HBT Weekend Wrapup

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It occurred to me as I was driving eight hours back to central Ohio, away from the clear blue waters of Lake Michigan, away from the clean and cool air of the north, away from the fresh cherry pie and away from the easy, uncrowded and unhurried pace of life in my little vacation abode that I could easily write this blog from anywhere, so why not there?

But I have responsibilities here. Kids in school. A wife with a real job. A cat to feed. A fortified compound to patrol.  That kind of thing. I guess the sign of a truly good vacation is that you find yourself obsessing over real estate listings of the area after you’ve left. Alas.

Anyway, here’s what you missed while wondering if you could trust civilian movers to relocate your fortified compound to a little hamlet in Leelanau county:  

  • The Marlins are concerned
    about having to share a playing surface with the Dolphins. Maybe they
    should just lie about how much money they make and hoodwink Dade County
    and the City of Miami into paying for a new ballpark against the will of
    the taxpayers while simultaneously enriching themselves. Oh wait, they already did that.
  • Aroldis Chapman hit 105 on the radar gun. Probably the same one that cop used to clock me at 84 in that speed trap town in New Mexico a few years ago. I mean, no question, both the fastball and I were moving. I just kind of doubt that we were going that fast.
  • Someone needs to tell Nyjer Morgan that, given how he’s not that good at baseball, his primary selling point as a major leaguer is his infectious enthusiasm, positive attitude, old-timey stirrups and hustle (not necessarily in that order). In other words, he really needs to cut out all the bad guy stuff.

And with that, we can dive into this week and push the thoughts of vacationland out of our heads.

Jones, Maddux, Morris consider Bonds, Clemens for Hall

USA TODAY Sports
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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Hall of Famers Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris and Ryne Sandberg are among 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee that will meet to consider the Cooperstown fate of an eight-man ballot that includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro.

Hall of Famers Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also are on the panel, which will meet in San Diego ahead of the winter meetings.

They will be joined by former Toronto CEO Paul Beeston, former Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs executive Theo Epstein, Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno, Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng, Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter and Chicago White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams.

Three media members/historians are on the committee: longtime statistical analyst Steve Hirdt of Stats Perform, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Neal and Slusser are past presidents of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Hall Chairman Jane Forbes Clark will be the committee’s non-voting chair.

The ballot also includes Albert Belle, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy and Curt Schilling. The committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A candidate needs 75% to be elected and anyone who does will be inducted on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the BBWAA vote, announced on Jan. 24.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their 10th and final appearances on the BBWAA ballot. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program, just over two weeks after getting his 3,000th hit.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) in 2021. Support dropped after hateful remarks he made in retirement toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the BBWAA ballot in 2019. Murphy was on the BBWAA ballot 15 times and received a high of 116 votes (23.2%) in 2000. Mattingly received a high of 145 votes (28.2%) in the first of 15 appearances on the BBWAA ballot in 2001, and Belle appeared on two BBWAA ballots, receiving 40 votes (7.7%) in 2006 and 19 (3.5%) in 2007.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.

This year’s BBWAA ballot includes Carlos Beltran, John Lackey and Jered Weaver among 14 newcomers and Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner among holdovers.