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Friday, December 04, 2020

Texas Rangers name ex-pitcher Chris Young as new GM

Chris Young, the former MLB pitcher who most recently worked in the Commissioner’s Office, has been named the new general manager of the Texas Rangers, the team announced Friday.

Young, 41, is from Dallas and made his MLB debut for these same Rangers back in 2004. Now 16 years later finds himself leading their front office. In an era where MLB executives are more likely to come Ivy League institutions and have zero experience playing pro baseball, Young is something of an anomaly. He’s now one of only two GMs who played in MLB. Jerry Dipoto of the Seattle Mariners is the other. However, Young also attended Princeton, so he checks the Ivy League box too.

Jon Daniels, the Rangers’ longtime GM and president of baseball operations, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2020 at 04:42 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: chris young, rangers

The Athletic: How FanGraphs catapulted from ‘super nerd’ site to the baseball mainstream [$]

In 2005, 23-year-old David Appelman was working for AOL culling dial-up data and making graphs for the company’s executives. It wasn’t exactly exciting work and he knew quickly evolving technology would soon make dial-up obsolete. So he had an idea.

“I just thought it would be better to spend my time helping my fantasy baseball league,” he said.

Fantasy baseball was a burgeoning business at the time, but there were few resources that delved deeply into advanced stats, offering explanations on how and why they could be useful for a team. Appelman drafted a contract to buy statistical data from Baseball Info Solutions and set up feeds on a new website he called FanGraphs.com. The first post went live Aug. 15, 2005.

He planned to ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2020 at 10:25 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dave cameron, fangraphs

Len Kasper is leaving Marquee Sports Network… for White Sox radio

Len’s reasons for switching Chicago jobs had nothing to do with any displeasure with his position with Marquee, writes Sharma:

Kasper, who turns 50 in January, has always been passionate about radio and relished his opportunities to sit in on radio broadcasts with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer during the fifth inning of nationally televised games. Sources indicated that there was no bad blood between Kasper and management at Marquee and the decision came from Kasper’s desire to shift mediums.

It’s also well known that Kasper has always wanted to call a World Series. With games on national television come playoff time, this would be Kasper’s best chance….


Next question: Who will replace him? Sharma’s article has the likely answer: ...Read More...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2020 at 10:08 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, white sox

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Staten Island Yankees cease operations, sue New York Yankees, MLB

“The New York Yankees announced on November 7, 2020 that the Staten Island Yankees were no longer part of the Yankees minor league affiliation structure, even though the Yankees had made repeated assurances we would always be a minor league partner.

“Although we still have not heard this from the Yankees directly, it would appear from their press release that they would like us to go from the past arrangement in which the Staten Island Yankees were an affiliated minor league team of the New York Yankees — where we facilitated player development and brand exposure, among other benefits to the New York Yankees — to one in which we play unaffiliated baseball with no relationship to the Yankees whatsoever.

This would force Staten ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2020 at 05:12 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, yankees

How MLB is hurting free agents by dragging feet on National League DH rule for 2021

ion where they are trying to build their best roster possible, but they also have to have contingencies in place for either scenario. We know their interleague games need a DH anyway, but that’s a far cry from using one every day, especially if we’re looking at a full season as opposed to the 60-game mish-mash we just experienced.

Of course, this pales in comparison to what it is doing to the players, who are already getting squeezed after the owners didn’t get any gate money in 2020….

Instead, players like Miller and Santana are probably going to be stuck waiting around this winter. Even just a little certainty would help all parties involved. AL teams would know whether or not NL teams are in the market for a DH and then could react ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2020 at 03:03 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: designated hitter

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-3-2020

New York Herald, December 3, 1920:

[Jim] Thorpe and his Canton Bulldogs are here for their game at the Polo Grounds to-morrow. The noted Indian played the outfield in the International League last season. The writer asked him yesterday how much he hit. “About .367,” was the answer.

“Why didn’t you hit that way in the big league?”
“I hit over .300 in the big league the last year I was in it,” Thorpe replied, “and rapped right handers and left handers both. I can hit ‘em all.”
“Why didn’t they keep you in the big leagues, then?”
“Can’t prove it by me. You’ll have to ask them that.”

Thorpe hit .360 as an everyday outfielder for Akron in 1920, a year after hitting .327 for the Giants and Braves. He hit .358 for Toledo in 1921.

I’m not saying ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 03, 2020 at 11:24 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Orioles trade veteran infielder José Iglesias to Los Angeles Angels, report says

A month after Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias called José Iglesias a “perfect fit” for the team while picking up his player option for the 2021 season, the veteran infielder was dealt to the Los Angeles Angels, according to The Athletic.

Iglesias, who was owed $3.5 million and was the most consistent player on the 2020 Orioles, becomes the second player the Orioles have dealt to the Angels in the past year after the early-December trade of right-hander Dylan Bundy a year ago.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 07:51 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, jose iglesias, orioles

MLB non-tender deadline tracker: Yankees will keep Gary Sanchez; White Sox, Twins, Cubs make notable cuts

Notable non-tenders so far:

CLE - Tyler Naquin
CHW - Carlos Rodon, Nomar Mazar
CHC - Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora
KCR - Maikel Franco

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 06:21 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: non-tenders

Ichiro to coach high school baseball team

Imagine this: You’re 15, 16 years old. You’ve just made your high school baseball team. You grab your glove, your cleats and race out to the field and find Ichiro—the international hit king, future Hall of Famer and bonafide baseball rock star—telling you to take some ground balls.

Sounds impossible, right? Sounds like a dream you had after eating a particularly spicy chili? Well, it’s real.

As reported in The Asahi Shimbun, Ichiro is set to become a temporary coach at an unnamed Japanese high school that has won the prestigious National High School Baseball Championship (also known as “Summer Koshien”) at least once, sources told The Asahi Shimbun.

Though coaches are usually required to leave their professional teams—whether in Japan ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 04:07 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-2-2020

Bridgeport Times, December 2, 1920:

George “Buck” Weaver, former Chicago American baseball league club infielder, implicated by the confession of three White Sox players in the world series exposures before the Cook county grand jury recently, plans to appear in the various Chicago vaudeville houses in a monologue designed to prove his innocence of complicity in the alleged conspiracy to “throw” the 1919 series, it was said in sporting circles today.

Seems like a more interesting way to make money than working at a pharmacy.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 10:40 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Let’s Fix MLB’s Salary Arbitration System: The Arbitrators

So how can we fix this? There are three fairly straightforward changes to the salary arbitration system that would likely address these problems. First, the arbitration panel could be required to issue a written memorandum opinion for each decision it reaches, and to make those memoranda available to the MLBPA, player reps, and team front offices. We don’t need to make it public, for obvious reasons; a player’s value doesn’t need to be judicially determined in a public forum. And we don’t need thousand-page tomes. But a few pages explaining what the arbitrators found persuasive, how they reached the decision they did, and why they rejected the losing arguments, would go a long way towards creating a measure of predictability and ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 09:28 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Twins place Eddie Rosario on outright waivers

The time has come: Eddie Rosario has been put on outright waivers and is most likely going to become a free agent. Rosario has been projected to net around $9.6 million for the 2021 campaign, which is not nearly what he should receive given his recent production. The Puerto Rican has spent the entirety of his professional career with Minnesota, batting .277/.310/.478 (.788) with 119 bombas and 388 RBI in six seasons. According to Baseball Reference, he accumulated a 10.7 oWAR but a -1.5 dWAR in his time with the club.

In conjunction with the news, Rosenthal also tweeted the the Twins front office had tried to trade Rosie this winter, but to no avail. Teams have until 1p tomorrow to claim Rosario and if they don’t, the Twins may try to ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2020 at 10:18 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: eddie rosario, twins

Sources: Isiah Kiner-Falefa to replace mainstay Elvis Andrus as starting Rangers shortstop next season

As the Rangers move toward the future, they first must clear away the underbrush of the past. And so, Elvis Andrus’ time as starting shortstop, which lasted more than a decade, included a pair of AL championships but no Gold Gloves and only two above-average offensive seasons, is over.

In a move that will have a long-range domino effect on multiple spots around the infield, four sources said Isiah Kiner-Falefa will pack up the Gold Glove he won at third base in 2020 and move to shortstop. The move creates a clear path for top prospect Josh Jung to reach the majors before the end of the 2021 season. The Rangers would likely add a free agent third baseman on a one-year contract as they did in each of the past two years until Jung is ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2020 at 03:40 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: elvis andrus, isiah kiner-falefa, rangers

Mets To Sign Trevor May

The Mets have agreed to terms on a contract with free-agent reliever Trevor May, SNY’s Andy Martino reports (via Twitter). The contract is pending a physical. MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reported earlier this afternoon that May and the Mets were “deep” in talks. May is represented by the VC Sports Group.

May, 31, becomes the first prominent reliever to come off the board. The longtime Twins righty bounced back from Tommy John surgery that wiped out his 2017 season to become a reliable, late-inning power arm in Minnesota and one of the game’s foremost strikeout pitchers. Since returning from that elbow operation, May has compiled 113 innings of 3.19 ERA and 3.56 FIP ball, averaging 12.2 strikeouts, 3.0 walks and 1.4 home runs per ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2020 at 03:07 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, trevor may

HBO Sports & Major League Baseball Team Up For CC Sabathia Documentary

HBO Sports and Major League Baseball are teaming up on documentary Under The Grapefruit Tree: The CC Sabathia Story, about the life and career of the former New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians pitcher.

The feature doc, which will debut on December 22 on HBO and will then stream on HBO Max, will offer a personal insight into six-time All Star Cartsen Charles (“CC”) Sabathia, Jr., using as its foundation behind-the-scenes footage from his final season with the Yankees in 2019.

Sabathia narrates the story, which begins in Vallejo, CA, where the future pitching great first honed his skills throwing grapefruits from a tree in his grandmother’s yard. As the highs and lows of his last season are chronicled, Sabathia ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2020 at 11:35 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cc sabathia, documentaries

What the Braves Can Tell Us About MLB’s Financial Losses in 2020

The Braves’ baseball revenue principally comes from national and local television deals plus gate receipts. We know the last number is zero. We also know that in a normal season, Atlanta makes $83 million in local television revenue. If we pro-rate that number for the season that was just played, we end up at around $33 million, leaving around $69 million to come from MLB’s central office. Assuming every team received roughly the same amount, we are talking about $2 billion comprised mostly of national television revenue. That’s also roughly the amount players were paid this season, including playoffs and benefits. While we can’t know for sure, it certainly seems likely that adding a bunch of national games during the week on FOX ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2020 at 10:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

St. Paul Saints to become Twins’ top minor-league team; Class AA in Wichita

The reorganization of Minor League Baseball is expected to be announced as soon as Tuesday, with the Twins reaching deals to have their top affiliates in St. Paul and Wichita, Kan.

The St. Paul Saints will leave independent baseball to become the Class AAA team for the Twins. What’s unclear is if the Saints are paying the entire cost of entering affiliated ball — reports over the summer indicated a cost of as much as $20 million — or if the Twins will contribute.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli fueled speculation Saturday when posted a video on his Twitter feed thanking fans for their support while wearing a Saints cap. The Twins’ Class AAA site had been in Rochester, N.Y., which will now house the Nationals’ top farm team.

The ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2020 at 09:31 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Monday, November 30, 2020

Mets not bringing back bench coach Hensley Meulens

While Luis Rojas survived the Mets’ ownership change, his top lieutenant will not be as fortunate.

An industry source confirmed Monday that Hensley Meulens, the Mets’ bench coach in 2020, will not return to the team next season, as first reported by USA Today.

The decision doesn’t come as a huge surprise, as the 53-year-old Meulens originally joined the Mets as Carlos Beltran s bench coach last offseason, only to see Beltran lose his job (for his involvement in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal) before making it to even spring training.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2020 at 05:27 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Marlins trade for Cimber, designate Ureña

The Miami Marlins today acquired RHP Adam Cimber from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for cash considerations.

In his third Major League season, Cimber made 14 appearances for Cleveland in 2020, going 0-1 with a 3.97 ERA in 11.1 innings with only one home run allowed.

He pitched in a team-high 68 games for the Indians in 2019, going 6-3 with a 4.45 ERA in 56.2 innings….

In order to make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Jose Ureña was designated for assignment. Miami’s Opening Day starter in 2018 and 2019, Ureña pitched in six seasons with the Marlins and is 12th in franchise history with 406 strikeouts and 13th with 98 starts.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2020 at 05:16 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: adam cimber, jose urena, marlins

Royals ink Michael A.  Taylor to one-year contract

The Royals announced Monday that they’ve signed free-agent outfielder Michael A. Taylor.

A source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand that Taylor’s contract is a one-year Major League deal worth $1.75 million, plus up to $1 million in incentives. The team hasn’t confirmed the terms of the contract.

Taylor, who spent his first seven big league seasons with the Nationals and was a part of their World Series-winning team in 2019, elected to become a free agent in October after clearing outright waivers.

The 29-year-old played in 38 games for Washington in 2020, hitting .196 with five home runs and 16 RBIs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2020 at 04:12 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: michael taylor, royals

Bill James: The Biggest Problem With WAR

The player’s WAR can vary by 150%, based on 3 errors of 3% each.  THAT is the basic problem with WAR.  I mean, we argue about all kinds of things.  We argue about whether clutch data should be included in runs created estimates; we argue about whether the fielding estimates are consistent with external evidence, etc.  But the REAL problem is that:

1)    Estimates are never exactly right; they are always just estimates, and

2)    WAR uses an analytical system to process those estimates which has the potential to enormously magnify whatever inaccuracies are included.

In a WAR estimate, there are dozens and dozens of internal estimates—estimates of runs created, estimates of runs saved by fielding, estimates of the run value of a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2020 at 01:29 PM | 152 comment(s)
  Beats: war

Felicity Huffman Plots Acting Return in ABC Baseball Comedy

Felicity Huffman is set to make her return to acting following her sentence in the college admissions bribery scandal.

The former Desperate Housewives star is set to lead an untitled comedy set in the world of minor league baseball at ABC. The project from ABC Signature, Kapital Entertainment and writer Becky Hartman Edwards (The Bold Type, The Baker and the Beauty) is inspired by the life of Susan Savage, the owner of the Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants…..

The ABC comedy, meanwhile, will also star Zack Gottsagen (The Peanut Butter Falcon). It centers on Huffman’s character, who inherits her husband’s beloved minor league baseball team after his sudden death. She navigates her new life with the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2020 at 01:07 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: television

Pioneer League designated Partner League of MLB

Major League Baseball and the Pioneer League jointly announced today that the Pioneer League has been designated a “Partner League” of MLB. Starting in 2021, the Pioneer League will transition from affiliated status to an independent professional MLB Partner League that continues to provide high-quality baseball to the states of Idaho, Montana, Utah and Colorado. All eight members of the Pioneer League – the Billings Mustangs, the Grand Junction Rockies, the Great Falls Voyagers, the Idaho Falls Chukars, the Missoula Paddleheads, the Ogden Raptors, the Northern Colorado Owlz and the Rocky Mountain Vibes – will continue participating in the league and will maintain their existing team names and brands.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2020 at 12:25 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pioneer league

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-30-2020

Washington Times, November 30, 1920:

The handling of Babe Ruth’s mail has forced a vexing problem upon the management of the Yankees. It isn’t good business to hire additional office help in this day of high prices, but the inrushing stream of letters, pamphlets, circulars, and postal cards almost forces it upon the Yankees. None of the fans seems to know Babe’s Cuban address, and all the communications continue to shower upon the Yankee office.

This seems like a decent problem to have.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 30, 2020 at 11:10 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Five teams to form ‘draft league’ as MLB’s consolidation of minor leagues nears conclusion

Five minor-league franchises that are losing their affiliation with Major League Baseball clubs will comprise a “draft league” for amateur players as part of MLB’s revamping of its player development systems, the league announced Monday.

Four of the franchises were part of the New-York Penn League, a short-season circuit that’s splintering after 81 years as its franchises either maintain affiliation, move up a level or make do with amateur baseball.

The latter outcome was confirmed Monday for the Mahoning Valley (Ohio) Scrappers, the State College (Pennsylvania) Spikes, the West Virginia Black Bears, and the Williamsport (Pennsylvania) Crosscutters. The Trenton (New Jersey) Thunder are dropping all the way from the Class AA ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2020 at 10:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: new york-penn league

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Royals sign left-handed pitcher Mike Minor to two-year deal

The Royals have signed left-handed pitcher Mike Minor, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports it is a two-year deal. Terms have not been disclosed and Rosenthal indicates the deal is pending a physical. Minor previously pitched for the Royals in 2017 as a reliever, after recovering from shoulder surgery. He had a 2.55 ERA in 77 2⁄3 relief innings, resurrecting his career.

Minor has gone on to re-establish himself as a starting pitcher since then, making the All-Star team and receiving Cy Young Award votes with the Rangers in 2019 when he finished with a 3.59 ERA as a 7.8 WAR pitcher, according to Baseball Reference. His numbers regressed last year and he had a 5.56 ERA with 62 strikeouts and 56 ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2020 at 11:49 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mike minor, royals

A push to recognize the statistics of Black players from baseball’s era of apartheid

Major League Baseball is considering giving major-league status to six long-defunct Negro Leagues, where 35 Hall of Famers played during the sport’s segregated era.

“It’s the right thing to do,” said Scott Simkus, a former Chicago limousine driver who spent much of the last two decades helping build a statistical database of the Negro Leagues by tracking down and chronicling box scores of once-forgotten games. “It’s long overdue, but it would be righting a wrong. It would be giving the Negro Leaguers full citizenship as professionals.”

Not everyone agrees.

“Negro Leaguers should be compared against themselves,” said Larry Lester, a pioneer of Negro League studies and the chairman of the Society for American Baseball ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2020 at 10:23 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: negro leagues

Blue Jays have ‘progressed beyond just talking’ with George Springer?

George Springer is one of the most prominent of the many free agents the Blue Jays are reportedly exploring this offseason, but the Jays’ initial interest in Springer seems to be developing.  According to Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi, the Jays have “progressed beyond just talking” with Springer, which would seem to indicate that Toronto has issued at least one offer to the former World Series MVP.

Such a step doesn’t necessarily indicate that a deal could be close, or even that Springer is the Blue Jays’ top free-agent target.  However, the Jays already made one early signing in bringing Robbie Ray back to the club on a one-year contract, and the wide net Toronto is seemingly casting over so many free agents could indicate that ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2020 at 11:44 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, george springer

Bob Miller, Phillies ‘Whiz Kid’, longtime Detroit Mercy baseball coach, dies at 94

Bob Miller, one of the former Philadelphia Phillies’ “Whiz Kids” who went on to be the longtime head coach of Detroit Mercy baseball, died on Saturday at the age of 94.

Miller coached the Titans from 1965-2001, leading to 25 winning seasons in 36 years, a 1965 NCAA tournament appearance and winning the first-ever Mid-Continent Conference title in 1997.

The three-sport star at Redford St. Mary’s was offered a basketball scholarship at University of Detroit, but was instead drafted into the Army in 1944. He joined Detroit’s baseball team in 1947, when he was discovered by a Phillies scout.

He went on to pitch 10 seasons in the majors and was second in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 1950. That year, he — along with former ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2020 at 10:32 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Is the Hall leaving out too many players?

You should have two takeaways from these:

1) The lowest points in the first nine decades or so of the 21st century came during the two World Wars, understandably so. Bob Feller, for example, missed all of 1942-44 in America’s service, while Ted Williams missed all of 1943-45. Dozens of Hall of Famers missed the primes of their careers serving, plus several more (including Williams again) in the Korean War. The talent level had a meaningful drop.

2) The last three decades have consistently had the lowest Hall of Famers-per-year numbers in history outside of those wars, and it’s not just because not all of those players are eligible yet.

Taken all together, it does appear we’re being too stringent with the recent decades. We’re not ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2020 at 10:27 AM | 130 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

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