The Patrick Languzzi Interview: The Man Behind The Petition About The Dwight Evans For The ‘BBHOF’ Candicacy Campaign
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By John Tuberty – Special Guest Writer and Cooperstown Correspondent (Owner of The Wesbite Tubbs Baseball Blog, please view here . )
Under current Hall of Fame voting rules, the Expansion Era Committee meets once every three years to vote on retired players who are no longer eligible for election by the BBWAA, have been retired 21 or more seasons, and made their biggest contributions to the sport after 1972. In addition to the retired players, the Expansion Era ballot also includes retired managers, umpires, and executives from the post-1972 era. One player who is eligible to be included on December’s Expansion Era ballot is former Red Sox Right Fielder, Dwight Evans.
Despite owning impressive career totals such as 385 Home Runs, 2,446 Hits, and 8 Gold Glove Awards, Evans struggled to draw support in BBWAA Hall of Fame voting and fell off the ballot after failing to draw the necessary five percent needed to stay on the ballot on a very crowded 1999 election. However in recent years, Evans has become a popular Hall of Fame debate in the sabermetric community and several articles have been written in support of his overlooked Hall of Fame candidacy. One particular writer, Patrick Languzzi is spearheading a campaign to put Dwight Evans on December’s Expansion Era ballot. Languzzi, who writes for MLB Reports as the Hall of Fame Correspondent, created his own website, Call to the Hall, which is devoted to bringing awareness to Dwight Evans’ overlooked Hall of Fame candidacy. Languzzi even started a petition which calls for Evans to be selected as one of the twelve finalists on December’s Expansion Era ballot. Languzzi was nice enough to take the time for me to interview him about his Call to the Hall website and petition.
JT: Patrick, you, along with Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe were recently interviewed by Tom Caron on the New England Sports Network (NESN) to discuss Evans’ overlooked Hall of Fame candidacy (see link below). What was that experience like?
PL: The experience was validating for me, meaning, when I started this project, I never imagined it would have gone as far as it has, and gotten the attention it’s drawn. It’s great to see that I’m not the only one that feels that Evans’ case deserves to be revisited.
JT: You mention in the NESN clip that you got a chance to meet Dwight, what can you tell us about meeting him?
PL: Through all of my research, I’ve gotten to know Evans, and what I’ve found is that he is extremely humble and unwilling to discuss himself as a possible Hall of Fame candidate. He was humble as a player too. A good example of this is the clip from the 1987 All-Star game (see link to clip below) when Dwight fields a fly ball and fires a strike to home plate, Tim Raines the player at third holds from tagging up.
Sunday October 28th, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: This past spring, I had the chance to converse on the telephone with one of the greatest players of my generation. Middle-of-the-order power bat, combined with gold glove defense. Matt Williams is everything a manager could want in a baseball player. He showed up every day and played the game hard. Ran out every ground ball. Dove for every ball at third base. Consistently got his jersey dirty. Never complained to the media or spoke poorly about management or a teammate. Matt Williams was the ultimate professional, on and off the field. And now here he was, on the other end of the line conversing with me. It will be a baseball talk that I will never forget. Matt Williams has that strong of a presence.
I actually grew up a Giants fan, with the highlight of my baseball life being the 1989 Giants playoff run. But once Matt Williams and Will Clark left the Bay area, I was so devastated that I decided to never forgive the Giants. But I continued to follow the players that I idolized, through the rest of their playing days and into the next phases of their respective careers. Once Comerica Park opened, I grew to adopt the Tigers as my main team. The proximity to Detroit from my hometown made the Tigers a natural fit for me. But I was always a baseball fan first and foremost. If I respected a player, I followed them regardless of the team(s) they played for. Studying the history of the Tigers, I started to think about some of their former players. Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell came to mind. Both were hard-nosed players who went on to manage in the big leagues. Gibson was a coach under Trammell in Detroit. Now Trammell is the bench coach in Arizona under Kirk Gibson. The team enjoyed an incredible run in 2011 and are still seen as a team on the rise. Ironically enough, Gibson’s third base coach? Matt Williams, of course. Read the rest of this entry
Saturday September 1st, 2012
Sam Evans: By trading Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett, the Red Sox created a lot of salary cap space for the upcoming season. With outfielder Josh Hamilton set to become a free agent after this year, the Red Sox will definitely have interest in this five-time All Star. It is unclear how much teams will be willing to pay for this troubled slugger, but the Red Sox will be able to make the highest offer on Hamilton if they want to. Should the Red Sox go after Josh Hamilton? Keep reading to find out.
Boston currently has Jacoby Ellsbury as their only outfielder set in stone for next season. With no outfield prospects ready to make an impact next season, the Red Sox will definitely look to free agency for their next outfielder. Melky Cabrera, Shane Victorino, and B.J. Upton are some of the more attractive options out on the market. Cabrera could make sense for Boston, but it is improbable he will get more than a three-year contract.
This season, Josh Hamilton is hitting .293/.358/.583 with thirty-three homers in 130 games. His career wRC+ of 136 rivals that of Vladimir Guerrero, Carlos Delgado, and Will Clark, among others. Hamilton’s power/batting average this season is certainly impressive, but according to ESPN’s Hit Tracker, ten of Hamilton’s home runs have been “just enough”. That’s tied for fourth-most in the majors. One has to wonder if Hamilton would put up the same kind of numbers playing away from the hitter’s haven that is the Ballpark in Arlington.
Monday August 6th, 2012
Robert Whitmer: Have you ever loved something so much that the only way to see if it loved you back was to set it free and see if it came back to you? Most people apply this concept to human relationships. The strongest emotions possible by a human are between family members. Husband and wife, parent and child, even sibling to sibling; the emotion of love runs the entire world. Wars have been fought and countries destroyed because of an emotion. If I could, for a moment, steal a set of lines from The Matrix: Revolutions about love. “It’s a… human emotion. Rama-Kandra: No, it is a word. What matters is the connection the word implies. I see that you are in love. Can you tell me what you would give to hold on to that connection?” What would you give? This word is often times tossed around with reckless abandon. We often say it without considering the aforementioned connection that the word implies. When someone or something that we have connected this word to leaves us, or is no longer available to us, we go through a withdrawal. We yearn for it, strive for it, and in the most extreme of circumstances, kill for it. You are reading this right now because you have a love for a sport. Don’t deny it, because you know that it’s true. You watch it, study it, and put aside mere mundane tasks to be near it. Isn’t that what you do for things that you love? You… no we are here because we love the sport of baseball but has it always loved us back?
We are about a week into the 30th Olympiad. We have our usual events that grab out attention for three weeks out of every four years. If you try to sit there and tell me that you follow USA handball team then I will sit here and call you a liar. I can probably count on one hand the number of sports that are in the Olympics that are even on TV in those four years. Only because of national pride do the Olympics get the ratings that it does. There has been talk of including new sports and events into the Olympics but then they continue to take events out. One of the more recent sports to get the axe was baseball. During a 2005 IOC meeting, it was decided that baseball and softball would no longer (starting in 2012) be included in the Olympic Games. This is not going to be a bash the Olympics read, but more represent a discussion as to why I feel that baseball is not an Olympic event. To understand this, we must start at the beginning. Let us hop in our time machine and travel back to a time when baseball was king. Read the rest of this entry
Monday April 16th, 2012
Follow Chuck Booth’s streak all the through to the bitter end. Schedule is this link:
http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at his official website for all updates!
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and- @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- For once the shoe is on the other foot. I asked the MLB Reports Founder and ‘Lead Columnist’ Jonathan Hacohen if I could interview him 5 months after he interviewed me. Jonathan and I came into talking by both talking to the MLB FanCave guys at the same time on twitter last June. Jonathan was really interested in My baseball book “The Fastest Thirty Ballgames” and I sent him a copy of it if he agreed to do a review. Jonathan finished the book and gave one of the most incredible reviews for my book that I have ever seen for any baseball book anywhere. Somewhere I had given up all of my creative writing energy in the process while writing this said book. Jonathan followed up with an interview later. During the World Series, he offered up a chance to do a guest article since I knew a lot about the ballparks in Texas and St. Louis. Now I am sure it was all part of his master plan: the one guest article turned into a once a week article, before I even realized it myself, I was writing 2 articles a week and craving more! I messaged Jonathan about a potential run at the record to see all 30 MLB Parks before anyone on this planet. The reason is the man loves baseball. He was just as fired up as I was! From there we have worked together as a team to provide a different kind of article series that has ever been seen by a baseball writer and website. I am happy to finally meet Jonathan today live in person for the Jays game during this record chase. Before we write about that, I had a chance to talk the man about baseball life, the MLB Reports and the Rogers Center. Here is what we discussed… Read the rest of this entry