I’m sure dozens of unconsummated trade proposals happen ever year that, if followed up on a few years later, would make people utterly sick. MVP candidates who could have been had for a song when they were kids, prospect-for-prospect deals that could have totally changed the face of the game if someone had actually pulled the trigger. People tend not to talk about those things too often, however, be it due to a failure of memory or a very human unwillingness to dwell on roads not taken.
But ESPN’s Keith Law remembers a doozy from back when he was J.P. Ricciardi’s assistant in Toronto. Would you believe the Mets offering up a young David Wright for a soon-to-be free agent Jose Cruz Jr.?
I’ve been asked about that trade rumor for three years but never answered while Ricciardi was still GM. The offer was made, though; I was there when the call came in. It was the first time I’d heard of Wright, since I wasn’t with Toronto in 2001 nor had I followed the draft when Wright was in it. JP’s reaction was, “I’m not trading a major league player for some guy in the Sally League.” And that was pretty much that.
Now, to be fair, at the time the Blue Jays had Eric Hinske manning third base. He was 24, went on to win the Rookie of the Year award that year, and was generally expected to be The Man at the hot corner in Toronto for a long time. Wright was playing third for the Capital City Bombers, hitting .266 with minimal power. I have no clue how he was thought of then, but it’s not like he was getting the press of a can’t-miss-stud or anything. If the Mets were shopping him to Toronto, they were probably shopping him elsewhere too, and everyone else took a pass, so it’s not like we should pile on Ricciardi for this. Especially when there are so many better reasons to pile on.
Just an interesting insight into front office life. The kind of insight that, if Keith decides he doesn’t want to work in a front office again, would fit really nicely into a big book about front office life. Hint hint, Keith.
Alex Rodriguez’s transition into retirement has featured a serious move into the business world. He has gone back to school, worked seriously on investments and has started his own corporation. Yes, he’s set for life after making more money than any baseball player in history, but even if his bank account wasn’t fat, you get the sense that he’d be OK given what we’ve seen of his work ethic and savvy in recent years.
He’s going to be getting another paycheck soon, though. For hosting a reality show featuring athletes who are not in as good a financial shape as A-Rod is:
Interesting. Hopefully, like so many other reality shows featuring the formerly rich and famous, this one is not exploitative. Not gonna hold my breath because that’s what that genre is all about, unfortunately, but here’s hoping A-Rod can help some folks with this.
Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a Hall of Fame voter. In the past he has voted for players who used PEDs, but he’s never been totally happy with it, seeing the whole PED mess as a dilemma for voters.
On the one hand he doesn’t like voting for users and doesn’t like harming those who were clean by shifting votes away from them, but on the other hand, he doesn’t want to pretend history didn’t happen and that baseball hasn’t been filled with cheaters forever. What to do?
This year he decided to abstain altogether. A fair and noble act if one is as conflicted as Livingston happens to be. Except . . . he didn’t actually abstain:
Major league baseball will confer bronzed immortality on a few players Wednesday when the results of the national baseball writers’ balloting for the Hall of Fame will be announced.
I had a 2017 ballot. I returned it signed, but blank, with an explanatory note.
A blank ballot, signed and submitted, is not an abstention. It’s counted as a vote for no one. Each “no” vote increases the denominator in the calculation of whether or not a candidate has received 75% of the vote and has gained induction. An abstention, however, would not. So, in effect, Livingston has voted against all of the players on the ballot, both PED-tainted and clean, even though it appears that that was not his intention.
This is the second time in three years a Cleveland writer has had . . . issues with his Hall of Fame ballot. In the 2014-15 voting period, Paul Hoynes simply lost his ballot. Now Livingston misunderstood how to abstain.
I worry quite often that Ohio is gonna mess up a major election. I guess I’m just worrying about the wrong election.