An incredibly busy week at work, and since I don’t get any kick out of torture I won’t bore you with the details. But it was enough to force my attention away from here; so, anything interesting happen during the first week of 2011? Hmm…
The new Congress convening opens up some avenues for productive discussion (and some fun at Speaker Boehner’s expense)…Haley Barbour’s unfortunate attempt to rewrite the history of the Jim Crow South was good for a “did he really say that” Danny Thomas spit take…I want to talk about reading the Constitution, and taking on budget deficits, and court rulings on televised nudity, and the repeal amendment, and the lie of the year. And I will, in time.
But first, did you see the results of the election for new members to the Baseball Hall of Fame? I mean, the guys at the bottom of the list.
Here in southeast Texas especially, this election grabbed our attention because it’s the first time a full-blooded Houston Astro had a real chance to get into the Hall. There are HOFers who played in Houston—some, like Joe Morgan, started their careers here; some, like Nolan Ryan, were here in their prime; and some, like Robin Roberts and Eddie Mathews, passed through heading for the end of the line. But not one Hall of Famer wears an Astros cap on his plaque, even though there’s been a team here for almost 50 years.
Jeff Bagwell spent his whole major league career as an Astro, and this was his first year of eligibility. There are legitimate arguments for and against him being in the Hall, but he was one of the best in the game during the 1990s and early 2000s and a fan favorite; he was the first Astro to have a real chance, and he’ll have 14 more…Craig Biggio is in the on deck circle for 2013, and he won’t need that many swings to get a hit.
There are always arguments about who deserves to be in the Hall, and that’s fun. But why are some of these guys even on the ballot: Carlos Baerga? Lenny Harris? B.J. Surhoff? Kirk Rueter?
The requirements to be on the ballot are only that you played ten seasons in the majors (granted, no mean feat) and that you’ve been retired for five seasons, and that’s why some of the worthies coming up for consideration soon will be Jeromy Burnitz, Scott Erickson (oh geez), Phil Nevin (Phil Nevin?) and Alex S. Gonzalez along with Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux.
And we can have those arguments later. For now, close your eyes and listen to those sweetest of words: pitchers and catchers report in less than six weeks.