I include the question mark because it’s silly to the point of folly to say with certainty how a new ballpark is gonna play before people actually start playing in it, but wow, check out the size of the outfield in the Marlins’ new ballpark.
That light blue overlay shows the outfield dimensions compared to Petco Park, which is the most pitcher-friendly park in baseball. Yes, the night games with that marine layer thing coming in off the Pacific affect that a lot, but size does matter. And the size of the Marlins’ outfield is pretty impressive/scary depending on who you are.
This could be great for Jose Reyes and all of his triples and it could be wonderful for the Marlins’ pitching staff. But if you’re a power hitter, particularly a righty who sometimes takes it straight-away, this place may haunt your dreams.
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.