Baseball Hall of Fame

I tend to have a very high bar for letting a former player into the Hall. I think too many guys are in there. There are quite a few subpar players let in by the various incarnations of the Veterans’ Committee. This is where the former players and coaches get to vote on people who were snubbed by the writers initially. Back in the seventies, they had a few guys who just let in all their old teammates and this has continued over the years culminating in last year’s absurd election of Harold Baines.

Baines especially bothers me, because if you let in a designated hitter, he has to be a better hitter better than every other guy that has ever played. You can’t just say he was one of the better designated hitters ever because his defensive value is negative. His lack of defensive skill hurts the team because you can’t rest other players while still keeping their bat in the lineup. Instead, you have a permanent DH clogging up your lineup. Not to mention he has essentially zero value to National League teams unless you want to argue you could have just played at First Base or something. But then his negative defensive skills should come into play and offset some of his offensive production. The only way Baines’ offensive stats could be considered Hall of Fame worthy is if he had played a position like catcher or a middle infielder. Even if he had gone out there every day and played a decent Left Field, he still shouldn’t be in.

Based on how I view the DH I don’t think Edgar Martinez should have gotten in and I don’t think David Ortiz belongs in.

Anyway, rant on last year is over. I’ll focus on this year. I was surprised to see Ted Simmons get in, but looking at his stats, I can’t really argue against him since he was a catcher.

While I think Jeter’s wildly overrated (Give him the exact same stats but have him play on the Royals or Reds and think about how he would have been viewed) he’s still an obvious Hall of Famer. You get that many hits and you come up big in a few playoff series and you’re in.

Larry Walker, I just don’t see it. His stats were obviously inflated from playing in Colorado in the 90s. Just look at his OPS on CO: 1.044 vs .839 on Montreal and .908 in St. Louis. His Coors Field OPS was 1.172. The only other stadium where he had over 200 at-bats that was even close was Wrigley (1.002). Look at an actual pitcher’s park, Shea Stadium: .685. The guy was good, but he’s not a Hall of Famer.

Schilling is being kept out for another year because writers don’t like him. I really think that’s all it is. If Smoltz got in then he should too.

And then you still have enough voters hung up on steroids to keep out Bonds and Clemens which is absurd (but I’m sure they’ll vote for David Ortiz despite the fact he failed a drug test and was a DH).

Here’s how they finished and how I would have voted:

Jeter: 99.7% Yes

Walker: 76.6% No

Schilling: 70% Yes

Clemens: 61% Yes

Bonds: 60.7% Yes

Vizquel: 52.6% No

Rolen: 35.3% No

Wagner 31.7% No

Sheffield 30.5% No

Helton 29.2% No

Manny Ramirez 28.2% Yes

Kent 27.5% Yes

Andruw Jones 19.4% Yes

Sosa 13.9% Yes

Pettitte 11.3% No

Abreu 5.5% No

Konerko 2.5% No

Giambi 1.5% No

Soriano 1.5% No

Eric Chavez 0.5% No

Cliff Lee 0.5% No

Ibanez 0.3% No

Putz 0.3% No

Penny 0.3% No

Dunn 0.3% No

Carlos Pena 0% No

Heath Bell 0% No

Furcal 0% No

Brian Roberts 0% No

Valverde 0% No

Figgins 0% No

Beckett 0% No

MLB Cheating Scandal

So the Astros were apparently stealing signs using technology which is illegal. At first, I was of the opinion this was relatively minor and would blow over rather quickly. However, it’s become a big story in the professional sports world resulting in the firing of three managers and a GM. Three of the four were also suspended.

I have to say I agree with the harsh punishments. MLB would have a hard time disciplining any players under their collective bargaining agreement so the coaches and executives have to take the fall. That way it will be made clear they can’t allow their players or underlings to do this in the future.

Sign stealing’s always been part of the game, but if you’re going to use the television broadcasts to assist you in violation of the rules it will get downright ridiculous. Can you imagine watching the game as a fan and knowing the batter knows what pitch is coming? It would make a mockery of the whole situation.

In the old days, you could probably rely on pitchers just throwing at somebody’s head to police this sort of thing. I kind of like that and I certainly think that a lot (not all) of the recent changes in baseball have been for the worse. But given the money involved and the general camaraderie among opposing players these days, you just can’t rely on old fashioned on-field justice to correct blatant cheating like this.

I feel kind of bad for someone like Carlos Beltran who was a player back in 2017 when the cheating occurred and had just been hired for his first managerial job. No other players have been called out or suffered any consequences so it seems a bit unfair. But since he’s now in the managerial class and no longer in the players union, he’s being made an example of. And quite frankly Major League Baseball needs to come down on this quick and hard if they want to maintain the integrity of the game.

Sometimes I don’t understand Americans

To be fair, I’m never sure I should trust a USA Today/Ipsos Poll. But if these results are an accurate reflection on what Americans think about Trump’s handling of Iran, I simply don’t understand the thought process of many people in the United States.

The poll states the following: 52% of respondents said Trump was acting “reckless”. 42% of Americans supported the assassination of Qasen Soleimani while only 33% opposed it. 63% said it was more likely to lead to terrorist attacks on the USA and 62% said it made war with Iran more likely.

So this means you had some people say the assassination made war and terrorism inside the USA more likely but they didn’t oppose it. Are there really that many people out there who want war with Iran so bad they’re glad Trump is provoking it? They’re also ok with terrorist attacks as long as it means the US and Iran are at war?

You also had some people say Trump was reckless but didn’t oppose the assassination so they’re not even sure what he was being reckless about.

Anyway, if this poll is accurate, it is a case against Democracy.

Rand Paul makes a lot of sense

Appearing on the worst of the many terrible propaganda outlets we suffer under today, he at least gets a few minutes to speak out about the US State’s latest aggression against Iran. If this turns into a full-scale war he should run as a third-party candidate and destroy Trump (I’m sure he’ll lose anyway if he’s waging an unpopular, unwinnable war in an election year). I’d prefer he pose a primary challenge, but I’m assuming it’s too late in the election cycle for that.

Hopefully, Trump backs down from this insanity and deescalates the situation. In fact, he could even turn this into a semi-positive and use the situation as an excuse to withdraw from Iraq once and for all. Maybe he can even win a second term and further dismantle the Empire, at least in the Middle East. And then Rand can run in 2024 as the Liberty candidate and usher in a new era of freedom, peace, and prosperity in the USA. I can dream, can’t I?

Empire’s presence in the Middle East

Infographic: Where U.S. Troops Are Based In The Middle East | Statista

That’s over 65,000 troops stationed thousands of miles away from our shores projecting American power in a region most Americans will never visit and have no desire to.

Make no mistake about it, the Iranian government is a threat to these 65,000 troops. They are not a threat to anyone within the borders of the United States. Eliminating the threat from Iran would be easy. Bring the troops home.

Instead, it seems more and more likely that Trump will do the bidding of Israel and the Deep State and keep attacking and humiliating Iran until they respond in kind. Then there can be the full-fledged war that people like John Bolton and Bibi Netanyahu have been craving for decades.

You want Iran to get desperate enough that they actually send terrorists to New York City? Keep doing this. And don’t expect the Empire to protect its citizens any better than they did on September 11, 2001.

Another War President

Up to now, it’s my opinion Trump has been our best president since Reagan. That’s not saying much. I really should say he’s been our least bad president since Reagan. And Reagan wasn’t very good.

But when you look at Bush I, the Clintons, Cheney, and the people who came up with the words on Obama’s teleprompter, Trump was a slight improvement.

There’s the standard stuff you usually get from Republicans, a tiny bit lower taxes and a tiny bit fewer regulations. But of course, you take the good with the bad. Republicans also tend to increase spending even faster than Democrats and Trump is no exception.

Then there’s the Trump specific stuff which I tend to like, but I might be in the minority. He’s encouraged half the country not to trust the media which is a good thing since it constantly lies. He’s also mocked and derided the “woke” craziness that sprung up during Obama’s reign further escalating the PC war on free speech and traditional culture. And while he hasn’t done much to control immigration, it’s at least a topic that’s being debated, however childishly. Finally, he’s made lots of people lose respect for “the office” of President. It doesn’t deserve any respect so thank you Donald Trump!

The one thing that really set him apart was his foreign policy. Yes, he’s bombed a few places, and yes he continued the wars started by his predecessors. He’s even escalated the genocidal war going on in Yemen that Obama helped the Saudis start. For that, he should be in jail on war crimes. However, compared to previous presidents, he’s bombed much less. And he’s actually deescalated the war in Syria. It’s extremely rare for a president in recent decades to deescalate anything short of a catastrophic military defeat. So as bad as it continues to be on the war front, it was worse under previous administrations and would have been far worse under Hitlery.

But now Trump seems hell-bent on starting a war with Iran. How else can you describe his incredibly reckless actions over the past week where he’s bombed Iraqi Shia militias (that had been working with the US against ISIS) and then murdering one of their leading public figures at the Baghdad airport. And then sending thousands of more troops to the region to act as targets for Iranian revenge. That’s after several years of crippling sanctions on the country for no reason after they’d reached a deal with Obama.

I’m sure Iran doesn’t want a real war with the USA that would surely destroy their country. But they can’t simply allow Trump to attack them or other Shia Muslims every few days and do nothing to respond. They can only let themselves look bad for so long for domestic purposes.

If Trump thinks this will somehow help his reelection chances, I think he is sadly mistaken. His base wants nothing to do with it and no Democrat is going to support him on this or anything else. Hopefully Russia can control the Iranian regime and give Trump some phony agreement that will allow everyone to save face and back off from the brink of catastrophe.

Peace.

Language in 2020

One of the main problems I have with the Corporate Media other than the obvious fact that they lie all the time is how they’ve managed to debase our language in an effort to curtail free speech. Anytime some left-wing activist makes up a new phrase or changes the meaning of a word, they jump on board with little hesitation. A prime example was all the pronouns and made up gender classifications from a few years ago. As if we can’t start a conversation with someone without asking what thing they identify as when we can usually clearly see they’re either a man or a woman.

But there are several other less obviously outrageous terms that really get to me. One is “People of Color.” This seems designed to pit every single nonwhite person against those of us whose ancestors were primarily European. You’ll hear things like “People of color are underrepresented in” this or that profession, college, sport, etc. So Asians may be way over-represented in some specific institution, but when you combine them with every single Black, Hispanic, and American Indian in the US, suddenly all the “People of Color” are being discriminated against in favor of Whites. I would also point out that if a white person says “colored people” in public he would instantly be deemed a racist and become a social outcast. But flip the words around slightly and it’s the latest PC craze.

It is also ridiculous that the Media can simply label someone with an emotion. They’ll say that some speech they disagree with is hateful or the person is filled with hate and that’s why he said this or that. No one stops to actually think this through. Hate is an emotion. If a person says he doesn’t hate blacks despite the New York Times declaring something he said to be offensive toward blacks, how can you read his mind and know he’s lying? They also use it as a synonym for racism. If someone thinks whites are superior to another race in some way, therefore he hates that race. But that doesn’t follow. You can think you are superior to something without hating it. Do you think you’re smarter than your dog? Do you hate your dog? Further, if a white person says that blacks are superior at basketball or Asians are superior at math, they’ll claim that’s racist and therefore hateful even though they’re making a claim that their own race is inferior. And finally, it’s mainly a one-way street. Other races are generally free to disparage white people and apply negative stereotypes to them without this being deemed hate.

Another trend in recent years is to label any kind of criticism of a group as a “phobia.” So if you say something that gay activists don’t like you’re “homophobic.” If you say something that trans activists don’t like you’re “transphobic.” This is an attempt to dismiss your argument as a mental disorder. You have an irrational fear of gay people. That’s why you don’t want men using a women’s bathroom or you don’t want to fly a rainbow flag in your church. You should be able to criticize something or someone without the media questioning your sanity.

Unfortunately, I think the 2020s may get worse before they get better in this regard. We shall see.