Kudos to John Fay for not sending in a blank Hall of Fame ballot which actively harms candidates, but this is still rather depressing:
I simply can’t do it. I put off mailing in my 2013 Hall of Fame ballot until today’s deadline. It will not be sent … At some point last night, I made up my mind that I would vote Bonds and Clemens on basis that they would have been Hall of Famers if they used PEDs or not … But this morning, I was too torn to pull the lever.
In the past, Fay has voted for guys like Tim Raines, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker and Lee Smith. Now, because Bonds and Clemens vex him, those guys won’t be getting votes either.
If Fay feels this way, why does he simply not vote for Bonds and Clemens?
The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.
Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.
While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.