Deck The Halls


Okay, so in my last post I asked what your favorite Christmas movie, TV show or cartoon might be. I got some diverse answers, although a number of people chose “Frosty the Snowman” as their favorite. That used to be one of Sean’s favorites when he was little; he wanted to watch it all the time. I never particularly cared for that one myself. As far as the cartoons go, I always liked “The Year Without a Santa Claus” the best. Who wouldn’t love Mickey Rooney as Santa and Heat Miser and Snow Miser? All of the Kroft claymation shows are pretty good. They seemed to have a pretty good foothold on all of the holiday shows, outside of The Peanuts and Charlie Brown. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is another one that anyone who grew up at that time has to appreciate as well. If anything, you just have to love Vince Guaraldi’s jazz trio music throughout the show.

As far as movies go, I have a couple that I like. I have alway been partial to “Holiday Inn” with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. It’s not just a Christmas movie, but it did introduce the world to the song “White Christmas,” so you have to love it just for that. Of course, there is always the original “Miracle on 34th Street” with Edmund Gwynne, Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood. It was always one of my Dad’s favorites to watch and we always made sure to watch it when it was on at Christmas time. it was amusing and touching all at the same time. Recently though, Michelle and I have found that “Harold and Kumar’s 3-D Christmas” is downright hysterical. This one is definitely not for the kids, but neither one of us could stop laughing throughout the whole movie. Neil Patrick Harris is beyond funny in this one, and you have to appreciate the WaffleBot and Santa Claus in this one. If you haven’t seen, get a chance to catch it on one of the cable channels or rent it. If you like that kind of humor (and I loved “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle”) then you will definitely appreciate it.

Just about every TV show, if it has been on long enough, has done some kind of Christmas show. It’s hard to narrow down all of the shows to pick just one show, and I guess the one most people remember best is the Seinfeld episode (“Festivus for the Rest of Us!”). it is a pretty funny one and you could just imagine your family all getting together at the holiday table for the airing of grievances.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer the question. Today, I am going off on a different tangent completely. Since I am a big baseball fan, this has actually been kind of a busy couple of weeks for baseball. There was the announcement of all the awards for 2012 (way to go R.A. Dickey on winning the N.L. Cy Young Award) and this coming week is the start of the winter meetings where teams typically make some deals before the next year. This week also marked the announcement by the Baseball Hall of Fame of their list of players eligible for induction for 2013. It’s always one of my favorite times of year to see who might actually get elected. There are some big names on the ballot this year and a lot of controversy around them because of their involvement or possible involvement with steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. Players like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza have all been accused or found to have used something at some point in their careers. With Piazza and Bagwell, nothing has ever been stated directly or proven, but there has always been suspicion.

Anyway, I always look at the list and think who I would actually vote for. Writers who get to vote can vote for up to ten people, and they don’t have to vote for anyone at all if they don’t think there is anyone worthy of entry that year. In many opinions, entrance to the Hall has softened somewhat over the last 20 years or so, with some players gaining entry who may not have deserved it or whose statistics don’t really support being in there. In my opinion, there are a few who probably shouldn’t be there and some who are borderline, but then there are others who are not eligible anymore who will never get in who probably deserve to be there. Over the next few weeks I plan to cover a little bit of each of this, talking about some the players I think may not deserve to be there and players who should be but aren’t, but for today let’s talk about voting on the current ballot. Here’s who I would vote for myself. If you want to see the current ballot, you can check it out right here on the Baseball Hall of Fame’s website.

I don’t think I would vote for ten, but here are my picks:

Mike Piazza – Not just because he played for the Mets, even though he was probably one of the best to ever play for them, but he is probably the best hitting catcher of all-time. He batted over .300 nine times, has the most home runs in a career for a catcher, has over 2,100 hits in his career and was on the All-Star team 12 times. Yes, there is some controversy about him, but nothing has ever been stated outright or proven like Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa or Palmeiro. I would vote for him.

Jack Morris – The days of a pitcher winning 300 games are over and Morris was one of the most dominant pitchers of  his era despite having a high ERA. The days of low ERA for a career I think are mostly gone too with all the run production. I don’t think we will see dominant careers like Greg Maddux or Pedro Martinez again for a while. Morris won 254 games and was an integral part on four World Champion teams in his career, including winning Game 7 in 1991 with a ten-inning shutout against the Braves. A lot of people say he’s borderline, but I would put him in.

Dale Murphy – Murphy is a lot like Jack Morris in that he was one of the dominant players of his time. The problem was he played on teams when the Braves were bad. he still managed to win back-to-back Most Valuable Player Awards, five Gold Gloves and be on 7 All-Star teams. He’s just short of 400 home runs, which likely hurts him, along with .265 batting average, but Pee Wee Reese is in with a lot less home runs and a similar batting average (Phil Rizzuto is the same way). He’s close, but I always thought he was a great one.

Larry Walker – If I vote for Murphy, I have to vote for Larry Walker too. They are very similar, although Walker’s numbers a little better as far as average (.313). he had the advantage of playing in Colorado when everyone in Colorado was putting up great numbers, but he was good even before he got there. He also has a Most Valuable Player, 7 Gold Gloves and 5 All-Star teams on his resume. I think he was probably one of the best hitters of his era and gets overlooked a lot.

Tim Raines – I don’t think Raines will ever get enough votes to get in, but I would vote for him. Besides the fact that I always liked him as a player, he has good numbers with over 2,600 hits and a .294 batting average. Along with Rickey Henderson, he was probably the last great player he could steal bases, with 808 in his career. he won Rookie of the Year, went to 7 All Star Games, won a batting title and a couple of World Championships with the Yankees. I always liked his hustle and he always seemed to get hits.

Don Mattingly – like Raines, Mattingly will probably never get in, though it’s only because he just didn’t dominate long enough because he got hurt. Even though he played for the Yankees, I always liked him and thought he was a great first baseman. He won 9 Gold Gloves, was an MVP, played on 6 All-Star teams, is a lifetime .307 hitter and even homered in 8 straight games in his career. If he didn’t get hurt and struggle through the last part of his career, I think he would have already gotten in.

I think that’s all I would vote for. There are 4 players I am on the fence about – Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Kenny Lofton and Edgar Martinez. They all have good career numbers, but I just don’t think of them as great players. Biggio got to 3,000 hits because he played long enough to get there, and yes he played well at tough positions, but I don’t know, I just don’t see him as great, though in this voting class he is likely to get in. Bagwell has good numbers to get in and I think he’ll get there eventually, but there are a lot of questions about him. Lofton and Martinez both have good career numbers, though Lofton, like Biggio, played so long that he amassed numbers. Martinez gets held back because he got most of his numbers as a DH, even if he was a great pure hitter. I also thought about Curt Schilling, and 3,000 strikeouts at one time probably guaranteed you got in, but I just don’t think of him yet. I think he might get there, eventually.

I personally wouldn’t vote for Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa or Palmeiro. They have the numbers, but you have to question how they got them. Until there is a player already in the Hall and then it comes out they used performance-enhancing drugs, I think they all sit on the outside and wait. It won’t be until someone crosses that threshold that they will be given some measure of legitimacy for the time they played in.

So that’s my list. For all you baseball fans out there, who do you think you would vote for on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot? Look the ballot over, leave a comment, or comment on my choices. Let me know what you think.

I’ll have a new topic next time. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day!

2 Responses to “Deck The Halls”

  1. Jim Duquette
    @IguanaFlats – morris, clemens, bonds, bagwell, biggio.

  2. frank catalanotto
    @IguanaFlats Biggio, Piazza for sure

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