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Luis Tiant does not want to be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame

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Indians, Red Sox and Yankees (and Twins, Pirates and Angels) great Luis Tiant topped out at a little over 30% of the vote his first time on the Hall of Fame ballot. From there he fell pretty sharply, getting as little as 9.2% of the vote within a few years and never again going above 18%, which is what he garnered in his 15th and final year of eligibility.

Since then he has been considered by the Veterans Committee, in its various forms, multiple times, but has again not gained induction. He’s eligible again this coming December. If he doesn’t make it in 2017, Tiant could be inducted years from now, even after his death.

Graham Womack of the Sporting News talked to Tiant recently, however, and Tiant wants no part of that:

“I already told my family, ‘They put me after I die, don’t go anywhere. Don’t go to the Hall of Fame, don’t go to Cooperstown, don’t go no god— place,’” Tiant said. “’Cause I think it’s wrong what they do.”

Tiant doesn’t see the benefit of posthumous induction.

“What good is that they put you after you die?” Tiant said, adding, “You can’t do nothing with your family and your friends.”

A lot of veterans feel similarly due to the fact that, as Womack notes, the Veterans Committee has hardly inducted anyone in years. All of the living inductees have been executives and managers. The few players have long since died. To some, it feels like a slap in the face.

As for Tiant: I’m not sure it would be an objective injustice if he did not make it in. He was great when at his best. He was always entertaining and he played a key part on a few very memorable clubs. On the other hand, when he was bad he was not so great, resulting in career numbers that aren’t nearly as close to his peak as other Hall of Fame pitchers’ career numbers are close to theirs. He also pitched in pitcher-friendly era in which there were many, many better pitchers than he. That low vote total he received is mostly due to the fact that, for most of his years on the ballot, he was up against guys like like Seaver, Palmer, Carlton, Sutton, Jenkins, Niekro and Fingers. There is no real argument to be made that Tiant was the best or even one of the handful of best pitchers of his era, and that makes one’s Hall of Fame case really hard.

Still, it’s hard not to agree with Tiant’s sensibility about all of this. Whether he is owed a plaque or not may be an open question, but there is no doubt that the Veterans Committee, in whatever form it has taken, has been unduly harsh in judging player qualifications. More players in the Hall of Fame is not a bad thing, but the VC seems uninterested in doing so. In light of that, why give them the satisfaction of your relatives on the stage if the Hall decides to change its mind years after you’re in the ground?

Mark Melancon is considering surgery

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Giants’ right-hander Mark Melancon is considering surgery for an undisclosed injury, the pitcher told reporters prior to Friday’s game against the Phillies. Melancon did not divulge the exact location of the injury, but revealed that it had been plaguing him off and on since the 2012 season and was a separate issue from the right pronator strain that kept him sidelined through much of July and August. Giants’ head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner called the injury day-to-day and has not revealed a timetable for the right-hander’s return, should surgery become necessary.

Melancon, 32, has struggled to replicate the sparkling pitching line he produced with the Pirates and Nationals in 2016. He’s toting a 3.80 ERA through 25 appearances with San Francisco, flanked by a 1.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 23 2/3 innings. His season has been significantly shortened after multiple trips to the disabled list for a right forearm strain, and while he looked to be in line to resume his closing duties this week, the Giants will likely play it safe with the veteran righty to keep him from compromising his health in 2018.

Although the injury doesn’t appear to be severe in nature, it’s clearly intensified over the last few months. Per MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Melancon said he’s “had discomfort every day this season,” though he hopes to continue pitching through the remainder of 2017. The Giants aren’t on the verge of contending by any stretch of the imagination, but a solid end to the 2017 season could help Melancon make some headway as he looks to reclaim his status as the team’s closer next spring.

Watch: Javier Baez snares a 106-MPH ground ball

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What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.

Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.