Category Archives: Hall of Fame

TWO MORE AND DONE – HOF THIS YEAR

There are two more players on the Hall Of Fame ballot (in addition to Ken Griffey Jr – see previous post  I think should be elected making it a trio of inductees as we saw last year (see the full list of candidates here). The first is a relief pitcher who held the record for career saves until someone named Rivera came along and the second is a catcher who hit the most home runs ever for a player at that position. Continue reading

POST SEASON AWARDS – 50% AIN’T BAD

 Dallas Keutchel (check), Bryce Harper (incorrect), Jake Arietta (incorrect), and Jeff Donaldson (check). That’s how it went in the Cy Young and MVP Awards for me. 
Noticing that both of my incorrect picks were unanimous winners certainly is something to give me pause. Maybe it’s time to hop on the Bryce Harper bandwagon……who knows. What I do know though is that Paul Goldschmidt is wallowing away in the Arizona desert and no one seems to recognize him. Or, maybe Bryce Harper is just that good.

Rookie Of The Year honors…….not really a big deal when you consider that such household names as Tom Tresh, Curt Blefary, John Castino, Pat Listach, and Marty Cordova also were awarded this honor. It’s nice, but prove it twice. Continue reading

DAVID ORTIZ – A FINAL LAP AROUND THE TRACK?

So, David Ortiz has announced that the upcoming season will be his last. The reason behind this announcement may have been to give all teams an opportunity to plan well in advance for a tribute day as he takes his final lap as a visiting player in each ballpark the Red Sox are scheduled to play in.

Really? In a way,  it doesn’t surprise me simply because ortiz-red-soxthis man apparently has a ego the size of his body mass. Get real David. You are not Derek Jeter. No way, no how. I mean can you imagine the fans in Houston (for example) checking the schedule to find out when Ortiz is coming to town? Fans did that for Jeter and virtually every game was sold out….. Continue reading

JOE TORRE – A QUIET YET VERY EFFECTIVE LEADER

When you look up a profile of Joe Torre, you quickly realize that he has been successful in every facet JOE TORREof his career, and never has that been true more than in his current position as MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer. As a player, he finished a distinguished career withi (1) a .297 batting average, appeared in nine All Star Games, and won a NL Batting Title in 1971. Then, as a manager he won four Championships more than 2,300 games. Culminating his career as a manager, he was rewarded with a plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. (left) Oh, and by the way, he’s also a member of the Baseball Hall Of Fame.

And from the looks of things, he’s just getting warmed up. Since 2011 (his first year as a baseball executive), joe-torre-jpghe has presided over the introduction and refinement of instant replay, the creation of the “Buster Posey Rule” for collisions at home plate, the adoption of the 20 second rule designed to speed up games, and is now poised to lead the way with the adoption of a “Chase Utley Rule” requiring a runner to be sliding directly at second base when attempting to break up a double play. 
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A BUMPER CROP OF TALENT – BASEBALL IS BLESSED!

It’s hard to recall a time in recent baseball history when so many young and very talented players burst on the scene carrying promise of not only a great future for themselves but for baseball as well.

This bumper crop is evenly composed of both position players and pitchers. They are spread evenly across leagues and teams. In the NFL,images-23 images-16they would all be tagged as “Franchise Players”. Mike Trout (right) and Bryce Harper (upper left) look like  reincarnations of Mickey Mantle while Felix Hernandez (right)images-18 and Jose Fernandez (left) recall memories of Juan Marichal and Pedro Martinez years before they entered the Baseball Hall Of Fame.

Add to that quartet  relative newcomers like Dallas Keutchel (lower left) images-20of young and forward marching Houston Astrosimages-31 plus Giancarlo Stanton (right)  and you have the makings of some very exciting baseball for many years to come.

But hold on there……..not so fast. Before we anoint them into the Baseball Hall Of Fame, we need to remember – the Hall is based solely on number (historically)……300 wins, 500 home runs, 3000 hits……..etc.

And with these young exciting players, there are two caveats to recognize and they’re both reasons why we might only see one or two actually make the Hall Of Fame.

The first caveat is simple mathematics. Each player is destined to make a minimum of a quarter of a billion dollars over their career. images-32Some will earn even more. So, the question becomes how long will they need or want to play before they retire and move on to other things? Will the fire continue to burn for twenty years as it did for someone like Derek Jeter (remember – it takes 15 years at 200 hits per to reach 3000 – and for pitchers averaging 15 wins over 15 seasons only nets 275 career wins). So, it’s a long road ahead for these perennial All Stars.

The second caveat is even more looming. Because we need to add to each the “if he stays healthy” clause to each of their careers. Look at the list…….images-29how many have been afflicted with injuries even to this point in their brief time on the field. Will a perennially injured All Star like Troy Tulowiski have the numbers to qualify for the Hall? Coupled with that are the ever conscious owners and GM’ who seek to protect their investments by holding them back (the Mets and Matt Harvey?) until a bevy of doctors say “Go!………

So, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with these young phenoms as their careers play out. Will they have the stamina and desire to play long enough to put up the numbers the Hall has traditionally required……..

 

 

 

 

A FOOTNOTE ON PETE ROSE

While it was good to see and hear the raucous fans at Great American Ballpark 635725045876228066-USP-MLB-ALL-STAR-GAME-74501408welcome Pete Rose as he walked onto a Major League venue for the first time in many years, he should never be seen again on a Major League diamond.

He gambled on baseball games he was either playing in or as a manager. In all of sports, that is a cardinal sin and for that he should be “banned from baseball”.

Having said that, my previous post holds true. He belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Because no matter what he still has the most hits of anyone who has played the game. And that has nothing to do with his character. It only has to do with a man hitting a baseball with a bat.

PETE ROSE BELONGS IN THE HALL – IT’S SIMPLY A NUMBERS GAME

Putting Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame where he belongs is simply a recognition thof what he did on the playing field,  the numbers he put up, and the relentless zeal with which he played the game. The man has the most hits ever over a career for God’s sake! And besides, some of the greatest players in the game could also be a jerk at times by demonstrating questionable character. 

Ted Williams who is often credited with being the the best pure hitter to everted-williams-with-bats play the game once was fined $5000 (a princely sum in 1956) for – get this – for spitting on fans during a game in his own ballpark. He was also known as a loner and egomaniac who was certainly not the go-to guy in the clubhouse. Ted Williams is in the Baseball Hail of Fame.

Joe DiMaggio is also in the Hall of Fame. He’s also one of the surliest joe-dimaggio2men to ever don a Yankees uniform. His own teammates viewed him as “unapproachable”. But he did hit in 56 straight games so he is forgiven and everyone moves on. You can read more on his character in Richard Ben Cramer’s  definitive biography  Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life.

And then of course there’s Ty Cobbty-cobb who is said to be one of the meanest – most vindictive  – players to ever have put on a pair of spikes. Those spikes high sliding into second – be damned if you’re in my way. He too is in the Hall of Fame.

For every Cal Ripken with no visible character flaws in the Hall, there’s a Joe DiMaggio with a tainted image. And for every Derek Jeter (a sure first ballot inductee), there’s a Ted Williams who never really apologized for his spitting episode. The Hall of Fame was built to house and honor the best who ever played the game. No one would ever suggest Pete Rose as a candidate for Sainthood. He doesn’t have to be a Saint……….all he has to be is one of the greatest to have ever played the game. At least, give him that.