Bryant: Hall of Fame voting has always sucked. Why mess with tradition?

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ESPN’s Howard Bryant is outraged at all the outrage over the Hall of Fame voting. His argument boils down to this:

  • Baseball used to ignore its history and poop on the fans before the strike, and now they care about honoring people and milestones; God, that sucks;
  • The sabermetricians and their fellow travelers in the blogosphere intimidate — and yes, he used the word “intimidate” — the poor BBWAA writers into voting for guys who never would have gotten consideration in the past, so pardon them for missing out on one or two of the statboys’ favorite sons for once; and
  • Baseball was just fine screwing up its Hall of Fame balloting for
    decades, so why are we all upset when they mess up honoring people now?

There are some good points in the piece — I don’t like the fact that we stop games for every milestone now either — but it’s mostly a “two wrongs make a right” kind of argument, and I hate those.  Why should we settle for a stupid Hall of Fame voting process now just because it’s always been stupid?

Bryant did give me a laugh though when he said he’d rather start a team with Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Stan Musial than Edgar Martinez.  Man, I’d take Martinez every day. He’s only 47. Musial is gonna be 90 this year and the other three are dead!

Or am I missing all of his points?

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.