Daily Distractions: Hamilton vs. Berkman, Hall of Fame, RIP Richard McWilliam.

Is Lance Berkman an upgrade for the Rangers over Josh Hamilton?

That was the question pondered today at FanGraphs.com – more specifically, who will have the better 2013 season? The stat-laden conclusion is that on offense, the two will be about even:

So, what does the extra $114 million get the Angels with Hamilton that the Rangers are punting with Berkman? Defense, basically. Berkman is likely to be a DH who might occasionally play first base during interleague match-ups, while Hamilton is likely to be an above average defender in right field. There’s no question that makes Hamilton the better player, and certainly worth more in salary. I’m not suggesting that Berkman and Hamilton are equally valuable, or that Hamilton and Berkman should have signed the same contracts this winter. However, I am suggesting that perhaps the overall net effect of the moves on the Rangers and Angels won’t be as big as they might appear on the surface.

Some more reading material to delay the start of your work week:

• In about 48 hours, we’ll learn who will comprise the next Baseball Hall of Fame class. It’s shaping up to be a small group (read: zero). Some say that’s OK. Some say it’ll make for an awkward but fleeting moment if Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa gain induction. A more awkward stain upon the historical voting record is if Craig Biggio becomes a first-ballot Hall of Famer, considering Tris Speaker, Rogers Hornsby, Joe DiMaggio and Cy Young were not. How’s that for a historical footnote?

• Here’s the complete HOF ballot and the rules for voting. Who would you put in?

• Only one player was inducted into the Internet Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame: Former Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza. The IBWAA is comprised of both “mainstream” baseball writers who have a BBWAA vote, and bloggers who do not. My IBWAA ballot: Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Marvin Miller, Sammy Sosa. I will explain my thoughts on this in a future blog entry.

• Richard McWilliam, chairman and co-founder of Upper Deck, has died. The 1993 Upper Deck MLB set blew my mind as a kid with its photography and its glossy, un-Topps like texture. This Dennis Eckersley hologram card is one of my all-time personal favorites.

• Former Indians/Padres/Brewers/Cubs/Pirates outfielder Jody Gerut is now a financial advisor to athletes.

• For fans of the band Nirvana and fans of satire, this.

• I’m going to start linking music videos, because 9 times out 10 I’m trolling through them on YouTube while I’m blogging. Here’s a recent club jam called “Sulk.” Check out the girl in the Padres beanie at 1:29, which probably constitutes the most random instance of a Padres logo in an official music video ever:

• As a bonus, here’s a China Crisis song from 30 years ago, just because:

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.