Blog Archives

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 8, 2014

Marc Serota, Jamie Squire and  Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Marc Serota, Jamie Squire and
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

It is the Hall of Fame election episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine are all in (seen here in some of their more obscure uniforms.)

Biggio was left off and some people left Benitez on.

The Morris debate is over but the need for a unanimous entry remains.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 8, 2014

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 7, 2014

The Sporting News

The Sporting News

I will do a lot of things to get more listeners to The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast. I will even say some things that could be considered inflammatory.

But one thing I will NOT do is be deliberately dishonest simply to get attention.

That’s exactly what writer Ken Gurnick did in his desire to have his name everywhere after NOT voting for Greg Maddux on his Hall of Fame ballot.

His public reason is nonsensical and the only real reason is a childish “Look at Me” grab for attention.

It may have worked, but I won’t do it myself.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 7, 2014

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 5, 2014

Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated


It is THE SUNDAY REQUEST on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

With a super crowded ballot, your pal Sully thinks that 5 new members of the Hall of Fame will join Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa in Cooperstown this summer.

That isn’t necessarily good news for Jack Morris.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 5, 2014

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 26, 2013

APROSphoto

Today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast was recorded at the beach at Aptos, California… an ideal place for Christmas time.

I talk about things in baseball that frustrate us that we just have to get over. Granted that is easier to do when the weather is beautiful and your team is the World Champions.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 26, 2013

“Hard Cheddar” With Steve Cheeseman – My BBHOF Ballot

The members of the BBWAA will vote on the BBHOF ballot in January of 2014,

The members of the BBWAA will vote on the BBHOF ballot in January of 2014,  A player that is still on the ballot, needs to receive 75% of the vote in order to make in the Hall.  A player needs receive 5% of the votes in order to remain on the list of players eligible for the next  year.

“Hard Cheddar” – with ‘Special Guest Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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Hello baseball fans.  I apologize for being away so long, as my career outside of sports writing has kept me busy these last few weeks.

With that being said, let’s get going.  Since the end of the 2013 season, there are many things that crossed my mind.

However, for whatever reason, one of the things that has me extremely interested if the hall of fame ballot.

New names on this year’s ballot include Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and Frank Thomas.  In my mind these guys deserve to be in the hall of fame.

Big Hurt Highlights

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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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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – November 28, 2013

1978 Topps #401 Anderson MG

1978 Topps #401 Anderson MG

This Thanksgiving, I salute Sparky Anderson on the anniversary of his firing and talk a little Jack Morris and the Hall of Fame debate.

Gather the family around the computer, folks. It is a very Sully Baseball Daily Podcast Thanksgiving.

To read my tribute to Hall of Famer Turkey Stearnes, click here.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – November 28, 2013

“Hard Cheddar” Weekly Segment 2: MLB Heroes And Zeroes For 2013!

Yasiel Puig was signed as an International Free Agent in 2012.   The 22 Year old phenom exploded onto scene in the National League - 3 Slashing .319/.381/.925 - with 19 HRs, 42 RBI and 66 Runs Scored in his 104 Games Played.  He was a big part of the team winning the Division - and he will be a mainstay for years - being signed until 2018.  Puig's electrified the city of Los Angeles, and Dodger Stadium with his all out hustle, flamboyant play, and their flair for the dramatic.  Once fellow teammate Hanley Ramirez joined him, the club went on a historic 42 - 8 run, which hadn't happened in nearly 60 years for a 50 game stretch.

Yasiel Puig was signed as an International Free Agent in 2012. The 22 Year old phenom exploded onto scene in the National League – 3 Slashing .319/.381/.925 – with 19 HRs, 42 RBI and 66 Runs Scored in his 104 Games Played. He was a big part of the team winning the Division – and he will be a mainstay for years – being signed until 2018. Puig’s electrified the city of Los Angeles, and Dodger Stadium with his all out hustle, flamboyant play, and their flair for the dramatic. Once fellow teammate Hanley Ramirez joined him, the club went on a historic 42 – 8 run, which hadn’t happened in nearly 60 years for a 50 game stretch.

By ‘Special Guest Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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“Hard Cheddar” – with Steve Cheeseman

2013 Hero’s and Zero’s of MLB

Throughout the 2013 Major League Baseball season, there had been plenty to talk about. Lots of surprise players, as well as surprise teams.

This season in my opinion was as good as any.  However, like any sport, there was also plenty to forget, but not necessarily forgive, as you’ll see.  

Here are my hero’s and zero’s for the 2013 MLB season.

Yasiel Puig Highlights 2013 – Mature Content – Parental Guidance is Advised

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Jack Morris: It Is Time To Elect This Winner Into The Baseball Hall Of Fame!

Jack Morris was a winner, a true throwback pitcher who came after hitters with reckless abandon. He pitched based on what the score was - and had no personal regard for his own personal statistics. It is this very reason why the debate has hit epic proportions on social media hubs, amongst bloggers, former players, analysts, broadcaster and statisticians.   I intend to prove the case for the guy in a manner that will have some similarities to other pieces you may have read, yet promote a big look into the numbers that I have been bouncing around in my head for months.

Jack Morris was a winner, a true throwback pitcher who came after hitters with reckless abandon. He pitched based on what the score was – and had no personal regard for his own personal statistics. It is this very reason why the debate has hit epic proportions on social media hubs, amongst bloggers, former players, analysts, broadcaster and statisticians. I intend to prove the case for the guy in a manner that will have some similarities to other pieces you may have read, yet promote a big look into the numbers that I have been bouncing around in my head for months.

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

Follow MLB Reports on Twitter 

The debate for whether or not Jack Morris belongs in the Baseball Hall Of Fame has heated up to an ALL-Time high with the big vote going down in Jan of 2014 for the final time.

575 members of  BBWAA fraternity will decide whether or not the big man from Minnesota will enter one of the hardest Hall Of Fame’s to enter in pro sports (if not the hardest). 

Morris will need a 75% (432 Minimum Votes) of them to write down his name on their ballot for enshrinement into Cooperstown.

Last year, Morris received 67.7 % of the writers votes in his 14th year of eligibility.  He will have his name on a 14th ballot this year. 

He has been trending up in recent years, so if he can improve in 2014, with the same amount of 2011-2012 jump of (+13.2%), then he will make it in.

If he fails to reach the Hall this year, it would be his last year of eligibility for the BBWAA Vote. 

He could still make it via the Veterans Committee after that.  But that could take some significant time.

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How The New York Yankees Acquired All Of Their Pitchers

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Tuesday July.30/2013

Mariano Rivera holds the ALL-Time Record for any closer (active of retired) with 641 Saves.  He has been the most dominant Relief Pitcher on the planet over the last two decades.  What is incredible, is that he never has a bad season - which is prone to happen to even Hall Of Fame Pitchers.  Rivera also leads Active Pitchers in ERA (2.20), Games Finished (1093) and a WHIP 1.003 Add another 42 Saves, and a 0.70 ERA in 142 IP in his Post Season Career - and you are talking about the standard which any future Closer will be measured up to.

Mariano Rivera holds the ALL-Time Record for any Closer (active or retired) with 641 Saves. He has been the most dominant Relief Pitcher on the planet over the last two decades. What is incredible, is that he never has a bad season – which is prone to happen to even Hall Of Fame Pitchers. Rivera also leads Active Pitchers in ERA (2.20), Games Finished (1093) and a WHIP 1.003 Add another 42 Saves, and a 0.70 ERA in 142 IP in his Post Season Career – and you are talking about the standard which any future Closer will be measured up to.

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

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Yankees – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted.

This was not as cool as doing the other Roster Trees I have done. 

In fact, the Hitters were not even that fun to do, with having to go through the Alberto Gonzalez tree (from when he left the NYY the first time) – just to spice it up a little bit.

The New York Yankees Roster Tree Part 1: The Hitters

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Triple Play Podcast Ep #9: Jays Misery, The Expos Franchise Mt. Rushmore + An Interview With Michael McKnight

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Monday, May  20th, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast – Ian Hunter of bluejayhunter.com  ( and Michael McKnight [twitter-follow screen_name=’mcknight_mike_’ show_screen_name=’yes’

On this week’s show we once again find ourselves lamented the Blue Jays futility but this time Ian Hunter of bluejayhunter.com joins in the misery. Chris’ Expos jerseys inspires a trip down memory lane to pick our Expos Mt Rushmore. Finally Michael Mcknight of Sports Illustrated drops in to recount the tale of Brian Cole.  Its a must listen. Read the rest of this entry

Chris Carter: The Future Star That Will Make Billy Beane Regret His Trade Mistake

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Monday February 11th, 2013

Chris Carter had a 3 Slash Line of .239/.350/.864 in 218 AB during the 2012 season. He clubbed 16 HRs and 39 RBI. He hit 11 HRs in just 122 AB away from o.co Coliseum. At just Age 26 - and team controllable until 2019, it is weird that Billy Beane would trade away the slugging 1B/DH

Chris Carter: A career .283 hitter in the minors, with a .378 OBP and .535 SLG. The perfect combination of power and patience. He will prove to be the one that got away from Billy Beane.

Jonathan Hacohen  (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder):  

Mark down the date of February 4th, 2013. The day that Billy Beane broke my heart. In preparing for my latest A’s feature, the working title of the article was “Chris Carter: The Next Great A’s Superstar”. Then fate intervened. Or rather, Beane decided to pull off one too many trades. After a successful offseason that saw the A’s GM bolster significantly bolster his playoff squad, Beane decided that one more blockbuster move was in order. Jed Lowrie was headed to Oakland, with Chris Carter (the good one), Max Stassi and Brad Peacock going over to the Astros. For the purpose of this piece, I will be focusing on the loss of Carter. Stassi is a former 4th round pick of the A’s and a young 21 Year Old catching prospect. With Derek Norris ready to grab the A’s catching job for the next decade, I can see how he was expandable. Peacock was a 41st round pick of the Nationals. A 25 Year Old arm that may develop one day, but crashed and burned last season in AAA. With the A’s pitching depth, I can see how he could be ticketed out-of-town for a change of scenery. But Chris Carter?  Really Billy??!! You worked your magic to get him in the first place from the Diamondbacks. I certainly hope that your return pans out (Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez). Right now, I simply cannot see the logic of this move.


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Bartolo Colon: Ready For One More “BIG” Season in Oakland

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Sunday January 13th, 2013

bartolo colon

Bartolo Colon saw his 2012 season end early due to a PED suspension. He is scheduled to return in April. Does he have one more big year left in the tank?

Jonathan Hacohen  (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder):  

Bartolo Colon (or Fatolo as he is known in inner-baseball circles), is set to make his major league return in April, 2013. Back in August, 2012 Colon received a 50-game suspension for the use of a Performance Enhancing Drug (PED). This suspension came a week after Melky Cabrera received his 50-game ban. With only 5 games left in his suspension, Colon will be back in early-April (health permitting). But as much as fans discuss his performance on the field, Colon’s weight always seems to be the center of attention. Generously listed at 5’11” and 265 lbs. on the Baseball Reference site, Colon won’t be winning modelling contests anytime soon. Billy Beane said it best in Moneyball, when he made it clear to his scouts that the team wasn’t trying to sell jeans. They were trying to win ballgames. Regardless of his weight and appearance, as long as Bartolo Colon can get the job done, I say hand him the ball every 5th game. Babe Ruth wasn’t a small guy, but he sure got the job done. Colon may not have the talent possessed by Ruth, but he can still be effective on most given nights. When baseball has 1-2 pitchers falling to Tommy John surgery on a weekly basis, there is something to be said for a pitcher that can go out there and give his team a good chance of winning. That is the Bartolo Colon that the A’s are hoping for in 2013. With a $3 Million salary this year and approximately $2 Million in incentives to be earned, Colon has all the incentives in place to give the A’s the workhorse they need this upcoming season.


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

Monday, November 26th, 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.

 

Roy Halladay won 148 out of his 199 career wins under the years he played for the Blue Jays. After struggling with his mechanics early in his career, he was one of the best pitchers in the AL for the years of 2002-2009.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

The Toronto Blue Jays have had some incredible pitchers in their 35 years in the MLB.  From Dave Stieb being one of the top 2 pitchers in the 1980’s, to the dominant closers like Tom Henke and Duane Ward be part of their playoff runs, to Pat Hentgen and Juan Guzman firing out of their career like a sprinter making a mad dash for the finish line, to David Wells, Jimmy Key and Roger Clemens tasting success, awards and leading the league in many categories.  Finally, you had the premier pitcher in the American League with Roy Halladay in the 2002-2009 time frame.  Yes there may be some competition from C.C. Sabathia for that last claim, however no one will argue that Halladay is not one of the best pitchers of this ERA.  His being the Career Leader in winning percentage attests to that with 199 Wins versus 100 Losses (.666).  So let us take a journey through the franchise and recognize all of the best hurlers that have towed the hill for the Toronto club.  (Scroll Down Past the Links or Click the READ MORE OF THIS ENTRY ICON.)

Franchise Series Links:

Franchise History Part 1 1977-1993:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/09/jays1/

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

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/16/torhitter/

Skydome Part 5 of 7 :  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen

2013 Team Payroll  Part 6 of 7 :  http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/10/tor/

Special Bonus Fan Blog Of 2013 Team Payroll Part 7 of 7:   http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/12/torfanalex/

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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 Tigers Prevailed in the 1987 AL East Race Before Losing The ALCS: In 2012, They Want a Parade!

Friday, October.19/2012

 

Most of the 1984 Tigers were still on the roster in 1987 when the Tigers wrestled the pennant away from the Toronto Blue Jays. Those 7 games the two teams played in their final 10 games were better than anything I watched in the playoffs that year including the World Series!

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

In 1987, 3 of the 4 teams that are in the 2012 MLB LCS Round also qualified back then.  The Cardinals and Giants won the NL East and West respectively while the Tigers won the AL East.  The only difference was that the Yankees are in this version of the ‘Final Four’ now and the 1987 opponent of the Tigers was the eventual World Series Winners the Minnesota Twins.  The Tigers were 3 years removed from their World Series Championship team and still held a majority of their core players from that run in 1984.

I was 11.  I only point that out because most of us find our true sporting identity around this age.  It would also be the last time my 3 brothers, my dad and I would watch every pitch of the post season together ever.  That is why I remember the club so well.  While I had transformed into a New York Yankees and Don Mattingly fan, I watched the Detroit Tigers all of the time on the WDIV Channel (Channel 4).  As someone who lived in BC Canada cable subscriber we only ever received the Tigers, the CUBS (WGN), the Braves (TBS), the Blue Jays (TSN and CBC), the Expos (RDS and French Channel CBC) and the Mariners (KING 5).  Those Braves and Mariners were bad in the 80’s and the CUBS you could only watch if you were sick from school because they always played day games.  So it was a heavy dose of the Expos, Blue Jays and Tigers. Read the rest of this entry

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

Jack Morris: It Is Time To Elect This Winner Into The Baseball Hall Of Fame!

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Tuesday, January.08/2013

Jack Morris led the Major Leagues for Wins in the 80's by posting a 162-129 Record (.556). He was a 5 Time ALL-Star and had 6 Top 10 Finishes for AL Cy Young. He also hurled 175 Complete Games.  He won 20 Games 3 separate years, 16+ Wins in 9 Years and 15+ Wins in 12 of his 17 full years and 18 seasons overall.

Jack Morris led the Major Leagues for Wins in the 80’s by posting a 162-119 Record (.577). He was a 5 Time ALL-Star and had 6 Top 10 Finishes for AL Cy Young. He also hurled 175 Complete Games. He won 20 Games 3 separate years, 16+ Wins in 10 Years and 15+ Wins in 12 of his 16 full years – and 18 seasons overall.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

The debate for whether or not Jack Morris belongs in the Baseball Hall Of Fame has heated up to an ALL-Time high with the big vote going down tomorrow.   575 members of  BBWAA fraternity will decide whether or not the big man from Minnesota will enter one of the hardest Hall Of Fame’s to enter in pro sports (if not the hardest).  Morris will need a 75% (432 Minimum Votes) of them to write down his name on their ballot for enshrinement into Cooperstown. Last year, Morris received 66.7 % of the writers votes in his 13th year of eligibility.  He will have his name on a 14th ballot this year.  He has been trending up in recent years, so if he can improve with the same amount of 2011-2012 jump of (+13.2%), then he will make it in. If he fails to reach the Hall this year, 2014 would be his last year of eligibility for the BBWAA Vote.  He could still make it via the Veterans Committee after that.

Jack Morris was a winner, a true throwback pitcher who came after hitters with reckless abandon.  He pitched based on what the score was – and had no personal regard for his own personal statistics.  It is this very reason why the debate has hit epic proportions on social media hubs, amongst bloggers, former players, analysts, broadcaster and statisticians.  I intend to prove the case for the guy in a manner that will have some similarities to other pieces you may have read, yet promote a big look into the numbers that I have been bouncing around in my head for months. I even have had a #JackMorrisAwarenessWeek on Twitter and have been having feuds with people on the other side who don’t think he belongs in Cooperstown- while I have been Retweeted by his biggest supporters.  Let the battle lines be drawn!

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The 2012 Tigers may Bring first WS Title Home to Detroit Since 1984

Monday, March.26/2012

Kirk Gibson celebrates with teammates during a 1984 World Series Game 1 homer, they won the series 4-1 over the San Diego Padres.

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer @ChuckBooth3024 on Twitter) - My dad and I were not always Yankees fans.  In the past blogs I had written that my favorite teams when I first started watching baseball were the Montreal Expos(because of Gary Carter) and my American League team was the Detroit Tigers (because of Lance Parrish).  As a 7-year-old kid playing baseball, our team name was the Tigers.  I remember that as I took my position behind home plate, the coach called me Lance Parrish.  My dad was the assistant coach that year and would whip baseball’s at me to toughen me up.  I asked him too, because I wanted to learn how to block them like #13. 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.

The Jon Heyman Interview: The Writer Behind the Breaking MLB Stories

Monday January 2, 2012

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  One of the pleasures I enjoy in writing for MLB reports is that I get to speak with many of the key personalities in the game of baseball.  Over the past year, I have been very fortunate to interview some of baseball’s most important movers and shakers.  Derrick Hall, President and C.E.O. of the Diamondbacks.  Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.  Adam Jones, star outfielder of the Baltimore Orioles.  Casey Bond, former baseball player and actor in a little film known as Moneyball.  Writer Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  Author Howard Megdal.  From each interview, I always walk away with more wisdom by having received the opportunity to talk baseball with leading industry people.  While my love of baseball fuels me to write about the game, analyze and discuss it, I never believe that I am above the game.  I always feel that there is more to learn and understand. Baseball is an endless pursuit of knowledge.  With its long rich history, it is impossible to know everything about the game.  We just try to keep up as best as we can.

With that in mind, there is one baseball personality that I have longed to interview for some time.  One of my idols in the business.  He may not be a walking baseball encyclopedia, but he is pretty darn close.  Jon Heyman, formerly of Sports Illustrated and now with CBS Sports.  Jon’s story is well-known in the industry.  He worked for Newsday for 16 years covering the New York Yankees.  Jon was also at one point a Baseball Columnist for the Sporting News.  He became the Senior Baseball Writer for Sports Illustrated before joining CBS Sports just last month.  There are several aspects to Jon Heyman’s writing that I was always found appealing.  He is very well-connected in the industry.  If there is a story to be broken, generally he is one of the first (if not THE first to break it).  He has a strong ability to analyze different aspects of the game and to break down various subjects (whether it be a trade or free agent signing) in concise terms.  Jon is opinionated and is not afraid to share his two cents.  He is engaging with his readers and is very accommodating in answering the many questions and comments he receives.  But most importantly, he is human.  Jon Heyman does not believe that he is superior to his readers and writes to them, not above them.  It is a very fine skill that only the top writers possess.  Jon Heyman is one of those writers in my estimation.

When I speak to young writers starting in the industry (usually those starting their own websites/blogs), I tell them all one key point.  The most important thing to remember in writing is that you want to invoke reactions from your readers.  They could be good reactions…or negative.  But at least you are able to elicit emotions.  There is nothing worse for a writer than to produce material that nobody reads or cares about.  Some posts may fuel anger and backlash.  Young writers tend to be afraid of turning off or losing readers by upsetting them.  It is a delicate balance, but my advice is those posts that are received negatively are often the ones most read.  From there, readers will return because “they want to see what you will say next”.  Nobody knows this better than Jon Heyman.  For the writing genius that Heyman is, I have never seen a writer that receives more negative backlash and criticism from readers.  Yet the ironic twist is that those same “haters” are the ones that are the first to read Jon’s work.  It is almost like some readers are watching his every move, just waiting to find a mistake so that they can pounce and call him out on his errors.  Jon knows this and thrives on it.  Another reason why he is one of the best in the industry.

Baseball writing is a high stakes field.  Reputations are built by the strength of a person’s writing and ability to report the news.  In this golden age of internet and social media, getting the “scoops” is more competitive than ever.  But as the reporting game changes, Jon Heyman remains a constant.  A leader in his field, he inspires other writers like myself to grow and develop our craft.  Today Jon joins us to discuss his storied career.  From his start in Newsday, to his shift to Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports.  To his possible future in baseball broadcasting (including his analyst role on the MLB Network).  Jon shares his favorite all-time interview (you won’t believe this one!)  To his opinions on a variety of baseball topics, including the next MLB commissioner, realignment and an international draft.  After bringing so many interviews to his audience, the tables are turned- and today Jon Heyman becomes the featured subject.  You know the scoops.  You know the stories.  Now get ready to know the person behind the headlines.  I am proud to present my interview with famed baseball writer (and Cooperstown candidate, regardless of what he says):  CBS Sports Baseball Writer, Jon Heyman.

MLB reports:  Welcome to MLB reports Jon Heyman.  It is an honor to be speaking to you today.  You were born in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  A beautiful area that I have visited before (my uncle lived for many years in Taos).  At what age did your family move to New York and why the relocation?

Jon Heyman:  I was 6 when we moved to New York. My mother was from New York, and she had a nice childhood, so I’m guessing that is why we moved to New York (it’s so long ago I can’t be sure).

 

MLB reports:  If you hadn’t grown up in New York, would you still have pursued journalism?

Jon Heyman:  I guess I’ll never know the answer to that one. I’d guess so.

 

MLB reports:  At what age did the writing bug first bite you?   When did you decide that you would write about baseball for a living?

Jon Heyman:  At Lawrence High School on Long Island I wrote for the school newspaper, The Mental Pabulum, which is a dumb name that I think means ‘food for thought’… or something like that. It was probably my senior year that I started to think about it. Then when I went to Northwestern, it seemed like the thing to do. It really wasn’t much more complicated than that.

 

MLB reports:  If you had not pursued writing as a career, what would you be doing today for a living?

Jon Heyman:  Maybe something with numbers. The sabremetric folks may find that hard to believe. But I loved math as a kid. I outgrew that though.

 

MLB reports:  Being a well-regarded baseball writer, you must be constantly on the go.  What percentage of the year are you on the road?

Jon Heyman:  First of all, thanks for the nice word. Not everyone would agree with that characterization. I’m on the road for spring training, the All-Star Game, the playoffs, the World Series and the GM and Winter Meetings. So about three months out of the year. Although since I live in Miami, I spend about two weeks of spring training at home.

 

MLB reports:  I understand that you are now primarily located between Miami and New York.  What factors played a role in your decision on residence?

Jon Heyman:  We lived in New York when I was at Newsday, and it’s a good spot for baseball so we keep a small place there. My family loves Miami.

 

MLB reports:  Aside from a successful career, you are also married with a daughter.  How do you balance work and home life?

Jon Heyman:  Family is much more important. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that, especially when I’m spending hours trying to nail down a Guillermo Mota signing.

 

MLB reports:  What was your first big break in the industry?  I presume it was the job with Newsday as a Yankees beat writer?

Jon Heyman:  My first break was the opening of The National. Although they didn’t hire me, they opened up jobs at newspapers all over the country by hiring tens of sports writers at major papers. The best day of my career was the day I got the call from Jeff Williams of Newsday offering me a job at Newsday, the paper I delivered as a kid. I was working at the Copley Los Angeles papers at the time, covering the Angels for the Santa Monica Outlook and the Torrance Daily Breeze, and that was a great way to break into daily beat coverage, on the West Coast for an afternoon paper. But Newsday was the pinnacle for me at the time. I got a call the same day from the Los Angeles Times for a possible backup Angels job. But I wanted to go home. My mother still lived in New York. So it was an easy call for me.   

 

MLB reports:  Did you choose to cover the Yankees….or did the Yankees choose you?

Jon Heyman:  The job Newsday had was covering the Yankees. They decided to promote Tom Verducci to national baseball writer (good decision there), and Marty Noble preferred the Mets, so the opening they had was for the Yankees. A lot of folks were afraid to cover the Steinbrenner Yankees. I didn’t know any better. They were my favorite team growing up. At that time it was a dream job.   

 

MLB reports:  Since leaving Newsday, do you find you still have a special relationship/affinity for the Yankees?  How did you find the change from Newsday to SI?

Jon Heyman:  Once I started covering baseball, I stopped rooting for the Yankees or any one team. There’s someone on the web who claims I am a big Yankees honk, but some of the pro-Yankees websites know better. The only team I root for now is Northwestern football.  

 

MLB reports:  You arrived at Sports Illustrated in 2006 after a lengthy stint with Newsday.  Tell us about the process of joining Sports Illustrated and how you were selected to become one of their senior baseball writers.

Jon Heyman:  My time was about up at Newsday. They had new management that wanted to pay themselves high salaries while cutting the writing staff to bare bones. I went to Sports Illustrated and pitched a mostly Web job, and they decided to give me a shot. As it turned out, I was pretty fortunate, because as I suspected, Newsday laid off its two other general sports columnists. There isn’t a question in my mind they would have laid me off, too.   

 

MLB reports:  What is your favorite interview that you have conducted in your career?

Jon Heyman:  That’s easy. It was Pascual Perez in a limo outside a strip club in Pompano Beach after he failed a (recreational) drug test. Don Burke, the beat guy from the Bergen (N.J.) Record and I went from strip club to strip club in the Fort Lauderdale area (there were plenty of them) looking for Pascual, and we finally found him a bit north of Lauderdale on US 1.  

 

MLB reports:  Best baseball event/moment that you covered?

Jon Heyman:  Got to the Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. Great game. Unreal performance by Jack Morris and John Smoltz.

 

MLB reports:  Do you end up forming many personal relationships/friendships with the players through your role, or is it kept to a neutral basis?

Jon Heyman:  I’m friendly with some of the guys I covered as players: Chili Davis, Mike Gallego, Jim Abbott, but not friends. So no, it’s not like the really old days where players and writers used to hang out. Back in the ’60s and ’70s, the players weren’t gazillionaires and maybe had a bit more in common with the writers. That changed to some degree by the ’80s.

 

MLB reports:  After so many years as one of the faces for SI baseball, what brought you to CBS Sports this December?  (Please give us an insight as to why you left SI and decided to join CBS Sports.)

Jon Heyman:  I’d established a relationship over the years with the editor at CBSSports.com, Mark Swanson. I don’t recall how it started, but they are located in Fort Lauderdale (seems like Fort Lauderdale has played a big role in my career). We did lunch at the Longhorn Steakhouse maybe a dozen times over the past several years. They have been an increasingly big player in the sports internet world but this year they made huge strides in content and breaking stories by hiring several established and talented writers like Jeff Goodman, Bruce Feldman, Brett McMurphy and many others. It was clear they were serious. I interviewed right after the World Series, and we had a deal a month later.   

 

MLB reports:  Has your role changed from your time at SI to CBS Sports?  What is your primary focus with CBS Sports?

Jon Heyman:  It isn’t too much different. CBS has me doing more blogs to get the news out there more quickly. There are two other veteran baseball writers, Danny Knobler and Scott Miller, who are also actively seeking news and working on newsy angles. There’s a lot of discussion, planning and teamwork at CBS, and fortunately, the teammates are great. Sports Illustrated was great in many ways but totally different.

 

MLB reports:  If you were the commissioner, what would you do to the change the game of baseball?  Is the current system working?

Jon Heyman:  In general, yes. I am worried about the new rules to contain bonuses for drafted amateur talent, and whether that will curtail poor teams from making up the talent gap.


MLB reports:  Time to play Rapid Fire: Tell us your immediate reaction to the following words:  

  1. Realignment

Jon Heyman:   There should be 15 teams in each league. Even steven.

  1. Expansion

Jon Heyman:  I don’t think that’ll be in the baseball lexicon for a while.

  1. Contraction

Jon Heyman:  Not happening.

  1. Expanded Playoffs

Jon Heyman:  Sorry to be wishy-washy, but I’m taking a wait and see approach.

  1. Future of the Designated Hitter

Jon Heyman:  It’ll be here awhile.

  1. International Draft

Jon Heyman:  Against.

  1. World Baseball Classic

Jon Heyman:  Like it. Wish it would catch on more in the U.S.

  1. Baseball in the Olympics

Jon Heyman:  Not necessary.

  1. Collective Bargaining Agreement

Jon Heyman:  Looks good, except for the draft thing.

  1. Hall of Fame Voting

Jon Heyman:  A privilege, but one I get hit over the head for annually (that’s ok, too).

 

MLB reports:  Who do you expect will be the next commissioner of baseball and why?

Jon Heyman:  Rob Manfred. He’s the guy doing the heaviest lifting. Anyone else would be for unfair, and strictly for name recognition.


MLB reports:  What are your future plans Jon?  Where will find you in the next 10+ years?  As an insider for the MLB Network, do you have plans to move into full-time broadcasting?

Jon Heyman:  After 10 years of broadcasting, I think I am finally starting to improve to the point where I occasionally know which camera to look at. Heavens no! I enjoy it, and the producers at MLB Network are nice and incredibly patient and forgiving. But I am a writer. I’d probably be docked at one of those places where the interviewer fancies himself a great intellectual, but I think CBS is my last job.

 

MLB reports:  What are your feelings on the explosion of baseball blogs and social media like Twitter and Facebook?  Is it good for the game?

Jon Heyman:  I’m OK with twitter. It makes me nervous 24 hours a day, but I’m getting used to it. Facebook isn’t something I know anything about.

 

MLB reports:  One day you will likely be getting a call confirming election into Cooperstown as a Baseball Writer.  Have you considered it?  How would you feel about being elected into the Hall of Fame?

Jon Heyman:  Ha, ha. I don’t think writers should be in the Hall of Fame. (Technically, I’m told they aren’t.) It’s self aggrandizing and a popularity contest and serves no purpose. I liked when Ross Newhan was elected because he’s a nice man and very good writer. But maybe we should have just elected Murray Chass and Peter Gammons, and called it a day (although we could have done without Murray’s speech). Those really were the game changers.  

 

MLB reports:  Final question:  What advice would you give to aspiring baseball writers?  What does it take to become the next Jon Heyman?

Jon Heyman:  Not sure anyone would want to be that. But I’d stay to find some aspect of journalism, and concentrate on that, whether it be writing, reporting, editing or whatever. If it’s writing, write a lot. And read a lot. Read the New York Times even if you think it’s too liberal, because on average, noting compares as far as daily newspapers. In general, journalism is like anything else. With a few exceptions, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

 

MLB reports:  Thank you again Jon and I look forward to speaking to you soon.  Happy New Year to you and your family!

Jon Heyman:  You, too!

***A special thank you to Jon Heyman for taking the time out of his hectic schedule today for us on MLB reports.  You can follow Jon on Twitter (@JonHeymanCBS) and yes, he responds to questions and comments!  Be sure to also catch Jon’s column on CBS Sports.  It is a MUST baseball read for all fans!***

 

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

 

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.

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***

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