The Hall of Fame announces its non-player candidates

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Most of the Hall of Fame arguing this winter will be over Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Barry Larkin and Robby Alomar.  But there are managers and executives to be considered as well:

Twenty former major league managers, umpires and executives will be
considered for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame for
induction in 2010 by two Veterans Committees, with results of a Dec. 6
vote to be announced Dec. 7 at baseball’s Winter Meetings, it was
announced today . . .The 10 managers and umpires eligible for election consideration to the
National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010: managers Charlie Grimm, Whitey
Herzog, Davey Johnson, Tom Kelly, Billy Martin, Gene Mauch, Danny
Murtaugh and Steve O’Neill; umpires Doug Harvey and Hank O’Day.

The 10 executives eligible for election consideration to the
National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010: Gene Autry, Sam Breadon, John
Fetzer, Bob Howsam, Ewing Kauffman, John McHale, Marvin Miller, Gabe
Paul, Jacob Ruppert and Bill White.

Picking managers for the Hall of Fame is an exercise in subjectivity (at least until this book comes out, anyway). Yes, at some point a handful of rings trumps everything else, but how does one really distinguish between Tom Kelly and Davey Johnson?  Between Whitey Herzog and Billy Martin?  I think objective cases can be made for all of those guys, but the “fame” part of “Hall of Fame” may count for more in the case of these guys.  If I had to pick I’d say yes to Herzog and probably Martin and no to the other ones mentioned, but I’ll be honest and say that a lot of that has to do with me simply liking them more than the other candidates.  Your counterarguments are welcome.

As for the executives, it has long been and remains a total disgrace that Marvin Miller is not in the Hall of Fame. Love him or hate him, his impact on baseball is undeniable. After Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson, I’d have a hard time saying anyone did more to revolutionize the game of baseball than did Miller. Maybe Branch Rickey, but that’s about it.  The Veterans’ Committee is still comprised of a ton of old-timers and company men, however, many if not most of whom didn’t receive the benefits — or were cost money directly — by the changes Miller wrought.  I’d like to think people would set aside nearly forty year-old grudges, but I’m not optimistic. And it’s worth mentioning that he doesn’t want to be inducted anyway.

I’ll be at the Winter Meetings this year, however, so at least I’ll get to complain to people about Miller’s exclusion in person.  I’ll be the angry bald guy being escorted out of the convention center by security. 

The other owners and executives don’t impress me all that much.  Great, you were rich enough to buy a team and lived long enough for people to forget that you were a sonofabitch when you were younger. That’s not Hall of Fame worthy in my opinion.

Ron Roenicke fired by Red Sox after one season

Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
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BOSTON — Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke will not return in 2021, the team said before its final game on Sunday, ending his tenure as a one-year, shotgun stopgap for a pandemic-shortened season with a last-place finish in the AL East.

Hired on the eve of spring training after Alex Cora was caught cheating during his time in Houston, Roenicke took over a roster that would soon shed 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts and 2012 AL Cy Young winner David Price, who were traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ace Chris Sale (Tommy John surgery) and Eduardo Rodriguez (COVID-19) never threw a pitch for the team this year.

Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom also commended Roenicke for navigating the coronavirus shutdown and for holding the team together when racial protests interrupted the season.

“He did a tremendous job under really challenging and basically unprecedented circumstances,” said Bloom, who met with Roenicke in Atlanta on Sunday morning to give him the news.

“As you would expect, he handled it really well. Probably better than I did,” Bloom said on a Zoom call. “I think he is just an incredible human being.”

Sure to get attention as a possible successor: Cora, who led the Red Sox to a World Series championship in 2018, his first season as a major league manager. The team split with him less than a month before spring training after he was identified as the ringleader in the Houston sign-stealing scandal; Cora’s one-year suspension for that scandal ends after the World Series.

With Cora gone, the Red Sox promoted Roenicke from bench coach to interim manager. They removed the temporary tag in April, during the coronavirus shutdown, when Roenicke was cleared in the commissioner’s investigation into sign-stealing by the Red Sox during their championship season.

He was not given an extension on the one year he had remaining on the contract he had signed as a bench coach — fueling speculation that Cora could be welcomed back after serving his penalty.

The Red Sox dismissed such suggestions dismissed such suggestions at the time, but on Sunday Bloom refused to rule a return either in or out.

“I thought Ron deserved to be evaluated without anyone looking over his shoulder,” Bloom said, declining to comment further because “I don’t want to say anything about Alex that I haven’t said to Alex.”

Roenicke, 64, spent five years as the Brewers manager from 2010-15, winning 96 games and the NL Central title in his first season and finishing as runner-up for NL manager of the year. In all, he led Milwaukee to a 342-331 record in five seasons.

He was 23-36 with the Red Sox entering Sunday’s games. Bloom said he wanted to break the news to Roenicke before the end of the season.

“If Ron wanted the chance to look his players in the eye before we part ways … I didn’t want to take that from him,” Bloom said.

An infielder on Boston’s 2007 champions, Cora was mentioned 11 times in Commissioner Rob Manfred’s decision on the Astros, which said Cora developed the cheating system. Cora left Houston to become Boston’s manager after the 2017 season and led the Red Sox to a franchise-record 108 regular-season wins and the World Series title.

But fallout from the Astros investigation caused Cora and newly hired New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran to lose their jobs.