Craig Calcaterra

You should not care if Ken Griffey Jr. is voted into the Hall of Fame unanimously


There are not a ton of legitimate reasons to be outraged about the Hall of Fame vote this year. To the extent there will be injustices, they will not be shocking injustices.

Based on the tracking of public votes it’s extraordinarily likely Tim Raines won’t make it in. It’s a certainty that some longer holdovers like Trammell, McGriff and the PED guys won’t make it in. Mike Piazza stands an excellent chance of going from 69.9% of the vote last year to induction and if he doesn’t it will be a surprise. But really, everyone should’ve been outraged that he wasn’t inducted a couple of years ago, so the surprise will be tempered with experience. Same goes for Jeff Bagwell, over whose candidacy we have all battled before.

So, it seems, that leaves us with Ken Griffey Jr., who will certainly be elected today. Of this there is zero question. The sole question many want to raise about him is whether or not he will be elected unanimously.

It’s a dumb question, really, because he almost certainly won’t. No one ever has, for reasons we’ve gone over many times before. The short version: some voters pick nits. Other voters are attention-seekers and submit blank ballots or intentionally omit worthy candidates for silly reasons. Some voters want to vote for the 11th or 12th best candidate and leave a top candidate off strategically, knowing he’ll be elected anyway. There are some voters still left, I suspect, that our Joe Posnanski once compared to “the Brotherhood that protects the Holy Grail in the Indiana Jones movie — who think it is their duty to make sure no one gets in unblemished.” If Mickey Mantle wasn’t unanimous NO ONE SHALL BE, they implicitly say, before being chopped up by the prop of that big ship in Venice.

I’d like to think that Griffey could be unanimous and hope that, this year, someone finally is, but I can’t see getting outraged over it if and when he’s not. When Greg Maddux, the best player without PED associations to be up for election in the Internet era, wasn’t selected unanimously, the “honor” lost any small shred of importance it ever had (and yes, “the Internet era” matters, because the Internet has increased scrutiny of voters and has likely tempered some of the worst excesses of voters).

In a larger sense maybe even Maddux’s vote total or Griffey’s or anyone else’s shouldn’t matter at all. As I said in another post recently, what some random voters do today does not truly impact a player’s legacy, especially if what they do isn’t the difference between him being elected or not. I’m not gonna think all the amazng things Griffey did between, say, 1990 and 2000 was somehow diminished because of it. It’ll be a blip to which we should pay no heed. The single worst thing about the Hall of Fame process over the past several years is just how much it has become about the voters as opposed to the candidates. Some of the outrage I’ve pitched around here over the years has certainly contributed to that and that’s a big reason why I have decided to ratchet it back some. I’ve worked hard to remember that, ultimately, it’s about the baseball  and the entertainment it provides. Everything else is secondary.

Will Griffey be unanimous today? I really doubt it. If he is, it’ll be a makeup vote, for all of the other immortals who didn’t get that unanimous election in the past even though they deserved it. Newman’s Oscar for “The Color of Money.” Scorsese’s for “The Departed.” Other performances were more worthy, but it’ll be nice to see this one finally get it, I suppose.

But that’s all it’ll be. Either way, at 6pm this evening, Griffey will be a Hall of Famer. It’s the only thing that matters.

Brandon Beachy signs a one-year deal with the Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Brandon Beachy works against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning of a baseball game Monday, July 20, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Associated Press

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that The Dodgers have struck a deal with righty Brandon Beachy for $1.5 million.

Beachy pitched in two games for the Dodgers last year after two years out of the big leagues thanks to two Tommy John surgeries. The games weren’t good — he went four innings in both games, allowing three and four runs, respectively — but that was more a matter of him completing his rehab and the Dodgers trying to see what they had in him. After those outings and a lackluster stint on a minor league rehab assignment, they likely still don’t know.

They do know, however, that Beachy posted a 3.23 ERA in 46 starts in the majors with 9.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 before the elbow ligament went south on him. That’s worth a gamble at least, and these days $1.5 million is a very small gamble for a starting pitcher.

Report: Alex Gordon returning to the Royals on a four-year, $72 million deal


Last month Jon Heyman reported that Alex Gordon informed the Royals they had “no chance” of bringing him back based on their then-current offer. That offer must’ve been less than four-years and a bit over $70 million, then, because Jeffrey Flanagan of is reporting that Gordon and the Royals have agreed to a multi-year deal in that range. It was Ken Rosenthal who first mentioned the numbers and Jeff Passan of Yahoo had the first rumblings this morning that a deal was near. UPDATE: Jon Heyman is reporting that the deal is four years, $72 million.

No matter who reported it, however, it’s big, big news for the defending World Series champions. Gordon is a Gold Glove-caliber corner outfielder and, while there may be better players on the Royals, he has been there longer than anyone, is a fan favorite and has been described as the team’s heart and soul. His leaving in free agency, as most people thought would happen, would’ve left a pretty significant hole on the roster and in the clubhouse. And the fans would’ve been really, really bummed.

Gordon turns 32 next month. He’s a career .269./.348/.435 hitter, but in the past five years he’s hit .281 with an .809 OPS while consistently rating among the best all-around outfielders in baseball. As he elevated his game, so too did the Royals.

Is $70 million over four years a lot for a 32-year-old outfielder? Yep. But the Royals and their owner David Glass can afford it. And the Royals fans, who stuck it out through the lean years and are now finally enjoying the success of the past two, deserve to have their favorite star hang around a few years longer.