Greg Maddux and The Hall of Fame

Alright, we all know Greg Maddux will get in the Hall of Fame on his first attempt in 2014. We all agree on this, right? There's not one person thas ever read this blog - that wasn't looking for porn by accident - that wouldn't cast a ballot in favor of Maddux if they were given a vote, right? So my question, which of the 539 or so voters are going to go down as the biggest assholes of all-time? I'm getting a little ahead of myself here, as the 2011 results are just about to come filing in, but I already know I'm going to be angry about it. The top vote-getters of all time are Seaver (98.84% and all but 5 votes), Ryan (98.79% and all but 6 votes) and Cobb (98.23% and all but 4 votes). So which douchebag is going to self-righteously appoint themself as the guy that won't allow a unanimous Hall of Famer in?

In other news, today's Bears game is going to be about as meaningless* as the one in 2006 when Grossman shit his pants in the finale against the Pack and then they still went to the Super Bowl. I'm fine with that scenario if it happens again, although the Packers do look like the sleeper/surprise playoff team to watch this year.

*Barring some win-one-for-the-gipper upset by Carolina over Atlanta and Tampa upsetting New Orleans (thank you dear readers).


So who gets in the HOF this year? If I got a vote, my ballot would look like this:
Lee Smith
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Barry Larkin

Any thoughts on Dave Parker or Dale Murphy?

No on Parker and Murphy,imo.

Alomar should have went in last year.

I loved the Cobra. Murphy was an excellent player too but his best years were too few and all clumped in a 5 year period (with a 6th good year two years before that), then he fell off the planet. Cobra was a damn good player for a long time. Unfortunately knee injuries and the '81 strike took most of two years away from him in his prime. Still, he's a HoF'er in my book.

Maddux will be the first guy in a while that the writers don't think they have to punish, so it could be interesting. I wonder if they all know who is not going to vote for a guy, or if it's just a handful of old fuckers who take matters into their own hands so that a meaningless "record" is never broken. Hopefully those guys will die off before Starlin Castro comes up for his election.

According to the ESPN scroller, it looks like the Panthers and the Bucs need to win for the Bears to get home field advantage. Not sure what the 2nd tie breaker is, but it's obviously not divisional record.

yes, NO and ATL have to lose.

Should Cutler wear Depends today?

he should wear a nice sweater and sit the game out

There was writer from a crappy little city Cali newspaper who left Henderson off the ballot.

There will be a..holes who do it just to get the attention.

I'm not convinced by ATL, and with Vick's suddenly exposed weakness to the aggressive pass rush and the fact he's banged up, the path is easiest for the Bears if the packers aren't in the playoffs. You have to admit Aaron Rodgers is pretty damn good, and that passing game is really scary. They abandon the run, go one dimensional, and they're fine with it. They showed NY that last week and it was embarrassing.

Its simple: beat the Packers, then the Giants, with all their turnovers and Eli's silly decision making, make the playoffs instead.

Giants do have to beat Rex Grossman today, don't underestimate Sexy

Is this a total 3/44 moment? I somehow missed this Phil Rogers article, maybe because I tend to ignore everything he writes, but this isn't really half bad. I actually enjoyed this part:

Control is a huge issue for Samardzija, as is a fastball that straightens out, and he has a 7.73 ERA in his five career starts. But somehow he held St. Louis scoreless into the sixth inning at Busch Stadium last September.

Obviously, nothing more, actually, quite a bit less than what I read here. I was just a little amazed that he managed to piece together something coherent.

I was more interested in learning that Samardjzia is no longer the #1 wide-out (number of catches at ND) and was passed after ND's Bowl game last week.

He coulda been a hellava football player instead of a two-pitch, mediocre pitcher.

damn, I hate making week 17 picks

That's why fantasy ends week 16 :)

Local HOF ballots:

Bruce Miles: Roberto Alomar, Jeff Bagwell, Bert Blyleven, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Jack Morris, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell (same as last year)

Paul Sullivan: Robby Alomar, Harold Baines, Lee Smith, Tim Raines

other Tribune writers...

Mark Gonzalez: Robby Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Barry Larkin

Phil Rogers: Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Barry Larkin, Jack Morris, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker

Fred Mitchell: Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Barry Larkin, Jack Morris, Tim Raines, Lee Smith

Ted Greenstein: Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Don Mattingly, Tim Raines, Lee Smith

Dave VanDyke: Roberto Alomar, Jack Morris, Lee Smith

Phil Hersh: Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker

Rick Telander: Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Barry Larkin, Lee Smith, Tim Raines, Dave Parker, Alan Trammell

...can't find: Gord Wittenmeyer, Joe Cowley, Scot Gregor

wtf harold baines?

Baines was a very good player for a very long time, but I never once thought of him as a HoF'er. But somehow he had over 1600 rbi's. Crazy.

But in the pinball-like MLB of the last 20 years, there are going to be a lot of modern day players with excellent numbers that won't make it into the Hall.

Or they're going to be accepting 900 guys. Which again makes them stiffing Santo's production in a pitching dominated era all the more annoying.

I wonder if Baines has the record for most HR's without having a 30 HR season. His career, to me is a lot like Byleven's a long time of consistently good seasons, but he never really had the great seasons that you want from a Hall of Famer.

No, Al Kaline does.

Isn't Blyleven something like 5th in all-time strikeouts? I doubt Baines sniffs the top 10 any hitting category.

Harold Baines didn't sniff an MVP either, at least Blyleven was close on a few Cy Youngs. Probably wins the 1984 vote if they voted now

Blyleven also passed one the important HOF milestones in K's.

anyway, Bert's going to get in this year and we can all stop talking about it.

No, but Baines played in more ASG's, won a slugging title, and like Byleven, was just a pretty good player for a long time.

Byleven is a distant fifth in K's, and had one K title and never had 300K's. Ryan had 11, Johnson 9, Clemens 5, Carlton 5, Seaver 5 and then Don Sutton is 7th. Essentially Byleven is Sutton on worse teams.

"a distant fifth in K's"

What? But everyone else in the top 15 is or will be in the Hall? YMMV on Schilling, at 15th.

"Essentially Byleven is Sutton on worse teams"

Well, Sutton's in the Hall. Bert should be too. Blyleven has 88 WAR, 13th on the all-time list. Sutton is 26th with about 70 WAR. The next highest pitcher eligible for the hall, but not in it, on that list is Rick Reuschel at 30th with 66 WAR.

And then there's Baines. 37 WAR. 327th on the all-time list. Within ~20 spots in either direction, there's HOFers Rabbit Maranville, Pie Traynor, Roy Campanella, Ross Youngs & Miller Huggins. But there's mostly a lot of good, not-great players.

We seem to agree that Baines isn't a HOFer. But I consider Blyleven much more valuable than fellow good-for-a-long-time player Baines. Blyleven's career keeps company with some great pitchers.

and on a sad note...Killer Killebrew has esophageal cancer (which is a really bad thing to have)

true power hitter

And, right on cue, Jay Cutler stunk today.

Geez - like Old and Blue said, he is like "Wild Thing" Williams.

Today was the "Bad Jay".

Hope the good one shows for at least two games.

I am not gonna hold my breath. This team does not have a Super Bowl offense now anyway, imo...

indeed it was, at least the D showed up against a decent offense.

See what happens when the games count, looked like they were playing with half their playbook tonight.

At least they won't have any outdoor road games.

"...looked like they were playing with half their playbook tonight."

Yeah, it did. Maybe they figured they REALLY prefer not risking having to face the Giants pass rush again and they don't want to give GB (or other playoff opponents) much to game plan on. If GB could play the Bears for the third time this year in the playoffs, the Bears may be reluctant to give them too much to scheme against.

That's what I thought, he didn't roll out once.

at least bly looks like he'll make the cut this year...finally.

From Carrie Muskat's blog comments:

Question the Cubs currently have 41 players on the 40 man roster since the signing of Kerry Wood. How can they do this? Are they going to make a corresponding move soon?

Wood's signing hasn't been officially sanctioned by MLB because their offices have been closed for the holidays. I'd expect a corresponding roster move this coming week.

By muskat on January 2, 2011 12:22 PM

Jeez. I want to work in one of these MLB offices. That was like 3 weeks ago. I only got Christmas Eve off.

Q-MAN: The MLB offices were closed last week because of the NYC snowstorm, so it appeared as though they were "closed for the holidays" but that was only because the snowstorm occurred during the days between Christmas and New Year's. Ordinarily the MLB office is closed on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, so it should have been open Monday through Thursday of last week. (The MLB office is open every day only during the month of March because of the number of roster moves involving waivers that are made during Spring Training).

Alomar, Raines, Bagwell, Blyleven, Larkin, Trammell,, L. Smith

Then there's the whole McGwire/Palmeiro angle and it looks like Bagwell is probably gonna get grouped in with them as well.

Still remember him and Irod coming into ST in 03 or 04 nice and slim like they were on a liquid diet when MLB announced more testing.

Still would consider Bagwell over Biggio.

Like them all except Smith--and him I'm considering more than in years past. Nothing personal on him, I'm just not impressed by relief pitchers and don't know what to do with them, for the most part. On the other hand, closer is a position now, and Smith was a fine closer. Plus: former Cub. Minus: former Cardinal.

Also, I'd add Larry Walker.

I'm sure I could be swayed on Smith either way, but leaving the game as the all-time saves leader should mean something and he was absurdly consistent over his career.

Larry Walker's got a pretty compelling case. Too bad about the 400 games he missed over his career.

"Too bad about the 400 games he missed over his career."

True that. I think he'll get dinged for playing in pre-humidor Coors as well. I still like him for the honor, though.

It's 2011! It is a new year, and I'm feeling optimistic!

No Good Will Come of That.

C. Gonzalez handed an extension, not sure on specifics but mlbtraderumos mentions something about close to $20M for the FA years it's allegedly buying out.

Goodness gracious.

Clay Rapada off the Rangers 40-man to make room for Webb/Rhodes signing along with catcher Max Ramirez.

Jim Callis responding to a twitter question on Chirinos

Could be a starter, though probably not w/#Cubs w/Soto on hand. Terrific No. 2 catcher @carl9730: What kind of upside does R Chirinos have?

BA Top 10 Cubs prospects out tomorrow.

He's not going to be a #2 with Koyie Hill around.

I just hope the poor guy doesn't languish with the Cubs for four years, and then go on to a Hattenberg like career. If the Cubs don't recognize that he can play, let the A's or Red Sox have him.

well callis didn't really comment on whether he'd be a good #1 catcher either.

I think my problem is that our 2nd best catcher is #4 on the organizational depth chart.

Why would Hill be a slam dunk to beat out Chirinos?

Assuming the Cubs have a good manager and a good pitching coach now, Hill has lost some of his value-add.

Koyie Hill was carrying Larry Rothschild this whole time.

Rothschild didn't have a lot of success with young pitchers, unless you like Marmol's approach, or Zambrano's approach these last nine years, or Wuertz's success with the Cubs.

The veterans seem to like Rothschild. Maddux and Silva come to mind. But I don't see that he's helped the rising pitchers.

Look, my point is that the Cubs don't have to rely on Hill much longer. I've been trying to explain Koyie Hill's role on the Cubs, which nobody else is able to do or cares to try. It seems obvious to me that he has some pitching-catching concepts that the team has otherwise lacked. But now they're under new management.

The problem with your concept is that it was debunked 11 years ago.

If you take out the ability to stop the run game and make fewer passed balls and errors, catchers don't call better games than other catchers.

Just found this neat tool:

Which converts minor league numbers to MLB ones. According to that, Chirinos's AA line this year would have produced a .262 .344 .459 line if he played for the Cubs. An .803 OPS would put him 4th of 10 guys who caught and qualified for a batting title. All sorts of caveats aside, but I hope you'll jump back on the Chirinos bandwagon now.

Chirinos got my attention in '09 when he hit two grand slams in a game in late May, and then kept hitting. I got on his bandwagon early and stayed on. Right now it's me, you and that Levine fellow.

Early, eh? You realize he's been in the Cubs system for TEN YEARS...

Right, I was not on his bandwagon for eight of those years. But I was still early. When nobody was talking about Chirinos, I wrote this in my blog on 12/03/09:

Chirinos would be the biggest loss [in the upcoming Rule 5 draft], a power-hitting catcher with strong defensive skills to go along with years of experience at second and third base. Chirinos is in winter ball in Venezuela, where he maintains a .330 BA and a .957 OPS.

After the draft, Hendry admitted that they had worried about losing Chirinos.

I also remember saying on TCR, "I like Robinson C. better than C. Robinson." Chis Robinson was a catching prospect who lacked power, so not a real prospect.

Someone's going to throw in a blank ballot as a steroids protest or some other reason, as in years past.

I kind of wish the HOF wouldn't count blank ballots, but I understand why they do.

The article says they're not voting, but that implies that they're not voting, which is different from sending in blank ballots. If they're sending in blank ballots because they can't be bothered, then they shouldn't be sent ballots. If they're sending in blank ballots in some sort of protest - that's OK with me, they've "earned" the right. I am getting a little tired of all the pro-roid nonsense while Rose and Jackson don't get to get in, anyway.

the one women cited in the first link explains that she does not send her ballot back because she feels writers should not be voting on the players they cover. Her vote does not count as one of the blank ballots since she doesn't return it and doesn't hurt any players (nor help them).

Mariotti was one of the jack-asses though that needed to draw attention to himself.

Blank ballots were thought to be an issue on the veteran's committee (that is, when the VC was comprised of the Hall of Fame members) for years. Since VC ballots were secret, it was hard to tell for sure.

The Hall has disclosed the numbers of blank ballots filed in BBWAA elections, but has not done so for VC elections, to my knowledge.

Ballots are secret for the BBWAA, so unless the voter goes public with how he/she voted, we don't know.

via rotoworld:

The Reds haven't had any recent contact with free agent outfielder Laynce Nix.

"We thought he had signed with Seattle," said Reds general manager Walt Jocketty. "But I guess he hasn’t."


On a slow as hell Cubs news last couple weeks, have a Grossman read:

4 picks and 4 fumbles in three weeks. Plus one hitting his lineman in the back of the head.

Almost Jay-Like!

Haven't been paying close attention... did the Cubs get a shortstop yet?

I think they took care of that on May 7th.

So... no?

Meh, not thrilled about Starlin Castro being plan "A" without a good plan "B" to speak of. I'll check back again in another month.

today in randomness

I guess he thinks that the Giants should be on the look out for a catcher too.

Something you didn't like?

animated gif of Strasburg curveball

50 of the best of 2010 here

Erick Aybar has the makings of a Cub

Roy Oswalt one is great as well.

haha, geez. Did it hit him or did he foul it? I couldn't tell from the gif. And I like how they looped the Oswalt gif, it looks like he keeps walking by. Very clever.

It hit him in his front leg. I'm not sure the last time I've seen a player that fooled by a pitch, or maybe it was just a major brain fart.

he missed it completely, but I thought it hit him in the nuts

about to happen, Young to DH and super-sub on the infield.

6/96 for Beltre with 6th year that can be voided if Beltre doesn't reach a certain amount of plate essence a vesting option.

Boras witchcraft at its best.

Still like it better than the Werth deal. That's an awful expensive super-sub, when you've got a relatively young infield. I guess the Rangers just felt like they needed to spend some of that TV contract money they got.

Young's an expensive super-sub? I mean he'll be DH'ing probably 80% of the time and filling at 2b, 3b and I guess even SS if needed or give a guy's a day off or when Kinsler gets his annual injury.

You could have Guerrero at what $8 million? So yeah, that's pretty expensive for a guy who's going to play maybe 20 games in the field.

well they had to pay Young regardless and not having him play defense is probably a big net benefit for them.

Bigger issue is they seem to think Beltre will be good or as good from ages 32-37 when he's been mostly an .800 OPS or lower player the last few 6 years. It's not like you don't regress on defense as you get older as well.

Dumb deal imo, although probably does make them better in 2011. Would have probably gone Vlad, Manny or Thome for a year instead, but if they really think Young's defense is that bad and Beltre's is that good, then guess it makes some sense.

O's collect Kevin Gregg for their ex-Cub collection

That is amazing.

I keep thinking that Ricketts is going to be able to get into the thick of the FA pool next year.

But really, I am not holding my breath on this guy.

What sucks, as we know, is the WGN and Comcast deals approved by Zell keeps the revenues at a small trickle compared to the Yankees and Rangers TV deals.

This is something that is just hugely important to the team moving forward and wanting to get into play with A+ FA's - especially pitchers.

As I recall - the team is not out of its current deals until 2014.

think Ricketts was compensated in the overall sale price when the sale went down for the WGN sweetheart deals

the zell wgn/comcast deals were expected, but at least the leash over that money is short.

the dodgers got similarly screwed (for a longer period of time) when they were sold to muffy and chet the divorced duo.

I keep thinking that Ricketts is going to be able to get into the thick of the FA pool next year.
reminds me of the Wizard of Oz when Toto pulls the curtain on the Wizard and his Great Oz Machine.

Only instead of getting Dorothy to say: "There's no place like Home"...we've been instructed to say: "We're a big market team"

When we wake up will Soriano be in Kansas (City) and WGN will broadcast games in B&W?

I still think the numbers bandied about with the Rangers' deal are a hoax.

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  • RIP Arnie. We could use a lot more like you -- a man who succeeded and failed on his own terms, a true original, and, finally, a remarkable example of graciousness towards others.

    billybucks 1 hour 52 min ago view
  • Cubs finish 33 over at home. I was, personally, one game over at 3-2, which was one of my better years in a while.

    I do hope that's the last time we see the Cardinals this year. A lot of power, which is dangerous, particularly in a short series, and they have really shut down KB all year.

    Oh, and Jon Lester? Damn!

    billybucks 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • Yes. Boating accident at 3AM. Very sad, but stupid. Young men do stupid things.

    billybucks 3 hours 18 sec ago view
  • lester puts 2 on and is taken out at 96 pitches. oh well.

    edwards in.

    crunch 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • 2 out in the 7th, lester at 84 pitches, ross taken out for the standing O.

    it's possible contreras will catch lester for another inning+.

    crunch 3 hours 50 min ago view
  • What a weird day.  Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer, but then Scully and, on a much more modest level, Ross....

    Transmission 4 hours 24 min ago view
  • d.ross gets his 2nd standing O on the night (last home game of the season)...hits HR #10...curtain call. baseball.

    crunch 4 hours 26 min ago view
  • as a fan, he only "owes" us the game on the field and not getting in the way of others on his team being ready to play (imo).

    it's exponentially worse to his family and friends, but this dude most likely had 15+ years of play left and even though he just turned 24 a couple months ago he had already established himself as a top guy in the game.

    crunch 7 hours 48 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]

    Updated #Cubs probs vs Pirates: Mon, Hendricks vs Kuhl; Tue, Lackey vs Vogelsong; Wed, Arrieta vs Taillon; Thu, Zastryzny vs Nova

    crunch 8 hours 11 min ago view
  • I know what you're trying to say, Charlie, that none of us feels what his loved ones must be feeling.

    On the other hand, what makes a death like this tragic is precisely the loss, based on Fernandez's youth and brilliance, to the baseball world.

    So, for example, we can say that Princess Diana's death meant more, in aggregate, to millions of admirers who didn't know her personally than to her loved ones.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 12 min ago view
  • boston pitching snags a couple of mlb team records...

    "Over nine innings of play, Boston's staff struck out 11 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters Sunday, breaking the major-league record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game.

    The previous record was held by former New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver, who struck out 10 straight hitters in 1970.

    Not only that, but with a strikeout to end the ninth, sending the game into extras, Boston's staff also struck out an MLB-record 21 batters over nine innings."

    crunch 8 hours 36 min ago view
  • What a loss to baseball, which I'm sure pales in comparison to the personal loss to his loved ones.

    Charlie 10 hours 20 min ago view
  • Somehow I am sensing alcohol was involved. The highest number of boating accidents by a wide margin...

    The E-Man 11 hours 4 min ago view
  • crunch 12 hours 46 min ago view
  • Reports this morning that Marlins' pitching ace Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident - just horrible news.

    Eric S 16 hours 38 min ago view
  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs


    Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago view