Bags, the Rock, and Pudge roll to Cooperstown today

Bagwell, Raines, and Rodriguez get their Hall of Fame plaques today.

Bagwell, Raines, and Rodriguez get their Hall of Fame plaques today.

Nothing worked against Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez but innuendo and, in Bagwell’s case, one or two overcrowded ballots. They step into the Hall of Fame today, hand in hand with Tim Raines, two representing the triumph of evidence over innuendo and one representing the triumph of analysis over emotion.

Neither Bagwell nor Rodriguez were ever proven to have used actual or alleged performance-enhancing substances. Bagwell chose not to address the issue in any form, at any level, until after his playing career ended; Rodriguez slapped Jose Canseco back down convincingly in his own book, They Call Me Pudge.

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.

Dosvedanya, Dombrowski

Dombrowski hoisting one of the Tigers' AL pennant trophies.

Dombrowski hoisting one of the Tigers’ AL pennant trophies.

First, the Tigers all but threw the proverbial towel in on 2015 when they unloaded three otherwise key parts at the non-waiver trade deadline. Then, they showed they weren’t kidding by letting general manager Dave Dombrowski go just months before his current contract would expire.

“They basically told me they decided to change direction of leadership in the organization,” Dombrowski told the Detroit Free Press a day later. ”It’s kind of like an end of an era. You never like to see it end.” But he said he saw it end when his assistant GM Al Avila showed up at the ballpark Tuesday and looked as though something just wasn’t right.