i’m drinking to Harold Baines tonight; heck i’m drinking to him right now. he was always my favorite player. i loved his swing and high leg kick and amazing arm in right field, maybe not the best range but he had a big glove so that helped. . I even had a jersey made of him at Merle Harmon’s fan fair…..the number 3 and BAINES on the back, not the classic black and white pajama uniforms which i loved but the ones after, kind of boring in comparison, just a banner across the breast with the letters SOX spelled out. Good old placid midwest Milwaukee. No one said a thing about me wearing a white sox uniform.
Anyway, he’s in the HOF now and well, i don’t really care, in or out, like a belly button, don’t matter to me. I’ll still love his humble attitude. Ozzy Guillen said the two of them once drove from Chicago to Milwaukee and Baines didn’t say a word and what about all his game winning rbi’s! When did they stop keeping that stat? I remember him having lots of them. Then there’s him as a DH, countless at bats, years and years worth of at bats, all that idling, all that being stuck on pause, no picking your crotch talking it up defense to forget about striking out with the bases loaded or whatever.
I find life’s riddle, sometimes anyway can be solved by keeping busy and what does a dh do? Watch film of pitchers? Do a crossword puzzle? Pick their nose? There’s no option of running around the block or working an 8-4 or writing a novel unless you’re Jim Bouton or Brosnan but they were pitchers. Cut off your eye brows? A DH sounds both boring and hard. Baines did it and hit well or well enough.
The experts talk about WAR, about the WAR of Baines being way below HOF caliber and it’s all well and good and I believe in their genius, in quantifying player performance thorough multiple variable analysis and making worthy comparisons. I guess that’s why the Reutenshell Analysis Center has announced that from now on, HOF inductions will be determined by a machine. You enter a piece of paper with a player’s name into a fully updated modern machine with all the statistical equations. You wait a few whistling seconds and presto out comes a verdict – yeh or neh on the HOF, is the player in or not? No more ceremonial speeches, no more debate, no more intangible discussions, just cold hard stats.