Blog Archives

Odds To Win The 2014 MLB World Series (All 10 Playoff Teams)

The Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos franchise still has never appeared in the World Series.  That didn't stop the oddsmakers from giving them the #1 favorite status heading into the playoffs today.  They are the deepest team on both offense and defense, and only lack postseason experience.  The Stephen Strasburg decision of a few years  back, will never be put to rest until this club wins a title.  Despite them being favored, I am not sure the ranking is justified, as the Dodgers reside in the same league.

The Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos franchise still has never appeared in the World Series. That didn’t stop the oddsmakers from giving them the #1 favorite status heading into the playoffs today. They are the deepest team on both offense and defense, and only lack postseason experience. The Stephen Strasburg ‘decision’ of a few years back, will never be put to rest until this club wins a title. Despite them being favored, I am not sure the ranking is justified, as the Dodgers reside in the same league.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

It is time to place your bets on the World Series. The Washington Nationals are your favorites to win the whole thing at +450.  The Tigers, Angels and Dodgers are both next at all tied for +500.

To round out the teams in sequence…5 –  Baltimore is at +700, 6 –  St. Louis at +900, 7 – Oakland at +1100, 8 – San Fran at +1400, and the Royals and the Bucs are the biggest odds on the board at +1600 for 9th.

At first glance I see the pattern.  The Nationals are the most deep team across the board, with having all 4 starters as potential aces in Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister.

Each one of the players in the positional lineup, were over right near of plus.400 for Slugging Percentage, and this doesn’t even include Ryan Zimmerman – who will be an awesome bat off the bench at least to start. Read the rest of this entry

About these ads

MLB Reports Playoff Predictions 2014

world2520series2520trophy

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

The playoffs are upon us, and since we had such a great year predicting a lot of stuff, both Chuck Booth and I are putting our postseason prognostications up.

In other blogs we will take a look at the series and everything, but this is just pure bets.

American League

American League Wild Card Game

Oakland -104 @ Kansas City -106 (Jon Lester @ James Shields)

Chuck – Oakland, Hunter, Oakland

Read the rest of this entry

The Top 5 Players In Baseball

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter

It should come as no shock for anyone on this list.  Notice how I did not mention the MVP word anywhere in the Title.

This is solely for the purpose of pushing Mike Trout on the list.

In terms of all around play, there is no doubt in most experts minds, that the 22 Year Old is best overall player in the game of baseball.

If you are picking it just solely on a hitter, I am still giving the nod to Miguel Cabrera. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 19, 2014

CBS TV

CBS TV

The 1993 NLCS between the Phillies and Braves was bizarre, unpredictable, unexplainable and incredibly under appreciated.

Remembering it is the topic of today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 7, 2014

Boston Globe/WOR TV

Boston Globe/WOR TV


Today on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast, I pay tribute to two men.

Curt Schilling played the role of the villain in baseball perfectly.

Ralph Kiner lived a full baseball life and was my connection to many facets of the past that are now gone.

To subscribe to The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 7, 2014

MLB Reports Hall Of Fame Predictions: Class Of 2014 Players

The deadline of December 31st has come and gone for The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Members were asked to submit no more than 10 names of players they "deem" worthy of induction towards this year's National Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony set for July.

The deadline of December 31st has come and gone for The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Members were asked to submit no more than 10 names of players they “deem” worthy of induction towards this year’s National Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony set for July.

By Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent)

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter

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:

Read the rest of this entry

Arizona May Have To Rethink Their Team Salary In The NL West With High Spending LA + SF

The Arizona Diamondbacks didn't have the type of year in 2013 that they had wished for, however the future looks really strong.  Aided by a slugging 1st Baseman (Paul Goldschmidt), and great young Staring Pitching like Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin, added with Veterans Miguel Montero, Martin Prado and Aaron Hill, with prospects A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton being the future core, this team should see some heavy duty improvement from year to year.

The Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t have the type of year in 2013 that they had wished for, however the future looks really strong. Aided by a slugging 1st Baseman (Paul Goldschmidt), and great young Staring Pitching like Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin, added with Veterans Miguel Montero, Martin Prado and Aaron Hill, with prospects A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton being the future core, this team should see some heavy duty improvement from year to year.  Having said this, they compete with the two most expensive payrolls in the NL – in their Division with the Dodgers and Giants.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter

Chase Field is a pretty cool ballpark.  The Diamondbacks have been often voted as one of the better organizations in the MLB for how they treat their fanbases for guest services, value and overall baseball experiences.

While the D’Backs finished in 14th for NL Attendance this year, they cracked the 2 Million fan barrier for the 15th straight year since entering the league.

Over the last 8 years, the team has kept comfortably between 2.0 MIL and 2.5 MIL.

Back in the first few seasons of MLB in the desert, the franchise was drawing well over 3 Million fans..

Paul Goldschmidt 2013 Highlights

Read the rest of this entry

When Can The Baseball Writers For The Hall Of Fame Consider Cheating Through PED Use, Or Not?

Barry Bonds once admitted to a Federal Jury that he used PED's. As MLB's ALL-Time HR King with 762 Round-Trippers, will the BBWAA ever consider looking past this and elect him into Cooperstown?

Barry Bonds once admitted to a Federal Jury that he used PED’s. As MLB’s ALL-Time HR King with 762 Round-Trippers, will the BBWAA ever consider looking past this and elect him into Cooperstown? —Photo by sportsagent.com.

Prof. Wes Reber Porter and Dan Dressman (Special Guest Writers):  and

When the 2014 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot is released in November, the heated discussion will begin about which controversial candidates, if any at all, would be inducted into Cooperstown (HOF). 

While isolated athletes have come up in previous years, this year represents a first real tension between the modern era of baseball – the “steroid era” – and traditional standards for admission into the Hall. 

The 575 baseball writers are, and should be, entrusted to weigh cheating and use of PEDs against the HOF’s criteria of “character,” “sportsmanship” and “upholding the integrity of the game” (the integrity standards). 

These writers each will struggle, however, with a preliminary question that falls outside of their expertise:under which circumstances may a HOF voter consider, at all, a candidate’s connection to cheating and performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs)?    Read the rest of this entry

MLB’s Payroll Matters Part 2: Just Because Some Low Payroll Teams Have Bucked The Trend – Doesn’t Mean It Will Continue

It seems the only to way to build a team successfully - is to be atrocious for several (talking 6 - 8 seasons), stockpile top 5 Draft Picks, and have them all become your nucleus for a matter of a few seasons. The reason is because of Team Control Salaries.  Teams like the Rays and Pirates have also held players in the Minor Leagues longer than needed - due to salary and Arbitration implications.  I can think of Desmond Jennings, Wil Myers, Chris Archer for the Rays, while Gerrit Cole and Jeff Locke come to mind for the Bucs.

It seems the only to way to build a team successfully – is to be atrocious for several (talking 6 – 8 seasons like the Twins, Nationals, Pirates, Rays in recent years – and now the Astros are following suit), stockpile top 5 Draft Picks, and have them all become your nucleus for a matter of a few seasons. The reason is because of Team Controllable Salaries. Teams like the Rays and Pirates have also held players in the Minor Leagues longer than needed – due to salary and Arbitration implications. I can think of Desmond Jennings, Wil Myers, Chris Archer for the Rays, while Gerrit Cole and Jeff Locke come to mind for the Bucs.  If a player is ready for action in the Majors, he should playing – end of story.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter

Lets just take a look at the teams that have played well above their value.  The Twins are a story much like the Marlins in 1997 and 2003.

The Twins had a good team in the late 80’s, and won 2 World Series Titles in 1987 and 1991.  However the economics of the game hit them hard, and they struggled for an 8 year stretch in the AL Central.

For Part 1 of the MLB’s State Of the Union Part 1:  Click here.

Major League Contraction Talk Again?

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 13, 2013

Photo: Patrick Semansky

Photo: Patrick Semansky

The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast today tackles the WIN stat.

It isn’t much of an individual metric, but it is an effective story telling stat.

And that is why I am mad at a statistician in Baltimore who messed with it.

Freddie Freeman, A. J. Griffin, Jeff Locke and Ryan Raburn all owned baseball on September 12, 2013.

To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?,” click HERE.

Subscribe on iTunes HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 13, 2013

The Arizona Diamondbacks: The Best Pitchers 1998 – 2013: Part 3 Of A 3 Part Article Series

Like us on Facebook here

Friday, July.12, 2013

Johnson is by far the most illustrious pitcher that has pitched for the franchise. He holds multiple pitching records for the team, and it will take some time for someone to even come close to breaking those records. He came to the desert in 1999, and his impact was felt immediately, by him winning 17 games in his first season with 271.2 innings pitched and he struck out 364 batters. he would go on to win the CY Young Award his first four seasons with the club, while averaging 354 strikeouts per season in his first four years in Arizona. Johnson is 2nd all-time with 4,875 career strikeouts.He along with Curt Schilling was crucial was in brining a World Series title to the desert.

Johnson is by far the most illustrious pitcher that has pitched for the franchise. He holds multiple pitching records for the team, and it will take some time for someone to even come close to breaking those records. The “Big Unit” came to the desert in 1999, and his impact was felt immediately, by him winning 17 games in his first season with 271.2 innings pitched and he struck out 364 batters. he would go on to win the CY Young Award his first four seasons with the club, while averaging 354 strikeouts per season in his first four years in Arizona. Johnson is 2nd all-time in MLB history with 4,875 career strikeouts.He along with Curt Schilling was crucial was in bringing a World Series title to the desert in 2001. He had a SO/9 of 11.5 during the eight seasons he spent with the Diamondbacks.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)

The Diamondbacks have had good years and bad years in terms of pitching for their club. The first season for the club which was in 1998, they lost 97 games and 69 of those losses were from the rotation, which caused to finish last in the National West Division.

Their rotation consisted of Andy Benes, Brian Anderson, Omar Daal, Willie Blair, Amaury Telemaco, and Jeff Suppan. The closer for them that season was Gregg Olson.

Click the Link Below to see the Hitters version

The Arizona Diamondbacks Best Hitters (1998 – 2013): Part 2 Of A 3 Part Series

Luis Gonzalez’s walk off hit Game 7 World Series 2011

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 23, 2013

images

On today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast, I discuss Curt Schilling’s sock on the auction block.

I asked my wife questions about why anyone would spend money on an old dirty sock. Eventually we talked about cloning. I’m not kidding.

Subscribe to The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast HERE.

Eight Things To Watch For At Red Sox Spring Training

Like us on Facebook here

Friday, February.15, 2013

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the active pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year - but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639).  Can he prove himself as an ace without Josh Beckett

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the active pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year – but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639). Can he prove himself as an ace without Josh Beckett.

By Saul Wisnia,  Red Sox Correspondent (Read his blog ‘Fenway Reflections’ here):

Now that the obligatory Q&A sessions about what went wrong in 2012 and what everyone thinks about Terry Francona‘s book are (hopefully) over, it’s time for Red Sox players and fans to start focusing on the season ahead.

The full squad was due at Jet Blue Park at Fenway South yesterday, but many position players showed up in Fort Myers early — a good sign that the club is hungry to rise from its unfamiliar spot in the American League East basement. While the club’s won-loss mark in spring training games is not necessarily a barometer of what is to come, the stage for the season can be largely set during the next seven weeks. 

Past the Youtube clip or (Read Rest Of this Entry Click) are eight intriguing story lines to watch for leading up to Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on April 1:

Boston Red Sox Highlights In 2012 – including 100th Year Celebration at Fenway:

Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993 Part 1 Of A 7 Part Series

Friday, Nov.09/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

The Blue Jays have not qualified for the Playoffs since they won Back to Back World Series in 1992 and 1993. Only Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Toronto have not made a playoffs appearance since the 1994 strike. At the time they were around the top of the MLB Payroll for all teams.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

In sifting through 35 years of history with the Toronto Blue Jays as a franchise, it is sad that since 1994, only Pittsburgh, Toronto and Kansas City have not made a playoff appearance in the Major Leagues.  They have been battling the Red Sox and Yankees powerhouse clubs since the 1994 player strike/1995 Lock-out.  This baseball interruption of play was also a  deciding factor on the Montreal Expos losing their franchise, however one could say that this has had a profound effect on the other only team North of The Border.  The Jays were a model franchise all the way through the 80’s.  From 1983-1993, the team carried out 11 straight winning seasons, 5 Pennants and back to back World Series Wins in 1992 and 1993.

Pat Gillick had been with the baseball club from the get go, and after finishing in dead-last for the first 5 years of existence, the Jays rode the backs of several budding stars that were drafted by the man.  From the early pitching stars of Jim Clancy and Dave Stieb, to the young outfield that flourished as a core for years in: Lloyd Moseby, George Bell and Jesse Barfield, the team showed that drafting and trading for young players was the way to build an organization.  It took until 1985 for the teams first Pennant, barely edging the Yankees by 2 games for the AL East.  Playoff disappointment followed from 1985-1991.  The team soon would find the promised land as the top team in 1992 and 1993.

Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/

The Hitters:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series

The Pitchers:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Skydome:  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen

For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here

For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll:  A Readers Thoughts, Click Here: 

Read the rest of this entry

The Aftermath Of The Stephen Strasburg(less) Nationals sweep in the NLDS Oct 2012

Thursday, September.06/2012

Stephen Strasburg is eligible for Arbitration after the 2013 season. He originally signed a 4 Year/14 Million Dollar Entry Level Deal after he was drafted in 2009. The salary hit for the Nats in 2013 places him tied for 3rd on the team with Mike Morse.  He will be Unrestricted Free Agent in 2017, will he remain a National?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

The Nationals are my favorite National League team.  It is my firm belief that you are allowed 1 team in each League to cheer for.  The Yankees are my team in the American League.  The love for the Nationals goes back to when they were the Montreal Expos.  It was a lean time for a lot of us fans until the last few years have given us hope.  So before I go on about the contracts and payroll for 2013 tomorrow, I officially am going on record in saying that shutting Strasburg down is completely wrong.  I don’t care about ramifications of the pitcher throwing his arm out.  You never know when injuries are going to occur.  The Babying method never worked for Strasburg the first time, or for Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes for that matter.  This all stems back to the over using of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior by Dusty Baker in the 2003 year.  Innings limits were soon introduced in every franchise to protect the players and managers from going after a championship and maybe shortening their career.  It also has a lot to do with teams not being able to insure players any more. 

Insurance companies (like Lloyd’s of London) realize that they will pay out teams at a less than profitable rate for Major League Baseball players based on how much these guys make now, so they will not cover any baseball player anymore.  So Washington is freely shutting him down because they think it is the best thing to do for the player and the club.  They think  by preserving him from any injury at all, that this will prolong his shelf life and thus make the baseball team more profitable in the long run.  This is a major role of the dice and could end up setting the fan base back with a sour taste in their mouth for generations.  If Washington wins the World Series, this would be the only scenario where the question would not be brought up again.  Anything short of this and it is going to start an epic debate. Read the rest of this entry

The Philadelphia Phillies Part 1 of 4: ‘The Franchise’

Friday August.17/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4.  The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

It took the Phillies 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series:  In 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009, while taking home the Trophy in 2008.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):  The Phillies started as a franchise in 1883 in the city of Philadelphia-and have the longest continued stretch as their original name.  It has been a club that suffered tremendous droughts for the player and fans alike.  Only in recent vintage (since 1975) has this team come into permanent prominence, with the now Hall of Fame Mike Schmidt entering  the league and turning the fortunes of the city.  From signing Pete Rose to put them over the top for their 1st World Series Trophy, to just re-signing Cole Hamels to a 144 Million Dollar Contract, the team has been adamantly aggressive in keeping its name amongst the elite in baseballs annals. 

One could even argue that the Phillies had been the best team in baseball from 2008 up until the start of this season.  I recently named this club the best team from the years 1980-1983 and then again for the years of 2008-2009.  But before the likes of: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, or Curt Schilling, Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton, or Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Pete Rose, they were plenty of other men who left a mark on this historic NL Franchise.  We will look at all of the significant players that ever played for the club as a pitcher or hitter.  The pitchers and hitters will be focused on solely in the next 2 weeks.  Let us look and how the team has fared in its history.

Here are the final pitches of the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays. Property of Major League Baseball & Fox.

For Part 2 of The 4 Part Philles Article Series: The Hitters, click here.

For Part 3 of  The 4 Part Phillies Article Series:  The Pitchers- click here

For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series:  Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here

Read the rest of this entry

Top Ten Stat of The Week: Team Wins Since The Start of the 2003 Season

Monday  July 23, 2012

With only one World Series Win and a 2003 Loss to the Florida Marlins, it hasn’t stopped the Yankees from raking in wins every year. They have averaged 95 wins a season since 2003.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)-  This weeks installment is actually a top 11. I bent the rules a little to accommodate the A’s.  It is hard to maintain a great franchise in today’s Major Leagues.  Sure the heavy hitters like New York and Boston will always be sniffing around the top of the league with their huge payrolls, but most teams don’t have the luxury to spend like these two teams do because of their limited revenue streams.  In the last few years, the Phillies, Angels and Tigers have entered the echelon of top spenders.  Spending money doesn’t always equal great results.  The Texas Rangers have only had success lately and were often victim to heavy payrolls and not great results.  How many years did Peter Angelos try to buy a contender with Baltimore?  He has dedicated himself back to the right way of building a team the last couple of years and it has worked through player development.

Minnesota and Oakland have been run incredibly well for a long time.  If this list was for a five-year stretch, you would have seen the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the top 10.  These are the small market teams that have been consistently playing well against the  big boys.  The Twins have only faded back in the standings in the last couple of seasons.  The Atlanta Braves finally had their consecutive playoff years stopped in 2005 and they were only mediocre for a few seasons.  Right now, they might be the best team in the National League. The Angels, Twins, Dodgers, Athletics, Dodgers and Braves did not make any World Series appearances since 2003.  Out of these teams, the Angels have the most wins.

According to the movie ‘The Natural,’ losing is a disease, and like other diseases, (insert disease here) it is curable.  Most of these teams have not even struggled in the last 10 years.  The Yankees have only won one World Series in this time frame, despite dominating the win total every year.  In fact, the last time the Yankees has a losing season was 1991.  The Cardinals and the Red Sox both have won 2 World Series, and the Cardinals are the only team  to have appeared in the Fall Classic 3 times during  this stretch. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – June 2nd, 2012

Saturday June 2nd, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.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!

Let’s get to your top questions of the week:

JH: Before we get to your questions, we have to send a big shout out to the one and only, Johan Santana. We have enjoyed countless e-mails, tweets and comments on the Mets this year. The Mets faithful have been loud and supportive this year and represent the largest fan base we hear from every week. So this little note is for you.

The incredible Santana, in his first year back from major surgery that threatened to de-rail his career, threw a no-hitter. Not just any no-hitter. But the first no-hitter in New York Mets history. Think about that one. It will boggle your mind. The amount of quality pitchers that have pitched for the Mets over the years is astronomical. Nolan Ryan. Tom Seaver. David Cone. Dwight Gooden. Frank Viola. How is it possible that this team had never spun a no-hitter before? Fate and luck are the biggest reasons. It is not that easy to get a no-hitter. Many things have to go right for a no-no to occur. So finally, in the whole history of this franchise, the Mets have a no-hitter of their own. Plus, it came from not just any pitcher, but one of the best pitchers of our generation. Johan Santana. I can’t say enough good things about the man. He has been as solid as they come over his career. From a Twins ace for all those years, Santana came to the Mets to take them to the promised land. But critical shoulder surgery, combined with the team’s other injuries and off-field issues put a damper on the entire teams and its players. The 29-23 Mets have been amazing this year though. With only David Wright as their leading hitter, this team has been incredible. R.A. Dickey. Frank Francisco. Jon Rauch. Bobby Parnell. Daniel Murphy. The Mets just don’t give up. Now with the no-hitter in the books, this season has turned magical for the Mets and its fans. Santana was on fire tonight. Despite giving up 5 walks, he struck out 8 over a complete 9 innings. He needed 134 pitches to complete the no-no. In front of only 27,069 Mets fans, Santana pitched the game of his life on home turf. Lucas Duda with the home run and 4 RBIs. Daniel Murphy with 2 hits and 3 RBIs. The Mets won this one as a team and the city of New York gets to celebrate the reincarnation of the Miracle Mets. At least for 1/3 of a season to start. Well done Johan Santana, we’re proud of you! Read the rest of this entry

Looking Ahead to the 2013 Hall of Fame Ballot

Saturday February 4, 2012


Rob Bland:  When Barry Larkin was elected into the Hall of Fame, it was obvious going in that he would likely be included.  As it turned out, he was the only player voted in by the BBWAA in 2012.  Larkin received 86.4% of the vote, a jump from 62.1% the year before, when he had the highest vote total of those who did not receive the requisite 75%.  

The 2013 class boasts 13 players who received less than 75% but more than 5% of the vote to remain on the ballot.  There are also 32 new players on the list.  Players must have played in at least 10 MLB seasons, and have been retired for 5 full seasons to be eligible for the ballot.  Of returning players, the most notable are Jack Morris (66.7%), Jeff Bagwell (56%), Lee Smith (50.6%), Tim Raines (48.7%), Mark McGwire (19.5%) and Rafael Palmeiro (12.6%).  It’s hard to imagine that two of the best home run hitters of all time (McGwire and Palmeiro) could garner less than a quarter of the vote, in McGwire’s 7th year on the ballot and Palmeiro’s 3rd respectively.  However, due to steroid usage and their laughable performances in a congressional hearing, this is the case.  

2013’s ballot gets a whole lot crazier when you add baseball’s all-time home run leader, and possibly best player in history, one of the most prolific strikeout pitchers of all time, the best slugging catcher of all time, and a guy who hit over 60 HR THREE times, and totalling 609 blasts.  

Barry Bonds.  Roger Clemens.  Mike Piazza.  Sammy Sosa.  All four of these players have in some way or another been connected with steroids, whether it is pure speculation, or blatant proof.  Knowing what we know about McGwire and Palmeiro’s statuses in the Hall of Fame voting, 2013 could prove to be the most heavily debated election year ever.  Many believe that players who used steroids should never be elected in the Hall, and all records should have asterisks beside them.  Many others believe they should let them in, and that because steroids and PED usage was so rampant in the “Steroid Era” that it doesn’t affect the way they vote.  

Jack Morris’s case for the Hall has been so widely discussed that it bears not repeating.  He was a good pitcher on some very good teams that scored a lot of runs.  Bagwell put up tremendous numbers and has never been proven to be linked to PEDs but is kept out of the Hall because some suspect him of it.  Raines is inching closer to being elected, and Lee Smith is nearing the end of his run on the ballot.  Since I have already given my vote for 2012, and my opinion has not changed on any of those players, I won’t go into too much detail, other than the fact that I believe Morris will be elected in his 14th year.  

Bonds and Clemens would have been first ballot Hall of Famers, no doubt about it.  But because of this cloud of PED usage hanging over their heads, it could be a while, if at all.  

Bonds’ CAREER OPS 1.051 is higher than every player in the MLB not named Jose Bautista in 2011 alone.  His peak season in OPS+ was 268 in 2002.  268!  Career OBP of .444.  514 stolen bases.  He holds the record for most career home runs with 762.  Bonds was a 7-time National League MVP, 14-time All-Star, 8-time Gold Glover, and 12-time Silver Slugger.  Simply put, steroids or not, Bonds was a once-in-a-lifetime talent, and should be treated as such.  He should be in the Hall, but may not be elected for many years due to his links to PEDs, his perjury charges, and his overall sour disposition when it came to dealing with the scrutiny of the media.  

Clemens was one of the top 3 pitchers in a generation dominated by hitting, along with Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson.  He has the highest fWAR of any pitcher (by a landslide) with 145.5 Wins Above Replacement.  His 8.56 K/9 ranks in the top 10 all time for starters with over 250 GS.  At age 42, (albeit possibly aided by PED) he went 13-8, 1.87 ERA, 185K/62BB, and ERA+ of 226.  Clemens won 7 Cy Young Awards while attending 11 All-Star Games and even winning the AL MVP Award in 1986.  Clemens was always known for his military-style workouts and his bulldog mentality, but as with Bonds, his links to PEDs will taint his legacy.  

Mike Piazza is another case where others have implicated him, and there has been no proof of his taking any PED.  Highest career slugging of any catcher in history; .545.  #1 in ISO; .237.  7th in fWAR; 66.7.  1st in HR; 427.  If these stats don’t make Piazza look like the best offensive catcher in history, I don’t know what else to say.  Maybe his .308 AVG and 140 wRC+, 9th and 1st all time for catchers, respectively, will convince you.  A 12-time All-Star, Piazza also won the 1993 NL MVP award with the LA Dodgers.  He also won 10 Silver Slugger Awards and was voted in the top 10 for the MVP 7 times.  Piazza should be voted in the first ballot as well, but, like Bagwell, will likely wait many years even though there has not been a shred of credible evidence that he took a PED.  

Between 1998 and 2001, Sammy Sosa hit 243 home runs.  60.75 home runs per year.  In the history of the MLB, there have been eight seasons where a player has hit 60 HR.  Sosa owns three of them.  With 609 career home runs and an OPS of .878, it is no wonder Sosa was regarded as one of the best power hitters of his generation.  Sosa played in 7 All-Star Games, won the NL MVP in 1998, and was voted in the top 10 six other times.  He also won 6 Silver Slugger Awards.  Sosa tested positive for PED use in a 2003 supposedly anonymous survey.  Also, not helping his reputation as a cheater is that he was caught using a corked bat on June 3, 2003.  

Curt Schilling needs to get a long hard look as well.  He was able to amass only 216 wins, but his career 1.13 WHIP and 128 ERA+ are very good.  Schilling also compiled over 3100 strikeouts while walking only 711 in 3261 innings.  If Jack Morris gets into the Hall of Fame with much lesser career numbers, but gets in on the merits of his Game 7 victory in the 1991 World Series, Schilling should be elected in his first 3 years of eligibility.  Before Game 6 of the ALCS in 2004, in which the Red Sox were down 3-2 to the Yankees, Schilling tore a tendon sheath in his ankle.  Doctors built a wall of stitches in his ankle to hold the tendon in place so that he could still pitch in the game.  Schilling went 7 innings, all the while blood oozed out of the wound through his sock.  He gave up 4 hits, no walks, and struck out 4 batters, and gave up 1 run.  The Red Sox won the game, and won the series the next night.  The game will forever be known as the Bloody Sock Game.  Schilling’s performance on one leg was one of the gutsiest events I have ever witnessed in this game.  

There are so many other notable names of good to great baseball players, but none should have a real chance of being elected into the Hall of Fame this year…with most likely never getting in.  These players include Craig Biggio, Jose Mesa, Roberto Hernandez, Kenny Lofton, David Wells, Shawn Green, Julio Franco, Sandy Alomar, and of course, Jaret Wright.  Remember that guy?  

2013’s ballot is littered with guys who SHOULD be in, but won’t be elected.  Not now, and maybe not ever.  Personally, I vote Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Sosa and Schilling.  Due to their PED connections, the first four won’t get in, and Schilling may take a few years to pay his dues through the process.

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Rob Bland.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Blandy on Twitter***

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan onFacebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,848 other followers

%d bloggers like this: