Happy Thursday everyone. A few big stories broke yesterday, and they weren't terribly surprising. Yet each of these stories is big news so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Thursday, January 8:
3 players head to baseball's hall
There's a constant criticism that has developed in recent years when the baseball writers vote for who should make it to Cooperstown. This year was no exception. A couple of great Atlanta Braves pitchers are mkainig it to the hall. Greg Maddux (97.2% of ballots) and Tom Glavine (91.9% of ballots) were each voted in as was The Big Hurt, designated hitter Frank Thomas who spent most of his career with the Chicago White Sox. These were all pretty big no-brainer picks, but Thomas' selection does create a little bit of a conundrum. He played during the Steroid Era, and yet few believe that he hit 521 homeruns with the help of PEDs. How/why should we look at Thomas differently than Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa, all of whom lost votes this year versus last year. Is it because Thomas was a good guy? Good to the media? He still played in the era. Who are we to judge each person individually? The process needs to be fair to everyone. The hall has bats, cleats and other memorabilia from these players from the Steroid Era that are in Cooperstown commemorating historic moments of these players' careers. Why can't they make the hall? Pete Rose still isn't in Cooperstown for crying out loud.
Some players however weren't so lucky. Craig Biggio who played second base for the Houston Astros missed the hall by two votes. Two votes! How outragious. It's ok though, he'll get in next year, but still. To be that close and miss by only two votes, that has to hurt some. Pitcher Jack Morris was in his final year on the ballot (15th) and he fell 78 votes short of making the hall. It's tough to make it to the hall as evidenced by all of the players who came up short of the 75% total they needed to get to to get enshrined in Cooperstown.
Ultimately, there has to be a better voting process. Dan LeBatard didn't even vote, instead giving his vote to Deadspin who in return let their readers decide who should make the hall. If voting has become that much of a joke and especially with all of the players from the Steroid Era that are up for consideration, a massive overhaul has to be done. How this gets done, I'm not quite sure. It seems like though that come writers are making this process more about them than getting the right players into the hall. That's sad and it must stop or there will continue to be more controversy about who doesn't make it than celebration as to who has made it to Cooperstown.
Johnny Football declares for NFL Draft
Surprise! Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel will forego his junior and senior seasons at Texas A&M and enter the NFL Draft. This move comes as a shock to absolutely no one. Manziel is arguably the best quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft and some are predicting he will go no later than fifth overall. There are a lot of quarterback needy teams in the top ten picks and Manziel should fall no later than eight past Minnesota. In my mind, Manziel is worth the high pick. He threw for a ton of yards and his mobility is amazing. How he gets out of trouble and extends plays is second to none. If you want to compare him to Tim Tebow fine, but Manziel is a better passer than Tebow. He has an attitude. He can be a punk. Fine by me. I would kill to have this guy on my team. You need a quarterback with a certain moxy, to be that leader. Manziel can become that leader and he certainly has the attitude and moxy about him. Get him in an NFL locker room and he'll mature more while still maintaining that firery energy. Smart move to come out Manziel. He already has picked out agents and is looking for major endorsement money. He'll get it. Don't bet against him being a star in the NFL. I think he will. Only question is what took him so long to tell everyone what we had been thinking all along.
Bobby Petrino back at Louisville
He's back! The man who helped get Louisville football on the map is back to take over a program left stronger from Charlie Strong who himself left the program in a very good spot. Welcome back...Bobby Petrino. Yes, the much maligned Petrino is back for a second stint with Louisville. He coached them from 2003-06 before leaving to take the head coaching position with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons. We all know how that turned out. He left with three games left in the first season and took the head coaching gig at Arkansas, but scandal got the best of him there. He coached Western Kentucky this year. Louisville must have wanted a familiar face, someone who has had success before. Petrino certainly qualifies, though his character is a little suspect. Louisville should remain strong so long as Petrino as there and doesn't do anything damaging like he did at Arkansas.
Coming up Friday: NFL Divisional playoff preview and predictions