8 Stories (1/4/15): Taiwan Corruption, 5 Percenters And Donnie Baseball

8storiesLogoWelcome to 8 Stories, a daily look at the baseball stories we’re reading on the Internets. Give them a click, will you?

Corrupt: A deep look at the corrupt world around professional baseball in Taiwan – and how a player could get caught up in a game-fixing scandal whether he wants to or not.

Plugging Away: James Wagner checks in with former Nationals prospect Carlos Alvarez, formerly known as Esmailyn “Smiley” Gonzalez – the player whose false identity and fake age led to the firing of Ralph Jim Bowden in 2009.

5%: Matt Snyder names the five best players to ever be “Five Percented” off of the Hall of Fame ballot. Some very impressive names on this list.

Popular Posts: FanGraphs presents its 10 most popular posts of 2014. There’s some good stuff in there, so make some time before the Colts-Bengals game to read them.

Big Game: Brett at Bleacher Nation ponders who is actually going to sign James Shields as we inch ever closer to pitchers and catchers reporting – especially now that the Giants say they are out.

It’s All About The Ace: Actually, no, writes Anthony Diorio of OffTheWallBaseball, looking at the Red Sox rotation for 2015.

Strange HOF Ballot: Jerry Green of the Detroit News votes for Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire for the Hall of Fame – but not Barry Bonds. Even stranger, he doesn’t explain why in column explaining his ballot.

Donnie Baseball: Bruce Weber makes the case for Don Mattingly one last time. It won’t help.

Also, happy birthday to Ted Lilly (39), Daryl Boston (52), Tito Fuentes (71) and Scott Sizemore (30).

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