Darren Rovell reports that the Hall of Fame is losing money due to dropping attendance. After reporting — and dismissing — some of the Hall’s own explanations for its financial troubles, Rovell says what he thinks is going on:
But none of those reasons is why the Hall of Fame is suffering.
If the stars, who were caught using PED’s, aren’t being inducted, people aren’t going to show up. It’s that simple.
Look, I’m always near the front of the line to yell at the Hall of Fame and its voters for making silly decisions, but this can’t possibly be the reason, can it? Mark McGwire is really the only Hall of Fame worthy player* who has been kept out due to PEDs. OK, so that’s one induction ceremony a couple of years ago. All of the others who look to be blackballed — Clemens, Bonds, Sosa, Palmiero — aren’t even eligible yet so their absence cannot be the reason the Hall has suffered.
Not that the Hall has necessarily distinguished itself in terms of its baseball choices in recent years. I’d like to think that inducting Buck O’Neil like they really friggin’ should have would have made for an amazingly well-attended ceremony. And of course, if Bert Blyleven had been inducted I and literally dozens of my fellow members of the Bert Blyleven Truther’s Brigade would have gone up to Cooperstown to it all go down.
But museum finances are a lot more complicated than that. The Hall of Fame is a very private and fairly secretive institution and, really, we have no way of knowing the real reasons why it’s having trouble making ends meet these days.
*Spare me the “McGwire wouldn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame even if he was clean” argument. Sure, there’s a statistical case to be made, but if you don’t think the writers wouldn’t have voted him in on the first ballot but for the steroids stuff, you’re dreaming. I’ve yet to believe any actual voter who has cited that as the reason for not voting for him these past couple of years.
The Brewers have signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year, $5.35 million contract. There are some performance incentives in the deal that could push it to $6.85 million. Feliz will likely open the 2017 season as the Brewers’ closer.
The 28-year-old righty is coming off of an impressive season with the Pirates. His hits allowed per nine innings were WAY down and his WHIP dipped sharply as well, despite the fact that he walked a few more dudes. That was offset by a big spike in his strikeout rate: from 7.3/9IP in 2015 to 10.2 last year. A blemish: he missed the last month of the season after suffering a bout of arm soreness, though no structural problem was ever uncovered, he’ll likely be good to go next month.
The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.
For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.
Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.
A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.