No Players Elected for First Time Since 1996
A winning candidate did not emerge from the Hall of Fame balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and verified by Ernst & Young. There were 569 ballots cast, the third highest total in the history of the voting, but none of the 37 candidates in the 2013 vote gained mention on the required 75 percent for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Craig Biggio, who totaled 3,060 hits and was a seven-time All-Star while playing three positions (catcher, second base, outfield), topped the ballot with 388 votes – 39 shy of the 427 needed for election. His total reflected 68.2 percent of the electorate, which consists of BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of Major League Baseball coverage. Five blank ballots were among those submitted. Other players named on more than half the ballots were pitcher Jack Morris with 385 (67.7 percent), first baseman Jeff Bagwell with 339 (59.6), catcher Mike Piazza with 329 (57.8) and outfielder Tim Raines with 297 (52.2).
Commenting on the election, Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said, “The standards for earning election to the Hall of Fame have been very high ever since the rules were created in 1936. We realize the challenges voters are faced with in this era. The Hall of Fame has always entrusted the exclusive voting privilege to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. We remain pleased with their role in evaluating candidates based on the criteria we provide.”
Braves tab ex-Phils pitching coach for Minors role
The Braves hired former Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee on Monday to fill one of four Minor League positions vacated by coaches promoted to the Major League level this offseason.
Dubee will serve as the Braves’ Minor League pitching coordinator, a position Dave Wallace held before being named Baltimore’s pitching coach. Other additions to Atlanta’s staff include Ronnie Ortegon (Minor League hitting coordinator), Rick Williams (special assistant to the general manager/pitching development and special assignment) and Bobby Mitchell (Minor League roving outfield and baserunning instructor).
Ortegon replaces Don Long, who was named Cincinnati’s hitting coach earlier this month. Williams, who is the son of former Major League manager Dick Williams, was hired to fill the void created when Dom Chiti followed Wallace to Baltimore to serve as Buck Showalter‘s bullpen coach. Mitchell will assume the responsibilities previously held by Doug Dascenzo, who was named Atlanta’s third-base coach in October.
“We think the number of Braves Minor League personnel who have been recently promoted to Major League jobs speaks volumes about our player development program,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “We are proud that they had opportunities within Major League Baseball, and we are also very excited about the quality of the four men we are announcing today.”
Matt Wieters, the Brian McCann factor and the Braves
So the money’s not what is concerning about McCann’s signing from an Orioles perspective. It actually has little to do with the Yankees and a lot more to do with the Atlanta Braves, McCann’s former team.
If there’s one club that Wieters — a South Carolina native who grew up as a Braves fan and went to college at Georgia Tech in Atlanta — would view dreamily, it would be the Braves.
In my countless dealings with Wieters, he doesn’t strike me as a guy who needs to get the biggest deal. And he’s not one that’s going to blindly follow someone else. He is very much his own guy.
Wieters and Boras have a good relationship, and Wieters certainly will listen to his adviser. And Boras, obviously, has the reputation of taking most of his clients to free agency – but not all go. Ultimately, the decision is going to be Wieters’.
With that in mind, my belief has always been that Wieters would sign an extension with the Orioles before he reaches free agency. Baltimore fits his low-key, no-fuss persona; he has no interest in being a large-market celebrity.
Baltimore fits for plenty of other reasons, too. The 27-year-old Wieters, his wife and son live in Sarasota, where the Orioles have spring training. His parents still drive up to Camden Yards on plenty of summer weekends to see his games. He’s got that hometown feel on a team that looks to be competitive for years to come.
Not many other major league teams can offer a more enticing overall package. The Braves might be able to, though, especially if they need a catcher after 2015.