Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Passan’

2013 MLB Hall of Fame Vote Headlines

January 13, 2013

Okay, besides the obvious: “HALL OF FAME SUCKS AND SHUTS OUT A MILLION DESERVING CANDIDATES!”

Now that we’ve rushed to conclusions, let’s take a step back. I believe there is a flaw in the voting system for the Hall of Fame. I thought that before this vote took place, and find myself thinking about it more often now that the shutout occurred.

I’m not sure I could ever articulate my suggestions in a fashion that exceeds this fantastic piece by Jeff Passan, so I’ll leave you with that. And this one from Jayson Stark.

Please come back and finish reading my blog before you get carried away with those incredibly well-written works of art. Thanks.

And as much as I’d like to just dive right in and go to town on those dirty rotten voters, we do have to give them a break. Not only are they tasked with an insanely difficult job, but they then have to deal with nuisances like myself immediately after.

To avoid becoming a talking head on this topic and running with the same exact story lines, here are some other things I was processing while sobbing in the shower after seeing nobody reach the 75 percent threshold:

1) The outside influence on and internal struggle of a voter is fascinating.

If you truly think ballots aren’t influenced by voters’ peers in most cases, you’re as blind as a bat. A baseball bat. It happens in all types of social situations, because the desire to fit in is stronger than the desire to do what’s right. I’m not saying that’s why some votes went down as they did, but it certainly played a role. If every ESPN voter except one had openly proclaimed in the office they were voting for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, steroids be damned, chances are the outcast would also vote for Bonds and Clemens. It’s a social science.

Even more intriguing to me is the struggle all baseball fans face with morality. Yours truly is still undecided whether or not, given a hypothetical Hall of Fame vote, I’d vote for someone who was busted for PED’s. On the one hand, they are legends in their own right and earned their numbers, even if slightly inflated because of a little pill. On the other, their crimes are far more offensive to me than anything Pete Rose did, and he is banned from the game forever.

2) I thought all ballots should be released…then reconsidered.

What would it accomplish? Sure, we want to know who cast a vote for Shawn Green, or which nimrods thought it okay to exclude a surefire in Craig Biggio. But all it would lead to is a collective, big boy temper tantrum that only gets us in a meaningless, heated Twitter argument with each other. There are plenty of voters who shouldn’t be voting, but they have the right to conceal their choices for whatever reason they want…and I’m fine with that. Besides, who’s to say all the hidden ballots weren’t perfectly reasonable?

3) That being said…

…why isn’t Orel Hershiser or Gil Hodges in the Hall of Fame yet? And why did it take voters so long to induct Hank Greenberg? That’s literally all I had for this one. Awkward. Moving on.

4) Kenny Lofton and Bernie Williams gone forever.http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/images/photos/000/973/485/98433807_crop_650x440.jpg?1276726536

My heart breaks just writing those words. Two of my all-time favorite players and idols growing up did not receive the required five percent to stay on the ballot for 2014. Both players had very borderline cases as it was, but now their only hope is to be inducted by the Veteran’s Committee. That’s about as likely as Juan Uribe hitting a curveball, unfortunately. It’s too bad – who’s with me here: Creating a Hall of Fave in which fans get to choose non-Hall of Famers to grace the halls of a hallowed ground dedicated to the most popular players who ever played. This year, Kenny and Bernie would easily be in. Next year, we would welcome Sean Casey with open arms!

5) The PED users all get another shot.

Oh, stop. I’m allowed to group them together like that. Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro all survived the cut and will be on the ballot in 2014. In my humble opinion, Big Mac, Bonds and The Rocket will eventually hang a plaque in Cooperstown. In my humbler opinion, only Bonds and Clemens have the all-around numbers to be there. In my humblest opinion, those inevitable plaques should have a daftly-carved asterisk in each. The official prediction for me is that both Bonds and Clemens are in by 2018. McGwire? More like 2021.

6) Edgar Martinez and Larry Walker, ladies and gentleman!

This is similar to the Lofton-Williams scenario. Except that Martinez and Walker both have very good cases for Hall of Fame induction. Martinez is the DH. He deserves a spot in Cooperstown, and there’s nothing you can say that will make me budge from that position. As for Walker, is there any better five-year span out of the non-PED users than his .353/30/98/1.172 OPS line from 1997 (his MVP season, in which he also stole 33 bases) to 2002? He’s got the most anonymous Hall of Fame resumes in baseball, and the worst part of it all is Walker might get snubbed completely.

7) Biggio? More like Biggi-NO.

Goodness, that’s a money headline! How I don’t get paid to write those is beyond me. In all seriousness, since we are on the subject of snubs, why is Craig  Biggio not preparing a teary-eyed, soulful speech right now? I understand the aura (both negative and positive) around this year’s class, but the fact that 34 percent of voters found a reason to exclude a 3,000-hit club member who was an All-Star at two different positions and defined the word “grit,” while never raising questions about PED’s in an era where that was considered normal…is, honestly, blasphemous.

8) Is Aaron Sele going to change the course of baseball history?

And isn’t that what any aspiring ball player dreams of doing? I’m sure Sele didn’t expect it to happen this way, but that one, perplexing vote that was cast for him means a couple of things: First, there’s a voter out there who needs serious help right away. And secondly, he could be the trigger for a potential process-changing policy shift. Whether it be a limit to the character-scrubbing clause, or an increase in votes allowed per BBWAA member, or the amendment to require all ballots to go public, Aaron Bleepin’ Sele might go down in history as the man who changed it all. Sort of.

9) Finally, the class of 2014. Ohhhhhhh, the class of 2014. Yikes.

You thought this year’s class was loaded. Scratch Dale Murphy (another deserving candidate…he was on my ballot!) off the 2012 list, and add Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Mike Mussina, Frank Thomas, and Jeff Kent. Good luck. There are three no-doubters in that new group alone for me, so choosing a class of ten Hall of Famers this time next year will be a tall task. Because I value baseball more than my personal health (it’s currently 2:18 a.m., and I have a demanding work day ahead of me starting around 7:30), I’ve taken a shot at cracking this conundrum.

So if you’re so inclined, take a peek at my video revealing the 10 guys I would vote for in next year’s Hall of Fame election:

Thanks for reading, and feel free to subscribe to my YouTube page, or to visit my other blogs at jamblinman2.wordpress.com, or 3u3d.mlblogs.com. Until next time, vote with caution.

Jeremy is an unpaid intern/unpaid sports writer/unpaid blogger combination who does this stuff because he absolutely loves it. Follow him on Twitter @Jamblinman, and LIKE his 2013 MLB Fan Cave campaign page on Facebook!

A Passive-Aggressive Letter to Major League Baseball

December 19, 2012

baseball moneyJust for the record, I hate when people write “Dear ________ (i.e. “Homework”), Please stop being so hard! Love, _______” on Facebook. So stop doing that. My version on this blog is awesome and clever, okay? Stop laughing!

Dear Major League Baseball,

First of all, thanks for all the great times. The home runs, the no-hitters, the magical moments, the near-misses, the joy and the agony, the PED’s and — wait. Okay, that’s enough dilly-dallying. I’ve sugar-coated this enough: I’m pissed.

It crosses my mind every so often. Usually when Joe Schmo So-and-So and his .225 average signs a six-year contract for $90 million that ends up equating to about $225,000 per hit each season. I accept it as fact and move on. Then Frank Tank Wanky Wank and his 1.35 WHIP signs for four years and $48 million, roughly $1 million per win each season.

And worst of all, players who actually deserve big money at the given market value, sign contracts worth between $200 million and $250 million dollars. For playing a sport. A child’s game, played by men.

Don’t get me wrong. I love you. I love baseball. Always have, always will. And I’d give at least half a nut to be playing in your league, making that kind of money for a daily routine of catch, batting practice and bullpen sessions.

But when I see articles like this, I get upset.

Josh Hamilton signing

Oh, did I mention I’m a Dodgers fan? I worship the team that spends hundreds of millions of dollars on free agents and negotiating rights and probably unnecessarily fast cars.

That team, and this sport is my passion. I realize this is “how it is.” And I definitely realize that I shouldn’t complain, since my team is riding that gravy train to being the best team in baseball on paper. But after the hypothetical confetti settles on a hypothetical World Series title, I’m going to get pissed again.

I apologize for the bluntness (no I don’t), but why are grown men with nary a financial management skill being handed game checks worth six figures for swinging a piece of wood at a ball of laced hide?

Professional athletes don’t have it as easy as I’m making it out to be, so I digress. It’s a tough job. And they deserve to be well-compensated for doing that job, especially when the ridiculous income would go straight to the slick-haired, three-piece-suited, likely dirty executives that run the league and the media otherwise.

But even a phenom like Mike Trout – and this isn’t a reach, since the market trends up every single year and he’s already the best player in the game at age 21 – is going to be in line for a contract worth over $300 million when he hits free agency.

Do you realize how much money that is? I’ve never had $300,000,000 $3,000,000 $30,000 $3,000 at any given time in my 24 years on this planet.

I get it. I understand the system. I really do. But what in the world does Albert Pujols do with his $27.5 million per year? Make a side cash salad with his dinners? What does Barry Zito do with his nearly $2 million per win? Buy every fedora and scarf in the Northern California region (that explains why I can’t find any good ones…)?

There are people all over the world starving for 1/100,000,000th of that total in a lifetime, let alone in one calendar year. Most third-world countries would beg for school supplies, shoes, and fresh water for their children.

And even in America, thousands upon thousands of hard-working people work two jobs just to afford rent on a crappy apartment in a shitty neighborhood. If they want to watch Mike Trout play baseball, they better find a hotel lobby with the game on. rich a-rod

I don’t mean to get all sappy and dramatic on you, but I’m just making a point. Here it is, in all its glory:

SALARY. CAP.

Yeah, yeah. It would be tough to sell the players on such a thing. The logistics would be hell. But any player who says, “I deserve $_______ million!” is only justified in saying so because there isn’t a cap. They see mediocre players getting gigantic bonuses, and expect to exceed that. They are right. But you are wrong.

Fix it. Now. Please. Even this die-hard Dodgers fan wants there to be a limit to how much his team can spend.

Here is my proposition: Contract length cap – 7 years. Contract amount cap – $12 million per year/$84 million in a contract. You don’t have to do away with contract options, bonuses and incentives, as long as they don’t exceed a total of $100 million and/or 10 years.

Stop crying, Richie Rich executive guy. You’ll still get a hefty paycheck yourself. You can allocate the leftover funds to making the stadiums nicer, safer and more fan-friendly. You can set up more promotions for your adoring fan bases. Allocate more money to minor league players, as a reward for making it that far. Maybe even donate to charities! Set up developmental leagues in inner cities and foreign countries. Spread the gospel that is the greatest sport in the world.

I’m sure the Albert Pujols and Mike Trouts of this world will survive without a fourteenth guest bedroom in their Malibu mansions.

Much love,

Jeremy Dorn

Baseball Conossieur/Broke-Ass Blogger


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