My BBA Hall of Fame Ballot

As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, every year we cast our Hall of Fame ballot to compare our results with those of the Baseball Writers Association of America.  I’m pretty sure my ballot is a lot different from many in the BBWAA who enjoy going on witch hunts rather doing real honest to goodness research on the candidates.  Without further ado here is the ballot I just cast:

Mike Piazza

Only someone seeking attention would NOT cast a vote for Piazza, and this is coming from someone who is not overly found of the former Mets catcher. But I won’t let that cloud my view that Piazza was not only the best hitting catcher of his era but he was one of the best right handed hitters as well. The majority of BBWAA members who vow not to vote for Piazza because the suspect he was a PED user, even though they have no proof whatsoever except for their short attention minds, the same short attention minds that feel playing Words with Friends in a big league press box is more fun than actually watching the game they are being paid to cover, are just making ass’ of themselves.  Piazza is a without a doubt first ballot Hall of Famer.

Jeff Bagwell

Again no proof of being a juicer but the voters of the BBWAA get their rocks off snubbing him on the ballot.  His lifetime slashes of .297/.408/.540/.948 is certainly Hall worthy and when you add in the power (449 HR), speed (202 SB and only 78 CS) and defense, Bagwell was the total package as a ballplayer.

Craig Biggio

The other half of the Astros Killer B’s his 3,060 hits makes him an automatic

Barry Bonds

All of the main streamers hate Bonds and will hold off voting for him due to PED’s even without proof (remember Bonds was guilty of perjury the only charge the government could get to stick and made sure the tax payers of California paid a lot of money that could have went to building schools or hospitals to convict Bonds) but they voted him the MVP 7 times including 4 times during the Era of Taint.

Roger Clemens

I’ve come from not giving a shit about who took PED’s to today where I feel the game is much better and more enjoyable than it was during the Steroid Era. I still don’t feel the players who took PED’s were cheaters since my definition of a cheater is someone who breaks the rules and at the time there were no rules in MLB or in the CBA that said use of PED’s by players were against the rules. Players have taken narcotics and stimulants since the beginning of baseball time to get an advantage same as when players corked bats or went for Lasik surgery to better their eye sight, every athlete looks for an edge. Add in that the Steroid Era followed the cancelling of the second half of the 1994 season along with playoffs and World Series due to labor strife, the game needed something to bring back disgruntled paying customers and I’m still not convinced it wasn’t a juiced ball as much as juiced players . Even before the Era of Taint, Clemens was a Hall of Famer and with 354 Wins, 4,672 K and 7 Cy Young Awards, even though I hate ya’ Roger I gotta respect ya!

Tim Raines

One of the most exciting and better players of his era Raines was right there with Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the cog that ran the Montreal Expos of the 1980’s. Raines stole an amazing 808 bases and was caught just 146 times in his 23 year career and was an on base machine.

Allan Trammell

Trammell could always find a way to get on base or hit you a Home Run or steal a base while playing a stellar shortstop.

Jack Morris

Hey Bill Madden I saw Jack Morris play and he was damn good. If Morris were a Highlander for most of his career, Madden would have pleaded with his fellow BBWAA members to get him Hall of Fame enshrinement.

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Fare Thee Well R. A. Dickey

Sorry for the lack of posting the last week but I had tons of work to handle and when I did find time to sit down and compose some thoughts on the New York Mets the news from Newtown Connecticut of the mass killings of little children and teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School unfolded and suddenly whatever Mets news that was out there was of no interest to me at all, which is why this past Saturday was just the kind of day I needed.

When I found out that Greg Prince who along with Jason Fry co-author the great Mets blog Faith and Fear in Flushing was having a get together at Foley’s NY to celebrate his joining the half century club (the more cranky middle aged Mets fans the better) and his new book The Happiest Recap I replied immediately that I would attend. Not only was it the great tonic to keep my mind off the tragedy in Newtown but it reaffirmed my love for the NY Mets by being in a room jammed back with people of my faith, real honest to goodness die hard Mets fans. How devoted were the fans in attendance?  We saluted our beloved Mets and pledged our allegiance to the Orange and Blue by singing a rousing rendition of Meet the Mets, the complete version of Meet the Mets, with butcher, the baker and the people on the street.  I get goose bumps just typing that. No doubt though, Mets fans are the most underappreciate fan base in sports.

Did you really think the break up between the Mets and R.A. Dickey was going to amicable? Let me just put my cards on the table right here, if you have been a frequent visitor to this site you know how much I respect and admire R.A. Dickey. I have been fortunate to meet Dickey and to interview him and I’ve found to be fascinating and a man of class and intellect that made spending time with him a fabulous experience.  But as much of a fan as I am of Dickey’s, this trade that sends him and Josh Thole and a prospect  to Toronto for Travis d’Arnuad , Noah Syndergaard, John Buck and a prospect is one that was absolutely necessary in the getting the Mets back to relevancy .

Sandy Alderson does not act on emotion; he acts on facts, on research from both statistical analytical and scouting departments. He is here to rebuild the NY Mets organization that when he arrived was a shambles in all departments but especially from a player development side. This will be the second time in his three years as Mets GM that he outlasted a desperate rival to pluck a top prospect for a player on the back nine of his career but one that could be the missing piece to their prosperity. Both R.A. Dickey and Carlos Beltran, who as older players are much more useful to teams in contention than one under renovation (sounds better than rebuilding don’t you think?)  were flipped for two of the top prospects in all of baseball in Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud.  We now have a future.

Back to the nastiness that has surfaced since this deal was deemed all but complete. Mets management, as has been a tradition around here since the days of M.Donald Scumbag, have found ways to try to embarrass players who are leaving but end up embarrassing themselves.  I have no doubt that there was jealousy amongst those who locker with Dickey in the Mets clubhouse. I’ve been told by people I trust that was the case. To me it says more about the people who are doing the bad mouthing than it does about Dickey. Think about the typical ballplayer in a locker room. Most of them are into playing video games, hunting, golf, and playing loud hip-hop music while sitting naked pursuing the latest edition of Swank.  Then you have the anti-Neanderthal ballplayer in R.A. Dickey, who not only reads books but writes them, a best seller no less. He also raises awareness to causes like sexual abuse of children of which he was a victim, going into schools to read and donate books to underprivileged kids. Having a role in a movie that documents his journey from a #1 draft pick who struggled through the system and then reinvented himself and persevered when he was told time and time again to give it up but never gave in to the naysayers and worked harder every time he was doubted to become one of the very best of his craft, to the point where he was honored with the highest award a pitcher can received, the CY Young. Oh and guess where Dickey will be right after Christmas? In India with his two daughters to make and distribute friendship bracelets for children who are abuse victims. Where did I learn this? At the Mets holiday party because unlike Ken Davidoff, I WAS THERE!!!!! And heard Dickey talk of his holiday plan. While I’m on the topic of that holiday party, let me set the record straight. Both Dickey and Ike Davis were helpers to John Franco who played Santa Claus. The media was closed off from the party proceedings by a black fabric partition. When Dickey and Ike were done entertaining the kids, they were brought in to the media area. No children were harmed during the interview process and I doubt any of them cared about hearing about contract extensions as they enjoyed eating hot dogs and opening up presents.  Dickey was asked about the stalemate in negotiations and spoke candidly if the press and media can’t handle that then they deserve to be locked in a room with Jon Niese.  

So who would have a problem with people wanting to celebrate a man who has fought so much adversity and rose to the top of his profession? Maybe a bunch of players who fade every August, September and October for the last four seasons. There are not a lot of players with intestinal fortitude in that Mets clubhouse. It could be that some of those who fail to rise up and contribute dislike Dickey because he makes them look bad. How would you feel if you were sitting the bench due to fatigue, while a 38 year old takes the mound with a torn stomach muscle that would need off season surgery and fights his way to lead his team to victory?

I do have hope that this trade will start a spiral of ridding the team of petulant posers,  pie throwers and the charter members of the bitch and moan club. The Mets are losing a stand-up guy in R.A. Dickey but that doesn’t mean we have to stop rooting for him. The Blue Jays come to the South Bronx for a four game set from April 25-April 28, how it would be great for Mets fans to show up if Dickey gets a start to express our appreciation for all he’s done as a Met on and off the field. Oh and it will piss off the Highlanders and their fans as well.

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UNCLE SAUL KATZ HAS A BIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG MOUTH

It’s amazing that Uncle Saul Katz  didn ‘t end up like Maurie Kessler (a/k/a Maurie’s Wigs) in Goodfella’s. The crew, especially Jimmy The Gent couldn’t take Maurie’s constant talking and ball breaking so they had him snuffed.

It seems Bernie Madoff  felt the same way about Uncle Saul who it seems just couldn’t shut the fuck up about the windfall profits he and his bother in law Freddy Skill Sets were making investing with Madoff. Bernie got a little nervous with Uncle Saul as he worried that some real honest to goodness financial advisers would hear big mouth Saul chirping at the Mahjong table.

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“HEY JEFF, WE NEED A 4 DOZEN WRIGHT 5 T-SHIRTS ON THE FLOOR ON THE DOUBLE”

I’m here today to praise the Skill Sets not burry them especially Freddy and Uncle Saul who I feel are the ones that have finally figured out that Little Jeffey needs a timeout and it’s time to let the smart guys run this franchise. Listen, Jeffey doesn’t need to be totally out of the picture, he can still do inventory at the Team Store, or help cut up the peppers and onions for the sausage concession as long as he is out of the baseball ops I’m a happy Mets fan.

With all this new found happiness with the new and improved front office will Mets fans be happy with whoever is chosen to be the Mets manager? It seems Wally Backman is the fans favorite but if all the reports are true, it looks like Terry Collins could be the leader in the clubhouse with his ties to DePo and Sandy Koufax but maybe Backman would be given the choice to be third base or bench coach? Same with Chip Hale.  What about Old School Werthen? Maybe a return of The Jacket? Stay tuned!

Rusty Staub has been named on the Hall of Fame ballot to be voted on by the Veterans Committee which has Ed Marcus leading the charge for enshrinement for Le Grand Orange.

I agree 100 % that as soon as the Justice League of Flushing finds a field manager, the next move is to boot Ray Ramirez and his staff and hire some real honest to goodness physical trainers.  Now that Omar (Rub A Little Dirt On It ) Minaya is gone and that scoundrel Charlie (Blackie) Samuels has been shunned, how is that Ramirez and his voodoo gets to stay?  

The ESPN team of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are no more. I never had a problem with Miller although he is much better as a radio announcer than a TV head and Morgan I won’t disparage as he is one of the best baseball players I ever saw (not so good at analyzing on TV though) ESPN has a chance to put two guys that employed by the WWL that would be a must listen for any baseball fan, put John “Boog” Sciambi and Bobby Valentine together in the Sunday Night Booth. That would be downright entertaining.

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THE OTHER JERRY

How did you feel about Jerry Seinfeld in the booth with Gary and Keith? The best part about Seinfeld in the booth is he’s an honest to goodness Mets fan. He wasn’t there to plug a movie (looking at you Kevin James) or a TV show, he was there as a Mets fan.

I thought his line to Keith when Jose Reyes hit his home run was classic:

  “Yes! Jose Reyes cruising around third. Keith Hernandez is not liking this. Always whining about the Reyes homers. I love ‘em! Always love a homer no matter who hits it … Boom! You have got to love this.”

Seinfeld may have gone a bit overboard gushing over Gary Cohen, to the point where it seemed Cohen was getting a bit embarrassed but he was correct when he said that Gary, Keith and Ron (and don’t forget the Great Kevin Burkhardt as well) form the best announcing team in sports.

Too me the line of the night is when he talked about Lady GaGa and how they cleaned up his suite after she soiled it with her presences:

 “Everything’s fine. We brought the bedbug dog in. What’s his name? Rusty, the beagle? Now everything’s clean.”

That made me laugh out loud.

Too bad they didn’t  take calls in the booth as I’m sure Uncle Leo would have dialed

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“PLACE YA BETS, NO MORE BETS”

The Mets front office is trying to put a happy face on this team of theirs but deep down I’m sure they’re doing shots of Maalox over the pitching staff.

Big Pelf’ Long Balls on Parade has to be alarming to Mets decision makers so much so that the name Bronson Arroyo has come up again as a Mets trade target. A deal for Arroyo or any real life honest to goodness starting pitcher should have been done this off season but either money issued or stupidity prevented any such deal from happening.

The old saw is “don’t put too much stock in spring training” and that’s fine when your names is Santana, or Lincicum or Seaver. But when you are a struggling starter like Big Pelf, OP and Maine Man, you need to show me why I should have confidence in you on the mound and so far as we get to a week before opening day my confidence in this pitching staff on a scale of 1-10 is about a 3.

Am I being overly pessimistic? You tell me. Let’s play the Mike Francesa Approved “Unnda/Ovah Game with the pitching staff. Please go to the comments and leave your picks.

Number of games Johan Santana will win in 2010? Unnda/Ovah 14

Number of wins combined for Big Pelf/OP/Maine Man? Unnda/Ovah 27

Number of innings combined for Big Pelf/OP/Maine Man? Unnda/Ovah 450

Number of different starting pitchers the Mets will use in 2010? Unnda/Ovah 8

Number of appearances by Vitamin Pedro in 2010? Unnda?Ovah 75

Number of saves for Frankie Rodz in 2010? Unnda/Ovah 33

Number of pitchers total used by the Mets in 2010? Unnda/Ovah 21

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Tickets

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