Monday, March 6, 2006

The Hall of Fame, Emotions and Controversy...

Last week, the Hall of Fame announced that 17 Negro League and Pre-Negro league players, owners and such had been voted into the Hall of Fame. The noise in the media hasn't been about who got selected, but who got snubbed.

Outrage has been the word since Buck O'Neill and Minnie Minoso were not included in the list of 17 to be honored. I doubt you could name more than 2 of the 17 inducted, but you damn sure know that Buck and Minnie got "screwed!"

Which is a pity, because the Ehshrinees are the ones getting screwed over. Again, to be honest. They got discriminated against and weren't allowed to play Major League Baseball, which is why the Negro League committee was formed in the first place. I've enjoyed jumping all over Bud Selig for all sorts of things, but this isn't one of them. He should get a pat on the back for jump starting this long overdue process. That it has taken so long for this to happen is a shame. That it's being overlooked because of who didn't get in is a shame. That the 17 ensuring and their families are being ignored yet again is a travesty.

Maury Brown wrote a compelling article about this on The Hardball Times. You can read it here. You can also read the Official Release from the Baseball Hall of Fame here. You should ignore Keith Olberman at all costs on this issue because he is irrational and emotional about this.

I can't say whether Buck O'Neill belongs in the Hall of Fame or not. To me, it's not a slam dunk notion. And I don't believe that Minoso belongs based on his Negro League career, which was why this Committee was formed to begin with. I do believe that emotional overreaction has been the word since the announcement, with a complete ignoring of the actual records (incomplete as they may be) and that's a shame. Especially since there has been so much outrage over players who some feel don't belong based on the numbers. (Bill Mazeroski, anyone?) So, I find this argument that O'Neill should be in the HoF simply because he's been a great ambassador for The Game, when his numbers (that we are privy to) don't quite make the case to be disingenuous at best, and sad at worst.

Buck O'Neill is a Baseball Treasure. There is no doubting this. What he has done for the game, both inside and out has been tremendous. His contributions will never be forgotten, nor should they be. You only have to stroll the Negro League Museum in Kansas City to see what I'm talking about (and if you've never been, go there now!). But his lack of inclusion in the recent Negro Leagues balloting is no reason to ignore again the contributions of those who were selected.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Farewell to a Cookie

The end of a Cookie Cutter...not as quick as the Kingdome, but still...

I'm not terribly sad to see Busch Stadium II go the way of all Cookie Cutter Stadiums. It had terribly sight lines, and there were signs of its age. It was a multi-purpose stadium better suited to football. Never mind the nice facelift current Cardinal ownership gave the place, it was a stadium dressed up in Baseball Glad Rags.

What made Busch special were the fans. Those same fans will be at the new Busch Stadium III, so it will be a special place all it's own. The fans and the players are what make any ballpark/stadium special, what give it character. Busch Stadium is dead. Long Live Busch Stadium!

Friday, November 4, 2005

Fessin' Up

In a stunning move, Matt Lawton didn't dodge the issue of his steroid suspension. He confessed, said he screwed up and didn't try and wank out of it by blaming a buddy or sheer ignorance. What a novel idea. Taking responsibility for ones actions!

Here's what he had to say;
"I made a terrible and foolish mistake that I will regret for the rest of my life," Lawton said, in a statement to The Associated Press. "I take full responsibility for my actions and did not appeal my suspension. I apologize to the fans, the game, my family and all those people that I let down. I am truly sorry and deeply regret my terrible lapse in judgment."
Sadly, since he played poorly for three teams this past season (Pirates, Cubs then Yankees), he has little to no chance of coming back a Yankee. He most likely will have trouble getting on any roster next season. Still, that didn't stop him from dealing with this like a man.

It sure would be nice if more offenders did this when they get caugh with their hand in the 'cookie' jar, wouldn't it? Not that it makes me condone using banned substances, but it will make forgiving a whole lot easier.

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Lawmakers With Time On Their Hands

I am so glad that a lawmaker has decided to DO SOMETHING about the less than stellar umpiring in the 2005 MLB Postseason. Thank the GODS that SOMEBODY is looking out for the interest of the fans, the integrity of the game and trying to make them pay for being crappy!

Ok, so that was a sarcastic blast at Missouri Rep. Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart. He is so darn upset about this that he has decided to tax umpires for working in Missouri. That's right, you don't do the job right and you're going to get taxed. I can see from looking at his Official Page that this falls under keeping Terrorism under control. It also helps with Corrections. And it would be a huge boost for Economic Development in the State of Missouri.

This guy is a clown who is grandstanding for the voters. And if that's not enough, he plans on wasting the time of the Legislature by actually introducing a Bill. This is such a high priority for the State of Missouri, I'm sure. To be honest, I think he's been watching too much of McCain and Bunning's steroids posturing for his own good.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Remembering Pete Rose, the Player

I recall that I loathed Pete Rose the player as a kid. I loathed him with an intensity that bordered on maniacal hatred. I despised him because I feared him. Feared what he could do on the field. Feared what he could do with a bat. He was a time bomb, waiting to go off and it was always a bad thing for the opposition when he did.

Many of us have forgotten about Rose the Player because all we recall is Rose the Gambler, Rose the Liar, Rose the Bad Cartoon of a Man. Steve Treder over at the Hardball Times has done a great job reminding us about Rose the Player. Something we should all do on occasion. It's also a great read...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

This Just In: Pujols is Good!

Albert Pujols has cemented his legend. With one mighty swing of his bat, he has that Iconic Moment etched in the minds of baseball history. No matter what happens next in the NLDS, Pujols is now Legend. Great players rise to the occasion in moments such as this, and Pujols most certainly rose to this particular occasion. Most emphatically.

This was no cheapie Crawford Boxes HR, this was a Ruthian blast. As Bernie Miklasz wrote in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today,

The home run was measured at 412 feet, which is absolute fiction, and a joke - because this baby had to carry about 435, 450 feet.

which means that Pujols blast carried to Game 6 tomorrow night in St. Louis. The St. Louis faithful will most certainly bring down the house the first time Prince Albert strides to the plate tomorrow. A thundering ovation is slowly building up along the banks of the Mississippi. The crescendo will be in the bottom of the 1st inning. The Astros may never recover and the Legend will grow.

To those who haven't figured it out yet, Pujols is that good. Last night was proof.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Woof! Woof!

That would be the sound of Alex Gonzalez's play in the ALDS, in his own words. And in some respects The Bench Jockey has gotta agree. Of course, he had company in the Pin Striped dog pound. Namely Gary "I didn't know Barry was giving me Steroids" Sheffield and Hideki Matsui were equally ineffective during the ALDS. It kind of seemed like the Yankees in the last four games of the ALCS from just a year ago. The Big Bats fell asleep.

Woof, indeed.

Now begins the media's favorite game: Watching the Yankees to see what George and Co. will do. Which begs the question, would the media care as much if George owned a team in Milwaukee?