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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SB Nation: The Many Crimes of Mel Hall

So if you thought the Chad Curtis story wasn’t creepy enough, there is the Mel Hall story.

“Mel Hall loved sex. Sex is what drove him,” said McMillan. According to a high school teammate, Hall impregnated two girls by the time he was a high school senior. The best guess of Texas authorities for the number of children he eventually sired is eight.

McMillan added, “He was a young guy who made a lot of money real fast, and he wanted to buy his way through life.”

So that was Mel Hall: a disappointment as a player, a tall tale, a caricature of a narcissistic athlete untethered from reality by sudden fame and fortune, a guy who did everything in excess. No, he probably wasn’t someone you wanted to be close with, but he filled up column space and kept things interesting over 162 games.

So when Hall started showing up to the ballpark with 15-year-old Jennifer Diaz, the most common reaction was one of amused curiosity.

The tabloid news show “A Current Affair” did a story on the odd couple. When Jennifer sat in the family section with players’ wives 10 and 20 years older than her, his teammates teased him for picking up his fiancée at Toys “R” Us. The organization, in a portion of their 1991 team yearbook devoted to players and their significant others, even included a picture of Mel and Jennifer at a school prom. No one blinked, at least publicly. It was all part of Mel Hall being Mel Hall….

The first time Hall had sex with Jennifer, her father was asleep on the sofa several feet away. After it was over, the 15-year-old cried. Decades later, she testified that Hall told her it was OK because he would marry her once she turned 18.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 01:27 PM | 360 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, giants, indians, mel hall, sexual assault, statutory rape, yankees

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   1. boteman Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4750749)
A horny young man likes sex. Go figure.

Who will cast the first stone?
   2. guajolote2 Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4750764)
I had a friend who was a batboy for the local team, and all the way back in 1989 he told me Mel Hall was by far the biggest a-hole in baseball. He was a huge bully and would make the batboys' lives miserable. He would constantly make huge messes on purpose and yell at them to clean them up. He was illiterate and couldn't read menus and would make them read him every line one by one every single day. His teammates absolutely hated him, and would tip the batboys a lot of money to make up for his behavior, but everybody was apparently kind of scared of him.
   3. Lassus Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4750781)
A horny young man likes sex. Go figure.
Who will cast the first stone?


Are you unaware of why the stones would be cast? Hall raped a 12-year-old girl when he was 38.
   4. AROM Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4750787)
Who will cast the first stone?


If it was my daughter at 15, and a 31 year old man (assuming that last paragraph was from 1991), I'd cast it. It would be a 30 pound stone, direct to his head.

What kind of father is OK with this? Must be one blinded by greed, and the prospect of becoming an inlaw of a millionaire ballplayer.
   5. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4750788)
"This week on Yankeeography, we are proud to profile True Yankee™ Mel Hall."
   6. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4750795)
A horny young man likes sex. Go figure.
Who will cast the first stone?


Are you unaware of why the stones would be cast? Hall raped a 12-year-old girl when he was 38.


Perhaps in boteman's circle, that's no big deal.

I hope not, though.
   7. Traderdave Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4750800)
The best part of that article was this line:

He's now an inmate in the Allred Unit, in Iowa Park, Texas, some 130 miles northwest of the Metroplex. The prison has a national reputation for brutality.

And I can't help thinking that Jennifer's dad belongs in there with him.
   8. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4750812)
Wow the writer must be specializing in criminal athletes. Linked to the Mel Hall story is another story of his about Dave Meggett's rape history which I had no clue of, again as well researched/written as the Mel Hall story and again very difficult to read.

Edit: And victim's prom picture with her date, Mel Hall, is even creepier when you read the caption that says it was published in the Yankees season yearbook.
   9. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4750818)
And victim's prom picture with her date, Mel Hall, is even creepier when you read the caption that says it was published in the Yankees season yearbook.


The Yankees -- skeeviest team ever?

(And by "team," I of course included the entire organization.)
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4750822)
. . . True Yankee™ Mel Hall."

Hall had been a MLB player for 8 seasons before being traded to the Yankees. He had more games with Cleveland than NY, and should wear an Indians cap in the Hall of Shame.
   11. Spahn Insane Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4750834)
He had more games with Cleveland than NY, and should wear an Indians cap in the Hall of Shame.

He appears to have achieved his, uh, peak value with the Yankees, however.
   12. AROM Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4750845)
Hall of Shame OF - Luis Polonia, Chad Curtis, Mel Hall. They weren't all Yankees at the same time. Curtis and Polonia were teammates with the Angels though.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4750848)
And victim's prom picture with her date, Mel Hall, is even creepier when you read the caption that says it was published in the Yankees season yearbook.


I guess it was different times, but I don't get how an adult professional athlete openly dates a 15 year old, has a TV show do a piece about it, and everyone is just like "that's just Mel being Mel!"

Somehow, despite the fact that Hall shared a bedroom with their daughter, Jennifer's parents believed that Hall was refraining from sexual contact with her until she was 18.


Dear lord.
   14. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4750850)
Wow the writer must be specializing in criminal athletes.

Someone needs to write an expose on this creep.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4750852)

Hall of Shame OF - Luis Polonia, Chad Curtis, Mel Hall. They weren't all Yankees at the same time. Curtis and Polonia were teammates with the Angels though.


With ex-Yankee outfielders Rusty Torres and Mark Whiten as reserves. Who'd a thought Darryl Strawberry would be one of the good ones?
   16. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4750856)
*reads thread, hopes nobody remembers that Chad Curtis and Mark Whiten both played in Cleveland too*
   17. Ron J2 Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4750858)
There was a weird vibe to stories about Hall while he was playing. I mean I didn't hear anything about how his teammates couldn't stand him or anything like #2, but they still left me with the impression that he was not a very likable person.

   18. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4750859)
Speaking of Yankees Hall of Shamers I'm not sure a quote from Jim Leyritz really helps one way or the other.
   19. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4750865)
Dear lord


I couldn't get parents to believe I'd wait till their daughters were 18 even when I was 18.
   20. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4750867)
This thread is going to be a mess. Jim might as well close it preemptively. Or we can just fast forward to its inevitable conclusion now: Hitler Hitler Hitler.
   21. toratoratora Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4750882)
That is one super creepy article. Uggh. I wanna take a bath after reading it.Cripes.
Reminds me of the time I was a roadie for a pretty big band and one of the groupies had her folks pick her up at the hotel the morning after a show.
Some parents-Sheesh
   22. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4750883)
Somehow, despite the fact that Hall shared a bedroom with their daughter, Jennifer's parents believed that Hall was refraining from sexual contact with her until she was 18.


A classic example of people choosing what they want to believe without regard to the evidence. My own parents did exactly the same thing, re: their 15-year-old daughter and her 18-year-old boyfriend. And this was not a guy who made any pretense of being the sort you take home to your parents.
   23. DL from MN Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4750889)
A horny young man likes sex. Go figure.

Who will cast the first stone?


Care to actually read the article and issue a retraction?
   24. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: July 15, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4750936)
That is one super creepy article. Uggh. I wanna take a bath after reading it.Cripes.

I personally couldn't get past Part 2.
   25. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 15, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4750947)
Hall's thirst for action, impulsiveness, and crass egotism were on full display in his nightlife, where he indulged his two greatest passions: Spending money and chasing women. When he went to New York's China Club and the Roseland Ballroom, he employed a $1,400-a-night bodyguard named Jimmy McMillan. Two decades later McMillan would become semi-famous in New York when he ran for governor and mayor on the "Rent is Too Damn High" party line.


Hey, I've met that guy (me and thousands and thousands of other NYers)
   26. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 15, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4750948)
Yeah, well, he still hit that homer on Memorial Day in 1991. So there's one point in the "good things" bucket.

Wow, that didn't even make the scale move a little bit.
   27. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 15, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4750952)
Still, everyone kept watching. And before the next pitch, Hall tapped home plate with his bat three times. Then he took his bat and pointed at the television camera.

Twenty years later, Jennifer would testify in court: "We were all ecstatic."


You know, if you removed all the creepy sex stuff, this would be pretty awesome.
   28. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 15, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4750955)
I personally couldn't get past Part 2.


I'm a pretty cold-hearted prick and I'm with you. This was skin crawling type stuff.
   29. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 15, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4750967)
I couldn't even get to part 2. It made me nauseous, and I'm no bleeding heart.

EDIT: A coke to 28.
   30. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 15, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4750973)
A minor detail in the article but the fact that Rickey Henderson once got into a violent wrestling match with him only confirms the fact that Rickey is a force for all that is good and fights Bad whenever he
   31. Every Inge Counts Posted: July 15, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4750980)
This was definitely disturbing. He coached girls basketball and softball?

That prom pic reminded me of something that was made a big deal of this past year and that was Giant's punter Steve Weatherford going to prmo this year: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2014/04/bayonne_teen_hopes_to_bring_ny_giants_steve_weatherford_to_prom.html

Not the same as the Mel Hall story, but it was still sort of weird that people were thinking it was amazing that a grown man was going to prom with a high school girl because she asked him on twitter...
   32. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: July 15, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4750983)
Or we can just fast forward to its inevitable conclusion now: Hitler Hitler Hitler.

Are you suggesting that Mel Hall was good at the beginning but then he went too far?
   33. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4750986)
I personally couldn't get past Part 2.


I'm a pretty cold-hearted prick and I'm with you. This was skin crawling type stuff.


First-stone-throwers!
   34. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 15, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4751015)
A horny young man likes sex. Go figure.

Who will cast the first stone?
I will: I believe it's wrong to rape 12-year-old girls.
   35. Zach Posted: July 15, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4751016)
Until a Friday afternoon soon after, when somebody called Jennifer at home claiming to be Mel Hall. He said he had noticed the blond, wholesomely beautiful girl in the stands that day, and wanted to get to know her better — perhaps she and her family would like to come to Yankee Stadium for the game tomorrow? He said he got lots and lots of fan mail but never opened it. The fact that he happened to open her note must mean it was destiny.

Was there ever a time when people were so innocent this didn't set off warning bells? He might as well put on a postscript:

"PS -- could you please pick up some roofies on your way to the ballpark? I am temporarily out."
   36. steagles Posted: July 15, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4751018)
When Hall's lawyer cross-examined Jennifer during the punishment phase of his trial, after he had already been found guilty, the lawyer tried to discredit Jennifer by noting that even her own parents didn't think they were having sex.

"That's why I have issues with my family, ma'am," Jennifer replied. "That's why I'm here alone."

More than once, he locked her in a closet for a few hours because he didn't approve of her clothing. His note of apology for one of these episodes was entered into the prosecution's evidence during the sentencing phase of the trial. It read:

"Baby, when I asked you to change, it's because I love you. I know sometimes {I} am a little tough but no one loves you better or more. Mel."

When Hall decided he wanted to train for the upcoming season in Florida during the winter of 1991-92, the Diaz's followed and moved from Connecticut, and Jennifer switched schools. When the Yankees season started in April, Hall decided he wanted Jennifer to live with him in his new place in Trump Tower. She was two months shy of graduating from high school in Florida, but Hall told her she didn't need to graduate as long as he was providing for her. To this day, Jennifer doesn't have a high school diploma.

She began going to church. The pastor, as it happened, had been the Yankees team chaplain several years before. He told Jennifer he had prayed that she would get out of her relationship with Hall. It all couldn't have been a coincidence, she believes.
   37. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4751036)
Uh-oh. The writer doesn't know how to pluralize surnames.

All bets are off.
   38. zonk Posted: July 15, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4751039)

That prom pic reminded me of something that was made a big deal of this past year and that was Giant's punter Steve Weatherford going to prmo this year: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2014/04/bayonne_teen_hopes_to_bring_ny_giants_steve_weatherford_to_prom.html

Not the same as the Mel Hall story, but it was still sort of weird that people were thinking it was amazing that a grown man was going to prom with a high school girl because she asked him on twitter...


Yeah - I don't generally fall into the whole cultural scold thing, but stuff like that just always makes me shake my head (obviously, you can find a lot more glaring examples by just turning on MTV). To be clear - Mel Hall is a predator who would probably still be a predator preying on girls even if society didn't have proms and our culture and dress deviated from something pilgrim-esque - but I do tend to think stuff like this, which gets passed off as cute soft news, does actually make things easier on predators like Hall. Yeah - I think some (but not all, if you read the whole story) of the parents mentioned really ought to have their heads examined - but we do tend to blur what ought to pretty clear lines.

That's why I like math.... I find that the old "(your age/2)+7" rule to be relatively safe way to stay out of creepy (and/or criminal) land... no judgments on anyone and another consenting adult relationships, YMMV, but just following it would have kept Hall's hands off a 15 yo child.
   39. steagles Posted: July 15, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4751052)
If this was 2014 and not 1998, it is likely that many parents would do a quick Google search, become alarmed at the discovery of Hall's relationship with Jennifer, and sever their ties. But Google wasn't yet ubiquitous, and private indiscretions tended to stay private. Besides, the Millers were trusting people by nature.

Off the court was another story. She told three people what had happened to her, but made them swear not to tell anyone else, and spent the next decade of her life carrying around a secret. During high school and college, she didn't have a single boyfriend.

The next day in school, she blurted out to her best friend, "Mel Hall raped me," but she made the friend promise not to say anything. She didn't tell her parents or anyone else.

   40. steagles Posted: July 15, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4751072)
As a Christmas present to her nephews that year, she ordered Hall's baseball cards online, and had Hall sign them. While online, she came across the prom picture of him and Jennifer from the 1991 Yankees yearbook. Hall told her it was a photo op set up by his agent, and that the young girl was Jennifer Capriati, a teen tennis sensation during that era who had made the cover of Sports Illustrated with the caption, "And She's Only 13!"
She had no proof of anything. But this episode, combined with what she called Hall's general "elusiveness," was enough to compel her to end the relationship. "I was like, ‘This doesn't feel right at all,'" she said.

The checks were a monthly reminder of a bizarre chapter in Lori's life, and perhaps also a near miss: Even though they were only casually dating, Hall had wanted to move into Lori's place "temporarily." But Lori resisted. She didn't think it was appropriate for a man she had been dating so briefly to live with her teenage son and daughter.

"I mean, thank God they were never alone," Lori said. "She [her daughter] always found him a little creepy.

   41. steagles Posted: July 15, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4751076)
Adkins went to fetch some equipment from what he thought was his daughter's bag. But it was really Sara's bag, and inside Adkins found a card from Hall to Sara with a pre-printed poem. It was part love letter, part apology. It read:

"That's why I'm hoping/ you'll help me peel away/ the parts that aren't right/ because underneath that/ is the greatest love I've ever known./ We're worth it./ I believe that/ with all my heart."

The card was signed, "Love you, Mel."
That night, Adkins fired Hall from the Texas Glory and told him he didn't want to hear about him coaching girls ever again. According to Adkins, Hall responded by saying, "I'm a famous guy. I have a lot of resources. Don't put your family at risk by saying things about me."

"And I just told Mel, ‘I'm a legal gun carrier. I'll take my chances.' I wasn't gonna let him intimidate me from doing the right thing," Adkins said.

Adkins made copies of Hall's card to Sara and presented one to Sara's father. The father's response, according to Adkins, was to tear up the paper and say, "Dan, I refuse to put my family through this."
   42. Repoz Posted: July 15, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4751080)
Hall of Shame OF - Luis Polonia, Chad Curtis, Mel Hall. They weren't all Yankees at the same time. Curtis and Polonia were teammates with the Angels though.

With ex-Yankee outfielders Rusty Torres and Mark Whiten as reserves. Who'd a thought Darryl Strawberry would be one of the good ones?


And doing the play-by-play...my recently released pal Bob Gamere.
   43. steagles Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4751082)
"What was his weapon? Trust," said D'Avignon in her closing argument. "Over and over again, he shook the hand of a parent and said, 'It's OK. I'll take care of them. I'll make her a better person.' Instead what he did was rob them of their innocence and change the scope of their lives."


"I've never felt more safe than being with him," the daughter testified. "Even though we don't live together, we are still one big happy family. Him and my mom are best friends. He's one of my best friends."

The day after the trial, Prosecutor Christy Jack was summoned back up to court when she saw Hall's daughter standing outside the courthouse. The young woman told Jack she wanted to speak with her. Jack was immediately terrified.

"I've been doing this work for a long time, with a lot of dangerous people, and nobody has ever physically assaulted me. But the way she was approaching me, it was like, ‘This is when this is gonna happen,'" Jack said.

Jack gingerly walked toward Hall's daughter, prepared for the worst. The daughter hugged her, tightly, and said into her ear, "Thank you."

"And I just thought, ‘Maybe she's another victim,'" said Jack.



   44. steagles Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4751088)
"I know I'm innocent and I don't believe I was proven guilty of the charge," he said. "I believe I was proven guilty of my lifestyle."
   45. steagles Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4751090)
For Katie, now a teacher and basketball coach, coming forward about Hall allowed her to confront what she described as "the scared little girl feeling" she had carried since she was assaulted.

"Before I got it out in the open, it was that feeling of, ‘What did I do, what did I lose?' But now that everything's out in the open, you just survive, you just move on. Like everybody has an awful past about something," she said.

As a basketball team captain and now as a coach, Katie is a natural leader. Deciding to come forward about Hall, and leading others to do the same, was the most important use of her leadership skills.

"Katie was our absolute hero," Prosecutor D'Avignon said. "Without her being like, ‘However bad this happened to me, I can't let this happen to someone else,' without her being brave enough, we never would have exposed all this."
   46. steagles Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4751102)
re: [36][39][40][41][43][44][45]

i know we're not supposed to quote that much of an article, but since other posters mention that they couldn't read past part 1, i think it's worthwhile to post these excerpts.
   47. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4751110)
but since other posters mention that they couldn't read past part 1, i think it's worthwhile to post these excerpts.


Why? If they had wanted to read past part 1, they'd have done so. You force feeding them the subject matter is hardly admirable; it's done not to further any useful discussion here, but to show them the parts you think they should see, despite them not asking for that -- indeed, despite them specifically declining to read it.
   48. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:39 PM (#4751117)
Sick b*stard should rot in jail for the rest of his life. I read part of the article and felt like throwing up.
This is precisely why people in the spotlight should never be idolised as great people. Sure admire their skill at hitting a baseball or singing a song but you just never really know someone when you go into a situation with rose-coloured glasses.
   49. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4751136)
I'm not going to fall into the liberal trap of blaming society and taking accountability away from the guilty individuals. But frankly I'm surprised this didn't happen more often. If we give undereducated young men millions of dollars and an abundance of trust and benefit-of-the-doubt, this kind of thing is pretty inevitable.

The good news is that while there was some pretty reprehensible behavior among players of the recent past, it seems to be on the wane. For one thing, as this article explicitly mentions, the existence and use of Google could have let the adults in charge of these situations know about the past of this guy and maybe this would have turned out completely differently. For another, the increased awareness and coverage of this kind of thing should generate more wariness of the parents involved. Finally, I hope that young girls are empowered to report this more quickly, with all of the legal protections afforded to them in the last few decades.

   50. Transmission Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4751137)
Count me among those hoping for a retraction of post # 1.
   51. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4751138)
Also, I never considered SB Nation the kind of place that would feature these kinds of stories. Good for them; this is long-form and admirably sourced and researched.
   52. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:24 PM (#4751141)
Are there any details known about the fight between Hall and Rickey that the article briefly mentions? What it was about, for example?
   53. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:29 PM (#4751147)
Also,
Hall eventually moved from the living room into the master bedroom, which he shared with Jennifer, displacing the parents to her old room.
WTF
   54. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:29 PM (#4751148)
Around 1991, I got into an argument with a friend about who the best outfielder in the league was. Figuring that the Yankees must employ the best one, and not knowing much about other teams, I told him that it was clearly Mel Hall, that you could "count on" him hitting almost .280 and almost 20 home runs every year. Plus, he threw out that guy at home plate that time.

He was a Bill James disciple and generally knowledgeable about the game. I'll never, ever forget the look he gave me.
   55. joeysdadjoe Posted: July 15, 2014 at 08:16 PM (#4751201)
I read most of the article.....disturbing. I remember Mattingly saying in the day after Pippen refused to inbound to Kukoc that if he was a teammate he might have to fight me. You would think that would apply to Hall. No?
   56. AndrewJ Posted: July 15, 2014 at 08:34 PM (#4751234)
I guess it was different times, but I don't get how an adult professional athlete openly dates a 15 year old, has a TV show do a piece about it, and everyone is just like "that's just Mel being Mel!"

IIRC Billy Martin moved one of his girlfriends in with him when he was 50, and she was 16.
   57. joeysdadjoe Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4751305)
I would think if you are a professional athlete with morals and standards you have to condition yourself to deal with the Mel Halls of the world.
   58. Kurt Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4751325)
Around 1991, I got into an argument with a friend about who the best outfielder in the league was. Figuring that the Yankees must employ the best one, and not knowing much about other teams, I told him that it was clearly Mel Hall, that you could "count on" him hitting almost .280 and almost 20 home runs every year. Plus, he threw out that guy at home plate that time.

He was a Bill James disciple and generally knowledgeable about the game. I'll never, ever forget the look he gave me.


I also liked Hall as a player (though not quite *that* much); I got him cheap on my fantasy team for one of his "good" years.

One thing that doesn't quite ring true is all the stuff about his unrealized potential. Is that really true? He was what he was, someone with decent power, lousy OBP skills and lousy defense. Not seeing the tools that would have turned him into an all-star.
   59. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:21 PM (#4751331)
For one thing, as this article explicitly mentions, the existence and use of Google could have let the adults in charge of these situations know about the past of this guy and maybe this would have turned out completely differently.


Come now. Jennifer Diaz's parents knew what was going on.

He was giving them money. So they went along with it.

EDIT: And Courtney Miller's parents knew too. Both sets of parents are also, along with Hall, monsters here.
   60. Kurt Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:38 PM (#4751366)
Come now. Jennifer Diaz's parents knew what was going on.

He was giving them money. So they went along with it.

EDIT: And Courtney Miller's parents knew too. Both sets of parents are also, along with Hall, monsters here.


And as shown on the depressing final page of the article, google does nothing to deter the truly delusional (including his new wife)
   61. Rants Mulliniks Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4751379)
I'm not insinuating he's ever done anything criminal, but if you want to see innapropriate affection with stranger's children in public, search YouTube for some clips of Fergie Olver (former Jays on-air host) when he hosted Just Like Mom, a Canadian cooking show for kids.
   62. Rants Mulliniks Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:44 PM (#4751384)
#54, that is awesome.
   63. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:20 AM (#4751628)
Wow. That was an awful story. And brings some more context to the original Mel Hall thread at BBTF. For those of you who didn't read past Part 1 (or Part 2), it gets worse as it goes along, progressing from grooming a 15 year old to raping a 12 year old. And while it hasn't been established in court, there's credible evidence that he was an extremely serial molester.
   64. base ball chick Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:59 AM (#4751636)
hello boyz

remember a couple years back when we were all talking about sandusky and i asked which of you guys sat down with his kids - especially the ones age 9-15 to read the sandusky story and explain how predators work on kids

and the few that would answer me said - OH NO - the kids are too young (or something)

and now i want to ask you if any of you got the guts to sit down with your 10 - 15 year old daughters and MAKE them read this story so as you can talk to them about how predators happen and rape happens

rape is not decreasing. there has always been lots and lots of rape. the fault of the stupid female, naturally. and although we don't think it is cute for a 31 year old man to have a 15 year old gf, there are still plenty of older guys who get teenagers like this because the kids are afraid and/or ashamed to tell their parents. or their parents are garbage like the diazes and know damm well they are selling their daughter, and pretending they are doing them all some favor. or are sara's father - who "won't put his family through this"

so fathers out there

you gonna man up and do what is right by your kidz and talk to them about sandusky and hall IN DETAIL???!!! so as they will KNOW. and make very VERY sure that they won't be afraid or ashamed to tell you. every father on this here board NEEDS to read this article from the first word to the last. because you don't want mel hall/sandusky to happen to YOUR kid
   65. bjhanke Posted: July 16, 2014 at 02:13 AM (#4751656)
bbc - I'm 66 and have no children, so I don't spend much time with teenage girls, but in my 20s and 30s, I was in large social groups that did include kids that age. And yes, I would tell them about how rape can happen, but only if they asked. They weren't my kids. When I was just out of college, I spent my social time hanging around Washington U. in STL. Since I was a whole year older than anyone else they knew, I had six (really, 6) girls I knew come to me and ask for help because they'd gotten pregnant, and it being the early 1970s, abortions were illegal. Lord, what a set of experiences. Guilt. Anger. Desperation. Plus the hormone amplification from being pregnant. Eventually, all six of them found illegal abortions (I never did find out how to get one), and all six of them thanked me afterwards. They all said that, horrible as it was, it would have been worse if they'd been alone, with no one to vent to. So, guys, if you ever find yourself in anything like that situation, accept that your emotional life is going to be a little intense for a while. It's worth it, to give that poor girl a shoulder to cry on. - Brock Hanke
   66. PreservedFish Posted: July 16, 2014 at 04:16 AM (#4751666)
Can anyone recommend some Sandusky-themed nursery rhymes or fables?
   67. vivaelpujols Posted: July 16, 2014 at 06:26 AM (#4751673)
More ###### up than the ####### a 15 year old (which my 20 year self doesn't feel that strongly about, but I can definitely see how I could feel differently if I had kids) is that he basically stunted Jennifer's life. He was so controlling that she couldn't go the beach, couldn't see certain friends and wasn't allowed to finish high school? That's really ###### up.
   68. vivaelpujols Posted: July 16, 2014 at 06:28 AM (#4751674)
He told Jennifer he had prayed that she would get out of her relationship with Hall. It all couldn't have been a coincidence, she believes.


God damnit. I freakin' hate religious people sometimes even if their hearts are usually in the right place.
   69. vivaelpujols Posted: July 16, 2014 at 06:49 AM (#4751678)
Around 1991, I got into an argument with a friend about who the best outfielder in the league was. Figuring that the Yankees must employ the best one, and not knowing much about other teams, I told him that it was clearly Mel Hall, that you could "count on" him hitting almost .280 and almost 20 home runs every year. Plus, he threw out that guy at home plate that time.

He was a Bill James disciple and generally knowledgeable about the game. I'll never, ever forget the look he gave me.


This is hilarious!
   70. bigglou115 Posted: July 16, 2014 at 08:23 AM (#4751709)
#68 How could you hate the preacher? Everybody knew as much as him, he didn't have any more proof of criminal stuff going on than anyone else. He couldn't go to the cops, bringing it up to the team wouldn't do anything, and confronting Hall would've done nothing as well. If anything, if there's a 1 in 1,000,000 chance that your wrong and he's right about God then he did more than anyone else. Please, don't take that confrontationally, my point is that at least he spun a lottery when everybody else did nothing. At least that's something right? And if believing God saved her helps her sleep then surely that's something as well.

Anyway, I've only been lawyering for a few years now, 90% criminal defense and 10% divorces and custody. But this is worse than anything I've seen or heard of happening since I got my license. Makes me wonder how long I'll do the defense stuff before I move on.
   71. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4751731)

More ###### up than the ####### a 15 year old (which my 20 year self doesn't feel that strongly about, but I can definitely see how I could feel differently if I had kids) is that he basically stunted Jennifer's life. He was so controlling that she couldn't go the beach, couldn't see certain friends and wasn't allowed to finish high school? That's really ###### up.


That's an interesting take...stunting a 15 year old's personal life is worse than an abusive 28 year old ####### her. Any other younger posters out there who will agree or disagree with this? I am not that much older (mid 30's) but I find the sex acts much worse.
   72. Howie Menckel Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:17 AM (#4751733)

"That prom pic reminded me of something that was made a big deal of this past year and that was Giant's punter Steve Weatherford going to prmo this year"

Well, Weatherford is married with 3 kids, and his wife thought it was adorable. The girl also has a boyfriend who also went to the prom, and Weatherford is an extremely outgoing guy and a little goofy.

So yeah, this was goofy, but let's not turn him into Mel Hall. He didn't spend a single second alone with the girl, and she asked him - not the other way around.
   73. Lassus Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4751752)
I am not that much older (mid 30's)

I don't mean to make you feel old, but 35 is definitely much older than 20.
   74. vivaelpujols Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4751754)
How could you hate the preacher? Everybody knew as much as him, he didn't have any more proof of criminal stuff going on than anyone else. He couldn't go to the cops, bringing it up to the team wouldn't do anything, and confronting Hall would've done nothing as well. If anything, if there's a 1 in 1,000,000 chance that your wrong and he's right about God then he did more than anyone else. Please, don't take that confrontationally, my point is that at least he spun a lottery when everybody else did nothing. At least that's something right? And if believing God saved her helps her sleep then surely that's something as well.


Oh I don't hate the preacher at all, sorry. I was talking about Jennifer. And of course I don't hate her at all. Whatever victims can do to move on with their lives is fine by me. I just find it asinine that she believed that the preacher praying for her to get out of her relationship actually made a difference. I have this really Christian friend (who incidentally has helped me get over past trauma - non sexual - by talking to me about god) who just got a new job and credited that to him praying for a new job. That kind of stuff just seems really silly to me - turns god into a Santa Clause type figure. Just to clarify I think that believing in God can be used as a tool to change your mindset and live a pure life going forward, but I don't believe it has any impact on external events.

That's an interesting take...stunting a 15 year old's personal life is worse than an abusive 28 year old ####### her. Any other younger posters out there who will agree or disagree with this? I am not that much older (mid 30's) but I find the sex acts much worse.


In this instance it's pretty hard to separate the two things. But if we're talking in isolation, a 28 year old ####### a 15 year old (non abusively or coercively) a few times doesn't bother me that much. I suppose in some instances it can lead to psychological issues in the future for the girl if she's a virgin or something, but I'd guess most of the time both parties are getting something out of it. Hijacking someones life for years and drastically altering their adolescent path is a much more serious offense in my opinion. So I suppose if you're 28 and you #### a 15 year old and you get her pregnant that's a pretty shitty thing to do because it stunts her personally growth and forces her to live for someone else way too young.

So if you can imagine two scenarios - one where Mel Hall does what he advertised to the parents and promises to marry the girl when she's 18, controls her life like he did but does not sleep with her, and another where he does end up sleeping with her but doesn't exert any control over her life when he's away - I think the former is much more damaging. Hell he didn't let her finish high school. Of course in this instance the two scenarios interact with each other because Mel Hall and his controlling ass being her first boyfriend probably ###### up her expectations of future boyfriends.
   75. AROM Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4751759)
One thing that doesn't quite ring true is all the stuff about his unrealized potential. Is that really true? He was what he was, someone with decent power, lousy OBP skills and lousy defense. Not seeing the tools that would have turned him into an all-star.


You should have seen him in 82. Playing AAA at age 21 for the Iowa Cubs, he hit 329/377/612 while playing center field. Stole 19 bases too. Looking back at it now, the AA was a good hitter's league, OPS of .783, 5.17 runs per game. So probably not as good as he looked. He walked 42 times in 555 PA - not great, but not terrible, and made decent contact - only 70 strikeouts.

I went to a ton of Louisville Redbirds games that year, and saw a lot of Hall as an opponent. He looked like a superstar. Not that I'm much of a scout, and I was only 11 at the time, but I just assumed that in another year or so he'd be comparable to Andre Dawson.

As a multi-sport star who played what looked like a good CF in the minors, Hall probably had the athleticism to be a multi-tool big league player. Just didn't work hard enough to keep those skills, and coasted on his bat.
   76. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:12 AM (#4751764)
I was just a kid, but Mel Hall just looked like a guy that should be great. He had speed and power and a pretty good arm IIRC.
   77. DL from MN Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:12 AM (#4751765)
BBC - you're right but it is a really difficult subject to discuss. Age appropriateness is really difficult to judge. The behavior of the parents in these articles seems more bizarre to me. They seem to be throwing their daughters to the wolves.
   78. BDC Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4751787)
I associate Mel Hall as a player with Gary Ward and Claudell Washington. Hall took over from them as the "undistinguished older guy in the Yankee outfield for no apparent reason." All three are black, though I swear I can tell them apart :) Ward hit RH, though. They were all fast when young but had lost a step in New York, had medium power, had played some CF at some point but were stretched by their mid-30s to play decent corner OF. Their career batting lines are .276/.318/.437, .276/.328/.425, and .278/.325/.420 – really, you could mix them in a hat and reassign them randomly and it would scarcely matter.

I assume those are the only things they have in common.

Years later, I saw Hall play for the Ft Worth Cats, kind of a fun blast from the past till I learned what he was up to privately.
   79. Batman Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4751797)
You'd think I would have figured it out by 1993, but, ever since the Sutcliffe trade, I've always gotten Joe Carter and Mel Hall mixed up a little. Maybe this will finally straighten it out.
   80. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4751822)
You'd think I would have figured it out by 1993, but, ever since the Sutcliffe trade, I've always gotten Joe Carter and Mel Hall mixed up a little. Maybe this will finally straighten it out.
Easy way to keep them straight: Just remember that Hall is the one who didn’t play for the Orioles.
   81. Spahn Insane Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4751843)
Easy way to keep them straight: Just remember that Hall is the one who didn’t play for the Orioles.

Anyone who saw them play could tell them apart; Hall batted lefty, Carter righty, and Hall had a weird open stance (even more pronounced when he first came up--his rookie year, he had his foot all the way in the bucket). As an 11-year-old I wondered how the hell Hall could hit anything standing like that.
   82. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4751848)
My impression of Hall as a kid was that he was a cocky player for the Indians and then Yankees. Flamboyant. Called attention to himself on the field and wasn't quiet.


   83. Spahn Insane Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4751854)
You should have seen him in 82. Playing AAA at age 21 for the Iowa Cubs, he hit 329/377/612 while playing center field.

Yep, he was considered a monster prospect, and with some justification.
   84. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4751856)
he had his foot all the way in the bucket


That's what she said.

I'm going to hell, aren't I?
   85. Kurt Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4751866)
Thanks, AROM. I mostly remember him as a Yankee, by which time whatever tools he had had mostly vanished.
   86. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4751867)
Anyone who saw them play could tell them apart; Hall batted lefty, Carter righty, and Hall had a weird open stance (even more pronounced when he first came up--his rookie year, he had his foot all the way in the bucket). As an 11-year-old I wondered how the hell Hall could hit anything standing like that.


A day or so after the big Sutcliffe for Hall and Carter trade, there was some kind of snafu that threatened to cancel the trade, and I was excited about the Cubs getting Hall back. Bill James was very high on him, and he had had a stretch in late 1983 where he hit five homers in three games, which had me convinced he was going to be a superstar.

But I guess things worked out OK for the Cubs.
   87. AROM Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4751880)
Anyone who saw them play could tell them apart; Hall batted lefty, Carter righty, and Hall had a weird open stance (even more pronounced when he first came up--his rookie year, he had his foot all the way in the bucket).


Hall was slender and athletic-looking. Carter was just a big strong guy who happened to move reasonably well. It was a little surprising that Carter kept his speed and athleticism a lot longer than Hall did.
   88. AROM Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4751899)
Wow, looking at them 30 years later, I am blown away by how much better Hall was, statistically, as a prospect.

As I mentioned, Hall hit 329/377/612 in Iowa, 1982. He was 21.

Joe Carter played there the following season, and hit 307/328/508. He repeated AAA the next year (until the trade) and hit better (310/366/585), close but not quite as good as Hall. The big difference though, is that Carter was 23 and 24 those two years.

Carter was overrated by some for his RBI totals, and underappreciated by the Saber types who just wanted to mock RBI lovers. He had a fine HOVG career topped off with an alltime great moment. Sort of like the Jack Morris of hitters, subbing RBI for pitcher wins and a walk-off homer for a game 7 shutout, though Morris was certainly better. Hall was a better AAA player than Carter would be, playing the same position in the same park and being 3 years older. If Hall had held that advantage over Carter for his career, he would have been a Hall of Famer.
   89. vivaelpujols Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4751904)
19 career WAR is HOVG? He must be the Jim Rice of the HOVG.
   90. winnipegwhip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4751908)
While we are talking about Yankee outfielders who fell, who saw the REAL SPORTS feature on Darryl Strawberry?

Did anyone know that Straw has been a born-again preacher for the last few years?
   91. Ron J2 Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4751937)
#75 His scouting report for that year is interesting. Does not read as though the scout expected huge things of him, but he is explicit that he was major league ready at 21.

"He can play in the major leagues now. He is hitting all kinds of pitches, line drives and deep to right on ??? mediocre stuff. ... He is a hot dog and acts very cool. Opponents and teammates alike show some displeasure in his style..."
   92. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4751942)
I am not that much older (mid 30's)

I don't mean to make you feel old, but 35 is definitely much older than 20.


True, true, I just wanted to try and make clear that I wasn't coming at viva as some grumpy old get off my lawn back in the day guy. I do think there is a bit more sexual freedom for women in the generation below me, just curious if others had similar thoughts.

And thanks for the response in #74 - definitely understand where you are coming from, I knew 15 year olds who would date college kids, and I don't have any gut 'that's wrong' feelings on that, but 15/28 seems a bit extreme, I don't really see any way that is ok.
   93. base ball chick Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4751943)
vivaelpujols Posted: July 16, 2014 at 06:26 AM (#4751673)

More ###### up than the ####### a 15 year old (which my 20 year self doesn't feel that strongly about, but I can definitely see how I could feel differently if I had kids) is that he basically stunted Jennifer's life. He was so controlling that she couldn't go the beach, couldn't see certain friends and wasn't allowed to finish high school? That's really ###### up


- it's like this
when you are a 15 year old grrl, a 28 year old adult man is an Old Guy. and this is EXACTLY why these Old Guys go after 15 year old grrls. and HOW they do it. the rape is double - your body and your spirit

no 28 year old man in this society* is right for a 15 year old female, because every last one of these relationships are all about the man's power over a stupid grrl. and at 15 we are ALL stupid grrls. trust me on this - for some terrible reason, we are all insecure and self conscious and think that a MAN treating us as if we were already a grown woman is a wonderful thing

and we don't understand what it is he really wants, which is control and power (which is what rape is really all about, not impregnation)

* am not talking about societies where old guys marry young teenagers routinely because the relationship is just about her birthing babies and doing house chores
   94. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4751947)
the relationship is just about her birthing babies and doing house chores


Take it to the Politics thread.
   95. Ron J2 Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4751948)
And summarizing Hall's 1978 scouting report (from an old Walt Davis post)

Mel Hall, 1978 (high school): everything 4s and 5s current, 5s and 6s future. "Rangy, wiry, strong body. Big feet (shoes too big for him) ... built like Claudell Washington.

EDIT: In case it's not clear this is on a 0-8 scale. As a high schooler he was seen as potentially above average (but not outstanding) at everything except hitting for average and base running (and even here he was only projected as above average)

The notion that he was seen as a potential major talent early on isn't supported by the reports on record. This is a guy who should have been expected to be a good regular in his prime.



   96. vivaelpujols Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4751957)
no 28 year old man in this society* is right for a 15 year old female, because every last one of these relationships are all about the man's power over a stupid grrl. and at 15 we are ALL stupid grrls. trust me on this - for some terrible reason, we are all insecure and self conscious and think that a MAN treating us as if we were already a grown woman is a wonderful thing


Not sure this is true as a rule. A lot guys who date underrated girls are mentally ###### up themselves. Sometimes is can be a reverse father daughter type thing or some weird #### where the old man is the one who's ###### and the girl is helping him. I also don't know why you're saying rape (besides the fact that it's legally statutory rape). Obviously if we're talking about rape it's a different matter.

But there are a lot of 15 year olds who are promiscuous. If they have their 4th (or whatever) sexually encounter with a 28 year old is that really such an imbalance in power?
   97. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4751960)
the relationship is just about her birthing babies and doing house chores

Ahhhh the good old days.....
   98. base ball chick Posted: July 16, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4752025)
96
there are plenty of sexually active 15 year old grrls. they are not the ones that are targeted by 28 year old men - they want the ones who don't have enough self confidence to know a shtthead when she sees one. or doesn't have an adult in her life she can talk to

mel hall RAPED those grrls - both statutory and forceably (in some cases)

if it is a reverse father daughter thing, why is a guy into dating his "daughter"
   99. AROM Posted: July 16, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4752046)
19 career WAR is HOVG? He must be the Jim Rice of the HOVG.


I probably wouldn't put the typical 19 WAR player into the HOVG, but with nearly 400 homers and the 1993 season ender, I'd say yes. Baseball talent is a pyramid, so if the HOF is about the top 200 or so guys, I think the HOVG is probably the next 1000 or so guys.

Is Joe Carter one of the thousand best players ever? I've never tried to make that list but I think he'd be good to go.
   100. vivaelpujols Posted: July 16, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4752096)
mel hall RAPED those grrls - both statutory and forceably (in some cases)

if it is a reverse father daughter thing, why is a guy into dating his "daughter"


I'm not talking about Mel Hall. I'm just saying that sex between a 15 year old girl and a 28 year old man is not automatically wrong in my opinion, although in many cases it is.

The only thing I said about Mel Hall was that I thought him completely controlling Jennifer's life and not letting her finish high school was worse than him having sex with her. Obviously him raping a prepubescent girl is worse than either of those things.
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