Monday, February 26, 2007

One Time, At Band Camp...

Can't Play Carl Pavano is having tests done, after a line drive hit him on the foot. As Neil over at Baseball Prospectus put it recently, le plus ca change...

Bobby Abreu is out a few weeks with a strained oblique muscle. Less worried about this than about Can't Play Carl--at least Abreu got injured in early, early Spring Training, when you can afford to miss some time. The biggest news to come out of this is that no, Abreu missing a couple of weeks doesn't mean that Bernie Williams is suddenly going to Spring Training.

A couple of stories about relievers on the outside looking in: Pete Abraham on Ron Villone, and Tyler Kepner on Colter Bean. The one on Bean is not quite heartbreaking, but it's a sobering look at the lives that many minor leaguers lead. The key quote in the Villone story comes from Joe Torre, "You're sorry it happened but we had nowhere to go. He had his hand up all the time. We were up against it."

It's a shame that neither Villone or Bean could really be considered "young" pitchers, else they could just go to Mike Mussina for help with the problems that ail them.

Getting back to Torre, he could have a big day on Tuesday, as it's time once again for the Veteran's Committee to decide on players who didn't make the Hall of Fame through the BWAA, and on Managers, Executives, and Umpires. I have my doubts that anyone will be getting good news from the Vets' committee, given its current composition. The last time they gave this a try, no one was voted in, and the Committee isn't formed in such a way that the members really feel they have a mandate to put people in the Hall.

If I had a vote--off the top of my head--Ron Santo and Joe Torre would be going to Cooperstown, as would Marvin Miller. I wouldn't be too weirded out if Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog, or Dick Williams made it onto my ballot, although I'll admit I haven't studied up on the execs and umps enough to have a refined opinion on the subject. But Santo's a top 10 all-time third baseman; Torre should be in on his combined record as a player and manager. And Marvin Miller...let's just say that if a Veterans Committee composed primarily of ex-players doesn't put Miller in the Hall, those players are the most ungrateful cretins in the history of the game. What do you guys think?

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