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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Julio Franco, Eat Your Heart Out
2007-01-08 19:39
by Jon Weisman

DeliveryTimes Calendar Weekend deputy editor Kevin Bronson has adapted his Buzz Bands music column into a blog. (I got an e-mail about this right after seeing Kevin Roderick post about it on L.A. Observed.)

But I have a little more information on Bronson, stemming from the fact that I've known him for 20 years now, ever since he was sports editor at the Pasadena Star-News and offered me an internship for the summer after my freshman year in college, before giving me my first post-Stanford job. It's not exactly a secret, but Bronson has some serious fun playing and coaching baseball in the L.A. Senior Men's Baseball League – conveniently, as far as I'm concerned, for a team called the Brooklyn Dodgers (though Bronson, he would hasten to remind me, is cut from Cardinal cloth).

He had some pretty impressive play last season for a 50-year-old pitcher/shortstop playing in a 25-and-older league. He bats leadoff and is also a No. 2 starter who hit 80 mph on the radar gun twice at the national MSBL World Series in Phoenix in November.

"Well, it's just adult baseball," Bronson said. "I would think there's a lot more athleticism involved in something like road cycling ... but you'd be surprised at some of the people who play in our league (Jose and Ozzie Canseco, Bret Saberhagen and Scott Erickson, in the upper division, for instance; a lot of B-list musicians and actors in the lower divisions). It's a baseball junkie's heaven."

Jokes about Erickson aside, who could argue?

Comments (213)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-01-08 19:44:19
1.   D4P
So, about that Mark McGwire...
2007-01-08 19:47:40
2.   Jon Weisman
Ooh, you dirty rat.
2007-01-08 19:51:02
3.   Bob Timmermann
As much as we all despise Scott Erickson, I doubt very few of us would be able to get any sort of contact batting against him.
2007-01-08 19:53:36
4.   Curtis Lowe
sweet, I have 26 years to train.
2007-01-08 19:57:37
5.   D4P
I wouldn't even try. I'm one of those cowards who would just try to draw a walk.
2007-01-08 20:05:02
6.   Vishal
[3] i can bunt! it's funny, considering my disdain for him as a player, my own skill-set is decidedly juan pierre-like. i play a decent outfield, but my arm is mediocre and i have no power. i prefer playing 2nd base though.
2007-01-08 20:07:22
7.   D4P
Considering my disdain for him as a player, my own body-type is decidedly David Eckstein-like. But I'm not as white...
2007-01-08 20:16:43
8.   Xeifrank
Has anyone run any MLE's for the Los Angeles Men's Senior Baseball League? vr, Xei
2007-01-08 20:19:31
9.   Greg Brock
Some good pronation in that picture. Tom House would be proud.
2007-01-08 20:37:48
10.   Andrew Shimmin
Ooh, a picture! I like posts with pictures.
2007-01-08 20:44:38
11.   Jon Weisman
10 - Yeah, me too. I'm insecure about posting pictures that I don't have the rights to.
2007-01-08 20:49:36
12.   D4P
For me, pictures take the place of a large number of words.
2007-01-08 20:57:04
13.   D4P
Not to revive the previous discussion, but Ja(y)son Stark voted for McGwire, and wrote a seemingly reasonable defense of his vote.

(You needn't respond to this, I just found it germane)

2007-01-08 21:07:55
14.   Andrew Shimmin
Upside of Jon's having real writing jobs: plenty more of his writing to read.

Downside of Jon's having real writing jobs: an unblogerly concern for copyright law.

2007-01-08 21:11:13
15.   Andrew Shimmin
In the spirit of revisiting topics Jon didn't seem to enjoy the first time around, Duaner's projected MORP for this year (projected from before last season; it will very likely be significantly higher, next week, when the new PECOTA stats come out): $1,325,000. So, he is very likely to earn the money he'll make, in every sense of the word.
2007-01-08 21:13:13
16.   D4P
That's the spirit!
2007-01-08 21:27:05
17.   D4P
I'm not seeking out these stories, I'm just running across them in my normal internet travels. Here's one from about McGwire and morality.

2007-01-08 21:36:00
18.   trainwreck
Wow, so that was not even close.
2007-01-08 21:40:55
19.   Andrew Shimmin
Joel Stein warning on the link in 17. Some people are so inconsiderate.
2007-01-08 21:43:38
20.   D4P
Hey, they guy is moderately humorous on VH1 specials...
2007-01-08 21:43:52
21.   D4P
Er, "that guy"...
2007-01-08 21:51:06
22.   trainwreck
You hit that guy!

He shouldn't have been standing there.

2007-01-08 21:53:57
23.   Greg Brock
During high school, I played junior hockey and still hold two league records: most time spent in the penalty box; and I was the only guy to ever take off his skate and try to stab somebody.
2007-01-08 21:57:28
24.   Greg Brock
Murray Chass has an article up on JD Drew.

2007-01-08 22:00:57
25.   D4P
"Theo and I have been working on that as we speak," Boras said, referring to Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein, in a telephone chat Sunday. "We expect something to move forward in the near future." He declined to define "near future."

"I don't talk about those things," he said.

AKA "I'm not here to talk about the future"

2007-01-08 22:19:41
26.   trainwreck
I am an agent. Why would I talk about what is going on with my client?
2007-01-08 22:37:06
27.   Orly Yarly NoWai
This is awesome. Hopefully I can still pitch like that when I'm his age.
2007-01-08 23:05:31
28.   Steve
24 is the comment equivalent of stabbing someone with an ice skate.
2007-01-08 23:27:52
29.   Greg Brock
Steve is like a comment ninja. He sneaks in, wipes you out, and disappears without a sound.

I wonder if he wears those socks with the sandal slits too. I bet he does.

2007-01-08 23:31:49
30.   Bob Timmermann
Those socks are called "tabi".
2007-01-09 01:29:29
31.   overkill94
I've been meaning to join a men's league ever since I graduated college (2 1/2 years ago), maybe I've finally got that push to get me to do it. Then again, the last time I tried to play, my arm was so out of whack that I couldn't throw a strike and my hitting was terrible. Ozzie Canseco won't make fun of my learning curve, will he?
2007-01-09 06:35:52
32.   Vishal
[31] not this past summer but the summer before, i played in a weekend adult league. most of those guys were in their late 20s/early 30s, had been playing in the league for several years, and had played at least high school varsity if not in college or j.c. meanwhile, i hadn't played baseball at all since little league when i was 12 years old (and i just turned 24 at the time), and i had never even seen a decent breaking ball. not from the batter's box, anyway. not to mention i was extremely rusty when it came to even normal fielding plays. considering that i was no all-star even in little league, suffice it to say that for the first several games, i was obviously the worst player on the team. but my teammates were really friendly and cool about it because they could see i was trying my hardest, and that i loved being out there. and sure enough i improved, steadily. by the end of the summer i was still one of the worst players on the team, to be sure, but not so obviously the worst one. i was starting to get the hang of hitting, my defense was improving, and i could at least go out there and not embarrass anyone. anyway, it was a blast and i intend to do it again at my next opportunity, so i definitely recommend you do it.
2007-01-09 09:08:51
33.   Robert Daeley
Dodger mystery photo. Anybody know who this is?

2007-01-09 09:13:58
34.   regfairfield
33 It's probably a coach since the Dodgers haven't had any grey haired pitchers over the last couple years.
2007-01-09 09:46:39
35.   ToyCannon
Looks like Jon Debus
2007-01-09 10:07:24
36.   Daniel Zappala
Hey, what do you know, BYU finished with a higher ranking that Notre Dame in the final polls. Too bad they don't have the same access to the BCS system.
2007-01-09 10:10:18
37.   D4P
ND's access to BCS system :: Ned's access to DRay's roster
2007-01-09 10:11:13
38.   ToyCannon
Debus will join incoming Orix Buffaloes manager, Terry Collins coaching staff for the upcoming 2007 season.

Thus ending a long relationship with the LA Dodgers. He was a good man in the Dodger bullpen, very friendly.

2007-01-09 10:17:12
39.   Humma Kavula

I made one additional effort to reach Drew by telephone to find out what was really happening. Three Drews are listed in the Hahira, Ga., telephone directory. I picked one and told the woman who answered that I was looking for J. D.

"I'm his mom," she said.

Did she know what was happening with her son's contract? "No, I don't," she said, "not at the present time."

I am not sure at what point being a good journalist ends and being a bad human being begins, but maybe Murray does.

2007-01-09 10:26:11
40.   Jon Weisman
I have noticed that Chass seems to be personally offended by the Drew situation. Maybe he's just rooting against Drew for the same reason so many people in Los Angeles are, but it feels like something else. It does seem like it's not enough for him to report on the curious no-contract - he seems to almost want to take both parties to task for not fishing or cutting bait.

Yes, the deal is taking longer than usual. Maybe it's really in trouble. Anyone can see these possibilities. Until there's a resolution either way, isn't that enough to know? I don't quite get why Chass is on such a crusade.

If someone called my mother to ask for her opinion on any of my work negotiations, it would be utterly ridiculous.

2007-01-09 10:45:49
41.   D4P
I don't think he called DJ's mother on purpose, did he? He was presumably trying to track down the man himself, but happened to contact his mother in the process.
2007-01-09 10:48:55
42.   Marty
I think most mothers don't have a clue as to what their children do anyway
2007-01-09 10:51:02
43.   uke
42...What kind of world do we live in? The horror!
2007-01-09 10:58:51
44.   Sam DC
Todd Holladsworth and Karim Garcia?

2007-01-09 10:59:55
45.   Sam DC
2007-01-09 11:00:15
46.   Greg Brock
It's Hall of Fame time, or Blylevenwatch 2007.
2007-01-09 11:01:15
47.   Steve
I don't quite get why Chass is on such a crusade.

Because he's an idiot.

2007-01-09 11:05:27
48.   Greg Brock
No Blyleven, no Gossage.


2007-01-09 11:12:07
49.   Greg Brock
Gossage was 21 votes short (71%)
2007-01-09 11:12:53
50.   Humma Kavula
Too bad about Blyleven and Gossage (and Trammell, for that matter). They deserved election.

Of course, so did Ripken and Gwynn, so that part is good.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-01-09 11:13:40
51.   D4P
What about Mark McGwire, the guy who started out as a "Bash Brother" with the Oakland As (hitting a game-winning 3-run HR in the 1988 World Series) before going to St. Louis and hitting a bunch of HRs, breaking Roger Maris' single-season HR record, and then coming under significant suspicion of PED use?

Any mention of him?

2007-01-09 11:15:11
52.   Greg Brock
51 Mac got 23% of the vote, putting his HOF future in real jeopardy.
2007-01-09 11:15:30
53.   ToyCannon
Where's the Griddle on this HOF day?
2007-01-09 11:17:01
54.   D4P
I think Bob got distracted by the Frank Robinson news
2007-01-09 11:17:56
55.   overkill94
32 Sounds like a fun league Vishal, what area of LA was it in? I'm in West LA, so I wouldn't want to have to travel too far for any league I'm in.
2007-01-09 11:18:05
56.   regfairfield
I really, really dislike any writer who feels like it's his duty to "protect the integrity of the game".

I also mildly dislike anyone who puts Bruce Sutter in the Hall of Fame and not Gossage.

2007-01-09 11:19:41
57.   D4P
Poor Steve. Dale Murphy didn't make it.
2007-01-09 11:21:03
58.   Greg Brock
Blyleven getting 47% of the vote is a joke. It just seems as though some writers will not relent, look at the numbers, and put him in. It's ridiculous.
2007-01-09 11:22:33
59.   regfairfield
58 Where are you seeing the final vote count?
2007-01-09 11:23:26
60.   Greg Brock
59 ESPN story, ESPN News, Rob Neyer chat.
2007-01-09 11:24:22
61.   D4P
How many starting pitchers are in the HOF with less than 300 career wins...? I'm guessing that's almost a necessary criterion for voters.
2007-01-09 11:24:57
62.   Humma Kavula
It seems that eight voters left Ripken off their ballots and 13 left off Gwynn. That's if I have my arithmetic right, which I might not.

I know there are a ton of possibilities of how this shakes out, but I'm curious... how many people voted for Ripken but not Gwynn? I understand (but disagree with) turning in a blank ballot. I would like to hear someone's explanation of why Ripken deserves election and Gwynn doesn't.

2007-01-09 11:25:29
63.   Greg Brock
There are only like 23 or 24 300 game winners. It would be a pretty small Hall were that true.
2007-01-09 11:27:53
64.   Vishal
[58] what'd he get last year?

[55] it was actually in orange county. just look up NABA, you should find someting in your area. i tried out for an LA league before finding the one nearer to where i lived.

[41] probably he didn't call her on purpose, but mentioning that she is listed and in what directory in his article means she will probably have to change her phone number now, which is a big annoyance.

2007-01-09 11:28:03
65.   D4P
I would like to hear someone's explanation of why Ripken deserves election and Gwynn doesn't

1. "Iron Man"
2. Hit HR in All-Star game near end of career
3. Steely blue eyes

2007-01-09 11:28:04
66.   Marty
When is Boggs eligible?
2007-01-09 11:28:15
67.   Jon Weisman
41 - I agree, and I even understand he was mostly going for a certain kind of ending to his story, but it's just indicative of ... something. Even if the negotiations were normal, would Drew's mother know about it? Why even print that stuff? And why highlight for everyone that the mother of one of the most disliked players in baseball can be reached so easily?
2007-01-09 11:28:40
68.   Daniel Zappala
I just discovered that the UK considers billion to be a million million, rather than a thousand million like here in the US. What we call a billion, they call a milliard. This is earth-shattering news.


2007-01-09 11:29:20
69.   Greg Brock
Blyleven actually lost six votes this year.
2007-01-09 11:29:27
70.   Jon Weisman
Did Blyleven lose ground from last year?
2007-01-09 11:29:39
71.   Jon Weisman
Impressive, Greg.
2007-01-09 11:30:40
72.   regfairfield
62 I think an argument exists for not letting Gwynn in. He's a one dimensional player whose value entirely rested in his batting average. He rarely had an isolated power above .150 as a corner outfielder, and his career OPS is only .847, below definite non Hall of Famers like Ryan Klesko, Tim Salmon, Will Clark and Mo Vaughn.

He still should be in, but I don't think he deserved the seventh highest vote total.

2007-01-09 11:31:06
73.   Greg Brock
My advocacy for Blyleven trails only Rich Lederer in its fanaticism.
2007-01-09 11:31:21
74.   Daniel Zappala
Somehow, milliardaire doesn't have the same ring as billionaire.
2007-01-09 11:33:24
75.   Daniel Zappala
But Tim Salmon was with one team his whole career, just like Gwynn. That has to count for something.

Bobby Grich should be in the HOF.

2007-01-09 11:33:33
76.   Greg Brock
Actually, Blyleven lost 17 votes, not six.


2007-01-09 11:36:00
77.   Vishal
i thought he lost some votes. traveshamockery, indeed. did a several voters hear that there was a (somewhat) sabermetrically-based movement for blyleven and decide to pull the rug out from under it?
2007-01-09 11:36:40
78.   Daniel Zappala
I'm a fan of Bert Blyleven because my mom met him once. I'm not as big a fan of my mom because she didn't immediately call me so I could meet him too.
2007-01-09 11:39:07
79.   Greg Brock
77 His vote total should go back up next year, but he's way short. I think some voters wanted this to be the Ripken/Gwynn year alone.

Because the BBWAA is the sole arbiter of all that is right and good in baseball. And proves, yet again, that aside from the Philosopher King, Gammons, and a select few others, most sportswriters are embarrassing.

2007-01-09 11:39:58
80.   regfairfield
How do you decide that a guy is a Hall of Famer one year, then he isn't the next? I know Tracy Ringolsby voted for Blyleven for the first time, so that means at least 18 writers changed their mind.

It should be said that anyone who didn't vote for Ripken needs to have their voting privilages revoked.

2007-01-09 11:41:54
81.   regfairfield
Also, who the heck voted for Jay Buhner and Dante Bichette?
2007-01-09 11:42:52
82.   D4P
Did anyone vote for Scott Brosius?

Maybe SABR should start its own Hall of Fame. Let's get Bob to work on that.

2007-01-09 11:44:11
83.   regfairfield
82 Nope. The full list is up on Primer.
2007-01-09 11:47:46
84.   Vishal
[80] i think a large number of them need to have their voting privileges revoked. at least 53% of them for starters.
2007-01-09 11:48:14
85.   Jon Weisman
82 - Hasn't it?
2007-01-09 11:49:01
86.   Greg Brock
The moron who left his ballot blank didn't vote for Ripken and Gwynn because "If Ruth and Matthewson didn't get in unanimously, than nobody should."

He should never be allowed to vote again.

2007-01-09 11:53:08
87.   Jon Weisman
How many wrongs make a right again? Two? Three? Fifteen?
2007-01-09 11:53:12
88.   regfairfield
86 Who ever didn't vote for Ruth on that inital ballot should also have had their privilages revoked. That could have saved us this never ending cycle of "X didn't get in unanimously, so neither should Y". Albert Pujols is the only guy who has a chance to stop this madness.

While not voting for Blyleven is a terrible lapse in judgement, there's at least some (bad) arguments to keep him out. I don't see any reason to not vote for Ripken.

2007-01-09 11:53:28
89.   D4P
With each election, I'm reminded that we refer to voting rights as "suffrage."

I guess there's a reason we didn't call it "pleasurage"...

2007-01-09 11:54:40
90.   D4P
Albert Pujols is the only guy who has a chance to stop this madness

How he has managed to emerge almost completely unscathed from PED suspicion is beyond me.

2007-01-09 11:55:21
91.   Sam DC
88 Can't Roger Clemens save us?

I think Jayson Stark voted for Blyleven for the first time this year.

2007-01-09 11:56:15
92.   Greg Brock
Every argument against Blyleven can be eviscerated in about three seconds.
2007-01-09 11:56:45
93.   Sam DC
Maybe not Stark -- "Until last year, I was one of those people who thought of Blyleven as a not-quite candidate, 287 wins or no 287 wins."

Guess that means he switched last year.

2007-01-09 11:57:03
94.   regfairfield
91 True. We have Clemens and Maddux. After that, I don't see anyone until Pujols. (A-Rod should be, but you know, he's a choker and what not).
2007-01-09 11:58:07
95.   regfairfield
92 I agree, but at least they're out there. I can't think of even a bad reason to keep Ripken out.
2007-01-09 11:58:51
96.   D4P
I don't understand why Clemens is immune from PED suspicion either.
2007-01-09 12:00:13
97.   Greg Brock
95 Absolutely. This should be a fairly straightforward question: Is player X a HOFer. If you believe he is, vote yes. If not, vote no. All this other stuff is the kind of nonsense that makes many sportswriters look like the sanctimonious people that they appear to be.
2007-01-09 12:12:41
98.   Andrew Shimmin
96- I called Clemens's mother and told her that I suspected him of using steroids.

She hung up one me.

2007-01-09 12:14:11
99.   D4P
Yeah, she doesn't like misogynists. Not that she has ever hung up on me...
2007-01-09 12:16:41
100.   Greg Brock
At least Rich Gossage will get in next year, or relatively soon. 71% of the votes this year and very weak classes in the next few years should put him in.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-01-09 12:22:59
101.   Bob Timmermann
When SABR held a poll to pick its own top 100 players of the 20th Century, there were at least three ballots that didn't include Babe Ruth.
2007-01-09 12:27:18
102.   bhsportsguy
I think that there was a time that Babe Ruth could have appeared on a list of the top 50 players and top 50 pitchers of all time.
2007-01-09 12:27:35
103.   Daniel Zappala
101 Were they kicked out of SABR?
2007-01-09 12:27:49
104.   regfairfield
101 Did they have a reason aside from mispunching the ballot?
2007-01-09 12:31:08
105.   Vishal
[101] was it a fill-in-the-blank ballot or a multiple-choice ballot? if it's the former, i guess i could understand a complete lapse in memory. but to be any kind of a baseball expert and forget about babe ruth is pretty negligent.
2007-01-09 12:32:55
106.   D4P
I'm guessing there was at least one ballot that didn't include Frank Robinson...
2007-01-09 12:42:44
107.   Bob Timmermann
I believe it was one big multiple choice ballot with several hundred names on it.

I presume that Ruth was left off either by mistake or by someone who refused to vote for anyone prior to 1947.

SABR has a lot of old crochety guys in it. I don't think people realize that. I'm 41 and I'm certain that I am well below the median age for members.

2007-01-09 12:45:55
108.   Greg Brock
107 It's a shame you couldn't get in on the Under 30 Membership discount.
2007-01-09 12:49:46
109.   ssjames
I don't think that Albert Pujols is the only player who could be voted in unamiously. There are a couple of other possibilities: A-Rod (who may end up with ~800HRs), Greg Maddux (obviously non-PED user), Piazza? (best offensive catcher of all-time), Pedro Martinez (arguably most dominating pitcher of all-time for a five year period).
2007-01-09 12:56:42
110.   Vishal
[107] but are you below the median for crotchetyness? :)
2007-01-09 13:03:38
111.   Bob Timmermann
I'm well below the crotchetiness median.

I'm below the crocheting median too.

2007-01-09 13:06:06
112.   D4P
But you're above the crotch (height*) median...

*Other measurements will remain unaddressed.

2007-01-09 13:08:06
113.   Bob Timmermann
I will below the wistfulness median in regard to the Brooklyn Dodgers too among SABR members.
2007-01-09 13:11:53
114.   gibsonhobbs88
63 - There is no way that 300 games is the only criterion to vote a pitcher into the HOF. Where would that have left Koufax and Drysdale who because of arm injuries prematurely ending their careers couldn't reach the "300" level of wins. Koufax dominated for 5 years with absolute brilliance and those 5 years of dominant excellence were enough to get him into the HOF. Drysdale also had about 9-10 stellar years in Dodger Blue but also did not reach 300 wins but was the epitome of being a Dodger in the late 50's and through most of the 60's.

I want to congratulate both Tony and Cal on reaching the HOF with class and integrity. Gossage, Rice and Blyleven also deserve to be there but only Gossage seems close enough to enter.

2007-01-09 13:13:45
115.   Marty
I'll rephrase my question.

So, Boggs isn't eligible yet?

2007-01-09 13:15:00
116.   gibsonhobbs88
How long after their eligibility expires with the writers do players have a chance to be voted in by the Veterans Committee? I am thinking of the Jim Rice and Blyleven types here.
2007-01-09 13:15:57
117.   Greg Brock
115 Boggs went in the Hall in 2005, first ballot.
2007-01-09 13:22:43
118.   gibsonhobbs88
115, 117 - Boggs went in with Ryne Sandberg in 2005. Ryne almost was a lifetime Cub but he did start in the Phillies system and was traded to the Cubs.
2007-01-09 13:23:17
119.   Bob Timmermann
It depends upon how the HOF wants to handle the Veterans voting. They keep changing it.
2007-01-09 13:23:34
120.   Marty
117 Thanks. Once again my stupidity is revealed.
2007-01-09 13:25:48
121.   D4P
Better to keep your mouth shut, and look stupid, than to open it, and remove all doubt.
2007-01-09 13:34:25
122.   ToyCannon
Just your HOF ignorance, but on the bright side you and I are maybe the only two here who know who Billy Zoom was and that counts for something.
2007-01-09 13:36:18
123.   Marty
Billy Zoom still is, somewhere in Orange County
2007-01-09 13:38:41
124.   Marty
My only excuse is that the HOF has zero interest for me.
2007-01-09 13:39:10
125.   ToyCannon
NABA - National Association of Black Accountants, Inc.
2007-01-09 13:40:24
126.   D4P
Same here. FJM gives the following advise:

Honestly, baseball fans: it is time to stop giving a @%$^ about the Baseball Hall of Fame. I've been there. I'm sure most of you have. The Museum is fine and everything -- it's got stuff about baseball in it; how bad could it be? -- but the Hall is ugly. And kind of boring. You can read and discover anything written on them boring plaques on the much prettier internet. Unlike the Hall, you can even bring your sons and daughters to the internet for free these days.

And most importantly, inclusion into this ugly, boring Hall is voted on by gentlemen like Mike Celizic and Paul Ladewski.

2007-01-09 13:46:35
127.   Greg Brock
I don't expect most people to care about the Hall of Fame. But it's there. It exists, people put great stock in it, and every member of the Hall of Fame is introduced as such. There are people who vote for admission who clearly have no business doing so, and revealing the process for induction is a great way for me to identify writers who's rationale is to be mocked and highlighted. Because of the Hall vote, I know that people like Paul Ladewski walk the Earth and have input. Whenever I read Jon Heyman, I can do so with the knowledge that he clearly has no idea what he's doing with respect to the HOF vote (I know he works with Jon, but it's true).
2007-01-09 13:53:18
128.   ToyCannon
If I stopped caring about the HOF it would just be another step in not caring about baseball. Just because something is broken doesn't mean we shouldn't try to fix it if we care about it. The HOF itself may not be a big deal to visit but the HOF and what it represents is still a big deal to me for whatever reason.
2007-01-09 13:55:49
129.   D4P
another step in not caring about baseball

Nothing wrong with that. Baseball doesn't automatically deserve your support: it has to earn it.

A man doesn't automatically get my respect. He has to get down in the dirt and beg for it.

2007-01-09 14:09:25
130.   godvls
120 - Are there people here who don't know who Billy Zooom is? He still looks exactly the same as he did when I first saw hime 28 years ago only a little older. Same grin/smirk.
2007-01-09 14:10:07
131.   godvls
130 - Oops I meant #122.
2007-01-09 14:19:58
132.   Vishal
[129] i'm not even going to ask what a woman would have to do to earn your respect.
2007-01-09 14:21:31
133.   Bob Timmermann
D4P held a Dutch auction to find his wife.

Just like the Google IPO.

2007-01-09 14:24:39
134.   trainwreck
JA Adande and Woody Paige just said that McGwire is questionable for the HOF even without the steroid issues. They said he did not do anything but hit homeruns.


2007-01-09 14:26:13
135.   regfairfield
134 I hope they left Tony Gwynn of their ballot then. He only hit singles.
2007-01-09 14:27:31
136.   Bob Timmermann
You mean like my brother.

His article has dropped out of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch archive thankfully.

2007-01-09 14:35:12
137.   Bob Timmermann
I wrote about Halls of Fame last January on the Griddle:
2007-01-09 14:36:08
138.   Jon Weisman
134 - I really hate to see McGwire's playing record being put down in that respect. I bet J.A. could be convinced otherwise.
2007-01-09 14:38:53
139.   Bob Timmermann
I found the Post-Dispatch article (it was part of a column). Remember, this is from my brother, not me:

"Somewhere in Southern California, Mark McGwire is saying, "This must be my lucky day." Either that or, "Can I reach the green in two?"

McGwire has picked up the coveted endorsement of Pete Rose for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rose, baseball's persona non grata, thinks he should be in the Hall of Fame, too. Who'd have guessed?

I'm sure McGwire appreciates the thought. Now, if he can just get the endorsements of Denny McLain, Dwight Gooden, Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco, he'll be a lock.

You know, if Cal Ripken wanted to give him a plug, that would be one thing. But getting a thumbs up from Rose is a punch line waiting to happen. (Thank you.)

I don't have a vote, so my opinion doesn't amount to a whole lot on this, but I don't think I would have voted for McGwire even if it was absolutely, categorically proved that he never had taken anything (and, I should add, regardless of what Rose said). I've long been against the 500-homer mandatory-induction cutoff, especially since we're fast approaching a time when the number of people reaching these levels will be more than we can handle.

My school of thought, which I first saw espoused by Bill James, is, "Were you ever considered the best player in the game?" I think that's a good place to start. I don't know that at any point in McGwire's career he was considered the best player in the game.

I still think Roger Maris belongs in the Hall of Fame. He was more than just 61 homers. He was the MVP twice, which means that for two years, he was considered the best player in baseball (or at least the best in one league). Not a whole lot of people can say that. He was an All-Star seven times. He did more than just hit home runs."

2007-01-09 14:40:43
140.   Greg Brock
Career OBP:

Not only did McGwire hit home runs, he got on base (the most important thing in all of baseball) at a better clip than "Mr. Greatest Pure Hitter Since Ted Williams."

2007-01-09 14:41:25
141.   Greg Brock
139 I Googled it and read it. I was going to post a link, but decided against it.
2007-01-09 14:44:26
142.   trainwreck
Roger Maris's numbers are not that good.

Mark McGwire's are.

2007-01-09 14:45:17
143.   blue22
140 - Mark McGwire's career eqa is .335 (adjusted for all-time). Compare that to still-actives ARod (.322) and Albert Pujols (.343), and he looks pretty good.
2007-01-09 14:46:18
144.   trainwreck
Pretty...pretty...pretty good
2007-01-09 14:47:39
145.   trainwreck
Now I understand why the CA Timmermanns clash with the Midwest Timmermanns.
2007-01-09 14:48:55
146.   Jon Weisman
Wow, Bob rats out his brother. This is the most exciting development since I took a tiny shot at my dad.

As far as Tom's starting point goes, I feel like in the 70-HR era, McGwire was considered by many the best player in his game.

2007-01-09 14:50:51
147.   SteveLee
A couple years ago, I remember reading about an idea for an alternate baseball Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame would be a pyramid with several different levels of players. Top of the pyramid would be the absolute best players of all time like Mays, Ruth, Williams, etc. The base level would be just your everyday great players and the players would be slotted to the appropriate level. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I haven't been able to find this article/website again.
2007-01-09 14:51:02
148.   trainwreck
The idea that the MVP clearly decides who the best player was that year is also a bad argument.
2007-01-09 14:53:42
149.   Greg Brock
148 You mean Justin Morneau isn't a better player than Travis Hafner?

I can't believe it.

2007-01-09 14:55:41
150.   D4P
especially since we're fast approaching a time when the number of people reaching these levels will be more than we can handle

And do we really have limits on the number of people we can handle...? What does that even mean? It's not like we have to balance them on our backs or something...

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-01-09 14:55:56
151.   blue22
147 - Bill Simmons on ESPN Page 2.
2007-01-09 14:56:58
152.   D4P
A man who identifies himself only as "LC" writes in to suggest that All-Stars automatically qualify for HOF induction
2007-01-09 14:58:39
153.   Greg Brock
Mike Sharperson was an All-Star. So was David Eckstein.
2007-01-09 15:00:05
154.   Bob Timmermann
He's a big kid. He can take it.
2007-01-09 15:00:16
155.   D4P
So was Al Pedrique.
2007-01-09 15:00:38
156.   D4P
He's a big kid

He's heavy? And your brother?

2007-01-09 15:01:09
157.   trainwreck
Hall of Famer Odalis Perez
2007-01-09 15:01:25
158.   Bob Timmermann
Actually he's really skinny.

He doesn't like to eat.

Except Tostitos.

2007-01-09 15:01:53
159.   blue22
147 - Here's your story, I think:

2007-01-09 15:02:23
160.   trainwreck
lol Hall of Famer Lance Carter.
2007-01-09 15:04:32
161.   D4P
He doesn't like to eat

Did he ever have to show your mom how the little piggies eat...?

2007-01-09 15:05:00
162.   Greg Brock
That's not as good as Jon Heyman, who suggests that Jack Morris should be a HOFer because "He started 14 opening day games. He was one of the best ever."


2007-01-09 15:06:43
163.   regfairfield
162 Blyleven just missed the magical 14 game cut off with 12.
2007-01-09 15:07:16
164.   thinkblue0
jumping in randomly here...

But the Dbacks nabbing RJ should give Colletti reason enough not to deal Penny. They've got a good staff over there...the Pads always have a good staff, and a rotation along the lines of Schmidt, Penny, Lowe, Wolf, Bills would match up nicely with the rest of the division.

2007-01-09 15:07:36
165.   Bob Timmermann
Jack Morris's supporters for the HOF are very strident for some reason.

I never picture Jack Morris as a guy who would develop a cult following, but I guess the 1991 World Series really got into people's psyches.

2007-01-09 15:15:09
166.   Andrew Shimmin
156- D4P makes a run for Brock's cry-baby rock crown. What a revolting development.
2007-01-09 15:16:18
167.   Indiana Jon
I still just don't see why Albert Belle doesn't get more votes. I understand he may not have been media friendly, but they take it to a ridiculous level. His average season in his career was better than Garvey's best season.
2007-01-09 15:19:05
168.   D4P
D4P makes a run for Brock's cry-baby rock crown

And I don't even know what it is...

2007-01-09 15:20:32
169.   Greg Brock
Any side by side comparison of Morris and Blyleven shows that a writer who could vote for the former and not the latter is lazy at best, incompetent at worst. It's not even close.

167 Agree. He was far better than Rice.

2007-01-09 15:25:36
170.   Greg Brock
The real question of the day:

Is Bob going to get one of those pretty new iPhones?

2007-01-09 15:28:58
171.   trainwreck
Just because Belle was better than Jim Rice or Steve Garvey does not mean he deserves to get in. Those guys do not deserve to get in either. As I mentioned yesterday, Belle had 4 years where he had a bad OBP and SLUG and put up very empty stats. Since he played for such a short time that has an effect. He had some monster years, but I think he need a few more to earn all-time elite status.
2007-01-09 15:30:32
172.   trainwreck
I think the D-Backs could be our biggest competition. Their offense is stacked with young talent and their pitching is much better than it was last year. They may still be a year off, but they have a chance to be a threat.
2007-01-09 15:31:32
173.   Greg Brock
171 I come not to praise Albert Belle but to bury Jim Rice.
2007-01-09 15:43:42
174.   Bob Timmermann
I'm just figuring out my Blackberry. I don't think I'm ready for the iPhone. We'll let Philip Michaels test drive one for a while.
2007-01-09 15:44:20
175.   blue22
171 - Again, I disagree with your description of those as being "bad" years. He had 6 exceptional years, and 4 years where he was only 10% better than the rest of the league. In 10 seasons, he had a 90 cummulative WARP3.

If he had played 5 more mediocre years to round out his career, he'd merit some serious consideration.

2007-01-09 16:12:38
176.   Andrew Shimmin
Belle was an actual cheater, though, no? He was a bat corker; or am I misremembering?
2007-01-09 16:20:59
177.   trainwreck
They had a player go in and switch his bats, but I believe he was still caught.
2007-01-09 16:23:21
178.   trainwreck
Rivals released their national rankings for 2007-08 college football season and UCLA just missed being ranked. came out with theirs and UCLA was ranked # 15.

I am going to go with Rivals rankings.

2007-01-09 16:24:15
179.   blue22
177 - Jason Grimsley. That guy was messed up in all kinds of things. I'll be he introduced Pete Rose to his bookie too.
2007-01-09 16:30:45
180.   Indiana Jon
I agree just being better than those two should not get you in. However, being better than those two should get you more votes than those two.

On another note, I just heard on ESPN five names that are in the Hall that received as low of a vote total in their first year of eligibility as McGwire did. Two of those names, Drysdale and Snider, were a surprise to me I guess.

2007-01-09 17:10:27
181.   Xeifrank
164,172. Yep, the DBacks might be right there with the Padres, with us looking in if we don't get some extra pep out of our offense this year. It's really a shame that Matt Kemp is now such a longshot to make the starting lineup with the Pierre and Gonzo signings. The RJ signing really gives the DBacks a boost. I think the talent is still there, the only question in my mind is can he give them close to 200 innings. If not, there is going to be a huge dropoff to whatever replaces him. The Dodgers strength seems to be their depth. If a starter goes down, we seem to have a very competent backup in most cases.
CF - Kemp, Ethier
LF - Kemp, Anderson, Loney
RF - Kemp, Loney
1B - Loney, Saenz
2B - Anderson
SS - R.Martinez, Robles... Yikes!
3B - LaRoche, Saenz, Nomar
C - Lieberthal
SP - Guo

Injuries would derail the Padres and DBacks more than they would the Dodgers imho.
vr, Xei

2007-01-09 17:48:13
182.   Andrew Shimmin
Watching the local news, there was a story about UTLA members walking out of staff meetings, and whatever other after school activities. And they were all carrying hula hoops. And the reporter didn't explain what the hula hoops were about. Anybody know? Google isn't helping.
2007-01-09 17:54:15
183.   Greg Brock
It's over health insurance coverage and pay increases.

UTLA wants 9% pay raise, LAUSD is offering 4%.

2007-01-09 17:55:32
184.   Andrew Shimmin
183- If that explains why they were carrying hula hoops, I don't understand.
2007-01-09 17:57:01
185.   ssjames
181 Why all of the Randy Johnson love? He was mediocre at best last year, has no cartelidge in his knee and is now 43 years old, and the D-Bax just signed him for two more years at $13 mil/per. If that was a Ned move I would be screaming. This is not Cy Young winning RJ anymore. Frankly this might be their worst pitching signing since Russ Ortiz, although that one is miles worse than this.
2007-01-09 17:57:25
186.   Greg Brock
184 I have no idea about the hula hoops. Maybe it was just a couple of schools. My family isn't carrying hula hoops around. That's kind of stupid.
2007-01-09 17:58:43
187.   Greg Brock
Some schools use hula hoops in after school activities for fitness and nutrition. It was probably something symbolic like that.
2007-01-09 18:02:48
188.   Andrew Shimmin
185- If Ned had done it, it would be scream worthy. The D'backs don't have six good SPs. They have Webb. They gave up what are probably just spare parts. The money is something, but for a team that had no pitching, and none all that close to being on the way, it might work out. There's also reason to believe that Johnson was better than mediocre, last year, if mighty unlucky.
2007-01-09 18:07:45
189.   Sam DC
The Nats/Orioles cable channel is replaying the Ripken/Gehrig game. Just went official -- ovation has been going on for 8 1/2 minutes so far.

Amazing how young Bill Clinton looked, just ten years ago.

2007-01-09 18:09:13
190.   trainwreck
Maybe they are saying they are tired of the LAUSD making them jump through hoops. Huh... huh...
2007-01-09 18:12:09
191.   Sam DC
Cal hugging Rod Carew -- this really is pretty moving.
2007-01-09 18:16:06
192.   Greg Brock
You know...For kids.
2007-01-09 18:16:30
193.   Sam DC
Ooooh, wonder if Bob has seen the news . . .
2007-01-09 18:21:07
194.   Steve
Signing Russ Ortiz is like stabbing yourself with an ice skate then rubbing a Murray Chass article all over the wound.
2007-01-09 18:23:15
195.   Greg Brock
I love Brian Sabean. You go Sabes!
2007-01-09 18:29:27
196.   D4P
Enter the Ninja...
2007-01-09 18:29:56
197.   Sam DC
I love this: "Russ provides us with another option on our staff," San Francisco general manager Brian Sabean said.

Well, sure. And signing me would also provide you with another option on your staff. A very risky one, true, but an option.

2007-01-09 18:32:21
198.   Bob Timmermann
I'm always on Russ Ortiz alert.

Semper paratus!

2007-01-09 18:33:31
199.   trainwreck
And we hired this guy's right hand man?
2007-01-09 18:40:29
200.   Frip
Anyone know the league average for slugging percentage?
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-01-09 18:45:51
201.   Bob Timmermann
In 2006, the NL slugged .427 and the AL slugged .437.
2007-01-09 18:57:57
202.   Frip
Thank you.
2007-01-09 19:28:50
203.   Steve
By the way, they'll string out McGwire as long as possible so they can get cheap, stupid columns out of it.
2007-01-09 19:50:29
204.   Bumsrap
Carrying around hula hoops accomplishes the same as asking do you know how to make a turkey anxious.
2007-01-09 20:03:53
205.   Andrew Shimmin
Five stories about the walk out on Google News, now; zero mentions of the hula hoops. Has the whole world gone mad?!
2007-01-09 20:08:33
206.   Jon Weisman
203 - Maybe I'm only speaking for myself, but I'd much rather resolve McGwire and write about something else. Like unicorns.
2007-01-09 20:33:00
207.   Andrew Shimmin
Some of this has to be paving the way for Barry Bonds. If they torture McGwire, enough, then it'll prove they aren't racists when they do the same thing to Bonds. Big Mac as John the Baptist. That's my theory.
2007-01-09 20:38:03
208.   Greg Brock
207 That thought has crossed my mind.
2007-01-09 20:42:01
209.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-01-09 20:43:19
210.   gpellamjr
205/207 I never noticed this before it was brought up, but my goodness you have a strange way of using commas! To balance out my karma now, I should say 207 was an excellent point.
2007-01-09 20:43:45
211.   gpellamjr
209 It's probably best that 210 will go unnoticed.
2007-01-09 20:57:15
212.   Rob M
122 way after the fact, but I can also vouch for Billy Zoom and can add that he's a born again christian guitar repairman.
2007-01-09 21:17:24
213.   Andrew Shimmin
210- I do. It's one of my several ticks. In 207, though, it was just bad editing. I recast the sentence, but forgot to reconsider the punctuation. So, it was less bizarre in the original gibberish.

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