My failed romance with Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Bert Blyleven

Bert Blyleven has been accused of being Dutch and giving up a lot of home runs, but not of taking performance-enhancing drugs. (Associated Press)

Some kids want to be astronauts, firemen, architects, or all of the above.

I wanted to vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

That’s embarrassing to admit, because I should have known better. Architects make good money. They are also able to work with numbers that don’t lie. If Edgar Kaufmann’s house in rural Pennsylvania (better known as Fallingwater) didn’t have enough weight resting in the rest of its structure, its cantilevered deck would collapse into the waterfall below. There’s no ambiguity about those numbers.

I’m not a Hall of Fame voter; I don’t have the required 10 years’ tenure in BBWAA. But I know that my voting colleagues can’t place the same confidence in their numbers. Not when those numbers are statistics compiled by steroid users in a country that considers steroid possession illegal, in a game that didn’t enforce the same rules as its government.

Continue reading

Daily Distractions: Dodgers sign Dominican outfielder; more HOF; LaRoche re-signs in Washington.

A small but historic signing today. According to BaseballAmerica.com, the Dodgers have signed 17-year-old Dominican outfielder Ariel Sandoval for $150,000. Writes Ben Badler:

Sandoval is 6-foot-2, 180 pounds and impressed the Dodgers with his potential to hit for both average and power from the right side of the plate. He’s an above-average runner who should begin his career in center field, though he has the arm strength to play right field if he outgrows the position.

Sandoval, who became eligible to sign on July 2, trained in Haina with Jaime Ozuna. Sandoval is the first six-figure international amateur signing for the Dodgers since vice president of international scouting Bob Engle and Latin American coordinator Patrick Guerrero arrived from Seattle after the 2012 season.

Lots of Hall of Fame debate today with the final voting coming tomorrow. As I often say, there’s nothing like parsing through the moral crises of a bunch of cranky sports writers to start your morning off right …
Continue reading

Daily Distractions: Stadium rumblings, Matt Kemp, Hall of Fame.

"<strong

The Dodgers are finally ready to tell the world what Dodger Stadium will look like next season.

Right now, it’s a construction site. Various photos have been published around the interwebs (peep some good collections here and here). Tomorrow, team President Stan Kasten and Senior Vice President of Planning and Development Janet Marie Smith will discuss the more intimate details of the renovation plan with the media.

We already have a general idea of what to expect – new clubhouses, new workout facilities, a new scoreboard, increased wireless capabilities, some new seating arrangements – and there aren’t likely to be any earth-shattering announcements tomorrow. However, it’s the first time that Smith has spoken to the media since she was hired by the Dodgers in August.

Smith, you may recall, oversaw the design and construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which opened in 1992, before embarking on renovation projects in Atlanta, Boston and Baltimore again. She is regarded as one of the best at what she does, and she probably has an interesting take on the stadium’s past, present and future.

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

Continue reading

Baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot: Four more ex-Dodgers for your consideration.

Baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot was announced yesterday, and there were a few more Dodger connections among the first-time candidates. We’re guessing that none of these guys will make it in, but not to be overlooked …

Continue reading

Poll: Who should be in the Hall?

Today, the 2013 ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame will be revealed. It should be an interesting ballot.

Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens, all fantastic players in their primes and suspected PED users, should be on for the first time. Former Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza is also newly eligible. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is on the ballot for the 13th time, hitting coach Mark McGwire for the seventh. Former MLBPA head Marvin Miller isn’t on the ballot, but quite a debate ensued over his Hall-worthiness when he died yesterday.

It’ll renew the great, uncomfortable, annual debate over whether known and suspected PED users belong in the Hall of Fame. (Jeff Bagwell … what was he on? Anything?)

There are about as many opinions as there are candidates. Here’s your chance to chime in before official results are announced on Jan. 9: