Ken Davidoff, following up on his Hall of Fame ballot column from yesterday, brings the noise about why PED stuff shouldn’t matter when it comes to this sort of thing. hitting the following bases:
- Hank Aaron did greenies, so why aren’t people on his case about that?;
- The fact that non-prescribed steroids are illegal should not be relevant to a Hall voter because (a) Hall voters aren’t lawyers; and (b) that logic would apply to greenies, cocaine and — though he doesn’t say it — alcohol in the 1920s too. It’s just not a workable reason to withhold a Hall vote now; and
- More generally, people and the times in which they live are imperfect and there’s no way to be consistent or fair if we apply the standards of one era to the acts of those in another.
I imagine Davidoff will catch a lot of flak for this column, particularly when it comes to the Hank Aaron stuff. But nothing he says in it is wrong, and I love the fact that he’s willing to ruffle some feathers on this stuff.
The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.
Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field. He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.
Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.