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,
Todd Zeile

Let's couple that with the returning candidates and here would be my ballot. As , 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.

- About the only rumor over the break was that the in the services of . He certainly wouldn't make a terrible set-up/back-up closer option.

- 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.


Why put all these players on the list? So some douchbag sports writer can waste a vote? I think MLB should have some sort of prerequisites to be even considered for the Hall of Fame!

well fwiw, the Hall of Fame is technically independent of MLB. The Hall has its own rules and contracted the BBWAA to do their voting for them. as for prerequisites
Five years after retirement, any player with 10 years of major league experience who passes a screening committee (which removes from consideration players of clearly lesser qualification) is eligible to be elected by BBWAA members with 10 years' membership or more.
from the trusted Wikipedia :) guys get filtered out pretty quickly, so I don't think it's a big issue myself to let Dave Burba on there.

Does Robby Alomar still have AIDS?

Do you stop having AIDS? his non-denial, denial...

Roberto Alomar. Even number year so no sad phone call for Santo.

If anything, guys get filtered out too quickly. Just ask Lou Whitaker. I'd pretty much agree with Rob's lists except on the second one I'd add Mark McGwire. No doubt in my mind that guys like ARod and Manny will get in, so as a result it's time to stop selectively punishing people the media deems to be less likable, such as McGwire, Sosa and even Bonds. I'm borderline on Edgar Martinez for the same reasons as Lee Smith, but I guess if I had a vote this year I wouldn't cast it and wait to see what happens.

Martinez was a really good hitter, but when you don't have to play defense and it can't affect you positively or negatively I think you have to be a great hitter. Considering he didn't hit any of the milestones, 3000 hits, 500 home runs, etc, I can't vote for him.

Considering he didn't hit any of the milestones, 3000 hits, 500 home runs, etc, I can't vote for him. Considering I'm not in the BBWAA, I can't either. But I would if I could. Dominant at his position, perhaps the best DH of all time? And a little defensive value. For what it's worth, he's got over 500 games at 3rd base to affect appreciation of his defense, good or bad. That's 3 more-or-less full seasons of 3rd sacking and a bunch of spare starts here and there. We have no idea what the DH standards will be for the Hall, but those innings are 25% to 20% of what a 3rd baseman would put up over a HOF career. It's not a lot, but it's something to consider.

BP has him as a terrible third basemen fwiw, and that's playing on turf as well. He's no Frank Thomas is what I'm saying. Thomas played more 1b than Martinez played 3b though and my guess is he'll get knocked a bit for that because he was generally considered terrible at it. Martinez's WARP3 btw is 68.9, 7 All-Star Appearances, no MVP's, 5 Silver Sluggers.

He's no Frank Thomas is what I'm saying. No argument. Big Hurt is is a no-brainer HOFer. But will he go in as a DH?

I don't think position matters with Thomas. Greatest hitter of 90's and in top 15 all time.

actually I wouldn't be too surprised if Manny doesn't make it Arod though will open the floodgates. The thing he has going for him is that he admitted a specific timeline of when he did it, so voters can sort of compare and contrast his numbers. Plus he has 2 MVP awards since he supposedly has been off them... The best thing any of these guys can do if they want in is be upfront about what they did and when.

I can't fault anyone who won't vote for a guy who took drugs to get an advantage out of principle. But if ARod is still considered a mortal lock and McGwire's eligibility might expire before ARod even has a chance to go in, that means there's a percentage of voters who condemn what McGwire did and brush aside what Rodriguez did. That's specifically what I'd point my finger at. Rodriguez gets a pass, and some of the best players of the generation like Ramirez, Sosa, Bonds, Clemens and McGwire get to watch him give an induction speech.

obviously that was just me guessing at the hearts and minds of BBWAA voters, but the one thing Rodriguez has going for him is that he was somewhat honest about his steroids use at this point. Society likes to forgive as long as you don't kill a dog and admit you fucked up. of course it sucks if some of those guys are being honest too and really didn't use, but nobody believes that unfortunately...

I think it will be a cakewalk for Manny to get in. He's a couple productive seasons from being #4 all time on the RBI list (probably #5 or #6 when he's up for the HoF), and the sportscasters/writers don't seem to be out to get him. Plus he'll get a boost from being on the '04 Red Sox team. Schilling will be a really interesting one too.

well of course I think he deserves it and easily... but steroids, lack of honesty about steroids at this point, no MVP's, general disinterest in playing defense, pushing an old man down because of travel plans...I could see some hesitation when his time comes up. It all depend on how the 'roiders fare up to that point as well.

Mark McGwire and the other cheaters should be automatically banned from the HoF. Then MLB should cut off the cheaters arms and legs and beat them to death with them.

A good vote. I'd probably put Trammel up in the higher group, and possibly drop Dawson and Smith from the bottom. No worries if they get in--both are better choices than Jim Rice. I'd also vote for McGwire, and as I noted, Martinez.

I'd be interested in how Hendry stacks up as a GM, given his non-use of the arbitration tool (if it is a tool). Ya'll seem to think he's not a good "baseball" businessman given his approach to draft picks. Why would Tom keep him on if he wants to build a youth movement Marlins-type club? Is it just because he's feeding a large market, so we are doomed to watching 8 year contracts of big names? It bit us last year with Woody, etc., now this? Help!

GMs of reasonable experience I'd take over Hendry: > Cashman > Epstein > Friedman > Dombrowski > Amaro > Reagins > Beane > Shapiro Maybe Byrnes and Daniels too. I guess I have Hendry rated somewhere near the bottom of the top half of GMs, if that makes sense.

I'd also add Beinfest Gillick Huntington (Pirates) And the new Blue Jays GM to the list. Probably Dayton Moore as well.

Probably Dayton Moore The Lone Ranger?

I met Clayton Moore when I was a kid and I have no doubt he would be a better GM than Hendry. At the very least we'd kick the Indians' asses in interleague play.

Was hearing wearing the sun glasses?

Beinfest isn't the GM, he's president of the club now...Gillick retired, Amaro is the GM.

it's a more interesting job when you have to win every year imo, for all the neat little moves that some of the small and mid-market GM's make, it's considered a success if they win 83 games. Hendry wins 83 and the team is a rudderless ship... (although I'm all for a new GM at this point)

If a competent GM was running the ship we WOULD be winning every single year. We outspend everyone in the division by 40 Million dollars. If Hendry didn't overpay for litterally every non auto-renewal player on the roster then we would be golden. Instead we are on the 2nd consecutive offseason of having to move contracts to add pieces. The Red Sox are the model. Unfortunately Hendry is following the NY Mets 1990-2009 model.

by USA Today salary database Cubs outspent their closest NL Central competitor (Astros or Cardinals) in 2009 by $35M, $19M in 2008, $9M in 2007, $2M in 2006, $7M in 2004, outspent by Cards by $5M in 2005, $4M in 2003 considering the Yanks outspend the Red Sox by $50 to $80M just about every year, I don't think winning every year is reasonable at all. 2009 was a complete travesty and tragedy though.

2004 and 2006 are completely irrelevant to 2010. The 140-145 million dollar payroll has been cast. It isn’t going to be going below that threshold unless something catastrophic occurs. The NL Central doesn’t have a Yankees or Red Sox in it. Only the Cubs and our ability to outspend the competition by 40%. I stand behind my statement that we absolutely SHOULD win every single year. Larry Beinfest in charge of this baseball organization would be a godsend. If Ricketts wanted to make a real splash this offseason. He would swoop in and snatch that guy away from the Penny pinching Loria. Hendry needs oversight. I hate to admit that I miss Andy McFail as president. At least we would have money to spend now if he was here.

so your point is that Hendry had one bad year?

My point is that Hendry has never really been good. He got lucky in 2008. He made the playoffs with mid 80 win teams a couple of times. Never has he really built anything that was set up for future success. Moreso just reactive moves after each and every season. Backloading more and more debt into future rosters. I'd feel better about him if someone bought him a subscription to Baseball Prospectus. Instead he is the guy at the craps table hoping for a hot streak. Not the guy you want shaping the future of your organization. Just sayin

One thing that Hendry has been excellent at is utilizing his major league scouts when making trades and FA signings. Besides that, yeah, he's pretty bad at everything.

Trades, yes. FA's not so much.

I think that if you compare him to other GM's, just on FA signings, he'll look pretty good.

I hate to admit that I miss Andy McFail as president So you don't think that Hendry wins enough, but you want McPhail back? Seriously?

Did McFail have 140 Million dollar payrolls? At least the guy showed some budget skills and negotiating acumen. Hendry gives 2 year deals to Club controlled Non-Tender crap like Aaron Miles.

At least Hendry has actually won.

apparently in aaronb's world, better to spend wisely and make the playoffs 17% of the time, then spend heavily and make the playoffs 67% of the time. MacPhail president/GM from 1994-2006 and Cubs spent relative to their NL central peers those years and made the playoffs twice, one of those times he needed Hendry to do his GM work Hendry got the blank check so to speak starting in 2007 and made the playoffs 2 out of 3 times.

Hendry has been GM since 2002. McFail should get a little credit for fostering a Minor League system that contributed to most of what contributed to the 2007-2008 playoff teams. Lilly Soriano Marquis Are the guys that Hendry can take 100% credit for.

Hendry was scouting director, then assistant GM, then GM, deserves as much credit and ridicule for anything that's happened since he joined the organization in 1995. but in case you missed it, MacPhail didn't believe in long term free agent contracts unless he felt he was getting a deal...and for the 12 years he was in charge of the Cubs, much of it tied with Hendry, the Cubs made the playoffs twice. The Cubs then decided that they should spend relative to their income, fired MacPhail and made the playoffs twice in three years. I prefer option B. But by all means, if you like a team that spends reasonably and wins once in awhile, plenty of good GM's and presidents out there that win occasionally. of course I prefer option C, outspend just about everyone in your division and win most of the time (I think 80% playoff rate is reasonable myself, especially considering an extra team in your division and two extra teams in your league compared to the AL).

Perhaps I didn't phrase my point very well. I am not advocating bringing McFail back. I hated his penny pinching ways just as I hate the Hendry buffoonery. My point is moreso that Jim Hendry needs a filter at the very least. If a Beinfest for instance was around, to do the negotiating and oversignt. Then we would be better off. There is probably 25-35 Million in dead/overpayment money on this roster right now. If a responsible exec was overseeing the contract negotiations. Then we wouldn't be in the situation we are currently in.

once you commit to signing top free agents, you overpay, there's almost no such thing as a reasonable FA contract for top talent. Besides A-rod, just about every 5-8 year deal starts to become a problem. But if you don't offer the extra years, you don't get the benefits of the first couple years because they'll sign somewhere else.

Perhaps? But who was offering 8 years to Soriano 3 years to Bradley or 4 to Kfuk or Dempster? It just seems like Hendry bids against himself with everyone he gets. Grabow. Miles. Dempster. Bradley etc.

not like you hear every offer, not like you hear most offers... Angels wanted Soriano, but not for that much, that's why the Cubs got him. I think Rays had a 2 yr offer on Bradley, Cubs got him with 3. Dempster signed before he reached the market, so who knows. Considering Lowe got way more as did Burnett, there should be no complaining. All those just prove my point, you want the player, you have to offer more. Report was Cubs didn't have the best offer out for Fukudome, but promised him RF. Padres wanted him for CF and offered more money, think Mariners made an offer as well.

My mistake then, All this time I though this was a disorganized side show. Imagine my suprise to find out this is a well oiled, forward thinking machine?

Good point on the Mets comparison with Hendry. Hendry seems to build teams for the next 6 months, not over time. He repeatedly makes bad decisions, and still seems to favor high strike out, low walk hitters and high strikeout, high walk pitchers over guys who get on base and keep hitters off base. I don't care about their tools or how hard they throw, can they help us win? And every team should have a good farm system, there's not excuse not to. Yes, the talent in any given draft is limited, but so much of this can be taught by good coaches. Stop drafting players (and promoting) players who don't grasp the fundamentals. But the fundamentals can be taught. Better fielding, being able to bunt, hit behind the runner, read a pitcher's delivery - those things can be taught if you stress them enough and hire good coaches at every level. You might not be able to promote a future star player to the majors every year, but there's no reason every team can't come up with at least 2-3 fundamentally sound, good contributors from the minors every year, many of which will be able to be starters. It just drives me nuts that teams don't understand that spending $10 million on their minor leagues, or whatever the number needs to be, is a better investment than signing some of these crappy free agents they keep signing.

Over the last two off-seasons his primary hitter additions have been Fukudome and Bradley. He also brought in Edmonds and handed Soto the starting job at catcher. The 'he doesn't get OBP' rap no longer holds.

No one's talking about the Marlins. The blueprint is the Red Sox. Thank God. Now get rid of Joe Buck and Tim McGarver and post season baseball can be tolerable again.

My thoughts on why Dawson should be in: I don't like when people compare him to Rice or other borderline HOFers. Compare him to someone who went in easily like Dave Winfield. - Winfield had 7 gold gloves, Dawson 8, both were known as strong-armed outfielders, although Dawson had more range. - Winfield was in 12 AS games, Dawson 8. Winfield started 8, Dawson 7. - Both received MVP votes in 9 years; Winfield made the top 5 three times (3-4-5); Dawson made the top 5 three times (1-2-2). - Neither was any good in their limited post-season appearances. - Dawson had a slightly lower OPS (.806 to .827) because Winfield walked quite a bit more, but Dawson had about 100 more stolen bases and was successful at a better clip (5% better), and also had over 100 fewer GDP. - Overall, their peak 15 years were eerily similar in almost every category across the board, with Dawson having more speed, and Winfield having more patience at the plate. - The main difference in their final count stats is that Winfield managed about 1,500 more plate appearances. Thus he ends up with about 300 more hits and runs, 200 more RBI, 40 more doubles, and 30 more homeruns. Winfield's WARP3 is 62.6 and Dawson's 59.6. Of course durability is a factor in the HOF, but I can't help but believe that if Winfield played at Olympic Stadium for 11 years, and Dawson were roaming around San Diego and Yankee Stadium, their stats would look quite a bit different today. And longevity is the only thing separating them, during their long peaks they were equal. In my mind, there is just not enough separating them to warrant Winfield getting 84.5% his first time on the ballot, and for Dawson to receive 45% in his first year and top out at 67% so far. But of course this is just my opinion.

all good points, but the reason Winfield was a no-brainer, besides some popularity from playing with the Yankees was 3,000 hits. It's a free pass to the Hall still, right or wrong.

But then I wonder about someone like Willie Stargell. No magic numbers, in fact Dawson beats him in most categories, and he had no defense and no speed. Stargell beats him in OBP and SLG, but their WARP3's are very close. I guess Stargell has post-season accolades to his credit, but is that the difference between getting in the Hall on the first year and polling in the 50s and 60s for years? I just wish there were more consistency in voting between similar players. Maybe Ozzie is more deserving than Trammell but not first-ballot to 17%.

reputation precedes numbers.... Ozzie Smith was one of baseball superstars, Trammell was not. Stargell was considered the best player on 2 WS teams, plus the bonus of playing well in the playoffs which seems to carry a lot of weight.

Roberto Clemente says hello.

hey there Roberto... but Stargell was a lot better than you in 1971 and you were dead by 1979. on a sidenote, why did Torre win the MVP in '71 instead of Stargell? I'll answer it myself, 12 RBI's (in 20 more games played) and a .363 BA. Be a fun project to give retro MVP's based on what we know today...

Clemente won the MVP in 1966 with 29 homers, 119 rbi, 105 runs scored and .317/.360/.536 (OPS+ 146). Stargell that same year had 33 homers, 102 rbi, 84 runs scored and .315/.381/.581 (OPS+ 164). Stargell played in 14 fewer games (only 140), something that seems to have been somewhat of a common occurrence for him, never having played more than 148 games in a year. The Bill James piece on him in the Historical Baseball Abstract refers to him having been injured often. Matty Alou hit .342 for the Pirates in 1966, winning the batting title. Coincidentally, his brother Felipe finished second with a .327 average. Other candidates for the NL MVP in 1966: --Richie Allen .317/.396/.632 (OPS+ 181) --Ron Santo .312/.412/.538 (OPS+ 161) --Willie McCovey .295/.391/.586 (OPS+ 164) --Joe Torre .315/.382/.560 (OPS+ 156) --Henry Aaron .279/.356/.539 (OPS+ 142) (first year in Atlanta; led league in homers and rbi) --Willie Mays .288/.368/.536 (OPS+ 149) It was a close vote, with Clemente having 218 votes and beating out Koufax who had 208. Mays was 3rd, Allen 4th, Felipe Alou 5th, Aaron 8th, Matty Alou 9th, Santo 12th, Stargell 15th, Torre 16th and McCovey 17th. Juan Marichal, Phil Regan, Pete Rose and Gene Alley all finished ahead of Santo, as well as those below him.

Clemente deservedly won the WS MVP in 1971. I recommend the David Maraniss biography of Clemente wholeheartedly; it's superb.

"Clemente deservedly won the WS MVP in 1971."
Yeah, it was really no contest. He was so dominant a player in that Series (.414/.452/.759 w/ OPS of 1.210, displaying his superior arm and glove & running the bases like a madman) that there was a lot of discussion early on about whether they should give the MVP to a person on the losing team, as he was so clearly the outstanding performer on the field for that whole series. Luckily, the Pirates (the underdog -- Baltimore had a pitching staff with four 20 game winners that year) won, making the whole argument academic.

I think the big difference between the two is that Winfield had the great season late for a World Series team whereas Dawson's career went out with more of a whimper. If you don't have the 'magical' numbers an exclamation point season like that probably goes a long way in the voters' minds.

Interesting comparison. Winfield walked quite a bit more, but Dawson had about 100 more stolen bases and was successful at a better clip (5% better), and also had over 100 fewer GDP Winfield walked 627 more times than Dawson in their careers. The value of the 100 extra bases stolen and 100 fewer double plays don't make up for that. Dawson having more speed, and Winfield having more patience at the plate That alone makes Winfield much more valuable than Dawson, before you even consider plate appearances, which you did. Winfield managed about 1,500 more plate appearances There's a significant difference between Winfield and Dawson, and right now the HOF generally has it's admission bar somewhere between the two. The irony with Jim Rice comps is that Jim Rice is not between the two in terms of value--Dawson's better. Of course durability is a factor in the HOF, but I can't help but believe that if Winfield played at Olympic Stadium for 11 years, and Dawson were roaming around San Diego and Yankee Stadium, their stats would look quite a bit different today. This is a fine thought experiment if you want to discuss who was the more talented ball player, but as you noted, durability is a factor. And the hall is more about performance than talent. Also, as the BBWAA continues to admit more saber-types into its ranks, that .323 career OBP will continue to kill Dawson's chances.

Some of those walks are made up by Dawson getting hit by a pitch 111 times to just 25 for Winfield. Which by the way is ridiculous! And Dawson saved more runs on defense, playing CF for many years compared to Winfield in RF. But yes this is just a thought piece, and I don't disagree that the HOF is more about performance than talent. In general, I just think the hall focuses too much on longevity and cumulative stats when it MEASURES performance. It seems like they are only able to bend this when it comes to tragic stories like Kirby Puckett. If we look at performance from say 1978-1992, in my mind, Dawson is a HOFer. Injuries simply prevented him from padding the count stats like others have been able to do. For better or worse, HOF voters reward the Winfields and Murrays of the world for mostly sucking for 3-5 years after their peaks and reaching so-called magic numbers.

Dawson, 78-92 9000PAs 282/327/490/817 380HR 513BB 1243Ks 124OPS+ Career (76-96): 10769PAs 279/323/482/806 438HR 589BB 1509Ks 119OPS+ Yeah, the Boston and Florida years dragged Dawson down with 4 below average years by OPS+. You like the power, but the pitch selection is still really low for the best slugger in the lineup, even in the years you mentioned. Murray had 4 below average years and 2 terrible ones at the end of his career. He still managed a career OPS+ of 129. Winfield had 2 averagish years and 1 terrible year with a career OPS+ of 130. I think Murray was more guilty of sticking around to grab a number. And you're right--that's not really fun to watch, like Biggio the last couple years. But yes, the Hall voters love a big number. If you're saying that had Dawson stayed around long enough to get 250 more hits or 60 more homers, he'd be in by now, you're probably right. And that's probably not the most fair thing, but longevity matters--you can't help a team win if you're not in the game. Take heart though. Dawson had a 65.9% vote last time. I don't think anyone's ever been that high and not made the hall. I wouldn't vote for him, but it looks like he'll get in some day.

According to WSCR Ricketts and Kinney visiting Naples tomorrow to discuss ST with officials.

i still don't buy the naples thing...other teams bitch enough about the ride to ft. myers and naples is 1 hour further south. it will take 3-5 hours for teams not already in ft. myers area (3 teams) to reach naples...and vice-versa. the cubs may get a good deal for an invitation, but tucson and it's 1.5-2 hour drive with incentives galore can't attract teams with a great quality stadium already in place.

I agree, just a ploy to see who in Phoenix will give them the best deal.

Why would we want to have spring training in Italy? :)

Italy. Nude beaches. Lou Piniella. Dare we dream?

are your friend...


speaking of...the comment/reply box is too small.

drag it open on the bottom

i can't drag/resize anything.

my bad, let's me do it on my permissions...thought it translated. I shall search a solution.

made it 10 rows deep now also, once you go pass 10 rows of text, a scrollbar should appear and you can resize by dragging out the lower right corner. -edit- resize seems to only work on safari, not firefox...

gotcha and awesome. the reply field with more rows of text works. it was just way short before.


No it's not, I can see it right here.

i hate you with great intensity. hehe...

chip caray is now an announcing free agent...released from his tbs contract. "Since the M.L.B. playoffs, we've had several discussions with Chip Caray regarding 2010 and beyond. Both sides have agreed that now is the right time for Turner Sports and Chip to move ahead on different paths."

I'm not much of a stats guy although I do love the new trends towards destroying stupid ass GMs based on those stats.All I know is I remember the Dawson swami and that's good enough for me. If 1800 beer swilling drunkards are happy with him, then, dammit, I am too. And if we can get more people drunk enough maybe we can stop hating a guy who FUCKING can hit. Sorry. I spoke out against the general judgement of the lame ass crowd.

that's how you end up keeping andy van slyke rather than barry bonds. :(

Well, I think money had something to do with it. Worse ever not resigning a FA? Bonds or Maddux?

Mark DeRosa.

Kerry Wood

Speaking of DeRosa, his wife is one of the hotties Dave Kaplan is blogging about. I guess posting photos of some of the players wives/girlfriends beats following the Bears.

Cleveland Manny Ramirez?

The Red Sox with Clemens have to be in there too, but at least he came off a bad season.

Maybe Houston with Randy Johnson? They probably could've won a Series with him during that time he was in Arizona.

you wanna count MIN non-tendering david ortiz rather than paying him 1-2 million bucks? guess that's hindsight since any team out there could have had him as a FA on BOS took a 1.5m-ish chance on him. says that Riccardi couldn't have traded Halladay if he wanted to, that owners and president knew he was on his way out and didn't want him to pull the trigger.

Also says the Jays want an everyday player and a starter for right now. These organizations that think in half-measures, to me, are just destined to never get anywhere. Either blow it up or try to contend. Trying to do both turns you into the 2009 Indians (or the 2010 Jays). The Jays farm system is supposedly dry. How is adding a couple of dependable but not all-star 3rd year players going to get them anywhere?

Riccardi and Hendry have similar GM careers at this point. JPs undoing was a much lower payroll and much tougher division.

for a decent rumor. Could Cubs pull this off for next year and does it win the Central? Granderson, Theriot, Lee, Ramirez, Soriano, Fukudome, Soto, K. Johnson/Baker Burrell, R. Johnson, Miles(or Blanco if they get rid of Miles), Hill, K. Johnson/Baker Z, Dempster, Wells, Lilly, Gorzelanny Marmol, Guzman, Grabow, Marshall, Saito, bullpen musical chairs for last 2 spots okay, so our defense in the outfield when a lefty starts is a disaster assuming Burrell plays RF and Johnson plays CF, but not bad? obviously assuming a Bradley/Burrell trade and then something like Vitters, Barney or Lee, and a third good prospect, likely a pitcher that's hopefully not named Cashner or Jackson but probably would be for Granderson. and obviously Fontenot instead of K. Johnson would probably work too...

i dont think TB has the balls to trade burrell away to be someone's part time player. they need every advantage when negotiating with FA's (aka, agents) they can get. and as much as im not a kelly johnson fan i sure wouldn't complain about him being a also perfectly fine with baker/fontenot (though it seems fontenot is trade bait at this point). fwiw, i can't remember the article...think it was the trib a few days ago...but the cubs are serious enough about s.castro that they've supposedly told theriot to prepare for a good bit of work at 2nd this spring.

but the cubs are serious enough about s.castro that they've supposedly told theriot to prepare for a good bit of work at 2nd this spring.
yeah read that... theriot to 2b is great castro possibly starting w/o seeing AAA or much of AA is not so great. starting the service clock on a 20 year old kid with an OPS of .734 in HiA/AA last year is also not so great.

yes...i do not want to see him rushed. it has NOTHING to do with the fact i think it will detour his development because i don't know much about it, but i see absolutely no reason to start his clock before his sweet swing develops more consistency and power. tex using up elvis andrus before his time comes to decent as he is and as far as his upside is, he could use a little more refining at bat and in the field. andrus isn't a bad fielder, but he's not polished.

Agreed, Let the kid get a FULL 450-500 AAA at bats before bringing him to Chicago. Reeks of Patterson redux

Just to clarify Doc...does it smack of Patterson redux if they do get Castro a full season at AAA, or if they do not?

If they do not. Patterson never spent more than about 6 weeks at a time in Iowa. They pushed him through the system without him ever having to make adjustments.

Not trying to start an argument here, but those two players share very little other than they're baseball players and they reached AA at a young age. The problem with Patterson being promoted was that he got worse and worse as he went up the ladder. Castro is not experiencing that. Castro has actually earned his promotions, not whined about where he was at until he got promoted. That's a huge difference.

Not a bad point TRN. It couldn't hurt to get Castro, at age 20 in 2010, a full season at AA or AAA before anointing him the starting SS. He did pretty well in AA, but only has 122 PA's. .288/.347/.396 is solid, but certainly not dominating.

Don't get me wrong. I am 100% behind the Castro in AA or AAA to start the season philosophy. I just don't like the logic that says "because one player was rushed and didn't turn out well, every player must spend at least one full year at every level". Was having Mark Prior in the Cubs rotation in 2003 a bad idea, or Kerry Wood in 1998? When a guy shows he can handle it, promote him. So far, Castro has handled everything thrown at him. Not perfectly, but there's nothing in his record that shows he is being over matched. Keep in mind that the PA's he got in Arizona were also against AA and AAA pitchers. So now he's got 220 PA's against high minors competition. He's started slowly in the DWL, though. Come spring training I would let him duke it out with Barney for the AAA starting job - loser goes to TN, or maybe 2nd base if it's Barney who loses. It's not likely that he's going to be an upgrade over Theriot next year. By 2011, if he continues to progress like he did last year, there probably won't be any question that Theriot will need to step aside (or hopefully, play SS somewhere else).

I wonder if there's ever been a study on pitchers who get rushed through the minors versus position players. It seems like it would be much easier for a pitcher to do well at the big league level at a young age. Consider Prior and Wood. Prior had pinpoint control with multiple plus pitches. Wood had a high 90s fastball and a devastating slider back in '98. With those skills, it doesn't matter who they're pitching to. However, some position players who absolutely dominate minor league pitching can't duplicate that success at the major league level because they're facing much tougher pitchers (e.g. Felix Pie). Anyway, it would be interesting to see, but I have neither the time nor patience to look all this info up. But yeah, Castro should probably take some time in AAA before being annointed the savior.

(Hey you, psst, yeah you. Felix Pie hit .266.326.437 last year.) There's the concept known as TINSTAPP, which says as soon as a pitcher dominates in the majors bring him up. All you have to do is miss bats, throw strikes and not get hurt. Dwight Gooden is probably the best example of that. But then there's guys like Rich Hill who need to make adjustments as well. If Castro would start as the Cubs shortstop this year, I think he'd probably do about as well as Theriot. He'd get to more balls but make more errors. He'd probably hit for a little more power but have less OBP.

I think you'd see something closer to 2006 Ronny Cedeno. Then you run the risk of him getting booed outta town. Better to let him play in Iowa till he's really ready. Why start his free agent clock before he can contribute anyway?

Well, if you're Jim Hendry you don't really understand this whole arbitration thing, so that's not a factor.

mark prior didn't need the cubs or their minor league system...he was a very rare talent ready to go out of the draft. it's easy to forget how great (not good... f'n great) he was at this point.

I don't understand the concept of "rushed" as it is applied to Corey Patterson. I understand this scenario: you promote a player too quickly, he struggles in the majors until you trade him, then he blossoms somewhere else. That's what happened with Lou Brock. But Patterson is thirty now. He's had a shot every year, with five teams. How can you claim with any confidence that he had the right stuff to begin with? Pie might do something in the next year or two, in which case you could argue that he was rushed, though I wouldn't necessarily agree. At some point you run out of minor-league options. Pie might have been a victim of that chronic gaping hole in centerfield, absent which, he might have remained a Cub till he was ready. (Pie had an ankle injury in 2005 that prevented his being called up from double-A when Patterson was exiled to Iowa. Adam Greenberg got the gig--some gig--in his place.) But there's no gaping hole at shortstop. Castro would be moving Theriot out of the way.

Corey Patterson struggled in AAA and was still given a major league job. Patterson's OPS by year: .949 .829 .694 - at which point you decide he's ready for a full time gig in CF for the Cubs. As he faced more accomplished pitchers his numbers went down significantly. That's not the case with Castro, so far.

If guys like Clemens, McGwire and Bonds get in then they really need to strongly consider Pete Rose for the Hall of Fame!

My view in a nutshell: 1. Guys like Clemens, McGwire and Bonds took actions (you may call it cheating) with the goal of increasing their performance and helping their teams to win 2. Rose took actions away from the field that may have decreased his ostensible goal of helping his team win games--depends on whether you believe a man who lied for years by claiming he did not gamble when he now says he gambled every day for his team to win. 2 is a greater offense than 1.

There's no evidence that Rose ever bet against the Reds. Rose's intent was to satisfy his urge to gamble. The steroid users intent was to give themselves advantages over other players. Who's intent undermined the integrity of the game more? I would say the users.

There's no evidence that Rose ever bet against the Reds. 2 points on that. 1. Betting on his team only part of the time is the same as betting against them the other times. If Pete tries harder to win some games than others, the fans aren't getting what they're paying for. And he sends a message to bookies on how to manage their odds. 2. Who cares if he never bet against his team? Even if he bet to win every game, as the man who lied about gambling for a decade now claims, putting him in the hall sets a precedent that gambling on your team is okay. And when you start allowing people to gamble on their teams, managers of less sterling character than Pete Rose will start to gamble against their team.

Character...thats a freaking laugh. Please look at Ty Cobb, Tris is not a Hall of those who have Good Character. Pete Rose shold be in the HOF as a player. He should never be allowed to coach or manage again.

You're right. It's not a "Hall of those who have Good Character". And I no where said it was. Assholes. Cocaine addicts. Drunks. Womanizers. None of these personal failings preclude a great ball player from the hall because none of them suggest they didn't do their best to win. Gambling on the game calls the basic premise of a ticket purchase into question. Betting against your team is unconscionable and betting for them is simply less bad and still unacceptable, for the reasons I mentioned above.

I am not saying it's ok to bet on your team, or against your team. I do have the opinion that it is worse to cheat the game, to gain an unfair competitve advantage by using steroids or HGH, than to to have bet on the game. Please ask Alex Karras or Paul Hornung their opinion on betting.

Dusty is correct. There's no correlation between the punishment and the crime. Is the hall of fame even an MLB entity? Can it reasonably be argued that Rose's betting on some Reds games damaged the integrity of the game as much as the racist actions of dozens of hall of famers - who did that when they were actually involved in compiling their HoF careers? What would be worse, gambling on your team after retiring or committing a double homicide? Which one keeps you out of the HoF?

The hall is not an MLB entity. It simply chose to respect MLB's banning of players like Joe Jackson and Pete Rose. And yes. Banning is a reasonable punishment for gambling. Gambling damages the integrity of the game while a personal fault damages only the integrity of that player. Gambling calls into question the basic premise of a ticket purchase, that we're seeing a fair competition between two teams trying their hardest to win. The hall isn't a museum of morality--there are bad people in it. But their faults are personal. Gambling is a fault that more broadly affects the institution of baseball, and the hall rightly respects MLB's banning of gamblers. I hope that the Hall will continue to ban gamblers if MLB makes good some day on re-instituting Rose, as came close a few years ago.

"Gambling damages the integrity of the game while a personal fault damages only the integrity of that player." You've got two logical fallacies here. The first of course is that using PED's doesn't damage the integrity of the game. Ask the 2002 Braves and Cardinals if they would have rather had Dusty betting on the Giants and a clean Bonds, or what they got. How is using PED's "creating a fair competition between two teams trying their hardest to win?" It's not. The second is that you compare a player who knowingly took bribe money to throw games, to a guy who gambled on his team after his career was over, and tried to equate them. Seriously, how can you compare one person who allowed for the possibility for future games to lack in integrity to players who knowingly cheated to win games, and then come out on the side of the latter as the less egregious offense?

Your disagreement does not connote a logical fallacy. You assume, for one, that Bonds was the only PED user in the 2002 series with the Braves and Cardinals. In fact, we have no idea how many were using and to what extent the PEDs affected the outcome of those series. If PEDs were the deciding factor in those series, then the Angels must have won against the Giants because they had more PED users. But of course, that's nonsense. And that's the problem with PEDs in general. Who knows how much they were used and how much they help? But there's no question the players who used them were trying to perform better. And better performance helps a team win. There is considerable question about Rose's efforts. Once more, betting for your team on some games is like betting against your team on others. And any acceptance of gambling is a dangerous precedent. I'll grant you that Rose and Jackson's offenses are not the same assuming Rose never bet against his team. Otherwise, they're precisely the same.

You assume, for one, that Bonds was the only PED user in the 2002 series with the Braves and Cardinals. No, I don't assume that, and don't need to. You assume that Rose was the only player involved in gambling on any of his games, and if he was then it impacted the outcome of the games. There is 0 evidence that either of these assumptions are correct. And finally, no matter how many times you repeat it, gambling on your team has no impact to the integrity of your game. What has an impact is 1. Gambling against your team or 2. Being coerced into throwing games because of gambling debts. Neither of these acts Rose engaged in, and again, even if he had it would have been after his playing career ended.

in every single dugout...on a sign...a die-cast metal struck plaque in some is VERY explicit you are not to gamble on the game. rose passed this sign a few thousand times.

Okay. We clearly disagree. But you're saying that gambling on your team has no impact to the integrity of the game doesn't make it true. Reasonable people can justifiably disagree. In fact, enough people think that gambling of any type is detrimental to the integrity of the game that the policy is created as such. You think that's unfair, fine. I think it's perfectly just for the reasons I mentioned. Additionally, a manager with money on the game may be more likely to take unreasonable actions to hurt the other team--head hunting or spike-up slides on steals, or other things we might not consider particularly fair, things they wouldn't do if they didn't have extra money on the game. You assume that Rose was the only player involved in gambling on any of his games This is just reactionary. I never suggested that I assumed this at all. I would have all gamblers and game-throwers banned from the hall.

If Stargell hadn't played the first 7 plus years of his career in Forbes Field, I shudder to think how many homers he would have hit. As it was, he hit 475, 221 at home and 254 on the road. He easily would have hit 500 had he played in a normal environment at home. After the Pirates moved in 1970, he hit 48 homers in 1971 and another 44 in 1973, when he was 33. The man was strong.

Like you said, he hit 254 on the road, 221 at home. Not a huge difference, and there is little there that would make anyone think that playing in a "normal environment at home" would make a significant difference.

didn't know about the Forbes factor myself, but looking it up, his HR numbers exploded when they moved and he was 25 short of 500 which at the time was a sure thing HOFer... and those Forbes years were most of his prime years.. quick look, he hit a HR a little less than 4% of the time at Forbes, close to 6% of the time at Three Rivers, that's about a 38 HR difference if he had the same PA's at Forbes but hit a HR every 6% of the time. You can't just give it to him, but certainly a pretty good point by dcf and hitting 500 HR's at the time was a big deal.

for the years in Forbes (1962 through mid-1970), the difference was more pronounced: 75 at home (41%), 108 on the road (59%). Over his entire career, it was 46% at home and 54% on the road. According to wikipedia ( "The original distances to the outfield fence in left, center, and right field were 360 feet (110 m), 462 feet (141 m), and 376 feet (115 m) respectively. "In 1925, the right field grandstand was extended into the corner and into fair territory, reducing the foul line distance from 376 feet (115 m) to 300 feet (91 m).[16] Due to the reduced distance, Dreyfuss erected a 28-foot (8.5 m) high screen to limit home runs. "Even at this long distance from home plate, the wall stood 12 feet (3.7 m) in height in all around the field, with the right field wall reduced to 9.5 feet (2.9 m) following the 1925 construction (topped by the screen). . . . "The final posted dimensions of the ballpark were left field line 365 feet (111 m), left-center field 406 feet (124 m), deepest left-center 457 feet (139 m), deep right-center 436 feet (133 m), right-center field 375 feet (114 m), and right field line 300 feet (91 m)."

Perhaps a better statement would have been "if he had not played the first 7 seasons in the decade of the pitcher." Meh...Pops Stargell was a heck of a player.