Greg Maddux… people will remember you as a Brave… not a Cub.
Maybe that’s why I picked a picture of you pitching as a Dodger for the website.
Writers… a unanimous Hall of Fame vote is NOT a vote for best player of all time.
That and a few other things have my goat on today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
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By Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent) Follow @patricklanguzzi
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Results are scheduled to be announced on January 8th.
Players must receive at least 75 percent of the votes in order to be inducted by a voting body of roughly over 500 eligible writers.
There are many player names worthy of discussion, however, few will see enshrinement, now or ever.
Greg Maddux Tribute:
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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Okay, it is time for me to make my argument for my favorite player of all time to be inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
There will be several people that will say that Don Mattingly’s career stats of: H-2154, HR-222, RBI-1099, AVG-.307 and 9 Gold Gloves are not enough in just 14 seasons.
I am not counting his 7 game-stint in 1982 with this. As a rookie in 1983, Don only .hit .283 with 4 HRs and 32 RBIs.
BY Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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The debate for whether or not Jack Morris belongs in the Baseball Hall Of Fame has heated up to an ALL-Time high with the big vote going down in Jan of 2014 for the final time.
575 members of BBWAA fraternity will decide whether or not the big man from Minnesota will enter one of the hardest Hall Of Fame’s to enter in pro sports (if not the hardest).
Morris will need a 75% (432 Minimum Votes) of them to write down his name on their ballot for enshrinement into Cooperstown.
Last year, Morris received 67.7 % of the writers votes in his 14th year of eligibility. He will have his name on a 14th ballot this year.
He has been trending up in recent years, so if he can improve in 2014, with the same amount of 2011-2012 jump of (+13.2%), then he will make it in.
If he fails to reach the Hall this year, it would be his last year of eligibility for the BBWAA Vote.
He could still make it via the Veterans Committee after that. But that could take some significant time.
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Thursday Feb.28th, 2013
By Haley Smilow (MLB Reports Junior Reporter and Writer): Follow @smilow
February is black history month. This made me think about the impact that African-Americans have had on the sports world. One of the biggest impacts, in my opinion, was the Negro Leagues. In August 2011, I was lucky enough to go to Kansas City to see a Royals vs. Yankees game. What I did not know was the history of baseball in K.C. is more then just the Royals.
I learned about many great players and the history of a great league on my visit to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. I never imaged that baseball was once divided based on the color of your skin. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of great black players. In the 1920’s, a structured league of black players began under the guidance of Rube Foster, and The Negro Leagues were born.
The Negro Leagues had many great players and stories of men like Satchel Paige, James “Cool Papa” Bell, Josh Gibson, Buck O’Neil, Jackie Robinson and many others, including one amazing women named Effa Manley. What made these people great were their astonishing abilities.
Jackie Robinson Steals Home Plate!
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013
By Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent): Follow @patricklanguzzi
From January 29th – 31st, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) Historical Overview Committee met in Cooperstown to screen potential candidates for the 2014 Expansion Era ballot (Veterans Committee). The 12-member ballot will be released in the fall and is scheduled to be voted on at the baseball winter meetings in December by a 16-member electorate.
The Expansion Era is comprised of players, executives and managers who made their greatest career contributions between 1973 – present. Eligible players must be retired for at least 21 years and have played at least 10 major league seasons. Managers and Umpires are eligible five years after retirement, with 10 years of service, or six months from the date of election after retirement, if they are 65 years or older.
All candidates receiving at least 12 of 16 votes (75 percent of the 16 ballots) will gain election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame for a July 2014 ceremonial induction.
Under the new rules, the Veterans Committee ballots run on a three-year rotation beginning in 2010 with the Expansion Era (1973 – present), Golden Era (1947 – 1972) and Pre-Integration Era (1871 – 1946).
Here’s a look at the selected nominees from 2010. Long retired players; Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Vida Blue, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Al Oliver, Rusty Staub and Ted Simmons. Manager Billy Martin and executives George Steinbrenner, Pat Gillick and Marvin Miller.
Pat Gillick HOF Induction Speech:
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By Brooke Robinson (Rangers Correspondent): Follow @bka_9
The name Rusty Greer means more than just a jersey with number 29 on it in Texas. In the short-lived history of the Rangers, Greer is one of the players who has impacted it most. Not just for his bat and his glove, but for his attitude and his interaction with fans. Greer was the player you needed in the bottom of the 9th, and the one you wanted in the heat of August when you needed hope.
Thurman Clyde “Rusty” Greer (born January 21, 1969 in Fort Rucker, Alabama) was chosen in the 10th Round of the 1990 Amateur Draft by the Texas Rangers. Greer spent four seasons in the Texas minor league system, until he was called up in May of 1994. He had a solid year in Arlington, hitting .314 and even finishing 3rd in the AL Rookie of the Year race.
The Rusty Greer Swing Tutorial:
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By Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
CC Sabathia is a BEAST. You just have to look at the 6 FT 7 – 300 LBS+ man to see that. If it is possible by playing in New York City – and under the brightest lights, that this man is underrated, despite being a Bronx Bomber. Heading into 2013, ‘Carsten Charles’ (not Captain Crunch as some opposing fans have called him for his love of the Cereal) is 191-102 in his astute Pitching Career, with an ERA of 3.50. What is more impressive than this are his numbers as a member of the New York Yankees – and playing in both Yankee Stadium and the vaunted AL East and amongst many of the top offensive clubs in the Major Leagues. #52 is 74-29 (.718) for the Yankees with a 3.22 ERA. He has made 3 ALL-Star Appearances and has had 3 top 4 AL CY Young Award finishes in the last 4 campaigns. The verdict: the man has been truly dominant in Pinstripes!
In the 1st year of his big contract in 2009, Sabathia led the AL in wins with 19 – en route to a World Series Championship effort. Sabathia had a brilliant Post Season, going 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA in 36.1 IP. The big man also Struckout 32 Batters and only yielded 9 Walks. His only loss came in Game #1 of the World Series, when Chase Utley had a career game. Sabathia bounced back in Game #4 of the Fall Classic (with a QS – ND) and the Yankees ended up winning the contest to take a commanding 3 games to 1 ead, instead of having the Phillies tie the Series at 2 should he of had a bad start.
Sabathia is a winner and maybe the last guy to win 300 Games in the Majors. At Age 32, the guy has a contract to pitch for the Yankees until 2018. In his first 4 seasons he has averaged 18.5 Wins per year. Even if the man only averages 15 wins a year for that time frame, he would be at around 265 wins at Age 37. He could possibly end his career with New York – who would bet against him pitching until he is 40 to chalk up another 35 wins between 38 and that age?
CC Sabathia 2011 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised.
The Patrick Languzzi Interview: The Man Behind The Petition About The Dwight Evans For The ‘BBHOF’ Candicacy Campaign
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By John Tuberty – Special Guest Writer and Cooperstown Correspondent (Owner of The Wesbite Tubbs Baseball Blog, please view here . )
Under current Hall of Fame voting rules, the Expansion Era Committee meets once every three years to vote on retired players who are no longer eligible for election by the BBWAA, have been retired 21 or more seasons, and made their biggest contributions to the sport after 1972. In addition to the retired players, the Expansion Era ballot also includes retired managers, umpires, and executives from the post-1972 era. One player who is eligible to be included on December’s Expansion Era ballot is former Red Sox Right Fielder, Dwight Evans.
Despite owning impressive career totals such as 385 Home Runs, 2,446 Hits, and 8 Gold Glove Awards, Evans struggled to draw support in BBWAA Hall of Fame voting and fell off the ballot after failing to draw the necessary five percent needed to stay on the ballot on a very crowded 1999 election. However in recent years, Evans has become a popular Hall of Fame debate in the sabermetric community and several articles have been written in support of his overlooked Hall of Fame candidacy. One particular writer, Patrick Languzzi is spearheading a campaign to put Dwight Evans on December’s Expansion Era ballot. Languzzi, who writes for MLB Reports as the Hall of Fame Correspondent, created his own website, Call to the Hall, which is devoted to bringing awareness to Dwight Evans’ overlooked Hall of Fame candidacy. Languzzi even started a petition which calls for Evans to be selected as one of the twelve finalists on December’s Expansion Era ballot. Languzzi was nice enough to take the time for me to interview him about his Call to the Hall website and petition.
JT: Patrick, you, along with Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe were recently interviewed by Tom Caron on the New England Sports Network (NESN) to discuss Evans’ overlooked Hall of Fame candidacy (see link below). What was that experience like?
PL: The experience was validating for me, meaning, when I started this project, I never imagined it would have gone as far as it has, and gotten the attention it’s drawn. It’s great to see that I’m not the only one that feels that Evans’ case deserves to be revisited.
JT: You mention in the NESN clip that you got a chance to meet Dwight, what can you tell us about meeting him?
PL: Through all of my research, I’ve gotten to know Evans, and what I’ve found is that he is extremely humble and unwilling to discuss himself as a possible Hall of Fame candidate. He was humble as a player too. A good example of this is the clip from the 1987 All-Star game (see link to clip below) when Dwight fields a fly ball and fires a strike to home plate, Tim Raines the player at third holds from tagging up.
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Saturday, January.12, 2013
I took the photo in Cooperstown, after driving from Boston to baseball’s Mayberry with three buddies for my first look at the game’s red-bricked shrine. When we entered the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery, just off the museum’s lobby, I instinctively knew which of the immortals I wanted to visit first. Walking through the years to the 1966 induction class, I found him on the wall right alongside Casey Stengel:
The picture stands today as the symbol of an era — and innocence — lost. In it, Roger Clemens and Ted Williams share confident, youthful smiles. Williams is, quite literally, a bronzed God, staring out at the photographer in his tanned, All-American glory. Clemens, wearing a fresh, clean Red Sox uniform, also has the look of a man who knows exactly what he wants out of life.
Williams yearned to be the world’s greatest hitter; Clemens the top pitcher. At the time of the picture, in 1988, both had reached their goal.
Ted Williams Tribute Piece from 2002:
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Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): Follow @RJA206
It’s amazing that both Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson, two of the greatest two-sport athletes of all-time, were both drafted by the same MLB General Manager. John Schuerholz, now the Team President of the Atlanta Braves, drafted Jackson, Sanders, Adam Wainwright, Jason Heyward, Jermaine Dye, and numerous other superstars during his time as General Manager of the Royals and the Braves. Schuerholz is a legend around baseball front offices. Teams he has controlled as General Manager have won their division fifteen times. John Schuerholz has left his legacy in the game of baseball. Schuerholz deserves to be recognized for his career by an induction to the Hall of Fame.
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Friday, December.07, 2012
Since the list of Hall of Fame nominees was announced in the last month, I’ve been pondering whether first-time candidate Roger Clemens would be earn my vote if I had one to give.
The Rocket has undeniable Cooperstown credentials, topped by a record seven Cy Young Awards, the 1986 AL MVP, and 354 victories. He struck out 4,672 batters during his long career, a total topped only by Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson, and twice had 20-K games in which he didn’t walk a single batter. That combination of power and control also helped Roger Clemens lead his league in ERA seven times.
In my memory bank of Red Sox pitchers, which dates to the mid-’70s, only Pedro Martinez resonates as more dominant over a sustained period of time. But while Pedro was a delicate thoroughbred rarely allowed to reach past the seventh inning, Clemens was a good-old-fashioned workhorse who regularly finished what he started. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday October 28th, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: This past spring, I had the chance to converse on the telephone with one of the greatest players of my generation. Middle-of-the-order power bat, combined with gold glove defense. Matt Williams is everything a manager could want in a baseball player. He showed up every day and played the game hard. Ran out every ground ball. Dove for every ball at third base. Consistently got his jersey dirty. Never complained to the media or spoke poorly about management or a teammate. Matt Williams was the ultimate professional, on and off the field. And now here he was, on the other end of the line conversing with me. It will be a baseball talk that I will never forget. Matt Williams has that strong of a presence.
I actually grew up a Giants fan, with the highlight of my baseball life being the 1989 Giants playoff run. But once Matt Williams and Will Clark left the Bay area, I was so devastated that I decided to never forgive the Giants. But I continued to follow the players that I idolized, through the rest of their playing days and into the next phases of their respective careers. Once Comerica Park opened, I grew to adopt the Tigers as my main team. The proximity to Detroit from my hometown made the Tigers a natural fit for me. But I was always a baseball fan first and foremost. If I respected a player, I followed them regardless of the team(s) they played for. Studying the history of the Tigers, I started to think about some of their former players. Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell came to mind. Both were hard-nosed players who went on to manage in the big leagues. Gibson was a coach under Trammell in Detroit. Now Trammell is the bench coach in Arizona under Kirk Gibson. The team enjoyed an incredible run in 2011 and are still seen as a team on the rise. Ironically enough, Gibson’s third base coach? Matt Williams, of course. Read the rest of this entry
Saturday October 27th, 2012
Luke Whitecotton (Guest Writer):
Let me thrown four names out there: Cy Young, Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, and Tom Glavine. What do these guys have in common? Two are Hall of Famers and two more are on their way. All were big game money pitchers. And most importantly, they are all 300 game winners.
Will we ever see another 300 game winner in baseball? Quite frankly, I don’t think we will.
Now don’t get me wrong, as a fan I would love to see it happen again in my lifetime. It would bring me almost as much pure joy as watching Greg Maddux pitch in his prime. As part of my analysis, I looked squarely at the odds and stats to determine the difficulty level of reaching that plateau in this day and age in baseball. Jamie Moyer, who will turn 50 in November, has 269 wins. Roy Halladay, who is 35 years old, has 199 wins. Andy Pettitte, who is 40 years old, has 245 wins in his career. You can see where I am going with this, as for some of these guys to keep pitching at the required level to reach the golden 300 mark is just too big of an obstacle to overcome. Just a little note by the way, Nolan Ryan was 43 years old and was considered one of the most durable pitchers ever. When you consider what Ryan had to do to win 300, you really start to feel the force that these star pitchers are up against. Read the rest of this entry
Monday October 8th, 2012
Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent, Twitter @PatrickLanguzzi):
I’ll be honest, when my editor handed me the assignment of posting my thoughts on Keith Hernandez and the Hall of Fame, I initially thought: Was Hernandez ever really a “superstar”? Aren’t those the kind of players that generally get elected to the Hall of Fame?
Hernandez lasted nine years on the Hall of Fame ballot, peaking in 1998 at 10.8 percent of the votes. He was the 1979 National League Most Valuable Player. Hernandez finished his career with a .296 batting average, was selected to five All-Star games, received two-Silver Slugger Awards, won a record setting 11 Gold Gloves, and is arguably considered the greatest fielding first baseman of all-time.
So why isn’t he in the Hall of Fame? Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, October 4th, 2012
Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer):
With the last games of the 2012 regular season being officially completed yesterday I get the same feeling I do every season…it’s a sickening pain in my stomach, that makes me want to hibernate and not wake up until April comes around. For baseball lovers, we are all very familiar with this feeling. We find solace in the fact that with the exception of the month of November, we can still follow baseball transactions all year-long. Furthermore, we cannot get too upset; baseball isn’t really over. In fact, some might argue that it is just beginning!
The boys of summer play all those games in the summer heat for one reason. The grueling 162 game schedule sees many ups and many downs, and all of these challenges are met with a firm resolve: to do whatever it takes to get to the postseason. October is the time when the weather turns cold, and ball players become unshaven warriors duking it out to be the victorious few who have the honor to take a championship ring home this offseason. Read the rest of this entry
Monday September 17th, 2012
Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent, Twitter @PatrickLanguzzi):
Mike Piazza made his last major league appearance on September 30, 2007, which means Piazza will be eligible for his first National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot this December (the required five years before a player is deemed eligible).
Nicknamed the “Pizza Man” because he always delivered, Piazza’s record is as impressive as the rumors are pervasive.
Piazza was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a favor to his father by Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda. He was drafted as the 1,390th pick in the 62nd round of the 1988 Major League Baseball (MLB) Amateur Draft. He made his major league debut on September 1, 1992.
In 1993, his first full year in the majors, Piazza won the National League Rookie of the Year Award, hitting an impressive .318 with 35 home runs and 112 RBIs, as well as being selected to MLB’s All-Star game. Read the rest of this entry
ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Strasburg, Valentine, Rolen to Cooperstown, Josh Hamilton to the Red Sox and More
Sunday September 9th, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to email@example.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!
Jonathan Hacohen: Many great questions this week people, as always. With the playoffs and WBC qualifiers around the corner, people are baseball crazy! Every week it is getting harder and harder to select the questions for ATR. People are feeling baseball fever and I see it in every corner. From the comments on our site, your e-mails, tweets and posts on Facebook, we hear from each of you in so many ways. Ah….gotta love the age of social media! Make sure to keep the questions and comments coming every week. You never know when your baseball insight will appear on MLB reports!
Before I get into this week’s questions, a quick comment. Saturday become lockdown day for Stephen Strasburg. From the second I jumped into my car yesterday and turned on MLB Network Radio, all I heard was Davey Johnson shutting down Stras for the year. I like Davey, but I have to say that blaming the media pressure is weak. In case you weren’t aware, Strasburg was supposed to have one more start next week before officially being shutdown for the season. Now, he is done for the year. Just like that.
People ask me all the time if I think the Nationals are doing the right thing. My response is a clear: NO! I cannot ascertain for the life of me what the Nats are thinking. They are committing the equivalent of baseball suicide in my book. When you have the chance to go far in the playoffs, you go for it. Period. There is no medical evidence of any clear cutoff point for Strasburg’s season. The reality is that any innings limit is a guess by the team. There is no true merit for shutting him down. Even Dr. Lewis Yocum has indicated that there is no clear sign of whether Strasburg should not pitch further. But let’s say we are even going to say that 160 innings was Strasburg’s limit. The Nationals knew this for some time and could have arranged their rotation to fit the limit. Skipping starts earlier in the season and limiting innings per start would have allow Strasburg to pitch further into the year, including the postseason. What was the use of having him pitch into games when the Nats had a commanding lead in the NL East?
The Nats have a 5.5 game lead as of today. If the lead gets cut any further, wouldn’t it have been nice to have your team pitching for you at the end of the year? What about a Wild Card one-game sudden death playoff? NLDS? NLCS? World Series? The bottom line is this: if the Nationals do not win the world series, Johnson and GM Mike Rizzo will have Strasburg-Gate hanging over them for the rest of their lives. Never mind the fact that the kid is upset and may never forgive the team for not letting him compete. There is a roster full of guys busting their behinds for a championship. Removing one of their top weapons for the playoffs hurts team morale, confidence and the ability to compete. We never know what next year or future years will bring. 2012 is a special year for Washington. You always go for it when you can.
Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry
Sunday September 9th, 2012
Robert Whitmer: Have you ever had the thought of “what if?” That old thought of what could have been, or even what should have been. Everyone has it and its ok. Some think of a love that was had and lost, others think of opportunities that were available to them that they didn’t take for one reason or another. Don’t feel bad about thinking this way. It’s human nature to think what could have happened if something else had gone differently. Some people obsess over this and think about it constantly and allow it to take over their lives. Others just chalk up the so-called missed opportunities as all part of the plan of a supreme being because that is what was meant to happen. What would have happened had the United States not dropped the atomic bomb on Japan twice? How long would the conflict have gone on? Would the U.S. and the Soviet Union have gone into a 50 year cold war? On the flip side though, how many lives did it save? If we look at the sports world, what would the basketball years of the 90’s look like had we not had Michael Jordan flying through the sky with his tongue hanging out of his mouth? What if he did play but it was for the Celtics instead of the Bulls? How different would the 90’s have been? Let’s take this to baseball because we all know that’s why you are here. How would the results have been different if the Red Sox would have had Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter instead of the Yankees? It is questions like this that keep people like me busy because I get to write articles such as this one.
I like games especially of the “what if” variety and we are going to play this game with Ted Williams. Before we get started though, we will dissect this man as a player and look at the career numbers that he put up. There are very few people who put up the career numbers that Williams did. He carries a career average of .344 with 37 home runs and 130 RBIs. How many players right now would kill for even one season of those numbers let alone career averages? According to www.baseballreference.com he ranks as the 8th best hitter by the numbers in the history of the game. He only trails the guys that we know only by their last name: Ruth, Mays, Cobb, Hornsby, Wagner, Musial, and Gehrig. So in order to play this game, we have to establish some general information about Williams. First fact is that he played in 22 active MLB seasons. Second fact is that he missed three seasons due to military service in World War 2. Now remember that he missed these three seasons in the prime of his career. He would have been 24, 25, and 26 in these seasons. Why do I bring this up? Those three seasons came right after he had probably the most prolific offensive career in the history of the game of baseball. In one season he scored 135 runs, hit 37 home runs, knocked in 137 while drawing 145 walks. Oh yeah… he hit .406 that year with an OPS of 1.287! Coming off of a season like that one, we can only imagine what he would have done during those following three years. So are you ready to play “what if?” Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday August 29th, 2012
Sam Evans: Roger Clemens deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. If Cooperstown picked candidates with regard to their off-field activities, players like Dick Williams and Mickey Mantle might have never been chosen to the elite class that is the Hall of Fame. If Hall of Fame voters look at Clemens’ career numbers, they’ll find it hard to not see him as having one of the best starting pitching careers we’ve ever seen. Clemens is currently pitching with the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters after five years away from the game. It’s been only one game so far, with more possibly to come. Let’s look at Clemens, his first start, and how he stacks up against some of his teammates.
Roger Clemens ranks eighth all-time among major leaguers in WAR, and second among starting pitchers (145.5). His upper 90’s fastball, nasty splitter, and above-average changeup led him to over 300 wins and a twenty-four year career in the majors. His last season, in 2007 with the New York Yankees, Clemens still managed to pitch at a fairly high level, posting a 4.14 FIP in seventeen starts. His average fastball velocity was just over 90 MPH for the 2007 season.
After Clemens figured out a bunch of legal things, he “tried out” for the Sugar Land Skeeters, who play in the independent Atlantic League, and made the team. In his first start on Saturday, August 25th, Clemens lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing only one hit, not walking a batter, and striking out two. Facing a Bridgeport team that features former major leaguers Joey Gathright and Shea Hillebrand, Clemens topped out at 88 MPH and got a few outs via his splitter. Read the rest of this entry
Friday August 24th, 2012
Did you know Santo was elected on his 20th attempt via the Golden Era committee (Veterans) some 31 years after he first became eligible for the Hall of Fame?
Since 1936, only 207 former major league players have ever been elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame. That’s about 1.17 percent of more than 17,000 players who have worn a major league uniform.
Of the 207 players elected to date, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) has elected 112 candidates, or 54 percent. Conversely, 95 major leaguers, or 46 percent, have been elected through other means (in all of its forms) such as the Veterans Committee, Old-Timers Committee, Centennial Commission and other special election of committees, to name a few.
For those not familiar, qualified members of the BBWAA vote annually by submitting a maximum of 10 eligible pre-screened players whom they would consider worthy of induction. In order to be elected, a player must be named on 75 percent of the voters’ ballots. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday August 14th, 2012
Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent, Twitter @PatrickLanguzzi): On July 22nd, 2012, Ron Santo was inducted into The National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Santo, a long time radio broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs, had no reservations about sharing his passion for baseball, his beloved Cubs and the Hall of Fame, where he felt he had always belonged.
And, according to Joe Lemire of SI.com’s inside baseball, Santo once told Chicago Magazine, “The last thing I want is to die and then be put into the Hall of Fame. It’s not because I won’t be there to enjoy it, exactly. It’s because I want to enjoy it with family and friends and fans. I want to see them enjoy it.”
Sadly, we lost Ron Santo before he ever got a chance to receive the phone call he longed to yearn for. Santo passed away slightly more than a year (and two days) to the day he was to finally be elected into baseballs highest pantheon.
“This is not a sad day, not at all. This is a very happy day… I am certain that Ronnie is celebrating with us right now.” -Vicki Santo
On December 5, 2011, Ron Santo was voted into the Hall of Fame 15-1 by the Golden Era committee (Veterans) some 31 years after he first became eligible. At the end of the day, few will remember how a player got into Cooperstown, or how long it took. Once the plaques are on the famed wall, all hall of famers are treated the same. It took too long, but Ron Santo’s plaque is finally where it belongs. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday July 25, 2012
Roger Raztenberger: (Special Guest Writer)- In searching for the origins of our National Pastime, it is important to seek out and recognize the individuals who were instrumental in its formation and development rather than perpetuate the myths and half-truths of the past. Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams is one of the “forgotten” pioneers who has been overlooked, but should be recognized and enshrined in Cooperstown.
The origins of baseball have always been a little murky and shrouded in mystery. Everyone has heard the now discredited myth of Abner Doubleday, a distinguished Civil War general, being the father of baseball. It was an interesting story that led to the establishment of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the idyllic village of Cooperstown, NY. However, it was just a story – mere fiction. The Hall of Fame now simply states, “The Doubleday Myth has since been exposed” adding, “It’s now accepted that Alexander Cartwright developed rules in the 1840s that are the basis for the modern game.” However, the accuracy of that assessment given the lack of acknowledgement of Adams and his contributions means there’s still work to do in order to get the story right.
Alexander Cartwright and Henry Chadwick have been honored with plaques for the roles that they played during the early days of the game. Doc Adams’ contributions compare favorably with, and some would argue even surpass those of Cartwright and Chadwick. However, Adams has not yet been accorded the same honor of membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s exclusive club. Read the rest of this entry
Monday July 23, 2012
Robert Whitmer: If you ask any player that is in the game today, the two goals that they have is to win a World Series and to make the Hall of Fame. The players that you could question about that have a desire. Let’s talk about that word for a minute. Desire; what exactly does it mean. I think that motivational speaker Les Brown defined it very adequately. “Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.” Obviously this is speaking about the highest level of desire. This is the level that you must have in order to accomplish the goals that are mentioned here. Desire at this level means that you spend the extra time in the weight room to increase your stamina, taking 100 more grounders after you already took 1000 in practice, and be willing to slide one more time after your legs are already burning from sliding the first 50 times.
Desire is what fuels them, the yearning to be the best of the best because number two is just not good enough. Losing desire of this level is just crippling for anyone. If it’s in our professional lives at work, or in our personal lives with our spouse, boy/girl friend, or significant other, you must maintain a desire to continue to make yourself better. If it is lost, then you as a person will remain stagnant. I believe that our purpose for being here on this earth is start as a little child, knowing nothing, but with the ability to learn and grow to become the best person that we can become. When we are children, we rely on our parents’ desire to make us the best people that we can become, until we develop the desire of our own. It is this desire that pushes us towards our goals. This Sunday, July 22, 2012, Barry Louis Larkin became one of the best of the best in the game of baseball. You see- you can have role players win a World Series title, but that doesn’t mean they are one of the best all-time players. It takes a special player, however, to get into the Hall of Fame. Barry Larkin is now officially part of that elite class of ballplayers. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday July 22nd, 2012
By Patrick Languzzi (Guest Baseball Writer):
As we embark on baseball’s most exciting weekend, the eyes of baseball fans everywhere will be on Cooperstown, NY for the induction of Barry Larkin and Ron Santo into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Larkin was elected through the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) and Santo via the Veterans Committee after falling off the ballot in 1998.
The Veterans committee consists of 16 members made up of veteran media members, executives and current members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. For a player to be elected, they must receive 75 percent or 12 of 16 votes.
But there’s another player that I’ll take a special interest in come the winter meetings of 2013. That’s when the Expansion Era ballot (Veterans) finalists are announced. It’s also when former Red Sox great Dwight “Dewey” Evans becomes eligible again. Evans fell off the BBWAA ballot back in 1999. Now his chance to shine comes up again very soon. Read the rest of this entry
Monday July 16, 2012
Robert Whitmer (Baseball Writer):
“The Dash” by Linda Ellis
I read of a reverend who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning…to the end. He said that the first was the date of her birth, and spoke of the last date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth, and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth. For it matters not, how much we own; the cars, the house, the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. So think about this long and hard, are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left – (you could be at “dash mid-range.”) If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel. And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile, remembering that this special dash might only last a little while. So, when your eulogy is being read with your life’s action to rehash, would you be pleased with what they say about how you spent your dash? Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- As the world of Twitter and Facebook has invaded the internet these days, I am brainstorming about all sorts of stats I have had in my head for years. This stat came to my head because of Gary Sheffield. A few years back, I watched a game on my birthday at Safeco Field. It was the New York Yankees and Sheffield visiting. There are players that you are sure to watch live in person. Gary Sheffield was one of these hitters. Not only is he one of 25 player in history to hit 500 HRs, but he had one of the fiercest swings ever. The man would wiggle that bat back and forth like a toothpick before striding and swinging with daunting ferocity. It was an unorthodox style that must have made Little League coaches cringe, yet it was effective. Sheffield was a bit of a hot head though, this may have led to him being traded or not re-signed by several teams. Hitting 40 HRs for 6 different teams is definitely impressive and may never be duplicated. I knew he had played on several teams already so the seed of today’s article was planted back in 2005.
Fred McGriff was the exact opposite of Gary Sheffield when it came to temperament. This man was traded several times in his career because he could flat-out hit. Jose Canseco is the only other player besides McGriff and Sheffield to hit 40 HRs with 5 different teams. The reason many older players are not on this list is because free agency never arrived in the MLB until the early 70′s when Curt Flood challenged a trade and the Players Union saw it through. Now player movement has enabled more players switching teams each season than ever before. Rusty Staub was the 1st to make this list and Alfonso Soriano is the last player to make this list and the only current player left. I have a feeling we will see more players arrive on this list in the next 25 years.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Seemingly gone are the days where most of the MLB players stick with one team for their whole careers. As of right now there are not too many superstars that have spent their entire careers with one organization. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are 1st ballot Hall of Famers. Chipper Jones should make the BBHOF. Todd Helton is close to retiring but I am not sure the voters will see him worthy. There are some promising chances that Ryan Braun and David Wright might play their entire careers with their current clubs, however with Braun’s PED fiasco last year I just don’t see him entering Cooperstown. Wright must re-sign with the ownership hemorrhaging, this will prove hard for the Wilpons funds thanks to Bernie Madoff. When it comes to starting pitching, the list is shrunken that much further. Justin Verlander is the active win leader with a player only having played for one team. He has 114 wins with the Tigers, anybody above him on the active ALL-Time Wins list has pitched for multiple teams already. The next active leader for one team pitched for is Ervin Santana with 91 wins for the Angels franchise. Felix Hernandez has 90 wins for the Mariners. Tim Lincecum, Cole Hamels and Matt Cain have played their entire careers for the same team so far and have CY Young titles amongst them, but have a long way to go in establishing Hall of Fame Careers.
That brings me to my next stat. There are 9 players in history who have hit 500 HRs or more for one team. All of them are in the Hall of Fame except for Barry Bonds (who becomes eligible next year.) I am not sure the writers will cast a vote for him because of his steroid use. When I got the idea for this article, it came to be because I was amazed that Paul Konerko has hit over 400 HRs with the Chicago White Sox. Again at age 36, Konerko has a look at 500 HRs with the Chicago team. Right now he can end the season with about 410-420 HRs. Provided he can play 3-4 years more and have productive seasons, he may reach the milestone. Chipper Jones is the only other active MLB Player to have 400 HRs with one team. Larry is slowing down though and will most likely retire after this year. Read the rest of this entry
Monday June 18th, 2012
Robert Whitmer (Baseball Writer):
There are moments in time that stick in out head. Moments that will define people for the rest of their days. Most people have the birth of their children, their wedding day, or the first day on their first job. We don’t need camcorders (for readers my age and older) or cell phones (for my younger readers who don’t know what a camcorder is) to record these images because they will be etched in our heads by our own accord. We have these moments on the baseball field as well. Most remember Jason Kendall for the horrific ankle injury that happened while trying to beat a throw. You know the one where the bottom of his foot is upwards instead of downwards. Babe Ruth was an outstanding player and the first power hitter of the game. He is remembered for supposedly calling where his home run was going to land and backing it up by hitting it there. Unless you watched him on a regular basis, you remember the great Willie Mays for that over-the-shoulder catch, the spin, and the throw while falling down to clear it from the outfield. If you’re a Red Sox fan, you remember Curt Schilling, as great as he was, for that bloody sock in the World Series. Often times, if we look beyond these moments, we see careers that should define the player but often do not. You don’t have to be a legend to have moments that define you. Sometimes it’s the moments that we don’t forget, that make you a legend. Reggie Jackson had his moment that defined him as a player, but is that all that we should remember him for? Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Extra base hits kind of go hand in hand with slugging percentage to an extent. I have often used this category every season as a gauge on how good a player does. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances why a player hits more doubles and triples rather than home runs but they are all considered extra base hits. Adrian Beltre is a perfect example of this. During his Seattle Mariner days, he would blast about 15-20 baseballs off the fences at Safeco Field every year (for a double or triple) that would have been an HR if he did not play in such a pitcher friendly park. This list represents great careers. If a player can reach the magic 1000 extra base hits, they will be hard to ignore for consideration towards Cooperstown. I have omitted Manny Ramirez from an active player. It is my firm belief that the man served a 50 game suspension for a team like Oakland, only to quit on them and maybe land on another club. If he is able to catch on with another job with a club, I will gladly put his name back as #2 player on this active list.
TOP 10 as of June.17/2012
Player Extra Base Hits Leaders Active (Rank All-Time)
1. Alex Rodriguez NYY 1169 (10)
2. Jim Thome PHI 1079 (20)
3. Chipper Jones ATL 1026 (26)
4. Vladimir Guerrero (FA) 972 (39)
5. Todd Helton COL 956 (45)
6. Albert Pujols LAA 941 (50)
7. Bobby Abreu LAD 908 (60)
8. David Ortiz BOS 886 (64)
9. Johnny Damon CLE 859 (73)
10. Scott Rolen CIN 857 (75)
I fully think that Vladimir Guerrero will sign with someone soon. At 972 extra base hits, he is 28 extra base hits away from that 1000 marker. If a team signs him in the next few weeks, he may have a chance to get there before the end of the season. Below is a 5 minute highlight package of his career thus far. There is not many Expos highlights, you can always search Youtube for more.