pete rose getty

Hall of Fame voter continues to write in Pete Rose because, um, it’s cold in April


Really, that pretty much sums up this guy’s Hall of Fame column. Despite Pete Rose being ineligible and absent from the Hall of Fame ballot, Marc Maturo of the Rockland County Times — who has a Hall of Fame vote despite the fact he hasn’t covered baseball for 27 years — writes in Pete Rose’s name every year.

Why? Because how can baseball bar Pete Rose due to his lack of integrity when baseball itself lacks integrity? OK, I would at least give such a charge of hypocrisy a hearing. He starts with ticket prices being high, but ultimately all Maturo seems to be on about is how it gets cold in April and October:

And this is not to mention opening the season in weather better suited to curling than to baseball, and ending in weather also best suited to curling than to baseball. Baseball is, after all, “The Summer Game.” But don’t tell this to players seen in postseason dugouts sporting parkas, Trapper’s hats and arctic hand warmers; and don’t tell that to the very people who make it all possible, the suckers, er, fans, who also can be seen sporting Antarctic-like gear, wrapped wonderfully in blankets. Integrity my foot!

Also bugging him: no day games for the World Series. Then he goes back to complaining about “blizzard baseball.” Then he makes his pro-Pete Rose case. Starting with this:

If we have to depend on Rose’s word alone, there’s good reason to accept it.

Given that Rose has spent over two decades lying his hustling butt off, I’m not sure why that is, but go read Maturo’s column if you want to hear the case. It has mostly to do with the fact that Rose played hard and such.

Anyway, that’s the latest from the BBWAA and its strange rules which allow guys who haven’t covered baseball since the Reagan administration to vote for the Hall of Fame while denying that right to a huge number of active, working baseball writers.

The international draft is all about MLB making money and the union selling out non-members

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - MARCH 13:  A fan flies the Dominican Republic flag during the game against Cuba during Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic on March 13, 2006 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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On Monday we passed along a report that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are negotiating over an international draft. That report — from ESPN’s Buster Olney — cited competitive balance and the well-being of international free agents as the reasons why they’re pushing for the draft.

We have long doubted those stated motivations and said so again in our post on Monday. But we’re just armchair skeptics when it comes to this. Ben Badler of Baseball America is an expert. Perhaps the foremost expert on international baseball, international signings and the like. Today he writes about a would-be international draft and he tears MLB, the MLBPA and their surrogates in the media to shreds with respect to their talking points.

Of course Badler is a nice guy so “tearing to shreds” is probably putting it too harshly. Maybe it’s better to say that he systematically dismantles the stated rationale for the international draft and makes plan what’s really going on: MLB is looking to save money and the players are looking to sell out non-union members to further their own bargaining position:

Major League Baseball has long wanted an international draft. The driving force behind implementing an international draft is for owners to control their labor costs by paying less money to international amateur players, allowing owners to keep more of that money . . . the players’ association doesn’t care about international amateur players as anything more than a bargaining chip. It’s nothing discriminatory against foreign players, it’s just that the union looks out for players on 40-man rosters. So international players, draft picks in the United States and minor leaguers who make less than $10,000 in annual salary get their rights sold out by the union, which in exchange can negotiate items like a higher major league minimum salary, adjustments to the Super 2 rules or modifying draft pick compensation attached to free agent signings.

Badler then walks through the process of how players are discovered, scouted and signed in Latin America and explains, quite convincingly, how MLB’s international draft and, indeed, its fundamental approach to amateurs in Latin America is lacking.

Read this. Then, every time a U.S.-based writer with MLB sources talks about the international draft, ask whether they know something Ben Badler doesn’t or, alternatively, whether they’re carrying water for either the league or the union.

President Bill Murray speaks about the Cubs from the White House

CHICAGO - APRIL 12:  Celebrity Bill Murray clowns around with Chicago media before the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 12, 2004 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Pirates defeated the Cubs 13-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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I don’t know why Bill Murray is in Washington today. I don’t know why he’s at the White House. But I do know that he was there in Chicago Cubs gear, standing at the lectern in the press briefing room, voicing his full confidence in the Cubs prevailing in the NLCS, despite the fact that Clayton Kershaw is going for the Dodgers tomorrow night.

“Too many sticks,” president Murray said of the Cubs lineup. And something about better trees in Illinois.

Four. More. Years.