David Paul Morris
And thus begins a contentious couple months where we debate the merits - on and off the field - of guys like Bonds, Sosa, and Clemens.
Undoubtedly you already know that Marvin Miller, the first leader of the MLB Players' Association, and the man credited with changing the way teams and players deal with each other (for the better), passed away yesterday. All appropriate condolences.
- Speaking of which, Rob Neyer looks into why and how such an important and instrumental figure in baseball's history is not yet in the Hall of Fame.
- And speaking of the Hall of Fame, ballots for next year's class go out today, and the list of newly-eligible players is as impressive as it is (likely) contentious: Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, and Craig Biggio, among others. You can expect a couple months of debate about the steroid era, about what the Hall of Fame is supposed to represent, and about those players' careers relative to their counterparts. The results will be announced on January 9, 2013, so get your thoughts in now. Does Bonds belong in the Hall? Sosa? What about Biggio, whose numbers may not be as impressive, but who has never been attached to PED allegations? And what about holdover guys like Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Jack Morris?
- And another semi-speaking of: Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz has been suspended 25 games after testing positive for a banned stimulant. The 33-year-old catcher had a huge 2012 season (which should not be read as me subtly taking a jab), and offered the typical apology.
- Reports flew around yesterday about David Wright's contract extension talks with the Mets - a 6-year, $100 million deal? a 7-year, $135 million deal? a nearly done deal? a deal won't happen? - but the start third baseman says that there were a lot of inaccuracies, and he was disappointed to read about it in the press.
- With all the talk of the Dodgers' expected new TV contract, FanGraphs' Wendy Thurm put together a look at each and every local TV deal in baseball.
- Russell Martin, one of the better catching options on the free agent market, is reportedly seeking a four-year deal worth as much as $10 million per year. That would seem a tough get for a guy who hasn't had an OPS+ over 95 since 2008, and who hit .211/.311/.403 last year. But, hey, contract dynamics are shifting every day in baseball, so I won't call it crazy.