Good morning, everyone. Back on Tuesday, the Hall of Fame announced their results of this year's voting and we learned that no one - not a single person - was elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. I'm a supporter of a big Hall, as I feel that as many greats as possible should be enshrined. However, I don't feel that everyone should get in, as I was pleased to see that Jack Morris was not elected. Sorry folks, but I was 2 years old when he pitched his 10-inning Game 7 shutout, and I've never watched the game in its entirety either, so I can't use the "You had to be there" argument to support his case. Additionally, when I look at his numbers, I'm not impressed, so I simply can't justify having him elected.
Nevertheless, there were plenty of players that were omitted from the Hall this year. I won't list everyone that I felt was deserving, but I do feel that Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tim Raines, and more should have received more votes than they did. Now, Bonds and Clemens were excluded for steroid use, and Piazza and Jeff Bagwell were assumed to have used steroids, but really, the voters should get off their collective high horse and admit that there are already cheaters and scoundrels in the Hall of Fame right now. Despite this fact, it's easy for me to understand why they won't let that change their minds. After all, it was most likely a different group of BBWAA voters that elected those players into the Hall, and the voters now that feel that it's their responsibility to keep this generation's cheaters out. Good for them for voting for the Hall of Morality, and not the Hall of Fame.
- MLB and T-Mobile have announced a deal where T-Mobile is now the Official Wireless Sponsor, and of course T-Mobile needs to slap its logo on something for all to see: the bullpen phone. This sponsorship also means that stadiums will be switching from the landline phones to cell phones in the dugout and bullpen. The cell phones will operate on a closed-point system, so they will not work if they were taken out of these two locations. Also, I've heard that they will not be smartphones, so there's no worry of Ron Gardenhire failing to get a reliever warmed up because he was playing Angry Birds while Liam Hendriks was being lit up like the Joe Mauer family Christmas tree.
- The oldest baseball card in existence was recently found and will be up for auction shortly. A man (his identity has not been released) had been looking for antiques in Baileyville, ME, when he bought a photo album, some Coco-Cola bottles, and a couple of oak chairs for less than $100. After purchasing the album, he looked through it and found an 1865 Brooklyn Atlantics card that featured the team's 9 players standing around their manager. This man is expecting to fetch at least $100,000 at the auction for the card.
- Something new I learned is that there is a Yogi Berra Museum. Something even newer is that Yogi Berra will be tweeting occasionally through the Yogi Berra Museum Twitter account. Many of us know of Yogi's famous quotes, and this would provide him a great opportunity to bestow us with some more winners long after he left the public eye. However, I could also see the other extreme, where Yogi believes that Twitter is simply for telling people what you're currently doing, and thus we'll be "treated" to tweets about him eating breakfast and what he's watching on TV.
- Players such as Kyle Lohse and Rafael Soriano are failing to receive contract offers due to the signing team forfeiting a draft pick, but there are also a couple other players that were very close to finalizing their contracts only to be tripped up by an injury. Those two are Mike Napoli and Francisco Liriano, where both had agreed in principle to multi-year contracts with the Red Sox and Pirates, respectively, only to have the teams back up once it was revealed that the player had an injury. In Napoli's case, he has a bum hip that worries the Red Sox that he'll see significant DL time through what would have been a 3-year, $39 million contract, while in Liriano's case it's an undisclosed injury to his right, non-throwing arm. Liriano's arm is now putting a 2-year, $12.75 million deal in jeopardy. I kind of wonder if this wouldn't be a prime opportunity for a team to swoop in with a smaller contract offer in the hopes of stealing one of these guys away, but I'd think that Napoli's hip problem is serious enough that it would chase away all other suitors unless he'd be willing to take a significant pay cut.
- Finally, I received the documentary "Pelotero" over Christmas and I finished watching it. If you don't remember from when I first talked about it a few months ago, it's about two Dominican baseball players looking to sign that large contract with an MLB team. It will especially appeal to Twins fans as one of the two players is minor league 3B Miguel Sano, who just finished the past season at Single-A Beloit. The documentary chronicles the challenges Dominican players face as they fight for that contract with a major league team, which sometimes involves lying about your age and name. In fact, Sano's age is scrutinized heavily in the film, and it turns out that some shady dealings from others are what's preventing him from being signed. For a much better review than what I've provided here, I recommend checking out Jeff Passan's article from last July.