1960 TV

What, exactly, is “The Living Room” era?

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This is kinda weird. Just as the Hall of Fame Veteran’s Committee has split up its candidates into eras such as “The Golden Era” and “The Expansion Era” the folks who hand out the Ford Frick Award to broadcasters has split up its candidates into eras as well. I dig the names:

  • The “High Tide Era” – to be voted on this fall, announced in December at the Winter Meetings and presented during the annual Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2014 – will consider candidates whose contributions have come during the regional cable network era, beginning with the mid-1980s through today.
  • The “Living Room Era” – to be presented at the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2015 – will consider candidates whose most significant years fell during the mid-1950s through the early 1980s, as the game spread through television and into homes across the country.
  • The “Broadcasting Dawn Era” – to be presented at the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2016 – will consider candidates who contributed to the early days of baseball broadcasting, from its origins through the early-1950s.

I watched baseball in the late 70s and early 80s in the basement, but I get what they’re driving at. It’s kind of cute. I picture burnt orange carpeting and a green couch with a laminate coffee table in front of it. On the table is a bologna sandwich and a can of domestic beer. The game features men in tight pants and old school stirrups.

I guess the bigger question is why the Frick Folks feel it’s necessary to go back in time and look for more honorees. Much like the Veteran’s Committee candidates, the past seems pretty well picked over. By going back in time you’re just looking for honorees to justify the process and thus you necessarily lower the standards of induction. Which at one time made sense with the Veterans Committee — there really were certain people overlooked — but all in all it turns into an exercise of obligation than one of honoring folks.

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
Getty Images
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There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.

Report: Dexter Fowler will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after lining out during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.

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Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.

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Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.

Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.

Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.