Tuesday, November 22, 2016

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 new ballot for modern players. It has fifteen new names, including Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman, and seventeen returning players some new players, some returning players, and it took me days to realize I had just cut-and-pasted here. And voters only get to select ten of them.

I have set up a Doodle poll for the ALOTT5MA community to vote. All the stats are here. 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 2017 ballot reflects this. with players new to the ballot noted with an asterisk:
Bagwell, Bonds, Clemens, Hoffman, E Martinez, Mussina, Raines, Ramirez*, I Rodriguez*, Schilling.
I did not end up voting strategically this year -- in some years, I've left off Bonds/Clemens out of the assumption they wouldn't make it anyway, but there's no one I really wanted to vote for that I couldn't. I was able to return them and Edgar Martinez to my ballot where I've had to exclude them in years past due to the 10-person limit.

I'm not sure that I need to explain my votes for Manny Ramirez or Pudge Rodriguez, but I will if I need to. Vlad Guerrero was the closest call, but there's not a metric by which he's not inferior to Manny, and probably Sheffield too. I just hear my dad's voice in my head: nice player? sure. Hall of Famer? Closer to Dave Parker than the true greats.

Curt Schilling remains on my ballot because while character matters, none of the criticisms of him as a businessman or public advocate have any bearing on his character as a baseball player.

Also, if I could, I'd have voted for Jim Edmonds again. His one-and-done remains absurd.

(Our discussion of the 2011 ballot2011 Doodle results; 2012 discussion; 2012 Doodle results; 2013 discussion; 2013 Doodle results; 2014 discussion; 2014 Doodle results; 2015 discussion & results.)

Monday, November 21, 2016

TAKE THE PHYSICAL CHALLENGE: Of course we're going to provide you with a link to an oral history of the Double Dare obstacle course, especially one that manages to work in the idea of an "attractive nuisance!"