal and I'm starting a campaign today Larry thanks I appreciate the time. Larry rocket who voted for four people on this hall of fame ballot. I'm Trammell and Boris. Rains and Hideo Nomo.

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