Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Got a few topics to cover today...

Last night I ran into this bizzare snowstorm. I was driving from the train station to my chiropractors for my regular Tuesday evening appointment. As I was driving up the road, I ran into this WALL OF SNOW. Literally, one second everything was clear, and the next second I'm in the middle of what appears to be a blizzard. Visibility went down to practically nothing. I was just following the tail lights in front of me and hoping he knew what he was doing. I made it to the chiropractor in one piece, but the conditions made for a few minutes of nervousness. When I left after my adjustment, the snow had stopped and the skies were clear again.

Later on New England Cable News I heard the weather guy talking about the storm. He described it as a "mini-blizzard", which swept across the region from west to east and dropped about 1/2 an inch of snow in 15 minutes before moving on. I've never seen anything like it. If I do again, I hope I'm not driving in it!

Second bit of news - I got an email from one of my all-time favorite writers, Jim Bouton, today. Bouton, of course, wrote the legendary baseball book "Ball Four" and more recently wrote "Foul Ball" about his struggle to bring a minor league baseball team to Pittsfield and save Waconah Park (see my 10/24/03 blog entry for more detail). Well, it turns out that the guy who Bouton's group lost out to, Jonathan Fleisig, moved his team to New Haven after only two seasons in Pittsfield. I wrote to Bouton through his Web site to give him the news and he wrote back to thank me! It was a big thrill.

Finally, I wanted to say how happy I was to see that Dennis Eckersley got elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Eck really had two careers; first as an All-Star starter with the Indians, Red Sox and Cubs, then as one of the all-time great closers with the A's. I heard Eck's press conference at Fenway yesterday after the announcement was made, and it was fun to listen to the sheer delight in his voice at having been elected to the Hall.

On the opposite side, Jim Rice was once again shut out, getting about 54% of the writers votes (75% is required for induction). I still think Rice is a Hall of Famer, even if he is a borderline one. He was a dominant player in the league for a long period of time, but once his skills started to decline he went downhill fast. He went from being third in the MVP voting in 1986 to being out of the game after the 1989 season. Longevity counts when it comes to the Hall of Fame. How is Tony Perez in and Rice is out? Perez played 7 more seasons and had fewer home runs than Rice. His OPS was 50 points lower. Is he in the Hall of Fame because he hung around longer, or because he was a good guy and friendly with the media, while Rice wasn't? It just doesn't seem fair.


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