Kevin Kernan at the New York Post passes along word that the Hall of Fame is considering cutting the waiting period for induction from the current five years after retirement to three years. It’s not a done deal or even a deal in progress. If it were, it would be in press release form as opposed to said in passing in a Kernan column, but it’s pretty neat to think about anyway.
The assessment-train moves a lot faster than it used to. We start arguing about whether someone is Hall of Fame worthy as soon as they retire now, so five years seems kind of long. Heck, we start talking about it before they retire. Anyone over 35 who goes on the disabled list tends to get the “if their career is over now, are they a Hall of Famer?” treatment.
I can’t really see a downside to this. It’s not like two extra years are going to change our opinion of Derek Jeter or anyone to whom the new waiting period — if enacted — would apply. And besides, if the Hall realizes that it can change stuff without the walls crumbling down, perhaps they’ll start changing some things that actually matter.
Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in exactly one Grapefruit league game this year, and that was way back on March 2. Since then he has been totally absent from the Nats’ big league spring games, playing instead on the back fields in sim games and in minor league contests.
While that’s not an unusual course of action for an injured or rehabbing player, both Zimmerman and the Nationals insist that there is nothing wrong with him. Per this report from MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, they’re saying that Zimmerman “simply prefers to get his work done in the more controlled environment of minor league games, where the rules are lax.” He doesn’t have to dive for balls, he can lead off every inning, etc. Manager Dave Martinez says Zimmerman simply doesn’t like the usual spring training grind and that this is working for him so he’s fine with it too.
Are you buyin’ that? Not sure I’m buyin’ that.
I suppose weirder things have happened. The Minnesota Twins once let Jack Morris go back to his farm in between starts rather than stay with the club. Other accommodations have been made for veterans, especially in spring training. But this is way more in keeping with a team hiding an injury. Though I have no idea why the Nats would choose to hide an injury to Zimmerman. They’ve talked at length about Daniel Murphy‘s knees and Adam Eaton‘s seemingly never-ending rehab. If Zimmerman has some aches and pains, you’d think they’d talk about it.
On the other hand, if this is a legit story and it is simply an accommodation for a veteran who doesn’t like the normal spring training grind, look for Zimmerman to be a trailblazer, because there are a LOT of dudes who hate spring training too and would love to change things up like this.