Archive for the ‘Hall of Fame’ Category

Washington Nationals v Colorado Rockies

Todd Helton reached a milestone in the 7th inning Sunday in Colorado, when he slapped the hustlest of hustle doubles into left field for his 2500th career hit. I tend not to think these milestones have any cosmic significance — even relative to other baseball events — but you can’t watch the scene in Denver and not acknowledge something bigger than a simple hit in a 7-2 September ballgame happened here.

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TIM RAINES EXPOS

Big news for Expos fans as Tim Raines will be forever enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame…of Canada – in glorious St. Marys, Ontario. Former Blue Jays George Bell and Rob Ducey join Raines in the class of 2013, as well as Ford C. Frick winner Tom Cheek and B.C. baseball impresario Nat Bailey, for whom the short-season A-ball Vancouver Canadians stadium is named.

A great honour for all involved and a fine weekend in Southwestern Ontario, guaranteed. Beats waiting for the Windsor Hum to kill you, I suppose.

funny gifs

That message? Go fuck yourself, baseball fans.

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We all saw it coming. We all knew that this time, the Hall of Fame debates would reach new lows. The arguments more polarized, the agendas more transparent, the reasoning more specious. The collective baseball mind prepared itself for the worst and was not disappointed.

The Hall of Fame debate which closed 2012 was ugly, tiring, and everything that’s wrong with the entire process for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Take a bow, BBWAA, you really outdid yourself this time.

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Former Atlanta Braves great Dale Murphy is coming up on his last year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame. The former two-time National League MVP has a groundswell of support from various writers who have covered the game, but it’s somewhat of a long shot that his overall baseball accomplishments will propel him into Cooperstown. Murphy enjoyed eight highly productive seasons with the Atlanta Braves in the 1980s before rapidly tailing off with the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies, hitting .265/.346/.469 for his career with 398 home runs.

Murphy’s children have taken it upon themselves to lobby for their father’s Hall of Fame candidacy. Chad Murphy, Dale’s oldest son, wrote an open letter to the BBWAA in which he highlighted his old man’s achievements on and off the field. I’m not so sure the jab at “statistics nerds” helps his cause, but it was a laudable effort. The Murphy clan’s crusade for the Hall is sprinkled across various online platforms, with Dale’s son Tyson taking the most unique approach to rallying support. Tyson Murphy published a comic strip title “When I Was Younger” on his sketch Tumblr, effectively pointing out that his father’s baseball accomplishments are ultimately second to his parenting skills.

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Pat Hickey is a hockey columnist for the Montreal Gazette. So, of course he has a vote in the National Baseball Hall of Fame inductions. And of course he takes that vote very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that he informs his readers in the very first paragraph of his latest piece, that:

If you’re doing it right, it should take three to four hours to fill out a ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

While this might lead one to question the efficiency of Mr. Hickey’s judgment, he quickly offers his readers an explanation for the lengthy process. It seems as though some practical joker has been sending false ballots to Hickey that must be far more complicated than the genuine articles that are sent to the more than 580 writers who decide such things.

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This Man is the Problem

It isn’t that Philip Hersh is the problem with Hall of Fame voting because of his stance. He is the problem because he takes an antagonistic stance for Hall of Fame voting and he isn’t even a baseball writer.

Philip Hersh thinks that, because he USED to cover baseball, he is able to remain on as a guardian of the keep with a vote. He is also, it seems, a child. A child incapable of nuance because his black and white take on a complex issue fires up the “nerds” or whatever pejorative term he surely uses for baseball fans behind closed doors.

By publicizing his self-important noodles on the Hall, this post is part of the problem as well. Rather than leaving him to die on a frozen ski hill, patiently waiting for an athlete who had the good sense to be wealthy BEFORE they became a professional athlete to come swooshing by, the Greater Baseball Outrage Machine will turn its collective gaze towards a man nobody had heard of before today.

And thanks to the BBWAA unwillingness to ask writers like Phil to sit one out, unable to consider the rapid changes in not only the way the game is covered but enjoyed and ingested by many fans, we will continue hearing from guys like this. The self-appointed guardians unable to get out of their own way and the new “class” of writers who cannot pass up an opportunity to make an example of a man dying for that very attention.

But here we are, shaking our fists a man with nothing but disdain for the game he used to cover. Surely scorned time and again for interview requests and treated without the required amount of dignity by a player like Bonds, Mr. Hersh now exacts his revenge. Congrats, Philip. May your hollow “joy” extend the briefest ray of sunshine into what I can only imagine is a more bitter life than I would wish on my worst enemy.

Not on the player, of course. But on the fans, as we discussed earlier today. Thanks, Phil. You are really teaching us all an important lesson. One we’re sure to internalize and take with us for the rest of our days.