2022 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Newcomers

The BBWAA recently released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2022, with the results of the vote due to be revealed on January 25th with induction returning to its usual July weekend, July 24th to be precise.  With nobody elected in last year’s voting, the new ballot contains 17 holdovers along with 13 newcomers.

Last week, we looked at the returning candidates.  Today, it’s time to look at the newcomers and who may be thankful come January.

Carl Crawford

He was never able to come close to the success he enjoyed as a Ray during the second part of his career.  I would doubt he makes it to a second election.

Prince Fielder

A neck injury ended his career prematurely, which didn’t give him enough of a chance to pile up the numbers that he would have needed for induction.

Ryan Howard

A late start to his career, winning the Rookie of the Year award in his age 25 season, will likely leave the longtime Phillie on the outside looking in.

Tim Lincecum

Lincecum had a 4 year peak that would stack up against anyone, but his career only lasted 10 years and those 6 non-peak years were middling at best and ugly at worst.

Justin Morneau

I mean, he had a nice career and all, with 1600 hits and 247 home runs, but no.

Joe Nathan

He is 8th on the all time saves list, but I don’t think that, or the World Series ring he got for 3 appearances with the 2016 Cubs at the end of his career, will put him over the top.

David Ortiz

OK, now things start to get interesting.  His 541 home runs would normally be a surefire ticket to entry, but there is a slight taint of PED use, right or wrong, to his career.  Will the writers, who have kept Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa, amongst others, out put Ortiz in?  My guess is yes.

Jonathan Papelbon

Yeah, that’s going to be a no.

Jake Peavy

Peavy ended up having a pretty nice career, but nice career’s do not get you to Cooperstown.

A.J. Pierzynski

At first glance, the easy answer is to say no.  But, his 19 year career behind the plate, where his most similar comparison is to Yadier Molina, who most people assume will get in easily once he is eligible, makes you wonder if he will get more support than you would initially think.

Alex Rodriguez

Yet another 10 year referendum on PEDs that we have to look forward to.  If I had to guess, and that is what I am doing here, I’m going to say he never gets in.

Jimmy Rollins

Rollins had a great career, but not enough to be enshrined in Cooperstown.

Mark Teixeira

He’s kind of borderline, but I don’t think he makes it.

Fitbit VII – Week 44

Yet another disappointing week, which should have been boosted at the end by yet another football game, but was not.  Things got off to a poor start on Sunday, as I finished with 3500 steps.  Monday was slightly worse, as I dropped down to 3400 steps.  Tuesday saw a big increase, jumping all the way up to 4300 steps.  Wednesday fell back down again a bit, down to 4100 steps.  Thanksgiving festivities saw Thursday, fall back down 3200 steps.  Friday was the high point of the week, thanks to a trip back down to Purdue to bring Danny back to campus and to watch his band practice, earning me 5300 steps.  A rainy morning on Saturday meant skipping the football game and driving home, leaving me 20 steps shy of 4700.

Total steps: 28,476

Daily average: 4068

Yuletide Greetings

We wrap up the year with looks back to a four different trips to the Florida, the Sunshine State.  Starting clockwise from the top left, we have sign to orient us as being in Florida, Angelina, Danny, and Michael posing with Phineas and Ferb from our 2013 trip to Disney World to celebrate Angelina’s 8th grade graduation, Angelina in front of the castle in Magic Kingdom from our one day jaunt to Disney World to celebrate her high school graduation, Danny and Michael trying to get their wands to trigger actions in Diagon Alley at Universal from our 2016 trip to celebrate Danny’s 8th grade graduation, Danny trying to get in to Disney World after breaking the scanning machine in 2013, Angelina, Danny, and Michael posing with the conductor of Hogwart’s Express from our 2010 Thanksgiving trip to Universal, and, finally, with Angelina, Danny, and Michael drying off after a ride or two on Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls.

RIP LaMarr Hoyt

Former White Sox pitcher LaMarr Hoyt passed away yesterday at age 66 following a bout with cancer.  He led the 1983 White Sox to their first division title, going 24-10 and walking a mere 31 batters in 260+ innings pitched while winning the Cy Young Award.  He was traded to the Padres following the 1984 season, bringing back a package that included a young shortstop named Ozzie Guillen.  Less than three years later, and following four drug arrests, he was out of baseball for good.

Book 48 (of 52) – Fallen

Fallen – Karin Slaughter

In Fallen, the fifth entry in Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent series and my sixth overall, one of GBI’s own is under attack.  When Faith Mitchell arrives at her mother’s home following a morning training session, she finds intruders in the home and her mother gone.  Her partner, Will Trent, investigates the case, suspecting the disappearance is tied to his investigation of Faith’s mother’s unit years ago, which led to her retirement and the members of her squad going to jail.  Working with his boss, who is also Faith’s mother’s best friend, Will has to stitch the pieces together before the supposed gang war that has surrounded the case takes another victim.

Slaughter fully integrates her two series with this entry, as Sara Linton, from the Grant County series, becomes romantically entangled with Will.  I’ve got two more books to read before I’m back in line with the series’ chronology.  With them sitting on the Kindle, I’m sure I will get to them in due time, as this has quickly become one of my favorite series.

 

Prolific Authors – 14 Books

Way back in December of 2011 (and again every other December since), we’ve taken a look at the authors I have read the most, dating back to high school.  This year, since I’ve far surpassed my reading output of any year on record, I thought it would be nice to take a deeper dive into those books I’ve read through August. Since our last check-in, I’ve read an additional 60 books from 54 different authors. There shouldn’t be much movement over the past 2 years, but it’s time to take another look and see if my “favorite” authors have changed much in that time span.  We continue today with the two authors I’ve read 14 times.

Jeffery Deaver

In 1999, the first entry of Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series, The Bone Collector, was adapted into a film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.  Around that time, I picked up a paperback copy, which I read in 2000.  I slowly added additional titles as I would find them as remainders, picking up new hard covers for $3 or $4.

The Vanished Man – Jeffery Deaver

Things increased in 2015, when I started picking up titles on deals through the Amazon Kindle store, leading to 10 additional books added to my read bookshelf, with The Cold Moon being the most recent prior to the start of this countdown.

Stephen King

I first read King’s work during my freshman year of high school.  In fact, I remember reading Pet Sematary after finishing my Biology final at the end of freshman year, waiting for the class to be dismissed.  My total reached 9 novels by 1993, but then college and other pursuits got in the way and King fell out of my favor.

Stephen King – 11/22/63

That changed in 2012, when the release of 11/22/63 brought me back in to the King fold.  I’ve added 5 of his more current work, most of which has been through the Hard Case Crime imprint, which limited, but did not completely remove, the horror elements.

By The Numbers – 30

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #30.  76 different players have donned #30 while playing in Chicago, 32 for the White Sox and 44 for the Cubs, who have retired it for two different players.

Signed by the White Sox as an amateur free agent in 1991, Magglio Ordonez made his major league debut wearing #30 on August 29, 1997, going 2-3 in the interleague victory against the Astros at Comiskey Park.  He became the regular right fielder for the White Sox in 1998, appearing in 145 games and finishing the year with a .282 average, 14 home runs, and 65 RBIs, good enough to finish in 5th place in AL Rookie of the Year voting.  1999 was a breakout year for Ordonez, earning his first All Star selection and finishing the year hitting .301 with 30 home runs, 117 RBIs, and an OPS of .858.

Ordonez’s hot streak continued in to 2000, putting up a .315 average with 32 home runs and 126 RBIs as the White Sox won their first division title since 1993.  While the White Sox failed to replicate their success in 2001, Ordonez kept up his end of the bargain, earning his third straight All Star nod and hitting .305 with 31 home runs, 113 RBIs, and a .914 OPS.  2002 was the his best season to date, setting career highs with a .320 average, 47 doubles, 38 home runs, 135 RBIs, and a .978 OPS while finishing in 8th place for MVP voting and earning his second Silver Slugger award.

2003 was another excellent year for Ordonez.  He was named to his fourth All Star team, going 0-1 in his home stadium of US Cellular Field, and finished the year hitting .317 with 29 home runs and 99 RBIs.  His 2004 season was on track to match his career norms when, during the May 19 game against the Indians, he collided with second baseman Willie Harris on Omar Vizquel’s popup to right field.  Two trips to the disabled list and two surgeries on his left knee later, his season was over after only 52 games.  Following the season, he became a free agent and his White Sox career came to an end.

On the north side, Steve Stone was assigned #30 after being acquired from the White Sox in December of 1973.  Over three seasons with the Cubs, Stone went a combined 23-20 with a 4.04 ERA.  His 1976 season was cut short due to a torn rotator cuff, which he decided to treat with cryotherapy rather than surgery.

Against The Rockies All Time Leaders – Through 2021

rockiesIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams.  This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs.  We continue today with the Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies began life in 1993, joining the National League along with the then-Florida Marlins.  I saw them for the first time in 2002, as they came to town to battle the Cubs.  Since then, I’ve seen them 15 additional times, most recently in the 2018 Wild Card game.

Home Runs

Name Total
Todd Walker 2
15 tied with 1

Hits

Name Total
Derrek Lee 10
Alfonso Soriano 8
Aramis Ramirez 6
Corey Patterson 6
Mike Fontenot 6

Runs

Name Total
Derrek Lee 6
Alfonso Soriano 5
Ryan Theriot 5

RBI

Name Total
Aramis Ramirez 6
Alfonso Soriano 4
Mark DeRosa 4
Jeromy Burnitz 4

Doubles

Name Total
Aramis Ramirez 3
Mike Fontenot 3
Corey Patterson 2

Triples Continue reading →

2022 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Holdovers

Earlier this week, the BBWAA released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2022.  The results of the vote are due to be revealed on January 25th, with induction taking place July 24th.  After nobody was elected in last year’s voting, the new ballot contains 17 holdovers along with 13 newcomers.  With this being the last go-around for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa, all of whom are tainted by PEDs, and Curt Schilling, who is an ass, we may see the logjam caused by the current BBWAA rules, which limit the number of votes on one ballot to 10, and the ongoing refusal by some writers to vote for players tainted by PEDs, leaving too many qualified candidates fighting for limited spots, come to an end.

Let’s take a look at the returning candidates today before moving on to the newcomers.

Bobby Abreu
Years on ballot: 2
2021 Percentage: 8.7

A small 3.2% increase for Abreu, but I wouldn’t be making any travel plans to Cooperstown if I were him.

Barry Bonds
Years on ballot: 9
2021 Percentage: 61.8

I just can’t see the all time home run champion getting the increase he will need in his final shot with the baseball writers.

Mark Buehrle
Years on ballot: 1
2021 Percentage: 11.0

The former White Sox hurler picked up a surprisingly healthy amount of support in his first go-around.  I don’t expect he’ll make it, but I feel better about his chances to stay on the ballot than I did last year.

Roger Clemens
Years on ballot: 9
2021 Percentage: 61.6

Roger Clemens, he of the 354 career victories and 7 Cy Young awards, is likely to join Bonds on the outside looking in after his last run through this particular gauntlet.  Especially since, after many years of getting marginally more support than Bonds, they flipped spots last year.

Todd Helton
Years on ballot: 3
2021 Percentage: 44.9

A big 15.7% increase has Helton moving on the right track, as voters remember that it isn’t his fault he played in Colorado.

Tim Hudson
Years on ballot: 1
2021 Percentage: 5.2

The lowest vote getter to return for another shot, I imagine he’ll get a little more support, but not much.

Torii Hunter
Years on ballot: 1
2021 Percentage: 9.5

Things do not look good for the long time Twin and Angel.

Andruw Jones
Years on ballot: 4
2021 Percentage: 33.9

If voters were to stick to his first 11 seasons, Jones looks like a shoe-in for the Hall.  His last 7 seasons, though, were so bad that it makes it hard to consider him.  Despite a 14.5% increase in votes, those final seasons seem to be holding sway.

Jeff Kent
Years on ballot: 8
2021 Percentage: 32.4

Continue reading →

Book 47 (of 52) – Someone Else’s Secret

Someone Else’s Secret – Julia Spiro

After graduating college with no job prospects, Lindsey, who has very large breasts, agrees to spend the summer on Martha’s Vineyard as a nanny in the hopes of meeting the right people and securing a job in the art world.  With the summer winding down and having landed the job she was hoping for, everything comes crashing down when something happens to Lindsey, who, again, has large breasts, and is witnessed by Georgie, daughter of the family she has been nannying for.  10 years later, Georgie finds she can no longer keep what she saw secret, reconnecting with Lindsey and trying to right the wrongs of a summer that impacted them both.

Someone Else’s Secret, the debut novel from Julia Spiro, must have been part of Amazon’s First Reads program at some point, so at least I know I didn’t pay anything for it.  She could have paid more heed to the Chekov’s gun principle, which states that every element in a story must be necessary, and irrelevant elements should be removed.  Irrelevant elements like the size of the protagonist’s breasts, which was mentioned numerous times throughout the book, only to learn in the time jump that she had undergone a reduction.  Had you dropped the entire plotline, if you can call it that, of her breasts, you’d have the exact same story told in probably 5-10 fewer pages.  I think what she was going for was the thought that large breasts were inherently sexualized, and, as a result of the <spoilers> rape, Lindsey’s character had turned away from that part of her life and reducing her breasts thus reduced the sexual part of her life.  But, that is contradicted by the numerous thoughts the Lindsey character had about her breasts prior to the rape. </spoilers>

At the end of the day, Spiro put together a perfectly readable tale, but not one that puts her on the “must check out again” list.  There is certainly talent here, but I don’t know that I’ll see if it gets focused into something better her next time out.