J.P. Morosi, FOXSports: Aficionado Heavily Invested in Blyleven
Jon Paul Morosi featured me in an article currently teased on the front page of FOXSports.com. The URL reads "bert-blyleven-hall-of-fame-bid-rides-on-sabermetrics-loving-blogger."
If you hurry on over to that link as fast as members of my family did, the following screenshot can be viewed live by waiting for or clicking on the number 5 on the right-hand side of the window. Or you can go to the MLB page and wait for it to scroll to the number 1, which corresponds to the title "No. 1 Fan: Investing guru turned blogger is out to save Blyleven from HOF snub."
Morosi, who is a national MLB writer for FOXSports.com, interviewed me on Monday. He sent an email Sunday evening asking if he could arrange a date and time to talk about Bert Blyleven with the Baseball Hall of Fame announcement forthcoming on Wednesday. We hit it off and talked for nearly two hours.
The headline that is attached to the article is "Aficionado heavily invested in Blyleven," a play on words owing to my profession as an investment manager. I'll take aficionado over internet zealot any day.
Rich Lederer is an investment manager. Stock and bond portfolios are his thing. He is the president and chief investment officer of Lederer & Associates Investment Counsel in Long Beach, Calif.
But Lederer loved batting averages long before calculating his first P/E ratio. He is a baseball guy. His father, the late George Lederer, covered the Los Angeles Dodgers for the Long Beach Independent-Press-Telegram through their first 11 seasons on the West Coast.
Lederer has since taken up the family business — as a hobby. In 2003, he founded a baseball blog, now called BaseballAnalysts.com. He writes at night, after his real job is done. The website hasn’t made him rich or famous. Yet, his words may soon resonate through the game’s most hallowed corridors.
If Bert Blyleven is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, he will have Rich Lederer to thank.
Morosi then highlights Blyleven's achievements, discusses Bert's voting trends, the "grassroots campaign," how he is polling this year, my father (including a photo of him showing off the first foul ball that he caught in the press box at Dodger Stadium in 1962), and concludes with the following:
“The Internet flattens the world a little and allows someone like me to have a say, an audience, and indirectly participate in the discussion,” Rich Lederer said. “I enjoy that. If not for the Internet, it would be next to impossible for me to have an impact on those types of things. It’s been a great vehicle. People say there have been more words written about Bert’s candidacy than anyone else in the history of the Hall of Fame.”
If the wait ends on Wednesday, happy blog postings will spring up around the web, from mainstream and sabermetric writers alike.
Then they will face the question: Which cause comes next?
I have someone in mind, but it will remain a secret until Blyleven earns his just reward.
Here are four links on the same subject:
Craig Calcaterra: The man who sold the BBWAA on Bert Blyleven
Anthony Maggio: It's time for Bert's call to the Hall (which includes a short video honoring Bert)
Joe Christensen: Voters slowly have joined Bert's fan club
Glenn Miller: Is this finally Bert Blyleven's year?
...and one on Jeff Bagwell:
Jerry Crasnick: Jeff Bagwell is a Hall of Famer
In August, Richard Lederer of the Baseball Analyst's Web site stacked the career numbers for Bagwell and Chipper Jones side-by-side and said the two players should be "slam-dunk, first-ballot Hall of Famers." Bagwell ranks 37th all-time among position players with a WAR (wins above replacement) rating of 80. He's ahead of Pete Rose, Paul Molitor, Reggie Jackson and several other baseball greats in WAR, which combines offense, defense, baserunning and a player's position to determine how many added wins he gives a team when compared to a baseline "replacement level" substitute.
Factoring in all the numbers, Lederer wrote that Bagwell is arguably the fourth-best first baseman ever behind Gehrig, Foxx and Albert Pujols.
Thanks to Jon, Craig, Anthony, Joe, Glenn, and Jerry, as well as all the tweeters out there.