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
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By Enrique Rivera (Dodgers Correspondent): Follow @eriqwiththeq
Everything just went right for the Dodgers. Crawford got two hits (including a Double), Adrian Gonzalez got a hit, Ethier got a hit, Kemp scored a run, just what the Dodgers expect out of their stars.
The Dodgers made Matt Cain throw 35 pitches in the 1st inning – including Kemp drawing a 11 Pitcher AB, with several Foul – Balls before finally Striking Out.
This still jacked up Cain’s pitch count, causing the Giants to lift him before the Bottom of the 7th. After the 8th Inning HR, the club even scratched out two runs on Infield grounders!
Without signing a contract extension during the winter, the 2011 Cy Young Award winner (and 2012 runner-up) Clayton Kershaw did more than expected for the Dodgers as they defeated the reigning World Champs – and Dodger arch-rival San Francisco Giants 4 – 0.
Not only did he picked up the win, he earned himself his first Shutout of the season. He allowed only four hits and Struckout seven hitters.
Clayton Kershaw is interviewed on Opening Day HR:
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By Paul Francis Sullivan (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @sullybaseball
Brandon Webb is retiring from major league baseball, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. This hardly seems like a monumental announcement this spring. Webb has been out of sight and out of mind since the beginning of the 2009 season. His official retirement notice is reminiscent of a band announcing their breakup long after they had their last hit.
But Brandon Webb’s career, brief as it was, was remarkable and also should be remembered the next time an ace pitcher looks for a long term extension.
As outlandish as it may sound now, Brandon Webb was putting together the beginning of a Hall of Fame career. This is not hyperbole.
The former University of Kentucky star was an 8th round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2000.
He shot up through Arizona’s farm system and by 2003, the 24 year old Webb was a major leaguer and finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year vote. He posted a 2.84 ERA over 180 2/3 innings, winning 10 games for an Arizona squad that finished third in the National League West.
By 2006, he became an elite pitcher. He led the league in wins, shutouts and ERA+ and had the top WAR for pitchers. He won the National League Cy Young Award and looked like he was just getting warmed up. Read the rest of this entry
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By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): Follow @ryandana1
Seattle Mariners fans must be pretty amazing, Felix Hernandez sticking with their team through recent times. The Mariners were established in 1977 and have made the playoffs just 4 times in their history. They were the AL West champs 3 times (’95, ’97, ’01) and winners of the Wild Card once (’00). They have never won a World Series, or even an AL Pennant, and in 2012 they shipped off a fan favorite, Ichiro Suzuki, to the Yankees. The AL West is a tough division. The Rangers and Athletics made the playoffs last year, and the Angels just landed the prize of the off-season in slugger Josh Hamilton. I guess one bright spot is the Astros are moving to the AL West, so the Mariners won’t be rebuilding within the brutal division alone.
The Seattle Mariners hopes and dreams start where they have for years now, on the shoulders of King Felix. Felix Hernandez is no doubt an Ace. He has pitched 200+ innings every year since ’08, and had a sub 4.00 ERA every year since ’07. Hernandez won the AL Cy Young in 2010, and is a perennial contender for the award. Last year the Seattle fireballer threw his first Perfect Game. Hernandez will once again be atop the Mariners rotation, which as of now figures to include Hisashi Iwakuma, Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez, and Hector Noesi.
Hisashi Iwakuma was a pleasant surprise for the Mariners in 2012. He wasn’t a greatly sought after oversees free agent last year, overshadowed greatly by fellow Japanese hurler Yu Darvish, but proved to be a great signing. Iwakuma started 2012 in the bullpen until he later earned a spot in the team’s rotation. Iwakuma managed a very respectable 3.16 ERA in the 125.1 innings he split between the rotation and the pen. This success is part of the reason the Mariners resigned the pitcher to a 2YR/14 Million Dollar deal this past November. He figures to hold down the 2nd spot in the rotation and should do just fine if 2012 was a sign of things to come.
Blake Beavan is still just 23 Years Old, but he already has 41 Major League Starts under his belt which gives the club hope he can hold down the 3rd or 4th slot in the rotation. Beavan clearly has the talent which is what made him a 1st Round draft pick out of high school for the Rangers, and the reason the Mariners made sure he was a part of the package they received in return for Cliff Lee in 2010. Beavan’s 2012 stats won’t impress a lot of people, but they were a good start for a young player like himself to build and improve upon.
Felix Hernandez Highlights: Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised
Friday November 23rd, 2012
Kyle Holland: R.A. Dickey had a career year and without a doubt the best year of his career in 2012. He went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA and capped off his amazing season with a CY Young Award, a first for a primarily knuckleball pitcher. But with his age, and his current value, should the New York Mets try shopping Dickey?
Dickey is coming off the best season he may ever have so look at his value. The Mets could really cash in on this. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want a CY Young winner pitching on their team?
Dickey doesn’t have many years left as he just turned 38 in late October. The Mets are going to need at least 3 years to become real contenders again so Dickey is going to do them no good. Having Dickey on their team would be a waste as they can definitely trade him for some prospects that they can rebuild around. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday July 24th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto (MLB reports Intern Candidate): The American league consists of several dominant pitchers, but David Price is arguably the best of the crop. Better yet, he hasn’t even reached his full potential as a pitcher at the ripe age of just 26 years-old. While his stats are far ahead of his experience in the major leagues, there’s still room for him to grow… which is actually quite scary.
Price took the American League by a storm in 2010. Leading the Rays’ rotation at the age of just 23, he finished the season with an astounding 19-6 record accompanied by a stellar 2.72 ERA, nearly winning the A.L. Cy Young award. Although the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez edged him out for the honor, baseball took notice on Price’s exceptional season. Yet, this was just the tip of the iceberg for him. Read the rest of this entry
Friday February 17th, 2012
Rob Bland: When Ricky Romero was taken 6th overall in the 2005 MLB Draft, ahead of the likes of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, and outfielders Andrew McCutchen and Jay Bruce, I was shocked, and to be honest, a little bit angry. Romero was a good pitcher at Cal State – Fullerton, but he was raw; an unfinished product that still needed a lot of work. Tulowitzki was a tremendous defensive shortstop with plus power potential. He was bound to be a good Major League shortstop, whereas Romero was still very much a question mark. McCutchen is a superstar in the making in Pittsburgh, and Jay Bruce is really starting to come together, hitting 100 home runs in his first four seasons. While these three position players often come up in conversation that they will be perennial All-Stars or future MVPs, Romero has not quite garnered that attention. He was an All-Star in 2011, albeit after a number of players declined their invitation to participate. But will Romero ever gain notoriety as a potential Cy Young Award candidate? Read the rest of this entry