December 11, 2013
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Monday, December 08, 2008
Maddux, closing the book on his unmatched career:
“I don’t really feel like I know a whole lot about anything, but I know a few things about baseball.”
Just a few.
Someone is in the market for some new sources:
Allen, Santo and Torre To Get The Call Monday
I don't mean to pick on the Dugout Central guys, but one of the hardest things for bloggers to figure out is that reporting is more than simply repeating something you hear. It's reason enough for us not to be so darn giddy whenever we hear about newspapers in trouble. Yeah, they have their problems, but they serve an extremely important function too -- double and triple checking the stuff we civillians would never bother to check even once -- so it's probably in all of our best interests that we figure out how to bring them into the 21st Century economy.
The Hall of Fame Veterans Committee's voting results are out, and the lone, lucky inductee was Joe Gordon. Sorry Mr. Santo. Mr. Allen, Mr. Torre, Mr. Pinson, Mr. Oliva, and everyone else on the list.
The voting was divided up into post-1942 and pre-1943 voter's pools, which makes some degree of sense. Among the former I would have gone with Dick Allen, Ron Santo, and Joe Torre (even though this is technically about Torre-as-player, it is my understanding that the rules allow for consideration of his managerial career, and between the two of those he has certainly earned it). Neyer's reasoning on these guys can be found here.
I'm way less confident in the pre-1943 choices. I will note that if I were going to do a Keltner list for Carl Mays, I wouldn't be sure whether the questions about contributions to baseball history and stuff would be pluses or a minuses in his column. On the one hand, he certainly led to changes in the way the game is played in that clean white balls and strict enforcement of anti-scuffing rules are the order of the day. On the other hand, they're only the order of the day because he threw the pitch that killed Ray Chapman which, no matter how interesting it is, probably isn't the sort of thing you cite in the "pro" column of your Hall of Fame CV. Mays has been dead for almost 40 years, though, so I'm not sure he cares.
Anyway, congratulations to Joe Gordon, who had to wait 30 years after he died to get in himself. A fact which shouldn't make Ron Santo feel all that good this afternoon.
As I'm sitting on the Hall of Fame's website waiting for them to annouce the Veterans' Committee inductees, I look at the latest headlines in the lower lefthand corner. One of them is "Maddux to retire Monday; Hall could beckon"
As a cautious sort, I would like to praise the Hall of Fame for not making any unwarranted assumptions and prudently inserting the word "could." I mean, it's entirely possible that Maddux could gun down a playground full of special needs kids between now and his year of eligibility, and boy, wouldn't the Hall's web staff have on egg on its collective faces then!
Ryan Ludwick, who played college ball at UNLV, gave some Sin City entertainment and dining advice to Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch:
Favotite hotel: The Venetian.
Lance Burton? Really?
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times is uncomfortable with the symbolism of the Winter Meetings in the fabulous Bellagio Hotel and Casino:
Reporting from Las Vegas -- It's the symbolism, stupid.
I'm a big fan of sending the right signals, but I put greater faith in facts than Shaikin's brand of symbolism. And here are the facts: right now, if you go to the Bellagio's website, you will find that you can get a room at this very moment for $129 a night, checking in this morning and checking out Friday morning. Last year the Winter Meetings were held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. Right now, if you go to the Opryland Hotel website, the cheapest room you can find for the same now-thru-Friday stay is between $199 and $219 a night.
When you factor in the built-in-chapeness of everything else in Las Vegas due to the greater competition for food and entertainment dollars, and of course, when you add in the fact that all things are subsidized with gambling receipts, travellers to the Winter Meetings are looking at a much, much cheaper week this year than they had last year. And that's just if they're staying at one of the two or three nicest places in town. Check in to Bally's across the street and you'll pay only $59-79 a night. At these prices, you can't afford not to go to the Winter Meetings!
Upshot: Shaikin can keep his symbolism. I'll take the lower bottom line.
Getting a deal done at the Winter Meetings is not as easy as everyone makes it sound. I mean, off the top of my head, I'd say you're looking at a Boeski, a Jim Brown, a Miss Daisy, two Jethros and a Leon Spinks, not to mention the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever. If you're not up to that, I'd suggest staying back in your room, ordering a Denver omelet from room service, and reading some of the latest finery from group of con artists and misfits from The Hardball Times who have assembled here in the desert for one last big score:
Everyone has been talking about getting one of the Rangers' surplus catchers, but only the Tigers have gone out and done something about it.
Jason at IIATMS interviews former Indians, Orioles, and Mariners manager Mike Hargrove. The interview focuses primarily on the accident that took the lives of Indians' pitchers Steve Olin and Tim Crews in 1993 and Hargrove's memories of it.
As the Winter Meetings get underway in Las Vegas, I can't help but think how much fun it would be to sit in the Petrossian Bar with a cell phone up to my ear and exclaim loudly: "So it's six years and $150M for Manny? This is confirmed? Wow. Who would have thunk that Theo would have taken him back?"
I'd then spend the rest of the day clicking between Dierkes, Rosenthal, and Sons of Sam Horn, getting drunk, and laughing my head off.