The Hall of Fame and Other Distractions
A whole lot of noting happening still so let's look at the Hall of Fame ballot.
The newbies for this year are:
2010: Roberto Alomar, Kevin Appier, Andy Ashby, Dave
Burba, Ellis Burks, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric
Karros, Ray Lankford, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark
McLemore, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Robin Ventura, Fernando Vina,
Let's couple that with the returning candidates and here would be my ballot. As I did earlier in the year, I've broken it down in two ways.
My "Keeping the Hall of Fame Standards At the Highest Levels" Ballot
Roberto Alomar(79.4), Bert Blyleven(88.4), Rock Raines(81.7), Barry Larkin (86.2)
The number in parenthesis is their total WARP3 score and while by no means the deciding factor, I just wanted some numerical reference.
My "There Are Much Worse Players Already In and These Guys Feel Like Hall of Famers" Ballot
Roberto Alomar(79.4), Bert Blyleven(88.4), Rock Raines(81.7), Barry Larkin (86.2), Andre Dawson(59.6), Lee Smith(51.4), Alan Trammell(78.1)
Speaking of point of references, some WARP3 career numbers for other recent Hall of Famers, Cal Ripken(104.3), Ozzie Smith (90.9), Jim Rice(34.2), Rich Gossage (54.3), Ryne Sandberg (69.1), Rickey Henderson (119.4).
WARP3 isn't my only deciding factor - otherwise Dawson wouldn't make it - I also look at All-Star Games, MVP's, career numbers, dominate player of his era and peak years as factors into who I think should make the Hall of Fame. You can check the link above from earlier in the year for my arguments on most of these players. I don't know what to say about Alomar or Larkin, they seem kind of obvious to me. Alomar was a better second basemen and more dominant player than Sandberg and no one around here is going to argue against Sandberg. Larkin made 12 All-Star teams, won an MVP and was the dominant NL shortstop of the 90's.
- The deadline to offer arbitration to eligible free agents is tomorrow and the Cubs are not expected to offer Kevin Gregg (Type A), Rich Harden (Type B) or Reed Johnson, thus pissing away some free draft picks. Actually Gregg makes sense as it's hard to believe he wouldn't accept it. Not offering Harden arbitration is chock full of dumb. I know Ricketts said he'd stay out of the baseball side of things, but this would be the time to step in and tell Hendry that he'll cover his budget on the very, very slim chance that Harden would accept arbitration. You know, in case Ricketts is actually serious about that whole building up the farm system spiel we heard.
- XM radio had the Marlins GM Michael Hill on this morning and he said that the Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson trade rumors dont' have a lot of merit to them. He did say that the Marlins have to be open to anything and classified Ramirez and Johnson under the "unlikely to get traded" category. But with Ramirez signed through 2014 rather affordably for his skillset, is he the one guy the Cubs should be willing to trade the farm for? Not that I'm advocating this but I wonder if Starlin Castro, Josh Vitters, Andrew Cashner and Jay Jackson would be enough to get him? Maybe you have to throw Geovany Soto in there as well and try to substitute Jackson or Cashner with someone slightly down the Cubs pitching prospect pecking order like Chris Carpenter.
it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).
neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.
also, rain delays suck.
take that giants
I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.
Per Jesse Sanchez at mlb.com, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus.
BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.