Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday hasn’t played since aggravating his injured right middle finger during Tuesday’s game against the Astros. And he’ll remain sidelined even as the postseason is set to begin.
According to beat writer Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Holliday has been ruled out for Game 1 of the Cardinals’ NLDS matchup with the Phillies due to ongoing middle finger discomfort.
Allen Craig, who batted .327/.364/.692 with five home runs and 12 RBI during the month of September, will draw the start in left field instead.
Holliday was given a cortisone shot on Thursday morning and is hoping to feel well enough to play in Game 2, but he’s been in and out of the starting lineup for the past several weeks and is clearly playing through pain. With a productive backup in Craig, the Wild Card champion Cardinals don’t have to push it.
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.