- In the wake of the Harold Baines debaccle, Joey Poz had a great piece on the long sad history of the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Baseball Writers Association of America, and the Veterans Committee. I know a lot about baseball history but the specifics he brings are new to me. It's basically how underreaction can lead to overaction, and over to under. Balance is tough.
- But Baseball's sure as hell beats the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. One of my guys, John Mulaney, did a great, brutal bit on the Rock HOF on Seth Meyer's show, and this Rolling Stone interview is an expansion on that. It's funny, chastising, but mostly heartwarming. He's reminding the honorees, “You mean a lot to all of us. Your music made happy days happier and sad days happier, or sometimes made normal days more poignant and sad, and that was necessary. ... Go ahead and enjoy it.”
- Life-lesson from John Cassidy: He who rises by the tabloid shall fall by the tabloid. Not that the lessonee will listen.
- Seattle Film Critics (sans me) announced their best of 2018 and it's the usual suspects: “Roma,” Cuaron, Hawke, Collette, etc. Not their fault; other film critics get to see and announce first. And none are bad choices. By now it's just ... familiar. They do give some love to tentpole films “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and “Black Panther,” but even there, it's not unfamiliar. Here's what I think has been missing from the conversation this awards season: “Wajib,” “Love Education,” “The King,” Sakura Ando, Jun Jong-seo, Hawke for “Juliet, Naked.” Maybe “Avengers: Infinity War.” Why I wrote, I suppose.
- The good folks at SABR have written a clear-eyed portrait of baseball's greatest loveable loser: Charlie Brown. The fact-checking graf on his exact birthdate alone makes it worth reading.