I’m wondering if when the Biogenesis suspensions come out if they’ll be released in little emails just after 5pm. And I wonder if I’ll still use the Rachel Leigh Cook pic. Probably not and probably not, respectively, but I’ll consider it. Anyway:
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that free agent Minor League left-handed pitcher Michael O’Connor has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for metabolites of Trenbolone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
O’Connor — assuming this is the same Michael O’Connor — had three stints with the Nationals, starting 20 games for them in 2006 and last appearing in the bigs in 2011 with the Mets. A veteran of 12 minor league seasons, O’Connor turns 33 in August and was last seen on the Twins’ Triple-A roster. He was released in May.
Now he roams the Earth, presumably.
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.