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 »
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 »
I have always been a fan of players who possess both the skill of speed and power. As a kid I was a big Jose Canseco fan who was the first player member of the 40/40 club. I was also a big fan of Eric Davis and Ron Gant, both members of the 30/30 club with Davis narrowly missing out on being the sole member of the 40/50 club in 1987.
As a fantasy league fanatic my love for players with the ability to hit for power and steal bases has never faded, it has only increased. One of my all-time favorite players happens to be a player who possess the rare combination of power and speed that is about to land him in a club that only seven other players have ever entered: The 300/300 Club. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: 30/30 Club, 300/300 Club, 40/40 Club, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano, Barry Bonds, Baseball Cards, Ben Davis, Ben Grieve, Bobby Abreu, Bobby Bonds, Carlos Beltran, Craig Biggio, Eric Davis, Hall of Fame, Hideo Nomo, Mike Cameron, Nomar Garciaparra, Paul Konerko, Reggie Sanders, Rickey Henderson, Ron Gant, Ryne Sandberg, Steve Finley, Todd Helton, Willie Mays | Leave a 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:
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 Los Angeles Angels, who were a mystery team just two days ago, signed the best hitter on the planet in Albert Pujols to a 10 year deal worth $250M. The deal also has no opt out clauses like C.C. Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez deals did. He will likely be an Angel until the end and that is not a bad thing.
The Cardinals lost their icon. They lost possibly the best hitter we will see in our lifetime. But, David Pinto points out that the Cardinals already received roughly $300M in on-field production for roughly $100M. On top of that, the Cardinals had him as the face of the franchise and banked on his marketable face. This is a big loss but only after an astronomical gain.
The Angels might find it hard to recoup the entire $250M invested in on-field value but they should have no problem recouping the money when you include what they will make off the field.
I want to start out by congratulating Jim Thome for hitting his 600th homerun last night. It is an accomplishment only seven other human beings can claim they did while playing in the Major Leagues, and only Babe Ruth did it in fewer at-bats than Jim Thome. Wow! Thome has been a man that has stayed out of the limelight and flown under the historic radar while his numbers soar high above most hall of fame careers.
He never played for the Yankees or Red Sox. His .277 batting average, while decent, is not great. He is still more than 700 hits from reaching the magical 3000 for his career. He has been a full-time DH since 2006. He has over 2400 strikeouts. He is not a larger-than-life personality. Yada-yada-yada. If you fail to mention Thome as one of the best hitters to grace Major League batter’s boxes then you must not have been paying attention. Take a look at his career numbers:
|Times on Base||4041||42nd|
And if RBI and runs scored are your thing he ranks 27th all-time with 1662 RBI and 53rd all-time with 1553 runs scored. And to top it off he averaged a homerun once every 13.6 at-bats. Only Mark McGwire, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, and Ryan Howard (who will drop below that total with career regression) have homered more frequently than Thome has but you rarely hear Thome’s name when mentioning the most feared hitters of all-time.
Thome may have flown under a lot of people’s radars for one reason or another but one thing is for sure, the man belongs in Cooperstown and should only take him one try to get in. Take a look at his career and be thankful that we were privileged enough to be alive when the mighty Jim Thome played the best sport on the planet.
There is a lot of attention on Derek Jeter and his quest for 3000 hits. He currently sits at 2981 and needs just 19 hits to become only the 28th member of the 3000 hit club. The attention is warranted but what most people don’t realize is that Jeter is, and has been, more than a slap-happy swinging batter, and became the 41st member of the 4000 Times on Base club last year. Also joining him last year was as the 42nd member was Manny Ramirez.
There was no press made when Alex Rodriguez became just the 43rd member of the exclusive 4000 Times on Base club back on May 18th against the Baltimore Orioles. But mark my words, there will be at least 6 months of press in 2013 when he is approaching 3000 hits.
This coming week we will more than likely see the newest member of the 4000 TOB club and most people won’t pay attention because he has done it with “only” 2233 hits so far. That man’s name is Jim Thome and he needs only to reach base 4 more times to join this exclusive club. Not far behind him we will see Chipper Jones join the club in the month of June, having to reach base only 16 times to be part of the exclusive club. Oh, Chipper Jones will be only the 4th switch hitter to join the club. Again, no major press will pick up on this.
This is pretty big news because looking down the line the next closest people to join this club are the 44 year old part-timer Omar Vizquel (116 more), the 37 year old Bobby Abreu (276 more), the 37 year old Johnny Damon (385 more), and the soon-to-be 38 year old Todd Helton (449 more). After that the next best possible member will be Albert Pujols who has reached base 2966 times. I find it hard to see Vizquel, Helton, and even Damon joining the club.
The 4000 Times on Base club may not be as exclusive as the 3000 hit club but it is still very exclusive. Every eligible member of the 4000 TOB club is in the Hall of Fame except Rusty Staub, and those with an asterisks next to their name: Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, and Rafael Palmeiro. Recent retirees such as Craig Biggio (one of only 17 player to reach base 4500 times), Gary Sheffield, Frank Thomas, and Ken Griffey Jr. all have HOF credentials. Now, I don’t mind the hoopla that surrounds the 3000 hit club but some of it needs to go to the 4000 Time on Base club because they have been neglected far too long.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: 3000 Hit Club, 4000 Times on Base Club, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Baltimore Orioles, Barry Bonds, Bobby Abreu, Chipper Jones, Craig Biggio, Derek Jeter, Frank Thomas, Gary Sheffield, Hall of Fame, Jim Thome, Johnny Damon, Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez, Omar Vizquel, Pete Rose, Rafael Palmeiro, Rusty Staub, Todd Helton | 2 Comments »
Hi, my name is Brian Giles and I am historically underrated. You may not have realized how good I was during my playing career. Probably because I didn’t reach 450 plate appearances until I was 26 years old. Or because I didn’t reach 600 PAs until I was 28 years of age. Or because I played my entire career with the Indians, Pirates, and Padres and only had 90 postseason PAs. Whatever the reason may have been it left me vastly underrated.
This is a very true statement. Over Giles’ 15 year career he hit 287 homeruns, 411 doubles, 55 triples, stole 109 bases, and had 1183 walks against just 835 strikeouts compiled over 7800 plate appearances for an fWAR of 57.8, good for 59th all-time among outfielders and a higher total than both Hall of Famers Jim Rice and Kirby Puckett. Take a look at their totals by nth season:
Giles’ best season was bested by Rice and Puckett’s best season but Giles’ 2nd through 10th best seasons were all better than any of Rice or Puckett’s 2nd through 10th best seasons. Am I saying Giles is a Hall of Famer? No, I am just saying he is historically underrated. I am also saying that he was probably better than Rice and Puckett but that’s for another time.
Giles compiled an impressive triple-slash line of .291/.400/.502 in his career. Only 11 other outfielders with at least 7800 plate appearances have a triple-slash of .290/.400/.500 or better. Eight of those 11 outfielders are Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott, Ed Delahanty, and Harry Heilmann, each in the Hall of Fame. The other three are Barry Bonds, Larry Walker, and Manny Ramirez, each deserving of the Hall of Fame. Am I saying Brian Giles belongs in the Hall of Fame? No, I am just saying he is historically underrated.
In fact, there are only 20 other players in the history of the game with at least 7800 PAs and a .290/.400/.500. I mentioned 11 above, the other nine are Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Chipper Jones, Jeff Bagwell, Frank Thomas, Edgar Martinez, and Todd Helton. Four of those nine are in the Hall of Fame and the other five all have legitimate cases. Am I saying Brian Giles belongs in the Hall of Fame? No, I am just saying he is historically underrated.
Now, I could cherry pick the stats more to the tune of .290/.400/.500 with 280+ homeruns, 50+ triples, 100+ stolen bases, and with more walks than strikeouts if I want but cherry picking… oh, what the heck, I think I will anyways. There are only 6 players in history that meet these criteria: Ruth, Bonds, Hornsby, Mantle, Gehrig, and Mr. Brian Giles. You want to talk about being in the company of legends, this is it. Of course, Giles does not hold a candle to these legends but either way, Giles is in the company of greats.
Am I saying Brian Giles belongs in the Hall of Fame? No, I am just saying he is historically underrated.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis, Hall of Fame | Tagged: Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Brian Giles, Chipper Jones, Ed Delahanty, Edgar Martinez, Frank Thomas, Hall of Fame, Harry Heilmann, Indians, Jeff Bagwell, Jim Rice, Jimmie Foxx, Kirby Puckett, Larry Walker, Lou Gehrig, Manny Ramirez, Mel Ott, Mickey Mantle, Padres, Pirates, Rogers Hornsby, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Todd Helton, Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb | 2 Comments »