Johnny Damon got his 2,500th hit last night. I don’t know if I’d bet the farm on it, but there’s at least a chance he hits 3,000 before he’s done. If he does that — or if he even gets close — someone’s going to make the Hall of Fame case for him. Heck, some people who overvalue World Series rings may be making the case already.
My view: Damon has probably been an underrated player for most of his career, but if things break right for him, he may wind up being the test case for a guy with 3,000 hits not making the Hall. But that’s just, like, my opinion man. I want to know what you think.
And yes, I know this isn’t scientific, but I bet I’m drawing from a smarter sample than that which comprises the actual Hall of Fame electorate:
“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches
A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.
The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:
Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.
As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.
The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.
La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.
Do you miss David Ross? I miss David Ross. The season hasn’t even started yet and I miss David Ross. There’s something comforting about having a likable graybeard catcher in the game with bonus points for being bald. His loss will be felt.
But while we won’t have David Ross in baseball all this year — at least on the field; he’s a special assistant with the Cubs — we’ll still have David Ross someplace:
Johnny Damon did “Celebrity Apprentice” — Trump fired him, sadly — but we’ve never had a ballplayer on “Dancing With The Stars.” There have been several football players and some Olympians, but no baseball guys. Which makes some amount of sense as, outside of the middle infielders and first basemen, footwork isn’t necessarily the most important tool.
Catchers are particularly plodding for athletes, so good luck, David. Unless you have some moves you haven’t flashed in the past, you’ll probably need it.