Bud Selig: George Steinbrenner is a Hall of Famer

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See, Bud and I don’t disagree on everything. In this, I’m right there with him:

Baseball
commissioner Bud Selig held court in the back of the press box Monday
night and was asked, among other things, if Steinbrenner deserves a
plaque in Cooperstown in addition to Monument Park. “Of course I do,”
Selig said. “Now I’m sure that will have some controversy, but you asked
me my opinion.”

Told that former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert is not in Cooperstown,
Selig said, “I didn’t have a vote back then and I don’t have a vote
now.”

He could have also added that the Babe Ruth/Lou Gehrig teams over which Ruppert presided were more the doing of Ed Barrow than they were Ruppert. In contrast, Steinbrenner was truly a transformative figure, and for all of his flaws, I believe far more deserving of the Hall of Fame than Ruppert was.

Yes, I realize there is an army of Steinbrenner haters out there. I’m no personal admirer myself. But my view of the Hall of Fame is that it’s about history and impact and, ultimately, excellence, and no matter what else you can say about George Steinbrenner, you can’t say that he wasn’t historic, had no impact and did not do things which allowed the Yankees — and baseball as a whole — to excel.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.