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.
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Friday, February.15, 2013
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:
Saturday, December 8th, 2012
When the 2013 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot was released this past November, the heated discussion began 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 537 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)?
For each candidate, varying levels of proof or mere suspicion relate to their use of PEDs. Mark McGwire admitted in a 2010 interview to using PEDs when he broke the Home Run record in 1998. Rafael Palmeiro was suspended for 10 games in 2005 for failing an MLB administered drug test for steroids. Other candidates faced criminal obstruction charges premised on their use of PEDs – Barry Bonds was convicted on one count of obstruction but found not guilty on several other charges, while Roger Clemens was indicted, yet acquitted of perjury. Sammy Sosa was implicated for steroid used in the Mitchell Report, which was explicitly not to be used criminally, and the New York Times also reported that Sosa was one of 104 players who failed an anonymous drug test for steroids in 2003, before MLB’s formal testing program was implemented. Voters will consider others amidst a cloud of suspicion simply because they played in this era – Mike Piazza was named in Jeff Pearlman’s book (The Rocket That Fell To The Earth-2009) because he supposedly claimed, off the record to reporters, that he used PEDs and Jeff Bagwell was close friends with admitted PED user Ken Caminiti.
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.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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/
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:
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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
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.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024 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
Monday July 23, 2012
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
Saturday June 2nd, 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!
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
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***
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