OK, west coast and Midwest fans can be nuts too

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Roy Halladay upset.jpgEli Whiteside hit a home run off Roy Halladay in the seventh inning of last night’s Giants-Phillies game.  According to Matt Gelb of the Philly Inquirer, that caused some Giants fans to chant “overrated!” at Halladay. I suppose if anyone can talk smack to Roy Halladay it’s the fans who root for Tim Lincecum, but calling Roy Halladay overrated is crazy.

Fan weirdness in Kansas City too as Royals fans booed Mike Sweeney when he pinch hit for Seattle last night.  Sweeney was the Royals’ best hitter for a good while and I understand that Royals fans are a bit miffed that he got a big contract and fell off a cliff at almost the exact time the team decided that Carlos Beltran wasn’t worth trying to keep around, but that’s on an inept Royals front office, not Sweeney. Sure, it’s hard to boo a front office seven years after they did something dumb, but booing a nice guy like Mike Sweeney is a decidedly un-Midwestern thing to do.  Midwesterns are much bigger on passive-aggressiveness than open hostility. There’s a thin veneer of politeness to it which makes us think we’re better than everyone else.  

And since I’ve taken it upon myself to tell fans all over the country who they can and can’t jeer, I may as well go one presumptuous step further and tell them exactly how they should receive players like Halladay and Sweeney.

In San Francisco, the fans should, after getting the best of a guy like Roy Halladay, offer wild applause for their own guys, and a zipped lip (though exuberant inner-joy) at the misfortune of Halladay, knowing full well that (a) you got the best of one of the best; but (b) it ain’t likely to happen the next time your guys meet up with him.

For Sweeney? Tougher, because that business with the $55 million bust of a deal is really old news.  Maybe Royals fans should get creative and, rather than boo him, they could all meet outside the stadium after the game, pool their resources, figure out where former General Manager Allaard Baird lives and leave a flaming bag of dog poo on his porch.

Much more constructive if you ask me, and really, a lot more satisfying.

Jorge Posada highlights 16 one-and-done players on Hall of Fame ballot

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24:  Jorge Posada addresses the media during a press conference to announces his retirement from the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on January 24, 2012 in the Bronx borough of  New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada received only 17 total votes (3.8 percent) on the 2017 Hall of Fame ballot. Unfortunately, he is one of 16 players who fell short of the five percent vote threshold and is no longer eligible on the ballot. The other players are Magglio Ordonez (three votes, 0.7 percent), Edgar Renteria (two, 0.5 percent), Jason Varitek (two, 0.5 percent), Tim Wakefield (one, 0.2 percent), Casey Blake (zero), Pat Burrell (zero), Orlando Cabrera (zero), Mike Cameron (zero), J.D. Drew (zero), Carlos Guillen (zero), Derrek Lee (zero), Melvin Mora (zero), Arthur Rhodes (zero), Freddy Sanchez (zero), and Matt Stairs (zero).

Posada, 45, helped the Yankees win four World Series championships from 1998-2000 as well as 2009. He made the American League All-Star team five times, won five Silver Sluggers, and had a top-three AL MVP Award finish. Posada also hit 20 or more homers in eight seasons, finished with a career adjusted OPS (a.k.a. OPS+) of 121, and accrued 42.7 Wins Above Replacement in his 17-year career according to Baseball Reference.

While Posada’s OPS+ and WAR are lacking compared to other Hall of Famers — he was 18th of 34 eligible players in JAWS, Jay Jaffe’s WAR-based Hall of Fame metric — catchers simply have not put up the same kind of numbers that players at other positions have. That’s likely because catching is such a physically demanding position and often results in injuries and shortened careers. It is, perhaps, not an adjustment voters have thought to make when considering Posada’s eligibility.

Furthermore, Posada’s quick ouster is somewhat due to the crowded ballot. Most voters had a hard time figuring out which 10 players to vote for. Had Posada been on the ballot in a different era, writers likely would have found it easier to justify voting for him.

Posada joins Kenny Lofton in the “unjustly one-and-done” group.

Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez Elected to the Hall of Fame

1990:  Outfielder Tim Raines of the Montreal Expos in action. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule  /Allsport
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The 2017 induction class of the Baseball Hall of Fame was announced Wednesday evening and we have three inductees: Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez. Raines and Bagwell had to wait a good long while to get the call. Rodriguez is in on his first year of eligibility. But nowhere on the plaque will it say how long it took. All that matters now is that three of the greatest players of their respective generations finally have a place in Cooperstown.

Players must be named on 75% of the Baseball Writers Association of America’s ballots to get in. Raines was named on 86% of the ballots. Bagwell was named on 86.2%. Rodriguez was named on 76%. Non-inductees with significant vote totals include Trevor Hoffman at 74% and Vladimir Guerrero at  71.7%. The full results can be seen here.

Others not making the cut but still alive for next year, with vote totals in parenthesis: Edgar Martinez (58.6); Roger Clemens (54.1); Barry Bonds (53.8); Mike Mussina (51.8); Curt Schilling (45.0); Manny Ramirez (23.8); Larry Walker (21.9); Fred McGriff (21.7); Jeff Kent (16.7); Gary Sheffield (13.3%); Billy Wagner (10.2); and Sammy Sosa (8.6). Making his final appearance on the ballot was Lee Smith, who received 34.2% of the vote in his last year of eligibility. He will now be the business of the Veterans Committee.

Players who fell off the ballot due to not having the requisite 5% to stay on: Jorge Posada; Magglio Ordoñez; Edgar Renteria; Jason Varitek; Tim Wakefield; Casey Blake; Pat Burrell; Orlando Cabrera; Mike Cameron; J.D. Drew; Carlos Guillen; Derrek Lee; Melvin Mora; Arthur Rhodes; Freddy Sanchez; and Matt Stairs

We’ll have continued updates on today’s Hall of Fame vote throughout the evening and in the coming days. In the meantime, congratulations to this year’s inductees, Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez!