Today’s the day. The National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2017 will be announced at 3pm PST today. Who will get in? Who will be snubbed?

I’m not a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). I know, big shocker there. But I am a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBBA). And, like the BBWAA, the BBBA votes for the Hall of Fame every year, using the same rules and the same ballot. Does it mean anything? Not in the least. But it’s fun.

Like a lot of BBWAA members, I believe in making your Hall of Fame vote — official or not — public for all the world to see and yell at you for.

Here’s how I voted.
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The Fielding Bible Awards highlight the best defensive players across both leagues in Major League Baseball. They’re voted on by a panel of experts, and the results of the voting are made public.

This year’s awards were the most decisive ever with three unanimous decisions at. The winners headlined Tampa Bay centerfield prodigy Kevin Kiermaier who established a new record for defensive runs saved in a season at 42. Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward were other unanimous selections.

Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso finished fifth. Once thought of as a defensive liability, Alonso garnered strong support from Bill James, the Baseball Info Solutions video scouts, and Hal Richman among others. Left fielder Justin Upton received high votes from the BIS video scouts, writer Joe Posnanski, and defensive data analyst John Dewan, among others. Derek Norris and Odrisamer Despaigne also received votes.

When looking back at the disaster that was the 2015 season for the San Diego Padres, there will be some goodness to be found as well. Why a disaster?  Maybe hearing Craig Elsten and John Gennaro’s podcast reviewing the season could influence the posit, however when winning winter seemed to be quite an accomplishment in AJ Preller’s young tenure, winning only 74 games and losing two managers in the process does require an evaluation. The quick and dirty eval would be bad. Probably very bad. And you should feel bad too.

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The Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBBA) was founded in 2009 with the purpose of encouraging collaboration and communication among bloggers from across baseball.  The Alliance also votes on various awards at different times in the year, including end of season awards.  

A pitcher hasn’t won the National League MVP award since 1968 when Bob Gibson won it during the “Year of the Pitcher.” Bob Gibson’s numbers that year are so eye-popping they are almost hard to believe.

ERA: 1.12 (Live Ball Era Record)

IP: 304.2

BA Against: .184

SO: 268

HRs: 11 (11!)

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The Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBBA) was founded in 2009 with the purpose of encouraging collaboration and communication among bloggers from across baseball.  The Alliance also votes on various awards at different times in the year, including end of season awards.

Award season.  That time-honored tradition of someone deciding who or what should get something for their performance.  Movies have the Academy Awards.  TV has the Emmy’s.  Baseball has the ESPY’s Baseball Writers Association of America‘s end of season awards.

None of the folks in the BBBA are likely members of the BBWAA.  At least I don’t think so.  I do know that no one in the San Diego chapter is.  So we get to make up our own awards.  Which is nice.

Last week, Padres Trail gave you the first category, Manager of the Year.  Today, I get the chance to show you who we selected for Reliever of the Year and Pitcher of the Year.

There are no Padres pitchers on our collective ballots for the Reliever of the Year or Pitcher of the Year, despite Padres Trail’s blatant attempts at homerism by putting Tyson Ross on his ballot.  Sorry.  That’s life.

This is my first year in the BBBA, which means that these are the first awards I’ve ever voted on.  And no, I don’t count the McRib Awards from last year.  No one should count those.  Ever.

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The Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBBA) was founded in 2009 with the purpose of encouraging collaboration and communication among bloggers from across baseball.  The Alliance also votes on various awards at different times in the year, including end of season awards.  

The Manager of the Year award is subjective.  Well, OK, all awards are subjective, but Manager of the Year is more so than the rest.  To determine the best pitcher in the league, look at the numbers.  Best hitter? Look at the numbers.  Best Manager?  Can’t really look at the numbers.  How much impact does the Manager have on his team’s performance?  Much more difficult to quantify.  It’s the fuzziest of the awards.

Manager of the Year tends to go to the skipper who’s team over-achieved.  Over-achieved based on what?  Usually, it’s based on the preseason expectations of the media.  No baseball team enters the season expecting to lose 100 games.  Teams do recognize if they have fewer talented players on the roster than, say, the Dodgers or Yankees, but everyone thinks starts April thinking this is THEIR YEAR.  Based on that, how does one fairly select the Manager of the Year?

You do the best you can with the experience you’ve gained.  You can’t avoid being subjective.

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Tom Tango’s Fans Scouting Report has been live for a while now, and if you haven’t done so yet consider taking the opportunity to cast your ballot. I’ll let Tango explain:

Baseball’s fans are very perceptive. Take a large group of them, and they can pick out the final standings with the best of them. They can forecast the performance of players as well as those guys with rather sophisticated forecasting engines. Bill James, in one of his later Abstracts, had the fans vote in for the ranking of the best to worst players by position. And they did a darn good job.

There is an enormous amount of untapped knowledge here. There are 70 million fans at MLB parks every year, and a whole lot more watching the games on television. When I was a teenager, I had no problem picking out Tim Wallach as a great fielding 3B, a few years before MLB coaches did so. And, judging by the quantity of non-stop standing ovations Wallach received, I wasn’t the only one in Montreal whose eyes did not deceive him. Rondel White, Marquis Grissom, Larry Walker, Andre Dawson, Hubie Brooks, Ellis Valentine. We don’t need stats to tell us which of these does not belong.

The Project

What I would like to do now is tap that pool of talent. I want you to tell me what your eyes see. I want you to tell me how good or bad a fielder is. Go down, and start selecting the team(s) that you watch all the time. For any player that you’ve seen play in at least 10 games in 2014, I want you to judge his performance in 7 specific fielding categories.

This is your chance to show off your scouting chops, whether you catch the Padres (or any other team, obviously) on TV often or watch many games live at Petco. As Tango later mentions, remember to forget about what the numbers say — whether advanced or traditional — and go strictly with your observational acumen.

The Padres only have 19 ballots filled out as of this writing, which is more than only the Miami Marlins and Colorado Rockies. So we have some work to do.


While we’re on the subject, the Internet Baseball Awards — the far superior cousin to the traditional baseball awards — also went live yesterday. You do need a Baseball Prospectus account to vote, but BP’s basic subscription is free and, as a bonus, you’re eligible to win cool prizes for casting your ballot.

As announced last week, and discussed here, the Padres are going to create a Padres Hall of Fame on the grounds of Petco Park. Aside from the lockers moving from the Western Metal Supply building down, and relocating the plaques of Hall of Fame players who spent some time in San Diego from below the batters eye, nothing has been revealed about what will be in the Padres HOF.

Naturally I have a couple of suggestions.  These are in no particular order.

Suggestion #1 – Include a chronological display of Padres history.

Start in 1969 and take it through the present.  For each season, give a brief summary of the season.  For some years it might be really short.  Maybe 1969 gets only a paragraph. In 1969 the Padres played their first season in the National League.  Dick Selma won the first ML game played in San Diego, beating Houston 2-1 on April 8, 1969.  Preston Gomez managed the team to a 52-110 record.  Chris Cannizzaro was the team’s All-Star representative. Other years, like 1978, 1984, etc, would require a substantially longer discussion to accurately record everything that happened.  But it would be a one-stop shop, if you will, of the team’s legacy that fans could take in during an afternoon visit.  And, it would be educational for the young fan trying to learn about his/her hometown team.

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Yesterday news broke that MLB will be re-naming their top closer award’s the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award and the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award for the two  respective leagues. I was confused by this. And I’m not talking about the extremely long title for both.

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You have been waiting for 4 weeks to find out the winners of the 2013 McRib Awards and now your patience is finally going to be rewarded.

It’s been a long, drawn-out battle for some, and an absolutely laughable slaughter for others. But, the winners of the McRib Awards for 2013 are finally about to be revealed.

But, why the McRib Awards, Ghost? Why not name them after the Big Mac or Chicken McNuggets? Or even the Filet-O-Fish?

It’s simple. The McRib only comes out once a year, usually after baseball season is over. And people go absolutely nuts when they find out it’s going to be available.

Not that I think anybody is even going to remember these after a month. But, still…

Without further ado, I give you the recipients of the 2013 McRib Awards, as voted upon by you.

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