You can vote for Dale Murphy for the Hall of Fame. Just do it for the right reasons, OK?

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Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News just submitted his first-ever Hall of Fame ballot.  Included on that ballot was Dale Murphy.

I’m cool with that. I don’t think I’d vote for him myself because I really do like to see a mix of elite peak — which Murphy had — and longevity, which Murphy didn’t.  Your mileage may vary, and I will make some exceptions, but for the most part I think those non-MVP but still superior years helping teams win are important.

But that’s just me. I can totally get on board with people differing in that regard, and frankly, it would make me kind of happy as a fanboy to see Murph in the Hall.

But one thing I do believe: if you’re going to vote for Dale Murphy, at least make sure you’re accurate about his merits, OK?  Don’t say stuff like this:

During 1980-1987, Murphy was the BEST PLAYER IN BASEBALL, I’m pretty sure. I remember thinking that throughout that time, and I don’t believe I was wrong … I think the HOF is about GREATNESS–about guys who affected every bit of every game they played in their primes. –That’s Murphy, to me. Most HRs in the ’80s, by the way. Most RBIs, too.

People can believe different things when it comes to “THE BEST PLAYER IN BASEBALL,” but if you’re going to look at 1980-87 and conclude that Mike Schmidt wasn’t that, well, you need to show more work than Kawakami does here.

Oh, and you also need to not get things simply wrong.  Murphy did not have the most home runs in the 1980s, Schmidt did.  Nor did he have the most RBI, Eddie Murray did. I’m a stats moron but even I can figure that out fairly quickly.

Oh well. At least he votes for Jeff Bagwell and Alan Trammell. I just hope it’s not because Bagwell led baseball in saves in the 1990s and because Trammell hit in 57 consecutive games.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.