1. Jim Rice is the 21st player to win over 70% of votes in the Hall of Fame balloting but fall short of the 75% needed for election. The other 20 players have all ended up in Cooperstown. (Bugs and Cranks has a great rant on the caprice of BBWAA members and the mysterious rise—and occasional fall—of HOF-eligible players’ vote totals.) Rice has the support of this year’s only inductee, Goose Gossage: “I think Jim Rice does belong in the Hall of Fame. No hitter scared me, but Jim Rice came the closest.” As for Nick’s contention that Rice has no place in the Hall, I clearly disagree. But Nick’s post has convinced me that Dwight Evans belongs in Cooperstown as well, something I was on the fence about previously. Come on, Veterans Comittee!

2. What with all the Roger Clemens coverage, the NFL playoffs, and this little election-thingy going on right now, you might have missed this story, but the new Yankee Stadium is going to cost New York taxpayers a pretty penny—including $70 million for free VIP valet parking. Even more irksome to New Yorkers, while the poobahs will get 40 years of parking courtesy of the taxpayers, Joe Yankeefan will still have to pay out of his own pocket. That’s preposterous. However, I must throw cold water on the notion that fans are being gouged by a rate increase from $14 to $17 this year, and again to $19 at the new stadium in 2009, and up to $35 bucks by 2014. Most of the parking at Fenway is already at least $30. Yankee fans, suck it up.

MMMMMMMM.3. After a successful workout for several teams in LA and offers from “three or four” clubs, Gabe Kapler has chosen to play for the Brewers next year. He’ll get 800k. Kapler managed Boston’s Single A affiliate last year to an uninspiring record of 58-81.

“Gabe brings versatility and athleticism to the outfield position,” said Brewers GM Doug Melvin. “He has always been a great teammate and possesses the determination to bounce back and become a valuable player to our club.”

This also elevates the already impressive hotness quotient of the Milwaukee Brewers, who field such eye candy as dreamy-eyed third baseman Ryan Braun and cutie-patootie Prince Fielder.

4. Also in the former-Red-Sox-making-a-comeback category, MLBTradeRumors reports that at least the Diamondbacks will be watching as Keith Foulke throws later this month. As for the idea that Foulke “may have special interest in” the Red Sox, I can guarantee right now that the Red Sox will not have any interest, special or otherwise, in Keith Foulke, who is (perhaps unfairly) less remembered for being part of the 2004 championship team than for being the perennially injured and ineffective closer of ’05 and ’06, speaking dismissively of Red Sox fans as “Johnny from Burger King” types that meant nothing to him, licking his World Series ring with groupies, and for (allegedly) sleeping with one of the Red Sox ball girls, (allegedly) in the clubhouse no less, and (allegedly) getting caught in flagrante delicto by Dawn Timlin, who (allegedly) promptly told Mrs. Foulke, who (most definitely) demanded a divorce.

5. Just to go back to the Hall of Fame for a minute, I would like to personally apologize to Goose Gossage. No, I don’t have a Hall of Fame vote. But I do have an Unfortunate Facial Hair vote. And there is absolutely no excuse for me to have overlooked Goose’s contributions in the field of facial hair when I wrote this retrospective of the fu manchu. Clearly, Gossage had a historic impact on the place of the distinctive moustache in baseball lore, and I was remiss not to formally recognize this sooner. I’m sure Goose will be as thrilled to be included in our UFH category as he is to be elected into Cooperstown. “It was very emotional I’ll tell you, off the charts. I can’t describe the feeling.” Yes, Goose, I’m sure. Only the lucky and the few get such recognition. But are you sure you really can’t describe how it felt? “A shock wave went through my body like an anvil just fell on my head.” On second thought, I think maybe calling it indescribable was fine.

12 Responses to “Random tidbits of a Wednesday morning”

  1. I think Bud Selig should have done everything in his power to leave people with the impression that the investigation was done openly and honestly. And instead he picked an investigator with a clear conflict of interest. I don’t give a crap that Mitchell wasn’t on the Sox payroll during the 20 months he led the investigation. He was on the payroll before the investigation and he’ll be on the payroll again.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    Coley, I agreed in the post that it was a clear conflict of interest. Your comment might have been more pertinent 20 months ago, when Mitchell was named. But now, given the information in the report and the way in which it was gathered, do you or do you not think it’s biased? Don’t just dance around that question by bashing Selig. We all love bashing Selig.

  3. I think the report could be biased, but I don’t know for sure. The worst thing about Mitchell’s expose is that it anecdotally names some players, many w/NY connections, because the two primary sources were w/the Yanks and Mets. But what about other players and the activities in non-New York clubhouses? I’m not saying that the allegations regarding the NY players are completely bogus. But the problem with naming these players publicly is that they get excorciated in the press while planty of other players, who more than likely were doing the same thing in other clubhouses, are getting a (nearly) free pass just because Mitchell uncover dirty laundry on everyone.

    And in response to Thurmon Munson Should Be in the Hall of Fame:

    You are so right. The modern world is built around making life difficult for the Yankees and their fans. That’s why you never see any positive news about the team from the Bronx. ESPN clearly hates them.

  4. Sarah Green says:

    Danny O, re: “just because Mitchell uncover dirty laundry on everyone.” Looks like something got eaten by UmpBump when you posted this (UMPBUMP HUNGRY! UMPBUMP SMASH!). Did you mean, “just because Mitchell *couldn’t* uncover dirty laundry on everyone”?

  5. Sarah, I don’t think it matters if the report was biased. Because the perception exists that it is biased. And perception is reality.

    (personally, I don’t think Mitchell omitted any names. But I’m not convinced he went looking for names as dilligently as he might were he not a Red Sox fan and employee)

  6. Sarah Green says:

    Perception is reality? I had no idea you were such a philosopher, Ward.

    Considering that neither McNamee or Radomski ever worked for the Red Sox, and that Mitchell got all his names from those guys, and that everyone else refused to talk to him because he was not given any leverage by MLB or Congress at all, I think the man did the best he could. If you think there’s some other, unexplored way he could have gone hunting for names under those circumstances, let’s hear it.

  7. MLB and Bud Selig hired George Mitchell to compile this report thus it is not an independent investigation. Mitchell from all evidence possesses personal integrity but he did not have subpoena power. He had no power to compel players past or present to be interviewed under oath. Because of his lack of subpoena power he relied on Federal investigations of BALCO, Radomski and McNamee. Radomski and McNamee were compelled by Federal prosecutors to give truthful interviews to Mitchell under threat of additional prosecution. The Feds also gave Mitchell documentation such as canceled checks to corroborate the testimony. Due to these constraints Mitchell could only gather info on players connected to those specific investigations.
    It would show bias if there were other names uncovered in those investigations that Mitchell chose to omit, perhaps Red Sox players. We will not know this unless documents he reviewed are made public.
    I think it’s unfortunate that he was not able to gather information on other sources of PED that players certainly had. If Mitchell had revealed no names he would have been accused of a white wash and people wouldn’t have paid as much attention to the report.

  8. Thank you Sarah. I actually did mean to say “just because Mitchell uncover dirty laundry on everyone.” You’re good at reading minds.

    “UMPBUMP HUNGRY, UMPBUMP SMASH” reminds me of that character on the Smurfs named Bigmouth. (See http://bluebuddies.com/help/smurf_names_and_list_of_the_smurfs.htm – 4th entry on the smurfs enemies list)

  9. Back off Tek, man. As much as MFY fans want to villify the Sox for the success they’ve enjoyed. The’99 Sox had Pedro, Nomar and Mo Vaughn but went down in 5 games to the MFYs in the ALCS. The umps were terrible in that series, but I digress… Time will tell who is using what. Until then, let’s focus on fixing what’s really wrong with baseball — the rapaciousness of MLB. Give us the head of Bud $elig on a platter. He denied Mitchell subpoena power, which would have turned up scads more guys on the juice.

  10. Sarah Green says:

    NYSoxfan….I can only assume your “back off Tek, man” statement applies to the bloodthirsty folks I was quoting in the post, and not to me. Since clearly, I have a love for Jason Varitek that is as deep as the mid-Atlantic ridge and as pure as freshly fallen snow. I would link to my old Metro column rhapsodizing about The Captain, but apparently, the Metro’s link is broken. Bah.

    While yes, the umps were terrible in that series, alas, the Hit Dog had already left for Anaheim by then.

  11. If you’re gonna walk down relief pitcher facial hair memory lane, by golly, don’t forget to bring Rollie Fingers along.


  12. Sarah Green says:

    Oh, but Danny O! That ain’t no Fu Manchu. That’s a handlebar.

    And Coley has already given Rollie Fingers some UFH love—even if he was mostly just busting him for unpaid taxes.

    Not that you can ever really have too many pictures of Rollie Fingers. Thanks for the morning pick-me-up. :)

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