WHAT IN THE DICKENS…

I went to Trinity Rep in Providence the other day and saw their version of the Christmas Carol.  Very good, indeed.  At times, believe it or not,I’ve been compared to old Ebenezer, himself. (I can resent it, but I guess I can’t deny it.)  It got me thinking about the ghosts of baseball past, present and future.  As far as the past goes, it’s kind of nice to not have to sit around and wonder if Jim Rice is going to make it into the Hall of Fame this time.  Jim Ed got his just desserts last year and was enshrined this summer.  This year, there are some guys that should get in, that will and probably a couple that will have to sweat it out for at least another year.  Andre Dawson has to get in.  Right?  This years’ “Jim Rice” got 67% of the vote in 2009 and has to get 75% for enshrinement.  Bert Blyleven, who I really admire not only for his legendary curve ball, but also for his willingness to speak out about not getting in got about 63% this year and he too, should get his ticket stamped.  Guys like Jack Morris, Dale Murphy and Dave Parker remain on the ballot, too.  “Newbies” like Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin are on the ballot for the first time and should receive ample consideration. (Never was a big fan of Alomar after he spit in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck).  I guess I’ve had to re-think  what a “great” player is.  As a kid I read about Ruth, Mays, Williams and Gehrig.  That was the standard.  I’m sure I romanticized these guys ajnd they had their flaws just like the men eligible today.  As I’ve written before in this space, let’s not forget Luis Tiant.  None other than Peter Gammons himself, the conscience of baseball, told me that El Tiante was the greatest player not in the Hall.  So the guys will sweat it out between now and January 6, 2010 when the announcement is made.  The debate will rage on in baseball-loving cities and towns across America until then, and long after.  On to the ghost of baseball present.  I guess I’ll tie in present and future as the Hot Stove continues to heat up.  This involves the potential deal we’ve been hearing about that would send Clay Buchholz and Casey Kelly to Toronto for Roy Halladay.  Short term, I love it.  Imagine a rotation that features Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield and oh yeah, Halladay.  Halladay will turn 33 in May and the 6 time All-Star is coming off a 17 win season for a lousy team.  The former Cy Young winner is a horse.  A big, hard-throwing right handed pitcher that would give Boston the best rotation in baseball.  If we are living for today, make the deal.  Obviously Clay Buchholz’ best baseball is still ahead of him and I truly believe there will be a lot of it.  This being said, the Sox have proven their willingness to fill needs via free agency and trades.  There are clearly other needs to be met, (shortstop, outfield, hitting) but if you can get a “Doc” Halladay, let’s do it.  Casey Kelly enjoyed a successful first full professional season, but it is too early to worry about what he might become.  I am a Clay Buchholz fan both personally and professionally.  Let me make that clear.  If the Sox can supplant the “Evil Empire” in 2010, it would be worth it.  This all came to me when I was visited by ghosts last night.  Maybe it was the chili I ate just before bed??!!  Anyway, as my pal “Puny Pete” or is it “Tiny Tim” might say- “God Bless us all, everyone”. (Except the Yankees, of course.) 

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