Tagged: hall of fame

What are you waiting for?

On a hot day in August, I am waiting for October. And as I just wrote on MLB.com, I am waiting for a lot more than that as a Baseball fan. I am waiting for a Cubs parade, my loaded Hall of Fame ballot this December, another Dodger Dog and more. I hope you will read my own list, share that story and then blog about what YOU are waiting for as a fan. A title for your team? Of course. An autograph from your favorite player or legend? Sure. But you are waiting for more than that. It’s what makes you a fan, what makes you blog, what you love about the game.

Please include your Permalink in comments here so we can find your own list!

Around the Sphere

BJUpton.jpgOur friend at Rays Renegade
won the blogger-ID contest in the last post, so we’re starting off this
post with a public-service announcement to go check out his MLBlog!
Does it ever just suddenly hit you sometimes that the TAMPA BAY RAYS
just made it to the World Series? That is one time when, to me, it
honestly does not matter much if you lost. Have to say it was really
cool just sitting in the Rays’ dugout during that downpour rain delay
on the Monday, before the decision finally was made to suspend Game 5
(for two full days)…and seeing BJ Upton next to me holding his hand
to his ear on the top dugout step as if to tell Phillies fans to keep
trash talking. It was amazing to see the Rays in this setting. Congrats
to them.

May everyone around the MLBlogs Network (also known as MLB.com/Blogs) have a terrific Thanksgiving holiday. You can count on a lot of post-turkey blogging in this community. Actually it probably will be busier than usual at that time. You have a blog, you’re at the family gathering, and there’s a computer with a connection and, voila, suddenly you forget where you are as others sleep and exchange repartee. This time of year always reminds me of November 2003. Red Sox brass flew out to Phoenix to dine with Curt Schilling and woo the right-hander. Late that Thanksgiving night, he got on his home computer, and posted a message on our redsox.com boards that said in the subject line: “Will be hard to believe I’m sure.” It was a rarity for a Major Leaguer to interact digitally in that way; now the author of 38pitches.com, he was a serious trailblazer in those days. Schilling was giving Red Sox fans the lowdown on his thoughts, and soon enough he went to the Sox, and the next autumn was pitching with a bloody sock and leading a team through the greatest comeback in sports history and into the promised land.

The e-book promo was here (naturally in my own story if you notice byline) and because eventually the link disappears, one day I posted it as the world’s longest MLBlogs posting. For posterity.   🙂

Luke.pngPlease welcome a couple of new MLBloggers: Braves Buzz with Luke and summerball101. Hey, Luke, thanks for moving your blog over to this ballfield — we wasted no time stealing your profile pic to help spread the buzz.

Here’s a great opportunity to ask a Major Leaguer a question and have it answered: Twins pitcher Kevin Slowey just jumps right in there wherever he is this offseason and comments in reply to your comments. How many other pro athletes do that? Hopefully young players like him will be carrying the torch for increased “fan networking” in ways like this.

Speaking of players, our belated condolences go out to MLBlogger Bengie Molina. The Giants catcher wrote a very poignant and honorable post about his father, who passed away this fall. It is nice that Bengie’s Dad got to see three sons become Major Leaguer catchers — and all three of them (also Jose and Yadier) became world champions! Amazing.

Waiting for my Hall of Fame Ballot

So I’m waiting for my annual Hall of Fame ballot to show up in the next two or three weeks, and I can tell you right now that you have five years to make a more persuasive argument for Mike Mussina than any I’ve heard so far. Never during his career did I think of him as a Hall of Famer. While I appreciate Brian Cashman’s lengthy rationalization of why Mussina belongs in Cooperstown (in a nutshell he pitched in the “toughest” division, which in itself is debatable), if you need more than a few sentences to explain why someone is deserving, sorry. Jim Kaat is having arguments made for him right now by peers; I loved him and the Twins when I was a boy; did I ever, ever think of him as a Hall of Famer? No, not ever. Rod Carew, yes. I would not check next to Mussina if he were on the ballot next month, and I am sure the argument will rage loud over that five-year waiting period, especially loud when it has East Coast volume.

WalterJohnson.jpgThe best litmus test is always to march right up to the little hamlet of Cooperstown, enter the Gallery room, and gaze upon the hallowed plaques. I love doing that, more than almost anything. In that moment, you know in your heart who is a Hall of Famer. You look at Babe just to remind yourself of why the place exists. You leave there, and you listen to arguments about why this or that player belongs, and you consider it your duty to make sure it remains the ELITE OF THE ELITE. Walter Johnson (pictured, courtesy of the Hall). Nolan Ryan. Christy Mathewson. Warren Spahn. That is the standard for pitchers who deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. Of course, being a blogger means you get to speak your own mind, and I look forward to seeing lots of posts about the issue. My colleague Tom Singer wrote a nice article today on our MLB.com homepage looking ahead at the possible 2014 class.

I don’t ever expect everyone to agree with me, and if it’s any consolation to Moose, most of my voting peers haven’t agreed with me the last two years on Big Mac. (Who I will vote for again next month, since I don’t believe in playing Commissioner. I respectfully ask my peers to come down off their moral mountaintops of public litigation. The first time Pete Rose ever shows up on my ballot, he gets my check mark as well. I’ll let the Commissioner decide whether a player warrants being removed from consideration, not writers.)

Be sure to check out my colleague Lisa Winston’s great MLBlog at Got MiLB? The Q&As with players are a must-see. Stop by and say hi to her.

If you want to be in the next posting of the Latest Leaders, a good piece of advice is to click on the MLBlogs of those past Leaders and leave a comment (not spam) with your full URL. The more you are part of the community, the more your blog will grow. And you might also follow the lead of the proprietor of All Baseball All The Time — look how he uses the tag search results in his Link List, similar to our unstoppable Hot Stove Blog.

Random MRA:

MORE Random MRA…scraped at 10:47 p.m. ET Tuesday

Hall of Fame Class of 2012 vs. 1936

The ballot for the 2012 Hall of Fame Class could include:

Craig Biggio (retired)
Mike Piazza (retired)
Roger Clemens (limbo)
Barry Bonds (limbo)
Sammy Sosa (no idea)

Statistically speaking, it would be the greatest Hall of Fame class since the first:

Ty Cobb
Walter Johnson
Christy Mathewson
Babe Ruth
Honus Wagner

Speaking as a Lifetime Honorary member of the Baseball Writers Association of America who votes each December, I say let’s just throw Pete Rose onto the ballot for 2012 as well (in place of Sosa, a doubtful first-balloter) so we can make it a legit five-on-five and let everyone have at it.

You would match up Bonds again Ruth, Clemens against Johnson, Rose against Cobb. Mathewson and Piazza both basked in the big-city limelight, both dominating over a long period, so we’ll pair those two. That leaves primary infielders Biggio (2,850 games, 291 homers, .281, 414 steals) and Wagner (2,787 games, 101 homers, .329, 722 steals).

Could be fun. Give me five years to let all the he-said/she-saids play out, see if anything changes with Charlie Hustle in a half-decade, and just imagine what it could be like with Clemens and Piazza together in Cooperstown for a whole loving weekend.

Looking forward to your blogs about the whole subject, now that Piazza has walked away for good.