Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 22, 2017

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Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

I listed my thoughts on the greatest players in each franchise’s history. I realized that Francisco Lindor has the outside chance to become the greatest player in Cleveland Indians history.

It is there for the taking.

It is a legacy episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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CHICAGO CUBS TOP 25 PROSPECTS

This farm system has been built on the backs of Elite position players and the ability of the minor league staff to help them reach their potential. The Major League lineup is one of the most potent in baseball, and there are still prospects who could add more firepower to the order. The up and coming prospects cover a wide range of ages so that the team can be primed to defend their championship this season while also having insurance policies as arbitration years approach shortly.

The top of the list is again loaded with positional talent as Chicago looks to have options in the infield (Happ, Jeimer Candelario) and the outfield (Jimenez, Mark Zagunis, Eddy Martinez). Though there is limited star power, the Cubs starting lineup has enough to hold over the city. More important for the short-term, players such as Victor Caratini and Wladimir Galindo should see extended time on the 25-man roster.

Chicago Cubs Top Prospects

Detroit Tigers Centerfield Options Heading In To Spring Training

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With all other positions pretty stable, there really are only a handful of battles for the Detroit Tigers heading in to spring training.  The 5th rotation spot will be interesting, there will be bullpen spots up for grabs, but I believe the main focus will be Centerfield after the trade of Cameron Maybin to clear some salary from the books.

The centerfield job is pretty much up for grabs as spring games commence later in the week with JaCoby Jones, Tyler Collins, Mikie Mahtook, Anthony Gose, David Lough, and Alex Presely all via for the position to name a few.  Mahtook in my opinion has a slight edge; however a lot can change over the next month.  Let’s take a look at some of the options…

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 21, 2017

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Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America

The Cubs won it all last year. Perhaps you heard. But let’s savor how infrequently a team wins in the year they are SUPPOSED to win!

Perfectly timing titles on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Is Matt Kemp’s Late-Season Revival With the Braves Sustainable?

Matt Kemp isn’t the MVP-caliber ballplayer he used to be with the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier in his career. Despite that, the Atlanta Braves have high expectations for the right-handed hitting outfielder in 2017.

Those expectations aren’t coming without them getting a glimpse of what he could do for the offense, though.

After the San Diego Padres shipped him to Atlanta at last summer’s non-waiver trade deadline, Kemp was one of the reasons behind the Braves offense going from being historically awful to finishing as a top-performing unit.

His arrival also spurred a personal boost in production — he hit 23 homers in 431 plate appearances with San Diego, but produced just a 102 wRC+. Once the trade took place, that number jumped to 120 in 241 plate appearances (while hitting 12 more homers).

Yes, the Braves are technically still rebuilding, but with a new ballpark opening and their flurry offseason moves, they’re aiming to at least be competitive this year, and Kemp’s performance will play a significant role.

The big question with Spring Training now underway is whether or not his two-month stretch of above-average offensive production is sustainable for an entire season. If it’s going to be, he may need to make a few changes.

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Chris Sáenz – A History-making Cup of Coffee

Only four pitchers in baseball history have started only one major league game, thrown six scoreless innings or more, and recorded a win in the process.  Chris Sáenz (pronounced SYNS) of the Milwaukee Brewers is the most recent, and actually the first hurler since 1899 to accomplish the feat.

 

As with most cup of coffee players, a perfect chain of events had to play out for Sáenz to make just one appearance and disappear, never to be heard from again.  The early 2004 season for the Brewers was ripe with issues – enough in fact, for a Double A pitcher to be called up to face the Central Division rival St. Louis Cardinals in late April.

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A Vindictive President Destroys a National Institution

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A story of a bombastic, vindictive man who brooked no challenge to his authority, had no tolerance for weakness, and hated whom he saw as “losers.” We’re speaking, of course, of Ban Johnson, founder and president of the American League.  READ MORE AT PLATE COVERAGE

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 20, 2017

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It is Presidents Day. Will we ever have a baseball player President?

Why not?

Hail to the Chief on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 19, 2017

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On Twitter, I posted YouTube clips of the person I declared the best of each franchises. People today call that a GOAT, Greatest of All Time. I am not ready to use that term.

Goat still means something bad to me!

But the reaction I got to the clips inspired The Sunday Request

Try Johnny Bench? Honus Wagner? Wrong? Um, I have given this some thought. I am just trying to get some healthy debate about something that ISN’T politics on line!

Feeling like a goat on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Here are the Tweets with the video clips.

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Atlantis Casino Wagers For 2017 MLB Win Totals

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The old adage here is ‘you want to know the truth, follow the money.

We have been talking projections for win totals in the upcoming MLB Year on a all offseason basis here at the MLB Reports. While we agreed a lot with the fangraphs.com prognostications, we had a problem with Baseball Prospectis’s PECOTA System yet again.

In the 1st total listed below are the official Win/Loss Over/Unders For All 30 MLB Clubs posted by Atlantis Casino.

We have to say that they pretty much mirrored what we have on the board for our projections.

Casino’s have a vested interest since it will cost them serious money if there are poor predictions.

In the last week, we have seen the Royals ink Travis Wood, but more importantly Alex Reyes was lost for the season by the Cardinals due to his upcoming Tommy John Surgery. Read the rest of this entry

Why Pablo Sandoval is in a Position to Succeed With the Boston Red Sox

Once a ballyhooed free agent signing, Pablo Sandoval’s 2016 season with the Boston Red Sox ended after a total of three games and an unacceptable number of trips to the dinner plate. Plagued with shoulder issues and an alarming weight gain, the third baseman barely made it on the field to try and follow up on a miserable 2015 campaign that was his first with the team. Now noticeably slimmer and reportedly healthy, his bid for a comeback is being aided by his team, which has put him in the best possible position to succeed.

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Randy Levine proves to be classless

Randy Levine Makes All The Wrong Movements Post Betances Arbitration Hearing

The Dutch Baseball Hangout

As you may know, the Yankees and their setup man Dellin Betances were involved in a harsh dispute about the 2017 salary of Betances. Betances was asking $5 million, while the Yankees did not want to spend more than $3 million. During the past weeks, both parties did not get closer to each other. So an arbitration hearing was needed.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Dellin BetancesDellin Betances (photo by Alchetron.com)


The outcome of the arbitration hearing was that the Yankees don’t have to pay Betances $5 million but only the $3 million they wanted. Nothing wrong with that. It is a part of the business. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Setup men, even though they are elite, are simply rewarded less than star closers. And while Betances was lights out as a setup man, he struggled as a closer after the Yankees got rid of Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller.

But there is something that…

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Who’s in Command Here?!?

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So if pitchers who strike out a lot of batters while walking few tend to be very good, is the converse always true? Are pitchers with lousy K/BB ratios… lousy?

Well, yes.

And no.

It depends.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 18, 2017

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The card of the day for Sully Baseball was a Mark Davis Topps Card. I bet you do not know this, but he is a Cy Young winner once traded for a Hall of Famer and another time dealt for an MVP.

I am POSITIVE you didn’t know that.

Pad your resume on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast -February 17, 2017

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Former Cleveland Indians All Star reliever Sid Monge joins the podcast today.

We talked about his days with the Tribe and the Tigers, his 30 years of coaching and what other sports he could have mastered.

Passing on knowledge with the AL Pitcher of the Month for July, 1979 on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Sons of ’84 Top 100 MLB Prospects for 2017

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Welcome once again to my favorite blog entry of the year, my Top 100 Major League Baseball Prospect list for 2017. My list consists of the top prospects in baseball right now and doesn’t necessarily focus on player’s impact this season as these players are in various stages of their Minor League and and possibly Major League career.

Team breakouts for players on the list include: 8 – ATL 7 – NYY, 6 – MIL 5 – CWS, LAD, Pit, TB  4 – CHC, Col, Hou, NYM, Oak, Phi, SD 3 – Bos, Cin, Cle, Min, Tor, Was 2 – Sea, Tex 1 – Bal, Det, LAA, MIA, SF

Position breakouts for players on the list look like: C – 5, 1B – 4, 2B – 5, 3B – 4, SS – 12,  OF – 25, LHP – 13, RHP – 32

For the list, you’ll find the player’s name, their position/team/and last year’s ranking for this list…

Continue on to Sons of ’84 to see list

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 16, 2017

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Marc Serota/Getty Images North America

A few days ago, I thought the Marlins were about to get a normal owner.

Now the Marlins management is somehow mixed up with the Trump Presidency and the French Embassy.

This is bananas.

Florida is nuts again on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Todd Frazier’s Goal for This Season Should Be Pretty Simple

When the Chicago White Sox acquired third baseman Todd Frazier from the Cincinnati Reds last winter, the organization’s goal was to find some lineup protection for first baseman Jose Abreu. Frazier responded with a power surge he hadn’t yet experienced during his young MLB career, but didn’t do much else outside of that, leading to a rather mediocre overall performance at the plate.

Given the lackluster free agent market this winter — especially at third base — one would assume that a player fresh off a 40-homer, 98-RBI season like Frazier would’ve been a hot commodity on the trade market.

That wasn’t the case, though, and the rebuilding White Sox still have him on their roster with the hopes he can improve from the 102 wRC+ and 2.4 fWAR he produced in 2016.

Where exactly can Frazier’s game improve? There’s not always a simple answer to a question like that, but he needs to stop hitting the ball in the air so freakin’ much.

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Satchel’s Greatest Trick

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To any qualified observer—players, coaches, even the owners who refused to grant him an opportunity to pitch in the majors—Satchel Paige was among the greatest handful of pitchers to ever take a mound. In his youth, Paige dominated with an overpowering fastball and extraordinary control. As the years and miles accumulated, he became the game’s greatest magician, flummoxing hitters with an unending variety of pitches and deliveries. Paige’s wit was a sharp as his control, his personality as big as the break on his curve. He took great pleasure in keeping people guessing, and he took his greatest secret with him to the grave… READ MORE

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast -February 15, 2017

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Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America

Alex Reyes looks like he is going to have Tommy John surgery. These Tommy John surgeries are driving me crazy. Perhaps this is a case for good, clean PEDs.

Get a legal edge on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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2017 Top – 400 Dynasty League Fantasy Baseball Rankings

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Below you will find my personal top-400 dynasty league baseball rankings. In order to be eligible for this list, a player must have over 200 career MLB at bats or 50 innings pitched.

1 = 100

Rank Player Position Team
1 Mike Trout CF,UT LAA
2 Mookie Betts RF,UT BOS
3 Kris Bryant 3B,LF,RF,UT CHC
4 Manny Machado 3B,SS,UT BAL
5 Bryce Harper RF,UT WAS
6 Nolan Arenado 3B,UT COL
7 Clayton Kershaw SP LAD
8 Jose Altuve 2B,UT HOU
9 Paul Goldschmidt 1B,UT ARI
10 Carlos Correa SS,UT HOU
11 Anthony Rizzo 1B,UT CHC
12 Corey Seager SS,UT LAD
13 Trea Turner 2B,CF,UT WAS
14 Francisco Lindor SS,UT CLE
15 Josh Donaldson 3B,UT TOR
16 Madison Bumgarner SP SF
17 Xander Bogaerts SS,UT BOS
18 Noah Syndergaard SP,RP NYM
19 George Springer RF,UT HOU
20 Chris Sale SP BOS
21 Starling Marte LF,CF,UT PIT
22 Max Scherzer SP WAS
23 Freddie Freeman 1B,UT ATL
24 Christian Yelich LF,CF,UT MIA
25 Giancarlo Stanton RF,UT MIA
26 Gregory Polanco LF,RF,UT PIT
27 Charlie Blackmon CF,UT COL
28 Miguel Cabrera 1B,UT DET
29 Corey Kluber SP CLE
30 Jake Arrieta SP CHC
31 Alex Bregman 3B,UT HOU
32 Rougned Odor 2B,UT TEX
33 J.D. Martinez RF,UT DET
34 A.J. Pollock CF,UT ARI
35 Brian Dozier 2B,UT MIN
36 Wil Myers 1B,UT SD
37 Miguel Sano 3B,RF,UT MIN
38 Joey Votto 1B,UT CIN
39 Daniel Murphy 1B,2B,UT WAS
40 Carlos Martinez SP STL
41 Ryan Braun LF,UT MIL
42 Jose Abreu 1B,UT CHW
43 Andrew McCutchen CF,UT PIT
44 Edwin Encarnacion 1B,UT CLE
45 Kyle Schwarber LF,UT CHC
46 Addison Russell SS,UT CHC
47 Jacob deGrom SP NYM
48 Yu Darvish SP TEX
49 Stephen Strasburg SP WAS
50 Robinson Cano 2B,UT SEA
51 Anthony Rendon 3B,UT WAS
52 Jonathan Villar 2B,3B,SS,UT MIL
53 Chris Archer SP TB
54 Yoenis Cespedes LF,CF,UT NYM
55 Buster Posey C,1B,UT SF
56 Carlos Gonzalez RF,UT COL
57 Eric Hosmer 1B,UT KC
58 David Price SP BOS
59 Carlos Carrasco SP CLE
60 Julio Urias SP,RP LAD
61 Jason Kipnis 2B,UT CLE
62 Johnny Cueto SP SF
63 David Dahl LF,UT COL
64 Jonathan Lucroy C,UT TEX
65 Trevor Story SS,UT COL
66 Stephen Piscotty CF,RF,UT STL
67 Kyle Seager 3B,UT SEA
68 Jon Lester SP CHC
69 Hanley Ramirez 1B,UT BOS
70 Justin Upton LF,UT DET
71 Matt Carpenter 1B,2B,3B,UT STL
72 Justin Verlander SP DET
73 Jose Quintana SP CHW
74 Chris Davis 1B,UT BAL
75 Danny Salazar SP CLE
76 Gerrit Cole SP PIT
77 Kyle Hendricks SP,RP CHC
78 Byron Buxton CF,UT MIN
79 Masahiro Tanaka SP NYY
80 Maikel Franco 3B,UT PHI
81 Julio Teheran SP ATL
82 Zach Britton RP BAL
83 Aaron Sanchez SP TOR
84 Gary Sanchez C,UT NYY
85 Michael Brantley LF,UT CLE
86 Jackie Bradley Jr. CF BOS
87 Jean Segura 2B,SS,UT SEA
88 Billy Hamilton CF,UT CIN
89 Kevin Gausman SP BAL
90 Rick Porcello SP BOS
91 Aaron Nola SP PHI
92 Aroldis Chapman RP NYY
93 Jameson Taillon SP PIT
94 Todd Frazier 3B,UT CHW
95 Ian Desmond LF,CF,UT COL
96 Kenley Jansen RP LAD
97 Matt Harvey SP NYM
98 Willson Contreras C,LF,UT CHC
99 J.T. Realmuto C,UT MIA
100 Dee Gordon 2B,UT MIA

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 14, 2017

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Elsa/Getty Images North America

On Valentine’s Day, I take a look at the Mets whose 2017 is totally uncertain and Terry Collins is about to have an unusual title in the team’s history.

Feeling the love on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Chicago White Sox Top Prospects

The state of the Chicago White Sox minor league system has likely never been brighter. With a huge influx of talent like Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning the White Sox have the top prospects to truly build one of the elite pitching staffs in baseball. They also brought in young raw bats such as Luis Alexander Basabe and Yoan Moncada to potentially create franchise caliber talent in the field.

The White Sox also have done a good job of cultivating and developing talent through the draft and foreign signing classes. Alec Hansen looks to offer more promise than people him credit for while the ceiling for Zack Collins has many looking at this organization in awe. There is also an increasing amount of talent in the back end of the farm that offers some of the better upside seen in the league outside of the team’s top ten prospects.

Chicago White Sox Top Prospects

Can These 11 MLB Hitters Continue Making the Most of Their Fly Balls in 2017?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a baseball fan who doesn’t dig watching home runs. If you indeed dig them, the 2016 season was one of the best years to track the long ball in recent memory.

There were 111 different players who reached the 20-homer plateau, which is a new record and a substantial increase to 2015, where only 64 players slugged that many baseballs over the fence. The most beautiful part of it all? Not all 20-plus homer hitters are created equally, which we’ve touched upon a couple of times this winter.

While they can also happen on line drives, the home runs usually result from fly balls. Obviously, for someone to accumulate a lot of round-trippers in any given season, a healthy fly-ball rate (FB%) is necessary.

So, it makes sense as to why 100 of the above players produced a fly-ball rate in 2016 north of 30% (including 53 with a fly-ball rate of at least 40%). That also leaves us with an interesting group who didn’t put the ball in the air as frequently, and they probably wouldn’t mind it happening again in 2017.

Here are the 11 hitters who managed to enter the 20-homer club last year without a fly-ball rate above 30%.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 13, 2017

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Getty Images

The Astros need to go all in. And that means taking Zack Greinke off of the Diamondbacks’ hands. Meanwhile I have all sorts of tech issues.

Testing Testing 1…2…3 on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Will Justin Verlander Be A Hall of Famer?

verlander-justin-surpriseEarlier in the week I updated what had become an annual blog entry for me around the greatness of Miguel Cabrera, who is undoubtedly already a Hall of Fame lock. It got me thinking around looking in to Justin Verlander’s career and if there is potential to be elected to the Hall of Fame one day. Now, if you would have asked me two years ago, I wouldn’t have written anything, but the way JV reinvented himself this past season, it revitalized hopes that he could be in the Hall someday. Please bare with me as this is a little long, but a case will be made…

Before diving in to statistics and whatnot, there has always been one key milestone for pitchers that essentially ensures that they are Hall of Fame locks, and that’s 300 wins. We must acknowledge that 300 wins is really no longer feasible with today’s 5-man rotations, pitch counts, and bullpen specialist. We must also acknowledge that today’s game has changed where a slightly higher ERA is acceptable compared to the day an age where voters were looking for career ERA’s in the mid-2’s. Hitters are stronger these days; ballparks tend to be smaller, etc.

Here’s the other thing that JV and other pitchers have going against them and it all plays in to what I just wrote, only 6 pitchers have been elected to the Hall in the last seven years (Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Bert Blyleven). Take it back further to 2005 and add just Bruce Sutter and Rich Gossage to that list, making it 8 in the past 12 years. What I think we are seeing is pitchers being scrutinized more highly than hitters.

With this laid out, let’s look at Justin Verlander so far…

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

Tommy John Surgery: All – Time MLB List Heading Into 2017 MLB Regulr Season

For all the talk of baseball players (pitchers mostly) that will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, we will be keeping a running list!  E-mail us at mlbreports@gmail.com if you have any names to add to our totals.

Follow and bookmark our tracker always here

How many players are having or had TJ in history? You are about to find out:  While our list is good, we only chart MLB’ers/  . 

Jon Roegele has an entire spreadsheet for anyone from every level that has ever gone under the knife no matter what level they are at here Read the rest of this entry

Feb MLB Power Rankings/2017 Win Predictions

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Last Updated Feb 12, 2017

For a detailed rundown of how I compared some of the teams to other websites click here

Overall MLB Rankings in Parenthesis

American League (1235 – 1195)

AL East (425 – 385)

Boston Red Sox 90 – 72 (4)

Toronto Blue Jays 88 – 74 (9)

Baltimore Orioles 84 – 78 (14)

NY Yankees 83 – 79 (18)

Tampa Bay Rays 80 – 82 (20) Read the rest of this entry

A Look Back On HIs Career With John Halama

Some paths to the major leagues are longer and more winding than others. Just being drafted is far from a guarantee that any success will ensue. Hard work and an ability to take and adapt to instruction are just as important as having raw skill. Left-handed pitcher John Halama knows only too well what it takes to work his way up from a mid-round draft prospect to a successful major league career.

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Koufax, Kershaw and the Power of Orthodoxy

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Part of the Koufax orthodoxy, of course, is his legend: Retired at 30, at the height of his game, the height of his fame. And then, gone. He never hawked a book, lent his name, or became an autograph factory.Never a hint of scandal, a suggestion of bad behavior. He’d make his Spring Training visits to the Mets or the Dodgers, to see old friends and talk to the kids, and the press covered these casual afternoons like matters of state. Then he’d disappear again, go back to his life. Fifty years of repose; fifty years of grace; fifty years of dignity. Five decades, essentially, of silence. Baseball’s Garbo. All the while, his legend grew, until it overshadowed even his magnificent accomplishments on the mound. He’s not just the best pitcher in Dodgers’ history; he was—is—often mentioned among the greatest handful of pitchers of all time, more monument than man to generations of fans.

The thing is, it’s pretty clear that Clayton Kershaw, not Sandy Koufax, is the best pitcher in the history of the Dodgers’ franchise. READ MORE

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