Baseball On My Brain


2008 – Day 1

Day 1 of the new year has been enjoyable — I watched a great hockey game, and some football, blogged, and cleaned up some stuff, mainly magazines I don’t get around to reading. There’s still lots to do – isn’t there always – but staying put has been a nice change of pace and makes me like these winter days that divide the baseball season.

I also finished Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster — stay tuned for an interview with him appearing on BaseballBookReview.com.

Not a lot of baseball news to talk about in the midst of football bowl games and the start of the NFL playoffs this weekend. Roger got invited back to talk to the high school coaches…Jose has a new book coming out, and being the attention whore that he is, it will come out on Opening Day.

The Hall of Fame voting is around the corner – and ESPN.com has a spot for you to pretend you’re a baseball writer. There are some pretty good names on the ballot this year, and depending who you ask, there are between one and eight legitimate candidates. The big tent vs. small tent argument is ever present — and while it’s easy to lean to the small tent side, when you look at the ballot and need two hands to count the guys who would qualify, you have to resolve that mindset somehow.

I think Goose Gossage is in – and I hope that Bert Blyleven, Alan Trammell, Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, Dale Murphy, and maybe Jim Rice get some love. One name I haven’t heard talked about a lot is Lee Smith. Hopefully he doesn’t get left out of the discussion and voting. He was a heck of a pitcher — and helped developed closers into what we see today – like what that is or not.

While I don’t think Harold Baines will make it – some think his results will serve as a barometer for Edgar Martinez’ chances. Edgar has much better stats, but I think we’ll be able to sense the sentiment of the voters with how they vote for Baines.

We saw a lot of amazing things in 2007 – Barry Bonds breaking the home run record, the Mitchell Report, the Red Sox winning a second World Series, the A-Rod mess – and as I sit here on day one of 2008 – I can’t help but think what lies ahead in 2008.  It sure is exciting to think about what the next 365 days ahead hold.

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