I’ve been fighting off a cold the last few days, and I finally went out and got myself some NyQuil last night so I could sleep a little better. It worked, and then some – the morning draaaaaags are real.
- With Hall of Fame voting complete and the ballots being counted for the official announcement sometime this month, the topic of Sammy Sosa’s shot at enshrinement comes up once again. I’ve made my thoughts well-known on the subject, but if you haven’t read my take, it’s right here. Short version? It’s not about the PED suspicions or the cork or the leaving early or the boombox or any of that, because I don’t think I’ll ever have enough information on that side of things to feel comfortable inserting myself in judgment of the off-field performance. Instead, for me, it’s about Sosa’s performance within the context of his era, and how it’s not quite as lofty as many believe when they think of the 60+ homer seasons. He’s close. So close. Close enough that, over the span of 10 years worth of voting, maybe I’d be convinced.
- To that end, Matt Snyder does as good of a job selling me on Sosa as anyone I can recall. Snyder dispels a lot of the non-performance stuff, and puts together a solid, cogent rationale for why, by the numbers, Sosa should be sent to the Hall. When compared against other right fielders in baseball history, Snyder notes, Sosa’s overall value and performance would put him somewhere in the top 4.5%. Is that Hall-worthy? To Snyder, the answer is yes.
- This is all academic, of course, because there’s virtually no way Sosa will ever get to 75% of the vote before his 10 years of eligibility expire in 2022. Last year, Sosa reached just 7.0%, barely enough to stay on the ballot for this year. Currently, in publicly-available ballots, Sosa is polling at just 11.4%. He’ll likely stay on the ballot for a good while longer, but the kind of upswing he’d need to reach 75% is probably not coming. None of that should take away from the good things Sosa did with the Cubs – much of it through years where there was little else connected to the Cubs worth watching – or the fact that many fans still want to see him welcomed back into the fold.
- A Chicago sports poll at CSN demonstrates the huge popularity of the Cubs, and also (among many other items) the popularity of Grandpa Rossy – in the Cubs MVP vote, Kris Bryant got 51% and Anthony Rizzo got 19%, but David Ross was right there with Rizzo at 16%.
- The White Sox ZiPS projections are out, and although they still have some notable not-yet-traded players, it’s incredible to see six of nine position players (including DH) projected at 1 WAR or lower.
- His ZiPS projections aren’t great, as we discussed yesterday, but the guy sure still looks like a beast:
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) January 3, 2017
- The first baby of the New Year in Chicago was named Wrigley, because of course (Tribune). Because I am a joyless monster, my first thought was that the baby cost her parents an entire year of tax savings by waiting 12 minutes past midnight to be born.
- Luis dropped some MLBits on us this morning (welcome again to Luis in his new full-time role; you’ll see more of him here at BN in time, as well as at Baseball is Fun and other projects we may or may not be working on. He’s a stud. We’re lucky to have him.)
- I *think* this picture of Michael has been photoshopped, but I’m not willing to say it for certain:
How big is Marlin's slugger Giancarlo Stanton? Here I am next to him for reference: pic.twitter.com/f0IFST3AIS
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) January 4, 2017
- Even more of a huge Kindle book sale at Amazon. I guess when I think about it, that’s another New Year resolution-type thing: read more books. I love reading. I don’t read enough books. I would love to read more books. I guess I’m in that target market. For me, I just spend all day reading non-book writing that it’s hard, at the end of the day, for “more reading” to be my escape. Instead, my day usually ends with an episode of whatever show I’m watching at that time. (Currently re-watching ‘Mad Men,’ for the record. Such a well done show.)