Bryant: Hall of Fame voting has always sucked. Why mess with tradition?

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ESPN’s Howard Bryant is outraged at all the outrage over the Hall of Fame voting. His argument boils down to this:

  • Baseball used to ignore its history and poop on the fans before the strike, and now they care about honoring people and milestones; God, that sucks;
  • The sabermetricians and their fellow travelers in the blogosphere intimidate — and yes, he used the word “intimidate” — the poor BBWAA writers into voting for guys who never would have gotten consideration in the past, so pardon them for missing out on one or two of the statboys’ favorite sons for once; and
  • Baseball was just fine screwing up its Hall of Fame balloting for
    decades, so why are we all upset when they mess up honoring people now?

There are some good points in the piece — I don’t like the fact that we stop games for every milestone now either — but it’s mostly a “two wrongs make a right” kind of argument, and I hate those.  Why should we settle for a stupid Hall of Fame voting process now just because it’s always been stupid?

Bryant did give me a laugh though when he said he’d rather start a team with Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Stan Musial than Edgar Martinez.  Man, I’d take Martinez every day. He’s only 47. Musial is gonna be 90 this year and the other three are dead!

Or am I missing all of his points?

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.