Some things to talk about while we read some more great TCB articles on the Hall of Fame...
1) Kudos to the most active users of 2012
The smart people at the .com headquarters came up with this handy, dandy list of the most active FanPosters and commenters from last year. Who came out on top?
Snake Diggity 12
Wrigley Faithful 12
Clint McIntyre 8
orangeblood kid 7370
Joe in Birmingham 3897
Timothy De Block 3282
Kudos to MadMartygan for being our most prolific commenter by far. This is also about the fifth or sixth straight year that clack and Joe In Birmingham have finished at the top of these lists, so good for them, too.
We appreciate all the commenters on our little corner of the internet and everyone who has contributed FanPosts and FanShots in the past year. Keep up the good work!
2) HOF Induction on MLB Network
We're gearing up for the Hall of Fame annoucement on Wednesday, and it'll be aired live on MLB Network. Here's part of a release from the network on what you can expect from the show. Does the lack of Richard Justice on this list mean bad things for Astros inductees?
The results of the 2013 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will be announced live exclusively on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com on Wednesday, January 9 at 2:00 p.m. ET as part of a three-hour announcement show beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET. Featuring National Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson, coverage will include interviews with electees and be anchored by Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny and Heidi Watney with MLB Network’s Bob Costas, Al Leiter, Kevin Millar, Harold Reynolds, Hall of Fame award-winning baseball writer Peter Gammons, and Hall of Fame voters Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci. Hall of Fame coverage and reaction will continue on MLB Network’s Intentional Talk and MLB Tonight starting live at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Tangentially, here's a fantastic interview with Tom Verducci on being a sportswriter, asking questions in the clubhouse and general baseball goodness. Anyways, how many of you will be watching the announcement live? I assume most of you get MLB Network? Will you just wait to read about it after the votes come in?
3) Houston baseball awards going away?
All you TCB readers who have followed the site since last October or so are familiar with a pattern of PR screwups that the team has gone through lately. Well, they're about to go through one more. Here's what my boss put in his column from Dec. 22 of last year:
For a team that should be desperate for any kind of favorable publicity, the Houston Astros seem to be oblivious to public relations 101. One of the team’s winter staples for years, the late January gala hosted by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America, is in jeopardy because chapter president Bill Hartman can’t get anybody with the Astros to respond to him. The annual dinner, which features various Astro and MLB player award winners selected by the BBWA, awards to Houston area high school players and Astro officials discussing the upcoming season, usually draws between 900 and 1,400 fans. To let that die on the vine would be an unconscionable blunder. Surely new owner Jim Crane, who didn’t bother to show up for last year’s dinner, has better business sense than that .
Turns out that the awards won't be held after all. Apparently, the Astros hold these awards on the same level as FanFest*, and apparently are against the old motto that any publicity is good publicity.
*Important edit: FanFest is not going away, to my knowledge, as Mike from Farmstros pointed out in the comments. Houston just tried to roll this baseball dinner into the FanFest event.
The Houston chapter will still find a way to honor the players, but there won't be a dinner this year as of now and fans lose one more opportunity to celebrate even the small victories of this bad team. If the BBWAA isn't getting any respect from the team, what chance do bloggers have? Will they wait to have proper media access and awards until the team starts winning again, until the rebuild is complete?
I know there were quite a few people who went to these dinners in the past and they all said how great a time it was. Too bad the Astros new management didn't feel the fans deserved that opportunity this year.