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Lou Whitaker leads a strong Modern Baseball Era Hall of Fame Ballot

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The Hall of Fame just announced the nominees for this year’s Veterans Committee ballot.

Well, they don’t call it the “Veterans Committee” anymore, but it basically is. For the past several years they’ve gone with an era-system which rotates every year, and this year’s era is the “Modern Baseball” era, covering candidates who made their mark between 1970-1987. Or, at the very least, the biggest part of their mark given that there will always be some overlap. People still call it the “Veterans Committee” though.

The big news: there are multiple candidates on this year’s ballots who REALLY deserve induction!

The full slate: Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker.

Over the years we have considered the candidacies of most of these guys in one form or another. We’ll do in-depth posts about all of these guys in the runup to the election results which will be announced during the Winter Meetings in early December, but in the mean time:

  • I’m very much pro-Lou Whitaker, Dwight Evans, Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller;
  • I would take no issue whatsoever with Murphy, Parker and perhaps Munson, though I have gone back and forth on all of their candidacies at various times; and
  • I’m generally not a supporter of Garvey, John and Mattingly, but at least John and Mattingly would be stronger candidates than guys like Harold Baines and Jack Morris, who were previously inducted.

It’s hard to get through the various permutations of the Veterans Committee, however. There are only a handful of voters, the threshold is high and this particular slate of candidates is going to lead to a lot of vote splitting. It’s certainly one of the more intriguing ballots in some time.

Gentlemen: start your arguments.

 

 

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).