Some Hall voters juke and dodge, but sometimes dumb is just dumb


We’ve reached the “Hall of Fame voters getting defensive” portion of the Hall of Fame season.

First, Pedro Gomez — a guy with a rich history of intellectual dishonesty and out-and-out idiocy when it comes to Hall of Fame voting — tells you that (a) he doesn’t have to tell you why he’s keeping a 3000-hit dude off his Hall of Fame ballot; and (b) tells you to take your complaints up with the Hall of Fame:


Given what he’s said about Jeff Bagwell in the past, I’m guessing Gomez suspects Biggio of PEDs but is unwilling to publicly comment about it. I mean, it can’t be standards themselves. He voted for Jay Bell once for the Hall of Fame. For real. Still, it’s awesome that a guy with a huge platform at a major sports network so stridently states that you’re not entitled to his rationale when it comes to his own news and history-making acts.

As for the second tweet, Gomez needs to appreciate the difference between people who have “a problem with Hall of Fame voting” in general and people who have a problem with his Hall of Fame votes specifically. The process may be flawed, but that’s a separate topic. The people he’s fighting with on Twitter today just think his vote is dumb. No matter what you do to the process there will be dumb votes. You’re not any more immunized from criticism for them based on an appeal to the Hall of Fame than a politician is from his acts in office based on an appeal to the Constitution. I mean, how would that even look?

President Obama: I have decided to issue an executive order declaring Nickleback the Official Rock Band of the United States of America.

People: THAT’S AWFUL!!!

Obama: Anyone with a problem with my Nickleback as America’s Band order should contact the the next-convened Constitutional convention. They’re the ones who made and set the rules.

In other BBWAA defensiveness, we have Joe Strauss, who deflects criticism of Hall of Fame voters with this old canard:

You got us, Joe. People don’t criticize Hall of Fame votes because they want to see players they believe to be worthy given the sport’s highest honor. It’s all jealousy. Totally. It’s exactly like how, when Congress passes a law I disagree with, I’m not objecting to policy, I’m just jealous I’m not a congressman. And when I look at the incarceration rates in this country and think they’re appalling, I am really saying that I wish I was a cop. And when I see the outcome of a game turn on a blown call, it’s actually all about me wishing I was an umpire. My dissatisfaction about the outcome and the idiocy that got us there is totally irrelevant.

Sure, the process may be messed up and the Hall of Fame and BBWAA should probably examine it. But this punting to that structural problem I’m seeing from Gomez, Strauss and others ignores the fact that it’s possible to call dumb Hall of Fame votes dumb without either (a) demanding change to the system; or (b) being jealous. Sometimes, they’re just dumb and criticism is warranted.

We’re allowed to still do that, right?

Maybe Alcides Escobar shouldn’t bat leadoff

Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar finished with a .292 OBP this year. He came in at .246 in 117 at-bats in August and .257 in 109 at-bats between September and October, so he wasn’t exactly flying high entering the postseason. Still, that didn’t stop Ned Yost from putting him into the leadoff spot for Thursday’s Game 1 against the Astros.

Yost finally did reconsider hitting Escobar first in September. It took Alex Gordon‘s return to health, plus the previous addition of Ben Zobrist to the lineup, in order to make that happen. However, it didn’t stick. Escobar hit ninth in each of his starts from Sept. 7-26, batting .236 with a .276 OBP during that span. With five games left to go, he was suddenly returned to the leadoff spot. The Royals went on to win all five games. Yost saw it as a sign, even though Escobar went 5-for-22 with no walks in those games.

Escobar went 0-for-4 in Thursday’s loss to the Astros. He did not swing at the first pitch of the game, which probably explains the defeat.

It’s been difficult to argue with Yost since last year’s World Series run and this year’s incredible run out of the game. The blind spot with Escobar, though, gets rather infuriating. One can defend hitting him leadoff against the Astros’ lefties. His career OBP against southpaws is .319 (.316 this year). Against righties, he’s the most obvious No. 9 hitter alive, with a career .258/.290/.342 line (.252/.284/.314 this year). He’s not a pace-setter. He’s not a spark plug. He’s a liability.

Astros top Royals in Game 1 of ALDS

Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, left, celebrates with teammate Luis Valbuena after scoring a run during the first inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Kansas City Royals, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

After shutting out the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game on Tuesday, the Astros beat the Royals 5-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. Road teams are now 4-0 to begin the 2015 postseason.

The Astros grabbed an early 3-0 lead against Yordano Ventura through two innings. Chris Young took over for the Royals after a 47-minute rain delay and was very effective for the most part, allowing just a solo homer to George Springer over four innings while striking out seven batters. Colby Rasmus, who homered in the Wild Card game, took Ryan Madson deep in the eighth inning to give the Astros’ bullpen some extra breathing room.

Collin McHugh stayed in after the rain delay and ended up tossing six innings while allowing just four hits and one walk. Kendrys Morales did all the damage against him with a pair of solo homers. He’s the first Royals player to hit two home runs in a postseason game since George Brett in the 1985 ALCS.

The Royals’ offense showed some signs of life in the bottom of the eighth inning with back-to-back two-out hits against Will Harris, but Oliver Perez got Eric Hosmer to foul out to end the threat. Luke Gregerson tossed a scoreless ninth inning to finish off the victory.

Consistent with their identity during the regular season, the Astros won despite striking out 14 times. The same goes for the Royals, as they struck out just four times. Despite putting the ball into play more often, the Kansas City lineup wasn’t able to muster anything aside from the home runs by Morales.

Game 2 of the ALDS will begin Friday at 3:45 p.m. ET. Scott Kazmir will pitch for the Astros and Johnny Cueto will get the ball for the Royals.

George Springer homers to extend Astros’ lead over Royals

Houston Astros' George Springer (4) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run in the first inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Kansas City Royals, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
Leave a comment

After Kendrys Morales brought the Royals within one run in the bottom of the fourth inning with his second solo home run of the game, George Springer took Chris Young deep in the top of the fifth to extend the Astros’ lead to 4-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS.

According to Statcast, the ball traveled an estimated 422 feet and left Springer’s bat at 109 mph. Royals fans are happy it was just a solo home run. It could have been worse, as Jose Altuve singled to lead off the fifth inning before being thrown out trying to steal second base during Springer’s at-bat.

The Royals will try to answer as we move to the bottom of the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium.