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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)

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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:

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The Best Teams In The MLB From 1980 – 2013: The Biggest Question Is, Who Owns 2004 – 2013, BOS or STL?

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 - 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013.  They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade - but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 – 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013. They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade – but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch from 2004 – now?

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

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There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century. 

If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years. 

Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980′s. 

As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information. 

I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel. 

If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

2013 Boston Dream Season – Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised

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The Phillies State Of The Union: Hitters Edition + They Should Give A Full Chance To Darin Ruf In 2014

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team.  They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes.  That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay.  But 2013 wasn't an entire loss.  Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope.  Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency.  Today, I explain how the Phightins' can do this.

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team. They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes. That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay. But 2013 wasn’t an entire loss. Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope. Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency. Today, I explain how the Phightins’ can do this.  How will the team fare under 2nd year skipper Ryne Sandberg – after a 20 – 22 finish?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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2014 was a tough year on the Phillies.  For one, the fact that the MLB Reports is having an Awareness Day for them today, based on them having the 7th worst record (73 – 89) in the Majors during 2013 is mind – boggling.

We are talking about a team that had 5 Division Titles in a row (2007 – 2011), a huge payroll, and a bountiful nest of ALL – Stars to hit in the lineup, and in the Starting Rotation.

Much like the Yankees though, their core is all hitting their waning years.  Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins are having a tough time staying on the field to be productive.

2013 was always going to be about the team resurrecting its status as an NL Elite, instead they saw Roy Halladay blow up before their eyes, Cole Hamels struggle, and nobody was there to save them.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

Darin Ruf’s Towering Shot in Aug of 2013

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Daily HR Hitters Update From May 8th, 2013: Top 5 AL + NL HR Leaders In The MLB

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Thursday May 9th, 2013

Alex Gordon has been ramping up his power over the last 2 seasons - with 72 XBH in 2011 and 70 XBH in 2012.  Noted for being more of a Doubles hitter, Gordon has clubbed HRs in 2 straight games.  The 29 Year Old has a 3 Slash Line of .311/.336/.836 with 5 HRs and 23 RBI out of the Leadoff Spot so far this campaign.  The Man has also crossed home plate 22 times in just 30 Games Played

Alex Gordon has been ramping up his power over the last 2 seasons – with 72 XBH in 2011 and 70 XBH in 2012. Noted for being more of a Doubles hitter, Gordon has clubbed HRs in 2 straight games. The 29 Year Old has a 3 Slash Line of .311/.336/.836 with 5 HRs and 23 RBI out of the Leadoff Spot so far this year. The Man has also crossed home plate 22 times in just 30 Games Payed

DH on our home site pages – Stands for Daily HR Hitters in the Majors.

We are going to run the gauntlet on the previous days HRs for all MLB Players.

I loved it when MLB XM Radio used to do a running total every night on their Roundtrip with Mike Ferrin (Laser Show).  So I am bringing it every day on this website.  To view every nights big boppers for the whole year (from May 8th) visit the DH page!

Click beyond the Youtube link or click  the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to see who hit yesterdays big flies.

Chris Carter hit a HR for the 2nd straight game for the Astros last night – and has hit 24 HRs in his last 336 AB dating back to last year in June (1 per every 14 AB).

With 27 HRs and 65 RBI (in just 450 Career AB – but a 3 Slash of .213/.303/.734) – he reminds me of a young Cecil Fielder with the Blue Jays .243/.308/.781 – with 31 HRs and 84 RBI in his first 506 AB – before being caught up in a numbers game in Toronto with Fred McGriff

Last Year the former A hit 16 HRs and drove in 39 RBI in just 218 AB during the Oakland A’s big second half.  CC was Walking more last year – and held a .350 OBP for the year.  The Astros must be patient with this slugger to learn how to hit  – despite his AL leading 51 SO.  He should be one of the players they keep when the rebuild is finished.

Chris Carter Highlights

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The Baseball Struggles of Tall/Heavy Players After 30: Is Prince Next?

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Friday, Apr.12/2013

Prince Fielder will turn 29 in May.  Throughout my studies of some extremely tall - or heavy player, the time of deterioration in ones ability seems to seep in about 34.  In my opinion, the club should move to trade Victor Martinez and shift Fielder over to the DH position ASAP, so they can preserve his  body for the next 8 years of his contract.  He will be 37 when his big deal ends.  Fielder has a Career 3 Slash Line of .287/.393/.931

Prince Fielder will turn 29 in May. Throughout my studies of some extremely tall – or heavy playera, the time of deterioration in ones ability seems to seep in about the  34 Year Old Age range. In my opinion, the club should move to trade Victor Martinez and shift Fielder over to the DH position ASAP, so they can preserve his body for the next 8 years of his contract. He will be 37 when his big deal ends. Fielder has a Career 3 Slash Line of .287/.393/.931.  The second generation Fielder, has clubbed 262 HRs and added 774 RBI in 1168 Games Played.  Will he suffer the same fate as the others in this article (including his dad) – or will he buck the trend?

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

I am still astounded when I see that Prince Fielder has not been turned into a Full – Time DH – and can still man the position of First Base. The Tigers were lucky enough to sign him last year.

So when should the club decide to take the glove out of Fielder’s hand? 

Victor Martinez is there at the Designated Hitter position now, however they should convert Prince Fielder to DH the second V-Mart vacates the club after the 2014 season.

When I thought about this a little more I realized that tall/heavy hitters really have a tough time keeping their productivity up once they are near the second half of their career.  It is really not that hard to figure out.  

A player that is taller also carries a larger Strike Zone, where the overweight players will only lose any speed they had as their career starts winding down.  

For this particular article, I choose 4 players to study this exact scenario. Those players are: Richie Sexson, Tony Clark, Mo Vaughn and Cecil Fielder.

Prince Fielder wins the 2012 HR Derby:

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Paul Konerko Has Asserted Himself As An ALL-Time South Sider

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Sunday, January.13/2013

Paul Konerko heads into the last year of a contract.  At 37, Konerko has hit 415 HRs as a White Sox Players and is 33 Round-Trippers short of Frank Thomas for the ALL-Time Franchise Lead.  Will he reach the 'BIG HURT' in 2013?

Paul Konerko heads into the last year of a contract. At 37, Konerko has hit 415 HRs as a White Sox Player – and is 33 Round-Trippers short of Frank Thomas (448) for the ALL-Time Franchise Lead. Will he reach the ‘BIG HURT’ in 2013? Better yet, if he re-signs with the team past 2013, he may enter the top 10 of ALL-Time HRs for one team.  Currently Lou Gehrig and Eddie Matthews sit tied in 9th with 493 HRs each for one club.

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent):  

The South Side of Chicago. U.S. Cellular Field. You’re likely to have heard chants of “Let’s go White Sox!!”, “Ozzie!! Ozzie!!, and maybe even “Oh-E-Oh, Magglio!!”, over the years at this beautiful, yet underrated ball park. But, for the last 14 seasons, you probably would have heard “Paulie!! Paulie!!”, more than any other. No, not Paulie from Rocky fame. Paul Konerko, the 6 time ALL-Star and 2005 World Series Champion First Baseman of the Chicago White Sox. Some would say he’s underrated, much like the stadium he’s called home since 1999. Acquired via trade from the Cincinnati Reds in late 1998 by the White Sox for Mike Cameron, Konerko has been a consistent producer for them for 14 seasons.

He’s averaged more than 32 HRs and 101 RBI in that time frame for the Sox – and has combined for a few quality 1-2 punches over the years with some big hitters. Frank Thomas, Carlos Lee, Magglio Ordonez, and now Adam Dunn, to name a few. He is said to be one of White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s favorite players of ALL-time. He should be, as he helped guide the White Sox to their first World Series Championship in 88 years back in 2005. Konerko even presented the “3rd and final out ball” to Reinsdorf at the victory parade, bringing the owner to tears in front of thousands of screaming Sox fans.

Paul Konerko 2012 Highlights:  Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised:

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Fred McGriff, Does the Hall Await?

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

fred mcgriff

Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent):  and Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

The 2013 Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) Hall of Fame ballot was announced on November 28th. Frederick ‘Crime Dog’ McGriff’, will again accompany the ballot for what will now be his Fourth Year.

Results are expected to be announced on January 9, 2013 and a player must receive 75-Percent of the votes to be elected.

McGriff rounds out the last Three Years with 21.5, 17.9 and 23.9 Percent of the votes respectively, and certainly brings consistency to the ballot.

This year however, will invite a new crop of players to the ballot, most of which have been linked to PED’s and certain to take away votes from the Crime Dog.

McGriff’s career ranged from 1986 – 2004.  He made his Major League debut the same year as Mark McGwire, and over his 19-Year Career, McGriff amassed 493 Home Runs (tied with Lou Gehrig), 2,490 hits and 1,550 RBI’s with a .284 Life-time Batting Average.  He also collected 2494 Hits and featured a 3 slash line of .284/.377/.866.  McGriff also walked 1305 times and clubbed 958 Total Extra Base Hits.

He was a Five-Time All-Star, Three-Time Silver Slugger Award winner, a World Series Champion and the 1994 Major League Baseball All-Star Game MVP.

McGriff was the first player [1992] since the dead-ball era, to lead both the American and National League in Home Runs. Read the rest of this entry

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

Friday, Nov.16/2012

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.

 

Tony Fernandez leads the Blue Jays Franchise for Hits and Games Played ALL-Time. At the age of 37, he flirted with a .400 average for half of the season in 1999. In his first go around with Toronto, he was part of the BlockBuster Trade that saw he and Fred McGriff go to San Diego for Joe Carter and Robbie Alomar at the GM’s Meetings in Dec of 1990. -Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I like that this franchise series is right dab smack in the middle of the biggest Franchise trade since Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff went to San Diego for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter in 1990.  A Toronto Blue Jays fan can only hope for the same result that came down afterwards to repeat itself in the next few year.  The early days of the Jays hitters (late 1970′s provided some long-term reliable guys,) however it wasn’t until Jesse Barfield won a HR Title and George Bell came home with the 1987 AL MVP, that the rest of the MLB started to take notice on the hitters of this Canadian Team.  As soon as the club moved into SKYDOME, the hitters had a field day.  Not to say that Exhibition Stadium didn’t aid some homeruns and nice averages in its day, it is just that SKYDOME is a hitter friendly park.

From George Bell and the outstanding other 80′s OF trio of Barfield and Lloyd “The Shaker” Moseby, to Tony Fernandez and Ernie Whitt, these guys all played a huge chunk of their careers with this Canadian Club.  Fred McGriff routinely hit towering shots off of the Windows Restaurant and led the AL in HRs during the 1989 Pennant Winning Season.  In 1991, when Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar arrived onto the scene, the offense just clicked on all cylinders.  Devon White was gracefully stealing bases and striding into runs with those gigantic high knee kicks of his.  John Olerud walked right out of College and added one of the best ‘natural’ swings that any of us have ever seen.  Veterans Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor bashed their way into Jays hearts with their limited time with the organization en route to back to back World Series Titles in 1992 and 1993.  After the Strike/Lockout, the team then saw Shawn Green and Carlos Delgado routinely destroy pitchers and be amongst the league lead in several power categories.

There is a ton more on this article just past these links or by clicking the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON. 

Here are the links for the article series.

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

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 Part 5 of 7

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: 

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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: 

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The Best Teams from 1980-2012: Will Texas claim the title this year from 2010-2012?

Wednesday July.11, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century.  If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years.  Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980′s.  As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information.  I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel.  If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

Baseball lends itself more to the history than any other sport because of how it has been chronicled throughout their past.  Writers, announcers, former players, parents etc.. have always carried on with the stories of America’s favorite pastime.  I will never be sold that NFL is the greatest pastime in sports right now.  NFL is the greatest gambling sport presently.  It is my firm belief that the only reason why the NFL draws in more cash from its sport is because of the gambling factor.  If you took that aspect out of it, I believe baseball is the #1 sport.  Can you imagine how much attention we would pay to baseball if there were only a 16 game schedule?  Enough with that rant, let’s get down to the list.  Who were the best teams at any specific time period for the last 32 years?  We will start with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1980-1983. Read the rest of this entry

My 2012 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot: Blandy’s Picks

Friday December 23rd, 2011

Rob Bland:  According to Baseball-Reference, there are 27 former Major League players eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame.  13 of these players are new on the ballot.  Every year only one or two players are inducted, but this year, there should most definitely be more, although it is doubtful that the BBWAA actually induct more than two.  In order to be elected, a player must receive 75% of the total votes.  If a player receives less than 5% of the vote, or if he has gone 15 years without receiving the 75%, he is then taken off the list.

Of the newcomers, there is one player who deserves any attention; however I do not believe that he should ever be elected to the Hall.  After all, the Baseball Hall of Fame is supposed to be the best of the very best.  Career .297/.381/.477 hitter with 4 Gold Glove Awards in a premium position?  Seems like an almost lock to make it.  However, Bernie Williams and his World Series rings was not GREAT.  He was merely very good, on some great teams.  


Of the returnees, only two players received 50% of the votes, where 75% is necessary to be enshrined.

My list of players I would vote for, as well as near-misses are as follows:

Barry Larkin received 62.1% of the votes last year, and will likely be in by 2013.  Larkin played a premium position (shortstop), a 12-time All-Star, 9-time Silver Slugger, 1995 National League MVP, all while playing parts of 19 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds.  Seems pretty obvious to me.  YES.

Jack Morris is on the ballot for his 13th time, and I am really not sure how he was able to get 53.5% of the vote in 2011.  Sure, there is something to say about a durable innings-eater with 254 career wins, but upon closer look at his stats, he does not deserve to be in the Hall.  With an ERA+ of 105, a 1.296 WHIP, K/9 under 6, and K/BB of 1.78, he doesn’t scream “elite”, but good pitcher who came up huge in clutch situations.  NO.

Jeff Bagwell is still shrouded in controversy as many members of the media continue to believe he took steroids.  I am a guy who doesn’t believe in the asterisks or the stripping of records for those who did such things.  With a career .948 OPS and 149 OPS+, to go along with 449 home runs in 15 seasons, NL Rookie of the Year in 1991, NL MVP in 1994, there is no way he should be kept out of the Hall.  YES.

Edgar Martinez is a tough case because of the fact that he was predominantly a designated hitter in his career.  Therefore, he added basically zero defensive value over the course of his 18 year career.  However, upon looking at his stats, he more than makes up for it in offensive production.  With a career slash line of .312/.418/.515/.933 and OPS+ of 147, he was one of the best pure hitters of his generation.  He may not have been the most prolific home run hitter, but he mashed doubles in Seattle throughout his career at a very high rate.  YES.

Tim Raines was a great lead-off hitter.  Over 23 seasons, he reached base at a .385 clip, and stole 808 bases.  Between 1981 and 1987, it is hard to imagine a better hitter atop the line-up.  In those 7 seasons, he stole 504 bases, averaging 72 per season, including 90 in 1983.  However, his production (while still good), fell off dramatically at this point of his career.  Because of this, it is tough to vote him in.  NO, although very close.

Larry Walker is one of the all-time greatest Canadian players, and I feel as though this could be extremely biased.  Regardless of the fact that he played in Coors Field in the mid to late 90’s where balls soared out of the stadium at an alarming pace, Walker put up some incredible numbers.  Walker’s OPS+ of 140 with a slash line of .313/.400/.565/.965 is pretty ridiculous.  (OPS+ is adjusted to the hitter’s ballpark, so it shows just how ridiculous he actually was).  The 1997 NL MVP should be the second Canadian in the Hall after Fergie Jenkins.  YES.

Fred McGriff is in his 3rd year of eligibility, only received 17.9% of votes last year.  The Crime Dog was never flashy, but he was a consistent performer year in and year out for his 19 seasons.  Between 1988 and 1994, he never hit under 31 home runs (including 34 HR in 113 games in the strike-shortened 1994 season).  He was consistently a very good player, but unfortunately for him, he was never considered to be an elite first baseman, which is what the Hall of Fame stands for.  NO, but very close.

Mark McGwire.  The most controversial choice on the ballot, is my last selection.  Although he has admitted that he has taken steroids, and has been the hitting coach of 2011 World Series Champs St. Louis Cardinals, many believe he should not be in the Hall.  However, a career .982 OPS and 162 OPS+is enough for me.  The 11-time All-Star hit 583 home runs, and his career 162-game average was 50 home runs.  There is no way I would keep him out of the Hall, but there are many others who will do everything to keep him out.  YES.

The 2012 Hall of Fame class will be more stripped down than my version, with the potential of zero players getting in. Barry Larkin may have a better chance in 2012, due to the fact that he will not be overshadowed by Roberto Alomar, who received the third-most votes of all time to be enshrined in the Hall, with 523.  Stay tuned for the results when they are released.

***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.

My 2012 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot

Sunday December 18th, 2011

Sam Evans:  2012 brings several new candidates to the MLB Hall of Fame ballot.  One thing that really annoys me about the current voting process is that it can take up to fifteen years for a player to be elected. So instead of saying that a player should/could be elected in the future, I’d rather they be elected right away.

For any Hall of Famer, I think they need to have at least ten seasons where they were one of the best players at their respective position. Also, if there is indisputable evidence of them using steroids, then I won’t vote for them.Without futher ado, let’s get to the players:

Mark McGwire: My vote is a no. Given his steroid use, I can’t bring myself to support one of the most dominant hitters of the 1990′s.

Barry Larkin: Larkin is a yes for me. From 1988 to 2000, he was the best shortstop in all of baseball. Yes, even better than Cal Ripken Jr. Larkin was a twelve time All-Star and he won the 1995 NL MVP award. In 2011, he received 62.1% of the BBWAA votes. He only needs about 13% more of the votes to make it this year, and it would be pretty surprising if he didn’t get in this time.

Jack Morris: Jack Morris is not a Hall of Famer. Jack Morris did show America that a starting pitcher can win clutch games for his team all by himself. In Game 7 of the 1991 World Series against the Braves, Morris threw a ten inning shutout. This probably was the greatest World Series performance of all-time. However, when you look at his overall numbers, they’re just not that impressive. A career ERA of 3.90 and only 39.3 career WAR are just not enough for the Hall of Fame. Morris will always be remembered for his great clutch performances, but he doesn’t deserve to be a Hall of Famer. 2012 will be his twelfth year of eligibility, and he actually has a decent chance to make it. In 2010, he received his highest percentage of votes to-date, with 53.5%.

Edgar Martinez: My vote is a yes. Without Edgar, who knows if we’d still have the DH? You can read more about Edgar and the Hall of Fame in my previous article here.

Jeff Bagwell: This is a very easy yes for me. Bagwell collected an 83.9 WAR in his career. That is more than Derek Jeter and Reggie Jackson. Bagwell was an extremely consistent player, who won a ROY and MVP award. As of right now, Jeff Bagwell is the best player who played his whole career in the state of Texas. In his first year of eligibility, “Bagpipes” received 41.7% of the voters votes. He will definitely make it in the next couple of years.

Bernie Williams: Bernie Williams is a hesitant yes for me.  I have only liked two Yankees players in my history of fandom. Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams. Williams played the game every day like there was nowhere in the world he would rather be. Williams played about league-average defense, yet won four Gold Gloves due to his stature as a Yankee. Williams won four World Series and is now a superstar Jazz musician. However, the athleticism of Williams never translated into him being a great center fielder. Williams was solid at what ground he did cover, but he never really covered as much space as a center fielder should. Williams had a disappointing -109 TZ (total zone; a stat used to find how much ground a player covers) over the course of his career. However, Williams should be a Hall of Famer because of his loyalty to his team and helping break the Puerto Rican-American barriers. Williams was never the best player at his position, let alone his team, but he was a shining star in an era in which we needed one. This will be Williams’ first year of eligibility.

Bill Mueller: No chance I would vote for Mueller. Bill Mueller only played eleven seasons and he never even made an All-Star team. Every Hall of Famer should have at least fifteen years to their resume. Mueller was a decent player and he helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004, but he was not a Hall of Fame type player.

Larry Walker and Fred McGriff: Walker is a yes for me, and McGriff is a no. You can read more about these players in my previous article here.

2012 should be an interesting year for Cooperstown. There are probably three players that could be elected this year and they all deserve it. Lost in all of the comparisons of players from different era’s, we often forget how good all of these players were. Instead of criticizing people’s opinions on who deserves a vote, we should just appreciate all of the players’ individual greatness for what they are.

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans.  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 Sam 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.

Are Fred McGriff and Larry Walker Heading to Cooperstown?

Sunday December 11th, 2011

Sam Evans: During the pinnacle of their careers, Fred McGriff and Larry Walker, each averaged over thirty home runs a year. Now, in their first couple years of eligibility, both players have shown promising signs that they are on their way to becoming Hall-of-Famers. However, I’m not quite sure if they both deserve it.

Larry Walker: Larry Walker was an amazing power-hitting outfielder from 1989 to 2005. He actually was a very solid defensive right fielder, considered one of the best in baseball history. Walker played for the Expos, Rockies, and Cardinals during his seventeen years in the majors.

Walker helped popularize the game back in his home country of Canada. He was the first Canadian ever to win the MVP in 1997. He hit .366 with 49 HR, 130 RBI,  and 33 stolen bases. When he retired in 2005, he had been nominated to five All-Star games, he won seven Gold Gloves, and Walker finished with 67.3 WAR, which is 67th all-time among position players.

Unfortunately, Walker also played during the height of the Steroid Era. We are learning more and more about these dangerous drugs as time passes, and we still can’t be positive who is using PED’s (See Ryan Braun announcement from today). It would not come as a big surprise to me if Walker was using PED’s in the 90′s. However, as great as it is to see a player that had a successful career without PED’s, (e.g. Ken Griffey Jr.), we have to remember that performance enhancing drugs were not banned back then. I am sure that the public suspicion that Walker was a steroid user though are hurting his Hall of Fame chances.

Another knock against Walker is that he never won a World Series. It is hard for voters to vote for a proclaimed winner, if they never won a championship. In 2011, Walker’s first year of eligibility, he received 20.3 of the BBWAA votes. The requirement is seventy-five percent, but overall, this was a strong first year showing for Walker.

If you look at Walker’s career as a whole, I’m pretty certain he will be considered a Hall-of-Famer. I really think Cooperstown though needs to redefine what being a hall of famer is all about. Is it about the impact players made on the game? Or what their numbers look like? The Hall-of-Fame has a lot more problems with its standards then I think most people realize.

Fred McGriff: McGriff is another top power hitter. McGriff holds the MLB record for homers in the most different stadiums with forty-two.

McGriff hit 493 homers in his career, good enough for 25th all-time. “Crime Dog” also finished with a .284 BA, and an average of 86 walks per 162 games. McGriff was nominated to five All-Star games and led the league in home runs twice. On the other hand, McGriff was not known as a great defensive first basemen. Also, he never really stayed with one team for an extended amount of time.

When looking at McGriff’s long career, the homers obviously stand out. He hit just as many homers as current HOF’er Lou Gehrig. Another highlight of McGriff’s nineteen year career was winning the World Series with the Braves in 1995.

McGriff will surely be named a Hall-of-Famer before his fifteen years are up. He played during an era where power was easy to find, and McGriff relied on his power to provide him with a lengthy career. However, 483 homers, and being tabbed “Baseball Superstar” in Tom Emanski’s infamous commercials is apparently enough for an election to Cooperstown.

McGriff is really a “push” candidate for the Hall-of-Fame. I’m not completely sure he will a fair chance to make it because of the era he played in. In 2010, McGriff received 21.5% of the BBWAA votes, and then in 2011, he took a step back only getting 17.9% of the votes.

For both of these players, writers are more reluctant to vote for them because of who the group they played with. As was evidenced with the Ryan Braun news, Americans have a very negative reaction to PED’s. We just want to enjoy baseball nostalgically, with”real” athletes that don’t need to cheat to succeed. The truth is, cheating is a huge part of the game. From corked bats to spitballs, this kind of thing has been going on for over a hundred years. The effects that PED’s have in the human body are devastating, and turning yourself into a superhuman should not be allowed in baseball. However, the era in which Larry Walker and Fred McGriff played in should not be the reason to keep them out of Cooperstown.  Both players should be judged on their numbers and performances, if that is possible.

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans.  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 Sam 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 on Facebook .  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.

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