SURPRISE, Ariz. — Reaction to the 2013 ballot for the Royals Hall of Fame, released Tuesday, seemed to fall into two categories: Strong support for Bo Jackson and lots of snark for some other guys up for consideration.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Our Sam Mellinger makes a strong pitch for Bo, which you can read here. For what it’s worth, I completely agree with Sam; Bo Jackson should be in.
The snark for many others is both understandable but misplaced. Sure, it’s hard to make the case for Runelvys Hernandez, Jimmy Gobble or Emil Brown — although Brown led the club in RBIs for three straight seasons.
(Guess how many other players have ever done that. Answer below.)
While the snark is easy, I think the Royals are doing the right thing here. Set a minimum standard and permit all who qualify to appear on the ballot once — but only once unless they receive a certain level of support.
The Royals set that standard at a minimum of three full seasons with the club and at least 1,500 plate appearances or 150 innings. The player must be cited on at least 10 percent of all ballots to remain eligible for future elections.
You can argue that sets the bar too low, but I like the inclusive nature in putting together the ballot.
I am one of six BBWAA members who vote each year to determine the ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and I set the bar low…to get on the ballot. I set the bar very high when voting for induction.
For the National Hall of Fame, the minimum requirement is 10 years in the big leagues. I think if you played 10 years as a regular — and I define “regular” pretty loosely — then I believe you deserve to be on the ballot.
But I’ve only once voted for more than four players for induction. Rules permit you to vote for as many as 10.
It’s the same thing here: Three full seasons of regular duty with the Royals is a reasonable standard for inclusion on the ballot, but induction should be much tougher.
I mean, if Runelvys Hernandez is on the Royals Hall of Fame ballot again in two years (when the regular phase voting next takes place), then all snark is deserved — but it should be aimed at the voting panel. (That includes me.)
And it includes you. The public accounts for three of the 40 votes for the Royals’ panel. You can vote online through noon on March 29 at www.royalshalloffame.com/vote.
(Trivia answer: Brown led the Royals in RBIs from 2005-07. The only other player to lead the club for three straight years was Carlos Beltran from 2001-03.)
Here in Arizona, right-hander Wade Davis returns to Cactus League action for the first time in 17 days in today’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Surprise Stadium.
Davis was diagnosed with inflammation behind his shoulder following three scoreless innings March 3 against Cincinnati. He skipped a cycle in the rotation before pitching last time in a minor-league game.
J.C. Gutierrez, Tim Collins, Donnie Joseph and Louis Coleman are also scheduled to pitch. Collins is a lock for a bullpen job, but the other three are among those battling for what projects as one open spot.
The game starts at 3:05 p.m. Central time and can be heard in Kansas City on KCSP (610 AM). Here’s the lineup:
LF Alex Gordon, SS Alcides Escobar, DH Billy Butler, 3B Mike Moustakas, C Salvy Perez, CF Lorenzo Cain, RF Jeff Francoeur, 1B Elliot Johnson and 2B Johnny Giavotella.
Keep those questions coming on twitter to @Royals_Report. Here is today’s exchange:
@LimbackShawn: If KC releases a player under contract and another team picks him up, who pays his salary?
It’s shared. How it’s shared depends on the terms of the contract. If it’s a guaranteed deal, the new team generally pays a pro-rated share of the major-league minimum and the former team pays the rest.
If it’s a non-guaranteed deal, the player receives separation pay from his former club and becomes a free agent. He then negotiates the best deal he can with another club.
All big-league contracts become guaranteed at full value for players not released prior to 1 p.m. Central time on March 27. Players released between now and that date receive roughly one-fourth of their salary (45/183rds) as separation pay.
@juliokcmo: how short should the leash be on Holland this year. Herrera is the closer of the future and Holland is proven 8th inning guy.
Greg Holland will open the season as the closer and, I think, deserves to do so after the way he pitched last season. But you’re right, the Royals have alternatives and, I agree, Kelvin Herrera would likely be first in line.
I really don’t expect Holland to blow a bunch of games, and I think he has a reasonably long leash. Managers hate to change closers because, like a change of quarterbacks, it smells of panic even when necessary.
Holland doesn’t yet warrant the rope that Joakim Soria enjoyed, but he probably merits more than anyone in the years between Soria and Jeff Montgomery.
@SeanMawhirter: is there ever a concern over, specifically pitchers, competing for spot rather than spending time tweaking during ST?
I’m not sure what that concern would be. If you mean do pitchers ever do too much too early in an effort to impress — sure, that happens all the time. Few young pitchers can avoid it.
@powercatjeffy71: Have the Royals peaked too soon?
To win the Cactus League title? Perhaps. Their lead over second-place Seattle is down to one-half game prior to Wednesday’s games.
@KCCCK94: are my views of Getz and Ramirez being the leading candidates of their respective positions correct?
My view is Chris Getz is the leader over Johnny Giavotella at second base, although it’s far from locked down. Max Ramirez has had a impressive camp, but I’d be surprised if, barring injuries, he doesn’t open the season at Class AAA Omaha.
@manwithaspleen: We’ve both been following KC for longer than either of us care to admit. If ’13 goes in the crapper, is it time to move on?
For what it’s worth, I think the Royals are on the right track. Their potential, on paper, is better than at any time since the strike ended the 1994 season.
That said, there’s no shortage of questions surrounding this team, and I don’t see how anyone can view them as the division favorite.
@ChrisGInKC: tough April schedule, what record should be considered a success. Not many winning April’s last 10 years.
Actually, I think the schedule turns a lot tougher in May. The goal should be to hit June 1 at or very near .500. If the Royals do that, they have a chance to make it an interesting summer.
@Gio_Rodriguez54: what’s your input on Miguel Almonte?
I have not seen him, but I’ve heard lots of good things. Scouts say he has a repeatable delivery and a mid-90s fastball — and that his fastball is heavy. His curve and change-up, I’m told, both need some work but show definite promise.
@neljak25: so @ESPY_TEAHEN will make the ballot?!
Well, not Espy, because that’s a dog, but Espy’s dad, Mark Teahen, will qualify at some point for the Royals Hall of Fame ballot.
Anyone who plays three years for the club and has at least 1,500 plate appearances or 150 innings qualifies to appear once. Teahen had 2,732 plate appearances in five years with the Royals.
@JBaileykc: If a club uses an option on a player at this point in ST & an injury occurs, do they still burn the option to bring him back?
If I understand the question, you mean if a player already optioned to the minors gets hurt, recovers and then is recalled to the majors?
If so, then yes. The option is used as soon as the player is sent to the minors on an “optional assignment” from the 40-man roster.
But remember: One option is good for an entire year of moves. That’s why you see some players shuttled back and forth between the big leagues and the minors on a regular basis.
Generally, players get three option years, although there are exceptions.
@rmotigers: 39 out of 40 active roster spots are filled who will fills the last roster spot?
Clubs are not required to keep their 40-man roster filled to capacity, but a player can’t be placed on the 60-day disabled list unless all 40-man spots are filled.
A player can remain on the 60-day list if a 40-man spot subsequently becomes available.
That situation became applicable this spring with the Royals when they placed pitcher Felipe Paulino on the 60-day list to accommodate the acquisition of utilityman Elliot Johnson from Tampa Bay.
A 40-man spot subsequently became available when the Royals released pitcher Guillermo Moscoso, but Paulino remains on the 60-day list. The Royals can’t put anyone else on the 60-day list until their 40-man roster is again filled.
To reach Bob Dutton, send email to email@example.com. Follow his updates at twitter.com/Royals_Report.