By now we have all come to grips with the BBWAA non-vote for HoF candidacy. Make no mistake, we have been engaged by the BBWAA in a culture war. It is one that we chose. As did they. It is one that they will eventually lose, through sheer attrition if nothing else. Thus our side will get to write the history books. And you know how those writings always dogpile on the faults and cowardice of the losers? Yeah, it will happen here, too. I am an old fart. I hope I remain living and cogent long enough to see that day myself.
I have a round-up of interesting links below but up here, in essay mode, how about some random thoughts off on a tangent?
- I wonder how much personal compensation was obtained, in total, by all those voters while they were employed to cover these very same players during their playing years? How much reward and recognition did they gain exploiting that at which they now turn up their noses today? For example, the now highly sanctimonious Murray Chass once got paid very real money (and expenses) to run around and do interviews, and then compose this article, which skips quite elegantly over the rumors of steroids that created the very story Chass was peddling and promoting to his own employer then.
- Is there anybody else out there who now sees just a little bit of irony in the importance that the Hall Of Fame placed in obtaining the 756th home run baseball of Barry Bonds?? Of course, this is a place that celebrates Pete Rose, but won't allow Pete Rose to celebrate. And that recognizes others by using the name and legacy of Buck O'Neill, but never recognized the legacy of Buck O'Neill as a baseball player.
- How about this interesting result: now that the Baseball writers have rejected the candidacy of any player to be inducted into this years HoF class, the HoF is left putting together an induction ceremony this year wherein the only inductees to actually be speaking shall be...a broadcaster...and a writer.
Meanwhile, on to your 2013 Los Angeles Angels...
- Mike Trout is, apparently, far too worthy to be considered for fan selection to represent MLB on the upcoming cover of MLB'13 The Show. In this era of short attention spans and what-have-you-done-for-me-lately, Trout has become so 2012. Pity the Houston Astros. With only 2 out of the 7 candidates being made eligible coming from the American League, their odds of placing a candidate greatly diminished at just the wrong time! But, hey! Our old pal Torii Hunter is voting and he didn't forget his days in SoCal. But, then, 4 minutes later he apparently remembers that he has changed teams, and votes again.
- In case you missed it, Terry Smith and Victor Rojas have taken over 3 hours of AM830 radio every weekday evening from 4pm to 7pm with AngelTalk Hot Stove. I have been listening in during my evening commute home and I am happy to report that there now exists an oasis free of Laker chat! On the downside, the same AM830 knuckleheads are still calling in. Somebody really needs to hire a new call screener over there.
- Also in the MSM circles, the OC Register has a new blogger on the LA Angels beat, Pedro Moura. He claims to be Switzerland: "Essentially, I try to strike a balance between statistical analysis and anecdotal evidence." I am interested to see how well that works out for him.
- For those of you who have been following, the guy who has been doing Soccer Unis out of Context released his AL West Collection yesterday. (Kudos to TheKingFish and Halowitz for breaking the story!) The Halos uni looks rather cool, IMHO. I especially like the concept of the tilted halo that wraps around the entire torso, and the graphic opposition to the blue and red stripes across the chest. His suggestion that this opposition harkens to a sideways "Big A" was a trick that was lost on me. And his observation that "...the Angels have vacillated between using gold and silver for the halo..." clearly reveals that the artist doesn't follow the Angels at all, hence his failure to know THE REASON. I do think that it could use some more throwback flair, however.
This Date In Baseball History: 1915 - Colonel Jacob Ruppert buys the New York Yankees. Ruppert will later build the new ballpark for the Yankees, the first baseball venue to be referred to as a "stadium"..........1968 - MLB grants ownership to the expansion KC Royals in order to stave off Congress revoking the MLB anti-trust exemption, after Chuck Finley absconds with the A's to Oakland..........1973 - MLB adopts Chuck Finley's idea of the Designated Hitter..........2000 - Carlton Fisk is elected to the HoF, along with Tony Perez..........2002 - After only season and a dramatic drop in home runs by the home team, the Baltimore Orioles pull the fences back in, blaming the batter's eye..........2010 - Mark McGwire publicly apologizes for his use of PEDs.
- According to a new poll, baseball remains our second favorite pastime, behind Pro Football (34% to 16%). But, don't look now, because College Football is right behind!
- So the Texas Rangers, of the AMERICAN league West, signed Lance Berkman. Berkman is expected to play the ole of DESIGNATED HITTER. A lot. This, for the record, is the very same Lance Berkman who just this past October went out of his way to decalre that he thinks the AL is "Mickey Mouse" baseball, and hates the DH, "even thought it might prolong [his] career". Good luck with that.
- What is it that Nick Swisher knows about the city of Cleveland, that LeBron James doesn't?
- Sometimes life just writes it own jokes, doesn't it? Our new cannon fodder from the East, the Houston Astros, have signed Roger Clemens to coach their pitching staff up and down all divisions in learning everything that Roger Clemens knows.
- So you think you have a cool baseball card worth hanging on to? Hah!
- Justing Upton to the Mariners? Nope. Justin Upton to the Rangers? Nope. The ANgels outfiles is full, of course. We are running out of AL West prospects, here, Justin.
My Hall Of Fame Wrap Up. A Rambling Wreck:
"None Of The Above" wins, and that sorcerer Nate SIlver saw it all coming..........I got to wonder what the total list must look like of those being kept out of the Baseball HoF. Rather capricious, this list..........You think Aaron Sele was some writer tossing a vanity bone to an old pal (focus, focus, it's all about character and integrity), well, Grant Brisbee goes after even stranger votes.........."Goose" Gossage can be found all over the Internet blasting the Steroids era players, and wanting to pull up the drawbridge on them all. (Even more over the top here.) Well, it should come as no surprise that entering the HoF is worth millions to an inductee, and back in 2009 the Wall Street Journal used Gossage as their prime example of this windfall..........Deadspin puts forth an essay advocating killing the character clause altogether. There is some interesting perspective in there, such as the origin of that clause including the desire to justify keeping Shoeless Joe Jackson out of The Hall. Further, the Chairperson of the Hall, one Jane Forbes Clark, is the grand-daughter of the founder who instituted that rule. The Clark family has owned that county since the 1850's, and 'Lady' Jane still buys up the land to keep out the riff raff..........So I guess that we shouldn't worry too much that The Hall is now running in the red every year..........Jeff Sullivan over at Fangraphs wants to start all over and rebuild the whole idea of The Hall...........And here is a guy who, in the days BEFORE the results were announced, sees the opportunity for somebody like a Mark Cuban to jump in and redo the whole concept, pulling a Walt Disney on 'Lady' Jane's Coney Island..........Instead, Jayson Stark just lays it all out in a way that just makes sense. What those guys did, happened. And everybody let it happen. Get over it.
"And how did it happen? The sport let it happen. That's how.
Bud Selig let it happen. The union let it happen. The owners let it happen. The managers let it happen. The agents let it happen. The media let it happen. Front offices across the continent let it happen. And the players never stepped up to stop it from happening.
It … all … happened. And no one in baseball has ever done anything, even after all these years, to make it un-happen, if you know what I mean."
And, let me close with this: It. Is. Still Happening.
One more thing to look forward to in April, 2013:
Oh Merchandising Joy, MLB has decided to go with "interview caps"..........You probably already knew that Scott Kazmir is trying another comeback. Well, so now is Kelvim Escobar. I always liked Escobar, so I say good luck to him!.........Not that this should have any bearing on anything, but the fair citizens of Cooperstown are saddened by impact on tourism from the BBWAA throwing a shutout this year. Wait a second...a small town highly dependent on tourism when a monster arrives without welcome? The old grizzled guard versus the young gun loaded with science? Body counts all over the place? Somewhere in there is a most excellent joke about JAWS.
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday for beer:
Saturday: Boulder Beer Company Social at the Original Gravity Public House in San Jose.
Yeah, so, not much special going in California related to Beer this weekend. So, instead, spend some time window shopping.