So which cap does Dawson wear on his plaque?

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Dawson Red Sox.jpgUPDATE:  Still read the discussion below because it applies to other players too, but for the record, a few minutes ago MLB.com’s Hal Bodley walked into the Waldorf Astoria ballroom where they’ll have Andre Dawson’s press conference later today and noticed that they have a big portrait of him in an Expos uniform set up.  I’m guessing that’s the Hall’s way of saying what cap he’s gonna have on the plaque.

I ask because MLB.com has a story asking it.  To be honest, though, it seems pretty obvious.

Dawson played 1443 games in Montreal, 867 in Chicago, 121 in Florida and 196 in Boston.  I think we can eliminate Boston and Florida from the conversation, right?  That leaves the Expos and Cubs.

While his OPS and other rate stats are a hair higher in Chicago, he was a gold glove centerfielder for the Expos and a rightfielder for the Cubs (yes, he won two gold gloves for the Cubs too, but how much of that was inertia?).  His MVP came for the Cubs, but he had much, much more aggregate value in an Expos uniform.

Dawson, of course, left Montreal on fairly acrimonious terms, and is on record as saying that he would prefer a Cubs or even a Marlins cap who gave him a chance to play a bit longer, to adorn his plaque. That’s not his choice to make, however.  The players had the choice of what cap they’d wear until 2001.  At that point the Hall made the wise decision to take that choice away from them.  I say wise, because ultimately the Hall of Fame is a museum, and it’s a museum’s job to reflect history, not honor the personal preferences of the honoree.

Which doesn’t mean that more games or more aggregate value always trumps. Reggie Jackson was a better player for a greater number of years with the Athletics than the Yankees, yet he wears a Yankees cap on his plaque. I have no problem with this because, really, when his tale is being told, his exploits with the Yankees are the center of the story. Nolan Ryan has a Rangers cap. Sure, it’s subjective, but it just feels right, doesn’t it? And feel matters. How whack does the pic to the right of this post look? Do we really want history looking like that?

By the same token, Andre Dawson feels like an Expo and, in my mind at least, his plaque has to have an Expos cap.

Red Sox re-sign Steve Pearce to one-year deal

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Red Sox first baseman and World Series MVP Steve Pearce is headed back to Boston for another year, the Red Sox announced Friday. Pearce signed a one-year, $6.25 million deal that will keep him with the club through the 2019 season. According to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, it’s more guaranteed money than any player aged 35 years or older received in 2018.

Pearce, 35, was brought over to the Red Sox during a midseason trade with the Blue Jays for minor league middle infielder Santiago Espinal. He finished the regular season batting a combined .284/.378/.512 with 11 home runs, 14 doubles, and an .890 OPS in 251 plate appearances and really started to hit his stride during the postseason. With starting first baseman Mitch Moreland sidelined with a hamstring injury, Pearce stepped up and quickly became the difference-maker for the team in the ALCS and World Series. He was named series MVP after delivering three key home runs in Games 4 and 5, after which the Red Sox wrapped up their ninth franchise championship title — and Pearce’s first to date.

The signing brings the Red Sox another step closer to reuniting their World Series-winning roster in 2019. As MLB.com’s Ian Browne points out, right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and right-handed relievers Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly are all still available in free agency. While the team would likely welcome a reunion with the pitchers next season, they haven’t made significant strides toward acquiring any of the three, though there have been early reports that they have some interest in re-signing Eovaldi or replacing him with a pitcher of similar talent.