<span class="vcard">Craig Calcaterra</span>


Hall voter thinks Mike Piazza isn’t a Hall of Famer even if you ignore PED issues


Rob Parker is a Hall of Fame voter because he has been a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America for at least ten years. Those are the requirements. Nowhere in the BBWAA or Hall of Fame rules does it say that one need have any level of baseball expertise and insight. All one needs is that BBWAA card for a decade.

Which is lucky for Rob Parker if this is indicative of his baseball expertise and insight! Via Deadspin, here’s why Parker did not vote for Mike Piazza:

I just looked at his numbers, I thought they were very good. There’s a lot of guys very good. Fred McGriff’s not in the Hall of Fame, he’s a few home runs away, three home runs away, from 500. He has way more RBIs than Piazza, he’s not in the Hall of Fame. So there are guys like him. And I know, it’s the catching position, and people want to give more credit because it’s so hard to catch and play, but some of the defensive issues—not throwing out runners, no Gold Gloves as a catcher, things like that—that bothered me. I thought he’s a great hitter, he was a great hitter, batted over .300, but something told me he belongs in the Hall of Fame—or, Very Good, but not the Hall of Fame.

Parker voted for Lee Smith, by the way.

Just to be clear once again: Parker makes it very clear that he does not hold PEDs against Piazza or any other player. And I believe him on that, actually. Based on other things he’s said in the past, I honestly think Parker’s issues when it comes to awards and Hall of Fame voting is one of basic ignorance of what makes baseball players good, not hidden agendas. And no, I’m not being glib here. I honestly think that Parker fundamentally doesn’t understand baseball.

I mean, if one did understand baseball, and one did not take PED rumors into account, how else could one say that Mike Piazza isn’t a Hall of Famer?

The Columbus Clippers and Eugene Emeralds are wagering on the college football championship game


If you think major league baseball is slow in January, imagine if you have to work the minor league beat. If you do, at least there’s this: the Columbus Clippers — who play in the same town as the Ohio State Buckeyes — and the Eugene Emeralds — who play in the same town as the Oregon Ducks — are making a friendly wager.

Forgive the Ohio-centric wording of this, Ducks fans and Buckeyes-haters, but it came from the Clippers’ website:

The losing team will participate in their city’s Polar Bear Plunge event. So when the Buckeyes win on Monday, January 12, the Emeralds staff, while wearing a mixture of Ohio State and Clippers gear, would participate in Polar Plunge Eugene on February 7 at Maurie Jacobs Park. If the Buckeyes happen to lose, the Clippers staff, while wearing a mixture of Oregon and Emeralds gear, would participate in Columbus Polar Plunge on February 21 at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The event will be documented on the team’s social media accounts.

Seems a tad unfair given that the average temperature is way lower in Columbus than it is in Eugene this time of year, but I suppose that’s not our problem.

They’re calling this a “Pass a Cold One” wager and will benefit each team’s local chapter of the Special Olympics.

Jayson Werth to have shoulder surgery tomorrow

Jayson Werth Getty

Ken Rosenthal reports that Jayson Werth will undergo arthroscopic surgery on the AC joint of his right shoulder tomorrow. His rehab is expected to be two to three months.

Werth had a fine season last year, but he has battled shoulder issues for a good while. He battled shoulder soreness all last year in fact, missing games in August and getting cortisone shots and stuff. If he misses two months he’ll have a late start on spring training. If he misses three months he won’t being baseball activities until after the season starts. And that’s before remembering that he has to, you know, go to jail at some point.

Which makes one wonder if this means the Nats will look to make a trade or try to sign a stopgap corner outfielder.

Progressive Field named the most family-friendly ballpark in the country

Progressive Field

There is a magazine called “ABC Travel Guides for Kids.” For reasons that must include proximity to Cedar Point over in Sandusky and the well-known love all children have for panini sandwiches, it has named Cleveland its number one travel destination for kids in 2015. And it went one step further: it says “Progressive Field might be the most family friendly ballpark in the country.”

It’s possible. I haven’t yet taken my kids up to Cleveland for a game, but I’ve been there often and (a) tickets aren’t terribly expensive; (b) concessions skew cheaper than most parks; (c) it’s fairly easy-in, easy-out; and (d) they do a lot of fireworks and family nights and things. Their current renovation is expanding family areas too.

I’ve only taken my kids to two major league parks — Petco and Great American Ballpark — and both of those were pretty good along those lines. But I guess I need to take ’em to an Indians game this summer and put this to the test.


Two voters explain why they voted for one of the Bonds-Clemens duo and not the other

Roger Clemens Red Sox

The other day I linked to Jerry Green’s Hall of Fame ballot, which contained a vote for Roger Clemens and not Barry Bonds and asked how one could possibly differentiate between the two. New York Magazine’s Joe DeLessio spoke to Green and to another voter who voted for Bonds but not Clemens and they explained themselves.

Click through to read their explanations, but suffice it to say they’re not the strongest bits of reasoning on the planet by virtue of (a) taking the legal proceedings against the two of them seriously and not for the jokes that they were; and (b) accepting the PED-use timeline for those two uncritically.

In other news, all of the voters who chose to make their ballots public did do today over at the BBWAA website. Enjoy. And ask yourself what Lawrence Rocca was thinking in voting for just Trammell and Raines.