Hall of Fame Voting ~ Some Writers Don’t Deserve the Privilege

“Cooperstown Hall of Fame”

Interesting article yesterday at Seamheads.com,  written by John Baranowski.  It goes deep about the history and inner workings of who makes it to Cooperstown and why.  But what I found interesting is that all of the BBWAA writers can vote – even though some of them haven’t written on the subject for years.  He’s proposing that Announcers and Broadcasters be added to the list of those who can vote.  Thinking about the ones I listen to on a daily basis, it seems the most logical of logical ideas.  I mean, who knows more about the history of most all ballplayers than those who are talking about it and watching on a daily basis – some for the past half century.

Baranowski also casually mentions the idea that fans might  be given a shot at voting, noting they could probably do just as well as those who are currently voting. Personally, I hope that never happens.  Human nature being what it is, I fear a huge popularity contest.  Those cities with huge fan bases will be sending the most Hall of Fame Inductees and that’s not what it’s supposed to be about.  In my humble opinion, of course.

Broken Bats, Barry Bonds and The Easy Way Out.

broken bat image

John Bowker, Giants vs Cardinals, April 18, 2008.

It takes a lot to get me back into blogging mode these days.  And it’s not because I don’t want to but, like everyone else, I’m busy.  So when I read an article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal I couldn’t contain myself.

The article was written by Jo Craven McGinty,  “Behind Broken Baseball Bats, Broken Records.”  Blame Barry, she says, and that got my attention.  Evidently the year that Bonds hit his record 73 home runs, he was using a maple wood bat, unlike the ash bats that were commonplace in the majors at the time.

Today the use of maple wood bats has increased to nearly 75% of all bats used in broken bat 2the major leagues.  There’s controversy about whether maple vs ash bats contribute to more home runs.    The problem is that maple is more likely to split into multiple pieces when it breaks, while ash “flakes”.   In other words, it can hurt people.  Like it did on June 5 at Fenway Park, when it smashed into the stands and into the face of a fan.

Kurt Ainsworth, Marucci Sports, puts it this way.  “When you have future Hall of Famers putting up crazy numbers, it’s hard for MLB to take those bats out of their hands.”  Really.  Is that what it means?  You mean Barry Bonds record home runs was due to his “bat” and had nothing to do with steroids?   According to Lloyd Smith, Director of the Sports Science Lab at Washington State University, “The speed of the ball coming off maple is no different from the speed of the ball coming off ash.”

But here’s the kicker.  According to McGinty’s article, which also deals with the diameter, density and slope of grain of the bats, regulations have reduced the number of broken bats.  “Since 2013 the minimum density of the barrel of the bat is 0.0245 pounds per cubic inch.  The Regulations have reduced the number of broken bats.”  But, as she notes, there are exceptions to the rules:

“Players who used low-density bats before the rules took effect are grandfathered in and at least 15% of maple bats used in MLB today have densities below 0.0245.”

Are you kidding me?  If there’s any substance to this regulation at all, why would you take the easy way out and let any of the players keep using the maple bats?

I’ll bet money on the fact someone out there has the answer.  And I hope it’s not because the guys who are hitting the homers are the ones who are still using those bats and drawing the fans through the gates.  I mean it can’t always be about the money, can it?

The Sounds (And Sights) Of Baseball

garlicfriesandbaseball:

Here’s Steve Contursi doing what he does best for love of the game ~ again.

Thank you Steve!

Originally posted on REFLECTIONS ON BASEBALL:

In the 21st Century, we live in a video world. YouTube posts go viral and police wear “cop cams”. ……..If we can’t see it,  we don’t believe it or it simply didn’t happen.

But there is another way to explore and experience life…….seemingly long forgotten but once the only way we “knew” anything……….and that is by exercising our auditory senses.

Sounds Of Baseball is predicated on that concept. It is a not for profit website that is the work of Ronnie Redmond (Santa Cruz, CA) and myself.  Completely reworked by Ronnie, the new mobile friendly site offers a trip back to yesteryear when sound was all that existed. Here’s a sample…….

Ted Williams Last At Bat…………..tell me the radio announcer doesn’t draw you in to the moment with his radio call……..

We are (openly) trying to promote our site. Please consider posting or sending it to your friends on…

View original 11 more words

183 Day MLB Trip in 2015: Game 62 – Wrigley Field

Wow!   This is what I’d call a “real” summer vacation.  Have fun Chuck! We’ll be following your journey.

183 Day MLB Trip in 2015: Game 62 – Wrigley Field.

 

THE SOUNDS OF BASEBALL

sob

SOUNDSOFBASEBALL.COM

There’s a new kid on the block, the result of a terrific website that literally outgrew itself.  Jam-packed with over 400 audio clips and several thousand photo’s its popularity as an online baseball library continues to grow.

Sounds of Baseball” is the dream of Steve Contursi, a teacher and non-apologetic baseball aficionado from Catskill, New York, and is the culmination of years of work on an archaic system of programming known as “coding”.   It involved the ideas around what it could, should, and would be, and eventually ended up as an informative website that was like no other.

Most of the data on the website could be found somewhere else in the blogosphere, but it would have been a real challenge to find a website that contained all of this specific type of data in the same place.

This was and this is exactly what he did. Over time and with much patience, “Sounds” reached the level of top-rated baseball websites by the top search engines.

However, change was occurring fast in the internet world and with that came many challenges.  A call was put out to the baseball community for someone to help with a transition to a more user-friendly website.

Along came Ronni Redmond of Santa Cruz, CA, a baseball blogger with a small amount of baseball knowledge, and not a lot of computer experience.  But she wrote a decent blog, had an insatiable appetite for anything baseball and lots of chutzpah and opinions.

This is the new “Sounds of Baseball”.  Its foundation is the original “Sounds” with a few little ditties thrown in and published in a Word Press format that’s much easier to maintain.  The Site will be evolving as new material becomes available.  Goodbye to coding and hello to the formation of an unlikely pairing of a fan of the New 39. Morning CoffeeYork Yankees and a fan of the SF Giants and all teams in-between.

We hope you’ll visit the site.  So please grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and turn up the volume.  

This one’s for you!

                                        “SOUNDSOFBASEBALL.COM

 Sounds of Baseball, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) Non Profit Corporation.

T

Baltimore Follies Forgiven ….. For Now

An Empty Oriole Stadium

An Empty Oriole Stadium

It took a  Seamheads.Com post by Terry Keshner this morning to get me back in the saddle.  I really miss posting, but have a lot on my plate for at least another week and my favorite thing to do has had to take a backseat.

Seamheads is a great baseball site, one of my favorites, so I sat up and took notice when the Baltimore Orioles/Chicago White Sox games took center stage when the games were closed to the fans these past few days.  “It had to be that way” the article said.

“It had to be that way”?  When the Europeans closed their stadiums it was directly related to the players and the fans. They were getting killed on game day at those stadiums.

This didn’t have to be that way. What did the attempt of some high school kids and community organizers trying to usurp the authority of legally empowered law enforcement officers have to do with closing the stadium?  Does the system need to be overhauled? Probably.  But by closing the stadium they denied workers, vendors, and fans their legal rights so now you don’t just have the kids and their enablers affected you’re also affecting 40,000 individuals who had nothing to do with the mess.

Maybe the regular security measures that accompany most stadiums on game day, along with National Guardsmen strategically placed around the stadium, inside and out, might have been a better alternative. Just one suggestion. And I’m sure there are many others that are better than the decision to close the stadium on game day.

But this is something we’ve not had to deal with in our country before and hopefully it will be the last, but don’t count on it.  The times-they-are-a-changing folks  and now’s the time to get our smarts in order so that decisions  for better strategies can be made in the future.

In my humble opinion, of course.

OPENING DAY and THE REASON FOR RAINBOWS

kids playing baseball imageOne of my clients last week casually mentioned  about opening day being so special this year because of the new kids, the rookies.  Such an abundant resource the team has never seen, he said.  I think he’s probably right.

But you could probably say that about any team, in any year, on opening day.  I love the rookies.  I love that first hit, that first home run, that first steal, that first great defensive play ….. whenever, wherever it might happen.  Joe Panik comes to mind for the Giants last season.

And it also brought to mind one of my favorite poems.  I wrote the author a few years ago and asked for permission to reprint his poem in my book “Garlic Fries and Baseball“.  I received his permission with a most wonderful and supportive letter.  It’s about a kid, and about the person who takes the time to teach that kid about baseball.   I love this poem.

The Reason for Rainbows
A Song to Baseball by J. Patrick Lewis
Published: Baseball Almanac
There was an Old Man of Late Summer
Met a Winter Boy out of the blue,
And he whisked him away
From the city one day
Just to show him what country boys do.
He taught him three whys of a rooster,
And he showed him two hows of a hen.
Then he’d try to bewitch him
With curve balls he’d pitch him
Again and again and again.
He taught him the reason for rainbows,
And he showed him why lightning was king,
Then he fingered the last ball—
A wicked hop fastball—
He threw to the plate on a string.

Oh, the Old Summer Man and the Young Winter Lad
Spent the light of each day—every moment they had—
In the wind and the rain, or the late summer sun,
Where he taught him to pitch and he taught him to run
In the wind and rain and the late summer sun.

But when that Old Man of Late Summer
Met the Winter Boy out of the blue,
He said to him, “Son,
You can pitch, you can run,
But to hit here is what you must do:
Just pretend that the stick on your shoulder
Is as wide as a bald eagle’s wing.
You’re a bird on a wire
And your hands are on fire—
But you’re never too eager to swing.
Stand as still as a rabbit in danger,
Watch the pitch with the eyes of a cat.
What will fly past the mound—
Unforgettable sound—
Is the ball as it cracks off the bat.

Oh, the Old Summer Man and the Young Winter Lad
Spent the light of each day—every moment they had—
In the wind and the rain, or the late summer sun,
Where he taught him to pitch and he taught him to run
In the wind and rain and the late summer sun.

J. Patrick Lewis