Bill Conlin Would Like An E-mailer To "Retract This"

Venerable Philadelphia Daily News columnist Bill Conlin wrote a rather controversial piece this week stating that the current Philadelphia Phillies infield is the best infield in the history of the modern era. He references the fact that Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins have both won MVP awards, while Chase Utley is perennially in the conversation and is recognized in many circles as the best player on the team. ↵
↵⇥And ponder this . . . Has any non-expansion team ever had the three best players in franchise history at the same time? The closest I could come was Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider from Brooklyn's Boys of Summer. ↵⇥

↵⇥And how often have you seen a major league infield line up 1-2-3-4 in the batting order? These are giddy, historic, times for the Phightins. ↵⇥

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↵Now, Mike Schmidt may have issue with Conlin's assertion that any of the three current Phils are better than he was, but you can excuse that omission by the fact that Conlin was merely trying to make a point. You can't, however, excuse the fact that Conlin thinks the current Phillies infield is better than the Yankees. He addressed this issue by comparing last year's stats – Pedro Feliz is replaced by Placido Polanco at third, who Conlin clearly thinks makes the Phillies infield better – but then threw a giant asterisk over everything the Yankees have done because Alex Rodriguez got popped for steroids. ↵

↵It's totally not fair of him to do that, as A-Rod's steroid admission came in reference to seasons well before he ever landed in New York. An e-mailer took issue with his assessment, and sent his exchange with Conlin to No Maas. In part: ↵

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↵⇥Saying that A-Rod puts an asterisk on an all time great infield is just a cop out. He admitted to PED use years ago. That has nothing to do with the 2009 or 2010 season. He was never suspended for steroids because face it, MLB looked the other way. It's not fair to penalize A-Rod for something he admitted to before joining the Yankees when you don't know if someone on the Phillies used or not. ↵
↵The e-mail went on with a lot of other points and came off very "I'm a Yankees fan and I'm right," including ridiculous claims like the Phillies overpaid Ryan Howard and comparing the shortstop battle by saying that Rollins production has slipped while suggesting that "Jeter is still Jeter." ↵

↵Conlin, never one to back down from a heated debate, replied to the e-mail with, "STEROIDS." That's it. This set off the e-mailer – named Matt Williams – who shot back at Conlin, and questioned Conlin's Hall of Fame voting credentials. When asked (SIC), "Just out of curiousity, if someone on Philly get's caught w/ PED or steroids, are you going to retract that statement?" Conlin replied how Conlin replies. ↵

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↵⇥Had a HOF vote for 44 years, ace. Retract this. ↵
↵The No Maas post asks how writers who treat readers like that can keep their jobs. Clearly they don't know Conlin. This is what he does, and part of the reason he's a Philly institution.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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