Hutton—too much homer for non-Marlins fans, not enough homer for his Marlins bosses . . .
For non-Miami Marlins fans, Tommy Hutton sounded too much like a homer. For the Marlins’ thin skinned administration, Hutton wasn’t homer enough. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
But if it makes Hutton feel any better, now that he’s been pinked by the Marlins, even Hall of Fame broadcasters have been fired for calling or reporting games and their atmospheres honestly. Hutton has only to look at Tim McCarver and, well before him, Red Barber. He’s joining some pretty elite company.
Braves fans cringe even further now that the Angels pried Simmons out of them . . .
The Braves and the Red Sox got fleeced in broad daylight last week. The Angels and the Padres made out like bandits by comparison.
That’ll teach the Braves. They thought they could swap Andrelton Simmons, maybe the best defensive shortstop in the National League, to the Mets, who could use an upgrade in the middle infield, for either Matt Harvey or Jacob deGrom.
The holdover Hall of Fame ballot entrants are both an interesting and a troublesome group, largely because the recent rule changes limiting a Baseball Writers Association of America candidate to ten years on the ballot—and limiting voters to ten players per ballot—push a few right up against the exit door if they don’t make it this time. And in a few cases that just doesn’t seem right.
Let’s review the holdovers’ candidacies. Much of what I’ve written of some of these players in the past still holds, so I’ll include what I wrote of those:
That’s the problem with Hall of Fame ballots. Other than the obvious there-because-it’s-five-years-retired players, picking the worthies from among the newcomers is both a challenge and a lot of fun, at least until you run into the ones you knew were good, even great, but not quite Hall of Fame great.
And several of these players have had some impeccable moments regardless of whether or not they shake out as Hall of Famers:
THE NEWCOMERS, CONTINUED . . .
Anderson hits the three-run double that really puts the Angels en route to winning Game Seven, 2002 World Series.
Ken Griffey, Jr. has arrived. On the Hall of Fame ballot, that is. And if there’s justice it ought to be Trevor Time one more time.
Griffey and Trevor Hoffman are two of fourteen new entrants on the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot, and among those they’re two who should be no-questions-asked Hall of Famers.
There are also seventeen players making return engagements, including a pair in their final year of BBWAA eligibility thanks to the rule change that shrank the eligibility period to ten years. The BBWAA also shrank the number of voters, too, casting away members who hadn’t voted on Hall of Fame ballots for ten years or better.
They barely have the streets swept clean following the Kansas City Royals’ World Series parade, and the off-season intrigues have begun in earnest. OK, a couple began when it barely began sinking in that the New York Mets had blown a Series they actually could have won, or when Don Mattingly left the Los Angeles Dodgers and became the Miami Marlins’ new manager. But let’s start looking:
Rios, who forgot how many outs there were when he caught this Game Four fly . . .
The Dark Knight wanted what he shouldn’t have gotten for the ninth in Game Five . . .
Let’s put it this way, if we must: There was nothing pre-ordained to suggest the New York Mets couldn’t have won the now-finished World Series. There was nothing pre-ordained suggesting the Kansas City Royals couldn’t have lost it. Unless you were fool enough to give the Royals an inch.
Take a yard? These Royals took the circumference of the earth when given any inches. And these Mets, who’d gotten to the postseason so gallantly in the first place, when nobody including perhaps themselves started the season thinking they had a sliver of a chance, had inches to give and then some. Time and again.
On a dark night when the New York Mets needed a Dark Knight to keep them alive in the World Series, Matt Harvey did everything he could. And it ended up for nothing.
Nothing but the tying run home on a wild-wide throw from first. Nothing but the eventual winning run sent home by a guy who was making his first plate appearance in the entire postseason. Lighting the twelfth-inning depth charge that didn’t just beat but drowned the Mets ignominiously.
Duda’s wild-wide throw home let Hosmer score the tying run on—mad? Try insane dash home . . .
For the Kansas City Royals, it’s a desire not to have to extend the World Series if they can help it, even if that extension would take the set home to Kauffmann Stadium. For the New York Mets, it’s a desire not to lose the Series at home in Citi Field and to get back up off the mat onto which they threw themselves in Game Four.
Right now, and at least until Game Five gets underway Sunday night, it must absolutely suck to be Daniel Murphy, Yoenis Cespedes, and Terry Collins. Oh, to be back in Chicago, when Murphy was a hero of heroes, Cespedes’s inexplicable postseason disappearance could be covered, and Collins looked like someone in training to be a genius.