The roster isn’t supposed to be announced until Thursday but some names have been confirmed for the World Baseball Classic. Mark Teixeira and Andy Pettitte made that list and they will represent Team USA in March. That would mean that they would miss Yankees Spring Training, yes (along with Robinson Cano who is playing for Team Domincan Republic) but they will get the workout they need to be prepared for the upcoming 2013 season. Pettitte would be reunited with former Yankees manager Joe Torre so it would be great to see those two working together again, although it will only be for as long as Team USA plays in the World Baseball Classic.
While we worry about Pettitte and the workload that the World Baseball Classic will give him (let’s remember, Andy is 40), this could be just the thing for Teixeira (who is notorious for slow starts to seasons). As Bryan Hoch of MLB.com said, “Given his history of slow regular season starts, perhaps this is a new way of trying to avoid those April struggles.” Yes, let’s hope that’s the case. The rest of the rosters will be released on Thursday and you can check back here to see which of your Yankees (besides Pettitte and Teixeira) will get the prestigious honor of representing their country.
In Other News:
— Derek Jeter is still working hard towards Opening Day. Good for the Captain!
— I had an article about the Hall of Fame shutout published on Yahoo! that discusses how much of the voting process focused on Steroid Speculation. Read it and if you like it, tell your friends to read it. Tell your neighbors to read it! Tell your cat to read it! Tell anyone you know to read it!
For the first time since 1996, no player had been elected into the Hall of Fame. The results were announced on MLB Network at around 2pm and while Craig Biggio got the most votes, he didn’t get enough in order to get elected. The player would need 75% of the votes in order to get elected. Here were the results from today’s Hall of Fame ballots.
Craig Biggio – 388 votes (68.2%)
Jack Morris — 385 votes (67.7%)
Jeff Bagwell — 339 votes (59.6%)
Mike Piazza — 329 votes (57.8%)
Tim Raines — 297 votes (52.2%)
Lee Smith — 272 votes (47.8%)
Curt Schilling — 221 votes (38.8%)
Roger Clemens — 214 votes (37.6%)
Barry Bonds — 206 votes (36.2%)
Edgar Martinez — 204 votes (35.9%)
Alan Trammell — 191 votes (33.6%)
Larry Walker — 123 votes (21.6%)
Fred McGriff — 118 votes (20.7%)
Dale Murphy — 106 votes (18.6%)
Mark McGwire — 96 votes (16.9%)
Don Mattingly — 75 votes (13.2%)
Sammy Sosa — 71 votes (12.5%)
Rafael Palmeiro — 50 votes (8.8%)
Bernie Williams — 19 votes (3.3%)
Now, after the results came out, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association director had some comments about today’s HOF shutout. Here was what each of them had to say.
MLB: “Major League Baseball recognizes that election to the Hall of Fame is our game’s most extraordinary individual honor. Achieving enshrinement in Cooperstown is difficult, as it should be, and there have been seven other years when no one was elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. While this year did not produce an electee, there are many worthy candidates who will merit consideration in the future. We respect both the longstanding process that the Hall of Fame has in place and the role of the BBWAA, whose members have voted in the Hall of Fame’s elections since 1936.”
MLBPA: “Today’s news that those members of the BBWAA afforded the privilege of casting ballots failed to elect even a single player to the Hall of Fame is unfortunate, if not sad. Those empowered to help the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum document the history of the game failed to recognize the contributions of several Hall of Fame worthy players. To ignore the historic accomplishments of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, for example, is hard to justify. Moreover, to penalize players exonerated in legal proceedings — and others never even implicated — is simply unfair. The Hall of Fame is supposed to be for the best players to have ever played the game. Several such players were denied access to the Hall today. Hopefully this will be rectified by future voting.”
So now that we’ve had the first shutout in more than ten years, what is your reaction to no one getting in the HOF. Do you think the writers based the voting strictly on the steroid issue and went a little too far? Write your thoughts in the comments below.
Clemens, the AL’s big weekend, Perfect games, no hitters, and one hitters galore, and much more from a big week in baseball.
On Monday afternoon the sad and embarrassing saga of Roger Clemens‘ perjury trial was put to an end. The “not guilty” verdict that was handed on down on all six counts brought against Clemens by the Federal Government. This verdict effectively ends Clemens’ legal battles regarding whether he did or did not use PED’s but the in the court of public opinion he will be tried for decades. To judge whether or not the Federal Government “wasted” millions in taxpayer money isn’t really appropriate. Federal Prosecutors have a job to do, and in an ideal world must bring charges against those who they feel have violated Federal Statutes. In what is now and forever will be known as the “steroid era”, it has become obvious to just about everyone that the use of PED’s was rampant and that some of the baseball’s all-time greats used these PED’s. Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, Clemens, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz and Andy Pettite have all been linked to PED use. Whether or not these players are voted into the Hall Of Fame is a question that only time can answer. My feeling about whether or not these players will be voted into the Hall Of Fame is that eventually they all who deserve to be in the Hall Of Fame based on their numbers will be voted in. They’ll all be “punished” by the writers by not being voted into the Hall Of Fame in their first year of eligibility and possibly for as long as a decade. At some point though, I believe that the perspective that time will provide will soften the view on these players and their actions enough to allow their entry into Cooperstown. They’ll get their yearly visits to the gathering on the famed veranda at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, where Chef Gregory will prepare them an incredible meal while they sip beverages looking out over Otsego Lake.
Nothing about this era, its criminal trials, apologies, or aftermath has been positive for the sport. Its causes can’t be traced to one specific event or person. Every player who used PED’s had his own reasons and rationalizations for doing so and to those who think that all or most of the violators have been named? I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I can sell you very cheap. It is normal and expected for people to want to blame someone or something for this era. Selig and the owners? Yes, it is very safe to assume that some of them had an idea about what was going on. The players themselves? Of course, They knew what they were doing to their bodies.
While many have stated that players were forced to do this to compete and keep up with those looking to take their jobs, it isn’t a good enough reason. Lets just make sure that we all take a look at ourselves before we assign that blame. While there were a scant few who hinted that perhaps all was not kosher with the increase in home runs, batting averages, and speed of fastballs in MLB during this era, most of us wanted to believe that this was legitimate. Most fans and writers looked the other way and suppressed that little voice in their head that was saying “this isn’t possible”. Did I know that it wasn’t logical that all of a sudden guys named McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds were suddenly supposed to possess so much power? Yes, I did. Did I know that most pitchers weren’t all of a sudden supposed to be humming fastballs in the mid to high 90’s? Yes, I did. Did I push these thoughts back deep into my mind? Yes, I did, and I don’t think I’m different from anyone else. Most of us loved the exciting power, action, and performances that this era provided us as fans and we didn’t protest or call these performances into question. It is my fervent belief that most people who express anger and outrage over what these players did are really just as angry at themselves for being taken in by this era.