In response to my inclusion of Tim Raines on my imaginary Hall of Fame ballot:
does anyone realize that apart from his 5 really good years of 1983-1987, tim raines looks a lot more like marquis grissom than he does rickey henderson?? 5 seasons does not make a hall of fame career.
This is why we can’t have nice things, people. I was about to go nuts on this myself — I mean, you can’t just take a guy’s peak years away and call his Hall of Fame case a sham — but I decided instead to let Raines-Backer-in-Chief Jonah Keri handle it. His way-more-polite-than-I-would-have-been response:
Tim Raines was, according to Bill James, the best player in MLB from 1983 through 1987 … Also, check out Raines30.com if you want to learn more about the player with more times on base in his career than Tony Gwynn, a higher OBP than Willie Mays, the 5th-most SB of all-time and the highest success rate of any basestealer with anywhere near that many attempts.
Do check out Raines30.com. And make sure that, in the event you correspond with Hall of Fame voters, they are aware of it too. And while you’re at it, listen to Jonah’s podcast with Tim Raines himself from just the other day. This is not a hard case. This is not a close case. Tim Raines is a clearly deserving Hall of Fame candidate. It has to happen.
ESPN’s Howard Bryant is reporting that Major League Baseball has approved a rule allowing for a dugout signal for an intentional walk. In other words, baseball is allowing automatic intentional walks. Bryant adds that this rule will be effective for the 2017 season.
MLB has been trying, particularly this month, to improve the pace of play. Getting rid of the formality of throwing four pitches wide of the strike zone will save a minute or two for each intentional walk. There were 932 of them across 2,428 games last season, an average of one intentional walk every 2.6 games. It’s not the biggest improvement, but it’s something at least.
Earlier, Commissioner Rob Manfred was upset with the players’ union’s “lack of cooperation.” Perhaps his public criticism was the catalyst for getting this rule passed.
Unfortunately, getting rid of the intentional walk formality will eradicate the chance of seeing any more moments like this:
Earlier, Craig covered Rob Manfred’s comments in which he accused the Major League Baseball Players’ Association of “a lack of cooperation” concerning some proposed rule changes. The union would need to agree to any such changes, which have included automatic intentional walks, limiting mound visits, pitch clocks, and swapping batting practice times for home and visiting teams.
Manfred went on to say that MLB will impose those rule changes unilaterally next year as allowed in the latest collective bargaining agreement.
Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLBPA, responded to Manfred’s comment. Via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
“Unless your definition of ‘cooperation’ is blanket approval, I don’t agree that we’ve failed to cooperate with the Commissioner’s office on these issues.”
“Two years ago we negotiated pace of play protocols that had an immediate and positive impact. Last year we took a step backward in some ways, and this off season we’ve been in regular contact with MLB and with our members to get a better handle on why that happened.”
“I would be surprised if those discussions with MLB don’t continue, notwithstanding today’s comments about implementation. As I’ve said, fundamental changes to the game are going to be an uphill battle, but the lines of communication should remain open.”
“My understanding is that MLB wants to continue with the replay changes (2min limit) and the no-pitch intentional walks and the pace of Game warning/fine adjustments.”
Clark’s response isn’t anything too shocking. Manfred’s accusation was pretty baseless, but it’s behavior to be expected of a commissioner who comes down on the side of the owners over the players almost always.