A couple of quick notes this morning before the Hall of Fame announcement comes (and, no, I was not responsible for the BBWAA.com hack – though I bet that admin password was pretty darn easy to guess. It was probably one of: baseball, bbwaa, aaron755, ruth714, winsrule, blylevensucks, TEHFEAR, werthersoriginals, youhadtobethere, or penis.):
- My latest article is up over at The Hardball Times. It’s a reminder about the weird human element involved with Hall of Fame votes. The ballot may say “yes” or “no”, but we all know there’s about a million shades of gray in there too.
- I did a podcast last night with Bill and The Common Man from the Platoon Advantage last night. It’s embedded below, or you can go over here to listen and/or download it. We talk a lot of Hall of Fame, including why Palmeiro and Walker should be in and how a baseball card picture is keep Trammell out of the Hall. It was fun. Give it a listen.
- And, finally, since this is the day that Bert Blyleven should finally get that call he’s been hoping for for over 20 years now (though I would be remiss if I didn’t point out, again, that Bert’s 74.2% last year was identical to the percentage Jim Bunning received in 1988, and he wasn’t elected in the following year. More about that here.), I thought it’d be fun to share a Blyleven story I found while looking at old ballots.
In 2003, New York Daily News writer Bill Madden finally changed his mind and began voting for Blyleven after being reminded of just how important strikeouts, shutouts and innings pitched are. When explaining his choice, though, he felt it necessary to explain just how much of a jerk Blyleven was to the media in his playing days. From the article:
(Click “Read More” to read the story and listen to the podcast.)
His 287 wins and consummate drop dead curveball notwithstanding, until now, I never thought of him as a dominant pitcher in the same vein as his contemporaries, Seaver, Palmer and Carlton. (He never led the league in anything but innings pitched three times and complete games once in 22 seasons in the bigs.) And it had nothing to do with the incident in 1981 when as a member of the Cleveland Indians, he was sitting in the visiting dugout at Yankee Stadium when a colleague from the New York Times and myself were interviewing a player next to him.
Blyleven, who seemed to revel in being one of baseball biggest jerks when he was a player, raised his leg and proceded to … uh, flatulate, essentially in our faces. It got a great laugh, if only from him, and prompted my Times colleague to remark: “If only our readers knew the behind-the-scenes perks of this job.” Now they do. Anyway, this is not at all intended as an act of forgiveness for a long-ago act of crudeness on Blyleven’s part, merely an acknowledgment on my part that those 60 shutouts (ninth all-time), 3,701 strikeouts (third all-time) along with the 287 wins are deserving of a plaque in Cooperstown. We’ll not likely ever see those kind of pitching numbers again.
Locker room humor. Gotta love it, eh?
Here’s hoping Bert, Alomar, Bagwell, Larkin, Trammell, Raines, Edgar, Walker, McGwire, and Palmeiro all get the call today (even if we all know it’ll be just Bert and Alomar).