As most, if not all of you already know, the baseball writers decided not to vote anyone into the Hall of Fame this year. I'm in the group that feels their actions are unfortunate, as there are a few former players who deserve to be enshrined and the only reason they aren't is pettiness by the electors. Here are today's Halolinks, hopefully sans pettiness on my part:
- This is beyond cool: Jerry Dipoto offers encouragement, reassurance on Mike Trout’s future in latest letter to fan - Yahoo! Sports. "Despite the fact that he's been just as busy this winter, having stunned the world again by signing Josh Hamilton, while also acquiring Tommy Hanson via trade from the Atlanta Braves and signing free agent pitchers Joe Blanton, Ryan Madson and Sean Burnett, Dipoto still has the time to make fans feel like their questions and concerns matter, and it's still pretty darn cool to see." Regardless if he feels it's part of his job or if he just likes replying to fans, Jerry Dipoto gets it.
- Don't get me wrong, I like the "Big 3" mentioned in this post, but I think the Angels season success is going to rest more on Mark Trumbo than Mike Trout: With deals in hand, Angels' Big 3 a rarity in this era - angels.com. "Since 2000, only six teams have had three guys in the same lineup post a .950-plus OPS, with a minimum of 400 plate appearances, according to the Elias Sports Bureau: The '04 Cardinals (Pujols, Edmonds, Rolen), '03 Red Sox (Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Trot Nixon), '01 Indians (Roberto Alomar, Jim Thome, Juan Gonzalez), '01 Cardinals (Pujols, Edmonds, J.D. Drew), '00 Astros (Jeff Bagwell, Moises Alou, Richard Hidalgo) and '00 Giants (Bonds, Kent, Ellis Burks). Only Trout (.963) topped that mark last year, with Pujols finishing at .859 and Hamilton at .930. But Pujols' career OPS is 1.022 and Hamilton is two years removed from posting a 1.044 mark." If Trumbo can duplicate his 2012 first-half throughout the entire (or most of) 2013 season, the Angels will be unstoppable.
- He won't make the team this season, but this will definitely carryover as a positive effect for his career: 2009 No. 1 pick Grichuk invited to big-league camp - The Orange County Register. "The Angels informed the Texas native that he’ll begin camp with the big-league squad in spring training."
Today's Trout Porn:
- And now the Hall of Fame crap:
First off, NBC's Craig Calcaterra:
- Here's our Point-Counterpoint face-off: First, we have The OC Register's resident idiot Mark Whicker making (for once) a sane argument: Whicker: Hall of Fame voters strike out with shutout - The Orange County Register. "What happened on Wednesday, or what didn't, was not exclusivity. It was three cups of cheap moralism and a tablespoon of chemical profiling, mixed well with a dash of plain ignorance." Mark, you left the yard!
And from up the freeway, the LA Times' Steve Dilbeck with his moronic point of view: Commentary: Baseball writers get Hall of Fame voting correctly - latimes.com. "The indignant reaction to the results is over the top. The Hall will be no less credible if Bonds and Clemens never get their 75%. There are exhibits of their exploits in Cooperstown, balls and bats from their accomplishments. They are actually in the Hall of Fame. They just won't be enshrined with a plaque. So they won't have to stand giving an awkward acceptance speech in front of Hall of Fame members who did not cheat. This is the eighth time no player was voted in, and the Hall of Fame survived every time before. It will again this time. The outrage led by the numbers-worshiping sabermetric types toward the writers is curious." There it is! "Number-worshiping sabermetric types". No, what's curious is why, if the writers have a problem with Bonds and Clemens and steriods, did they feel they needed to make a statement by not voting for those former players who deserved enshrinement? The numbers may not tell the entire story, but at least they are unbiased in their truth. Unlike the typewriter ribbon-worshiping indignant types.
- Let’s Conduct a Baseball Experiment…- Bugs & Cranks. "It’s not about the writers, it’s about the players. Writers who submitted blank ballots or offered votes for the likes of Aaron Sele or Steve Finley allowed personal sentiments to blur their honored responsibility. Not voting for Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens due to their clear link to PEDs is fine, they cheated. Not voting for Craig Biggio or Tim Raines or even Mike Piazza, who was never linked, only suspected is a personal stance, it’s "sending a message," it is not an unbiased judgment."
- Jason Stark nails it: What should the MLB Hall of Fame be? - ESPN. "Maybe it needs to be a place that does what other great history museums do -- tell the story of a time in history, for better and for worse, wherever it leads. Maybe that's not exactly what we would hope and dream a Hall of Fame should be. Maybe, though, that's what it has to be, because if we try traveling down that other road, we'll find nothing but forks and detours and roadblocks."
- Love him or hate him, Bonds was a great player: In defense of Barry Bonds - The Hardball Times. "In the first 10 years of his career (1986-95), Bonds did something that very few players in the history of major league baseball have ever accomplished by WAR's measure of value—he crossed the 10 wins plateau. He did this not only once, but twice in those 10 years of play. The way we measure the value a player contributes to his team in a single season with his glove is a fickle thing, so take this somewhat arbitrary threshold with a grain of salt, but, by way of perspective, both Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez have each only done this once in their careers. In fact, only two of the 26 players elected to The Hall since Mike Schmidt in 1995 has posted a single 10 WAR (or higher) season in their career—Cal Ripken and Rickey Henderson. In 2010, no major league player even accumulated 9 WAR. Mike Trout, who unquestionably deserved the AL MVP, reached the 10 WAR plateau this past year at age 21, which is almost ineffably impressive, but the last player to post a 10+ WAR spot in a season prior to Trout this year was... Barry Bonds, in 2004."
- Very good Jeff Sullivan post: When Barry Bonds Made an Out - FanGraphs Baseball. "Prior to September 15, Bonds hadn’t struck out since August 22. His streak of plate appearances without a strikeout reached 96 before it finally gave. This is how amazing Barry Bonds was; this is how amazing it was that Hoffman put him away."
Barry Bonds reaction to Hall of Fame news: Aloha! - Yahoo! Sports. "He's on record as saying it would be "very sad" if he didn't make the Hall of Fame on his first try and recently said he didn't understand why the current climate was so biased against him"
Here's Bonds on the beach with some guy in an orange bikini:
Barry Bonds -- I Can Still Pull Quality Ass(terisk) tmz.me/11dmUGo twitter.com/TMZ/status/288…— TMZ (@TMZ) January 8, 2013
- Steroid, smeroids: Home Run Rates in 1998 and 2012 - FanGraphs Baseball. "Note: the rate of home runs per contacted ball was higher last year than it was in 1998. It was higher last year than it was during most of the years of the so-called "steroid era".
- Here's An Easy Trick For Blocking All Bleacher Report Results From Your Google Searches [UPDATE]. "Fortunately, Chrome and Firefox users have options, at least when it comes to how Google handles queries made from the search bars of those browsers. By changing a few defaults, you can block Google from returning any results produced by Bleacher Report's SEO alchemy." If you know how to edit url's, this trick will also work for other websites...such as...well, you know which ones.