Friday, November 29, 2013

THE PROFESSOR: Forty-eight votes in forty-eight hours is a nice, round number from which to analyze your HOF voting, given the percentage cutoffs. So:
Would induct (75%+): Greg Maddux (47 votes), Craig Biggio (39), Tom Glavine (39), Frank Thomas (39), Jeff Bagwell (37), Mike Piazza (37), Tim Raines (36)
Still on probation: Barry Bonds (27), Roger Clemens (22)
Receiving significant consideration: Curt Schilling (16), Alan Trammell (14), Edgar Martinez (13)
Will never consider again: Jack Morris (12, in his last year of eligibility)
Need serious help, or a less-crowded ballot: Mike Mussina (8), Larry Walker (5), Jeff Kent (4), Mark McGwire (4), Don Mattingly (3)
On the edge of being removed from consideration: Fred McGriff (2), Lee Smith (2)
Receiving one vote, and thus eliminated from future ballots: Armando Benitez, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa
The average voter cast 8.52 votes of the 10 allotted; more than half of us (27/48) used all ten slots. Compared to last year's slighly-less-crowded ballot, there was a lot of slippage this time, mostly with the PED cases squeezed out -- Clemens had 44 votes, Bonds 41, McGwire 33, Sosa 14, and Palmeiro had 6 last time.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

AS GOD AS MY WITNESS:  Lots of people at the TV Club who had never seen an episode of the show before have roundtabled everyone's favorite WKRP in Cincinnati episode, for which this oral history exists:
TIM REID: The opportunity to see Les Nessman recount the falling of the turkeys in the style of the Hindenburg was just, tears to your eyes.  I mean, who takes on the Hindenburg, and does a comedy?  Takes one of the great tragedies in this country, and puts it in a comedy show?  We went there.
VOTING SHALL BE BASED UPON THE PLAYER'S RECORD, PLAYING ABILITY, INTEGRITY, SPORTSMANSHIP, CHARACTER, AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE TEAM(S) ON WHICH THE PLAYER PLAYED: The National Baseball Hall of Fame has released its 2013 ballot for modern players. Its thirty-six names perhaps constitute the most stacked ballot we'll ever seen in our lifetimes, with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Jeff Kent joining a field from which no one was elected in 2013, and from which Jack Morris is is now in his final year of eligibility. And voters only get to select ten of them.

I have set up a Doodle poll for the ALOTT5MA community to vote. Please vote for no more than ten names, because that's what the BBWAA does, remembering that anyone who falls below 5% will be dropped from next year's ballot, so vote strategically if you must. I have long believed that players accused/admitted of PED usage should be voted into the Hall if their accomplishments so merit, and with their Hall plaques "teaching the controversy" where appropriate. My 2014 ballot reflects this:
Bagwell, Biggio, Glavine, Kent, Maddux, Mussina, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Thomas.
It is impossible to limit yourself to ten votes and not vote strategically. In my case, that meant leaving the eminently-worthy (with an asterisk) Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens off the ballot, out of a belief they weren't going to be inducted this year anyway. This made room for my continued votes for Tim Raines and Curt Schilling, to ensure each receives due consideration both this year and going forward. I seriously considered leaving off Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux for the opposite reason -- assuming they'd get in, no matter what -- but ultimately I couldn't convince myself to leave them off. Maddux in particular deserves as close to unanimity as possible, and as much as I want to maintain my continuing votes for Mark McGwire and Edgar Martinez, I just couldn't this year.

If anyone constitutes my "tenth vote," I guess it's Mike Mussina, as those last two as well as Larry Walker received serious consideration there. He is not at the level of Maddux, Clemens, or Glavine, but like Schilling he certainly meets the standards of the Hall. And I could be persuaded to wait another year on Kent, but ultimately he's getting my vote.

(Our discussion of the 2011 ballot2011 Doodle results; 2012 discussion; 2012 Doodle results.)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

TUPPENCE, TUPPENCE, TUPPENCE A BAG:  Eight great improvised scenes in tv comedy. (Do we count Andy Kaufman's visit to Fridays?)
TAKE YOUR PASSION, MAKE IT HAPPEN: This blog, given its high editorial standards over the past eleven years, is normally above the base, pandering level of "look at this silly thing which happened on a local morning news show," but Fox 29's Mike Jerrick, reenacting a certain scene from Flashdance (the musical's in town this week) ... yeah, go watch.

Monday, November 25, 2013

THE LAST IS CLEARLY A PANDERING TO A CERTAIN INTERNET DEMOGRAPHIC:  As I predicted a few weeks ago, EW's Entertainer of the Year is Sandra Bullock.  Also on the long list?  Breaking Bad, Tom Hanks, Netflix, Jennifer Lawrence, Matthew McConaughey, Pharrell Williams (for "Blurred Lines" and "Get Lucky"). and Grumpy Cat.
¿CAN WE DO ALOTT5MA FRIDAY GRAMMAR RODEO ON MONDAYS?  Slate wants to know if the English language needs upside-down punctuation at the start of sentences. Or, you might shout,  ¡bad idea!