By now, I imagine everyone is aware of the fact that Lou Whitaker was left off the list the Modern Baseball Era Committee will be considering for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Almost anyone could agree that his omission is a mistake. I say almost because, for some dumb reason, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports felt compelled to write an article titled ”Hall of Fame Historical Overview Committee Got It Right.”
No, Jon. They didn’t.
In a very “you kids these days with your fancy numbers don’t get it” toned piece, Heyman scolds the more advanced stat minded fan. In his opinion, some of the more modern stats paint players left off the list in a better light than they might deserve while pointing out that the players who are on the list are there because they were popular in their time and won major awards, while those left off weren’t and didn’t. I guess a Rookie of the Year Award, a World Series championship, five All-Star games, three Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger Awards don’t amount to much. Whitaker has a compilation of awards as good or better than half the guys on that list.
I personally don’t put that much stock in an induction into the Hall of Fame. Sure it’s great when it happens, but the process results in unfair outcomes, and I don’t give it much weight. I do know two things. Heyman is wrong, and his take is as condescending in tone as it is stupidly fawning toward the committee, and Lou was one of the all-time elite players at his position.
The silver lining to Kinsler’s gold glove snub
Believe it or not there is a positive to Brian Dozier winning Ian Kinsler’s Gold Glove. It’s a contract provision for a million dollar salary bump that would have kicked in had Kinsler won the award. I know, it’s just $1 million, but on a team that feels like it could use that extra million on two guys who are lottery tickets, it might mean something. Although, I’m betting it’s more of a Mike Aviles lottery ticket than an Alex Presley one. [Ed.: Is there a difference?]
V-Mart takes home an award
In an interesting bit of news, I am happy to report that Victor Martinez does not come out of this season empty-handed. In what has to be my favorite new award, the folks over at Beyond The Box Score have created the Vladdy. It goes to the player who proves most proficient at hitting balls outside the zone, and this year’s winner is none other than Victor Martinez. It’s something. Something rather weird, but something.
Break out the candy
Jared Wyllys of The Sporting News is taking a look at all the major league teams and selecting a breakout candidate for each one. He is working from worst to first, so surprise surprise, the Tigers are first out of the gate. For Detroit he likes third baseman Jeimer Candelario, and why wouldn’t he? Wyllys liked what Candelario had to show in September and is of the belief that consistent playing time will bring even better results in 2018. Here’s hoping he’s right.
In the off chance that you find yourself wondering what Mario Impemba is up to during the winter months, you can rest assured that he is using his social media platform to point out the injustices of the modern day grocery store. Like a shopping center Spiderman with a Twitter following, he knows with great power comes great responsibility.
Dude, the cart return is literally THREE steps away. pic.twitter.com/KftMVNK5Jt— Mario Impemba (@mario_impemba) November 8, 2017
Around the horn
Here are the 572 players who qualified for minor league free agency, or as I like to call them, future Tigers. Here’s a 15-year-old Cuban kid who throws 95 miles per hour and will be eligible to sign in July. You need not worry about that, though, because the Tigers won’t be signing him. Speaking of guys the Tigers won’t be getting, the Nippon Ham Fighters announced that they will let Shohei Otani come play in the majors via the posting system. The fee is a measly $20 million.
Baseball is awesome
It is also sometimes painful to the body and the pride. Vladimir Guerrerro Jr. does quite a few things well. This is not one of them.