Hall of Fame voters owe nothing to the past

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This morning I wrote about Jim Reeves’ column in which he said he believed that voting for the Hall of Fame was his “sacred duty” and that it was his aim to keep Cooperstown “clean and pure.”

My take was more one of amusement, but this afternoon The Common Man has a much more focused takedown. After detailing just how non-sacred the vote really is and how unclean and impure the current many members of the Hall of Fame actually are, TCM nails Reeves to the wall, wondering how it was possible that, in 40 years of covering the Rangers — the Rangers! — he never wrote about PEDs in baseball until Barry Bonds was poised to break Hank Aaron’s record.* And how, in that very article, he took a shot at Jose Canseco for “violating the code of the clubhouse” in talking about it in his books.

By all means, check out TCM’s take.

*UPDATE: From TCM: “In fairness to Reeves, after some additional research I found articles in which Reeves does write about steroid use in baseball that predates the 2004 Bonds chase of the Homerun record.  Reeves did write about steroids on May 31, 2002, when he wrote that steroid users “should all be wearing a scarlet ‘S,'” and that Rusty Greer never saw steroids in the Ranger clubhouse.  He also defended Gabe Kapler against steroid accusations in August of 2000.  And on August 25, 1998, he said  that the story about Mark McGwire’s andro use “is overblown” and that “You wouldn’t begrudge Nolan Ryan his Advil, would you? Troy Aikman his Met-RX? Popeye his spinach?”  He continued to write about steroids on occasion between 2002 and 2004, all excoriating steroid users, never questioning his profession’s role in missing them for so long.”

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.