Craig mentioned earlier how David Wright took “the high road” in response to Fred Wilpon’s comments from the New Yorker. You wouldn’t expect anything different from him, but right-hander Mike Pelfrey has a decidedly different take. A downright funny one, actually.
No, Wilpon didn’t mention Pelfrey by name in the profile, but in talking to Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen about a member of the staff “who tends to dawdle on the mound, he said, “Tell him to throw the f-ing ball!” And if you know anything about Pelfrey, he’s a bit, well, fidgety on the mound.
Anyway, here’s Pelfrey’s take, via David Waldstein of the New York Times:
“I think guys will be upset,” pitcher Mike Pelfrey said. “But we’re all a family: ownership, coaches and players. Sometimes people say things they regret. It’s a mistake and you learn from it. Maybe next spring when we have our media workshop for the players, Fred can come and sit in on it.”
Nicely done, sir. Though if Fred’s heel turn continues, Pelfrey will be on the next flight to Buffalo.
Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera deservingly became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, receiving votes from all 425 writers who submitted ballots. Previously, the closest players to unanimous induction were Ken Griffey, Jr. (99.32% in 2016), Tom Seaver (98.84% in 1992), Nolan Ryan (98.79% in 1999), Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%), Ty Cobb (98.23% in 1936), and George Brett (98.19% in 1999).
Because so many greats were not enshrined in Cooperstown unanimously, many voters in the past argued against other players getting inducted unanimously, withholding their votes for otherwise deserving players. That Griffey — both one of the greatest outfielders of all time and one of the most popular players of all time — wasn’t voted in unanimously in 2016, for example, seemed to signal that no player ever would. Now that Rivera has been, this tired argument about voting unanimity can be laid to rest.
Derek Jeter will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year. He may become the second player ever to be elected unanimously. David Ortiz appears on the 2022 ballot and could be No. 3. Now that Rivera has broken through, these are possibilities whereas before they might not have been.
Another tired argument around Hall of Fame voting concerns whether or not a player is a “first ballot” Hall of Famer. Some voters think getting enshrined in a player’s first year of eligibility is a greater honor than getting in any subsequent year. I’m not sure what it will take to get rid of this argument — other than the electorate getting younger and more open-minded — but at least we have made progress on at least one bad Hall of Fame take.