Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

greg madduxThe long wait is over: the BN Podcast is back from its holiday hiatus with a new episode coming shortly. We recorded last night, so we should have it available for folks at some point today.

  • The Hall of Fame results will be revealed this afternoon, which will trigger another avalanche of consternation (for my part, I think I’ve probably said enough that I’ll be content to merely report the results). Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas are expected to get in on the first ballot – making this one of the most impressive classes in recent history – and Craig Biggio will be right there at the cusp. Other notables such as Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, and Jack Morris will probably fall just short.
  • Though the results don’t come out until today, a great deal of the electronic jousting occurred yesterday when Ken Gurnick revealed that he hadn’t voted for Greg Maddux (but did vote for Jack Morris) for less than convincing reasons. Gurnick took an e-beating for that decision, the only defense available for which was “well, he’s entitled to his opinion.” Yes, he absolutely is. As is anyone who believes his opinion made a mockery of the Hall of Fame process, for reasons ably detailed here and here, among other places. But I’m not going to blast Gurnick further – instead, I’d like to compliment him. To his credit, upon setting the conflagration, Gurnick immediately made himself available for an interview to explain his ballot and take some of the heat. BN’er jh03 recapped the interview here at the Message Board, and, although I’m still utterly unconvinced by Gurnick’s shoddy reasoning, I am very impressed that he stood up in the midst of so much negative attention. (And here is where the cynical among you say this is precisely what he wanted. Maybe so. We’ll never know for sure.)

  • The Boston Herald’s John Tomase decided yesterday to use the contentious Hall of Fame storyline to write a herr-herr anti-blogger piece (right down to a totally original, never-before-seen Hot Pockets joke). Among Tomase’s beefs is an apparent belief that bloggers paint all BBWAA writers with the same he-doesn’t-get-it-what-an-idiot brush when it comes to the Hall (the latest example, of course, being Gurnick’s errant ballot). In doing so, Tomase, of course, paints with the very same brush he derides. This blogger, at a minimum, is capable of understanding the distinction between one embarrassingly poor argument – Gurnick’s (and now Tomase’s) – and the body of work a writer has otherwise supplied, as well as the distinction between one writer and the vast network of others. These kinds of imagined us-versus-them battles between “bloggers” (whatever that term is supposed to mean) and traditional media writers – and these battles come at least as frequently from the blogging world as they do from the traditional media world (you aren’t off the hook, bloggers) – do no one any favors. Tomase can stomp his feet and wall off his his virtual office, but the world moves, progressively, in one direction. Good and thoughtful bloggers do good work. Good and thoughtful traditional media writers do good work. I needn’t fail for you to succeed, Mr. Tomase.
  • We knew it was cold this week in Chicago, but BN’er Nate wanted to show folks just how cold, using a Cubs shirt. Take a look at the BN Facebook page.
  • A fantastic interview at FanGraphs with Cardinals AGM Michael Girsch.

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