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Top 10 Active MLB Extra Base Hits Leaders

Cabrera has had back to back AL MVP seasons in 2012 and 2013.  He has also won 3 straight AL Batting Titles. Cabrera is the best player offensively in the universe.  He has put up 10 straight 100+ RBI campaigns, but he has racked in 276 RBI, and also 88 HRs.  The 11 Year Veterans totals would have even been higher in 2013, but he fought a torn groin for the last half of the year.  In his 10.5 seasons, he has smacked 791 XBH, if he can muscle out 674 XBH for the next decade, he could surpass Hank Aaron for 1st on the ALL - Time Extra Base Hits List.

Cabrera has had back to back AL MVP seasons in 2012 and 2013. He has also won 3 straight AL Batting Titles. Cabrera is the best player offensively in the universe. He has put up 10 straight 100+ RBI campaigns, but he has racked in 276 RBI, and also 88 HRs. The 11 Year Veterans totals would have even been higher in 2013, but he fought a torn groin for the last half of the year. In his 10.5 seasons, he has smacked 791 XBH, if he can muscle out 674 XBH for the next decade, he could surpass Hank Aaron for 1st on the ALL – Time Extra Base Hits List.  As he stands right now, he is already on the periphery of the Active top 10 list for the category right now at 12th (791 XBH).

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Now that I have taken a break from the MLB Active players list, I am going to do what I was supposed to do yesterday.

Just remember that this is the list we are going to do at the MLB Reports.

If a player has been removed from the MLB for at least 1 year, and it is not injury related, or the guy is not plugging away in the Minors for a comeback.

Having said this, I am still going to leave Bobby Abreu off of this active list.

I am also throwing out Todd Helton, because he has put forth his retirement papers.

Adrian Beltre Highlights 2013 Season

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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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An American Hobby: Baseball Memorabilia – 1978 Topps Eddie Murray Card

Eddie Murray is second among active switch hitters ALL - Time in HRs to Mickey Mantle with 504 HRs.  This former Rookie of The Year Award Winner in 1977, 7 time ALL - Star, 3 time Silver Slugger and Glove Award Winner, also featured 6 top AL MVP finishes.  In a time where 3B weren't known for hitting that much, he was a masher.  Murra

Eddie Murray is second among  switch hitters ALL – Time in HRs to Mickey Mantle with 504 HRs. This former Rookie of The Year Award Winner in 1977, 7 time ALL – Star, 3 time Silver Slugger and Glove Award Winner, also featured 6 top AL MVP finishes. In a time where 3B weren’t known for hitting that much, he was a masher. Murray still is in the top 10 with his 1917 RBI (1st as a switch hitter).  He also is the Career Leader in SF with 128.

By Lee Edelstein (‘Baseball Memorabilia Enthusiast’ – visit his website here)

MLB Reports: twitter-follow screen_name=’MLBreports’ show_screen_name=’yes’]  We are pleased to present you with Baseball Author Lee Edelstein as the newest writer with us at the Reports.  Lee will be providing us with great stories about baseball memorabilia on a regular basis.

MLB Reports

An American Hobby

Blog 13

Eddie Murray

Today’s article features a member of the 3,000 Hit AND 500 Home Run clubs.  He is one of only four players in MLB history to accomplish this dual feat (Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro).

His nickname was ‘Steady Eddie’ and it was the perfect moniker for Eddie Murray, who would go on to play more games at first base than anyone in baseball history.

As a rookie, Murray played in 160 games, hit .283, swatted 27 homers, and drove in 88 runs.  His debut performance earned him the Rookie of the Year Award for 1977.

No sophomore jinx for Murray who, over the next ten years, would average 28 home runs and 99 RBI per year.

Eddie Murray – Baseball Hall Of Fame Biographies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opening Day Or First Pitches I Wish I’d Already Seen

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Thursday May.30, 2013

 Mitt Romney Even Practices Throwing the First Pitch in the Spring Training with Snowballs.

Jason Alpert-Wisnia: (MLB Reports Kids Writer – visit his website here )

Baseball’s Opening Day is long gone and passed already and I’m a little bit late, and one of the biggest baseball traditions has already done; The Opening Day Pitch.

This pitch marks the starting of the season, and the beginning of the game for the team, and is always thrown by someone of great importance to the home team.

Also, throughout the year, there still are Pitches later that aren’t as important as the Opening Day Pitch, but are still very inetresting and fun and uplifting.

This Opening Day 2013, people such as Joe Torre for the Cincinnati Reds & (Former Staff Sergeant and Winner of the Medal of Honor Award) Clint Romesh for the Washington Nationals.

But this year, many teams Ceremonial First Pitches let me down, and weren’t as good or funny as I wished. So here are some of the people I wished had thrown Opening Day pitches for certain teams this season.

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The Most Underrated Statistic: Extra Base Hits (XBH)

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Saturday, February.02/2013

Alex  Rodriguez is the Active Leader for XBH with 1190, however who knows when he will have a chance to resume his career again and is still owed 114 Million Dollars over the next 5 years

Alex Rodriguez is the Active Leader for XBH with 1190, however who knows when he will have a chance to resume his career again with injuries + allegations of PED use perhaps sparking an investigation/suspension for the MLB and is still owed 114 Million Dollars over the next 5 years.

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

I have nothing against sabermetrics in baseball.  Yes I know they are not going away and I will probably learn them one day as someone who can comprehend Math pretty good.  However, I understand the frustration of the casual fan who will not set a foot near them – although they know what Home Runs and Runs Batted In are.  I have thrown the topic out for discussion on Twitter – and am extremely curious to see what percentage of fans actually follow the new numbers formats.  This site totally allows our writers to convey any form of statistical analysis they want.  The only thing that I request, is that if  they use sabermetrics, to also add some regular stats with them.

One of the stats that can gauge any era since the beginning of baseball is Extra Base Hits.  Before the fences were brought in (or even put up), Doubles and Triples could be hit at any time.  Singles are great in the game too.  There have been several great baseball players that are singles hitters, that also compiled a bunch of Doubles and Triples.  That is why this statistic is fairest to all of the hitters in the history of the game and the most comparable.  Like the old saying, (hit’em where they ain’t), players that can hit the baseball into the open areas of the outfield are special.  Babe Ruth re-coined the phrase later when he said “Well they ain’t over the fence, so that’s where I hit them!”  The Bambino was right.  In the course of this article, we will list the top active list for this category – and some underrated hitters that may stack up nicely against historical hitters.

(Pete Rose Highlights):

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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

Cincinnati’s Favorite Son (Pete Rose) Still Awaits Baseball Re-Instatement And A Spot In Cooperstown

Thursday, October.18/2012

Always driven by the “Almighty Dollar” Pete Rose has appeared in several WWE Pay-Per-Views and was paid to be unceremoniously dumped on his keester like this picture dictates. He was always feuding with the wrestler ‘Kane.” Rose usually showed up at the events as the San Diego Chicken first.  This time he sent someone else as the Chicken and tried to sneak attack ‘The Big Red Machine ” with a baseball bat only to be caught.  I guess Kane wasn’t a fan of the 70′s “Big Red Machine Player.”

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I started watching baseball when I was really young.  Back in the day in the early 1980′s, one of my favorite players was Pete Rose.  I mean who couldn’t admire the ALL-Time Hit Kings all out effort in running the bases?  As a young baseball player myself, I emulated Rose by sprinting to first base when I drew a walk.  I always love why he said he did this: “There is no point in not hustling down to first because that just makes you that much closer to second.”  He was monikered with “Charlie Hustle” for his tenacity towards the game.  Who could ever forget how he wiped out Ray Fosse in the 1970 ALL-Star Game?  Pete Rose was ‘old school’ as they come.  He is the ALL-Time leader in Games Played (3562) At Bats (14059), Plate Appearances (15890) and of course his 4256 hits still sits 1st on the Career list.  The man also had 10-200 hit seasons (Tied for 1st ALL-Time with Ichiro Suzuki) and has won 3 batting titles.  He was on 3 World Series Championship teams including being the key transaction in putting over the 1980 Phillies to their first franchise World Series Title ever.  Rose had a .303  Career Avg while hitting .300 in 17 different seasons and making 17 different ALL-Star Teams.  He was the Rookie of the Year for the Reds in 1963 and was the NL MVP in 1973, when he hit .338 and collected 230 hits.  Rose also holds a 426-388 Career Record as a Manager with the Reds.

I wish every MLB Player would adopt Pete Rose’s intensity for the game of baseball. I am happy to see Mike Trout and Bryce Harper hustle their muscles off like Pete Rose did. Maybe others will follow.

Rose was also last Player/Manager in the Major Leagues, when he played and called the shots with the Cincinnati Reds in 1986.  All of these incredible achievements should have placed him in Cooperstown by the early 90′s, however he was just as competitive in something else that would later be revealed.  On Aug.24/1989, Pete Rose was issued a lifetime ban from the MLB for betting on the game of baseball.  It shocked the world and was the biggest scandal in the National Pastime since the 1919 Black Sox Scandal.  Pete fought for his innocence with as much reckless abandonment as he displayed with his famous head first slides. Read the rest of this entry

The Legacy of Chris Carpenter: Savior in St. Louis

Thursday October 18th, 2012

Chris Carpenter started his career in Toronto after being the 15th overall selection in the 1994 draft. After the 2001 season, the Toronto Blue Jays made a calculated decision not to offer Carpenter a major league contract. He elected for free agency, rather than pitching in the minors for Toronto, and his legacy in St. Louis began when the Cardinals picked him up.

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer):

The legend of Chris Carpenter started as a 19-year-old pitching for the Medicine Hat Blue Jays in 1994.  He was the 15th overall pick by the World Series Champion Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 draft.  He was a physical specimen built to stand atop a 9.5” hill and stare down at hitters as they stared back at his 6 foot, 6 inch frame.  Drafted out of Manchester, New Hampshire, the 19-year-old already had a plus fastball and a nice curveball.  By 1997, at the age of 22, Chris Carpenter had broken into the Toronto Blue Jays rotation and was pitching against the best hitters in the world.

As a mid-season call up in 1997, Carpenter struggled in Toronto, hosting an ERA above 5.00 and a record of 3-7 over 13 games.  His role in Toronto was mostly to eat innings, and he was there to gain experience and hopefully blossom into what the Blue Jays brass new head could be.  He was in a rotation that consisted of the 1996 AL Cy Young winner Pat Hentgen, as well as the 1997 AL Cy Young winner Roger Clemens, so he had some serious  mentors to help guide him on breaking into the big leagues.  Despite his amazing talent, Carpenter struggled for most of his first season in Toronto and was eventually moved into the bullpen.  In 1998 however, he emerged and gave everyone at least a glimpse  of what would eventually come of Chris Carpenter, while proving himself to already be a competent starter capable of winning games.  He led the Toronto Blue Jays (tied with Pat Hentgen) with 12 wins in 1998, and continued to pitch well into 1999…at least until he became cursed by a spell of injuries. Read the rest of this entry

Orioles vs. Yankees: Curse of Maier May Be Over

Wednesday October 10th, 2012

The last time the Yankees and Orioles met in Postseason play was in 1996. The Orioles lost that series, and a lot of fingers were pointed at the controversial home run caught young fan, Jeffrey Maier. The Orioles postseason fate may be different this time around against the Bronx Bombers.

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer):

The last time the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees met in the playoffs was in 1996 in the ALCS.  Like in 2012, Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter were on the Yankees roster.  The Orioles boasted a lineup that consisted of Rafael Palmeiro, Roberto Alomar, Cal Ripken Jr., B.J Surhoff, and Brady Anderson—who was having a career year.  That lineup, along with a rotation consisting of Mike Mussina and Scott Erickson and Jimmy Key, gave Baltimore an imposing roster that the Camden Faithful could expect to make a playoff run.

15 years later we see a tale that is much more of a David and Goliath story. The Orioles have not been in the playoff’s since 1997 and have finished 5th place in the AL East for the last 4 consecutive seasons.  The Yankees, conversely, have made the postseason 17 out of the last 18 seasons.  After getting off to a hot start, the Orioles made a trade for future Hall of Famer, Jim Thome, to help add some pop and veteran leadership to their lineup.  Even later in the season, when the team still found themselves in serious contention for October baseball, they called up 20-year-old phenom Manny Machado, who wasn’t even alive when Jim Thome took his first swing in the Major League.  Now, Manny Machado finds himself playing on the same field as his childhood hero, Alex Rodriguez. Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: WBC Qualifiers, Suspending Aceves, Blowing Up the Red Sox and More

Sunday August 26th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

It’s 4:00a.m. on Saturday night/Sunday morning. While most of the baseball world sleeps- the Reports doesn’t sleep. Or at least this particular insomniac. Maybe it’s the excitement over the qualifiers of the 2013 World Baseball Classic coming in 24 days. Perhaps I can’t stop thinking about the Dodgers/Red Sox swap and analyzing in my mind who won/lost that trade. Whatever be the case, I’m about to jump into your weekly baseball questions. Some really good ones folks. Keep them coming every week! Tweet, e-mail, post on Facebook or comment on our site. Whatever you have to do, get your baseball voice heard on MLB reports :)

For the Batting Stance Guy video of the week, we present “Batting Stance Guy Impresses Manny Ramirez“. With all the insanity around Boston this season coming full steam ahead to this weekend’s monster trade, we thought it would be fun to go back in time and remember a kinder and gentler Manny Ramirez. Enjoy! 

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

The Killer B’s Will Have to Wait for the Hall

Wednesday February 8th, 2012


Bryan Sheehan (MLB reports Intern Candidate):  It could be argued that Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio are the two greatest position players in Houston Astros history. As a duo they lead the team to four division titles, two wild card berths and a World Series appearance (though Bagwell played just 39 games during the 2005 season that ended with a World Series sweep by the Chicago White Sox).  The club records for home runs (449) and hits (3,060) are also held by Bagwell and Biggio, respectively. In the fifteen years that the two played together, the Astros had just two losing seasons.  They spent virtually their whole careers together tearing it up in Houston. So the question must be asked: will their reunion take place in Cooperstown in 2013? (more…)

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***

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Ask the Reports: Your Baseball Questions Answered – Sunday January 15th, 2012

Sunday January 15th, 2012

Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!

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

Q:  Any news on moves for Derrek Lee & Casey Kotchman? With Yanks recent pitching acquisitions, does Boston pursue Roy Oswalt more aggressively?  Rick

MLB reports:  Great questions Rick.  No and no are the answers.  Sorry!  To answer your first question: Lee and Kotchman are plans “c” and “d”, if that, for contending teams.  Teams on the rise would prefer to use younger players at first base. So the market for both is limited at best.  Both Lee and Kotchman will need to fight to get full-time jobs.  Kotchman will find something based on his solid 2011 campaign.  Perhaps a return to the Rays is in order.  Lee on the other hand, is getting on in years.  I could see him retiring at this point, or in a year from now.  It just depends on how desperate some teams are to get a veteran presence on their team and if trust is there for either player.  With regards to Oswalt, I see him signing very soon.  Boston could use him, yes, but I am not sensing a fit.  The top teams for his services appear to be the Rangers and Jays.  At 1-year and $8 million, he will likely have 20+ teams pursuing him.  Boston does need Roy Oswalt in the worst way at this point. He would help stabilize a rotation that needs his presence. But this decision will come down to geography and fit for the player.

 

Q:  Is Jesus Montero- Victor Martinez good?  How far is J.P. Arencibia or Travis d’Arnaud from Montero?  Derek

MLB reports:  The Montero questions begin!  I made the comparison on the trade of the trade that Montero was comparable to V-Mart and I stand behind that one.  Carlos Santana is another good comparison.  Extremely strong bat, will hit for high average with good pop.  Glove is questionable.  Montero will be good, I am just on the fence on whether it will happen in Seattle.  The  hope is that with a young team, he will blossom into a superstar. It will depend on whether he feels any pressure to live up to replacing Michael Pineda and ends up putting too much pressure on himself. He seems like a confident young man, so he should do well.  The V-Mart threshold is a high one to reach.  But we are definitely talking in the same category.  Now d’Arnaud and Arencibia are a different story.  Being based in Toronto, I get asked on these guys often. Here is my take put simply.  Arencibia is a good guy, with good power in his bat.  He is popular in the clubhouse and seen as a developing defensive catcher. His liabilities are his low average, high strikeouts and inability to take a walk.  A .219 AVG and .282 OBP don’t cut it in my book.  If JP doesn’t develop, he will become the Rob Deer of catchers.  Travis d’Arnaud, on the other hand, may not have JP’s power (debatable), but he will definitely hit for a much higher average.  He also will need to learn to take walks and cut down on strikeouts, but he should be more consistent offensively than Arencibia.  Defensively, I have heard mixed things- but both will stick at catcher.  So defensively, both Arencibia and d’Arnaud are above Montero.  But Montero’s bat is far superior to either of the other guys.  He is major league ready now to hit, while JP and Travis are still learning to hit consistently.  If I had to rate each, I would give Montero an 8/10, d’Arnaud a 6/10 and Arencibia a 5/10.  Montero is far ahead, with only d’Arnaud having the best chance to close the gap.

 

 Q:  Do the Phillies really expect Ryan Howard to be fully “baseball ready” before June 1st?  Old Man Mack

MLB reports:  LOL.  That is the hope sir.  If I had to be a fly on the wall, I bet the Phillies are hoping that he will be ready before that.  But if the Kendrys Morales injury has taught us anything, is that you never know how some of these freak accidents will heal.  My crystal ball sees Howard back after the All-Star break.  Unless he is 110% healed, why risk it?  His long-term health and productivity are at risk.  I would not be shocked if Howard took longer to heal and had to miss all of 2012.  But chances are that he will be back, just not till sometime in July or August of 2012. If he is back sooner, he better be ready…or a setback could be around the corner.  I would say the bigger question is how long he stays in the lineup, rather than when he is back.

 

Q:  What are the Tigers chances on Yoenis Cespedes?  Michael

MLB reports:  The Cespedes rumors are flying fast and furious. The teams that have been most linked to him are the Marlins and the Tigers.  There have been stories of 5 teams, 10, 20…all sorts of numbers thrown around about this guy.  Now, people are questioning why he is playing winter ball and in fact hurting his stock.  My gut feel is that there isn’t as high of a demand for him as people suspect and that teams are cautious at throwing big money at an unknown quantity. But even if he doesn’t put up the best numbers this offseason, it has to be considered that he is rusty and been away from the game for some time. People should not expect Babe Ruth immediately, just to view his tools and to see if the mechanics are there. I like the Marlins chances best at signing Cespedes.  Team Latino gets a 50% chance of landing Cespedes, with the Tigers at roughly 20%.  

 

Q:  Does Vance Worley come back to earth in his sophomore season?  Justin

MLB reports:  Nah man, Vance never left!  Just kidding, but I know what you mean. Vance Worley was unbelievable in 2011, with an 11-3 record, 3.01 ERA and 1.230 WHIP.  His won/loss record will depend largely on his offensive support and bullpen, so that we will leave to fate somewhat. I see Vance throwing quality strikes and keeping his walks low. He will not be an ace, but he will be very steady. He has the minor league track record and has already proven himself at the highest stage (in one of the most pressure filled environments, Philadelphia).  Expect some regression, but not too much. Vance Worley is the real deal. A sophomore jinx should be avoided, but he will still take time to develop.  Remember he is only 24-years of age.  By year 3 or 4, expect a stud 20 game winner to emerge. 

 

Q:  With the new players eligible for the 2013 Hall of Fame class (Bonds, Clemens, Sosa etc.): will any be inducted?  Ken

MLB reports:  Ken. Ken. Ken. Mr. I say that Tim Raines MUST be inducted. :) He is back for more… Just playing with you Ken, you know we love ya.  48.7% of the vote Ken, I guess the voters aren’t all sold…yet.  Here is my knock on Raines- get ready.  Played 23 seasons. Not a bad thing in its own right. But definitely inflated some of his numbers. 980 RBIs.  So he averaged less than 50 a year. 1571 runs scored. For 23 years played, not fantastic. A hall of fame leadoff man should easily be scoring 100+ per year, even on poor teams. Raines only did it 6 times. .294 AVG and .385 OBP.  Very good. Like those numbers. The man did not hit many doubles or triples. He was basically a singles and stolen base machine.  Now go check out our man Vince Coleman. Both in their primes, they were one of the top stolen base threats. Raines got more hits and got caught less stealing. But then Coleman appears to have attempted more stolen bases. Raines played longer and ultimately had the stronger career. But in the prime years, I can’t say that Raines was that much more spectacular than Coleman. Raines is very good and will get into the hall of fame the Jim Rice route. But it is not the Hall of Very Good. It is the Hall of Fame. 

Now with your true question: Will any of the new eligible players be inducted into Cooperstown in 2013?  The candidates are Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Sosa, Schilling, Biggio and Lofton.  I can tell you right now, based on Palmeiro and McGwire’s poor standings, that there is no chance in heck that Bonds, Clemens or Sosa are getting in.  No way.  No how.  The ones I see getting in are Biggio and Piazza. Secretly, I have fantasized at night about Biggio and Bagwell getting in together. It was just meant to be. If Bagwell does not get in next year, then he will have to wait for some time. I feel next year will be his year. Piazza has to get in as a 1st ballot hall of famer. The numbers he put up as a catcher demand it. Next year is the year that hall of fame voters get their true test. If Piazza is out, then the hall of fame will really have to sit down and work out a better set of criteria for voting. The writers are going to feel like they are on a raft without paddles…it is time to fix the voting mess once and for all. Are these guys hall of famers or not? Let’s lay down the law and be done with it.  No more fence-sitting. 2013 will be a big year for sure.

 

Q:   Over/under 13.5 psychotic episodes in Miami?  Sam

MLB reports:  Under.  Way under!  I think you will see maybe 5-6 big blow ups. Carlos Zambrano will get into 1-2 confrontations. Hanley will explode about the position change once.  LoMo will have one twitter incident.  Ozzie will have a couple of issues likely develop. Apparently the Miami Marlins are being considered for the baseball reality show this year. If that happens, watch out. That will be Grade A television!!!

 

Final Q:  Will the Brewers be able to win the central despite losing Prince and no Braun for first 50 games?  Eric

MLB reports: My brain says no and my heart says maybe. The reality is that the Brewers are in tough. Very tough. The loss of Prince will be huge (when it happens) and same with Braun if the suspension is upheld. But even with those guys, the Brewers would still be in tough. The Cardinals, even with the loss of the Pujols and La Russa and absence of Duncan would still be a strong team.  The Reds though are the team to beat, as they are frontrunners to take the NL Central this year. The Brewers still have Greinke and Gallardo, so they have a chance. But I just see the Reds as the class of the division this year. The Cardinals are going to regress and will have a tough time defending their title. But without their main offensive stars, the Brewers go from stars to ordinary. The window appears to be closing on the Brewers… and opening for the Reds in 2012.

 

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

How the Baseball Hall of Fame Voting Should Work

Monday  January 9th, 2012

Daniel Aubain (Guest Writer @DJAubain):  When it comes to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, there seems to be two schools of thought on which players are deserving of induction; those who see it as an inclusive process, and those who see it as an exclusive process.

I’ll let you know right off the bat which group I fall into…the inclusives. Just look at the official name of the place again. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. AND MUSEUM. Their website lists “Preserving History”, “Honoring Excellence” and “Connecting Generations” as what can only be described as the core values or mission statement of the Hall itself.

A lot of people want to point to Section 5 of the BBWAA Election Rules which states, “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played”, as an instant ban for not only proven PEDs users but also those suspected to probably have used (but no proof was ever discovered).

Give me a break. Let’s stop talking about a player’s “character” and “integrity”, as the Hall’s first inductee was Ty Cobb. Or that we’ve left the voting to a group, the writers, of whom only 77.5% felt Jackie Robinson was Hall worthy. You know, THE Jackie Robinson who has an award named after him, an entire day dedicated to celebrating his career accomplishments and the only player to have his uniform number unilaterally retired by all teams.  In fact, there has NEVER been a unanimous selection into Cooperstown.  Not Babe Ruth. Not Cal Ripken. Not Hank Aaron.  How is that possible?

This is the same group of individuals who regularly use the phrase, “[Player X] is not a first-ballot Hall of Famer.” What the heck does that even mean? Either a player is “hall worthy” or he isn’t. It shouldn’t have to take an internet-based campaign by so-dubbed “statheads” to convince baseball writers that a player like Bert Blyleven belongs in the Hall.

Baseball has well-defined “eras” such as the “Deadball Era”, “Expansion Era” and now the “Steroid Era”. Players should be judged against the players they played against rather than against the greatest of all time. There are no Babe Ruths and Cy Youngs playing these days and there probably never will be again. They set the standards for players of their respective eras because they accomplished things no one had ever done prior to them. So for that, I refuse to weigh whether a player’s accomplishments of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s compares to a player of the 1940s, 1950s and such.

Okay. So now that you know my opinion of what the Hall should be, here is my 2012 Hall of Fame ballot. But first, section 4.B of the BBWAA Election Rules states, “Electors may vote for as few as zero (0) and as many as ten (10) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election.” As such, I will be using all 10 of my votes today and will rank them in order of worthiness, in my eyes. I found this chart on Baseball-Reference.com to be very helpful in weighing my decisions.

  1. Jeff Bagwell
  2. Barry Larkin
  3. Edgar Martinez
  4. Tim Raines
  5. Larry Walker
  6. Alan Trammel
  7. Dale Murphy
  8. Rafael Palmeiro
  9. Mark McGwire
  10. Don Mattingly

I don’t think I need to go into the individual numbers of each player’s career accomplishments. But as you can tell, I am NOT keeping out PED users (proven or suspected) or a “DH-only” player. I’m voting with my eyes for the first nine players on my ballot and the last one with my heart. I’m okay living in a world where the “Hall of the Elite” exists.

I’m okay if we celebrate players who had human flaws just like you and me (Pete Rose, Joe Jackson, Palmeiro, McGwire, Barry Bonds, etc.) After all, it’s not like any of these guys ever killed a man. Right, Ty Cobb? Right?

Thanks to the great folks at MLB reports for allowing me the opportunity to share my voice with their audience. I truly appreciate it. Be sure to follow me on Twitter for updates on what the future has in store for me and all other guest posting articles I’ll be doing this offseason.

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.

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