I’ll make this one short and sweet: Steroid and PED users are disgraced. It appears that most, if not all, of the users will never be inducted into the Hall of Fame. So, how much was it worth to those players? Was it worth throwing your reputations away? What is your integrity worth? Well now, let’s see: (more…)
What kind of baseball world do we live in today? Aaron Sele, Steve Finley, and Julio Franco all received Hall of Fame votes. Franco actually received 6 votes. Six “sports” writers gave Franco a Hall of Fame vote. But the true disservice of this year’s HOF vote was seeing Mike Piazza not receiving the 75% of votes needed to gain entry into the Hall of Fame (Craig Biggio also has a case).
Numbers don’t lie. If we compare Piazza’s stats against Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, and Gary Carter‘s, Piazza should have been a slam dunk for the HOF. Piazza has the least amount of at-bats, yet led the other three players in homeruns. He trailed only Johnny Bench in RBI, but he had 700 fewer at-bats than Bench. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis, Hall of Fame | Tagged: Aaron Sele, Barry Bonds, Carlton Fisk, Craig Biggio, Gary Carter, Hall of Fame, Johnny Bench, Julio Franco, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza, New York Mets, Rafael Palmeiro, Steve Finley | 2 Comments »
On July 26, 1977, Jack Morris took the hill for the very first time at Comiskey Park against the Chicago White Sox. The 22-year-old Morris pitched four innings of relief and gave up two hits and two earned runs while striking out three in his major league debut.
Little did the people of the windy city know, that day, they were witnessing the birth of a career that would compile the most wins by a pitcher in the 1980′s, become one of the best big game pitchers in baseball history, win four World Series titles, and lead the Tigers’ staff for 14 years. (more…)
I have always been under the belief that steroids and testosterone, while helping a player return earlier from injury, did little to aid in hitting a ball further and more frequently. I used to believe that if you hit a ball squarely on the barrel of a bat, that the ball would travel over the fence regardless of whether or not steroids were being used. After all, I’ve played baseball for much of my life. I had never used steroids or testosterone gels, and I would hit a ball 350 feet with consistency (in my younger days).
As I enter my fifties, I was recently diagnosed with herniated discs and sciatica. It has been a painful experience. And while I no longer play baseball, I have taken up golf over the past few years. Golfing has been difficult with herniated discs. When I first went to the doctor, and tests were done, it was discovered that aside from my disc issues, I also had low testosterone levels. That would explain feeling tired and sluggish. The doctor prescribed steroids for one week to ease the back pain, and a well-known testosterone gel to help with my low testosterone levels. That same week I played golf because my back was feeling better as a result of the steroids and gel. What happened that week was eye-opening. (more…)
Thurman Munson died too early. On August 1st, 1979 Munson was killed while flying his own private plane. He was 32. However, at the time of his death, Munson was considered one of the best catchers in the game. How did his stock drop so much that he is barely mentioned at HOF voting time? (more…)
Last week, Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers, was a regular fixture on ESPN SportsCenter, becoming the only major league player other than Joe DiMaggio to have a three home run game and hit for the cycle in the same week. Despite being a consistently good player for nearly 15 years, it’s been rare for Beltre to get this sort of attention without it involving a mischievous teammate rubbing his head. When looking at his entire body of work, it’s clear that Beltre is one of the most under-appreciated players in baseball and is moving closer and closer to being a legitimate Hall of Fame candidate. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis, Hall of Fame | Tagged: Adrian Beltre, Barry Bonds, Brooks Robinson, Buddy Bell, Evan Longoria, Hall of Fame, Joe Dimaggio, Mike Schmidt, Rafael Palmeiro, Ron Santo, Texas Rangers | 1 Comment »
In the upper echelon of absurd there sits an article by Mr.Caputo where he explains, in an elementary school yard kind of way, why he refuses to vote for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa. Take a look:
In the aftermath, Peter Gammons, one of the preeminent baseball writers of all time, talked on MLB Network about how he put Morris on the ballot the first three years he was eligible, but stopped because another baseball writer had displayed extensive statistical proof to him that Morris’ 3.90 ERA was “not because he pitched to the score” but rather because he lost a lot of leads.
Right then I decided this coming year, the first time they are eligible for election to the Hall of Fame, I am not voting for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens or Sammy Sosa.
So, because Peter Gammons, the best baseball journalist of our time and possibly of all-time, stopped voting for Jack Morris thanks to advanced statistical analysis Mr. Caputo then “decided this coming year” that he will not vote for Bonds, Clemens, or Sosa in their first year of eligibility. That is akin to a school yard kid saying “you didn’t pick me and my friend for your team so I won’t pick you and your friend for mine next time we have recess. Na-na-na-na-boo-boo, stick your head in doo-doo.” Logic.
Mr. Caputo then goes on trying to defend Morris and his Hall of Fame credentials:
BBA RECOMMENDS LARKIN, BAGWELL FOR HALL OF FAME
In the annual polling of members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin and former Houston Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell were recommended for induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is the third year the organization has conducted this survey of the membership.
Larkin, a 12-time All-Star who fashioned an .815 OPS over 19 seasons, received the largest percentage of votes, being named on 84.25% of the 148 ballots cast. This is the highest percentage garnered by any player in the three years of BBA voting.
Bagwell, who hit 449 HR and had a .948 OPS in his 15 seasons in Houston, was selected on 115 ballots for a 78.77% rate. As with the official voting done by the Baseball Writers of America, a player must be named on 75% of the ballots to be recommended by the alliance.
When the Hall of Fame ballots come out I love to look at the names that are included for the first time. To simply be named on the Hall of Fame ballot is an honor even if you know that player will not get a single vote.
As I started looking at the first-time names on this year’s ballot there really weren’t any that stuck out to me and made me think they would be missed if they fell off the ballot after one year. Javy Lopez may have been the closest name to do that since he did have a fantastic offensive career as a catcher but after taking a long look at him I don’t think I will ever wonder if it was sad that his name came and went in one year. Bernie Williams was another name but I actually think he will have a small support group that will keep him on the ballot for at least another year.
Last year’s ballot had two names that, like Lou Whitaker, came and went in one year and left me wondering if they maybe should have hung on a little bit longer. One was Kevin Brown and the other was John Olerud.
Olerud always intrigued me. From the helmet he wore both on the field and at the plate to the fact he did not play in his first minor league game until he was 36 years old. Olerud had a sweet swing, smooth glove, and knack for getting on base. In fact, there are only 17 retired players in history that have reached base more than Olerud’s 3602 times and are not in the HOF. Here they are (in order of times on base):
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis, Hall of Fame | Tagged: Barry Bonds, Bill Dahlen, Boston Red Sox, Craig Biggio, Darrell Evans, Dwight Evans, Edgar Martinez, Frank Thomas, Fred McGriff, Gary Sheffield, Gold Glove Award, Hall of Fame, Harold Baines, Javy Lopez, Jeff Bagwell, Jim Rice, John Olerud, Ken Griffey Jr., Kevin Brown, Lou Whitaker, Luis Gonzalez, MVP, Pete Rose, Rafael Palmeiro, Rusty Staub, Tim Raines, Toronto Blue Jays, World Series | 12 Comments »
The October, 1949 issue of SPORT Magazine published something that has never been seen before or since. It was an interview with “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, focusing on the 1919 Black Sox scandal and his expulsion from baseball. He had previously declined to discuss the subject, and while it is unclear why he made this exception, it gives fascinating insight into one of the most mythical figures in baseball history.
“This Is The Truth!” was conducted by Furman Bisher, who wrote the piece in narrative form, as it was told to him by Jackson. Bisher was a young journalist from the South, who went on to write for publications like Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, and The Saturday Evening Post; in addition to co-writing Hank Aaron’s first autobiography. Bisher’s lengthy career included a Red Smith Award for sports journalism; and incredibly he retired in 2010 after more than 70 years in journalism.
The entire Jackson interview is available online at http://www.blackbetsy.com/theTruth.html. For the sake of analysis, I am pulling out what I believe to be the most interesting portions of Jackson’s statements, and including my own thoughts in italics.