Okay, now that we’ve gotten the “one and dones” out of the way, who’s left among the thirty four players on the ballot?
We can pretty much divide the remaining twenty one into three groups:
The Hall of the Really, Really, Really Good:
Jeff Bagwell, Trevor Hoffman, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Tim Raines, and Gary Sheffield are holdovers from last year. They are joined by Vladimir Guerrero and Ivan Rodriguez. There’s no one here that stands out as an obvious Hall of Famer like Ken Griffey Jr. did last year. You’ve got to dig into the numbers. They are all potentially worthy; it pretty much comes down to personal opinion. I think closers are overrated – so much for Hoffman. Mussina was never the best pitcher in his league, and really wasn’t that great – he was just very good for a long time. Sheffield never really stood out as a superstar, unlike Guerrero and Rodriguez….
It’s that time again – the Hall of Fame ballot has been released. Fans and writers are already debating the worthiness of holdovers Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines, newcomers Ivan Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero, and the usual arguments over Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
But also on the ballot are a squadron of new names; many of which you’ve never heard of and will probably never hear again. But they have met the minimum requirements for nomination, and might get a vote or two from a friend. And when you’ve been in the Major Leagues for ten years (the required minimum for consideration), it’s kind of hard NOT to pick up a little fame along the way.
So let’s pause and tip our hats to these likely “one and done” candidates, because I’m sure we’d all wish we could at least get as close to Fame as they have.
There’s a term in film criticism that comes up in the discussion of “bad” movies – the Idiot Picture. It has a couple of definitions. It could refer to the plot of the movie progressing only because a character is an idiot. I’ve heard it referring to a fantasy / sci-fi movie world where everyone is so idiotic that the movie reviewer feels they could take over that world on a good weekend. Or perhaps it’s the movie makers who are idiots for including utterly inane dialog and leaving vast plot holes. Or maybe it means that only an idiot would think it’s a good movie.
Beastmaster II seems to cover all of them.
People are still trying to come to grips with the concept of a Trump presidency. And it’s not a pretty sight. Even if he somehow manages to be sane and rational, surrounds himself with sane and rational advisers, moderates his political agenda, and doesn’t embarrass the nation any further, there are still some things that are going to happen no matter what.
He has already emboldened racists and bigots, and the GOP pretty much has free rein to do what they want in Congress.
It doesn’t look good for us.
But there are things we can do to at least mitigate the damage.
Thank you for giving us a World Series between two teams so evenly matched that it went the full seven games, and had both teams score the exact same number of runs – 27 – in total.
Thanks to the weather, which was perfect for the games in November (mild temperatures instead of a seasonal chill), and even provided a rain delay at just the right time and of the right length to give everyone a chance to take a deep breath, relax, and regroup.
Thank you, Baseball, for not having a clock that allows a team with a lead to run things out and stall until time runs out. And for not having anything like a “sudden death” playoff or shootout to decide a winner after a certain amount of overtime has elapsed. Even if it takes 33 innings, you play until someone wins.
Thank you for having a century of consistent records and statistics, allowing us to debate which single play was the most dramatic ever, or which performance was the most outstanding – and have the numbers to back it up.
Thank you for a wonderful, amazing, exciting, heartbreaking, insane, joyous, and unforgettable World Series; one that helped us forget for a while the stupid vitriol of a presidential election campaign.
Except for the campaign ads during the broadcasts…..
But we’ll forgive you for that.