Posts Tagged ‘Mark McGwire’

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!

Advertisements

Football, Jamilton and Announcements

May 25, 2012

I swear, I’m not just talking football today out of a semi-depression that my Dodgers lost to the ASTROS yesterday. Again. With Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Sigh.

I’ll forget the fact that we have been outscored 15-1 by Houston in our last two meetings combined. And just talk about something exceptionally exciting: the San Francisco 49ers, my hometown football team. My Dodgers of the NFL.

And that they are coming off a 13-3 season that was two muffed punts away from turning into a march to the Super Bowl. And that they are better this year. And the whole top-ranked defense is back. And our rookies are going to be game-changers. And we have brand new wide receivers. And we have no Chilo Rachal. And we have a healthy (finally) Michael Crabtree, who oh by the way, put up ELITE numbers in the second half of 2011. And we have a full off-season under Jim Harbaugh (also known as God, in my circles) for the players to learn his playbook and gel even more as a team.

All I have to say about that, is watch out everyone. If there is still any doubt in a fan’s mind that the 49ers are to be taken seriously as one of two or three legitimate Super Bowl contenders at this point in the summer, said fan is insane. Or a Raiders fan. Okay, so definitely insane.

Can you tell I’m excited?

As for dominant teams and players, I’ll stray away from the Dodgers for once. Remember, they lost to the Astros last night? Yeesh.

How about the Texas Rangers? Again. They dropped 14 runs today and Nelson Cruz had 8 RBI. That’s all the attention Nelly will get from me though. I’m here to talk about their best player, and possibly the best player in baseball: Josh Hamilton.

I’m not going to heap praise on the guy, I just want to ask one simple question: Can Jamilton hit 62? After hitting one today, he’s got 19 on the season in less than 50 games. I’m no math whiz, but considering there are 162 games in a season, I’d have to say he’s on pace for approximately 60.

Who’s to say he can’t go on another ridiculous streak and bomb 8 in one week? He’s certainly got the eye, the strength and the swing to do more damage. My only problem is he hasn’t played a full season…ever? Chances are, Hamilton will miss a chunk of about 15-20 games, which could greatly hinder his home run chase.

My verdict: Hamilton goes nuts this year. But not nuts enough. I’ll give him an average well over .300, 52 homers and 145 RBI. Those numbers will earn him the MVP and two of the three Triple Crown categories. But the home run record will remain Roger Maris’.

Suck on that, Barry, Mark and Sammy.

Last on the agenda today, a sad announcement. Jam Shots will be moving to a weekly format, instead of daily. I’ve been writing this (almost) daily since January 23rd, a span of 130 days by the end of this month. This is my 113th post, out of 125 days.

I’m impressed with myself. That’s like…like…a .900 batting average! Unheard of! Incredible! Hall of Fame worthy!

Alas, I can’t keep up. I’m hanging up my keyboard and going into more of a player/manager role. I do anticipate a couple of things: my weekly blogs will be even MORE epic. And, I get to also post weekly on my old blog, Jamblin’ Man! That one won’t be about sports, so 90 percent of my audience will actually read them. If you like my sports, stick with Jam Shots. Otherwise, be ready for the revival of an old friend.

And there will just be so much more room for activities.

Jam Shots will be strictly for sports, posted once a week. Jamblin’ Man will show off my freelance writing SKILLZ, with just thoughts, ramblings, poetry, travel writing, creative writing and everything in between. And of course…that will be posted once a week as well.

Thanks to everyone who has clicked my silly links every day in 2012, and hopefully, when June rolls around and this baby goes weekly, you’ll stick with me and continue to read.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

A Spring Training Tragedy

February 25, 2012

No, I don’t mean that I’m not going to Spring Training next week. Would y’all get off of that? I’m over it. *Takes another sip of beer*Just kidding it’s barely past noon*So takes another sip of mimosa*.

What I’m really talking about is the only time I have been to Arizona to hit up some preseason baseball. I went with my Dad when I was in 8th grade. It was one of the best, most generous gifts I’ve ever received. And one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

So why a tragedy? Shakespeare wrote tragedies (or did he…) and he’s famous for them, so quit your bitchin’ and just read on!

There was the infamous fly-fried-in-our-Safeway-chicken incident. The missed opportunity to get inside the A’s clubhouse because of Adam Melhuse wracking his ankle on second base. And my inevitable sunburn. But those are nothing compared to what happened when I went to see the A’s play the Cubs in a split squad game.

I’ve sat mere feet away from the bullpen in a big league game. I got a ball handed to me by Robb Nen. I sat two tables away from Mark McGwire at California Pizza Kitchen. But those experiences are hogwash. Because at this A’s/Cubs game in Arizona, I sat about ten rows up from the field with my Dad, waiting for the game to start.

I’d already exhausted myself running around getting autographs from all the A’s players I could and was acquiring the aforementioned burn while the teams took their final warm ups. I was ignoring a large crowd of Cubs fans at the fence below me, trying to get some old coach to sign their stuff. Pft…silly kidsWasting your time.

Then I glanced again. And it hit me. I squinted, and made out the clear face of Ryne Sandberg as he lifted his head to answer an autograph-seeker with a laugh. I can tell you, I’ve never moved that fast in my life.

There was no doubt about it – that was the future Hall of Fame second baseman. I had completely forgotten he was coaching with the Cubs and would therefore be at this game. I found a blank ball, dove across my Dad to grab my pen and  I’m pretty sure just time-warped down the bleachers to get to the fence. I was completely okay with bowling over 5-year-olds in order to get this signature.

But like a heart-wrenching Hollywood script, I watched from my epic mid-air jump, in slow motion, as Sandberg finished signing a ball, waved a thank you to the crowd and turned to retreat to the dugout. The last thread of his jersey disappeared into the dugout as I landed at the fence.

Have you ever been so disappointed, shocked and ashamed of yourself that you just wanted to sit in a cold shower and cry? That’s how eighth-grade Jeremy felt watching one of the best second baseman of all time stride away, just out of reach.

To this day, missing Sandberg haunts me. It was a fabulous Spring Training trip. One of the best experiences a baseball fan could ever ask for. But I’ve vowed from this day forth to get that damn autograph. And I imagine when it happens, I’ll be able to shake Ryno’s hand and we can laugh about my previous swing-and-a-miss.

And probably get a beer together. And then he’ll ask me to play for his team. And I’ll help the Cubs to their first World Series title in a million years. And Sandberg (who I will probably be playfully referring to as “Sandy” by then because we’ll be so tight) will introduce me at my Hall of Fame ceremony.

And…what? Hey, anything is possible at Spring Training. Just don’t be a doof like me. Be prepared. And don’t buy fried chicken from the Glendale Safeway.

That’s some real talk. Welcome back, baseball. I missed you!


%d bloggers like this: