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MLB Bullets looks to hit the jackpot

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The Winter Meetings start in Las Vegas. The Dodgers are looking to deal a big name. So are the Indians. A celebration of Luis Valbuena.

Japan v MLB All Stars - Game 2 Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

I always have to remind myself that the Hall of Fame is a joke. Not the museum and library parts which are all sorts of awesome, but the ridiculous system of voting players and other people into the game into some sort of special honor. I wouldn’t have voted for Lee Smith, but if you’re going to start putting closers in as a separate category, then OK. Smith isn’t a bad choice.

Brian Giles was a better player than Harold Baines. Paul O’Neill was a better player than Harold Baines. Fred Lynn was a better player than Harold Baines. Will Clark, who was on the ballot, was a better player than Baines. And this doesn’t even count guys like Jim Edmonds, Lou Whitaker, Bobby Grich and Dwight Evans who really do belong in Cooperstown but can’t get a sniff because they aren’t friends with people on the committee.

The worst part of all this is that Baines was a very good player. A fine, admirable player. But now the first thing that anyone is going to think of when his name is mentioned is that his selection to Cooperstown was a joke. Like Lloyd Waner or Chick Hafey. This doesn’t honor Baines. It insults him.

I should mention that there are a few players already inducted in the Hall who were worse players than Baines. No one in the Hall was an actual bad major league ballplayer. So I guess this decision won’t make the joke any worse.

There’s my rant. Now I have to remind myself not to care again.

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Get ready for a whole week of gambling puns in your baseball coverage.

And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.