Here are several go-to links to make the first Monday of December a bit more bearable:
- Writing in Businessweek, Red Sox front-office executive and sabermetrics godfather Bill James shares his thoughts on Marvin Miller, the players’-union icon who died last week at age 95. (In case you missed it: NRO’s Nick Frankovich remembered a conversation he had with Miller here.)
- The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham reveals that his views on the use of performance-enhancing drugs and the Hall of Fame voting process have changed:
This will be my third year voting. In my first year, I mustered up a mighty wave of self righteousness and decided that no player I suspected of using PEDs would get my vote. I’ll show them.
Last year I moved my line and decided that unless there was some kind of tangible connection to PEDs, I would consider voting for a player. I changed because of Jeff Bagwell, a guy who sure looked the part of a drug user but was never linked to it. It seemed unfair to exclude him based only on suspicion.
Now I’ve decided to erase the line completely.
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and the rest of the scoundrels will get my vote. I’ll look at the players based on their statistical merit, how they compared to other players of their era and to other players in the Hall of Fame. I won’t sit at my desk and do Google searches to decide who is clean and who was cheating.
If you think that is a cowardly way out, I can’t argue with you. But it beats stabbing around in the dark and hoping to be right.
- In Fangraphs, Bill Petti explains why the David Wright’s contract extension worth $138 million over eight years will probably work out well for the Mets.
- Across town, the Yankees welcomed back Mariano Rivera for one season in pinstripes for $10 million but said goodbye to catcher Russell Martin, who signed with the Pirates for two years and $17 million. Charlie Wilmoth of Bucs Dugout sounds cautiously optimistic about the signing.
- It appears that playing league-average center field pays off handsomely this offseason: B. J. Upton signed with the Braves for $75 million over five years. Ben Duronio of Capitol Avenue Club believes that Upton, for all of his frustrating tendencies, is worth the price tag.
- There were two trades of note last week: C. Trent Rosecrans of CBSSports.com offers details on the Tommy Hanson–for–Jordan Walden swap that the Braves completed with the Angels, while David Brown of Big League Stew has the dish on the Denard Span–for–Alex Meyer deal that the Twins made with the Nationals.
- According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay, the Reds have decided to make southpaw fireballer Aroldis Chapman a starter in 2013, albeit with an innings limit.
- James Gentile of Beyond the Boxscore looks at how the role of the leadoff hitter has matured over several decades.
- At Sports on Earth, Joe Posnanski tracks the demise of the relationship between Frank White and the Royals organization.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!