First of all, I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and a happy Hanukkah. As the holiday season starts, the baseball news starts to slow. If you think today's report is light, just wait until Friday when I'll bring you all the baseball news from today and tomorrow. Heck, I can bring it to you now:
OK, I'm sure I'll have something to write about. Maybe Brad Pitt will fly to Stephen Drew's house to ask him in person to sign with the Athletics. Because they apparently can't afford phones in Oakland, but they can afford plane tickets.
Don't worry. The winter meetings are coming.
- The Hall of Fame ballot for 2014 was announced yesterday and Al has already done a story on it. Dave Cameron looked at the ballot and called it "ridiculously crowded" with well over 10 players easily deserving induction.
- Of course, the problem with that is that voters are only allowed to vote for ten players. That means more than one deserving inductee will not get enough votes to be elected and maybe won't even get enough to stay on the ballot. Matthew Pouliot is concerned about this and suggests that a savvy voter will leave Greg Maddux off the ballot (because he'll have enough votes to go in anyway) and vote for Jeff Kent, a decent Hall of Fame candidate who might not even get 5% because of the crowded ballot.
- Pouliot also lists the 12 best players who qualified for the Hall of Fame ballot (ten years in the majors) but were left off the ballot. There's a couple of Cubs starters on the list with Jon Lieber and Steve Trachsel. Also, it looks like Pouliot got stuck working this week.
- As far as Maddux goes, Gabe Lacques says that he and Tom Glavine have a "perception advantage" (as well as a performance advantage) over other players in that they were thin and don't look like they took PEDs. When voters are refusing to vote for Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza, players who have never been connected to steroids, because they "looked like" they took them (or had "back acne," which proves nothing), that's the sad truth.
- Deadspin has announced that they have purchased a Hall of Fame vote. The terms were undisclosed and, of course, the person who sold his vote wishes to remain anonymous. But they have said their vote will be decided by a poll of their readers.
- Phil Rogers makes another pitch for Jack Morris and his 3.90 career ERA in his last season on the HOF ballot. I'm guessing it wasn't Rogers who sold his ballot to Deadspin. Although maybe he did and now he's trying to convince their readers to vote for Morris.
- The fallout from the Cardinals signing of PED user Jhonny Peralta continues. GM John Mozeliak defended the signing, saying that Peralta apologized for his actions and that the Cardinals are not the "morality police." Of course not. That's Brian McCann's job.
- Jerry Crasnick looks at the fallout from the Peralta signing and says that stiffer penalties for drug use are inevitable. However, how they get there and what they will be are still up for grabs.
- Craig Calcaterra says that Peralta didn't get a $52 million contract because he used PEDs, but rather because free agent contracts have gotten insanely high. Stiffer penalties won't change that, he argues. Other than a lifetime ban for a first offense, of course, but no one wants that.
- Cliff Corcoran thinks the Cardinals may be done making moves for the winter.
- The Yankees met with Robinson Cano's representatives this week. Cano has softened his demands slightly, but the two teams are still far apart.
- The Reds signed Skip Schumaker to a two year, $5 million contract.
- Jon Heyman thinks the Padres will trade Chase Headley this offseason.
- Could the Twins win a free agent battle with the Red Sox over Jarrod Saltalamacchia? It's very possible. The Rockies and Blue Jays are also rumored to be in on the catcher.
- Mark Saxon thinks the Dodgers made a good move signing Dan Haren.
- Prince Fielder says he "sucked" in 2013. He also will wear "84" with the Rangers in honor of the year of his birth. Some Tigers fans have taken it as a slam, thinking it refers to the last year the Tigers won the World Series. Jeez, if Cubs fans got angry with every ballplayer who wore the number eight. . . .
- Jay Jaffe tries to figure out what Shin-Soo Choo is worth on the open market.
- And then he does the same for Mike Napoli.
- From the Annals of Chutzpah: The Nationals want the taxpayers of D.C. to pay $300 million to put a roof on Nationals Park. This just a few years after they agreed to pay $700 million to build them the ballpark in the first place. I can imagine their answer. "Or what? You'll move to Montreal?" The Nats don't seem to understand the concept of leverage and how they have none here.
- The Athletics have come to an agreement to play two more season at the O.co Coliseum. I am not going to make a sewage joke. I've just grown weary of all this.
- David Price is a sexist pig. Jeremy Guthrie seems to be willing to risk Price's wrath.
- I've always maintained that Johnny Evers was a very underrated player and that he was the best of the "Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance" infield. Now you can read the book he wrote about baseball and understand why. I haven't gotten through it all yet, but the dude essentially invented UZR in the book.
- Finally, the Mets just had to ruin the holidays for everyone. A must-watch video. Or maybe a must-not-watch video.