Dec 17, 2012, 9:02 AM EDT
Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe actually has a pretty good Hall of Fame ballot. He leaves off Bonds, Clemens and Sosa — lots of people will be doing that — but then gives the nod to Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Jack Morris, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, and Curt Schilling.
I am against Morris but it’s probably inevitable that he gets in so I’m not gonna waste too much effort fighting that fight anymore (though I’ll expend a modicum of effort below). I don’t know what I think about Schilling. If I were a voter I’d probably have decided by now, but as it is I’m on the fence. It wouldn’t bother me too much if he got in, but I think he’s a harder sell than others. I’m all for Bagwell, Biggio, Martinez, Piazza and Raines, and I applaud anyone who has them on their ballot, even if I think they’ll fall short this year.
But even if Ryan gets to a good place in the results, the path he takes to get there is a bit curious. In talking about Bonds, Clemens and Sosa:
It’s easy for a few voters. They believe Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa are innocent of all charges.
Ryan says that there aren’t many who believe that, but I defy him to name me one, and I can’t believe such a beast exists. On Piazza and Bagwell who, again, he supports:
I am speaking, of course, of Mike Piazza, who may very well be the greatest hitting catcher of all time, but who, despite the lack of any concrete evidence, is regarded as a cheater by some because he flunked the Eyeball Test. See? This is why the drug issue is so insidious … Jeff Bagwell’s résumé is similarly persuasive but, he, too, failed to pass the Eyeball Test.
Actually, it’s not “the drug issue” that’s insidious. It’s the people who tar guys like Bagwell and Piazza without evidence or cause. If one supports Bagwell and Piazza despite being opposed to allowing PED users in the Hall — as Ryan does — one necessarily rejects that awful approach. Yet Ryan declines to criticize those he believes are being irrational and unfair. How much better it would be if someone of Ryan’s tremendous stature in the industry were to shame those who traffic in baseless accusations rather than to simply throw his hands up and say “oh well, it’s insidious!” But I guess that would make BBWAA dinners awkward.
But just in case his actual, reasonable votes rankle his crusty colleagues a bit, he covers himself with some de rigueur stathead hate:
The Morris candidacy has become extremely controversial, his advocates being old-line baseball sorts who view him as the quintessential gun-slinging Ace of the Staff (14 Opening Day starts) and his detractors being Sabermetric zealots who decry a 3.90 career ERA that would be the highest ever to be so enshrined, and who discredit the notion that he pitched to the score, thus accounting for an inflated ERA.
Lots of fun packed into one lengthy sentence:
- A shoutout to “Opening Day starts,” which is a statistic that was never once mentioned before people started trying to justify Morris’ candidacy and will never be used again because, outside the context of Jack Morris, everyone knows it’s meaningless;
- “Sabermetric zealots” is a good phrase! Too bad the word zealotry — which means a fanatical devotion — is far more apt for Morris supporters than detractors. The statheads merely believe Morris’ numbers aren’t good enough. The Morris supporters have deified Morris as both a pitcher and a human being and have a far greater opinion of him now than the people who covered him or watched him pitch ever had back in the day.
- That said, we zealots do not “discredit” the idea that Morris pitched to the score. To “discredit,” in the present tense, is to harm the good reputation of something or to refuse to believe something. The zealots no more “discredit” the idea that Jack Morris pitched to the score than doctors discredit bleeding with leeches or paleontologists discredit Piltdown Man. Rather, the notion has been unequivocally rejected as fantasy. Statheads don’t discredit that Morris pitched to the score. Those who believe he pitched to the score discredit reality.
All very clever, Ryan. Cover yourself with enough silly old school writer ignorance and verbiage, slam the statheads, give a free pass to those who smear certain ballplayers and then submit a ballot that looks a lot like one a stathead would submit anyway. I don’t know what your end game here is, but it may just be genius.
May 24, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT
This is a quick look at the very best and worst each major league lineup spot has to offer this year. Posted along with each line is the player most responsible. We’ll start out with the good before moving on to the bad. 1. Reds: .292/.442/.517, 9 HR, 37 R, 20 RBI, 5 SB (Shin-Soo…
May 24, 2013, 5:41 PM EDT
The K-Crew at Royals games are people who roam the stands, dance on the dugout and fire up the fans. One of them also happens to be a nurse, and she helped save a 14 year-old fan’s life last Friday: Sam Sapenaro, 26, was working her second job as a member of Kauffman Stadium’s K-Crew…
May 24, 2013, 5:17 PM EDT
Mark Teixeira laid out his rehab schedule for Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, saying the current plan calls for him to play four games in the minors next week and then come off the disabled list to rejoin the Yankees by the end of the week. It’s worth noting that Teixeira has repeatedly laid…
May 24, 2013, 5:02 PM EDT
Since that series against the Braves, specifically. The one in which he said he wasn’t impressed by them. Guess he meant it, because one of the Braves pitchers broke his friggin’ wrist and he apparently didn’t take notice of it: Source: #Nats 2b Danny Espinosa‘s right wrist was broken when Paul Maholm hit him with…
May 24, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT
Barry Bloom of MLB.com has a fun, wide-ranging interview with Don Sutton. Lots of good stuff in there as Sutton is never short of opinions. But this is easily my favorite part: MLB.com: Did you cheat? Sutton: No, I never got caught cheating. Bloom did not, sadly, follow up on that. Maybe his mind was…
May 24, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT
David Ross is returning from a concussion tonight but the Red Sox are far from healthy, placing Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks on the disabled list. Victorino has a strained hamstring and Middlebrooks has lower back spasms, and Boston has added infielder Jose Iglesias and right-hander Alfredo Aceves from Triple-A to replace them. Iglesias, who’s…
May 24, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
I get the sense that if Alfonso Soriano is on the trading block this summer he’s not gonna have a big problem waiving his no-trade rights. From Carrie Muskat at MLB.com, here’s Soriano venting about losing: “You think we’re going to win that game 3-0, and in five minutes, [we're down] 5-3 … I’m tired…
May 24, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT
David Ross, who’s missed the past two weeks with post-concussion symptoms, has been cleared to return to the Red Sox and will be active for tonight’s game. That means Ryan Lavarnway is headed back to Triple-A after filling in for Ross as Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s backup. Ross played in one minor-league rehab game at Double-A yesterday,…
May 24, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
For the second time this season Reds left-hander Sean Marshall is headed to the disabled list with shoulder problems. Last month it was tendinitis and now it’s being called a sprained shoulder, so it seems likely that Marshall will be out of action for more than the minimum 15 days. In between the injuries he…
May 24, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
Not long ago the Mariners benched Brendan Ryan for Robert Andino. Not realizing, it seemed, that while neither of then could hit their way out of a wet paper bag, at least Ryan could flash some serious leather. Someone finally figured that out, however: Andino has been designated for assignment. Andino was hitting .184/.253/.237 in 85…
May 24, 2013, 2:14 PM EDT
As of last year Alex Rodriguez had his house in Miami on the market for an asking price of $38 million and Darren Rovell of ESPN.com reports that he finally sold the place for $30 million. According to Rovell he paid $7.4 million for the place in 2010 and then dropped another $7.4 million or…
May 24, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
He’s still employed by the Dodgers. And Davey Johnson is still employed by the Nats. But the latter situation is only going to last for this year and the former could end at any time. In light of that Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.com hears some chatter that the former could replace the latter: People…
May 24, 2013, 1:16 PM EDT
How long is a pitcher sidelined after he punches a locker with his pitching hand and breaks it (the hand, not the locker)? Well, in Ryan Mattheus‘ case 4-6 weeks. That’s the official word from the Nationals and as Amanda Comak of the Washington Times notes the good news is that the reliever won’t need…
May 24, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT
I was a big fan of Drew Sheppard’s Gif of Yu Darvish throwing five different pitches. As were some folks in Japan, who inexplicably made that post the most-read thing in the history of HardballTalk. By a wide margin. But I think I’m more impressed by Drew putting six Miguel Cabrera home runs into one…
May 24, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
Hey, Kay asked me buy or sell, I gave my answer.
May 24, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT
Blue Jays left-hander Darren Oliver has been his usual effective self this season at age 42, posting a sub-3.25 ERA for the sixth straight season, but now he’s headed to the disabled list with a strained shoulder. To replace Oliver on the roster Toronto called up Double-A left-hander Sean Nolin, a 23-year-old who was their…
May 24, 2013, 11:37 AM EDT
Phillies great Richie Ashburn died in 1997. Until now he has been resting in peace. Some, as Victor Fiorillo of the Philly Post repots, are worried that won’t be the case for long: His family buried him in the cemetery outside of Gladwyne Methodist Church, where all was quiet until some developers announced plans to…
May 24, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT
After two injury wrecked seasons the Twins have been remarkably healthy so far, but their lone significant injury has provided a glimpse into the same question health marks that got the head trainer fired this offseason. Backup outfielder Darin Mastroianni injured his ankle late in spring training, but instead of simply placing him on the…
May 24, 2013, 11:02 AM EDT
Today is Bob Dylan’s 72nd birthday. Bob Dylan likes baseball a lot. He devoted a whole episode of his radio show to baseball songs a few years back and it was fantastic. He also wrote and recorded a song about Catfish Hunter for the “Desire” album in 1976 but he left it off. No reason…
May 24, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT
Mike Trout hit for the cycle Tuesday, notched two more hits Wednesday, and took Ervin Santana deep last night for the longest homer of his career. Trout watched Santana serve up a league-high 39 homers when they were teammates last season and the Angels homered off him four times last night, including this 463-foot monster…
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