The Royals to sell the naming rights to Kauffman Stadium

28 Comments

Via some very well-put disappointment in the development over at Big League Stew comes word that the Kansas City Royals are on the verge of selling naming rights to Kauffman Stadium. Probably to a bank. Almost certainly not to Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ, which is a cryin’ shame.

Does Kansas City have any anti-corporate activists hanging around? Can we not launch “Occupy Blue Ridge Cutoff?”

Eh, I can’t muster too much outrage. The ship on this stuff sailed, what, 15 years ago? Twenty?

I sold my soul to the corporate naming rights back in 2007. Back then the Indians were trying to sell naming rights to the then-Jacobs Field and were having trouble finding a suitor. I spent part of an afternoon looking at a big Cleveland business directory trying to find locally-based business candidates for them. I actually ended up liking the idea of “Progressive Field” better than other potential candidates. The fact that they ended up going with that a few months later probably means that I have no standing to complain.

The 2019 Hall of Fame Class will be announced this evening

Getty Images
2 Comments

This year’s Hall of Fame ballot was released just over two months ago. This evening at 6:15 PM Eastern, all of the arguing stops. Well, actually, it doesn’t stop, because it never stops. Not really. It just transforms into something more pointless, because as of then, the 2019 Hall of Fame class will be officially announced live on MLB Network.

The entire ballot can be found here. Two weeks ago I went through it, candidate-by-candidate, in order to determine who I would vote for if, in fact, I had a vote. For what it’s worth, I ended up with Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker, Manny Ramirez. and Scott Rolen.

No, not all of those guys will be elected. I strongly suspect we’ll get three, with an outside chance at a fourth. Based on the best Hall of Fame voting tracker out there, Mariano Rivera is a lock. So too, it seems, is Roy Halladay. Edgar Martinez — on the ballot for is tenth and final time — likewise seems to have the support to finally make it. He was 20 votes short last year and, so far, he has picked up more than 20 new votes among voters who have revealed their ballots. Assuming that previous Martinez voters who have not released their ballots do not backtrack — a safe assumption — Edgar should, at long last, finally make it into Cooperstown.

The last guy who, at present, is trending above the required 75% is Mike Mussina who, at present, is included on 81% of public ballots. There is a tendency for the non-public voters to be stingier with their support, however, so there’s a pretty decent chance that Mussina will fall just under the threshold and will find himself back on the ballot next year. A jump from last year’s 63.5% support to something in the 70s, however, would bode very well for his 2020 chances. If he somehow makes it this year’s class will rival last year’s four-person BBWAA-elected class as one of the better ones in living memory.

Who will join Harold Baines and Lee Smith on the stage in Cooperstown in July? We find out this evening, just after 6 PM.