In case you missed it yesterday, the Hall of Fame just released its ballot for next year’s class and a couple of memorable Chicago Cubs, pitchers Carlos Zambrano and Kerry Wood, made the cut. For the ballot, that is.
Neither player is particularly likely to get in, but both bring mostly fond memories from a different era of Cubs baseball, and it’s nice to see them get recognized. Of course, that wasn’t just a different era of “Cubs” baseball, it was also a different era of baseball in general.
Both of those pitchers played during the tail end of the “Steroid Era,” which means more and more of their contemporaries – namely, the ones who failed tests and/or admitted using PEDs – are becoming eligible for the Hall. As you can imagine, that has not gone unnoticed.
Whoa. We Hall of Fame voters just got a letter from Joe Morgan, a Hall of Fame board member, making a strong plea that steroid users NOT be included in the Hall. Fascinating.
— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) November 21, 2017
- Joe Posnanski went on to say that this is the first time a Hall of Famer, let alone the Hall itself, has made its voice heard and clear on the subject. On Facebook, Ken Rosenthal shared the full message sent to the voters:
- Obviously, that’s a very strong plea and this is a very nuanced/sensitive subject. And while Morgan admits that he doesn’t speak for everyone, you can easily imagine a world where many or even most current members feel similarly.
- But even if you tend to lean in Morgan’s direction, he does acknowledge one huge problem: some “cheating” players went unnoticed and others were inaccurately identified as users. That sort of ENORMOUS ambiguity makes eliminating everyone listed in the Mitchell report, as Morgan suggests, nearly impossible. As Brett put it a couple years ago:
In writing about steroid users previously (https://t.co/mc3byzgCmU), here's a big issue I mentioned with the Hall of Fame trying to keep out anyone who reportedly tested positive. pic.twitter.com/grYN1f0KSu
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) November 21, 2017
- To be crystal clear, I’m not saying suspected users should definitely all be in or definitely all be out, but I’m also not the one making an ultimatum about not showing up to future ceremonies if something doesn’t go my way. If anything, this should be a conversation where all sides, including the fans, are heard, because the Hall of Fame does not belong ONLY to the players who’ve been elected. It belongs to all of us. I’m, of course, open to suggestions from all sides, because, as Morgan states, these things are rarely black or white.
- When Derek Jeter’s name started popping up in the groups rumored to purchase of the Marlins, it was pretty fun and exciting story. When it became clear that he wasn’t just planning on becoming a face/money man, but actually wanted to run the team … well, let’s just say my brow raised a little bit. Fortunately (for the Marlins), it sounds like, as of now, he knows that his inexperience is somewhat of a liability, but he plans to “learn on the job,” and get more involved as he grows into the role. At the same time, he admits that while “all of them” (LOL) told him it would take some time, he thinks he can learn as he goes. I wish him the best, but there’s going to be a funny and embarrassing story within one year. I guarantee it.
- Remember when Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel made a racist gesture toward the Dodgers right-hander Yu Darvish in Game 3 of the World Series? Well, if you recall, MLB punished him right away, announcing a five game suspension … to be enforced at the beginning of next season. As you should be able to tell, that’s a fairly non-factor suspension at the beginning of a 162 game season and basically amounted to a slap on the wrist when compared to the possibility that he would miss a World Series game. According to Ken Rosenthal, some prominent Asian-Americans were troubled by MLB’s delayed suspension and made their thoughts known. In the end, I don’t have much to add to this that Ken Rosenthal (or Brett) hasn’t already said, but I will put my position out there for transparency: suspending him even one game of the World Series was CLEARLY the more appropriate way to curb that sort of behavior and make MLB’s position known.
- A professional Korean outfielder had his career cut short (well, for now) when private messages he shared with a fan on social media were made public. In short, Kim Won-seok called his team’s manager an idiot, the area he lived in a region filled with stupid people, and called the president a communist in direct messages on Instagram. After learning of the comments, Kim’s team immediately called him in for a disciplinary meeting and released him shortly thereafter. I can’t speak for the cultural response of Korea, but … I mean, this seems like a bit much, right? Those comments were made in private and, frankly, aren’t that harsh. He shouldn’t be surprised to learn that fans no longer like him, of course, (I mean he did say his team’s area was filled with stupid people), but is that a fireable baseball offense? Would this play out the same way in MLB?
- (Well, maybe – remember when Ian Stewart sent some really ill-advised after midnight tweets and got himself booted from the Cubs?)
- I can’t say I was aware of this story, but I am extremely glad things turned out the (positive) way they did:
At 18, Ken Griffey Jr. tried to kill himself.
He went on to inspire a generation and become a baseball icon. Happy birthday to one of the greatest to ever do it. pic.twitter.com/dcnjAwo8sK
— Cycle (@bycycle) November 21, 2017
- Griffey is one of the all-time greats of baseball in about a million more ways than one, and was one of the earliest reasons I got into baseball. I am extremely thankful he was able to find whatever help he needed and went on to live an extraordinary life.
- If you missed the big MLB news today besides the Morgan Hall of Fame stuff, it was the league absolutely hammering the Braves for IFA violations.
- And finally, GET ME SOME OF THESE DANG HATS!
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) November 21, 2017