Murray Chass to give up his Hall of Fame vote after one last dumb Hall of Fame vote


Murray Chass, who despite being a mere blogger, has a Hall of Fame vote and will have it until he dies. He has decided to give it up, however, arguing — quite sensibly, I’ll note — that baseball writers shouldn’t be in the business of making baseball news.  It’s the same approach T.J. Quinn is taking and the same policy a lot of newspapers apply to their writers who would otherwise be eligible to vote for the Hall of Fame, including Chass’ former employer, the New York Times.

But Chass isn’t giving up his vote yet. He was one last bit of unfinished business: electing Jack Morris. Morris gets Chass’ sole vote this year and, if he is not elected, will get his sole vote next year. Chass will quite voting when Morris is inducted or falls off the ballot, whichever comes first.

As for why he’s pro-Morris:

I think I am safe in concluding that Morris did not cheat. I know the stats zealots don’t think Morris is a Hall of Famer because his rankings in their new-fangled ratings fall below their standards. But they don‘t have a formula for intestinal fortitude or determination.

As always, it’s hilarious when things like ERA, wins, losses, strikeouts, walks and stuff like that are considered “new-fangled. Meanwhile, measuring things like intestinal fortitude and determination would take bleeding-edge statistical analysis to get one’s mind around.

Eh, whatever. No one listens to bloggers anyway. Because all they do is pass along secondhand information and act like they know what they’re talking about. Like this:

When Bagwell was eligible initially a couple of years ago, I voted for him, then was told he was a steroids guy. Trusting the information, I haven’t voted for him since.

A man has to have standards.

Mike Trout has yet to strike out this spring

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Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.

But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.

To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).

According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.