January 10, 2006

SPORT SHORTS

- new baseball hall of fame class was announced today. congratulations to bruce sutter, who is probably paving the way for mariano rivera, trevor hoffman, and future relievers to get inducted. is he deserving? not as a first-ballot, but later? eh, probably. he is near the end of his eligibility so it was probably fair. one question i have though, "if sutter's career was good enough to get in, then why not goose gossage?" very strange. when you line up their career stats: sutter: 661 GP, 1042.1 IP, 300 Saves, 309 BB, 861 SO, 2.83 ERA gossage: 1002 GP, 1809.1 IP, 310 Saves, 732 BB, 1502 SO, 3.01 ERA considering that getting into the hall of fame is about a high level of achievement over a long period of time, it would seem that gossage is a shoe-in, particularly if sutter's getting in this year. odd? yes. i think so. edit: it seems that rob neyer wrote something similar yesterday. i should be a sportswriter. -- so if you've been listening to the sports radio the last few days, as i have, it is apparent how galvanizing the baseball hall of fame debate is. tony bruno, on gary radnich's show this morning, lashed out at the BaseBall Writers' Association of America for "playing God" and keeping deserving players out of the hall of fame. i think many columnists and radio hosts rant about this every year. they also rant about how stupid it is that someone can be left out for ten years and then suddenly make it in. my thoughts on this: i actually appreciate what the BBWAA does with the baseball hall of fame. if you look at the hall of fame for every other major sport, they are jokes. every decent football player is a lock for the hall of fame. nobody even knows who's in the basketball hall of fame. with baseball, they do several things that, at the least, create interest: 1. set the standard extremely high: the bar to get into the baseball hall of fame is downright ludicrous when you think about it. if all of today's current players stopped playing TODAY, my guess is that there might only be six or seven guys DEFINITELY getting in (barry bonds, roger clemens, greg maddux, randy johnson, roberto alomar (don't laugh, look at the numbers), piazza, and probably pedro). that is absurd. 2. distinguish between first-ballot hall-of-famers and others: willie mays was not a unanimous first-ballot hall of famer. and the guy was probably the greatest baseball player ever. 3. ask for 75% to get in: 75%? just think about how strong of a sentiment that represents. i bet money that at least 1/2 of the sportswriters that have spoken to barry bonds hate him. now you want at least half of those haters to vote for barry? pretty tough. those three factors result in lots of argument, controversy, and lobbying. you have people not only arguing if craig biggio should get in (i think he should), but also whether he should be a first-ballot hall of famer. i think those arguments are healthy and only serve to increase interest in the game. bruce sutter? who the hell would care who bruce sutter was today if he didn't get into the hall of fame? and not only that, would bruce sutter have cried like he did today if he got in on the first ballot? probably not. say what you want about the Baseball Writers of America, but they sure do make baseball interesting. -- next year? there are several shoe-ins (tony gwynn and cal ripken jr.) as well as one guy who should be a shoe-in if you excuse his bulging steroid-grown muscles (mark mcgwire). i also see several down-the-road maybes, so it could get pretty interesting: (bret saberhagen and *drumroll* jose canseco). -- wild card weekend over, and my preseason super bowl pick (carolina) still looking strong. on october 7, i picked carolina (2-2 at the time) over indy in the super bowl. i'll stick to that one, though this weekend's matchup with the bears just looks scary. tags:

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