Forgotten notebooks

First of all, big-time respect to the people who came over to watch the Ohio State game last night. Last year we ordered a delicious 29-inch pizza and had a week’s worth of leftovers after the game. This year, 13 of us combined to hammer down the same-size pizza with more toppings. And all of this was without noted semi-pro eater Allan Wertheimer. Watch out, competitive eating world.

Second of all, etiquette question: If you’re flying to a wedding, is it OK to mail the gift later? I
don’t really want to have to explain to the TSA people why I have mixing bowls in my
carry-on luggage. You know, if I decide to go with the mixing bowls. And
if you think I’m paying to check a bag for a one-day trip, well…
You’ve got another thing coming, pal.

Now… today is the day we find out who was elected into the baseball Hall of Fame. I was going to write a long-winded argument on why it’s not worth getting all bent out of shape about who gets in and who doesn’t, but I decided not to. Just keep these things in mind:

  1. A player being (or not being) in the Hall doesn’t determine whether
    or not he was a good/great player. We do. Make up your own mind. Don’t
    leave it up to writers or something called the Veterans Committee.
    Albert Pujols is one of the best first basemen ever and there’s not much
    that could change my mind. The 1995 Cleveland Indians were the most
    exciting team I’ve ever followed and that wouldn’t change if nobody on
    that team got elected to the Hall (bad example because Eddie Murray is
    already in, but still).
  2. Saying a guy isn’t Hall-of-Fame worthy
    doesn’t mean you’re saying he was a bum who couldn’t hit water if he
    fell out of a boat and refused to save boxes of kittens sitting by the
    side of the road. Just being in the conversation means a player was
    really good.
  3. Anytime you hear the argument, “Player X is in the Hall, why not Player Y?” it’s OK to answer with, “Well, because maybe Player X shouldn’t be in in the first place.” Life ain’t fair.
  4. “He’s one of only five players at his position to ever have X home runs and X stolen bases” is generally not a great argument. You can make up all kinds of statistical qualifiers to “prove” your point, but somebody could just as easily make up another cutoff to show why the guy SHOULDN’T be in.
  5. If the Hall of Fame decided to start all over and put me in charge of who gets in, I’d be the most blatant small-hall guy of all time, as I wrote about last year. But they have to induct somebody every year to have an induction ceremony and stay in the news (and keep Cooperstown, N.Y. from going broke), so I’d never be put in charge. Thanks a lot, money.

Now that I’ve made a long-winded argument on why it’s not worth getting all bent out of shape (which is exactly what I set out NOT to do), I’ll say again: Some of the HOF selections have been bogus and the election process is flawed, but I’ve been to Cooperstown and it’s delightful. Every die-hard baseball fan should go at least once. Just so you know, though, baseball probably wasn’t invented in Cooperstown. Try the Elysian Fields in New Jersey.

Random thoughts:

  • Read this today: The Padres will have former Fort Wayne manager Randy Ready working with Brad Hawpe to eliminate a timing issue in his swing which might have caused his struggles in 2010. They want to get him back to his pre-2010 form, when he was a .380 OBP, 20-homer guy.
  • The Padres signed C Guillermo Quiroz to a minor-league deal. Looks like insurance in case Rob Johnson doesn’t work out.
  • Jayson Stark explains his HOF voting.
  • The Cubs’ Top 10 prospects are posted over at Baseball America. Bryan, Ohio native RHP Chris Carpenter slots in at No. 6.
  • Same for the Reds. You know, minus the whole Chris Carpenter thing. Don’t be ridiculous.
  • Speaking of the Reds, Aroldis Chapman looks like he’s staying in the bullpen for now, but it’s not a long-term thing. And Dontrelle Willis, who supposedly has looked good throwing this off-season, will get a shot at a spot in the Reds’ bullpen.
  • With all due respect to our own “win a trip to San Diego” promotion, the Brewers have come up with what might be the most fun ticket promotion of all time. Running in the sausage race? Sliding down the in-ballpark slide? Signing a one-day contract, complete with one-day salary (about $2,000)? This is a buzzcut‘s wildest dreams come true!
  • Hat hipsters, assemble! It’s the Bowling Green Cave Shrimp limited edition hat!
  • Now that Ohio State football is sort of on the back burner (not that it
    ever is in that town), the fine folks of Columbus, Ohio, are abuzz over this guy. Apparently the Cavaliers are trying to help him out. Kind of publicity stunty, but a good story and hopefully it leads to more people helping people.
  • Tonight marks the beginning of another rec-league volleyball season. I’m pumped.
  • Almost as pumped as I am to start walking dogs at the local animal shelter. It’s on a volunteer basis, but I think we all know I have professional-level talent in getting dogs into shape. Just trying to save the world, one dog at a time.
  • Every single item is on sale at the Orchard Team Store at Glenbrook Square Mall. All sales are final. You’re welcome, planet Earth.
  • I couldn’t help but think my old buddy Dave Hutte would’ve loved the national anthem last night at the Sugar Bowl, sang by Darius Rucker, also known as Hootie. As in, Hootie and the Blowfish. Dave Hutte LOVES him some Hootie and the Blowfish. In fact, he claims he likes that band so much, people in high school purposely mispronounced his last name, so it sounded like Dave “Hootie” Hutte. His favorite Hootie song? Hold My Hand. And if you haven’t seen this classic Hootie/SportsCenter video, you need to.
  • Dave Hutte recently told me he still has notebooks (plural) full of song lyrics he wrote during his high-school years. I think I speak for literally millions dozens of fans who are clamoring for The Dave Hutte Experience’s comeback album, “Forgotten Notebooks.”

Musical guest… Jack Johnson!

Take care!


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