Posted on: January 4, 2013 4:12 pm

An Addled Mind

The addled minds are those of some of the members of the BBWAA who will be deciding who will or will not be inducted into Cooperstown this summer.  It is only a few more days before the outcome of the voting is shared with the public and this has to be the most controversial new group of candidates ever.  But this not about whom they will or will not vote for nor is it about my opinion about who is or is not qualified, it is about the reason that they give for why. 

I cannot give you every voter’s name, but where I have it I will.  My first are two voters who offer the same rational yet very opposite ballots.  They both object to being put in a position of being judge, jury, and executioner of the candidates.  It is understood that the candidates in question are Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa as well as Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, and Jeff Bagwell.  All of these former players have been suspected of using PEDs.  The level of suspicion is less developed with the latter three.  One of our voters is not going to vote at all while the other will vote for Clemens and Bonds. 

The criteria given to the electorate by the Hall of Fame is as follows.

The players record

Playing ability

Contribution to the team




Our third voter has only one name on his ballot because the only player that fits his definition of character and integrity is Dale Murphy.

Richard Justice is a MLB insider who covers the Astros, so he does have Bagwell and Biggio on his ballot.  He also has 8 more including Bonds, Sosa, Clemens, and Rafael Palmerio.  Mr. Justice also doesn’t want to judge and is concerned if he doesn’t include the highly suspected (although in concedes that they used PEDs) and yes even those who have passed from suspected to ‘got ya’ he will feel badly if at sometime he finds out that someone he voted for is revealed as a PEDs user and he excluded the Bonds, Clemens etc. of the world.  Mr. Justice also regrets having only 10 spaces on the ballot and needed 5 more spaces.

My final name is Rod Rapaport who is now retired as an active writer in Philadelphia.  Mr. Rapaport will also be voting for Bonds, Clemens etc. despite also feeling that they are guilty of using PEDs.  Mr. Rapaport’s reasoning is that he is doing it for the Hall of Fame so that those who saved baseball after the strike of 1994 are not excluded.  He credits the home run battle between Sosa and McGwire, the eclipsing of Hank Aaron’s mark and the 4 CYAs of Clemens after his departure from the Red Sox as acts that saved the game and created record revenues, new stadiums and increased the value of the league.  Although he acknowledges the use of steroids, it was the player’s performance and not the steroids that accomplished this.

I will edit and add more as it becomes known and please comment with your examples of addled minded thinking. 


Posted on: December 11, 2012 2:58 pm

Class, My Ass

Actually it should read Classic, my ass.  I felt that my application of artistic license was a better title.  This blog is about the World Baseball Classic, which is rapidly approaching, and my perspective as a fan and a fan of the Mets.  Don’t stop reading if you are a fan of another team and just happened to stumble across this piece.  It applies to you and I will enlist your input at the end. 

2009 was the last WBC, which someday in the future it may be referred to as WBC II, if Commissioner Allan Huber Selig’s plan comes together.   Selig speaking at this years Owner’s meeting was quoted as saying “ This is important.  This is going to be the biggest World Baseball Classic we’ve had.  If we do our work properly, you won’t recognize this sport in five years.”

Hopefully, you are not naive enough to believe the intent of the WBC is to globally showcase baseball to ultimately develop a World Series in the literal sense.  Selig and the 30 team owners are not the Christian missionaries of 400 years ago spreading the Gospel among the heathens of the New World.  The 16 teams scheduled to participate in March of 2013 know what baseball is even if many of them relegate it to minor status in their culture.  The WBC is about money. 

MLB is the organizing foundation of the WBC and profits from the sale of merchandise to the participating countries including the sale of its season telecast package on the MLBN (network).  These profits generate 20-25 M dollars of revenue for each team annually.  This year MLBN will telecast all the games from the venues in Taipei China, Japan, Puerto Rico and the US.  The MLB revenues to the 30 clubs are expected to reach 50 M in 2013.  This will make the Commissioner and owners happy.  This windfall revenue will also drive player salaries going forward, making players and agents happy.  The most important component to the industry of baseball, fans, will not share in the revenue windfall but will see the cost of going to a ballgame increase as team salary budgets climb to new heights.

Assessing collateral damage takes us back to 2009 and the fallout which may be

MLB’s cost of doing business.

 The Mets had 11 players from the 40 man roster spread across the International spectrum. 

Jose Reyes, (Dominican Republic) missed 126 games in 2009.

Oliver Perez, pitched for Mexico.  His two outings lasted 6.2 inns. And he gave up 7 earned runs.  When he returned to the Mets after 16 days, the undisciplined Perez had gained weight.  He went on to make 14 starts for the Mets and pitch to a 6.82 ERA, 1.92 whip in 66 inns.  Unfortunately Perez had signed a 3 yr. 36 M contract less than a month before the WBC.  His total contribution to the Mets under that contract was 3-9 112 inns, 6.81 ERA and whip of 1.99.

Carlos Delgado, Puerto Rico.  Despite a history of chronic hip weakness, Delgado played in the WBC.  25 games into the season went on the DL and had career ending hip surgery.

Carlos Beltran, Puerto Rico. Played a total of 81 games in 2009 as the result of a knee injury.

Francisco Rodriguez, Venezuela.  K-Rod closed 5 of his teams 7 games.  Team manager Luis Sojo, who was a low-level minor league manager for the Yankees, twice used him more than one inning.  If he had done the same with Mariano Rivera, the Yankees would have fired him.

JJ Putz, United States. Saw his ERA jump from 3.88 in 2008 to 5.22 by late May.  His last three outings were 1.1 inns. 9 hit allowed and 7 ER.  He had elbow and forearm surgery and missed the rest (110 gms) of 2009.

David Wright, United States.  Was kneed in the head and was removed from the game with dizziness.  2009 was by far the worst year of his career to that point.

There is not an absolute cause and effect relationship between the WBC and the subsequent injuries and poor performance.  But the risk of introducing players into a playoff atmosphere after only two weeks of spring training is unquestioned.  The Tigers are another team who had players injured.  Please let me know of the collateral damage that your team may have suffered fueling Selig’s egomania.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com