A mixed bag of news today with some surprises and other stories making us question whether baseball is using their time wisely. First, MLB and T-Mobile have teamed up to offer cell service in the dugout for managers and pitching coaches to “better” connect with the bullpen. Secondly, The Yankees have checked in with oft-injured outfielder Grady Sizemore. Finally, baseball writers elected no one into the Hall of Fame for 2013.
Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports a “multi-year, multi-million dollar deal” between T-Mobile and MLB to help on-field communication systems. Apparently, these dugout cell phones will run off a separate tower so as to not be interfered by cell service from fans within the park. For those who are old-school, the old phones will still be available for use, but you have to think MLB will be urging managers and coaches to use the technology AND be seen doing it. That said, some managers are already embracing it.
“I think it’s about time,” San Francisco Manager, Bruce Bochy told USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale. “We’ve had some phone issues in some parks. Hopefully, this will make it easier to communicate … There’s no worse feeling when something happens, you make a call and you can’t communicate. This makes sense. It’s happened to a lot of clubs.”
If they had trouble communicating through landlines, have they ever tried to get reliable cell service these days? Color me unimpressed, this is obviously a cash grab and a waste of time that can be spent on other, more important things, such as expanding instant replay.
In a somewhat surprising note, the Yankees have checked on Grady Sizemore, according to Anthony McCarron of the NY Daily News. However, Joe Urbon, Sizemore’s agent, said he is curbing talks with clubs until his client is healthier. Urbon added that Sizemore probably won’t be ready until closer to mid-season as he is recovering from a microfacture in his knee.
It is sad to see a superstar fall from grace due to injury. The once perennial all-star has suffered a multitude of injuries that have led him to being an afterthought in the free agent market. From 2005-2008, Sizemore was among the best players in the game, averaging more than 20 home runs per year, with a ~.280 batting average, not to mention his great centerfield defense. Now, he’s just looking for a place to play.
Finally, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) took a stand against steroids yesterday by electing no one to the Hall of Fame class of 2013. Former Yankees, Roger Clemens (37.6% of votes), Tim Raines (52.2%), and Don Mattingly (13.2%) all missed the 75% votes needed to gain admittance into the Hall. No matter which side of the debate you fall on, you have to feel awful about what transpired. While some players admitted — or were caught — using steroids, others did not, but are lumped in with those who juiced and are therefore being punished. It’s called, guilty by association and unfortunately, until some of these baseball writers come around to the fact that these players were part of an “era,” we may not see a Hall of Fame candidate get elected for a few years.