Big League Stew - MLB

Duk's Dozen, a selection of 12 morning-fresh links and items, has returned in 2011 to start your baseball news day off right. Got links? Send 'em here or via Twitter.  

1. I don't think I was alone in having the initial reaction that Trevor Hoffman(notes) will be a first ball Hall of Famer when he comes up for induction, but ESPN's Rob Neyer isn't so sure.

Neyer's doubt is borne of Lee Smith's exclusion from Cooperstown (despite having a similar ERA to Hoffman's and 200 more innings pitched) as well as the delayed induction of guys like Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage. His skepticism is probably warranted given that the electorate is finicky and that we'll see thousands of articles trying to tear Hoffman's case down between now and 2016.

But arguments about Smith's snubbing aside, it's hard to imagine that baseball's all-time saves leader — a guy who closed down 601 games, pitched 18 seasons and developed one of the game's best changeups — did anything to warrant waiting past his first year of eligibilty to get elected. Am I alone on that thought? ESPN

2. I was scolded via Twitter Tuesday night to "please, never, ever post another Trevor Hoffman item without this." (My bad.) YouTube 

3. Corey Brock recounts Trevor Hoffman's initial hurdle in San Diego: Winning over fans that had been burned by the Padres' infamous fire sale in 1993.

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4. A sneak peek at "The Extra 2 Percent," the Tampa Bay Rays book written by our old pal Jonah Keri, has been posted to whet your appetite until its full release on March 8. Speaking as someone who's lucky to already have read half of Jonah's effort, I'd highly recommend taking a look. Scribd 

5. "In the NFL, 24 of 32 teams have made the playoffs over the past five seasons. That's 75 percent. In baseball, 22 of 30 have made the playoffs in the same time span. That's 73.3 percent, despite the fact that the NFL awards 12 playoff spots each season, and baseball — for now, anyway — awards only eight." NYT 

6. Tuesday was the 38th anniversary of the DH rule and Allan has compiled a history of previous proposals and false starts — from Connie Mack in 1906 to various minor leagues in the 1940s — to celebrate. Joy of Sox

7. Another anniversary that I missed: Monday was the 20th anniversary of the trade that saw the Baltimore Orioles send Curt Schilling, Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch to the Houston Astros for the immortal Glenn Davis; 126.8 WAR out, 0.1 WAR in. Orioles Card "O" The Day via Mister Irrelevant 

8. The quest to blog every homer that has ever reached Camden Yards' Eutaw Street continues on to April 11, 1997, the day that Rafael Palmeiro deposited two baseballs onto the thoroughfare. Roar From 34 

9. Why Corey Hart(notes) will repeat his 2010 performance in 2011. Brew Crew Ball 

10. Kurt Mensching takes a look at Brad Penny's(notes) adoption of the split-finger fastball and hopes that it'll mean good things for the Detroit Tigers this season. Bless You Boys 

11. How long will Rafael Soriano's(notes) quest for treasure last? FanGraphs 

12. This Milwaukee Brewers joke from the Onion Sportsdome might have been funnier had it picked a team that was actually struggling. Wezen-Ball 

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