Some things to talk about while we read a great movie review...
1) One last HOF thing
Last night on the podcast, we talked about the differences between voting for the MLB HOF and the Football HOF. Turns out, there are 46 people who vote on the Football Hall, composed of a group of people who cover pro football in different geographical areas with pro teams. On the list are radio, TV and .com voters. Basically, it reduced the voting pool and did not limit it to just the Pro Football Writers of America.
What's more, each voter is given a detailed biography of each of the 25 finalists. From the HOF selection process:
In advance of the Hall of Fame Selection Meeting in February, the selectors are provided detailed biographies on each of the 17 finalist candidates. At the annual meeting, each of the nominees is thoroughly discussed by the committee before a series of reduction votes are taken. First, the two senior candidates are discussed and voted on for election. They must receive the same 80 percent affirmative vote as the modern-era candidates. Next, the there is a vote that reduces the modern-era finalists list from 15 to 10. Following that, a vote is taken to reduce the list from 10 to 5 names. The five remaining candidates for Hall of Fame election are then voted on individually (yes or no) for membership.
There are still slights in the football Hall, but not nearly as much vitriol is aimed at them year after year as there are at the Baseball Hall and its election results. I don't think the Baseball Hall would ever move to this model, eliminating around 500 of its voters in one fell swoop, but it is instructive of the differences.
If MLB were to move closer to this model, I imagine Richard Justice would be a fantastic spokesman for Craig Biggio in that discussion. Just read this article by Justice on Biggio's Hall case:
I thought I would have it figured out by now why he came up short in being named on 388 of 469 ballots, 39 short of the number needed for induction. But I just went over Biggio’s statistics again and am still baffled. I’m baffled about Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, Curt Schilling, Edgar Martinez and others, but Biggio is personal.
I saw every side of him. I saw how well he played on the field and how much community work he did and how he really and truly believed a Major League Baseball player should be a role model.
It's a great example of someone who covered Biggio knowing more about him than the rest of the voting public, and would have made a compelling case to all his detractors. Too bad the process doesn't work like that.
2) Hey, at least they're not the Marlins...
That's what I thought when I read this latest article about the Marlins Show and how neither the owner or the General Manager will be talking with the media any more.
The Astros at least have a GM willing to talk on occasion about the team, his plan and the players. He may be hard to get ahold of, he may be hard to pin down on transactions that haven't happened yet, but he has been fairly open at times.
This is also the first time since the expansion era when the Astros have bottomed out so badly. This is a roster with a lot of potential which hasn't necessarily transferred to production yet, but that may be better than signing the best free agents on the market and then trading them a year later, right?
Whatever you think about the Astros direction right now, the owner and GM have been accountable and talk about moves. Which makes me happy we follow them and not the Marlins...
3) Radio team announced soon?
Some good coverage on the site this weekend, as news broke that Geoff Blum would be returning to the team. Not as a terrible pinch-hitter, mind you, but as a potentially entertaining TV personality. Blum was always one of the more colorful Astros during his brief tenure with the team, and not just for his ever-evolving hair colors. He should make a good addition to this group and it's nice to see him land on his feet in retirement (Blum played as recently as last year).
But, with the TV team filled, we now turn our wandering eyes to the radio side. The Astros CAREavan was recently announced, with no radio guys helping out on it. That was one of the things they did in the past, providing a link for fans in places (Corpus, San Antonio, etc.) where they may be more likely to listen to the radio broadcast than attend a game at MMP.
Spring training games start in less than 40 days. Houston has broadcast every spring training game on the radio in the past. Given those two facts, doesn't it stand to reason that they need to wrap up this radio search pretty soon? Are they not getting the candidates they wanted? Is Tim's sound board really in the running for the color commentary job?
John Royal made all these points better than I could over at the Houston Press. He also brings up a great wrinkle. With CSN Houston's carriage deals still not in place for a bunch of cable providers and satellite companies, the radio broadcasts may be the only way Houston fans in Houston connect with the team. If Steve Sparks, et al, want to start building up a relationship with that fan base, shouldn't they do it sooner rather than later?