And you thought the awards season was over:
Professional baseball stars Ryan Braun and Scott Feldman received
off-season honors December 23, getting named the Most Valuable Jewish
Players of the Year by an organization dedicated to celebrating Jews in
the national pastime.
Jewish Major Leaguers, a
Newton, Mass., not-for-profit, selected Braun as its player of the year
and Feldman as its pitcher of the year. This is the second time the
organization has awarded the titles. (Players honored by Jewish Major
Leaguers must identify as Jewish and have a Jewish parent, or be
I’m struggling to think of one reason why the organization doesn’t call their hitter of the year honor “The Hank Greenberg Award” and their pitcher of the year honor “The Sandy Koufax Award.” They’d certainly get a lot more press if they did. Maybe there are some legal implications here. I wouldn’t know. The State of Ohio just sent me my letter officially designating me an “inactive” lawyer now that I’ve left my legal practice. Going forward, if I pretend to know anything about the law I’m probably violating some ethical rules or something.
Anyway, a hearty Mazel Tov to Messers. Braun and Feldman.
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.