For Ken Giles, Saturday night was the loneliest night of the week

Astros manager A.J. Hinch (left) gives his battered closer Ken Giles a hand upon lifting him after Cody Bellinger's tiebreaking double Saturday night. Catcher Brian McCann is behind them.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch (left) gives his battered closer Ken Giles a hand upon lifting him after Cody Bellinger’s tiebreaking double Saturday night. Catcher Brian McCann is behind them.

In 1944, Frank Sinatra recorded one of his classic contrast songs, a jaunty swinger with a melancholy lyric. “Saturday night is the loneliest night in the week/I sing the song that I sang for the memories I usually seek,” goes one couplet.

Astros closer Ken Giles might have held onto a couplet like that after Game Four of the World Series.

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

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.

The Hall of Fame Ballot: The Holdovers

Yesterday I had a look at the freshman class on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot. Today I have a look at the holdovers from last year, several of whom are making only their second appearances on the ballot, at least one of whom should have been elected on his first try last year, and at least one of whom is being kept out of the Hall of Fame somewhat unfairly. I’ll begin with that man, for all the good it will do.

THE SAD CASE OF RAFAEL PALMEIRO