Hall of Fame voter: Roberto Alomar dogged it one time, so I'm not voting for him

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On the heels of Hal Bodley’s questionable bit of reasoning comes Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer who likewise won’t be voting for Alomar this year.  His reasons? In addition to the idiotic “he’s no first ballot Hall of Famer” thing, he says Alomar failed to run out two ground balls that resulted in double plays in a 2001 ALDS against Seattle:

I ripped Alomar for his 0-for-4 game in the 3-1 season-ending loss
and, more, for his lackadaisical attitude. This was not picking on a
player for one bad day. That can happen to anyone. His lack of effort,
however, struck at the core values of the game.

When Mark Shapiro was named the new general manager after the
season, replacing John Hart, I brought up Alomar’s fifth-game
performance in a meeting. Shapiro admitted that Alomar did not give his
all that day. He knew the player was a diva, and traded him before the
next season.

For starters, I wonder if Shapiro will go on record today admitting that he called Alomar a diva who didn’t give his all in a playoff game.  If he will, sure, maybe there’s a bit more to Livingston’s beef.  If not, we’re left with one writer’s subjective view of things. Anyone wanna ask Shapiro about it?

Either way, I’m not sure how you look at 2700 hits, ten gold gloves, a .300 career average, superior numbers in most advanced metrics and two World Series rings and say “Sorry, but no. There was this day back in 2001 that he didn’t make it down the line fast enough.”  What player could possibly pass that test?

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
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There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.

Report: Dexter Fowler will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after lining out during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.

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Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.

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Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.

Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.

Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.