Kirby Puckett

Kirby Puckett

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Complainathon Vol. IV

     This started out as a standard column, but then I just got on roll, I figured I haven't done one of these in awhile I might as well go all the way. There are just too many stupid things going on for me to resist.
     One of the most ridiculous notions in sports is that players play better when they're in their contract year. Do players try harder when they're going to be free agents? Do people really think athletes are so unmotivated that they don't work as hard as possible unless there's money at stake? Whatever the perceived logic is for that, I'm starting to think there are GMs who buy into that. That's the only reason I can think of for why nobody's signed Yoenis Cespedes yet.
     Up until a few days ago, Cespedes, Justin Upton and Chris Davis were the only big free agents left of the market. Then Davis signed his Bobby Bonilla-esque deal, leaving just Cespedes and Upton. There's a very good reason why teams have been hesitant to give the infuriatingly inconsistent Upton a big contract, but in Cespedes's situation there isn't one.
     Several days ago, it was revealed that the Mets and White Sox were both interested in Cespedes, but only if he agreed to a shorter deal. I have two massive issues with that. 1) Message to both GMs: You guys are freaking New York and Chicago. When has being fiscally responsible ever been something you need to do? 2) The guys who have received multi-year deals this offseason include Jeff Samardzija, who imploded in Chicago last year, posting an ERA of 4.96 and leading the league in hits allowed, home runs allowed and earned runs, and Daniel Murphy, who had one terrific postseason in an otherwise completely pedestrian season where he hit .281/.322/449 with 14 homers and 73 RBI. Cespedes hit .291/.328/.542 with 35 round-trippers and 105 RBI.
     Another thing bothering me recently has been the reaction to the Hall of Fame voting. Griffey and Piazza were both deserving of their elections, but people have paid more attention to the players who didn't make it. If you believe every columnist you read, then the Hall of Fame is broken because Alan Trammell, Mike Mussina, Edgar Martinez, Mark McGwire, Fred McGriff and a litany of others aren't there. I don't know when this arrogant attitude started. I'm talking about the attitude of "There's a guy who I think should be in the Hall of Fame but he isn't so that means the Hall of Fame sucks". Most importantly, the Hall of Fame isn't meant to be taken too seriously. It's a freaking museum. In that museum, there is exactly one large room where all the plaques are that honor the players who are voted in. The other 95% in about the history of baseball. It's pretty much like how anyone would expect any museum to be. My point is, it's so much more than just a place where players are honored. It's about the history of the game, it's, I know some writers have never heard this word, fun.

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