DDT's Pop Flies http://www.notinhalloffame.com Sun, 27 Sep 2020 01:09:11 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Diamond Theater: Baseball Movies Through the Eras http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/11399-diamond-theater-baseball-movies-through-the-eras http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/11399-diamond-theater-baseball-movies-through-the-eras Diamond Theater: Baseball Movies Through the Eras
Rogers Hornsby, the Hall of Fame second baseman second only to fellow Hall of Famer Ty Cobb in career batting average, once said, "People ask me what I do in the winter when there's no baseball. I tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." The right-handed slugger, who remains the only player to combine a .400 batting average with 40 or more home runs in the same season (1922, the year he won the first of his two Triple Crowns), also never went to the movies (or read books), claiming that it would harm his eyesight.
DDT's Pop Flies Sun, 26 Apr 2020 20:30:36 +0000
Concert Report 2018: Deep Purple and Judas Priest http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/9213-concert-report-2018-deep-purple-and-judas-priest http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/9213-concert-report-2018-deep-purple-and-judas-priest Concert Report 2018: Deep Purple and Judas Priest
Two generations of Britmetal slammed out their wares at FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, California, on September 27 as Deep Purple headlined the show that Judas Priest opened, with two different kinds of metalheads banging in support of each. And while both bands have been presenting said wares for more than four decades, each demonstrated that it still had a trick or two up its sleeve even as both reliably fired off the hallmarks that eventually landed one band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while the other is on the short list of the Rock Hall's biggest "snubs." So, did one band justify its inclusion? And did the other further its case for inclusion?
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Sat, 06 Oct 2018 10:21:03 +0000
Concert Report 2018: Poison and Cheap Trick http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/9040-concert-report-2018-poison-and-cheap-trick http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/9040-concert-report-2018-poison-and-cheap-trick Concert Report 2018: Poison and Cheap Trick
You've heard the saying, "Every man has his price"? For me, it's $20. At least that's what I was willing to fork over to see Poison and Cheap Trick at FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, California, on May 18. And for one of those bands, it was worth it. Earlier this year, concert promoter Live Nation announced National Concert Week, an online promotion offering tickets for $20 (US) to a wide range of artists touring throughout the 2018 concert season. Ever-alert for bargains, my friend Kathie tipped me off to this limited-time offer, and soon we were deep into negotiations.
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Tue, 22 May 2018 18:16:12 +0000
If I Had a Vote in the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Election http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/8897-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2018-baseball-hall-of-fame-election http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/8897-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2018-baseball-hall-of-fame-election If I Had a Vote in the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Election
Strategic voting. What you have to do when you have too many choices and not enough time or opportunities to realize all those choices.Sounds like voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the last few years, doesn't it?The good news is that since the Shutout of 2013, when the eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) could not muster the 75 percent of the vote necessary to elect any one ballot candidate to the Hall of Fame despite a wealth of candidates from whom to choose (I counted 14), the BBWAA has sent a dozen players to Cooperstown. Based on that trend, and barring any unusual or unforeseen wrinkle, the writers are certain to elect at least one player for 2018.
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Tue, 16 Jan 2018 02:21:25 +0000
Modern Baseball Committee (1970 – 1987): The 2018 Election http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/8832-modern-baseball-committee-1970-1987-the-2018-election http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/8832-modern-baseball-committee-1970-1987-the-2018-election Modern Baseball Committee (1970 – 1987): The 2018 Election
With its second meeting under a revamped structure, the Baseball Hall of Fame veterans committee will convene to evaluate nine players and one executive whose impact was made primarily during the Modern Baseball era, defined as having occurred between 1970 and 1987, and perhaps elect someone to the Hall of Fame. Their ballot results will be announced on December 10 during the winter meetings.
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Thu, 07 Dec 2017 19:19:40 +0000
Baseball Hall of Fame: Upcoming Borderline Candidates, Part 2 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/8744-baseball-hall-of-fame-upcoming-borderline-candidates-part-2 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/8744-baseball-hall-of-fame-upcoming-borderline-candidates-part-2 Baseball Hall of Fame: Upcoming Borderline Candidates, Part 2
Baseball immortality: Precious few attain it, most do not even come close—and some perch on the cusp of that immortality as signified by the Baseball Hall of Fame. Theirs are the test cases, players whose careers, accomplishments, and legacies form the threshold of what separates a Hall of Famer from the rest. Baseball Hall of Fame voting in the last few years has been fascinating for a number of reasons, particularly the logjam of qualified candidates, which promises to remain an issue for the next few years. That logjam puts additional pressure on the borderline candidates—will they be overlooked, perhaps unfairly, because there are too many candidates from which to choose?
[email protected]om (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Mon, 06 Nov 2017 12:39:09 +0000
What's Wrong with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/8582-what-s-wrong-with-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/8582-what-s-wrong-with-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame What's Wrong with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Before indulging in that ever-popular blood sport of listing all the reasons why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sucks, let's list all the reasons why it doesn't:
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Thu, 13 Jul 2017 21:51:37 +0000
Remembering Chuck Berry http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/8343-remembering-chuck-berry http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/8343-remembering-chuck-berry Remembering Chuck Berry
This was a day that I dreaded to see, even though I knew it was inevitable. Standing in the checkout line at Trader Joe's, I looked at the BBC News website on my phone to see what was happening in the world. The inevitable had happened. "How you doin' today?" the young woman asked as she pulled in my cart.
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:36:54 +0000
EVALUATING BASEBALL'S 2017 TODAY'S GAME ERA COMMITTEE BALLOT http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/7948-evaluating-baseball-s-2017-today-s-game-era-committee-ballot http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/7948-evaluating-baseball-s-2017-today-s-game-era-committee-ballot Mark McGwire
With the second revamping of its veterans committee structure in the last six years, the Baseball Hall of Fame seems ready to address the twin challenges of the logjam on the writers' ballot and of an evaluation process that until now has given scant attention to candidates from the last few decades of the game.
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:10:38 +0000
Is Ichiro Suzuki the Real Mr. 3000? http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/6671-is-ichiro-suzuki-the-real-mr-3000 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/6671-is-ichiro-suzuki-the-real-mr-3000 Is Ichiro Suzuki the Real Mr. 3000?
On October 6, 2015, the Miami Marlins reported that they had re-signed Ichiro Suzuki to a one-year, $2 million contract for the 2016 season. The 41-year-old outfielder, the most successful Japanese player in Major League Baseball history, is just 65 hits shy of the vaunted 3000-hit plateau, a baseball hallmark that generally results in a Baseball Hall of Fame induction for those hitters who have reached it unless you've run afoul of baseball's proscriptions against gambling (see: Rose, Pete) or performance-enhancing drugs (see: Palmeiro, Rafael).
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Tue, 26 Jan 2016 08:28:41 +0000
2015: The Year in Film (Somewhat) http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/6529-2015-the-year-in-film-somewhat http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/6529-2015-the-year-in-film-somewhat 2015: The Year in Film (Somewhat)
Does anyone go out to the movies any more? Ticket prices are through the roof. A snack costs as much as the ticket. You sit through a quarter-hour of trailers before the film even starts, and depending on what you've come to see, those trailers may pique your interest—or quash it. Other filmgoers irritate you with their talking and their mobile devices. The RunPee app notwithstanding, if you get up to go in the middle of the film, you are bound to miss something—and why would you want to miss anything considering what you paid for the ticket?
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Sat, 09 Jan 2016 08:28:01 +0000
If I Had a Vote in the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame Election http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/6444-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2016-baseball-hall-of-fame-election http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/6444-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2016-baseball-hall-of-fame-election If I Had a Vote in the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame Election
As we gear up for the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting and announcements, the overriding question is: Have we returned to normal? To put that into perspective, how's this for abnormal? In 2013, with a ballot overstuffed with Hall of Fame-caliber candidates (I counted 14), not one candidate was elected to the Hall. Adding to the debacle was the first appearance on a Hall of Fame ballot by Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both of whom brought the bubbling issue of players suspected or confirmed of having used performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to an apoplectic, moralistic boil.
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Wed, 23 Dec 2015 01:53:12 +0000
If I Had a Ballot for the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominations http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/6377-if-i-had-a-ballot-for-the-2016-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-nominations http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/6377-if-i-had-a-ballot-for-the-2016-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-nominations If I Had a Ballot for the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominations
This month, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be announcing its 2016 inductees. Judas Priest, who gives a fat rat's ass any more, anyway? I'm not kidding. No one is ever happy with the selections. There is no definition of what "rock and roll" is, which means that there is no consensus on which artists are appropriate candidates. Apart from the need to have released the first recording at least 25 years previously to qualify and a vague suggestion of "musical excellence," there are no criteria that can be universally applied. And with only fragmentary glimpses of the Hall's nominating committee and its selection and voting procedures, sustained mutterings about how the entire process is an industry charade stage-managed by driving force Jann Wenner and his cronies are approaching whispered revelations about the Freemasons, the Illuminati, and other occult conspiracies.
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Wed, 09 Dec 2015 19:25:24 +0000
BASEBALL'S 2016 PRE-INTEGRATION ERA COMMITTEE BALLOT: ARE THERE ANY HALL OF FAMERS LEFT? http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/6368-baseball-s-2016-pre-integration-era-committee-ballot-are-there-any-hall-of-famers-left http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/6368-baseball-s-2016-pre-integration-era-committee-ballot-are-there-any-hall-of-famers-left BASEBALL'S 2016 PRE-INTEGRATION ERA COMMITTEE BALLOT: ARE THERE ANY HALL OF FAMERS LEFT?
Batter up! For 2016, the Pre-Integration Era Committee is at the plate for Baseball Hall of Fame evaluations and inductions not being done by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). The Pre-Integration Era covers the period from 1876, when the National League was formed, to 1946, the last year before Major League Baseball became integrated with the introduction of African-American players Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby into, respectively, the National League and American League.
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Sat, 05 Dec 2015 16:49:30 +0000
Is David Ortiz a Hall of Famer? http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4999-is-david-ortiz-a-hall-of-famer http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4999-is-david-ortiz-a-hall-of-famer Is David Ortiz a Hall of Famer?
Responding in late March to the allegations of performance-enhancing drug use that have dogged him throughout his career, Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz forcefully denied the charges while stating unequivocally "[h]ell yes I deserve to be in the Hall of Fame" in a post entitled "The Dirt" on The Players' Tribune website.
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Tue, 07 Apr 2015 13:27:02 +0000
IF I HAD A VOTE IN THE 2015 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME ELECTION http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4051-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2015-baseball-hall-of-fame-election http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4051-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2015-baseball-hall-of-fame-election IF I HAD A VOTE IN THE 2015 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME ELECTION
Ten years. That is the new maximum length of time a player can remain on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, effective for the current (2015) ballot and for future ballots, a one-third reduction in eligibility length from the previous maximum of 15 years. Oh, sure, there were other changes announced by the Hall on July 26 of this year: The voting members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), those who are actually eligible to vote for the candidates on the ballot, must complete a registration form and sign a code of conduct before they can receive a ballot, with the code of conduct stating explicitly that the member will not transfer the ballot to another person or entity, and with the penalty for doing so being a lifetime ban from voting on a Hall of Fame ballot.
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Sun, 28 Dec 2014 12:56:47 +0000
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME: UPCOMING BORDERLINE CANDIDATES, PART 1 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4050-baseball-hall-of-fame-upcoming-borderline-candidates-part-1 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4050-baseball-hall-of-fame-upcoming-borderline-candidates-part-1 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME: UPCOMING BORDERLINE CANDIDATES, PART 1
You know how hard it is to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame? In 2013, with a ballot brimming with qualified candidates, not one player received the 75 percent of the votes needed for admission. (I identified 14 likely Hall of Famers on the 2013 ballot.) Granted, 2013 was the first year of eligibility for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both poster boys for performance-enhancing drugs (PED), bringing to a head the contentious debate about "cheaters" and their admission into the Hall. But there were certainly several "clean" players on that ballot, and a few of those, such as 3000-hit-club member Craig Biggio, would have been uncontroversial picks in any previous year. And although 2014 saw the election of three players—Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and Frank Thomas—it was merely the tip of a talent-heavy iceberg (I identified 18 likely Hall of Famers for that ballot), while providing a burn to Biggio yet again as not only did he miss election by one vote (he garnered 74.8 percent of the vote), but three first-time candidates leapfrogged him into Cooperstown.
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:20:44 +0000
BASEBALL'S 2015 GOLDEN ERA COMMITTEE BALLOT: ARE THERE ANY HALL OF FAME PLAYERS LEFT? http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4049-baseball-s-2015-golden-era-committee-ballot-are-there-any-hall-of-fame-players-left http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4049-baseball-s-2015-golden-era-committee-ballot-are-there-any-hall-of-fame-players-left BASEBALL'S 2015 GOLDEN ERA COMMITTEE BALLOT: ARE THERE ANY HALL OF FAME PLAYERS LEFT?
F. Scott Fitzgerald may have said that American lives had no second acts, but some former baseball players can get a second chance: Even if a player finds no success for the Baseball Hall of Fame on the ballot voted on by the members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), he may get a second look from the Veterans Committee to see if he had been unfairly passed over previously. But do any of the candidates on this year's ballot deserve that second chance? (And if the reference to novelist Fitzgerald sounds like irrelevant pretense, recall that in The Great Gatsby he alluded to the gambler who put in the fix for the 1919 World Series and thus destroyed "the faith of fifty million people," while that phrase became the title of the third "inning," or episode, of Ken Burns's celebrated documentary series Baseball.)
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Sun, 30 Nov 2014 14:33:25 +0000
IF I HAD A BALLOT FOR THE 2015 ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4048-if-i-had-a-ballot-for-the-2015-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-nominations http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4048-if-i-had-a-ballot-for-the-2015-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-nominations IF I HAD A BALLOT FOR THE 2015 ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS
In the words of Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra, it's déjà vu all over again because it seems as if I was doing this exercise only a year ago. That exercise is evaluating the fifteen nominees for the 2015 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced on October 9, 2014. (And just to clarify, the inductees will be announced later in 2014 for the induction ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 18, 2015.) As I did for the 2013 ballot and again for the 2014 ballot, I profile these fifteen nominees and indicate whether I think the Hall voters will vote for them, and whether I would vote for them were I issued that precious ballot as a voting member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Tue, 04 Nov 2014 20:14:16 +0000
2014 SUMMER CONCERT ROUND-UP http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4047-2014-summer-concert-round-up http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4047-2014-summer-concert-round-up As Martha and the Vandellas once put it, summer's here and the time is right for dancing in your seat. All right, so the lyric doesn't go exactly that way, but with concerts so regimented these days, you don't get much opportunity to dance in the aisles, let alone dance in the street. But having recently seen three rock acts in concert, one already a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee while one of the two not in the Hall has a huge groundswell clamoring for its induction, You may be interested in how they perform onstage. What's funny is that in the last few years I had been attending hardly any rock shows. Rather, my taste for live music had run toward jazz, folk, and international acts in smaller, more intimate settings. And as far as classic-rock acts go, I had been leery of the nostalgia circuit. I used to write for the concert guide of a local venue, and I fluffed up my share of articles touting the likes of Iron Butterfly and Robin Trower, acts trading on their glory days (and in the case of a band like Iron Butterfly, that may have been day, singular) while occasionally promoting their latest album, released on a small, independent label, and noticed by few outside the fanbase. But as I get older and become nostalgic myself, my curiosity gets the better of me. After all, none of us are getting any younger, and didn't I want to see some of these acts before they head off to the great festival in the sky? Even if, at this stage, they are past their prime?]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Mon, 11 Aug 2014 16:17:27 +0000 THE SHOW NEVER ENDS: HALL OF FAME-WORTHY LIVE ALBUMS OF THE CLASSIC ROCK AND SOUL PERIOD http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4046-the-show-never-ends-hall-of-fame-worthy-live-albums-of-the-classic-rock-and-soul-period http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4046-the-show-never-ends-hall-of-fame-worthy-live-albums-of-the-classic-rock-and-soul-period THE SHOW NEVER ENDS: HALL OF FAME-WORTHY LIVE ALBUMS OF THE CLASSIC ROCKAND SOUL PERIOD The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame may not be at the level of inducting individual albums yet, but if it did, this list of live albums from the classic rock and soul period, along with a few honorable mentions, would surely be included. Why a live album? It is true that nothing can replace the experience of actually being at a concert, but a live recording can be the next-best thing to being there. It preserves the memory of what happened when that music had been created. A quality live recording can be close enough—a reminder of the concert you had experienced, or, more likely as you explore the music of artists from decades past, a sample of music that you'd have never been able to hear in person, anyway. With a live album, the show never ends.]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:34:15 +0000 SCIENCE FICTION CINEMA: THE 1950s: TEN BAD ONES http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4045-science-fiction-cinema-the-1950s-ten-bad-ones http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4045-science-fiction-cinema-the-1950s-ten-bad-ones Now we get to the really fun part of this, er, appreciation of science-fiction films from the 1950s: the bad ones. Yes, these are the films about which you cannot say that the acting "could have been stronger," or the effects "lacked realism," or the story seemed "weak." These films are so lacking in quality that you can safely say this: These films are sci-fi stinkers. Or as Frank Zappa put it, these films all exhibit "Cheepnis," the name of his song saluting sci-fi stinkers that first appeared on the Mothers' 1974 live album The Roxy and Elsewhere. As Zappa explained in the introduction to "Cheepnis," "the cheaper they are, the better they are," and while he noted that a film's budget, or lack thereof, is not necessarily a factor in its exhibiting "Cheepnis," it does help. The ten films in this, our final list of 1950s sci-fi films, not only have "Cheepnis" but also some kind of lasting notoriety. Because—let's face it—there are a lot of bad science-fiction films and not just from the 1950s, and I'll leave it to Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, to memorialize those. For example, The Giant Gila Monster (1959) is certainly bad—the special effects include an obvious model train and an ordinary lizard in a diorama to make it seem "giant"—but no one in the cast had any fame nor went on to any fame, the narrative and dialogue are not memorably atrocious, so it is merely bad but not notably so.]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Mon, 16 Dec 2013 15:01:11 +0000 IF I HAD A VOTE IN THE 2014 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME ELECTION http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4044-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2014-baseball-hall-of-fame-election http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4044-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2014-baseball-hall-of-fame-election Ten votes for ten candidates. That is the maximum number of votes a member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) can cast on the 2014 ballot that contains players eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, the highest honor a player can receive from the sport. Each vote can be for one candidate only, up to a maximum of ten; a voter is not required to cast all ten votes; in fact, a voter does not have to vote for any candidate. The problem is that this year's ballot, announced on November 26, 2013, contains 36 candidates—and half of those candidates qualify for the Hall of Fame, at least by my reckoning. The fact is that two issues have plagued Hall of Fame voting in recent years: a logjam of qualified candidates and a backlash concerning players who have used, or have been suspected of using, performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). This reached a head last year, when on a ballot of 37 candidates, not one player received the minimum 75 percent of votes required for election to the Hall. Not one. This includes a ballot that listed Jeff Bagwell (449 home runs, 1529 runs batted in), Craig Biggio (3060 hits, 668 doubles), Barry Bonds (all-time leader in home runs with 762), and Roger Clemens (354 wins, 4672 strikeouts) among the candidates. In fact, the only player inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013 was Deacon White, the catcher selected by Pre-Integration Era committee who last played a game in 1890, and good luck finding anyone who remembers that event first-hand.]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Tue, 03 Dec 2013 00:42:04 +0000 IF I HAD A BALLOT FOR THE 2014 ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4043-if-i-had-a-ballot-for-the-2014-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-nominations http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4043-if-i-had-a-ballot-for-the-2014-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-nominations Once again the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its nominations for this year's class of inductees, fueling spirited speculation about which artists should or should not be voted into the Hall. As I did last year, I have profiled the sixteen nominees for the 2014 class and have indicated whether I think Hall voters will vote for the nominee, and whether I would vote for the nominee if I were a voting member of the Hall. The sixteen nominees are the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Kiss, L.L. Cool J, the Meters, Nirvana, N.W.A., the Replacements, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes, and the Zombies. Five of the nominees are returning from last year: the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, the Meters, and N.W.A..]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Mon, 04 Nov 2013 03:42:49 +0000 SCIENCE FICTION CINEMA: THE 1950s: TEN NOT-SO-GOOD ONES http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4042-science-fiction-cinema-the-1950s-ten-not-so-good-ones http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4042-science-fiction-cinema-the-1950s-ten-not-so-good-ones Although we are not scraping the bottom of the 1950s science-fiction film barrel just yet, you can see patches of wood below as we dig through ten sci-fi flicks that have significant deficiencies from a creative or technical standpoint. In other words, now we are starting to get into what for many viewers epitomizes 1950s sci-fi flicks: cheap and cheesy. These ten flicks are not quite lame and tawdry, but neither do they exhibit narratives or performances that could redeem a film in the way that they could for the last ten films we explored. However, we are now confronted with the reality of 1950s science-fiction cinema: A lot of films made in the genre were made quickly and cheaply to cash in on the demand, and they lack distinction, dubious or otherwise. As we look at these ten not-so-good films and certainly at the ten bad films in the next installment of the series, we will see that each film must have had some mark of notoriety to differentiate it from the mass of simply unremarkable—did someone say simply terrible?—films. One film that probably belongs in this group but is not described below is When Worlds Collide, another technically splashy effort from producer George Pal released in 1951: As a star approaches Earth and promises imminent annihilation, efforts begin to construct ships to rescue a lucky few amidst growing panic and chaos. Among the cast are incipient 1960s sitcom mainstays Frank Cady (Sam Drucker from Petticoat Junction and Green Acres), Larry Keating (Roger Addison from Mister Ed), and Hayden Roarke (Doctor Bellows from I Dream of Jeannie). However, I did not include it below because it's been years since I've seen it, and I've been unable to get hold of a copy to view it again, so I don't feel that I can describe it adequately nor justify why it should be included.]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Mon, 21 Oct 2013 20:10:35 +0000 THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AUDIT, PT. 6: 2011 – 2013 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4041-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-audit-pt-6-2011-2013 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4041-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-audit-pt-6-2011-2013 THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AUDIT, PT. 6: 2011 – 2013
My, how time flies! Here it is more than a year since my last "audit" of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, my foolhardy attempt to evaluate the artists the Hall has inducted since its inaugural class of 1986, and I had better post my assessments now so I don't have to add another year's worth of inductees once the honorees for 2014 are announced.
[email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Thu, 26 Sep 2013 16:06:32 +0000
PITCHING WINS: A TICKET TO THE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME? http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4040-pitching-wins-a-ticket-to-the-baseball-hall-of-fame http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4040-pitching-wins-a-ticket-to-the-baseball-hall-of-fame The 2013 baseball season has seen one pitcher, Andy Pettitte, reach 250 wins, and three others—CC Sabathia, Roy Halladay, and Tim Hudson—reach 200 wins. These are impressive milestones that traditionally have prompted discussion of whether that pitcher deserves induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. But are pitching wins a reliable indicator of a pitcher's true worth, particularly when it comes to the Hall of Fame?]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Tue, 06 Aug 2013 02:23:48 +0000 SCIENCE FICTION CINEMA: THE 1950s: TEN PRETTY GOOD ONES http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4039-science-fiction-cinema-the-1950s-ten-pretty-good-ones http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4039-science-fiction-cinema-the-1950s-ten-pretty-good-ones Remember how, at the end of the first article in this series, Science Fiction Cinema: The 1950s: Ten Good Ones, I wrote that it would all be downhill from there? Don't worry—we haven't hit bottom yet. In fact, there is a still a ways to go before we get to—well, I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise, now, would I? But we are talking science-fiction flicks from the 1950s, which from our vantage point of more than a half-century later can be regarded with a fair degree of amusement (and sometimes bemusement). The most obvious differences between sci-fi flicks of the 1950s and those of today are in special effects. We are spoiled by what we see today, certainly compared to what was seen sixty or more years ago.]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Wed, 26 Jun 2013 02:07:49 +0000 SCIENCE FICTION CINEMA: THE 1950s: TEN GOOD ONES http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4038-science-fiction-cinema-the-1950s-ten-good-ones http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4038-science-fiction-cinema-the-1950s-ten-good-ones As a film genre, science fiction by its very speculative and imaginative nature holds the potential to be very good or very bad. Having to depict unreal circumstances can lead to very impressive or very embarrassing results depending on a number of factors, individually or in combination with other factors, from the skill and talent of the production team to the budget of the film. And no decade seemed to epitomize this more than the 1950s, which saw an explosion of sci-fi films both outstanding (The Day the Earth Stood Still) and awful (Plan 9 from Outer Space). Indeed, those Fabulous Fifties produced a plethora of sci-fi flicks that decades later remain memorable, for better or for worse. Partly this reflected the overall boom in post-World War Two popular culture, which in turn mirrored technological advancements of the period, from aerospace to atomic power. Yet those technological advancements also yielded fear and anxiety, which found their voice in sci-fi, as did concurrent fears about social and political realities. As the world moved through the Atomic Age to the Jet Age to the Space Age, films that explored the ramifications, both present and future, of those Ages grew in number and popularity.]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Fri, 29 Mar 2013 01:25:07 +0000 THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME: NOT IN THE NOT IN HALL OF FAME LIST http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4037-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-not-in-the-not-in-hall-of-fame-list http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4037-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-not-in-the-not-in-hall-of-fame-list Not in Hall of Fame has recently posted its updated list of artists not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I was privileged to be asked to help rank that list. But as I was assiduously assessing all of the more than 500 of the artists under review, it occurred to me that there were several artists missing from that list. Let's be clear: I wasn't digging deep down into the weeds for obscurities. In other words, I'm not bemoaning the omission of Trotsky Icepick (despite the coolly arcane historical reference in its name) or John Trubee and the Ugly Janitors of America, whose bitter, wildly uneven, and ultimately mediocre 1984 album The Communists Are Coming to Kill Us! once graced my collection but, alas, has been thinned out over time.]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Mon, 25 Mar 2013 03:21:28 +0000 TOP TEN TV SERIES TO TAKE TO A DESERT ISLAND http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4036-top-ten-tv-series-to-take-to-a-desert-island http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4036-top-ten-tv-series-to-take-to-a-desert-island Since we're in a "desert island" frame of mind—at least I am, anyway—why not look at the ten television series you'd want to have in that hypothetical zone of isolation designed to force you to evaluate and prioritize your tastes and preferences? I know, I know: First, these are my picks, and they will not align with yours. Second, once we start looking at television, we're halfway home to civilization, right? How deprived can you be on that desert island if you've got hours and hours of programming to watch for just one series?]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Wed, 20 Mar 2013 01:27:41 +0000 TOP TEN MOVIES TO TAKE TO A DESERT ISLAND http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4035-top-ten-movies-to-take-to-a-desert-island http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4035-top-ten-movies-to-take-to-a-desert-island Movie mania has gripped Not in Hall of Fame recently—hooray for Hollywood! (And Bollywood, and Hong Kong, and London, and Vancouver, and everywhere else that movies are made today.) Without wanting to steal any thunder from my fellow bloggers Lisa McDonald (AKA Live Music Head) and Jack Ferdman (Jack's Movie Lists), both of whom have got the ball rolling on movies in fine style, I too want to jump in with my contributions as I am definitely a movie buff as well. However, I will have to reach into the archives this time and dust off one of those hoary old "Desert Island" exercises from some time past. Looking at the list of the top ten, though, I don't see any changes, and here's why: the channel-surf stop test.]]> DDT's Pop Flies Tue, 05 Mar 2013 00:32:21 +0000 IF I HAD A VOTE IN THE 2013 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME ELECTION, PART 2: THE EVALUATIONS http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4034-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2013-baseball-hall-of-fame-election-part-2-the-evaluations http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4034-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2013-baseball-hall-of-fame-election-part-2-the-evaluations In Part 1 of this two-part series, we examined in detail the two salient qualities of the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot: It is a ballot overstuffed with not just candidates—37 players!—but with qualified candidates, and it is a referendum on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) because of the presence of the two most dominant players of the last 20 years: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Part 2 concentrates solely on the merits of all 37 players on the ballot. With respect to PEDs, they are part of the sometimes-tawdry, sometimes-laudatory history of baseball, and the witch-hunt mentality surrounding them has obscured the fact that no part of baseball history has ever been pure or pristine. In short, there is no stigma here regarding PEDs. They are a part of baseball history as much as institutional racism marked the game before 1947, as much as allegations of widespread amphetamine usage marked the game during the "Golden Era" of the 1950s and 1960s, and as much as Gaylord Perry marked his baseball before he threw it. The bottom line is this: You evaluate the baseball you have, not the baseball you wish you had.]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Wed, 02 Jan 2013 22:56:09 +0000 IF I HAD A VOTE IN THE 2013 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME ELECTION, PART 1: A HISTORIC REFERENDUM http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4033-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2013-baseball-hall-of-fame-election-part-1-a-historic-referendum http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4033-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2013-baseball-hall-of-fame-election-part-1-a-historic-referendum The vote for the candidates on the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot is without a doubt historical because of two salient and unavoidable facts: One is that this year's ballot is overstuffed with potential Hall of Fame candidates—presenting an even bigger logjam to entrance to the Hall—and the other is that this year's vote is an inescapable referendum on the stance toward the "Steroids Era" as even more players active during the period of the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s implicated with performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are newly eligible. Note: Part 1 of this two-part series goes into detail—considerable detail—to examine both the overstuffed ballot and, more comprehensively, the atmosphere of moral dudgeon surrounding the suspected and admitted usage of PEDs by players on previous ballots and especially by players eligible for the Hall for the first time this year. If you want only to read the players' evaluations, skip to Part 2.]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Thu, 27 Dec 2012 01:19:10 +0000 IF I HAD A BALLOT FOR THE 2013 ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4032-if-i-had-a-ballot-for-the-2013-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-nominations http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4032-if-i-had-a-ballot-for-the-2013-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-nominations On October 4, 2012, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the 15 nominees for the Class of 2013 prior to sending a ballot to more than 600 industry members. Boy, I wish I were one of those getting a ballot—and I bet you do too! Actually, for the first time, fans can vote online through December 5 on a special parallel ballot (available at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and elsewhere), with the top five vote-getters being counted alongside the industry ballot. The Hall of Fame will announce the inductees some time in December. But under the pretext of getting one of the official ballots, I have "done my homework" below preparatory to casting my votes yea or nay for each of the nominees. If you haven't heard, the 15 nominees for induction in 2013 are the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Albert King, Kraftwerk, the Marvelettes, the Meters, Randy Newman, N.W.A., Procol Harum, Public Enemy, Rush, and Donna Summer.]]> DDT's Pop Flies Thu, 08 Nov 2012 02:07:07 +0000 THE BASEBALL TRIPLE CROWN: MARK OF A HALL OF FAMER? http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4031-the-baseball-triple-crown-mark-of-a-hall-of-famer http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4031-the-baseball-triple-crown-mark-of-a-hall-of-famer As of this writing, third baseman Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers is one home run shy of leading (or being tied for the lead in) the American League in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI). Historically, these three categories have constituted the batting Triple Crown, and it is a mark of this rarity that only 14 hitters in baseball history, 11 of those during the modern era begun in 1901, and only 9 of those during the live-ball era begun in 1920, have ever accomplished this feat, which signifies the ability to hit for average, hit for power, and produce runs. In the current sabermetrics era, both batting average and RBI are considered to be overvalued as measurements of ability and effectiveness, yet of the 14 men who have accomplished this, 12 are in the Hall of Fame. Coincidence? Let's see. Pitching also has its Triple Crown, for (starting) pitchers who lead their league in wins, earned run average (ERA), and strikeouts, and although wins have also been discounted by sabermetricians as a measure of a pitcher's effectiveness—a "win" is composed of many factors contributed by the team—both ERA and strikeouts are still very much indicators of a pitcher's effectiveness. Last year both the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw, for the National League (NL), and the Tigers' Justin Verlander, for the American League (AL), were Triple Crown winners, the first time since 1924 that each league had a pitching Triple Crown winner in the same year; not surprisingly, both Kershaw and Verlander won their league's respective Cy Young Awards, with Verlander also winning the AL Most Valuable Player Award—quite an unusual honor for a pitcher. (For the record, in 1924 the Washington Senators' Walter Johnson was the AL pitching Triple Crown winner, while the Brooklyn Dodgers' Dazzy Vance was Johnson's NL counterpart.)]]> DDT's Pop Flies Fri, 21 Sep 2012 06:24:39 +0000 THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AUDIT, PT. 5: 2006 – 2010 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4030-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-audit-pt-5-2006-2010 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4030-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-audit-pt-5-2006-2010 The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had been inducting artists for twenty years by 2006, the first year examined in the five-year period under review here. For each of these five years, the Hall inducted five artists for a total of twenty-five, the fewest number for any five-year period to date. Yet of those twenty-five artists, only nine are clearly Hall of Fame-quality while nine clearly are not, with the remaining seven Hall of Fame-worthy acts although cases should be made for each. Once again, we see the Hall of Fame making inductions with a lack of discernment. In Part 1 of this series, I evaluate the first five years' worth of inductees, which include the founding artists at the beginning of the Rock Era (circa 1955 to the present) while outlining the baselines for the audit process including the Defining Factors—innovation, influence, popularity, crossover appeal, and legacy—used to evaluate each artist. Part 2 examines the next five years' worth of artists, including some of the biggest acts of the 1960s and 1970s, while exploring the "legacy" Defining Factor in greater detail. More artists from the 1960s and 1970s are examined in Part 3, which also examines the continuing "backfilling" by the Hall of earlier artists along with a fuller discussion of my "small Hall" preference. The most recent audit in Part 4 finds the Hall inducting artists from the late-1970s—the birth of modern rock—while examining the role of "talent" in the overall assessment of the artists. One artist examined in Part 4, Percy Sledge, is clearly a marginal talent whose induction had engendered skepticism in even the most casual of music fans. Unfortunately, that lack of sound judgment by the Hall continues in this period.]]> DDT's Pop Flies Sun, 16 Sep 2012 23:53:49 +0000 THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AUDIT, PT. 4: 2001 – 2005 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4029-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-audit-pt-4-2001-2005 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4029-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-audit-pt-4-2001-2005 As the new millennium began, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continued its inductions of artists from the Rock Era's past—and, unfortunately, it also continued its trend of inducting too many substandard acts that had begun in the last five-year period (detailed in Part 3 of this series). Of the 31 acts inducted during this period, only 12 are truly worthy of the Hall, and only 7 are on the borderline of qualification, leaving 12 unworthy inductees. The 31 inductees is the lowest total number of inductees of the four five-year periods—was the Hall running out of talent to induct?]]> DDT's Pop Flies Sat, 21 Jul 2012 00:37:07 +0000 THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AUDIT, PT. 3: 1996 – 2000 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4028-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-audit-pt-3-1996-2000 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4028-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-audit-pt-3-1996-2000 After ten years of inducting musical artists, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had shown itself to have cast a broad net. In addition to inducting the expected founders and superstars from the Rock Era's first two decades, it also inducted a number of artists whose credentials were marginal. Unfortunately, that trend accelerated through this third five-year period, with only 10 of the 33 total inductees truly without question Hall of Fame acts. In this period from 1996 to 2000, that broad net scooped up many more acts that clearly justify a close audit of the Hall's inductions. How far off-base had the Hall of Fame become?]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Wed, 20 Jun 2012 20:38:43 +0000 The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Audit, pt. 2: 1991 – 1995 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4027-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-audit-pt-2-1991-1995 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4027-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-audit-pt-2-1991-1995 Continuing from Part 1 my folly to audit the selections made thus far by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this bite of the elephant covers the inductees from 1991 to 1995. With 37 inductees during this five-year period, as opposed to 43 during the previous five-year period, and the window of eligibility extending to acts that released their first recording through the 1960s, the Hall made some fairly sage inductions during this period.]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Mon, 16 Apr 2012 16:27:35 +0000 Desert Island Playlists http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4026-desert-island-playlists http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4026-desert-island-playlists Continuing the idea from a previous column about the ten music albums you would want with you on a desert island, here is that idea updated for 21st-century digital boys and girls. (Apologies to Bad Religion.) Thanks to iPods and other digital devices, music storage and playback has grown tremendously—you can now literally hold the musical world in the palm of your hand. Should you find yourself on that titular island today, no doubt you would have access to much more music than before. So, before the batteries run out or the Dharma Initiative kidnaps you, which ten playlists would you have with you on the island?]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Mon, 26 Mar 2012 01:12:16 +0000 Just how Bad was VH-1's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time? http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4025-just-how-bad-was-vh-1-s-100-greatest-artists-of-all-time http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4025-just-how-bad-was-vh-1-s-100-greatest-artists-of-all-time Beware the dangers of channel surfing: Recently I stumbled across a rebroadcast of VH-1's most recent 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, originally broadcast in 2010. VH-1 has of course appointed itself both curator and arbiter of the history of the Rock Era, and it has proved to be impressively incompetent in this regard, as should be evident from just the first hour of this five-hour televised train wreck. But just how bad could this particular countdown be?]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Wed, 07 Mar 2012 02:06:01 +0000 Is Ichiro Suzuki a Hall of Famer? http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4024-is-ichiro-suzuki-a-hall-of-famer http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4024-is-ichiro-suzuki-a-hall-of-famer While it might be premature to consider Ichiro Suzuki's career to be at a close—he is still the starting right fielder for the Seattle Mariners—he enters the 2012 season as a 38-year-old major-league ballplayer. In baseball terms, that's pushing retirement age—and his performance in 2012 will determine whether it becomes a forced retirement. What is not premature is determining the answer to this question: Is Ichiro Suzuki a Hall of Famer?]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Tue, 21 Feb 2012 02:00:41 +0000 The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Audit, Part 1: 1986-1990 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4023-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-audit-part-1-1986-1990 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4023-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-audit-part-1-1986-1990 After a quarter-century of selecting inductees, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been under steady criticism for its choices, as readers of this site are well-aware. So, in an exercise in extreme foolishness, I think it's high time the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was audited to determine whether its selections really are justified. It is a comprehensive task, and just as you eat an elephant one bite at a time, I am starting with the first five years' worth of inductees.]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Fri, 17 Feb 2012 01:57:46 +0000 Remembering Etta James and Johnny Otis http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4022-remembering-etta-james-and-johnny-otis http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4022-remembering-etta-james-and-johnny-otis The week of January 16, which began with the observation of the birthday of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., brought news of the deaths of R&B singer Etta James and R&B bandleader Johnny Otis, both inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is sadly appropriate first that the deaths of James and Otis should occur in the same week—it was Otis who discovered James—and that both should die during the week that marks the commemoration of the slain African-American civil rights leader.]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Tue, 24 Jan 2012 01:53:22 +0000 Moneyball: Hall of Fame Caliber Moviemaking http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4021-moneyball-hall-of-fame-caliber-moviemaking http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4021-moneyball-hall-of-fame-caliber-moviemaking Having proved to be a hit with moviegoers, Moneyball, the baseball story that might feature an underdog but otherwise avoids most sports-film cliché, is picking up steam as we move into the heart of awards season: This fast-paced, engrossing movie has garnered four Golden Globe nominations, typically a bellwether for the World Series of filmdom recognition, the Academy Awards. Indeed, Moneyball is a Hall of Fame-worthy baseball flick.]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Sun, 22 Jan 2012 01:50:29 +0000 If I had a Vote in the 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame Election http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4020-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2012-baseball-hall-of-fame-election http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4020-if-i-had-a-vote-in-the-2012-baseball-hall-of-fame-election The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) has voted on which player or players will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012, and the results of that vote will be announced on January 9. Boy, I wish I'd had a ballot! Each BBWAA voting member can cast a vote for up to ten players, a ballot provision that might prove to be very useful given the logjam of worthy candidates already on the ballot and those who will be added to the ballot in the next few years. Although I don't think there are ten worthy candidates on this year's slate, I would have voted for eight of them given the chance. First, I'll dispense with the players who are on the ballot for the first time this year. Of the 13 new candidates, only former Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams merits any serious consideration. Of the remaining 12, the Angels' right fielder Tim Salmon emerges as the strongest choice, although he remains a solid player, beset by injuries, one of the many good enough to play major league baseball as a career but not an elite player. Trailing Salmon are journeymen Jeromy Burnitz, Brian Jordan, Bill Mueller, Phil Nevin, Ruben Sierra, Tony Womack, and Eric Young, several of whom had their moments in the sun (for example, Mueller, the 2003 American League batting champion, delivering the crucial game-tying single in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series for the Red Sox, who then defeated the Yankees in seven games after losing the first three), along with Vinny Castilla, who would have been a superstar had he only played every game at Denver's Coors Field. Javy Lopez was a good-hitting catcher over a career spent primarily calling signals for the Braves' vaunted rotation, deserving a look for playing one of the toughest positions in baseball, but he too falls short of elite. Of the two pitchers new to the ballot, Terry Mulholland, whose career was split between starting and relieving, played 20 years for various teams because there is always a roster spot for a southpaw—he wound up a prime example of a LOOGY (Left-handed One-Out GuY)—no matter how league-average he might be, while right-hander Brad Radke, a fixture in the Twins' rotation, was a reliable innings-eater, stingy with the walks, prone to the long ball—in short, one of the multitudes who deserved to play…]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Mon, 02 Jan 2012 23:27:55 +0000 Hall of Fame Baseball Movies http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4019-hall-of-fame-baseball-movies http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4019-hall-of-fame-baseball-movies All right, so the Baseball Hall of Fame has not inducted any movies yet, but that doesn't mean that baseball fans who love movies—feel free to reverse that if you are so inclined—don't have their favorite baseball movies. I know I do. And here they are—my Starting Nine, baseball's Hall of Fame-quality movies. More so than any other sport, baseball lends itself to the dramatic devices that make a feature film effective. For one thing, the fundamental conflict in baseball—the pitcher-hitter confrontation—makes for an ideal one-on-one confrontation. Moreover, the individual focus on a player translates to dramatic character study like a double-play transfer toss at second base. For another, the very pace of the game (and, yes, non-baseball fans might liken that pace of the game to Oscar Wilde's description of a Wagner opera: "Hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror") allows for the kind of climactic moments ripe for slow-motion shots and stings of thrilling music swelling on the soundtrack, with sufficient time for reaction shots from the bench and the bleachers (think: The Natural). Finally, the claim that baseball was the "national pastime" persisted throughout the 20th century, allowing Hollywood to begin mythologizing the game early on. Indeed, early baseball movies tended to be afflicted with either the aw-shucks corniness of B-list comedies or the stagy melodrama of B-list tragedies; even the outstanding Pride of the Yankees can't quite project the grandeur of Lou Gehrig's story. Worse than that is The Babe Ruth Story, with William Bendix hamming it up as the Bambino; don't get me wrong: I love Bendix, a broad comic actor (The Life of Riley) who could take a serious turn in World War Two flag-wavers (Wake Island, Guadalcanal Diary) including Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat—he's just not broad enough to do justice to the Babe (nor is John Goodman, for that matter, in the much later The Babe). Even our fortieth President, Ronald Reagan, couldn't keep the schmaltz from The Winning Team, the story of Grover Cleveland Alexander that soft-pedals Alexander's alcoholism and epilepsy while presenting Doris Day as his savior. (In his later years as President, Reagan claimed to have portrayed Grover Cleveland in a film; aides had to remind him it was the 20th-century baseball player, not the 19th-century President, whom he portrayed.) Another issue with earlier baseball movies is that the baseball itself just never looked very convincing. It looked staged,…]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Mon, 05 Sep 2011 22:25:29 +0000 Where are the Hats and Horns for Jim Thome? http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4018-where-are-the-hats-and-horns-for-jim-thome http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4018-where-are-the-hats-and-horns-for-jim-thome As of this writing, Minnesota Twins designated hitter Jim Thome is two home runs away from reaching a milestone mark in baseball: 600 home runs. Only seven men in the history of baseball have reached the 600-homer plateau, and if 500 round-trippers are no longer an automatic ticket to the Hall of Fame, then surely 600 are. Right? Earlier this year, we saw a good deal of hoopla surrounding the Yankees' Derek Jeter's reaching 3000 hits, another historic milestone, and Jeter certainly reached that hallowed circle in grand fashion, not only going five-for-five during the game that he reached 3000, including hitting a home run for his 3000th hit, but he drove in the winning run with one of those hits. By contrast, Thome's march toward history seems to be a non-event despite the fact that if and when Thome reaches 600, it will be several years before Albert Pujols reaches the same plateau. Where is the love for Thome?]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Sun, 14 Aug 2011 22:21:59 +0000 Bound for Cooperstown, Part 2 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4017-bound-for-cooperstown-part-2 http://www.notinhalloffame.com/blogs/ddt-s-pop-flies/4017-bound-for-cooperstown-part-2 Part One of this series was easy—picking the five recently-retired players who will waltz into the Baseball Hall of Fame once they are eligible, probably during their first year of eligibility. Part Two is not going to be as easy: Yes, these players would, during any other time, be on the express train to Cooperstown. But the Hall of Fame ballot for the next several years is going to be overstuffed with worthy candidates; there are already several qualified candidates waiting for their call to lasting baseball greatness. Will we see surefire Hall of Famers overlooked and even discarded?]]> [email protected] (Darryl Tahirali) DDT's Pop Flies Wed, 20 Jul 2011 23:18:00 +0000