After a well-earned rest consisting of being sick as a dog for about a week, your humble scribe feels human again and finally able to write down a coherent thought or two to open 2012.
Spirit of 76:
Having not checked on such things lately, I only recently discovered this blog made MLBlogs Top 100 blogs for 2011. Among the “amateurs”, World Series 41, Rangers Fan 1 ranked 76 on the Hot 100 and thus worthy of allowing me to add the nifty little image you see on the right of this column. Of course, this blog wouldn’t be anywhere if there weren’t readers out there stopping by for a visit, so it is with humble thanks to each and every one of you that I proudly post the “Top 100″ image on this blog. Seriously, without your views and comments, I probably would have given up the ghost of this column long ago, but I promise to continue writing as long as you continue reading. Thanks again. This brings me to the next topic…
The Name Of The Blog
I’ve already received a couple of public comments asking whether this space will be renamed yet again. As most of you are aware, the original name of this blog was “World Series 40, Rangers Fan 0.” It was renamed when my beloved Rangers made the World Series for the first time. Now, if I were to continue on in the same vein, the 2012 name for the blog should rightly be “World Series 42, Rangers Fan 2.” Somehow, though, I feel like back to back World Series appearances have rendered the title less amusing than its original intent. Therefore, keep coming back to this space, as a new, and probably more permanent name will be unveiled. I’ve tossed a few ideas around in my mind, though none of them seem quite catchy enough. I’d gladly entertain suggestions from my readership as well, so feel free to pass along ideas in the comments section!
The Hall of Fame Vote
The Hall of Fame Class of 2012 was announced today and Barry Larkin of the Cincinnati Reds was the only player named on this year’s ballot. This being a Rangers-centric blog, I bring the HOF vote up to show how the Rangers came out on this year’s ballot. Rafael Palmeiro was the highest ranking Ranger on the ballot, still finishing far off the pace with 12.6% of the vote in his second year of eligibility. Juan Gonzalez, in his second year of eligibility, couldn’t muster the minimum 5% to stay on the ballot, getting only 4%, while Ruben Sierra didn’t even manage to garner one vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America. Palmeiro and Gonzalez are both hurt by the steroids issue. Juan Gone was hurt even more by the fact he was constantly hurt. Despite being a 2-time MVP, Gonzalez spent much of the latter part of his career on the DL. Juan was front and center on the steroids issue, though, having made an appearance in the infamous Mitchell Report, so even had he had a few more healthy years he probably would have had a hard time getting into the Hall.
Palmeiro is another case. Raffy probably will never make the Hall, simply because he was so insistent he had never crossed the line when speaking to a Congressional hearing on steroids, then getting busted for a positive result mere months later and getting suspended for 50 games. Was it the first time Palmeiro had used steroids? Even if it was, there’s direct evidence he would use something to give him an extra edge. Does anyone besides me remember the TV ad he did for Viagra when it first came out? While I don’t know if Viagra has been added to MLB’s list of banned substances, I do know it was listed as being a drug of concern to MLB. I loved Raffy when he was with the Rangers and it kills me to see him wrapped up in all the controversy. Still, I can’t support his case for the Hall of Fame because of it.
As for Sierra, he was a once promising player whose fortunes fell rather quickly after a few good years. There was never any strong case to be made for Sierra to make the Hall.
The next Ranger to enter the Hall of Fame? Without a doubt, it will be Ivan Rodriguez the first year he’s eligible. That won’t be for at least another five years.