Will Greg Maddux Bust the Unanimous Barrier?

The BBWAA released the Hall of Fame ballot today and I count 6 players that you can reasonably associate with the Cubs: Rafael Palmeiro, Jacque Jones, Sammy Sosa, Lee Smith, Moises Alou and Greg Maddux. Of course, all but Sammy and maybe Lee Smith are more closesly associated with other organziations. Sammy won't be getting in and neither will Lee Smith with Maddux and Frank Thomas on this ballot, not to mention more interesting carryovers like Craig Biggio, Jack Morris, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell to name a few.

That being said, I think we all as Cubs fan consider Greg Maddux one of our own and we'll just have to share him with the Atlanta Braves in a joiny custody battle. He'll certainly be fitted with the Braves cap on his plaque, but we can just contine to blame Larry Himes for that historical atrocity.

To the point, if I even have one, is that if there's anything interesting about this ballot, it's whether Greg Maddux will be the first player to be voted in unanimously. There's no reasonable case against him, he checks off every box of a Hall a Fame pitcher. Cy Youngs...check, 4 straight. Exceptional Peak Years...check, see 1992-1998. 300 wins...check. 3000 strikeouts...check. Steroid rumors...nope. Postseason success...okay, I mean it's not Mariano Rivera good, but 11-14 with a 3.27 ERA and a World Series title isn't a reason to not vote for him considering his in-season resume. So the case is airtight and he'll of course get in on the first ballot, but he frankly deserves more. But we all know that one attention-starved voter will make this vote about him and deny Maddux the honor. Tom Seaver stills holds the record at 98.4% of the vote (425 out of 430 ballots) and well, there's no way you can't say Maddux was the better pitcher. But that won't matter when the votes are tallied. All that will matter is if some holier-than-thou, sanctimonious piece of excrement decides that he's the one that will take the burden of being the Hall of Fame bouncer this year. And when and if that happens, it'll just be another check on the list of the "Hall of Fame is Becoming More Irrelevant Each and Every Year."

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According to Heyman, Cubs get their backup catcher..George Kottaras from Royals.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kottage01.shtml

takes a walk is about the best thing you can say about his offensive game, Red Sox traded for him back in 2006. He was the PTBNL in a deal involving David Wells going to the Padres.

Sullivan says it's for cash and will be in the mix for back-up gig.

average-at-best D, not a strong arm, can't hit contact for shit, one of the slowest men in baseball...but hey, he's got a little bit of pop and he can take a walk.

take that NL central.

from the twitter feed...

" Wendy Thurm @hangingsliders
@JulieDiCaro He's excellent defensively. And at pitch framing"

...and she lives on what planet watching which george kottaras?

I'm only interested in his Catcher's ERA

"average at best" is a rather generous way to describe his D. many people frame it in a more negative manner.

i've never heard "excellent" used to describe what he does behind the plate...and sure haven't seen it.

the fact he can take a walk (when he's not striking out) and put a ball in the OF or over a fence (when he makes contact) is what got him to the bigs to begin with.

I was jesting about catcher's ERA. You know, little TCR inside joke.

if maddux isnt unan...something is wrong with baseball.

robust class...maddux, thomas, glavine should get in...maybe mussina and kent...and biggio should have gotten in last year, yet he's still out there.

re: the Hall of Sham

Deadspin bought a writer's vote

http://deadspin.com/deadspin-buys-hall-of-fame-vote-will-turn-it-over-to...

this should go over well...

given that the author spearheading that campaign thinks "Last year, there were a good 15 serious candidates for election, most of them obvious choices" maybe Deadspin shouldn't be responsible for a vote...or have much of a place to complain about how others vote.

Does Joe Morgan get a vote? I remember him saying he didn't consider Maddux great because "he couldn't get the big strikeout if he needed one." What an absolute idiot.

Dunno about Biggio -- when he played, I always thought he was good (or very good), but not great. Would having Biggio on your team make it significantly better? I've never been a big fan of "being good for a long time = great".

7 all-stars, 4 gold gloves, 2 top 5 MVP finishes, 5 silver sluggers, magic 3000 hits

also played in a terrible hitters park for many of his peak years

slightly lower career WAR than Sandberg, but nearly 800 more games played. He'll get it, might take a few more years though.

3060 hits, 4 GG playing 2nd, played 428 games at C (1991 all-star game as a catcher)

he didn't slug much, and probably should have walked away from the game with 2900-ish hits, but he pulled his weight almost his entire career given his position.

he's got roids allegations hanging over him...even if kinda weak.

I would guess some idiots will also rationalize that Maddux will get in, but it won't be unanimous anyway, so I don't need to vote for him and can then give a vote to someone who might need it to stay on the ballot. Like say this idiot:

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/26/how-t...

who suggests not voting for Maddux to help Jeff Kent.

that's pretty asinine way of thinking about it.

I'd vote for these 8 for sure...Maddux, Thomas, Raines, Glavine, Trammell, Biggio, Bagwell, Schilling

Then there's Sosa, Palmeiro, Bonds, Piazza, McGwire and Clemens...they should probably be in there as well.

Kent, Walker and E. Martinez are pretty good cases too.

i sincerely hope he doesn't have a vote.

the maddux-sacrifice-for-kent doesn't piss me off, even though it's insultingly stupid...it's his list of who he thinks is a HOF'r.

it's very obvious admitted/busted PED users doesn't matter or register as a negative to him...and he's another one of those "alan trammell" guys.

alan trammell was good...when he was healthy...which was about 8-10 seasons for his entire career which basically ended in his early 30s while he hung on for a few more years afterwards.

I just hate the logic: "He won't be unanimous, so I don't have to vote for him" which then of course means he won't be unanimous even though he might have been...

On Trammel, his best 7 seasons (his peak) combined for 44.6 WAR. That is EIGHTH all-time for shortstops. The only ones ahead are Honus Wagner, Cal Ripken, Ernie Banks, Arky Vaughan, Lou Boudreau, Robin Yount, and A-Rod.

So when he was healthy, Trammell was GREAT not just "good."

And yes, he had just 8.3 WAR over his last 6 seasons (age 33-38) when he was often injured.

But right now his career WAR of 70.3 ranks TWELFTH all-time for shortstops, behind only Wagner, A-Rod, Ripken, George Davis, Yount, Ozzie, Bobby Wallace, Bill Dahlen, Luke Appling, Vaughan, and Jeter. And some of those compiled portions of their WAR at other positions (e.g. Banks, A-Rod), and many of them hung on too long as well. Bobby Wallace, for example, accumulated just 3.0 WAR over his last 8 seasons.

But even if you retire Trammell after his age 32 season, his career WAR of 62.0 at that point would still rank him 16th all-time at shortstop, dropping him only below Larkin, Cronin, Reese, and Boudreau.

If your personal Hall of Fame has a higher bar than this, fine, you don't have to support Trammell. Everyone has their own standards. But Trammell is clearly one of the top 12-15 shortstops all time no matter how you do the statistics. And basically Trammell IS Barry Larkin. If you think Larkin should be in, Trammell should be too. There is not much difference at all between them.

This is an excellent point on Trammell. What is a head-scratcher for me is how did Jacque Jones even get on the 2014 ballot?

He played exactly 10 seasons, which is the minimum. .775 OPS. Fits right in with Tony Womack, Brian Jordan, Bill Mueller, Eric Young, etc. in past years. I have to imagine that being on the ballot is a pretty big honor for some of these guys--a recognition that you were essentially a major league starter for a decade. In a game this tough, relatively few can actually say that throughout history.

via the trib via rotowurld...

"Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio suggested Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon could compete for the closer's job."

"Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio would like to see Kyle Hendricks in the starting rotation next season."

bosio on hendricks... "Who's to say he couldn't start for us?" Bosio asked. "I saw a 22-year-old starter (Michael Wacha) for the St. Louis Cardinals pitch in the World Series. Why can't we take a kid that's just had a couple years in the minor leagues and put him in our rotation? ... What's to say he couldn't be a fourth or fifth starter? ... I'll be talking to Theo, Jed and Rick about giving this guy ample opportunity to be that guy for us. Maybe we don't have to make a lot of moves. Maybe those young guys we have now can be the answer."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...

I LOVE this guy! Bring 'em up!!!!!!

Wait a minute O&B, Bosio does sound a little too familiar. Has anyone ever seen you two in the same room??!!

Yes! O & B IS Chris Bosio!!!!

One more F.U. to dumpster diver Beth Murphy

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/...

"Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Twins have agreed to a deal with Ricky Nolasco."

i'm going to be a bit disappointed if the cubs don't land m.tanaka...and the cubs involvement in him is being downplayed.

though surprises can happen, it seems like he's the only one linked to the cubs maybe spending some loot...aside from ad bridges and beer gardens.

also, t.sipp went through waivers and is now a FA. cubs are supposedly looking a cheap lefty pen guy...surprised he wasn't claimed by the cubs or even someone else. he's got good stuff...bad results last season, though.

"Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is reporting Ricky Nolasco's deal with the Twins is for four years and $49 million."

not bad...a bit less than ejax money. 12m/yr with 1m buyout or $13m option for 2018.

largest contract the twins have given to a FA in their history.

"Yankees re-signed SS Brendan Ryan to a two-year, $5 million contract

well, i guess the market value for a 100% pure D middle IF'r with 0 bat has been set.

.194/.277/.278 - 2012 - 407 PA (3.5 WAR, showing the flaws awesomeness of WAR, especially in relation to what position you play)

.197/.255/.273 - 2013 - 349 PA (0.4 WAR)

amazing.

Was just gonna post I guess Darwin Barney has supreme status among the shitty standards of today's little-hitting D-only IFers.

Nick Cafardo‏@nickcafardo

The Cubs are going to keep trying to sign Jeff Samardzija long term even amid the trade rumors according to a major league source

That could be three or four more prospects to bring up!

Surprisingly I didn't see this here on TCR: http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs/ex-cub-mike-harkey-...

And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Tim's commentary on Cubs George Kottaras acquisition with a Thanksgiving flavor

http://www.cubby-blue.com/my_weblog/2013/11/cubs-s...

I think TheoCorp was simply operating on the assumption that Navarro was going to be a starter somewhere. Like Tim, I wish I cared more about the backup catcher, but I don't think it's going to matter much.

...and Tim's traditional take on Thanksgiving (I love all the artwork on this!)

http://www.cubby-blue.com/my_weblog/2013/11/this-w...

Trivia question for Blackhawks fans out there...

Glenn Hall was the Blackhawks goalie in their 1960-61 Stanley Cup championship season. In fact he played every minute of every game for five consecutive seasons after being acquired from the Detroit Red Wings in 1957 (seven consecutive seasons playing every minute of every game going back to his last two seasons with Detroit), before finally having his 502 consecutive game streak snapped after suffering a back injury in a game in November 1962.

 

During Hall's consecutive game streak, the Hawks did have a #2 goalie (Al Rollins in 1957-58 & 1958-59 and Denis DeJordy in 1959-60 & 1960-61). However, they played in the minor leagues, and while they could have been recalled if necessary, the #2 goalie was not actually physically present at Hawks games until the 1961-62 season (in case something had happened to Hall prior to or during a game).

But the Hawks did have an emergency back-up goalie present at their games during the years 1957-61, and he would have played in a game if something had happened to Glenn Hall.

Who was he?

Answer

Chico Maki

totally AMAZING Phil!! thanks for the trivia! wow.

Reasons why Maddux will NOT bust the unanimous barrier:
1. Ballot is too crowded with worthy candidates.
2. Perception that he was not elite due to lack of elite stuff.
And most importantly ...
3. He's not Derek Jeter!

reasons he should...besides the obvious...

1 - dominated the steroid era with a 86-90mph fastball/sinker/cutter (and a low 80s changeup that was a big part of his game along with a 80mph slider).

2 - seriously, #1 is enough when you have the stats to back it.

...and no, i wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't unan...there's always a few "that guy..."

355 wins and a 3.16 ERA in a career that spanned 1986-2008, and 9th all-time in career wins in an era when breaking 300 is looking like a less and less achievable goal even for great pitchers. Anyone who thinks he does not belong in the Hall of Fame is a fool. There is no justification for not voting for him. Those who refuse to vote for him are merely self-aggrandizing and should actually lose a bit of our respect in the process.

What stuff he achieved these feats with is irrelevant to the voting process, though it certainly made him more interesting to watch as a fan.

It would be really just insane if he didn't win unanimously. I wonder how many games he would have won if he had stayed with the Cubs most of his career.

...and never on the DL...nor did he half-ass avoid the DL by sitting on the roster while injured to preserve the streak even if he occasionally, yet rarely, had a start skipped.

Wrigley Field attendance has dipped five seasons in a row; last year's 2.64 million was the lowest tally in 15 years. Such decline, in theory, helps explain how my place on the waiting list finally came up. The Cubs ticket saleswoman laughed ruefully when I expressed surprise at her call.

"Yeah, I hear that a lot," she said. "We're expected to get through about 20,000 spots on the wait list."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-noel-c...

hope not...i mean, youth is nice, but this guy is years away. he just turned 21 last month and couldn't throw strikes in rookie ball.

chances are pretty high they'll snag someone, though.

danny burawa and tommy kahnle (both RH relief, both yanks) and fred lewis (lhp, best used as a reliever, also a yank) i imagine would be in consideration.

"Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Orioles, Indians, Cubs and Phillies are interested in free agent reliever Edward Mujica."

Nov 29th and the cubs are finally linked to a FA worth a damn...even if it's a high/mid-level reliever.

what happened to Mujica with the Cardinals when he was closer to lose that 9th inning assignment? Did they overwork him? Any injury? Just reverted back to his norm?

he failed badly in sept/oct...became consistently hittable, but it was probably just bad luck.

honestly, without a good infield D covering him and depending on how well his flyball game goes (he can give up some HRs and deep hits) he can easily be a 3.50+ ERA reliever. he's not gonna walk many, though.

he's most likely in line for a $5m a year 2-3 year contract.

That's Howry territory, 3/15. Yikes.

One disappointing note: Daniel Bard went home at Thanksgiving from Caguas, where his three outing line read 0.1 0 8 7 9 0. “He’s come back from this issue before,” says one Cubs official, “and he can come back again. We’re not giving up on him.”

http://www.gammonsdaily.com/peter-gammons-hamilton...

"We’re not giving up on him"

sigh...

the cubs have to be the only team around that even values him, much less values him enough to keep him on the 40-man. he's down 3+mph on his velocity and his control has been in the toilet for 2 years now.

Well, the club has to say that. They aren't going to say "we are giving up on him, we plan to release him next week." They are publicly giving him a vote of confidence while almost certainly internally continuing to evaluate him and determining when to pull the plug. Right now, there is no urgency, he's worth a flier I think. His upside is still high and there is no roster crunch. Another one of these issues that we fret a lot about on here but means little in the big picture.

j.lake (who's mostly playing SS) is hitting .342/.384/.456 in 20 games in the dominican...

79ab, 27h, 3 doubles, 2 HR, 5bb, 20K, 6/2 sb/cs

Very interesting that he's playing a lot of SS. You would think that he or the Cubs would push him for more outfield work. I assume the OF is full of better defenders?

Junior Lake has not played any games at SS (or 3B or 2B) in the DWL. He has played only OF.

In 21 DWL games so far (including today's game), Lake got the start in CF 11 times, in LF nine times, and in RF once.

Thanks AZ Phil. That makes a lot more sense to me.

same, MILB has him listed as playing SS for some reason.

"Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune believes that the Padres will soon trade Robbie Erlin, Burch Smith or Eric Stults in exchange for a left-handed bat."

Erlin for Schierholtz? Too much or not enough?

sureholds for erlin would be a grand level of mismanagement for SD...even b.smith or e.stults would be a stretch. honestly, i don't understand why anyone would want stults at this point. though he's got good control and a mix of pitches, he's throwing far slower than he was with the dodgers...this is a guy that used to throw low 90s that can barely hit 87-88mph now.

sureholds had good power all year, but he had a crappy 2nd half (especially sept/oct) aside from the homers.

Only one year of team control for Schierholtz. Should have known better.

i kinda wonder how much those 20 HR and 32 doubles are gonna cost the cubs...and if he can replicate it.

it's probably gonna be around $5m...maybe more given how well he can play RF.

Daniel Bard - $1.8625MM

that's about $1.8625 million too much.

i seriously cannot understand the fear of losing this guy by dropping him off the 40-man and offering him a minor league contract with MLB incentives...not even remotely. he's 2 years, a lot of control issues, some injuries, and 3+mph of velocity separated from his last effective period.

That's nitpicking...

yeah mr 'the glass is totally empty.' how about trying 'the glass is not full.' 'at all.'

full/empty glass?

daniel bard is the smudge of lip moisture on the glass.

smudge of lip moisture
---
vaporware?

more like malware.

i seriously do not see any other team wanting to take this guy on...nor a big risk in losing him by dropping him off the 40-man...especially after his winter ball performance so far (which is bad even for him, or anyone).

i don't think the cubs are stupid enough to actually go the distance and pay him $1.8m...maybe $1m or less with some performance incentives tied to it, though i think that's a bit of a waste given what he's shown (or not shown) in 2+ years now.

it's one thing to look at the guy he once was, but he's had 2 years of what he is...not 1/2 year or a few months.

he's a broken glass, face down, in an alley in a desert town.

Phil Hughes signs with Twins for 3/24...not bad at all for a guy playing age 28 season next year.

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