We have already learned much in the first 13 days of 2009. We know who our new representatives to the baseball Hall of Fame will be, even if the lack of transparency and intelligence associated with the voting process make the Electoral College seem positively inspired by comparison. We also know that Alan Trammell will not be entering the hall anytime soon and with that knowledge broke many a young man’s heart. Well, at least mine.
But, there is good news, too. Especially for people like my friend Jeff who are unnaturally taken with ESPN’s sideline reporter, Erin Andrews. It appears that Ms. Andrews was not the only temptress to spring forth from her mother’s womb because she also has a younger (and I might add, much more attractive) sister, Kendra.
That’s right, it now appears that the true battle to be waged by Mr. Lung and myself this season is over the relative merits of the Andrews sisters, not why the AL Central is superior to the NL Central. Obviously there are similarities. For instance the AL, like Kendra, is younger and vastly superior to its elder and more venerable sibling (last season’s World Series win by the Phillies not withstanding). However, this argument will not be settled overnight and we look forward to further exploiting the reporting prowess of Deadspin and Busted Coverage to bring you more of this developing debate.
Christmas is a time for giving. And that’s why I want to thank Jane Heller over at Confessions of a She-Fan for giving me one of the greatest gifts ever. It doesn’t seem like much, just a little article from the NY Times but it provided the one thing we can’t live without: Hope. Now, I still don’t think that Mr. Trammell is going to make it into the Hall but if the Times says he belongs there, who am I to argue? I mean, I can’t think of a single thing they’ve been wrong about. Well, maybe just one thing but really, it’s so minor as to be insignificant.
But, maybe if Jane and the Times can give me hope here, someone can come forward and give me hope in a couple other places. For instance, since we all know that the night is darkest right before the dawn, does that mean that the Lions are about to turn the corner? At the very least, Millen is finally gone. And is it possible that the Tigers will be competitive in the AL Central this year despite their complete failure to make any significant moves so far this offseason? At least Farnsworth is gone.
I don’t know, though. It’s hard to base your hopes for the future on subtraction instead of addition. But as a native Michigander, I can only go with what I know. I mean, this is a state that has single-handedly destroyed its signature industry (granted, with a lot of help from the industry itself) and now sports an impressively gaudy 9.6% unemployment rate. The Lions, industrial contraction and negative job creation? Well, at least we still have the Red Wings.
Achtung! For my esteemed yet often misguided colleague, Mr. Allen Krause has finally done what no one ever thought possible: he emptied his soul of memories sweet and dear to his heart, thus proving that indeed, he does obtain some semblance of emotion, a hint — albeit faint — of feeling.
But just who knew his heart was set on Alan Trammell?
Well, actually, I did… but that’s only because I’ve been listening to Mr. Krause’s Ode-to-Trammell for over eleven years now. Trammell this and Trammell that… Trammell and Whitaker and Lemon and Gibson and Parrish and Trammell and Trammell and TRAMMELL!
Alright. I get it. We get it. Mr. Krause is in love with Alan Trammell.
Fine. There’s nothing wrong with that, Al. And I especially applaud you for realizing that despite your ongoing man-crush and ever-growing infatuation with all things #3, that you are still able to logically conclude that Trammell has no business in the Hall of Fame. Because he doesn’t. If you really want to argue the HOF case of a deserving ex-Detroit Tiger, come to your senses and rally behind the Jack Morris train. (*for more information on the blasphemous errors of Mr. Krause’s ways regarding HOF worthy Tigers, click *here*)
What I (and most probably all RSBS readers) can’t seem to understand is why, if Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker remain so dear to thy heart, Mr. Krause, could you not find a better picture of this treasured double-play combo than this:
It’s 2008, Al, and with the advent of the interweb, CNN’s ability to “beam” people “up” on live television and the fact that a black man will be the president of US America, one would think you’d be able to find at least one decent picture of your childhood sweethearts.
The one you provided looks awfully similar to this anomaly of reality:
And you’re right, Al, the possibility of Trammell ever donning his face on a Cooperstown plaque is about as possible as Bigfoot piloting a UFO over Detroit during a World Series championship parade.
It just ain’t gonna happen.
So go ahead. Do what you do. Hate me. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
You know, I could sit here and cry about how my favorite player from my childhood is on the Hall of Fame ballot but won’t make it in just like my friend Mr. Lung. And the thing is, I really could. I mean, not only did Alan Trammell play for one of the best Tigers’ teams ever back in ’84, he also has the same first name as me(!), even if he does spell it incorrectly. But, it’s just not in me.
It really all comes down to what Mark at MLBlogs had to say, “These plaques go next to those of
Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Walter Johnson, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial.” As much as I loved watching Trammell at shortstop, turning those sweet double plays with Lou Whitaker and as great as his ’83 and ’84 seasons were, I can’t really say that he belongs next to those names.
Now, I’ll admit that it’s a little more difficult to say the same thing about McGwire. Even if he is a juiced up steroid junkie who probably can’t touch his hands together over his head, he was exciting to watch. More than that, McGwire rewrote the record books until Barry Bonds came along and really started flexing his PED-built muscles. And like Mr. Lung says, there are definitely some incorrigible characters in the Hall.
However, the one thing you don’t see in the Hall are cheaters. Shoeless Joe Jackson has the third highest career batting average in the majors but you won’t see his name in Cooperstown. Same goes for Pete Rose even if it is the result of something that didn’t happen on the field. If you’re going to bar these guys and their amazing records, I don’t have a problem with keeping Mr. McGwire out, too.
This whole debate is ridiculous, though. We all know that Rose should be in the Hall and, even if he was a cheat, there’s no dismissing McGwire’s ability and contribution to the game of baseball. In the end, it’s just sad that a no-talent ^ss-clown like Michael Bolton, uh, I mean Bud Selig should be able to keep people from even coming up for a vote. Let Rose on the list and then let the sportswriters decide if he merits entry. Same goes for Bonds when he becomes eligible. The Hall of Fame does not exist to serve the whims of the Commissioner. It’s there so that fans can celebrate the greatest players to ever step on a baseball diamond. That means you, Rose. You too, McGwire. And what the hell, get on in there, Bonds.