1985 Cadillac

The Rangers give Ron Washington a 26 year-old GM product as a thank you

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I kid the GM people!  It’s just that I lived in Flint, Michigan for the first 11 years of my life and was surrounded by people — and continue to be in contact with many of them — who act as if General Motors didn’t make some pretty awful cars in the 1980s. And not just that, they treated you (i.e. my old man) like he had committed treason for buying a 1980 Toyota Supra back in the day.  As if he were trying to betray the auto industry. Pshaw! It’s just that he was entering his midlife crisis years, needed a peppy little sports car and couldn’t afford a Corvette thanks to the UAW blowing up the cost structure with their cushy, industry-killing demands!

Wait, I may have lost the thread there.  Never mind. The point here is that Ron Washington had a customized 1985 Cadillac Eldorado that he loved more than life itself which he lost in Hurricane Katrina. As a gesture of gratitude for the 2010 pennant, the Rangers tracked down one just like it, had it customized and presented it to Washington as a gift, and he is over-the-moon happy about it. Which is beyond cool.

Don’t laugh at Washington for loving that car. We all have irrational loves when it comes to vehicles. The car that I loved the most in my life was my 1987 Chevy Cavalier RS. Midnight blue. Got it before my senior year of high school and kept it through college. Despite it, you know, being a 1987 Chevy Cavalier RS, it ran like a top. And I didn’t care if the paint faded the hell off it in no time, a phenomenon with which anyone who owned a blue 1980s Chevy product is intimately familiar. It was my car, man. I loved that car. If they all hadn’t rusted out years ago, I’d buy another one in a second.

And no, that has nothing to do with the fact that I am the same age my dad was around the time he bought that 1980 Supra.  No midlife crisis here, no-siree, nope!

Baseball Hall revamps veterans’ committees

Cooperstown
Associated Press
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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) Baseball’s Hall of Fame has again revamped its veterans’ committees, attempting to increase consideration for more contemporary players, managers, umpires and executives.

Under the change announced Saturday by the Hall’s board of directors, there will be separate committees for Today’s Game (1988-2016), Modern Baseball (1970-87), Golden Days (1950-69) and Early Baseball (1871-1949). Today’s Game and Modern Baseball will vote twice every five years, Golden Days once every five years and Early Baseball once every 10 years.

“There are twice as many players in the Hall of Fame who debuted before 1950 as compared to afterward, and yet there are nearly double the eligible candidates after 1950 than prior,” Hall chair Jane Forbes Clark said in a statement. “Those who served the game long ago and have been evaluated many times on past ballots will now be reviewed less frequently.”

Today’s Game will vote in 2016, `18, `21, and `23, and Modern Baseball in 2017, `19, `21 and `23. Golden Days will vote in 2020 and `25, and Early Baseball in 2020 and `30. The Hall’s Historical Overview Committee will decide which committee will consider those who span eras, based on the time or place of their most indelible impression.

Since 2010, the Hall had established three veterans committees: Pre-Integration Era (1871-1946), Golden Era (1947-72) and Expansion Era (1973-2016). No one was elected by the Pre-Integration Era committee in December.

In addition, the Hall eliminated the one-year waiting period between a player’s last appearance on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot and his veterans committee debut for consideration. The Hall also said active executives 70 or older may be given consideration, up from 65.

Committees will remain at 16 people, with a vote of at least 75 percent needed for election. The ballot size will be 10 for each committee; it had been 12 for Expansion Era and 10 for the others.

The BBWAA votes on players who have been retired for at least five years and no more than 15. Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza are to be inducted Sunday.

The Hall also changed some of the rules for the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually to a broadcaster for “major contributions to baseball.” The committee making the annual decision will consider a three-year cycle of Current Major League Markets (team-specific announcers) for the 2017 award, National Voices for 2018 and Broadcasting Beginnings (early team voices and pioneers) for 2019.

Since 2013, the Frick’s three-year cycle had been High Tide Era (mid-1980s to present), Living Room Era (mid-1950s to mid-1980) and Broadcasting Dawn Era (before mid-1950s).

The criteria will be “commitment to excellence, quality of broadcasting abilities, reverence within the game, popularity with fans, and recognition by peers” instead of “longevity; continuity with a club; honors, including national assignments such as the World Series and All-Star Games; and popularity with fans.”

The Frick ballot size will be reduced from 10 to eight, and the three ballot spots previously determined by fan voting will be decided by historians.

Ozzie Smith, inducted to the Hall in 2002, was voted to the Hall’s board of directors.

Red Sox analyst Remy struck by monitor as wind causes havoc

ramirez
AP Photo
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BOSTON — Red Sox TV analyst Jerry Remy was hit in the head by a falling TV monitor as swirling winds caused havoc during the first inning at Fenway Park.

Remy was sent home from Boston’s game Saturday night against the Minnesota Twins but is expected back Sunday. Former player Steve Lyons, also an analyst during some games, came in for Remy.

The strong winds made for an interesting first.

Minnesota’s Robbie Grossman hit a fly that appeared headed for center, but a gust blew it to right, sending right fielder Michael Martinez twisting as the ball fell for a triple.

There were a handful of stoppages as dirt and litter swirled around the field. Batters stepped out to wipe their eyes and Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez headed to the dugout to have a trainer help him clear his left eye.