The BBWAA released its 2013 Hall of Fame ballot on Wednesday afternoon, and the discussion surrounding it -- once an enjoyable process -- is going to be a rhetorical gulag for the next several weeks because of these new names: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa.
There are undoubtedly a few moral quandaries to navigate in voting for players who are tied to PED usage. Do you use the elementary logic line of "Winners never cheat, and cheaters never win," or were the players OK in abiding to MLB's blind-eye policy in the pursuit of winning? There are Hall of Fame players who used the PEDs of their day, so why are they in the clear? Do you try to discern a player's true talent from any drug-fueled performance boost, which might separate a Bonds from a Sosa?
These are tough questions, and as a supporter of the museum, the library, and the upstate New York economy, I think it's worth serious consideration and discussion. I lean toward voting for performance and letting the Hall sort out the posterity lessons, but I understand that it doesn't feel great to give a player's estate the financial boost of the "Hall of Fame" stamp when he might have already built a fortune with the help of PEDs, while other players with more scruples may have missed out on that kind of security.
That kind of discourse is valuable. But right now, we have to withstand trolling from alleged professionals like the Tribune's Philip Hersh:
Oh, the joy I will have snubbing Sosa, Bonds and Clemens (plus McGwire and Palmeiro, natch) on my HoF ballot.— Philip Hersh (@olyphil) November 28, 2012
I have a ballot because I covered baseball for nearly 20 years.And I'm keeping it just to vote against the druggies.— Philip Hersh (@olyphil) November 28, 2012
Oh, the joy I am having over so many undies being tied in knots.— Philip Hersh (@olyphil) November 28, 2012
And Ray Ratto, whose sentiment I understand, isn't doing any real favors, either.
YOU DON’T WORK FOR BASEBALL! YOU ARE NOT GUARDIANS OF THE GAME! IT IS NEITHER YOUR JOB, YOUR RESPONSIBILITY OR EVEN YOUR RIGHT TO KEEP THE GAME PURE OF MISCREANTS WHEN IT SHOWS EVERY DAY THAT IT DOESN’T WANT TO BE!
And might I add:
YOU SILLY SELF-DELUDED BASTARDS!
Sigh. Vote Royce Clayton.
And speaking of frustrating aspects of Hall of Fame business, Rob Neyer outlines all the various ways the incarnations of the Veterans Committee have been unable to get a surefire Hall of Famer on the wall.
For those of you going to SoxFest, here's the updated list of important people at the Palmer House Hilton.
Current team members: Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, Gavin Floyd, Adam Dunn, Addison Reed, Chris Sale, Robin Ventura, Harold Baines.
Broadcasters: Ed Farmer, Darrin Jackson, Hawk Harrelson, Steve Stone.
Former players: Ron Kittle, Carlos May, Tom Paciorek, Joe Crede, Jermaine Dye, Jack McDowell, Aaron Rowand and Frank Thomas.
- White Sox tempted to promote prospect Sanchez - CSN Chicago
- Morel getting back to health this offseason - whitesox.com
It sounds like sanity is going to win out, as Buddy Bell says there "isn't any question" that the Sox will delay Carlos Sanchez's arrival. Meanwhile, Brent Morel continues to battle against people forgetting about him, and Scott Merkin provides some details on the nature of Morel's back problems:
A recommendation from his representatives at Sosnick-Cobbe Sports sent Morel this offseason to Sparta Performance/Science, a training group in California that had great success working with numerous other injured athletes. Through forced plate technology, where Morel does a vertical leap off a plate in the ground, they were able to pinpoint Morel's problem.
His back issue ultimately centered on trunk stability.
Over at FanGraphs, Wendy Thurm itemizes each team's TV deal to see which franchises have a leg up. The White Sox are square in the middle, and although Thurm doesn't have the expiration date of the White Sox's deal with Comcast, Ed Sherman at Crain's Chicago Business said it ends in 2019.
- Rating the players (and contracts) in Major League Baseball, Part 1 - Grantland
- Rating the players (and contracts) in Major League Baseball, Part 2 - Grantland
It's Bill Simmons' site, so Jonah Keri is free to mimic The Sports Guy's gimmick and rank the top 50 MLB players according to their trade value. He rates Chris Sale higher than I expected, mainly because he uses the "ace" label. I'm much more hesitant to apply that label to Sale, not because of talent, but because he's never thrown 200 innings in a season, and I consider that a prerequisite.
- The 10 best pitches of 2012 (Part 1) - Baseball Nation
- The 10 best pitches of 2012 (part II) - Baseball Nation
Grant Brisbee prefaces this list by saying, "If your favorite pitcher isn't on this list, it's because I hate your team." So he hates the White Sox, but still, plenty of fun GIFs of really nasty pitches.
The Braves and B.J. Upton are set to seal a five-year, $75.25 million deal, which might help to break up the logjam and start the wheeling and dealing season in earnest.
- Glass willing to spend more than $70 million on Royals’ payroll - KansasCity.com
- Rumors And Repercussions - Rany on the Royals
- Royals "Calling Everyone" To Trade Hochevar & Chen: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com
David Glass is opening up his Wal-Mart pockets for the Royals' payroll, but many are rightfully skeptical that he would be losing money on the team with a payroll higher than $70 million. That said, they're still trying to add a high-impact starter, and shedding Luke Hochevar and/or Bruce Chen would give them a little more flexibility in doing so. Rany Jazayerli is just dreading a trade that sends Wil Myers to get that deal done.
SB Nation released a whole bunch of changes on the mobile version, mostly centering on condensing the design to move what you want to read closer to the top, and closer together.