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Judgement Day

Well, today’s the day they announce who–if anyone–gets to pose for their Cooperstown plaques. There is no sure thing on the ballot, and I know Donny Baseball ain’t gonna make it. I’ve got a feeling this year is going to be a matter of me throwing shit at the wall when whoever gets the nod is–or, more specifically, is not–announced, but these three should be in the Hall:

Jim Rice: It’s obnoxious that his likeness isn’t already hanging on the wall. He was the scariest SOB to walk to the plate in his day.

Goose Gossage: Mariano Rivera is widely acknowledged as the all-time king of closers, and a mortal lock to be inducted the first time his name appears on the ballot. Well, what if Mo had to regularly come in to put out a fire in the seventh inning, and then pitch the eighth and ninth? I’ll answer that question: his arm would have fallen off his shoulder four or five years ago. Goose did it all the time when games were on the line. He didn’t “close” games, in the current sense; he grabbed opponents by the neck and stopped them, and held them for as long as it took to put the game away.

Bert Blyleven: Forget the won/loss record; he played for some fairly shitty teams over the years. Look at the strikeouts–only four guys (Nolan Ryan, Clemens, the Big Unit Asshole, Steve Carlton) got more. And he had that wicked curve. Ask Goose about that sucker:

“Oh my God, that fucking curveball was unreal,” Gossage said. “People used to talked about (Dwight) Gooden’s hook, I swear Blyleven’s was better. I’ve never seen anything like it — then or now. You know the expression, ‘dropping off the table?’ That’s what his curveball was like. It just disappeared. And the thing is, he threw it hard, then he’d blow that fastball right by you up in the strike zone. Guys had no chance.”

UPDATE: Just Sutter? No Jim Rice? The Baseball Writers should all be put up against a wall. This is ridiculous. Sutter was a hell of a reliever, but Rice is really getting screwed now for reasons that I don’t think have anything to do with the merits.

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