The disappointment/furor/confusion/schadenfreude of the Hall of Fame has almost burnt out, so it's a good time for sober assessments to get their due attention.
Over at Baseball Nation, Rob Neyer outlined the range of ways voters could reasonably interpret the Steroid Era, which just goes to show how complicated the whole process is. It's a good post, and the comments are even better, with disparate opinions vigorously debated, but without the hysteria that makes the once-fun ritual of Hall of Fame debates such a drag nowadays.
(I'm between Category 3 and Category 4 myself.)
Mark McGuire, my colleague at my day job, made the 80-minute drive to Cooperstown to talk to merchants and other commerce leaders about the impact of the shutout.
Jeff Katz is a Seamhead, a nickname given to writers for the baseball website Seamheads.com. "The idea that the Hall of Fame is not a place for Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens is absurd to me," he said. (Both were among the list of players shunned in Wednesday's vote.)
Katz is also the mayor of Cooperstown.
"It makes for a difficult summer," Katz said of the absence of latter-day stars, explaining that they would have drawn a contingent of their fans to the induction ceremony if they'd made the cut.
Without them, locals realize the summer season could be bleak.
(In that context, Mayor of Cooperstown almost sounds fictional, like the Mayor of Television. In either case, "Here's to future nostalgia!" is a fine mission statement.)
While Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson makes a couple appearances in McGuire's article, he's front and center with Joe Posnanski. When he says "We have tremendous faith in the writers' process," I read that as similar to a vote of confidence for an about-to-be-fired coach. Here's hoping.
My favorite part might be the first comment:
Hurray for The Process! I can't wait to cheer for another season of The Process. I think The Process has a fine lineup, some good prospects, and this could be its finest year yet. You should see all of my The Process t-shirts.
On FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver breaks down the havoc wreaked on the ballot by conflicted voters. At the very end, he calls Greg Maddux the only lock, for those of us who are keeping track of Frank Thomas' prospects.
Kenny Lofton was one of the biggest victims of The Process. He had a case worthy of consideration, but instead he suffered Lou Whitaker's fate and fell off the ballot after only one year. He might have built a better case had he not played basketball for Lute Olson at the University of Arizona, as it set back his development a little bit. Then again, that he made up so much ground in a hurry makes his story better.
Major League Baseball will be the first major sport to conduct unannounced blood testing for HGH, and they're also going to keep a database of players' testosterone ratios in order to have more solid and less contestable baseline levels.
Dan Hayes talks about the success of the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation, a non-profit that assists scouts in need. The foundation was established 10 years ago by a group including Dennis Gilbert (special assistant to Jerry Reinsdorf), Dave Yoakum (special assistant to the GM) and Roland Hemond, as they saw older scouts falling on hard times when front offices shifted younger.
And hey, I might need to see another movie: