Friday, January 21, 2011

Bear down, Chicago Bears

Sung by Bryan Griffin of the Lyric Opera.

Or perhaps you'd prefer this sing-along version (follow the bouncing helmet)?

How are the TV stations going to top this week's hype if the Bears do happen to get by Green Bay?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Baseball Writers blow it again: Baines dropped from HOF ballot

Hawk Harrelson will have to get some new talking points when the Sox play the Twinkies henceforth, now that Bert Blyleven has been admitted into Baseball's Hall of Fame. By now, everyone in the world who cares knows that Messrs. Blyleven and Roberto Alomar are slated to be enshrined in Cooperstown. Both are worthy, deserving inductees.

But less well reported is the fact that the BBWA, the Baseball Writers of America, the self-righteous guardians of baseball's Valhalla, saw fit to give Harold Baines only 28 votes this year, only 4.8% of the vote, meaning he'll be dropped from the Hall of Fame ballot.

Here are the 2011 Hall of Fame voting results (source; click image to enlarge and/or unblur):

Bill Veeck took credit for 'discovering' Baines, but I believe it was Paul Richards who first predicted that Baines was destined for Cooperstown. Now, sadly, he'll have to wait for the Veterans Committee. If Ron Santo were still around, Santo could give Baines an earful about that process.

Yet, Baines has 1,628 career RBI, the most of any player eligible for the Hall who has not been enshrined. A six time All Star and winner of the Silver Slugger in 1989, Baines had a 22 year career in the major leagues. He had 2,866 hits.

Of course, the knock on Baines is that he was a DH for most of his career -- and this, sadly, is true. After 1986, until his retirement in 2001, Baines played only 81 games in the field.

But let's look at that: Baines played only 81 games in the field in his final 14 years in the majors because his knee was gone. In other words, most of Baines' 2,866 hits came from an essentially one-legged batter.

There are few players in Major League history who had better careers than Harold Baines. Nearly all are in the Hall of Fame. And they had two legs.

The Baseball Writers of America have blown it again.