Dick Allen is one of the biggest Hall of Fame oversights of all time. Despite a career OPS of .912 and an OPS+ of 156 while playing in an era skewed heavily in favor of pitching, Allen never got as much as 19% of the vote. He’s since been overlooked by the Veteran’s Committee as well.
Allen has made few if any public comments about this. But his son is beating the drum to get the Veteran’s Committee to put him on the Golden Era ballot this December. From Philly.com:
“It’s difficult because he doesn’t want to be attached to any campaign,” Allen Jr. said last night. “He feels it’s a bad thing to stand there pounding his shoe on the desk saying, ‘Let me in, let me in.’ “
Junior feels otherwise and is trying to get his father’s name on this year’s Golden Era ballot.
“It’s a last shot for him,” Allen Jr. said. “From what I understand, he’ll have exhausted his options.”
Allen Jr. is working with Mark “Frog” Carfagno to promote the cause. They even have a Facebook page – “Dick Allen Belongs in the Hall of Fame.”
It’s a nice gesture by his son, but I doubt it’ll do much good. Allen’s case was already a tough one given that (a) his career was shorter than a lot of Hall of Famers’; (b) his value is heavily weighted in favor of rate stats as opposed to counting stats and those guys always fare relatively poorly; and (c) he was viewed as a contentious personality in his day and was not well-liked by reporters to say the least. I’d vote for him in a second, but I doubt a lot of others would even if he made it back to the Veteran’s Committee ballot.
Oh, biggest takeaway from that article: the allegedly contentious Allen now works in public relations for the Phillies. So either he’s mellowed with age or else what reporters thought about him in the 60s and 70s isn’t all that representative of the man.
Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.
No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.
Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.
Set some time aside to read this today.
This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.
De La Rosa has had elbow issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.
I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.
He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.