Breaking Down the Baseball Hall of Fame 2013 Ballot: A Lack of Results

Earlier today, the BBWAA made a strong statement regarding the Steroid Era by choosing not to elect a single member to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In the process, they also rejected 37 candidates for election to the Hall.

You might say that those two statements are one and the same. Well, after doing some thinking about the subject, analyzing several differing articles and opinions online, and drawing my own conclusions (opinions, I realize, but opinions grounded in educated facts), it is my conclusion that the two are unrelated.

Allow me to explain.

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Recorded Conversations: New Favorites from 2012

Welcome to “Recorded Conversations,” an occasional feature where all the Addison Recorder editors contribute their thoughts about a question, idea, or prompt. Everyone will chime in, and then we see where the conversation wanders.

To ring in the New Year on the Recorder, we look to our recent past and ask “What new thing (or things) that you discovered in 2012 has become one of your favorites?”


I’ll be honest right off the bat: 2012 sucked. Well, sucked might be too strong of a word, but it was less than I would have hoped for.

With that being said, I did get to experience a great many new things, and enjoyed most (if not all) of them. One thing I’ve noticed while reading Alex’s and Andrew’s responses is that while we’ve all experienced a great deal of the new over the last year, a great deal of it is centered in our love of all-things nostalgia. And there is nothing wrong with this; there is so much amazing output of artists in any given year, it is utterly impossible to take it all in, let alone the works that were put out in years prior. One of our missions here at the Addison Recorder is to highlight works that we feel might not get their proper praise, while illuminating more popular works in a way that they might not have been properly exposed in modern media culture.

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Breaking Down the Baseball Hall of Fame 2013 Ballot Part 3: Once and Future Kings


The wonderful, and terrible, about the Baseball Hall of Fame is that it inspires instant debate and conjecture about the relative worthiness of present-day players for consideration. All it takes is ten seasons of play to be eligible for the ballot, though you do have to be nominated by two members of the committee in order to receive such a distinction. As we’ve seen with the current edition of the ballot, this is more often than not the hardest honor to receive (Rondell White, you guys!). I would like to make a note that it is, in fact, a great honor just to be on the ballot, and means that you must have done something of note during your ten years in the leagues.

The problem with projecting players into Hall of Fame consideration is that a great deal of it is based upon forecasting statistics, which necessarily requires throwing several tangible and intangible factors out of the window. A player might get horribly injured, losing his fastball; a player might prematurely age, losing his ability to catch up to a fastball; Albert Pujols might get traded to the Rockies, leading to a gabillionty more home runs than he would have otherwise hit.*

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Breaking Down the Baseball Hall of Fame 2013 Ballot Part 2: The New Blood

A good portion of my reasoning for breaking down the Hall of Fame ballot this year (beyond providing reasonable analysis for all twenty of our devoted Recorder readers) is strongly driven by nostalgia. Ballots from the past years have slowly started featuring the players that I identified with growing up (Barry Larkin! Barry Larkin! Barry Larkin!), and when I look over the names appearing on this ballot for the first time, the realization strikes me that I was up in arms about every single one of the players for one reason or another. Whether it was making cracks about Julio Franco’s age while he was still producing at a reasonable clip for the Braves or wondering exactly how many Flintstone’s Vitamins I would have needed to take to look like Sammy Sosa (Answer: All of them, only replace chewable vitamins with testosterone pills shaped like Dino the Dinosaur.), these are the players of my youth, and a sign that we are all sure as shootin’ getting older. Call it the Boys of Summer Effect.

Which is why the fact that these are the ballots the Steroid Era is mildly upsetting to me.

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Breaking Down the Baseball Hall of Fame 2013 Ballot Part 1: The Old-Blood

The NFL Hall of Fame is in Canton. The museum is rather fun, and the hall enshrining the individual busts of players past and present is appropriately filled with dim lighting. It’s like an old gallery of ancient Rome, if all Romans were hulked-out on ‘roids, overweight, or just downright psychotic. (Maybe not too big a stretch to think about.) The Naismith Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame is somewhere in Massachusetts, and should receive a great deal of credit for enshrining, well, everybody. That being said, the Hall itself leaves much to be desired. I hear that the NHL has a Hall of Fame, where they can someday lay the carcass of the NHL when the sport’s owners have finished pilfering the body for vital organs and valuables. And let’s not get started on golf.

In all of American sports, there is only one Hall of Fame that truly weighs heavily over the entire sport that it is devoted to, a grand building situated in an idyllic town in upstate New York that can only be reached by driving through rolling hills and leafy forests. It is one hour from any major airport and features one massive hotel; there are more than enough accommodations in small cabins and bed and breakfasts surrounding the beautiful lake, as well as wide array of museums and small town charm. (I once took part in a peaceful protest against the Iraq War out front of the local post office!)

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Conference Realignment, or, How I Learned to Stop Caring and Hate the Future

As I write this, players wearing maize and blue and scarlet and grey are stretching and warming up inside Ohio Stadium. Unsurprisingly, this means I am quite nervous and keyed up since The Game is only fifty minutes from kickoff. The annual contest between Michigan and Ohio State goes back over a century and has filled the intervening decades with jaw-dropping plays, gut-check defensive stands, and thrilling wins (or embittering defeats) for both sides. Bound up in this end of the year game is a wealth of feelings: regional animus, cultural identity, and the simple matter of bragging rights that mean something. It’s everything that is right and good about college football.

I am not here to write about everything that is right and good about college football, though. Instead, what I want to talk about is the business of college football. Earlier this week the Big Ten Conference announced two new additions to its membership starting in 2014: the University of Maryland will leave the ACC and Rutgers University will leave the Big East to become the 13th and 14th members of the alliance still known as the Big Ten (I’m not even going to touch that particular bit of…math). These moves are only the latest in a 3-year long cycle of schools moving from conference to conference in a dizzying cycle of realignment.
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Something’s Fishy in Miami: An Addison Recorder Editorial

It feels like the baseball season ended (months ago) just yesterday, but already the winter spree of free agency and mega-trades has begun. Torii Hunter will now roam (right/left) field for the Tigers, while David “Who?” Ross has joined the Red Sox as their back-up catcher.

All right, it was a slow week for news. Beyond that election thing and some football nonsense.

However, it’s never too early in the season for a Major League franchise to make professional fools of themselves.

Currently, the Miami (Florida) Marlins have completed a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays that would give the Marlins shortstop Yunel Escobar and a small horde of prospects in exchange for the contracts of shortstop Jose Reyes, the expiring contract of John Buck, utility speedster Emilio Bonafacio, starting pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buerhle, mascot Billy the Marlin, three cases of Louisville Sluggers (weighted 34 ounces), a couple of boxes of pirogues, and a cast recording of “Sunday in the Park with George” from 1985, featuring Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patimkin.

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The Tragedy of Narrative: World Series 2012 Game Four Recap; PLUS 2012 MLB Awards Wrap-Up

As October turns into November, so yet another baseball season draws to an unspectacular conclusion. (What makes it unspectacular? Well, this particular World Series does, as well as anything that involves the Yankees winning. But that’s besides the point.) Now we turn to the inevitable stream of awards and hardware handed out to assuage the fragile egos of many a ballplayer, as well as to celebrate what went right for so many teams and what went wrong for all but one of them.

When last we left the World Series recap, the Giants had just gone up 3 games to zip-zada-zero on the Tigers, with imminent demise highly foreseeable for the boys from Detroit. Once again, I was at work during the majority (i.e. all) of Game Four, yet with the game featured on the big screen televisions in the bar at which I work. I did manage to see Miguel Cabrera’s home run that gave the Tigers their first (First!) lead of the Series, followed by raucous celebration from the Detroit fans.

And then the channel was switched over to showcase some football game featuring the New Orleans Downtrodden and the Surgically Prepared Monster that is FrankenManning.

Sigh. So much for prescient analysis.


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A Certain Certainty of Fate: World Series 2012 Game Three Recap

The World Series returned to Detroit for the first time since 2006 (back in the days when The Office and How I Met Your Mother weren’t hollow shells of themselves, and before we knew that Daniel Day-Lewis would, in fact, drink your milkshake) not with a bang, but a whimper. And what a whimper it was. Unfortunately, owing to commitments elsewhere (Recorder Halloween Party 2012?), I was unable to observe and comment upon the actual nature and intrinsic shape of the game. Things would have been different if one of the members of the staff were not only historically adverse to the sport of baseball, but also hosting the party. I’m sure there’s a provision about this in Robert’s Rules, and thus it went unchallenged. Consequently, I only witnessed brief snippets of the game last night.

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Ye Gods!: World Series Game 2 Recap

They say that the Christian God is an impartial deity. However, this leaves room for the gods of sport to make their influence known as they see put. And in this World Series, it would seem that the baseball gods are Giants fans.

There is much to talk about from Game 2. Specifically Madison Bumgarner pulling a Barry Zito and letting his postseason problems fall to the wayside with a dominating seven inning performance. Shutting out the Tigers is no small change, even given Detroit’s extended layoff. Though he never threw harder than 92 mph, Bumgarner gave the Tigers’ hitters fits all night long. In addition, his pitching through the 7th inning allowed Tim Lincecum to obtain crucial rest, leaving him able to start Game 4 or 5 if manager Bruce Bochy deems it necessary. (Yes, yes, the more dominant of the two bullpens is now fully rested. This should be followed by the hash-tag #firstworldproblems)

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