Does Crawford want out of Tampa?

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Thumbnail image for crawford.jpgAccording to a report from Mike Silva’s New York Baseball Digest, Carl Crawford is “livid” over management’s decision to pick up his $10 million option for next season and now wants out of Tampa.

Says a source with the knowledge of the situation:

“He wants out of Tampa bad. He had a handshake
agreement with management that they would renegotiate the contract
instead of picking up the option and they went ahead and did it anyway.
He’s pissed beyond belief.”

Crawford, 28, signed a four-year,
$15.25 million extension with the Rays in 2005, with club options for two additional years. He is expected to be among the most coveted free agents
next winter.

While not impossible, it would be irresponsible to give this rumor too much validity. Silva deserves credit for getting the Wally Backman-Brooklyn Cyclones story right,
but he also found an MLB executive who said
the following about “Moneyball” and
advanced metrics

Among other sewage that has oozed to the surface is the erroneous
belief that statistics are the end-all in baseball today, a myth
perpetrated by the garbage called “MoneyBall.” Moneyball geniuses have
flopped like DePodesta, Ricciardi, and even the infamous Billy Beane
whose exploits have all lacked a World Series trophy. It is all a tool
to be used by the uninitiated. I’ll take a good scout and player
development people anytime; the statistics are very secondary. How do
you account a .220 hitter for being the hero of the World Series or a
guy who hits three home runs a year wins the pennant clincher with a
home run? Pitchers often get the best of hitters in the playoffs. There
are a million examples of things going against the logic of statistical

Let’s just say his “sources” might not know what they’re talking about.

Hall of Fame will no longer use Chief Wahoo on Hall of Fame plaques

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Last month, in the wake of his election to the Hall of Fame, Jim Thome made it clear that he wanted to be inducted as a Cleveland Indian but that he did not want to have Chief Wahoo on his plaque.

His reasoning: even though that was the cap he wore for almost all of his time in Cleveland, “because of all the history and everything involved” he did not think it was the right thing to do. The context, of course, was the club’s decision, under pressure from Major League Baseball, to scrap the Wahoo logo due to its racial insensitivity, which it appears Thome agrees with.

Hall plaque decisions are not 100% up to the player, however. Rather, the Hall of Fame, while taking player sentiment into account, makes a judgment about the historical accuracy and representativeness of Hall plaques. This is to prevent a club from entering into a contract with a player to wear its logo on the plaque even if he only played with them for a short time or from a player simply picking his favorite club (or spiting his least-favorite), even if he only spent an inconsequential season or two there. Think Wade Boggs as a Devil Ray or Frank Robinson as, I dunno, a Dodger.

In the case of Chief Wahoo, the Hall has not only granted Thome’s wish, but has decreed that no new plaque will have Wahoo on it going forward:

To be fair, I can’t think of another player who wore Wahoo who would make the Hall of Fame in an Indians cap after Thome. Possibly Manny Ramirez if he ever gets in, though he may have a better claim to a Red Sox cap (debate it in the comments). Albert Belle appears on Veterans Committee ballots, but I’d bet my cats that he’s never getting it in. If younger players like Corey Kluber or Francisco Lindor or someone make it in, they’ll likely have just as much history in a Block-C or whatever the Indians get to replace Wahoo with than anything else, so it’s not really an issue for them.

Still, a nice gesture from the Hall, both to accommodate Thome’s wishes and to acknowledge the inappropriateness of using Chief Wahoo for any purpose going forward.