The strangest Hall of Fame votes in history

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Grant Brisbee of SB Nation runs down some odd ones. Some of which, in their defense, were oddities of a stranger and damn-nigh inexplicable time. For example, Dante Bichette’s three Hall of Fame votes can be explained in context:

The mid-’90s were a horrible time. I went to a Dave Matthews concert in 1995. A Dave Matthews concert. You can see how that sort of time lends itself well to Dante Bichette-related hysteria.

And there are a couple of weirder ones too. Remember that tomorrow when you read about how Sandy Alomar, Jr. and Jeff Cirillo each got a vote from some strange ranger.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.