URLs and the Hall of Fame

Garrett Ellwood

Where do you go when you enter a player's name into your browser?

Most of the time, I'm just writing about baseball, which is inherently unimportant. It's just a game, people. But occasionally, I'll stumble upon a big, breaking story that will make you rethink how you view the Internet. This is one of those times.

There are a lot of excellent articles out there about the current crop of Hall of Fame candidates, but none of them are willing to ask the hard-hitting questions. For example, what happens when you enter the player's name as a URL in your browser's address bar? The results might surprise you.*

*They really won't

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JeffBagwell.com

Where does it take you?
To a site offering to sell you the domain.

Noteworthy feature
The domain is available for the low, low price of $8,750, which is just over $2 for every base Bagwell collected in his career. If you're more budget-conscious, you can lock up JeffBagwell.org for just $4.99. Or you can use several alternatives:

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But if you choose one of those options, you'll have to suffer the ignominy of being too cheap to get the domain you know you really want for your Jeff Bagwell-themed site. Just get the full-priced one.

Hurts or helps candidacy?
Helps. You realize how valuable he is when see how much the domain costs. Note: this also applies to AlanTrammell.com.

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Brandability might not be a word yet, but some dude with an MBA will still use it six times in a single sentence the next time you're at a bar, so get used to it. And Trammell's? It's very high.

Where JeffBagwell.com should really take you
To a site that doesn't check your cookies, but sends your significant other an auto-generated e-mail about your suspected porn consumption.

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BarryBonds.com

Where does it take you?
Bonds's personal blog.

Noteworthy feature
Apparently, he's been doing what most of us dream about doing when we retire, which is biking through southeastern Colorado. His twice-monthly updates are always thrilling, and he did the right thing by leaving the gigantic "Congratulations Giants!" post up for several months.

Hurts or helps candidacy?
Helps. If you're trying to get voters to forget your transgressions, make them think about something that isn't so dirty. Like cycling.

Where Barry Bonds should really take you
It should redirect to his surprisingly substantial IMDB page.

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CurtSchilling.com

Where does it take you?
A site offering the domain for sale.

Noteworthy feature
Up in the top of the page, you'll see this:

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Which is rather unfortunate, considering this:

The video game studio run by the retired baseball star Curt Schilling filed for bankruptcy on Thursday, while Rhode Island and federal officials began investigating the operations of the company, which was buoyed by financial support from the state.

Hurts or helps candidacy?
Hurts. The association isn't a good one. Remember, the Hall has a character clause, which is already leading people to reconsider Curt Schilling because of things like his Delaware failings and the fact that he lied about chewing tobacco … or something.

Where CurtSchilling.com should really take you
I was kind of hoping it would be Curt Schilling's blog with his personal opinions because I bet that would be totally awesome.

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MikePiazza.com

Where does it take you?
It auto-directs to a Korean loan site that seems totally legit.

Noteworthy feature
This, which is the exact set of questions St. Peter asks when you die:

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Answer wrong, and it's eternal damnation. Answer right, and you're in heaven. Tick tock. Tick tock. Also, that page has a spot for you to enter your Social Security Number. If I were you, I'd enter it in, and then if anything funny happens, see if Mike Piazza will reimburse you. He probably will.

Hurts or helps candidacy?
Helps. With all of that low-interest money, you can print up some glossy brochures.

Where MikePiazza.com should really take you
A great site with a link right on the front page that gets you slip right past the firewall and get into restricted archives. Also, the website can't throw.

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DaleMurphy.com

Where does it take you?
To an actual Dale Murphy-themed site.

Noteworthy feature
There are plenty of words from the man himself. There's even a spot for comments! How's that going, Dale?

Hi, I came across your site and wasn’t able to get an email address to contact you. Would you please consider adding a link to my website on your page. We are happy to offer you a 10% discount to our Online Store if you do so. Please email me back and I would be happy to give you our link.

Cool, cool. Great work, Internet.

Hurts or helps candidacy?
Helps. Because in all seriousness, Murphy seems like a pretty interesting guy by ballplayer standards. That can't hurt.

Where DaleMurphy.com should really take you
To a site filled with all sorts of old TBS promos and bumpers. I remember one that had a clip of Bob Horner running out a line drive, then stopping and yelling in disappointment. For the first 10 years of my life, I thought it was because he was called out for throwing the bat. I didn't realize until I was an adult that someone just made a good play on the ball.

My version was more interesting. Also, the Braves were so bad back then that a clip of Bob Horner reacting in disappointment made the promo clip.

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LarryWalker.com

Where does it take you?
The official campaign site of ECUA board member Larry Walker from 2008.

Noteworthy feature
All the sewer expansion and septic-tank abatement talk that you can shake a stick at.

Hurts or helps candidacy?
Helps. Considering that Walker won the election, it's probably a good omen.

Where LarryWalker.com should really take you
Considering that the real Larry Walker should probably get in the Hall -- or at least have a heckuva better chance than he currently does -- a site with an argument for him would be nice. Or maybe an auto-direct that takes you to a YTMND page that plays "Tom Sawyer" over a loop of a Strange Brew clip, because that's all I know about Canadians. I hope to meet one someday.

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DonMattingly.com

Where does it take you?
Mattingly's personal site.

Noteworthy feature
A place to put in your e-mail address for a Don Mattingly newsletter. Also, there's a store to purchase all sorts of Don Mattingly merchandise.

Hurts or helps candidacy?
Hurts. Because check this out. Mattingly is selling this ball:

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Which is a code. Unpack it. What's 9 x 66? 594, which is the number of at-bats that Joe DiMaggio had in 1948, when he lost the MVP to Lou Boudreau. Now, Boudreau's nickname was Old Shufflefoot, and Shufflefoot is the name of a bluegrass band that played in front of a banner with an NPR logo in this YouTube video. And, of course, when you google "NPR" and "conspiracy theories", you get all sorts of rational results. And when you google "Don Mattingly" and "voter suppression", you get 17,400 results ... but nothing that specifically links the two of them. It's as if the government went into each page and scrubbed the reference.

So what I'm saying is this: Yes, the Freemasons are keeping Tim Raines below 75 percent with Don Mattingly's help. But why? I don't know, but this is much, much shadier than all the PED stuff. Open your eyes, sheeple.

Where DonMattingly.com should really take you
TO A SITE THAT HAS THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS COUNTRY, DAMMIT.

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JackMorris.com

Where does it take you?
To Jack Morris Auto Glass, the largest installer of auto glass in the Mid-South.

Noteworthy feature
A set of core values and beliefs that sure sounds like it belongs to the other Jack Morris. This, my friends, is an auto glass company that knows how to win.

Hurts or helps candidacy?
Hurts. Because I can't think of a good pun that involves "scoring glass" and "pitching to the score", so I'm giving up and holding Jack Morris accountable.

Where should JackMorris.com really take you?
To a site that argues about auto glass. Specifically whether a specific brand of auto glass is any good. And the arguments should go on and on and on. They should be repeated every year for several years. That does not sound boring in the slightest.

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RogerClemens.com

Where does it take you?
Sketchy paid advertisements for sketchy companies.

Noteworthy feature
Creepily redirects you to different sites depending on your browsing history. For example, it was a Monster.com search engine that popped up the first time, but it was a list of auto-glass repair vendors after visiting JackMorris.com.

Hurts or helps candidacy?
Helps. Because there was a small chance that RogerClemens.com would be a site filled with the thoughts of the actual Roger Clemens, which wouldn't help anyone.

Where RogerClemens.com should really take you
I was hoping for a collection of his writings. Love sonnets, short stories, musical theater, spec scripts ... really, shouldn't they all be held in a central location, so we don't have to dig around the bowels of the Internet for the complete collection?

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TimRaines.com

Where does it take you?
The most poignant political blog on the Internet.

Noteworthy feature
That it's the most poignant political blog on the Internet.

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Hurts or helps candidacy?

Helps. In 2931, when astro-students are studying the Internet and its effect on American politics, this site will be the dominant example. It really does capture the soul of American discourse today. And if there is still a Hall of Fame that far in the future, there's a great chance that Raines's contributions to the world will be recognized posthumously.

Where TimRaines.com should really take you
A site with a simple poll on the front. "Do you think Tim Raines should be in the Hall of Fame?" If you click "Yes," you would be directed to a site that gives you a code for 10 percent off Jonah Keri's forthcoming book on the Expos.

If you click "No," you would be directed to a live webcam of Keri mooning you.

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