Facts and figures about the #HOF2016

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The debates have raged on, and now it’s almost time to find out who will be part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2016 class.

The results of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting will be announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com today at 6 p.m. ET, with coverage beginning at 3 p.m.

Here is a look at some notable facts and figures that put this year’s ballot in the context of Hall of Fame history.

• The BBWAA elected three players in 2014 (Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas) and four last year (Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz), the most over a two-year span since 1954-55. The record is eight, set in the inaugural elections of 1936-37. If the BBWAA picks at least three candidates this year, the total of 10 players over three years would set a new record, passing 1936-38 and 1954-56, which had nine apiece.

• There are 15 players who are in their first year on the ballot in 2016, including Ken Griffey Jr., Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner and Jim Edmonds. In Hall of Fame history, 50 players have been elected in their first year, not counting Lou Gehrig and Roberto Clemente, neither of whom went through the traditional process. At least one first-year player has been picked in eight of the past 14 elections. While none made it from 2010-13, there have been a total of six over the past two years: Glavine, Maddux, Thomas, Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz.

• The other 17 players on the ballot range from their second year (Nomar Garciaparra and Gary Sheffield) to their 15th (Alan Trammell). In the past, the BBWAA has elected 67 players after their first year of eligibility, with the most common year being the third year (11). The most recent examples include Biggio last year, Barry Larkin in 2012 and Ryne Sandberg in ’05. The ’16 ballot includes two third-year candidates: Jeff Kent (14.0 percent of the vote in ’15) and Mike Mussina (24.6 percent).

Duquette on 2016 HOF ballot

• Griffey appears to have a chance at becoming the BBWAA’s first unanimous Hall of Fame selection. Tom Seaver holds the current record for greatest support, as he received 98.84 percent of the vote in 1992, appearing on 425 of 430 ballots. Thirty players have reached 90 percent, including Johnson (97.27) and Martinez (91.07) last year.

• If Griffey is elected, he would be the first center fielder since Kirby Puckett in 2001. That’s the longest active drought for any of the 10 positions, including designated hitter. Catcher and first base are tied for the second-longest drought, going back to Gary Carter and Eddie Murray in 2003, but those also could be broken this year by Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell. If Edgar Martinez is elected, he would be the second DH to get to Cooperstown, with the other being Thomas in 2014.

• Of the players who fell short of induction last year, Piazza came the closest to the 75-percent threshold, at 69.9 percent. The next two on the list were Bagwell (55.7 percent) and Tim Raines (55 percent), who this year are looking to join a list of only eight men who have been elected by making a jump of 20 percent or more from one year to the next, without the benefit of a runoff election. The most recent example is Joe Cronin, who received 53.8 percent of the vote in 1955, then got in with 78.8 percent in ’56, his 10th year on the ballot.

• If one or more of those players joins Griffey in the class of 2016, it would be the first time that multiple hitters but no pitchers were elected by the BBWAA since ’09 (Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice). With five pitchers getting to Cooperstown over the past two years, the hurler with the most support remaining on the ballot is Curt Schilling, who received 39.2 percent in 2015.

• There are 49 Hall of Famers who have spent their entire Major League career with one team. If elected, Bagwell would be the 50th, joining his longtime Astros teammate Biggio, who became No. 49 last year.

• If Raines is elected, he would figure to go into the Hall as a member of the Montreal Expos, with whom he spent 13 seasons. That would make him the first BBWAA-elected player to represent a team that is no longer active since Andre Dawson also went in with an Expos cap on his plaque in 2010. The only other player wearing an Expos hat on his plaque is Gary Carter (2003).

• At age 44, Pedro Martinez (born Oct. 25, 1971) is currently the youngest of the 68 living members of the Hall of Fame. Nine players on this year’s ballot are younger: Garret Anderson, Luis Castillo, David Eckstein, Garciaparra, Troy Glaus, Mike Hampton, Jason Kendall, Mike Sweeney and Randy Winn. The oldest living Hall of Famer in history is 97-year-old Bobby Doerr, who was born April 7, 1918.

Source: Facts and figures about the Hall of Fame | MLB.com

#Epiphany, the #HOF2016 vote, and Other Dregs

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Like Drunken Sailors in Hong Kong:

Sunday, at the DiRT Canon Safehouse was filled with football junkies and whorish people from Texas who were eager to gamble feverishly on every game being played anywhere, including whatever came up on replays. “I came here to get it on,” said a cranked-up lawyer from Houston. “This party starts now!” It was 2 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon, and these rubes were already acting like drunken sailors in Hong Kong.

I was not prepared for this kind of situation, but I found it hard to resist. Impossible, in fact, so I quickly caved in and went back to put on my traditional gambling suit — a blue silk blazer with Arabian pajama pants and a woolly pig-tail wig of unborn dog skin.

By the time I returned to the kitchen, the Seattle-Arizona game was under way, and green money was already changing hands. It was like walking into a cockfight. People were screaming at each other and waving fistfuls of sweaty American dollars. A rich smell of fireball-whiskey and peppermint schnapps hung in the air, and even women were smoking cigars. Yes sir, I said to myself, this is my kind of room.

And you too can have that kind of experience…Soon, as Mark Cuban believes, because Fantasy Sports, e-sports, virtual reality and gambling are inevitable, as well as soon-to-be-legalized – in an interview he did for Fortune magazine.


Follow The Trail…

There still seem to be more questions than answers when it comes to Charles Sly admitting he made everything up, to a journalistic question of ethics of a story that on the surface seems fabricated.  Unless you look deeper. Michael Powell of the New York Times attempts to do that in this article.  Ryan Zimmerman is considering a lawsuit, as is rumor of others that were named – but until that actually happens….The point is, we have seen enough smoke signals from our professional athletes over the years that turned into Forest-Fires.  Guess we’ll see.

+ Also, ESPN writer Rambles About Peyton Manning


 What #NBA Teams Should Start Tanking

As Michael Pina explains from Sports On Earth: We’re over two months into the NBA season, and in some ways the league’s landscape is very different from what most of us envisioned back in October. But, big picture, all the relevant cement is nearly dry: Four (maaaybe five) teams can win the championship, three teams definitely won’t survive beyond the mandated 82 games and everyone else dances in a relatively hopeful purgatory.

There’s nothing wrong with a postseason appearance being enough to satiate ambition; for the most part, playoff berths are at worst a face-saving gesture and at best a symbolic step in the right direction for several middle-class organizations that badly need to display some linear progress. But foresight is crucial for every franchise, and the draft makes them all (outside Brooklyn) come to terms with who, where and what they are in 2016.

Self-evaluation can be hard, but it’s never not important. Here are seven teams that should/will/did throw in the towel.

Continue Reading: Which NBA teams should start tanking this season?


#MLB #HOF2016 Ballot

I’m sure after tonight, there will be someone that gets into the HOF that will chap my a$$.  For now, let’s just hold our collective-breaths and hope the wet-heads in charge get it right. Until then let’s read some pontification from other guys and their ballot thoughts.

+ Kevin Davidoff: My MLB Hall of Fame ballot: Ignore the rumors and whispers

+ Brian Kenny: First-ballot HOF candidates stack up well.


Embrace the Disgrace

If you just bought a Major League Baseball team and you had to start your team with the remaining free-agents – How many would you sign?  That’s the question Anthony McCarron wants to know as he breaks down the 12 best remaining free-agents in baseball.  Alex Gordon has just resigned with the Royals for somewhere near $72m – for me I’m taking a serious look at Cespedes in my outfield.  What say you?


Winner – winner chicken dinner – by 18!