After a few months’ layoff, a new episode. Subjects:
- Hall of Fame: Shockingly, neither Rany Jazayerli nor Joe Sheehan supports Jack Morris’ candidacy. They both agree that the PED pile-up has rendered the HOF impossible to predict, and that it’d be nice if the Hall elected some living people. Joe suggests that no one whose career ended before 1969 should be eligible for election. (“Michael Bourn, if you just magically transported him back to the 1955 Phillies, would be like a super-pumped Richie Ashburn. He would be one of the best players in baseball.”)
- Yankees: The two discuss the Yanks’ luxury tap maneuverings and the team’s near-term future. They agree that the effort to “reset” the luxury tax makes sense, but (even prior to the Mark Teixeira injury) that the team could be ugly this year. Rany points out that the 2014 Yankees will be spending $77 million of the $189 million soft cap on a non-overwhelming core of Tex/A-Rod/Sabathia/Ichiro, and have a lot more spots to fill. Yankee fan Joe hopes that, if the 2013 team is indeed going to end up bad, it falls out of the race early, making it plausible to “sell.”
- World Baseball Classic: Joe is a convert to the WBC cause. Both agree that, regardless of the WBC’s appeal in America (or the success of the U.S. team), the value of the tournament is that it’s a long-term attempt to increase the international appeal of the sport. Joe suggests that the WBC finals be held in July instead of the All-Star Game.
- Fantasy sleepers: Rany nominates Carl Crawford. Joe is obnoxious about it. Joe nominates Rick Porcello and Eric Hosmer.