The Veteran’s Committee has spoken and Pat Gillick is the only person who was elected to the Hall of Fame.
In addition to holding many other jobs in baseball, Pat Gillick built the Blue Jays from an expansion team into a World Series champ and did an excellent job in both Seattle — building the team that won 116 games in 2001 — and Philly, where he built the team that won the 2008 World Series and continues to dominate today.
But taking nothing away from Gillick, this vote is more notable for who was left off: George Steinbrenner and Marvin Miller. Each of whom belong in the Hall of Fame.
Yes, I realize that Steinbrenner was a troubling figure. He had his faults — some criminal — and he was crazy-divisive. But he was also a truly a transformative figure in baseball history. And the Hall of Fame is — or at least should be — about history. And impact. And, ultimately, excellence. Steinbrenner fits that bill.
What more can be said about Marvin Miller? He fell one vote short, it is being reported. He should have been in years ago. Baseball today cannot be understood without understanding Marvin Miller’s contributions and passing him over yet again is a travesty.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.
Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.
Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.
There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.