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.”
Last summer we posted about Rafael Palmeiro coming out of retirement to play for the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters. The reason: to play a game with his boy Patrick. In that game the elder Palmeiro went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored. His son, who is now 26, went 2-for-4 with a grand slam.
Did that serve as an audition for Patrick? Possibly, as Jon Meloi of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles just signed him to a minor league deal.
As Meloi notes, it’s certainly just an organizational depth move, as Patrick is no prospect. And it’s actually likely something of a coincidence that it’s the Orioles who signed him, as Palmeiro doesn’t have any real contacts with the Orioles baseball operations people, all of whom are different folks now than back in his day.
This may not be the last of the Palmeiros, by the way. Peter Gammons tweeted this morning that Patrick’s younger brother, Preston, is a first baseman at North Carolina State who could be drafted this june. Gammons says he has a swing “remarkably similar to dad.”
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.
Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.
The Blue Jays and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $29 million contract, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.
Donaldson was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He filed for $11.8 million and was offered $11.35 million by the Blue Jays when figures were exchanged last month. It wasn’t a big gap, but since the Blue Jays are a “file and trial” team, they bring these cases to an arbitration hearing unless a multi-year deal can be worked out. As opposed to last winter, they were able to avoid a hearing this time around. Donaldson was originally a Super Two player, so he’ll still have one year of arbitration-eligibility once this two-year deal is completed.
The 30-year-old Donaldson is coming off a monster first season in Toronto where he batted .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers while leading the American League with 123 RBI.
Brandon Belt filed for $7.5 million and was offered $5.3 million by the Giants when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That’s a pretty sizable gap. While there’s still a chance that an agreement will be worked out at the last minute, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
The Giants haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when they lost to catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Schulman hears from one person involved that because of the gap between Belt and the Giants, there’s a real chance this will break that string and require a hearing.
Belt batted .280/.356/.478 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI over 137 games in 2015, but he dealt with concussion symptoms for the second straight season. An arbitration hearing could bring some unpleasant conversation to the surface.