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mlb logoToday, you get an Around the League in lieu of Bullets. It projects to be a busier than usual Saturday, so stay tuned for a bit more later this morning.

  • I made no bones about my frustration with Yasiel Puig’s second unbelievably-ridiculously-dangerous reckless driving arrest, so I want to be equally public in praising him for deciding to hang up his driving feet and hire a driver. If you’ve got a predilection toward unsafe driving, and you’ve got plenty of money to pay someone – a cousin, in this instance – to drive you, there’s no reason not to make this choice.
  • The arbitrator’s decision on Alex Rodriguez’s 211-game suspension will be handed down any day now, but there’s zero hour talk of Rodriguez accepting a reduced suspension in exchange for not trying to appeal – via court – any arbitrator decision. As Ken Rosenthal points out correctly in that piece, getting a federal court to hear – let alone overturn – a case about this kind of privately-agreed-upon arbitration system is a steep hurdle in the extreme. It just doesn’t happen in anything but the craziest, most extreme cases. Well, legally, I mean. I remain very interested in seeing how the Yankees react to the decision, given their probable desire to stay under the $189 million luxury tax cap. If ARod is suspended for the full year, they could do it if they wanted. If he’s not, they probably can’t. In either case, they might go nuts on Masahiro Tanaka anyway, making this all academic.
  • Yesterday, the BBWAA expectedly suspended Dan Le Batard for a year and stripped him permanently of his right to vote for the Hall of Fame. In doing so, it seems the BBWAA probably helped make Le Batard’s point – that the voting process has become ridiculous – even more strongly. Throw in the fact that other writers have long done what Le Batard did – just not as publicly, and not utilizing the reviled Deadspin – and the well-made points by Richard Justice yesterday, and the whole thing just makes me sad. Neither the baseball fan nor the writer in me want to see the BBWAA seeming so feckless, but here we are. I still don’t want to see this as an us-versus-them-new-media-versus-traditional-media thing, but that train left the station long ago. Still, I urge folks to remember: not all traditional writers are dopes, and not all new media writers are thoughtful.
  • Are the Indians slowly phasing out the Chief Wahoo logo? There are reports that it will be “demoted” behind the block C logo as soon as next year, though it isn’t totally disappearing yet. For my part, I’m no longer comfortable with the logo and won’t be using it, myself.
  • Bad, bad news for the Rangers, who’ve lost lefty Derek Holland until at least midseason after a “freak accident” in his house. Holland, 27, had surgery to repair some non-ACL-non-MCL damage in the knee, and the prognosis is good. Still, the Rangers will be without their second or third-best pitcher for half of a season, and it’s a reminder that injuries can happen whenever. The transactional implications of the injury will be explored later, but the short version is that the Rangers are expected to fill his spot internally for now.
  • Justin Verlander joins Miguel Cabrera as two star Tigers who’ve had offseason surgery. Both are expected to be all right for the start of the season, but I’m sure there’s a little nervousness.
  • DrReiCow

    It boggles my mind that the Indians haven’t gotten rid of that offensive logo yet. Demotion isn’t enough, deletion is what is required.

    Moo.

    • CubFan Paul

      How do you pronounce “ReiCow”?

      • DrReiCow

        Ray – Cow

    • Don Eaddy

      I believe the Indians are making an honest effort to get rid of the logo, unlike the Washington Redskins. If it makes them feel better to slowly phase the logo out it’s fine by me as long as the logo eventually is gone for good. The Redskins should follow their lead.

  • Internet Random

    “In doing so, it seems the BBWAA probably helped make Le Batard’s point – that the voting process has become ridiculous – even more strongly.”

    Yes, and made him a martyr in the process… further polarizing those who (rightly) see the current voting process as a joke.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      I just hope he uses this martyrdom to the absurdity of the BBWAA HOF voting public and places like deadspin keep reporting a system that is greatly flawed.

  • mjhurdle

    “In doing so, it seems the BBWAA probably helped make Le Batard’s point – that the voting process has become ridiculous – even more strongly”

    I don’t think the punishment helps make any point really. It was the only option that was left to the BBWAA, and in all honestly was probably the outcome Le Batard was aiming for.
    It is no secret that ESPN’s overall viewership has been declining in the last couple of years. (down 13% from the year before).
    Le Batard’s show ‘Highly Questionable’ lost viewers at even a higher rate (15%) through June of 2013.
    Le Batard needed a bump.What better way to get this then getting your name thrown around in the media for a stunt? The best part is that, everyone knows that the HoF process is flawed, so he can say “I did it all to expose the problems in the system” and he will get all sorts of sympathy.
    But he did nothing to help the situation. He offered no solutions, he flaunted his circumvention of the rules, and the only thing he managed to actually accomplish is removing himself from any position where he might be able to effect change on the situation.
    Win-Win for Le Batard. Free publicity, and now he can’t be expected to actually do something like ‘work’ to make change.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      I don’t think everyone knows the HOF voting is absurdly flawed and hypocritical. The average individual casual sports fan is not like us junkies. The more press the flaws receive the greater the awareness. I hope Le Batard doesn’t back down and makes this his “Tebow” (expect this one is valid) and the BBWAA feels considerable pressure from the public.

      • mjhurdle

        In fairness, I don’t want ‘the average individual sports fan’ having any influence whatsoever on any baseball decision.
        If these people don’t know more than the most casual glance at a sport, why do I care what they think about the HoF voting process?

        And honestly, the system is not that broken right now. It isn’t like it has allowed un-heard of travesties to happen. It has been pretty good, with the biggest complaint being ‘Why wasn’t Maddux unanimous?’ If the worst thing we can find about it is that someone only got 99% of the vote instead of 100%, then it can’t be that broken.

        • Edwin

          Ron Santo being elected after he died is a pretty big travesty. And with the current backlog that’s happening, it could easily happen to other players. God forbid something should happen to Craig Biggio (who is a HOF, but missed due to the absurd 10 vote limit), and he gets put in after his death.

          The current BBWAA is electing players at an all time low rate. So either baseball players just aren’t as good as they used to be (unlikely), or something has gone wrong with the voting process.

          • mjhurdle

            There are definitely flaws in the process, but I think the narrative of ‘Baseball HoF voting is a joke” is greatly exaggerated. There are definitely problems with it (voters who don’t cover the sport anymore, no newer writers due to the 10 year wait, only 10 vote limit), and then on top of that everyone adds their own opinions like somehow the fact that the HoF doesn’t share them is a flaw in the process. (They don’t vote for PED users, that is a flaw in the process!! They didn’t vote for Morris, that is a problem in the system!!!, etc).
            People can disagree with opinions, but you can’t regulate that. So as long as the HoF has the Integrity and Sportsmanship clause in its requirements, there will be different interpretations of that. That is not a flaw in the system.
            As far as actual process flaws, they have some, but they can be corrected. But to correct them, you have to be able to influence to organization and members of the BBWAA to convince them that you have a better option. Le batard’s publicity grab ensures that he has no influence over the BBWAA and removes his best chance of actually improving something.

            • Edwin

              The BBWAA has created a backlog of worthy players. Due to current voting conditions, this is going to be a tough backlog to fix. The joke is that the BBWAA doesn’t even seem willing to admit that there is a problem. They’re more interested in keeping players out than putting worthy players in. As long as the BBWAA remains out of touch with rest of the baseball world, the HOF voting will be a joke. A HOF that doesn’t have the best players in it isn’t much of a HOF.

              • mjhurdle

                ” A HOF that doesn’t have the best players in it isn’t much of a HOF.”
                All the best players in baseball are represented in the Hall of Fame.

                Not all of them are inducted, but that is because, to be inducted into the HoF, you have to meet more standards then simply being ‘one of the best’. But even players that are not inducted are represented.

    • mjhurdle

      Contrast what Le Batard did to what voter’s like Ken Rosenthal are doing. Ken has acknowledged the flaws in the HoF voting system. However, he is working on finding solutions. He is working on actually correcting it because he actually cares about it.

    • JadeBos

      Lebatard is an extremely stand up guy. I’m from Miami and have met him a few times, read his Sunday Miami Herald column, and listened to his drive time radio sports show for 10 years. He’s done an original hilarious show for years while asking a lot of dificult questions about race, media, journalism, and sports. He’s been offered tons of money over the years to move to a bigger markets, but prefers Miami, because its his home and his family is here. ESPN finally just came to him.

      • mjhurdle

        i have no clue about Le Batard and how he is in his personal life. He could be a great guy.
        All i can judge him by is his actions on this.
        He intentionally violated the rules of the BBWAA. He then flaunted it, forcing the BBWAA to suspend him. He brought nothing new to the situation, and he offers no solutions.
        He also decided the best time to reveal/flaunt what he did was right after the announcements, that way the driving story of the week was not about Maddux, Thomas, or Glavine. instead, it was about Le Batard and what he did and should he have or shouldn’t he have.
        Hard to see how he was trying to do anything more than get his name out there in this. And someone that would steal someone else’s once in a lifetime event to use it as a publicity stunt is pretty pathetic, in my opinion.

        • ClevelandCubsFan

          It’s not clear to me what specific rule he clearly broke.maybe there is one. I’ve just not seen it. What I do know is that for the first time there seems to be a really significant conversation about changing the system that ACTUALLY MIGHT GO SOMEWHERE. (It’s mostly seemed hypothetical in the past.) Who knows? We might look back on this differently ina few years.

  • Voice of Reason

    A rod cheated and everyone knows it.

    The sad truth is the owners and the idiot commissioner knew they were juicing, too, yet did nothing about it.

    Now, a rod stands alone. Seen as the bad guy and cheater in all this. While he did cheat every owner and the commissioner should be put on trial just like arod.

  • rich

    mjhurdle you are right in very thing you say . Le Batard needed this pub to restart his lousy show and career !

  • cooter

    everyone is just too damn sensitive with the politically correct crap. “My fingers hurt. Well now your back is going to hurt because you just pulled landscape duty.”

  • rich

    JadeBos I respect your opinion , and yes I’ve heard him on ESPN but it is what it is > Happy New Year !

  • Carne Harris

    “Still, I urge folks to remember: not all traditional writers are dopes, and not all new media writers are thoughtful.”

    No danger there.

  • Patrick G

    I wish the Indians would come up with something more clever than the block “C” as their logo. I honestly like the Chief Wahoo logo, but I guess things have to change

  • ClevelandCubsFan

    Brett, I know you took a lot of heat the last time you posted an image of Wahoo and I want praise you for the decision to not use that image anymore. Time and time again–whether it’s statistics or culture–you prove to be a thoughtful and courteous individual. I don’t always agree with you, but it is precisely that thoughtfulness that, I believe, makes this blog such a treasure. It is exemplified also by commending Puig for his decision to get a driver after you publically shamed him. As soon as I read the story, I expected you to note it on your blog because it’s the kind of fair-mindedness I’ve come to expect here. So let me thank you for creating this place on the web and the work you do which we enjoy.

  • Johnny Chess

    Bottom line It is time to shut down the HOF. Move it to the middle of nowhere.Turn it into a museum. Charge exorbitant fees to enter. Sell high priced replica’s of souvenirs. Send the men in black out to collect any meaningful bat, ball, glove or piece of turf/dirt. So that the masses can visit and reflect on years gone by. Hey a guy can dream right?

  • YourResidentJag

    If it’s true that Biggio was shut out of induction because LeBartard gave his vote to Deadspin and they didn’t vote for Biggio that sucks.

    • DarthHater

      Everything I have read says that the Deadspin ballot did vote for Biggio.

    • http://tootblan.tumblr.com wv23
      • DarthHater

        Yea, but you can’t believe what you read on Deadspin. ;-)

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Nope he didn’t make it because a bunch of hypocritical writers that because he played with Berkman (another player that is guilty only because people suspect he was dirty) he was also juicing. I can’t wait to see how Jeter is a nearly unanimous inductee because he NEVER (sarcasm font) played next ANYONE (cough ARod, Giambi, Pettitte cough) who actually were caught or admitted PED users.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Berkman = Bagwell – those three B’s were quite the force.

    • mjhurdle

      Biggio will get in eventually.
      He has 2 things going against him so far.
      First, he isn’t a Greg Maddux type player. It is no slam dunk that he should be in. His versatility and longevity played a huge part in his value.
      Second, as mentioned other places in the comments, there is a backlog of players to get in. Some voters, like that Jaff guy from Sports Illustrated, said they were not voting for Biggio simply because there were other players they felt they should vote for and they only had 10.
      When Biggio retired, I knew he was a Hall of Famer. If you told me that it would take 3 years after his eligibility for him to get in, i would have thought that was about right, if not even a year early.
      But when you combine his not getting in on his second year with all the drama created by publicity hungry entertainers, it becomes a much bigger deal to most.
      He will get in next year easily, in my opinion.

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