Today at THT

I’m going to intrude on Barbieri’s turf for a moment and note that, on this day in 1974, arbitrator Peter Seitz rules that the Oakland Athletics breached the contract of pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter by failing to buy a required insurance policy. As a result, Hunter was released from his contract, allowing him to become a free agent and subsequently to sign the then-largest contract in baseball history: $3.75 million from the New York Yankees over five years.

Also on this date, this time in 2003, at the exact moment this post went live, I was in a hospital delivery room watching Mrs. Shyster squeeze a seven pound, one ounce human being out of her body. Me and the missus have gotten a way better deal out of our daughter Anna than Steinbrenner got out of Hunter, as Anna Calcaterra’s CKQ+ — that’s Cool Kid Quotient, adjusted for context — is way better than Catfish’s ERA+ ever was.

In other news:

  • Chris Jaffe looks at last week’s less-than-jake vote by the Veterans Committee of the Hall of Fame and at the admittance of Neyer, Law, Kahrl, and Carroll to the BBWAA. It will take a while, but the latter development will eventually help cure the former.
  • Evan Brunell’s Lost in Transactions reviews the last busy week in the hot stove league. Little known fact: GMs have an absolute right to call “do over” on any deal up until the moment Evan hits the “submit” button on his weekly column. I was just was surprised as you are when I found that out.
  • Over at Fantasy Focus, Victor Wang runs down a list of guys who didn’t live up to expectations in 2008 and assesses the likelihood of a bounceback season in 2009. Look Victor, I know you know this stuff way better than I do, but I think your inclusion of Steve Howe is an exercise in unwarranted optimism.
  • Finally, if you missed it on Friday, Derek Carty looked at the fantasy fallout of the A.J. Burnett signing. I don’t know fantasy baseball too much, but if you draft Burnett this year do you too have to wildly overpay and commit to him for two years longer than anyone in their right mind would?

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    I’m sort of conflicted on the Veterans’ Committee’s lack of inductees.  Isn’t the Hall of Fame crowded enough already?  If these players couldn’t get in the first fifteen tries, it’s likely they don’t belong. Of course every once in a while you’ll have a guy slip through the cracks, which is where the Veterans’ Committee serves a purpose, but I don’t think they should elect a player every time they vote. When the sabermetrically-inclined (myself included) bitch and moan about the Committee’s inability to get anyone into the Hall, I suspect they’re really complaining about the Committee’s inability to get… Read more »