Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kansas City Royals' Hall of Fame ballot is a total joke

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge What does it take to be eligible for the Royals Hall of Fame? Not much.
  • What does it take to be eligible for the Royals Hall of Fame? Not much.

For the first time, fans will have a vote on which former players will be inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame this year. The  Royals' website describes its team HOF this way:

The Royals Hall of Fame was established in 1986 to celebrate the accomplishments of those players, coaches and other personnel who have made exceptional contributions to the rich history of Kansas City Royals Baseball.
Unfortunately, few of the 18 players on the ballot fulfill these requirements. The level of sleaze, cheating and unsportsmanlike behavior among the 18 players eligible for votes is astounding.



Why the team didn't weed the losers out of the ballot is anyone's guess.

Let's take a look at the three lowliest bastards on the ballot and run

up their vote totals.


click to enlarge Al_Cowens_crop.jpg
Al Cowens, RF: A .270 career hitter, Cowens turned in a spectacular 1977

season for the Royals, hitting .312, with 23 homers and 112 RBI. But

Cowens might be remembered most for, as member of the Detroit Tigers,

initiating a brawl with Texas Rangers pitcher Ed Farmer in 1980.

Farmer

had hit Cowens with a pitch in 1979, which broke his jaw, causing him to

miss 21 games. In the 1980 incident, Cowens hit a ground ball, then

charged Farmer, who was watching the ball, and blindsided the pitcher.

The attack earned Cowens a seven-game suspension, and Chicago police

issued an arrest warrant, which forced him to stay home during the

Tigers' next series in Chicago.

click to enlarge Jose_Offerman_crop.JPG

Jose Offerman, SS: Offerman's career was a decent if inconsistent one.

He played 15 seasons in the big leagues, which is impressive, even if he

never blew minds with his bat or his glove. And his three seasons in

Kansas City were the best of his career. He hit an impressive .303, .297 and

.315, and was speedy on the bases.

But who could remember his league-leading 13 triples in 1998, when in 2007,

while playing for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, he

attacked a pitcher with his bat?



Offerman was arrested and given probation for his bat-shit (hooray, puns!) crazy behavior. John Nathans, the opposing catcher, who was hit on the head and suffered a concussion, sued Offerman in civil court.

In deciding to give Offerman probation, a judge deemed Offerman unlikely to offend again. He was wrong. Last year, Offerman was managing the Licey Tigers in the Dominican Republic, when he punched an umpire. He was banned from the league for life.




click to enlarge Jason_Grimsley.jpg
Jason Grimsley P: Grimsley is the crown jewel of the potential Hall of Fame bunch. He is perhaps one of the smarmiest pitchers ever to take the mound. Before he mopped up innings for the Royals, Grimsley was part of one of the most notorious mini-scandals that baseball endured in the 1990s.

While with the Cleveland Indians, infamous jerk and long-ball smasher Albert Belle's corked bat was confiscated by umpires and secured in their locker room. Not wanting the club's big stick getting suspended, the wiry Grimsley sprang into action. Teammates hoisted the pitcher and an uncorked bat into an air-condition vent, which he crawled through until he was over the umps' room. He lowered himself in and swapped the bats. He told ESPN -- which named the event the fourth biggest example of cheating in baseball history -- "I just

rolled the dice, a crapshoot."

Grimsley and his co-conspirators weren't too bright, though. Their scheme fell apart because the bat they left in the locker room had another player's name on it.

But Grimsley wasn't a one-trick pony when it came to cheating. He also admitted to federal investigators that he regularly used human growth hormone, steroids and amphetamines during his career. In 2006, the Diamondbacks released him, then MLB suspended him 50 games for violating their drug policy, ending his career.

As amusing as it would be to see this lot enshrined with George Brett and Ewing Kauffman, Royals fans seem to be taking their voting responsibilities very seriously. Certifiable star and chronic non-screw-up Kevin Appier is currently the lead vote-getter. Yawn.


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