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Baseball Hall of Fame election day is a time to celebrate our wonderful game. But unfortunately, it’s also become an annual exercise to regret, to question, to condemn and to second-guess.
And boy is there ever a lot to lament again this year.
Scott Rolen deserves our congratulations. He’s a fantastic two-way third baseman who made the Hall of Fame Tuesday, and deservedly so.
Todd Helton should feel very pleased with the results, too. He is trending the right way, and history tells us next year will probably be his year.
So should Billy Wagner, who was maybe the greatest left-handed reliever ever and one of the most interesting cases (more on that below).
Congrats to all who polled well. But no congrats to the writers, who like to pat ourselves on the back but continue to lead the league in fickle (more on that below, too).
Baseball’s Hall of Fame is by far the greatest of all the halls, and it’s an overall plus that it triggers conversation and controversy for days. But it brings sadness, too, especially over what might have been.
The four most accomplished players on this year’s ballot finished out of the money. PED talk surely has diminished with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens falling off the writers’ ballot, but steroids (and scandal) still linger.
Alex Rodriguez is a three-time MVP and all-time great, Manny Ramirez an unstoppable offensive force, Carlos Beltran one of the great switch hitters ever and Gary Sheffield one of the most feared hitters ever, and they finished eighth, ninth, tied for sixth and fifth respectively, thanks to, in order, steroids, steroids, sign stealing via technology and a trash can, and more steroids.
Beltran probably will make it in coming years since sign stealing didn’t aid his numbers (he flat out stunk in 2017). It feels like a one-year punishment is about right for his involvement as a league-documented instigator of the Astros’ scandal. I pledge to vote for him next December (and I suspect enough others may, too.)
If history is a guide, A-Rod and Manny never make it, and that’s a shame, because they surely had the talent to do it without chemical enhancement. The strange one is Sheffield since he’s the fourth best of these tainted players yet polled better than Beltran, A-Rod and Manny. Sheffield was a BALCO customer who sent Victor Conte cash, yet more than half the electorate is now voting for a guy whose career is barely over the border, steroids or no steroids.
He’s even trending better than his buddy Barry Bonds did at this stage. My guess is that Bonds got too good via steroids, drawing extra attention to himself via his exploits and his records, while Sheffield aided his case by acting ticked off when he was publicly linked, and by blaming Bonds.
Forever, I’ve been defending the voters (who include me). It’s a good system I say in the face of the avalanche of criticism.
But as it turns out, we are wishy-washy. We are way too easily influenced.
We aim to please. And the result is that the voting has taken some strange turns.
Take the 2019 ballot, when Rolen, Helton and Wagner got 17 percent of the vote. And Jeff Kent got 18 percent. Today, Rolen is in, Helton will be in next year and Wagner is on his way to election while Kent is now officially off the ballot after receiving less than 50 percent support.
There’s a lot to be said about Rolen, Helton and Wagner. They all have a decent case. But from here, that first vote where that trio received about the same vote totals as Kent is closer to reality. They are all very good and very close. (Full disclosure: I voted for Kent and Rolen but didn’t quite get there for Helton or the former Met Wagner, who had all-time great rate stats but came up just short for me as a one-inning relief specialist who didn’t have either enormous bulk numbers or big moments.)
Regarding Rolen, Helton and Wagner, you don’t have to be a math genius to understand that more than half the electorate changed their minds in four short years. The question must be asked: Why did Rolen, Helton and Wagner rise as precipitously as just about any candidate ever while Kent experienced a negligible bump?
It’s very likely about strong opinions on Twitter, folks becoming convinced and in some cases undoubtedly feeling the pressure. I’m all for transparency. But it seems to have triggered groupthink.
Perhaps it’s subconscious, but at least some voters embrace the narrative driven by the crowd that emphasizes rate stats over true impact. The way the overall voting is going, maybe the Cooperstown museum should be renamed the Hall of New Stats.
Kent, who is the greatest home run hitter and RBI man for a second baseman, never got thumbs-up from the in crowd on Twitter. Nothing against Rolen and the rest, but Kent’s omission is just one more thing to regret on a day that’s supposed to be all about a celebration.
By: Ny Post
I have to ‘learn to read’ before Barbra Streisand memoir
Lea Michele is poking fun at rumors claiming she can’t read, joking that Barbra Streisand’s memoir release has given her a looming deadline.
“265 days to learn to read,” the “Glee” alum captioned a TikTok shared Wednesday, which showed the actress covering her mouth in a shocked expression.
Michele, 36, leaned out of the video’s frame to show the cover of Streisand’s upcoming memoir, “My Name Is Barbra.”
The 80-year-old singer’s book will be published in November, with her publisher calling it “frank, funny, opinionated, and charming.”
In a press release, Viking wrote, “Barbra Streisand is a living legend, a woman who in a career spanning six decades has excelled in every area of entertainment, and this engrossing and delightful book will be eagerly welcomed by her millions of fans.”
The statement continued, “Dozens of books have been written about Streisand, and now in My Name Is Barbra, she tells her story in her own words.”
Michele’s social media upload, which her followers praised as “iconic” and “funny,” did not mark the first time she has addressed speculation about her reading and writing skills.
The Broadway star called the rumors “sad” in a September 2022 New York Times interview.
“I think often if I were a man, a lot of this wouldn’t be the case,” she said, pointing out that she showed up to the “Glee” set with her lines memorized “every single day” for six seasons.
Last month, one of Michele’s friends — and former “Scream Queens” co-star” — Emma Roberts played coy about the longstanding gossip on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.”
“We have not been in book club together,” the “American Horror Story” alum teased.
However, when Michele began starring in “Funny Girl” on Broadway last year, she received, and presumably read, a “beautiful letter” from Streisand, who once played the role.
“It was very sweet,” Michele gushed to Seth Meyers in December 2022. “She was like, ‘It’s really wonderful when your dreams come true, isn’t it?’”
The Emmy nominee “fell to [her] knees” over the note and immediately called her loved ones.
By: Ny Post
Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ SOTU response – One America News Network
OAN Roy Francis
7:30 AM PT – Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s state of the union address.
Huckabee Sanders (R-Ark.) had a lot to say in response to Biden’s speech on Tuesday, which largely hit on his campaign talking points, glossed over America’s struggling economy and soaring inflation rates, blaming the issues on the pandemic.
This despite the Biden administration refusing to lift the COVID state of emergency until may.
Huckabee Sanders ripped on woke America and the left’s attack on America’s founding principles. She called for a “new generation of Republican leadership” and said that the American people have a choice “between normal or crazy.”
“Being a mom to three young children taught me not to believe every story I hear,” Sanders started her speech. “So, forgive me for not believing much of anything I heard tonight from President Biden. From out-of-control inflation and violent crime to the dangerous border crisis and threat from China, Biden and the Democrats have failed you.”
The Arkansas Republican hit on the ways in which she and Biden are different.
“At 40, I’m the youngest governor in the country, and at 80, he’s the oldest president in American history,” she said. “I’m the first woman to lead my state, and he’s the first man to surrender his presidency to a woke mob that can’t even tell you what a woman is.”
The Arkansas governor also highlighted the weight of America’s downfall under Biden’s stewardship.
“In the radical left’s America, Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire,” she went on. “But you get crushed with high gas prices, empty grocery shelves, and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race, not to love one another or our great country.”
She went on to say that the Biden administration was “completely hijacked by the radical left” and that the “dividing line” is no longer between right and left.
“The choice is between normal or crazy,” she explained. “It is time for a new generation of Republican leadership.”
She also pointed out all the things that the Biden administration had inherited, and that the Democrats had “destroyed it all.”
“President Biden inherited the fastest economic recovery on record. The most secure border in history,” she listed. “Cheap abundant, home-grown energy. Fast-rising wages. A rebuilt military. And a world that was stable and at peace. But over the last two years, Democrats destroyed it all. Despite Democrats’ trillions in reckless spending and mountains of debt, we now have the worst border crisis in American history.”
Finally, she explained that America is a great country because it is a truly free country, but now that freedom is under attack and that Biden and the Democrats had failed the people.
“America is great because we are free. But today, our freedom is under attack, and the America we love is in danger. President Biden and the Democrats have failed you. It’s time for a change. A New Generation of Republican leaders is stepping up, not to be caretakers of the status quo, but to be change makers for the American people,” she said. “We know not what the future holds, but we know who holds the future in His hands. And with God as our witness, we will show the world that America is still the place where freedom reins and liberty will never die,”
Huckabee sanders is the daughter of former Republican Governor Mike Huckabee, and had served as White House press secretary under former President Donald Trump. She had also made history when she was inaugurated as the first female governor of Arkansas on January 10th
‘RHOP’ alum Katie Rost reveals she relapsed: ‘I failed’ but am ‘starting over’
“I had decided to abstain from drugs, white claw and Adderall, and sex,” the reality star wrote, noting that she “went immediately to a meeting.”
By: Ny Post
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