Friends of HBT Bill and The Common Man — proprietors of the Platoon Advantage blog — are writing over at ESPN’s Sweet Spot today. Their big conversation starter of the day: a proposal for the Hall of Fame to lower the bar. This, Bill and TCM argue, will help alleve the giant backlog that many have identified as a major problem with future Hall of Fame ballots:
So, to combat the problem, we propose a simple solution: The Hall of Fame should lower the voting threshold needed to elect a candidate from three-fourths of BBWAA voters to two-thirds.
Before you go screaming about this, know this tidbit that Bill and TCM point out: almost everyone who has ever gotten two-thirds of the vote has eventually gotten in anyway. As such, rather than lowering the actual quality of Hall of Fame inductees, it would merely lower the amount of time it would take to get the current quality of players inducted. Rather than let in the unworthy, it would merely eliminate that last year or two in which players who are destined for induction anyway are pushed over the current 75% threshold. Think of it as eliminating one of those years everyone spent arguing for Bert Blyleven. Think of it as cutting off the small cadre of dead enders who penalized Roberto Alomar last year from exacting their moral price.
I’m struggling to think of any real problems with this apart from that of perception, but perception would be a huge problem. It would certainly be spun as the Hall of cheapening its standards, even if no one who wouldn’t have otherwise gotten in gets in now. Unfortunately I think this perception problem would be enough to render the proposal dead on arrival.
Really, the practical way to deal with this is to reform the voting pool, not the voting standards. The actual working baseball writers — the ones who vote on awards and follow the game closely — tend to do a damn fine job when it comes to this sort of thing. The problems, it seems, tend to come from guys who last covered baseball during the Ford administration and hold on to their Hall of Fame voting privileges despite the fact that they now do the senior beat at the Southeast Valley Suburban Advertiser or whatever.
Food for thought, though.
The Cleveland Indians just announced that they’ve acquired catcher Chris Gimenez from the Texas Rangers in exchange for cash considerations.
Gimenez knows his way to Progressive Field. Indeed, this will be his third stint with the Indians organization. He was their 19th round pick in the 2004 draft, made his big league debut with the club in 2009 and stayed through the 2010 season. He came back in 2014 for eight games, now he’s back again. He has yet to play in 2016 due to a ankle issue. He as doing minor league rehab before being DFA’d by the Rangers yesterday.
Come back to Cleveland, Chris. You always will have a home in Cleveland.
Last year the Dodgers suspended infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena for the remainder of the season“for repeated failures to comply with his contract.” Arreubarrena appealed his suspension to Major League Baseball and it was reduced to thirty days, though that was said to be a settlement between Arruebarrena and the Dodgers as opposed to a full adjudication.
Here we go again: Gabe Kapler, the Dodgers Director of Player Development, just announced that the Dodgers have suspended Arruebarrena for the rest of 2016 “for repeated failure to comply with the terms of his contract.” No further specifics were given.
Arruebarrena was signed out of Cuba to to a five-year, $25 million deal back in 2013. He played in 22 games in the bigs in 2014, hitting .195. He was dropped from the 40-man roster after that season, however, and after his suspension last year managed to only play in 53 games across three levels. He hit better, but none of his action was above Double-A and he was 25 at the time. He’s played 17 games at Double-A this year and isn’t hitting.
What he was or was not doing with respect to his contract is unclear at the moment, but this isn’t exactly the kind of thing that happens on a daily basis, especially with dudes under contract for $25 million, so we’ll probably hear more eventually.
NEW YORK (AP) Braves right fielder Nick Markakis has left the team because of a family emergency.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said before Wednesday’s game against the Mets that Markakis had headed home to Maryland. The veteran is expected to be back in time for Friday’s home game against Arizona. Atlanta is off Thursday.
Chase d’Arnaud is starting in right field and Mallex Smith is leading off Wednesday.
Markakis is hitting .281 with no home runs and 20 RBIs.
T.J. Quinn of ESPN’s Outside the Lines reports that another major leaguer — or possibly several of them — will soon be suspended for PEDs. He says that, as was the case with Chris Colabello and others recently, the drug will be Turinabol, which is an old school anabolic steroid. Quinn says that improved testing procedures, which he details in the article, are a likely reason for the spike in Turinabol positives, though it’s also possible that there is a tainted supplement being taken, though he deems that speculative.
What isn’t mentioned is . . . how an ESPN reporter knows a positive test is coming when the drug testing program is supposed to be confidential. Someone with the league or the union must be telling him, right? That’s sort of messed up, no? Will MLB investigate who is leaking such things?
Whatever the case, we’ll soon have a new police blotter item, it seems.