I was amused at the Sturm und Drang that occurred on social media after the results of the 2022 National Baseball Hall of Fame voting were announced.
The issue getting folks worked up was whether baseball players who were suspected of using performance enhancing drugs deserve a plaque in the Cooperstown baseball museum.
David “Big Papi” Ortiz was the only former player elected to receive baseball’s highest honor in his first year on the ballot, while all-time home run leader Barry Bonds, and one of the best pitchers to ever play the game, Roger Clemens, were denied entry in their final year on the ballot. Ortiz was mentioned in the 2003 Mitchell Report as a player who dabbled in steroids, as were Bonds and Clemens, but none was ever found guilty through testing.
Was it hypocritical that Ortiz was elected while Bonds and Clemens were turned away for the 10th consecutive year? Of course, it was. The difference may lie in personalities. Ortiz was always upbeat around reporters and fans, while Bonds and Clemens were generally quite surly. If the lesson from this vote for today’s athletes is that acting like a jerk may have implications down the road, then I am fine with that.
There were BBWAA members who for years wagged their fingers at steroids users and vowed never to vote for them for any awards but suddenly expressed outrage at Bonds and Clemens getting denied entry to Cooperstown in their final year of ballot eligibility. Talk about hypocrisy.
Another player who was turned away in his final ballot appearance was pitcher Curt Schilling. His problem was not suspected steroids use, but rather a contentious personality. The famous humorist Will Rogers would not have been able to utter his famous phrase, “I never met a man I didn’t like!” if he had ever encountered Schilling. Last year Schilling urged the writers not to vote for him, and they obliged.
I was surprised longtime Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins only received 10 percent of the BBWAA vote in his first year on the ballot. Mets fans will glumly concede Rollins was the key reason the Phillies beat out the Mets for the NL East title in 2007 and 2008. He played 17 years; won an MVP Award; was a three-time All-Star; and played in numerous playoff games. He is a Hall of Famer to me.
Even more surprising that familiar names such as Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Tim Lincecum and Tim Hudson failed to get 5 percent of the vote in their first year of eligibility and will not be listed on future Hall of Fame ballots. While they may not be Hall of Famers, they were excellent ballplayers who merited discussion in upcoming years.
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My favorite Baseball Hall of Fame balloting story involved former pitcher and current Chicago Cubs broadcaster Jim Deshaies. In 2001, Deshaies conducted a humorous campaign to get one vote so he could tell his grandchildren he accomplished something most players never do. Deshaies, while certainly not a Hall of Famer, was a fine pitcher for the Houston Astros in the 1980s and early ’90s who beat the Mets numerous times. The Houston Chronicle’s John Lopez did him that favor by checking off his name on the ballot. Many of Lopez’s BBWAA brethren gave him a tough time for his kind gesture.
Former NBA star and South Ozone Park native Lamar Odom is part of the cast on the latest installment of CBS’s “Celebrity Big Brother.”
WFAN morning air personality and “NFL Today” panelist Boomer Esiason co-hosts “Super Bowl Greatest Commercials: All-Time Classics” with actress Daniela Ruah Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on CBS.
On Sunday, Jay Horowitz, Mets vice president of alumni affairs, reported the passing of relief pitcher Jeff Innis, who had battled cancer. Innis belongs to a rare fraternity of players who spent more than five years in the big leagues and played only for the Mets. Other players who fall in that category are David Wright, Ed Kranepool, Ron Hodges, Pedro Feliciano and Bob Apodaca.
Innis saw the best and worst of times in the Mets organization as he was with them from 1987 through 1993. He was a graduate of the University of Illinois and enjoyed conversing with fans and the media on a wide array of subjects. Innis was 59.
The Mets press beat took a hit Friday when Justin Toscano reported on Twitter that he was let go by the Bergen Record. Toscano is a fine writer and an even better person.
That same day Kim Jones, who used to cover the New York Giants for the Newark Star-Ledger, and has long been a fill-in host on WFAN, announced on Twitter she had parted ways with the NFL Network after a decade of service.
Life and style
This weekend’s snowstorm was the biggest one in Queens in four years. Anyone who shoveled snow to clear a walkway, driveway or street parking space probably felt muscle and joint pain.
A fledgling company, DNA Vibe (dnavibe.com), uses light therapy via a stretch band (called a jazz band) that you can place around your hips, back or shoulders to relieve pain. It should be noted the Food and Drug Administration approved light therapy as a method of alleviating joint pain way back in 1967.
My biggest knock on DNA Vibe’s jazz band is that you can’t just plug it in and have it work. You must download the company’s app on your smartphone to get the light component on the band-belt to work. The good news is you can set the amount of time you want the light therapy session to last through the app.
Tom Brady, who generated immediate headlines over the weekend with unconfirmed reports of his retirement, is the greatest NFL quarterback in history, but over the weekend Peyton Manning reminded everyone why he is the greatest professional athlete to ever appear on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”
Peyton made a cameo appearance during the “Weekend Update” segment. Colin Jost asked him about the previous weekend’s extremely exciting NFL divisional playoff games. As part of the bit, Manning claimed he didn’t watch any of the games because he was binge-watching “Emily in Paris” on Netflix. He sold it by getting excited over the various plotlines with the aplomb of a veteran comic actor.
While I can’t say I was binge-watching it, I did come across a comedy series on Hulu that I had not heard of before, even though it has aired for three seasons on cable’s FX, called “What We Do in the Shadows.” The show is a sendup of the countless vampire movies and television shows over the decades as it focuses on a group of vampires who emigrated from Europe to today’s Staten Island. The dialog is clever, and you will laugh.