Wednesday newsletter time: Rangers’ Adrian Beltre biggest star of Hall election
(AP photo/Ted S. Warren)
Adrian Beltre admitted Tuesday night during a conference call what those who covered him already knew: He doesn’t like the spotlight.
He wasn’t awkwardly uncomfortable during the TV interview on MLB Network after he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame nor on the conference call with media, but it was pretty apparent that he would have rather been hanging with his family, talking to old teammates or at the dentist.
But getting into the Hall of Fame requires some time as the center of attention, so Beltre did what he had to do.
The spotlight was squarely on him after he received 95.1 percent of the vote and coasted into the Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot. He joined Nolan Ryan and Ivan Rodriguez as Rangers who became first-ballot Hall of Famers.
Beltre’s numbers, buoyed during his time with the Rangers, were too good for Hall voters to make him sweat out another year on the ballot. He batted .304, 18 points above his career average, and posted an .865 OPS, 46 points higher than his career average, in his eight Rangers seasons.
He finished with 3,166 hits and 477 home runs, two of the categories voters have always looked to when considering a player’s Hall worthiness. Beltre has many other numbers that stand out, like five Gold Gloves at third base.
He was also tough, practicing while wearing a colostomy bag after a botched appendectomy early in his career, playing only two weeks after a ruptured testicle while with Seattle and playing most of the 2015 season with a damaged left thumb,
Through the pain and the pressure of greatness, he found a way to have more fun than anyone else on the field.
The numbers might outweigh the intangibles, but Beltre had a remarkable Hall of Fame resume. That’s why he found himself in the glare of the spotlight Tuesday.
Cooperstown called! pic.twitter.com/rNLD1UY9qx
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) January 24, 2024
New home for Gallo
Former Rangers All-Star Joey Gallo will be playing for his fourth team since being traded by the Rangers. He agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with the Nationals.
The power Gallo possesses is too enticing for all 30 teams to pass up. A team in a position like the Nationals, who aren’t going to contend in 2024, could use his power and defense and hope he hits well enough to draw interest at the trade deadline.
Maybe he shows enough at the plate to convince the Nationals to keep him around.
Gallo hit 21 homers last season for the Twins but batted only .171. Since the Rangers traded him to the Yankees at the 2021 trade deadline, he is batting only .166 with 393 strikeouts.
He continues to hit home runs at a regular clip, every 15.47 at-bats.
The Nationals couldn’t say no to that pop at $5 million for one year.
Standing behind Beltre’s couch during some of the Hall of Fame programming, and it didn’t seem like a mistake, was agent Scott Boras.
I guess that means he didn’t have any pressing business with Jordan Montgomery.
Considering the time difference, it was 3:15 p.m. when the Hall announcement was made. Taking into account LA traffic, it probably took him and his crew an hour to reach Beltre’s house. The guess here is he was early enough to enjoy some banter with the Beltres.
Boras Corp. did have time to hammer out deals for Gallo, Rhys Hoskins (Brewers) and Matt Moore (back to the Angels), but Montgomery (and Blake Snell, Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman) are still looking for teams.
The fine people at MLB Trade Rumors ran a fan poll over the weekend, asking where Montgomery will end up. The Rangers won in a landslide, likely based on rumors fans have seen.
Josh Hader was also linked to the Rangers, and look at how that turned out. This feels different because the Rangers have a need and would like Montgomery to return.
Hopefully, the wait ends soon.
Dog owner of the year. Enjoy.
Best day EVER!!! pic.twitter.com/QKpdLxZf6Z
— Heckin Good Dogs (@HeckinGoodDogs) January 20, 2024
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com