It’ll be back to some wrestling the next few days with reviews of a Mid-South episode and the 1998 Royal Rumble. Crazy week at work with the person who used to be under me having moved on and I find myself doing work I hadn’t touched since 2013. I have a few thoughts on things that happened just today in the worlds of politics, baseball, and hockey.
- What is up with this “Is Sidney Crosby still the face of the NHL” business? He’s still an excellent player and at 28 has a ton of career left. But it’s not a BAD thing he’s not the face of the NHL. There is no guy thought of in that manner, but to me it’s Jonathan Toews aka the Jean Beliveau of this era for his constant winning of everything. Well, except for the Selke because that belongs to Patrice Bergeron. Back to Crosby: it’s fine he won’t be an all-star, Ovechkin had a down period in 2011-12 and came roaring back. It’s just that Pittsburgh is kind of a flawed team right now.
- Oh my God a major hockey trade! Between young players! I had to call a timeout at work so I could text my excitement to others. In case you missed it, Nashville traded young defenceman Seth Jones to Columbus in exchange for center Ryan Johansen. Both guys were the #4 overall picks in their drafts, 2013 and 2010 respectively. This is a good trade right now for both teams because Johansen will be a better fit for Nashville while Jones will finally get a chance to step out of those shadows from the Predators blue line. There he was behind Shea Weber and Roman Josi while in Columbus he can be the lead guy. Probably a better trade for Columbus long term IF they can sign Jones this summer to a new deal. I’ve seen my share of RFAs leverage their way out to preferred destinations.
- Gary Johnson is running for President! Of the United States! He did get .99% of the popular vote in 2012, a figure that included me. I endorse freedom and liberty as a general concept in just about all arenas, so it’s disheartening to see Johnson say he would sign a bill banning the wearing of burqas. You’ll never go broke betting on being disappointed with Presidential candidates of any party or stripe.
- The Baseball Hall of Fame: Can we stop the friggin’ lynch mob from going after the three people who didn’t vote for Ken Griffey Jr.? I am so sick and tired of seeing people saying there is no reason to leave him off the ballot when there was a perfectly logical reason to do so. He’s going in the HOF, it doesn’t matter what the percentage is. What if you want to keep Jim Edmonds on the ballot, or steer a vote to Curt Schilling or hipster favorite Tim Raines? Voters can only choose 10, so it would be another example of game theory. The digital lynch mobs is exactly the reason why we have secret ballots in elections: people should be free to vote for whoever they want.
- That brings to mind one of my favorite phone calls I ever received. Back in January 2002, my friends Merrill and Jim called me up via three way calling to point out that Tim Wallach received a single vote for the Hall of Fame from 472 submitted ballots. They asked me to make a case for Wallach to be in the Hall of Fame and it is far stronger than anyone cares to admit. First, he was a third baseman and that position has been historically underrepresented in Cooperstown with only 13 in the Hall. He was a three time Gold Glove winner and the numbers back him up as his range metrics were top 2 in the NL for most of the 1980s. Wallach made 5 All Star games and these were not like when Scott Cooper made it twice because his team stunk, and was NL 3B Silver Slugger twice. Yes, his career fell off after his 2nd top-10 MVP finish in 1990, but so what? Billy Idol fell off too and people don’t use that to argue against him for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Gotta be that anti-Montreal bias, right?