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.
Everytime I recall Szcur's bone marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.