Tuesday, January 09, 2007

HOF reaction

A few quick words on the results of the HOF voting that were announced today. The results weren't very surprising, and ended up as follows:

Cal Ripken, Jr. -- 98.5% of vote
Tony Gwynn -- 97.6%
Goose Gossage -- 71.2%
Jim Rice -- 63.5%
Andre Dawson -- 56.7%
Bert Blyleven -- 47.7%
Lee Smith -- 39.8%
Jack Morris -- 37.1%
Mark McGwire -- 23.5%
Alan Trammell -- 13.4%
75% of the vote required for induction

I listed Trammell, because he was on my ballot of HOFers, along with Ripken, Gwynn, McGwire, Blyleven, and Gossage. Ripken and Gwynn got in, and Gossage missed by a hair, meaning that he'll likely be inducted next year. Blyleven got less than 50%, which means that it's looking doubtful that he'll ever get in. McGwire got a very poor showing, and the odds that the BBWAA will ever let him in are remote. But Trammell did worse than all of them, which is just too bad. I guess everybody's got a short memory.
The Jim Rice steam train rolls on, as he'll likely get in, if only as the result of physical intimidation from Red Sox fans. Rarely has history been revised and subverted with such energy.
Andre Dawson made a good showing and could get in in the future, but I doubt it. I personally don't think he should, as he's also gotten a big lift in popularity after his retirement. This is thanks mainly to his (undeserved) 1987 MVP and the fact that he had bad knees. If only the voters realized that there's a place for all those people "who would have been good enough, but ..." and it's not in Cooperstown.
In my next blog entry, I'd like to take a look at the forthcoming HOF elections. Let's see who's going to be on the ballot and look at their candidacy. I've already expressed my desire to induct McGwire, Blyleven, Gossage, and Trammell, so they'll be on my ballot again next year. So let's just look at the new players entering the ballot. That will be posted as soon as I finish the massive project of updating my all-time stats on . . . well, everyone. Is tomorrow okay?

Another very interesting story developed today, reported in the New York Daily News. The Daily News reported that, last year, Barry Bonds tested positive for amphetamine use and then tried to blame it on teammate Mike Sweeney. The paper cited several unnamed sources that claim that after Bonds' positive test, he blamed it on something he borrowed from Mike Sweeney's locker.
Well, this adds some more fuel to the fire, doesn't it? The first thing to point out -- strenuously -- is that this is just a report in the Daily News right now, and there's been no confirmation (nor will there be, barring a subpoena). It is, of course, tempting to speculate on what this means if it is true. If it is true, it finally offers a solid plank for the anti-Bonds forces to stand upon, giving them evidence much better than circumstantial (as if Game of Shadows weren't enough). The fact that he tried to blame it on a teammate -- if true -- just gives us more insight into the happy world of Barry.

Some quick free agent notes:

  • Mark Mulder signed a two-year deal with the Cardinals for $13 million. It's not a lot of money by any means and gives the Cards a fifth body to put in the starting lineup. However, I'm more than a little troubled by the horrific drop in Mulder's quality since mid-2004. At this point, there are no guarantees that he can give the Cardinals much more than he did last year. However, in the Cards' predicament, I can understand them taking the chance. I just don't think it's a chance I would have taken.
  • John Thomson signed a low-end deal with the Blue Jays for $500,000 and will compete for a spot in the rotation in Spring Training. Thomson was a decent LAIM before injuries sapped his effectiveness in recent years. He's a great guy to take a flier on if you need pitching, especially for pocket change.
    Oddly enough, Thomson took the opportunity during the announcement to insult Paul Lo Duca. Apparently, Thomson's other offer was from the Mets, and he (for some unknown reason) doesn't think the world of Paul Lo Duca. "As far as just looking at Paul Lo Duca across the field," he says, "I'm not really into how he acts behind the plate."
    I'm not sure what that means, and the two have never played together on the same team, so who knows where this came from. Thomson's entitled to his opini0ns, although by now, you'd think he'd know better than to express them during a conference call. Thomson just earned himself a world of bad blood (and bad press) by making a comment that was not only insulting but totally irrelevant.

I'll be back with the big numbers soon. While you're waiting, see Children of Men.

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