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.
Mrs Fowler would like a word with you.
It seems to be blowing a bit out to right but far less than yesterday and much cooler so shouldn't be too much of an effect.
Only one of our hrs last night was out because of the wind though I think.
Which direction is wind blowing today? With Lackey a groundball pitcher, it might help Cubs if it is blowing in today and a 2-1 game instead of a 10-6 game.
I have convinced myself that Hammel's second half struggles were due to minor injuries and fatigue so with the extra rest he is going to be lights out.
Benji Molina is out of lineup
Yes. Unfortunately, as many of us, I have seen this movie before. Do not care for Hammel, and unlike other managers Joe will pull the plug quickly at least. I hope before things were to get out of hand.
Many of us are like "abused spouses" or whatever - with this Cubs stuff. You get hurt so many times, the trust rapidly erodes.
If the Cubs can get to Lackey early, its gonna be a big key to a W or L.
No idea what will happen. The Cards are the Cards and they have come back from 2-1 holes twice in the last 4 years, so I don't see them in panic mode at all. If anything, I expect the Cubs to be pressing more than the Cards today.
I want the Cubs to win because it would be great for the city, and great for the fans. But more than anything, I want the Cubs to win so I can see this team play for at least one more week this year. Never enjoyed watching a team more than this year.
Just to remember how far we have come: last year's opening day lineup was Bonifacio, Lake, Castro, Rizzo, Olt, Castillo, Schierholz, Barney, and Samardzija. It's been a fun ride this year!
BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.
AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?
Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?
CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!
Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.
--- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.
Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.