Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hall of Fame and Other Hot Stove Stuff

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer 

I don’t care what sport it is, baseball, football, basketball, hockey, tidily winks, etc., I HATE LOSING TO ACC TEAMS!!!!

Congrats to 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and Frank Thomas. All three are very deserving of the honor. I remember Maddux as an Appalachian League pitcher for the Chicago Cubs rookie farm team the Pikeville (KY) Cubs back in 1984. Maddux went 6 – 2 with a 2.63 ERA in twelve games for the Pikeville team. He had dominating stuff in the games I watched, but little did I know I’d be seeing a future Hall of Famer.

Useless Trivia; our local Appalachian League team was located in Paintsville KY, a half hour drive from where I grew up. Paintsville was awarded a franchise in 1978, as the Highlanders, an unaffiliated team comprised of players from different Major League organizations. In 1979 the New York Yankees moved their Rookie League franchise to Paintsville. Four seasons and a couple of Appy League championships later, New York pulled out and Milwaukee moved in. The team ceased operations after the 1984 season.

Some notable players began their career in the foothills of the Appalachians, Darryl Strawberry (Kingsport TN Mets), Dan Plesac (of MLB Network), Orestes Destrade (formerly of ESPN), and 1990 Reds World Series hero Jose Rijo, just to name a few.

Speaking of Hall of Fame, memo to Miami Herald writer and ESPN talking head Dan Le Batard; if you don’t want your Hall of Fame vote, I’ll gladly take it.

Look, I understand Le Batard’s frustration; he wants Barry Bonds in the Hall. I see his point, Bonds is the undisputed home run king, and “alleged” steroid user. I get that. Don’t let cheaters in the Hall of Fame. Isn’t the Baseball Hall of Fame supposed to be reserved for the best of the best who ever played the game? Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m against illegal steroid use, period, but will someone explain to me how steroids can help a hitter pull a 98mph fastball. The Baseball Hall of Fame DOES NOT include the greatest hitter of all time, Pete Rose, nor the most prolific slugger of all time, Barry Bonds. Are the Halls of Fame in other sports that exclusive?

When then Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamotti banished Pete Rose for life in August 1989, the Hall of Fame writers a ruled, in November 1989, that players on the “permanently ineligible” list will not be included on future Hall of Fame ballots. If the baseball writers want to exclude players from Hall of Fame immortality, then the writers should petition Major League Baseball to have all eligible steroid era players barred permanently.

I really don’t have a problem with Dennis Rodman going to North Korea to continue his Bromance with its leader Kim Jong-un. My problem is that Rodman returns to the United States.

I hope Rodman doesn’t wind up meeting the same fate as Jong-un’s uncle. If you haven’t heard, Kim Jong-un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, disagreed with a policy last month and was executed. Thaek’s remains were allegedly fed to dogs, but internet reports dispute that.

In a country where Joe Biden can become Vice President, why not name Dennis Rodman Ambassador to North Korea.

I read where former Reds third baseman Edwin Encarnacion was called “MLB’s Most Unheralded Player”. He’s had great success in Toronto, but I remember as a Red, Encarnacion made the tough plays look easy, while he’d let a simple ground ball go through his legs, usually allowing two runners to score. I had a friend of mine who worked for a Cincinnati radio affiliate in 2008 send me a blooper reel containing Reds blunders during the season set to music. Most of them were from Encarnacion and Adam Dunn.

Nyjer Morgan as a Red? You’ve got to be kidding; Tony Plush and Brandon Phillips in the same clubhouse? That’s a reality show in the making. I do like the idea of the Reds “taking a flier” on Grady Sizemore.

Miss seeing live baseball? Can’t wait until Opening Day which is over two months away? Check out this link for the Australian Baseball League (A.B.L.); there’s a sixteen hour time difference between Sydney and the Eastern Time Zone here in the U.S. A 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon first pitch in Sydney translates to a 9 p.m. Saturday night start here. Pro baseball is relatively new “Down Under” so the attendance isn’t great, but hey its baseball!!! GO CANBERRA CALVARY!!!

More Useless Trivia; current Reds utility-man Donald Lutz and former Red Didi Gregorius played for the Canberra Calvary of the A.B.L. back in 2010. Lutz batted .260 in 29 games for Canberra, while Gregorius only hit .189 in 36 games.

Have a blessed week.

Dan Howard

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What do you have against Joe Baden?