Don’t look at me like that. There’s literally nothing else going on right now. Anyway:
The great Jay Jaffe — the creator of the JAWS Hall of Fame scoring system which ranks a candidate’s worthiness of induction — takes a look at the potential Hall of Fame ballots over the next five years to see who is coming on board, who is going to be held over and what the odds are for each of them to be inducted as we march forward toward the 2020s.
There are several locks — Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey, Jr., Chipper Jones and, at the end of all of this, Derek Jeter. Assuming he doesn’t hang around another year after 2014. As for the holdovers from the current ballot?
. . .It’s not too hard to envision paths to election for the likes of Piazza, Bagwell, Raines and eventually Schilling, with others such as Mussina and Martinez to follow further on down the line. I don’t see much resolution on Bonds or Clemens, and expect Sheffield and Rodriguez to move along more slowly than their stats would suggest.
Good reading, in no small part for the names of the guys becoming eligible year-by-year. Seeing those very-recently-active players listed will probably make you feel old.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.