Hello! I’m excited to welcome you back for the first 2016 installment of Rolling Out the Barrel. With the holiday season, we’ve been away for a few weeks — and to be fair, with the holiday, not much has happened. Anticipating my triumphant return, David Stearns turned up the hot stove a notch this week, signing former Astros slugger Chris Carter to fill the hole left at first base by the dearly departed Adam Lind and Jason Rogers. We’ve got that, Hall of Fame reactions and a little bit of advice about how to not be the worst kind of sports fan in this week’s barrel. Let’s roll it out:
Look, if you want me to stop featuring my fellow BP Milwaukee writers in this space, you’re just going to have to ask them to stop writing important things in other places (don’t actually do that). Our Michael Bradburn (@MWBII) talks about the swirling rumors that the Nationals are in the market for a catcher. Anyone who has taken a peak at the Washington depth chart might already be aware that the crowned kings of the 2015 off-season might be seeking help behind the plate, but a confirmed #rumor from the recently-unemployed Jon Heyman has stoked the fires of the hot stove.
There’s not a ton more that I can say about this outstanding and brave piece from Nicolas Stellini (@StelliniTweets), who takes aim at perhaps the largest pack of vindictive Twitter-warriors on the web in Barstool Sports. I posted a rather personal response of my own here. Stellini’s piece talks about the vicious social media attack levied by the so-called “stoolies” against Jen Mac Ramos (@jenmacramos), just the latest in a long line of misogynistic pile-ons from the frat-blog’s hyper-loyal followers. Barstool is the blueprint of how not to act.
As always, when the local nine bring in a new face, I’m looking for some input from the writers of the team from which he came. I know I’m going to get the most positive spin from the Milwaukee beat writers — he hit 90 home runs in the last three years! But the Astros writers know him better, because they’ve watched him play for his entire career. Ryan Dunsmore (@d_more55) paints a less-than-rosy picture of Carter as a frustrating three-true-outcomes hitter who, he surmises, is perhaps too patient. While his 11.5 percent career walk rate is respectable, it’s hard to imagine a player having a 33.4 percent strikeout rate because he’s too patient. Carter comes in to fill a significant hole on the Brewers’ Major League roster and has the added benefit of being under team control for a couple more years through arbitration, should he turn out to be another J.D. Martinez-type castoff from the Houston organization.
The Hall of Fame announced its 2016 class on Wednesday, which means the baseball world had to carve out a several hours to be very mad online. I was personally upset that Jim Edmonds, the best defensive center fielder I have ever seen, didn’t garner enough votes to even stay on the ballot for next year. Others were upset about the three jabronis that didn’t vote for Ken Griffey, Jr., while still other were upset about the votes that Jason Kendall and David Eckstein did garner. For Gaslamp Ball, SB Nation‘s Padres blog, Richard Garfinkel (@gdarklighter) chose, understandably, to be very upset about Trevor Hoffman’s failure to find himself enshrined. I say “understandably” because Garfinkel is a Padres fan, not because Hoffman’s vote total is anything to sneeze at. With 67 percent in his first year on the ballot, Hoffman will almost certainly get in at some point, and if one is the type to care about “first ballot” Hall of Famers, I don’t think any but those most devout of Padres fans would argue that he belongs among them.