Wednesday, January 10, 2007

National Pastime: NO, not NASCAR.

The ballots for the BASEBALL HALL OF FAME are in and
counted. Not surprisingly, Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn both
went in on their first attempt. Also not surprisingly, to people
with brains everywhere, neither went in with every ballot. The great thing about these two players is the types of players that each represents. In Ripken's case, it is that he personifies the work ethic. Obviously any player can be stopped short by a
devastating injury. The modern day player isn't always so choosy,
however. Add to that careful. How many times have you heard
about a player sitting out with some obscure rib cage muscle pull?
Even better, falling, flipping, or otherwise failing to stay on a motorcycle? For Gwynn, well, he epitomizes the contact hitter. Pay attention kids, because there was a time when there was value in a guy who could spray singles and doubles around the yard with some skill and regularity. Ever hear of Rod Carew? The only 'juice' Tony Gwynn was ever on might have been a beef sandwich on which he sat down.

Speaking of juice...What a tragedy that Mark McGwire didn't get voted in on the first ballot. He might not have wanted to talk about the past in front of Congress, but the voters didn't forget about his past.

There are, of course, others for whom a case could be made for induction. These include (but are not limited to) Andre Dawson, Jim Rice, Harold Baines(well mostly just White Sox fans), and the walking paternity suit, Steve Garvey. Dawson will most likely get in next year primarily due to his time as an Exposition, his Cubs career notwithstanding. Rice will get in next year, not sooner because he was not considered reporter-friendly.

The most interesting players not voted in are two relievers, former White Sock Rich Gossage, and former Cub (and sleeping giant) Lee Smith. Why interesting? Because in the modern era of baseball, when every situation, every job is micromanaged to death, all everybody (most especially baseball writers) complains about in baseball is the lack of relief pitching. So who did the Hall of Fame voters (baseball writers!) leave out? Possibly two of the best. Granted Smith took a nap until the bullpen phone rang for him. All he did was take the ball an amass more than four hundred saves. Many for the Cubs (yet nobody called him Sisyphus, odd...). As for Gossage; Billy Martin would say he was the best he had, so why get beat with someone else? Gossage would proceed to go out and pitch two, three innings at a time with great success. Don't worry, Baseball Writers of America, everyone loves a hypocrite.

Guess that is all for now. The picture? What; a guy can't like sunsets?
Until next time, be good.


Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Congrats, SR, on posting your first pic!

And since I pretty much agree with everything you said, that'll be the extent of this comment!

Mozel Tov!

3:19 PM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Criminal Appeal said...

Not that anyone has asked, but I know you're all dying to know who I think deserved to be elected to the Hall. Blyleven (what can I say, I'm a stat-head), Gossage and Smith (the bar was set last year and both these guys clear easily), Gwynn, Ripken (legitimately one of the most deserving candidates ever), McGwire (I won't go into detail, but see my blog if you care why), and Trammell (the guy gets no love). There's a lot of guys right on the edge of being deserving (Dawson, Belle, John, Concepcion), but I can't let my "ballot" get too crowded.

4:47 PM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Jeeves said...

I agree fully with you CA.

12:55 AM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger D.T. Kelly said...

I'm still holding the line that Mac does NOT deserve to be in the HOF. Hell of a hitter, sure. But it's tainted. Pete Rose isn't in the HOF, neither should Mac. Or Sosa for that matter. If anyone epidomizes the juice era, it's these two guys.

Anyone remember Sosa with the sox? He was known for speed, NOT for power.

But I digress. ;)

10:12 AM, January 11, 2007  

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