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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Reflections On A Weekend With The Baseball Gods

What in the name of Ty Cobb was I doing there, you ask? Good question. I was there to humbly accept the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, presented annually to someone who’s covered baseball for a long time. But let’s get this straight: The lucky baseball scribe who accepts the award is not “inducted” or “enshrined.” The writer is not a Hall of Famer. That title is reserved for players, managers, and the occasional owner or general manager who has had a seismic impact on the game…

■ Get goosebumps standing next to Juan Marichal at the omelette station in the breakfast room…

■ In mid-afternoon, 48 Hall of Famers, plus retired New York City Fire Department battalion chief Vin Mavaro, Dick Enberg, and I gather in a ballroom, where we wait to be taken to Doubleday Field. Vin and I are nervous because we are going to have to speak. Our speeches are ready in black binders. “Don’t let go of your binder,’’ says Enberg. “Johnny Bench likes to mess with people and hide their speeches.’’ After that, I hold my binder in a vise-like grip.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Will Hall of Fame’s new election rules help former Tigers?

Jack Morris, Alan Trammell, and Lou Whitaker remain three of the most controversial candidates for the Hall. All three have their camps of support, but none of them can be elected by the baseball writers, for separate reasons.

Wahoo Sam Posted: July 25, 2016 at 03:20 PM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: alan trammell, hall of fame, jack morris, lou whitaker

Every Picture Tells a Story: The Stick « Our Game

The trade card shown at the left is part of a six-card series contrasting “New Style” (1880s) and “Old Style” (1870s). Depicting “The Scorer,” it casts light on an old mystery that I referenced many moons ago in my book Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame. I wrote:

We have heard the stories all our lives, and we share them warmly with our children. But we come to the Baseball Hall of Fame to see, to see the instruments of glory, the stuff of legend, the tangible remains of departed heroes and forgotten fields. This is a museum like no other because it is about baseball, that singular American institution by which we mark our days. Not simply historical relics, these artifacts spur us to recall to life an image dormant in our brains for decades. They connect us not only to our own childhood and to our parents, but also to a national, collective past, one whose presence we sense but whose details have been lost.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 25, 2016 at 08:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history

Baseball Hall of Fame: Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza are Cooperstown odd couple

“They each took roads that not many have ever traveled,’’ said former Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Eric Karros, Piazza’s best friend in baseball. “Mike was the late-round draft pick with people doubting him along the way. Junior had the expectations of having a successful big-league dad. But they both did it on their own. There weren’t any shortcuts. I think that added a human quality to the display of emotion you saw here.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: July 25, 2016 at 08:24 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, ken griffey jr., mike piazza

Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza deliver emotional Hall of Fame speeches

Well, Piazza lasted two minutes before his voice started cracking, sniffing, and wiping away tears.

Griffey, who made the mistake of looking into the faces of his three children sitting in the front row, lasted all of 20 seconds.

“Nothing can prepare you,” Piazza said, “for how you feel, and the history sitting behind us on stage.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 25, 2016 at 06:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, ken griffey jr., mike piazza

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Changes are coming to baseball Hall of Fame’s veterans’ committees | FOX Sports

Good stuff.

Baseball’s Hall of Fame has again revamped its veterans’ committees, attempting to increase consideration for more contemporary players, managers, umpires and executives.

Under the change announced Saturday by the Hall’s board of directors, there will be separate committees for Today’s Game (1988-2016), Modern Baseball (1970-87), Golden Days (1950-69) and Early Baseball (1871-1949). Today’s Game and Modern Baseball will vote twice every five years, Golden Days once every five years and Early Baseball once every 10 years.

“There are twice as many players in the Hall of Fame who debuted before 1950 as compared to afterward, and yet there are nearly double the eligible candidates after 1950 than prior,” Hall chair Jane Forbes Clark said in a statement. “Those who served the game long ago and have been evaluated many times on past ballots will now be reviewed less frequently.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 24, 2016 at 09:12 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Ken Griffey, Mike Piazza set for Hall of Fame | MLB.com

Today’s the day! Congratulations to Ken Griffey and Mike PIazza. Thanks for all the wonderful memories.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 24, 2016 at 09:07 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, ken griffey jr., mike piazza

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Up close and personal with Mike Piazza and his post-baseball life | New York Post

“My career and my life is a miracle,’’ Piazza told The Post. “I always want to give thanks and appreciate what I feel has been a blessing for me.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 09:48 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, hall of fame, mets, mike piazza

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hall of Fame hopes for Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, more MLB stars

Jay Jaffe looks at the Hall of Fame chances of twelve current stars.

With the Baseball Hall of Fame inductions set for this coming Sunday, I took a look at the progress that a handful of stars 35 and older—David Ortiz, Carlos Beltran, Ichiro Suzuki and others—are making toward joining 2016 honorees Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. in Cooperstown sometime in the next several years. Now it’s time to take a closer look at some players who aren’t as far along but who are building cases for enshrinement as well.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2016 at 01:57 PM | 158 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, jaws

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Seven Changes that Would Improve the Era Committee Hall of Fame Election Process

Thus far, each sub-committee has convened twice with the Expansion Era voting in 2010 and 2013, the Golden Era voting in 2011 and 2014, and the Pre-Integration Era voting in 2012 and 2015.  However, in its short history the Era Committee process has drawn a fair share of criticism for a variety of reasons and with December’s Pre-Integration Era vote representing two full cycles under the current format it is likely that the Hall of Fame board members will review and possibly modify to the system.  The following are seven changes that would improve the Era Committee election process:
1.  Hold separate elections for player and non-player candidates.
2.  Have more continuity in the voting body.
3.  Lessen the BBWAA’s influence over the Era Committee by having a greater presence of non-BBWAA sabermetricians and historians on the Historical Overview Committee screening panel and Era Committee voting body.
4.  Change the name of the Pre-Integration Era and reopen the book on Negro and pre-Negro League candidates.
5.  Hold more elections for candidates from the Golden and Expansion Eras.
6.  Hold a run-off election when no candidate is voted in.
7.  Create more sub-committees and run multiple elections.


Friday, June 24, 2016


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Giants’ Jake Peavy defrauded of millions in investment scheme, feds allege - SFGate

Throughout spring training and his terrible start to the regular season, Jake Peavy had a secret, that he might have lost more than $15 million to a financial adviser who allegedly redirected money that was supposed to go into safe investments toward a sports-ticket brokerage that eventually failed.

On Tuesday, the secret was revealed when the Securities and Exchange Commission said it filed suit in U.S. District Court in Dallas seeking to freeze the assets of the adviser, Ash Narayan, and recoup more than $33 million he allegedly took from three professional athletes under the fraudulent scheme.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 22, 2016 at 07:17 AM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jake peavy

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The rest of this season could make or break Joey Votto’s Hall of Fame case

Votto has had his detractors, people who don’t ascribe to sabermetrics, people who say he walks too much. Perhaps these people could knock Votto as well for the Reds not winning any championships during his career, though great players don’t always experience this. Until this season, Votto’s critics have mostly looked misguided…


Others needed their mid to late 30s to solidify their Hall of Fame cases or watch them collapse.

Take Hernandez, who looked like a Hall of Famer through his 20s, but declined badly in his mid-30s, tallying -0.2 Wins Above Average after turning 33. He retired at 36 and has never rated as a serious Hall of Fame candidate, though he has supporters who could point to him as one of the most underrated first basemen in baseball history. There’s a chance Votto could be his generation’s Keith Hernandez.

Then there’s Helton who was good for a cumulative 1.2 Wins Above Average from his age-32 season through the end of his career. For the more traditionally-inclined, Helton averaged 30 homers, 102 RBI, and a .337 batting average through 2005. For his remaining eight seasons, Helton averaged 12 homers, 61 RBI, and a .289 batting average. It’s like a tale of two totally different careers. The fact that all of it came for the Colorado Rockies is probably enough to prevent Helton from coming remotely close to a Hall of Fame plaque with the Baseball Writers Association of America when he becomes eligible in the fall of 2018.


Thursday, June 02, 2016

Giants lose 9th-inning lead, fall to Braves, lose Pence to injury - San Francisco Chronicle

Hunter Pence is hurt. No, this isn’t a repost from last season.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2016 at 07:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hunter pence

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Barry Bonds: mea culpa

Barry Bonds in an interesting interview:

“Yes, Bonds was surly, angry, dismissive, grumpy, rude, obnoxious, nasty, selfish, ungrateful and combative toward many people during his 22 seasons through 2007 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants. But given my interactions with him, that wasn’t the real guy, and guess who was responsible for such a misconception?

“Me. It’s on me. I’m to blame for the way I was [portrayed], because I was a dumbass. I was straight stupid, and I’ll be the first to admit it,” said Bonds, nodding in the visitors’ dugout at Turner Field last week, when he was in Atlanta during his first year as the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins. “I mean, I was just flat-out dumb. What can I say? I’m not going to try to justify the way I acted toward people. I was stupid.”

Howie Menckel Posted: June 01, 2016 at 01:30 PM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, pirates

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Giants ask SF for tax break on AT&T Park, say value has fallen

How does property in San Francisco drop in value?

The Giants are asking the city for millions of dollars in property tax refunds, claiming that the value of AT&T Park has dropped well below the $200 million that the team paid to build it 16 years ago — even as home prices in San Francisco have more than doubled during that time.

In an appeal filed with the city, the Giants have asked that their property-tax bill be slashed in half for the years 2011 to 2014. That would come to a reduction of about $8 million total.

“All taxpayers have the right to have their property taxes set accurately and fairly and free from political influence,” the Giants’ senior vice president and general counsel, Jack Bair, said in a statement.

Two years ago, Bair said, city Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu retroactively raised the Giants’ property taxes for 2011 by “an astonishing 97 percent.” She carried forward similar increases for subsequent years, he said.

“We do not believe that this increase is justified, and have exercised our right to have the assessment reviewed by a neutral panel of experts as provided by law,” Bair said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 31, 2016 at 04:01 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, public financing, stadiums

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Carlos Beltrán, 400 Home Runs, 2,500 Hits, and The Hall of Fame

Beltrán’s career is winding down and it is doubtful he will attain the 500 home run or 3,000 hit-milestones that would make his Hall of Fame candidacy an open and shut case.  Nevertheless, Beltrán has quietly put together a fine career and, by reaching the secondary milestones of 400 home runs and 2,500 hits to go along with his other accomplishments, the veteran slugger has greatly strengthened his Hall of Fame case.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Stew Thornley’s macabre adventure: Visiting every dead baseball Hall of Famer’s grave

I’d have to admire his tenacity. The most I’ve ever done is visit the graves of the deceased 300-game winners, and visit them again with a small figurine.

In the shorthand parlance of men and women who collect graveyard experiences, Thornley is what’s known as a “graver.” While his search for the plots of long gone standouts, such as Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown in Terre Haute, Indiana, or Rube Waddell in San Antonio, is nominally about allowing him to cross another name off his list, it’s about more than that.

“It’s really about the adventure,” Thornley said. “A lot of people think I do all this work, I go traveling around, I get there and I’m standing at this grave and I get some kind of cosmic connection like, ‘I never saw this guy play. But here I am!’

ajnrules Posted: May 26, 2016 at 10:52 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: deaths in baseball, general, hall of fame

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What’s behind Jeff Samardzija’s turnaround in 2016? | FOX Sports

He’s pitching better.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2016 at 10:58 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jeff samardzija, notes

Friday, May 13, 2016

Tim Lincecum reportedly has 3 teams interested | MLB.com

He’s not close to signing.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 13, 2016 at 09:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, giants, tim lincecum, white sox

Friday, May 06, 2016

Kinsler approaching Hall of Fame pace, and not slowing down

With his single and two-run home run Tuesday, he’s at 1,551 hits. He has 199 stolen bases, 964 runs scored and 189 home runs.

According to Baseball Reference.com, he would become the 40th player in Major League history to hit those levels in all of those statistical categories – joining a big batch of current or soon-to-be Hall-of-Famers: Derek Jeter, Robin Yount, Craig Biggio, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds and George Brett to name only a few.

His career WAR (wins above replacement) of 48.2 probably makes the same point. And yet, Kinsler still makes most all-underrated teams.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 06, 2016 at 10:34 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Willie Mays to be honored with cable car named for him - SFGate

When do they name an Uber after him?

“Like San Francisco cable cars, the legend of Willie Mays is iconic,” said Ed Reiskin, director of transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. “While it may not move as fast as Mr. Mays, cable car 24 will forever pay tribute to the Say Hey Kid as it climbs San Francisco’s majestic hills.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2016 at 08:33 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, willie mays

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Exclusive: Tim Lincecum speaks publicly for first time since 2015 - Yahoo Sports

Will he end up back in San Francisco?

“Where I end up is where I’ll end up,” Lincecum said. “They already have six starters. I’ve got to just look out for me, and if they’re the No. 1 piece in the puzzle when it comes down to decision time, I’ll be excited to go back.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 05, 2016 at 07:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, giants, tim lincecum

Monday, May 02, 2016

Tim Lincecum’s showcase set, and Giants will be there - San Francisco Chronicle

Is it really going to happen?

Lincecum will host his long-awaited showcase in Arizona on Friday, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. At least two-thirds of the major-league teams are expected to attend.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 02, 2016 at 02:21 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, giants, tim lincecum

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