Bud Selig could be bound for the Hall of Fame
Picked-up pieces while schmoozing with another cast of great former Boston athletes at the 15th annual Tradition at the New Garden . . .
■ Get ready for a Sunday announcement that Bud Selig is going to the Hall of Fame.
The “Today’s Game Committee” is convening Sunday morning at the annual Winter Meetings in Maryland and will announce the results of its voting on MLB Network at 6 p.m.
This is not to be confused with the standard voting involving former players who are still on the writers’ ballot. Those ballots are in the hands of roughly 440 writers, and that voting will be announced Jan. 18. Look for Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and possibly Vladimir Guerrero, Pudge Rodriguez, and/or Trevor Hoffman to make the Hall in 2018.
Meanwhile, Selig appears to have the best chance from the “Eras” committee, which was formerly known at the Veterans Committee. The 10 candidates under consideration are Selig, Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Mark McGwire, Lou Piniella, John Schuerholz, and George Steinbrenner.
A panel of 16 will vote on the 10 candidates, and 12 votes are required for election. It’s possible no one will be elected.
Sunday’s voters include (among others) Dennis Eckersley, Andre Dawson, Pat Gillick, and ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian. Unlike the writers’ voting, this is a smoke-filled room with lots of bare-knuckle lobbying, and it’s very top secret.
Kurkjian has been one of my best friends for almost 40 years and he tells me, “Don’t even ask. I can’t help you. There’s only two writers in that room, and if any of it gets out, it’s my fault, and I can’t let that happen. So I’m stonewalling everyone.’’
The pick here is Selig. Bud is much-maligned, but he oversaw tremendous prosperity in two decades as commissioner. His inclusion will make the exclusion of the late Marvin Miller stand out bigly (yes, that’s a word). Miller has been bypassed multiple times, but perhaps will be back on the Era Ballot next year and gain his rightful admission.
■ Everybody talked about Theo Epstein punching his ticket to Cooperstown when the Cubs won the World Series. All true. But it’s going to be a while. Executives (voted on by the Eras Committee, not the scribes) are not eligible until five years after they retire, or (if they keep working) until they reach the age of 70. Theo is 42.
■ Count me out on Curt Schilling. I have held my nose and voted for the Big Blowhard in recent years (11-2 in postseason, ridiculous walk/strikeout ratio), and he was up to 52.3 percent (75 percent required) last year, but I shall invoke the “character” clause this year. Schill has transitioned from a mere nuisance to an actual menace to society. His tweet supporting the lynching of journalists was the last straw for this voter. Curt later claimed he was joking. Swell.
■ The practice of EMass high schools resting healthy players for Thanksgiving rivalry games has reached the point of absurdity. Duxbury was 11-0 and ranked No. 1 in EMass by the Globe going into Thanksgiving, but players and coaches elected to rest the starters, resulting in a 53-0 loss to angry Marshfield.
Now 11-1, Duxbury will be “rested” for its Division 2 Super Bowl Sunday at Gillette Stadium against Shrewsbury. What a joke. High school athletes can’t play two games in nine days? They don’t care about going undefeated? A potential state championship jacket will read “12-1” instead of “13-0.’’
Duxbury is not alone in this absurd practice. The tournament system deserves plenty of blame. But this is madness.
■ Quiz: Former big league infielder Sam Dente (Red Sox, Browns, Senators, White Sox, Indians) is the grandfather of which current Red Sox player? (Answer below.)
■ Something tells me that the Cubs Fenway weekend (April 28-30) is going to be a tough ticket in 2017.
■ Bowl-bound Boston College finished 6-6, thanks to layup games against UMass, Wagner, Buffalo, and UConn. But the whole bowl thing is a little embarrassing. BC’s “bowl” team lost conference games by scores of 49-0 (Virginia Tech), 56-10 (Clemson), 52-7 (Louisville), and 45-7 (Florida State). That’s an aggregate 202-24.
Steve Addazio’s Eagles are bound for the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, the Military Bowl in Annapolis, the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., or the St. Petersburg Bowl. They should find out Sunday. Boola-boola.
■ The Red Sox, like every big league team, have infinite “payroll flexibility.’’ There is no salary cap. If you are willing to exceed the odious luxury-tax threshold, you can spend to infinity. Just ask the Dodgers.
■ According to a study by Personal Capital, a wealth management company, the average NBA player spends $42,500 per month on clothes and shoes. Larry Bird is believed to have spent less than $425 on clothing over the course of his entire career. Larry regularly said, “I’ll wear anything if it’s free.’’
■ Did you know it costs only $100 per seat to join the Patriots season-ticket wait list? According to the team website, “The List was created to provide an organized and fair process for fans to have access to Patriots season tickets when they become available and receive other Wait List amenities.’’
■ Warriors motormouth Draymond Green ripped Celtic fans for booing Kevin Durant Nov. 18. “Fans must be desperate,’’ Green told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Like, who boos a guy for taking an interview? That’s crazy. Y’all booing somebody for interviewing y’all. Man, they may scare free agents away. You don’t want to take an interview and then make enemies for taking an interview. I don’t know. They may want to be careful with that.’’
■ Emmanuel College named its basketball court for women’s coach Andy Yosinoff, who has coached more than 1,000 games at the school in the last 40 years.
■ Sorry to hear of the passing of former Celtic Gene Guarilia, who died Nov. 20 in Duryea, Pa. Guarilia, a 6-foot-5-inch forward, sometimes guarded Elgin Baylor and was on four Celtics championship teams from 1960-63.
■ Quiz answer: Rick Porcello.
■ Could not help but notice that the UConn women’s basketball team (4-0, playing Chattanooga Tuesday night) is ranked second in the country, behind Notre Dame. What’s up with that? The Huskies beat everyone 100-0 last year and haven’t lost this year. How do they lose the top spot?
■ Whenever I hear about NFL TV ratings being down, I get the same feeling I get when I hear that Harvard’s endowment lost a few million.