The Philth and the Furies

Macho RowThe early-to-mid 1970s Athletics and the 1986 Mets were seminarians in comparison. Meet, or re-meet, the 1993 Phillies, the zoo in which the animals held the keys, thanks to William C. Kashatus’s Macho Row: The 1993 Phillies and Baseball’s Unwritten Code. (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press; 343 p.; $27.95.)

They were the Philthy Phillies who won a pennant dramatically enough and lost a World Series even more dramatically. Carrying themselves like old schoolers while, somehow, organised and managed like a sort-of school of tomorrow, the 1993 Phillies were the Hell’s Angels without motorcycles but on actual or alleged performance-enhancing laughing gas.

The IBWAA Hall of Fame vote: Here’s mine . . .

I-Rod: in by the BBWAA and in by the IBWAA . . .

I-Rod: in by the BBWAA and in by the IBWAA . . .

Now, about the Hall of Fame: Speaking for myself alone it’s about damn time Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines were elected to Cooperstown, and congratulations to Ivan Rodriguez for making it first ballot. But it’s a shame Vladimir Guerrero missed in his first try. Not to worry, he’s going to make it, perhaps next year.

But so far as the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America is concerned, it was a dead heat between Guerrero and Rodriguez as our picks for Hall of Famers. They both got 84.54 percent of the IBWAA vote—including mine—while Mike Mussina came one vote short of his needed 75 percent and Trevor Hoffman fell short by three.

How I voted in the IBWAA Hall of Fame election, again

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and MuseumIf only the Internet Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s balloting counted for the real thing, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza would be joined by Edgar Martinez at the Cooperstown podium come July. The IBWAA’s annual exercise voted for Piazza two years ago and for Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines last year, so they weren’t on this year’s IBWAA ballot.

But Griffey and Martinez were on the ballot. I’d have been very hard pressed to see my fellow IBWAA writers not vote Griffey in, though we did something the Baseball Writers Association of America couldn’t quite do for Junior—we voted him yes unanimously, after all.

HOF ballot: The holdovers . . .

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:

 

THE HOLDOVERS

The IBWAA ballot; or, how I voted for the Hall of Fame

National Baseball Hall of FameSince I wrote purely from an observer’s position, I was content to let my previous writings on this season’s Hall of Fame voting stand for themselves. But in the interim I was made a life member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, which conducts its own Hall of Fame ballot every year. My membership came just in time to have such a vote myself.

This vote, of course, is purely symbolic outside the IBWAA itself. Even if there are those in the mainstream press who actually pay attention to the balloting, sometimes using those results as one barometer toward gauging how the Baseball Writers Association of America vote might result. The day may come when the IBWAA vote is included in the ultimate tally that elects Hall of Famers. May.

Lester warns Cub fans about the finite lives of curses

Lester tries on his Cub fatigues and dials his inner Curt Schilling . . .

Lester tries on his Cub fatigues and dials his inner Curt Schilling . . .

Theo Epstein, who’s in a position to know closely enough, says Jon Lester is quite the changed fellow from the one he shepherded to the Red Sox. And this is a pitcher whom Epstein saw conquer cancer and help the Red Sox to the second of their three World Series triumphs in ten seasons.

HOF Vote: On the BBWAA plantation, privilege is in the eye of the beholder

Dan Le Batard, sent to bed without his supper for saying Big Daddy's been foolish . . .

Dan Le Batard, sent to bed without his supper for saying Big Daddy’s been foolish . . .

I can admit when I’m wrong. I thought the Hall of Fame-voting writer who turned his ballot over to Deadspin, vowing to cast his ballot according to how Deadspin readers voted, might have opened the proverbial can of worms. A can at least as putrid as that which surrounds the farce of most years’ All-Star Game voting, where fans can vote multiple times and often use the game for the Hall of Fame’s purpose, a kind of lifetime achievement award even if the players for whom they vote are not having All-Star worthy seasons.

The Hall of Fame Non-Election: Who Wuz Robbed?

He wuz robbed . . .

He wuz robbed . . .

Second thoughts are not first disasters. There’s nothing wrong with thinking twice, which one gathers many wish the Baseball Writers Association of America had done with this year’s Hall of Fame non-election. If a large enough group of the 500+ voting writers elected to send a message about actual or alleged performance-enhancing substances, they have done so.

They had a Hall election and nobody’s coming

Was it nobody's fault, really, that Biggio doesn't make it on the first try?

Was it nobody’s fault, really, that Biggio doesn’t make it on the first try?

I had the feeling it might turn out this way. Not since Bill Clinton looked his second presidential election campaign in the eye have the Baseball Writers Association of America ended up electing nobody to the Hall of Fame. And I’m not sure which, among factors gaining serious discussion as the voting commenced and, at last, the results came in, may prove the most controversial of them all: