White Sox close to signing Omar Vizquel

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Omar Vizquel must not have drawn any interest for a possible full- or even part-time job, because FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that he’s close to signing a one-year deal with the White Sox.
Chicago has Alexei Ramirez entrenched at shortstop and plans to make Gordon Beckham an everyday second baseman after playing him at third base as a rookie, so barring injuries Vizquel would be slated for a strict backup job.
He filled that role nicely this season in Texas, serving as a mentor for 20-year-old standout rookie Elvis Andrus while accumulating fewer than 200 plate appearances for the first time in his 21-year career.
Vizquel has never been much of a hitter, but came close to matching his .273/.338/.355 career line by batting .266/.316/.345 in limited action this season and is one of the few shortstops in baseball history to remain an asset defensively in his 40s. Now that he’s willing to accept a bench role, he’s an ideal backup for a team with young starters up the middle.

BBWAA votes to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning next year

Cooperstown
Associated Press
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In addition to naming the Spink Award winner this morning, the Baseball Writers Association of America voted today to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning with next year’s vote for the 2018 induction class.

As of now, writers are encouraged to make their votes public and, if they do, they are placed on the BBWAA website. They are not required to, however, and a great many Hall of Fame voters do not. While ballot secrecy is laudable in politics, the Hall of Fame vote brings with it a fundamentally different set of concerns and sentiment has increasingly favored transparency, as opposed to secrecy when it comes to the Hall of Fame.

While some in opposition to this move may claim that public ballots will only lead to criticism, our view is that if you can’t handle some reasonable criticism over your Hall of Fame ballot, you probably need to get out of the business of making history, which is what voting for the Hall of Fame really is.

The Yankee2 to retire Derek Jeter’2 number next 2ea2on

Derek Jeter
Getty Images
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RE2PECT: The Yankees just announced that they will retire Derek Jeter’s number 2 next season. The ceremony will take place on May 14, 2017 at Yankee Stadium.

With Jeter’s number 2 retired the Yankees will have retired 21 numbers. Twenty-two if you count number 8 twice, given that it was retired for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. They also have retired 42 twice, once for Jackie Robinson, which every team has retired, and once for Mariano Rivera who donned 42 before the league-wide retirement of the number. The Yankees will also have put every single-digit number on the shelf. Except for zero, anyway, which no Yankees player has ever worn.

The retired pinstripes break down as follows:

1 Billy Martin
3 Babe Ruth
4 Lou Gehrig
5 Joe DiMaggio
6 Joe Torre
7 Mickey Mantle
8 Yogi Berra
8 Bill Dickey
9 Roger Maris
10 Phil Rizzuto
15 Thurman Munson
16 Whitey Ford
20 Jorge Posada
23 Don Mattingly
32 Elston Howard
37 Casey Stengel
42 Mariano Rivera
44 Reggie Jackson
46 Andy Pettitte
49 Ron Guidry
51 Bernie Williams