2022 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Newcomers

The BBWAA recently released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2022, with the results of the vote due to be revealed on January 25th with induction returning to its usual July weekend, July 24th to be precise.  With nobody elected in last year’s voting, the new ballot contains 17 holdovers along with 13 newcomers.

Last week, we looked at the returning candidates.  Today, it’s time to look at the newcomers and who may be thankful come January.

Carl Crawford

He was never able to come close to the success he enjoyed as a Ray during the second part of his career.  I would doubt he makes it to a second election.

Prince Fielder

A neck injury ended his career prematurely, which didn’t give him enough of a chance to pile up the numbers that he would have needed for induction.

Ryan Howard

A late start to his career, winning the Rookie of the Year award in his age 25 season, will likely leave the longtime Phillie on the outside looking in.

Tim Lincecum

Lincecum had a 4 year peak that would stack up against anyone, but his career only lasted 10 years and those 6 non-peak years were middling at best and ugly at worst.

Justin Morneau

I mean, he had a nice career and all, with 1600 hits and 247 home runs, but no.

Joe Nathan

He is 8th on the all time saves list, but I don’t think that, or the World Series ring he got for 3 appearances with the 2016 Cubs at the end of his career, will put him over the top.

David Ortiz

OK, now things start to get interesting.  His 541 home runs would normally be a surefire ticket to entry, but there is a slight taint of PED use, right or wrong, to his career.  Will the writers, who have kept Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa, amongst others, out put Ortiz in?  My guess is yes.

Jonathan Papelbon

Yeah, that’s going to be a no.

Jake Peavy

Peavy ended up having a pretty nice career, but nice career’s do not get you to Cooperstown.

A.J. Pierzynski

At first glance, the easy answer is to say no.  But, his 19 year career behind the plate, where his most similar comparison is to Yadier Molina, who most people assume will get in easily once he is eligible, makes you wonder if he will get more support than you would initially think.

Alex Rodriguez

Yet another 10 year referendum on PEDs that we have to look forward to.  If I had to guess, and that is what I am doing here, I’m going to say he never gets in.

Jimmy Rollins

Rollins had a great career, but not enough to be enshrined in Cooperstown.

Mark Teixeira

He’s kind of borderline, but I don’t think he makes it.

RIP LaMarr Hoyt

Former White Sox pitcher LaMarr Hoyt passed away yesterday at age 66 following a bout with cancer.  He led the 1983 White Sox to their first division title, going 24-10 and walking a mere 31 batters in 260+ innings pitched while winning the Cy Young Award.  He was traded to the Padres following the 1984 season, bringing back a package that included a young shortstop named Ozzie Guillen.  Less than three years later, and following four drug arrests, he was out of baseball for good.

By The Numbers – 30

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #30.  76 different players have donned #30 while playing in Chicago, 32 for the White Sox and 44 for the Cubs, who have retired it for two different players.

Signed by the White Sox as an amateur free agent in 1991, Magglio Ordonez made his major league debut wearing #30 on August 29, 1997, going 2-3 in the interleague victory against the Astros at Comiskey Park.  He became the regular right fielder for the White Sox in 1998, appearing in 145 games and finishing the year with a .282 average, 14 home runs, and 65 RBIs, good enough to finish in 5th place in AL Rookie of the Year voting.  1999 was a breakout year for Ordonez, earning his first All Star selection and finishing the year hitting .301 with 30 home runs, 117 RBIs, and an OPS of .858.

Ordonez’s hot streak continued in to 2000, putting up a .315 average with 32 home runs and 126 RBIs as the White Sox won their first division title since 1993.  While the White Sox failed to replicate their success in 2001, Ordonez kept up his end of the bargain, earning his third straight All Star nod and hitting .305 with 31 home runs, 113 RBIs, and a .914 OPS.  2002 was the his best season to date, setting career highs with a .320 average, 47 doubles, 38 home runs, 135 RBIs, and a .978 OPS while finishing in 8th place for MVP voting and earning his second Silver Slugger award.

2003 was another excellent year for Ordonez.  He was named to his fourth All Star team, going 0-1 in his home stadium of US Cellular Field, and finished the year hitting .317 with 29 home runs and 99 RBIs.  His 2004 season was on track to match his career norms when, during the May 19 game against the Indians, he collided with second baseman Willie Harris on Omar Vizquel’s popup to right field.  Two trips to the disabled list and two surgeries on his left knee later, his season was over after only 52 games.  Following the season, he became a free agent and his White Sox career came to an end.

On the north side, Steve Stone was assigned #30 after being acquired from the White Sox in December of 1973.  Over three seasons with the Cubs, Stone went a combined 23-20 with a 4.04 ERA.  His 1976 season was cut short due to a torn rotator cuff, which he decided to treat with cryotherapy rather than surgery.

Against The Rockies All Time Leaders – Through 2021

rockiesIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams.  This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs.  We continue today with the Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies began life in 1993, joining the National League along with the then-Florida Marlins.  I saw them for the first time in 2002, as they came to town to battle the Cubs.  Since then, I’ve seen them 15 additional times, most recently in the 2018 Wild Card game.

Home Runs

Name Total
Todd Walker 2
15 tied with 1

Hits

Name Total
Derrek Lee 10
Alfonso Soriano 8
Aramis Ramirez 6
Corey Patterson 6
Mike Fontenot 6

Runs

Name Total
Derrek Lee 6
Alfonso Soriano 5
Ryan Theriot 5

RBI

Name Total
Aramis Ramirez 6
Alfonso Soriano 4
Mark DeRosa 4
Jeromy Burnitz 4

Doubles

Name Total
Aramis Ramirez 3
Mike Fontenot 3
Corey Patterson 2

Triples Continue reading →

2022 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Holdovers

Earlier this week, the BBWAA released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2022.  The results of the vote are due to be revealed on January 25th, with induction taking place July 24th.  After nobody was elected in last year’s voting, the new ballot contains 17 holdovers along with 13 newcomers.  With this being the last go-around for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa, all of whom are tainted by PEDs, and Curt Schilling, who is an ass, we may see the logjam caused by the current BBWAA rules, which limit the number of votes on one ballot to 10, and the ongoing refusal by some writers to vote for players tainted by PEDs, leaving too many qualified candidates fighting for limited spots, come to an end.

Let’s take a look at the returning candidates today before moving on to the newcomers.

Bobby Abreu
Years on ballot: 2
2021 Percentage: 8.7

A small 3.2% increase for Abreu, but I wouldn’t be making any travel plans to Cooperstown if I were him.

Barry Bonds
Years on ballot: 9
2021 Percentage: 61.8

I just can’t see the all time home run champion getting the increase he will need in his final shot with the baseball writers.

Mark Buehrle
Years on ballot: 1
2021 Percentage: 11.0

The former White Sox hurler picked up a surprisingly healthy amount of support in his first go-around.  I don’t expect he’ll make it, but I feel better about his chances to stay on the ballot than I did last year.

Roger Clemens
Years on ballot: 9
2021 Percentage: 61.6

Roger Clemens, he of the 354 career victories and 7 Cy Young awards, is likely to join Bonds on the outside looking in after his last run through this particular gauntlet.  Especially since, after many years of getting marginally more support than Bonds, they flipped spots last year.

Todd Helton
Years on ballot: 3
2021 Percentage: 44.9

A big 15.7% increase has Helton moving on the right track, as voters remember that it isn’t his fault he played in Colorado.

Tim Hudson
Years on ballot: 1
2021 Percentage: 5.2

The lowest vote getter to return for another shot, I imagine he’ll get a little more support, but not much.

Torii Hunter
Years on ballot: 1
2021 Percentage: 9.5

Things do not look good for the long time Twin and Angel.

Andruw Jones
Years on ballot: 4
2021 Percentage: 33.9

If voters were to stick to his first 11 seasons, Jones looks like a shoe-in for the Hall.  His last 7 seasons, though, were so bad that it makes it hard to consider him.  Despite a 14.5% increase in votes, those final seasons seem to be holding sway.

Jeff Kent
Years on ballot: 8
2021 Percentage: 32.4

Continue reading →

Tribe No More

On Friday, the franchise in Cleveland officially changed their name from Indians, which dates back to 1915, to Guardians, inspired by a pair of stone monuments a quarter of a mile away from Progressive Field, ending years of controversy and resistance.  I’ve seen the Indians 58 times over the years, first in 1987 at old Comiskey Park and last at Guaranteed Rate Field this past July.  In between, I saw them at two other ballparks, Games 4 & 5 of the 2016 World Series at Wrigley Field and the final two games of a September series against the White Sox at their home stadium of Progressive Field in 2019.

All-Time Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Cleveland Indians 31 27 0.534
Chicago Cubs 1 1 0.500
Chicago White Sox 26 30 0.464

The Guardians are scheduled to make their first trip to Chicago in early May for a 3 game series against the White Sox, starting a new chapter of Cleveland baseball history.

By The Numbers – 31

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #31.  59 different players have donned #31 while playing in Chicago, 26 for the White Sox and 33 for the Cubs, who have retired it for two different players.

Greg Maddux wore #31 when he got his start with the Cubs in 1986.  Over the first seven years of his career, he became one of the shining stars of the National League, helping lead the team to the 1989 NL East title and winning the first of his 4 consecutive NL Cy Young awards in 1992.  Eleven seasons after before being allowed to leave as a free agent by GM Larry Himes, Maddux returned to the Cubs in 2004.  He defeated the Giants in August of that year to win his 300th game and, in July of 2005, he struck out his 3000th batter.  In 2006, with the Cubs far out of contention, he was traded to the Dodgers for their stretch run.

On the south side of town, Liam Hendriks burst on to the scene in 2021, wearing #31 as he took over the closer role for the eventual AL Central champs, leading the league with 38 saves and closing out the All Star Game for the American League.  He is signed for two more years, so this will either get cemented or I’ll look back at a horrible choice.  Time will tell.

Against The Rangers All Time Leaders – Through 2021

rangersIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams.  This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs. We continue today with the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers began life in 1961, joining the American League as the second incarnation of the Washington Senators after the original franchise moved to Minnesota to become the Twins.  Following the 1971 season, the team moved to Arlington, Texas and became the Rangers.  I’ve seen them play 38 times against 5 different foes, across 2 states and 4 different stadiums.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 3
Jose Abreu 3
Jermaine Dye 3

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 20
Jose Abreu 14
A.J. Pierzynski 12
Alexei Ramirez 12

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 8
Jose Abreu 8
Jermaine Dye 8

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 11
Jose Abreu 9
Jermaine Dye 8

Doubles

Name Total
Alex Rios 4
Alexei Ramirez 4
Jose Abreu 3
Scott Podsednik 3
Carlos Quentin 3

Triples Continue reading →

By The Numbers – 32

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #32.  96 different players have donned #32 while playing in Chicago, 40 for the White Sox and 56 for the Cubs, including a familiar face for both sides of town.

Steve Stone was acquired by the White Sox in a November 1972 trade with the Giants.  He wore #32 for the 1973 season, before being traded to the Cubs.  He returned to the White Sox in 1977 as a free agent, going 27-24 over the next two seasons, before once again becoming a free agent.  Upon his retirement, he moved in to the broadcast booth, joining the Cubs booth in 1983 alongside Harry Caray.  He left the Cubs booth in 2004 and joined the White Sox radio booth in 2008, moving over to television in 2009, where he remains a fan favorite to this day.

On the north side, pitcher Jon Lieber donned #32 over two stints with the Cubs.  Acquired via a trade with the Pirates in December of 1998, Lieber quickly became a mainstay of the Cubs rotation, culminating in a 20 win season in 2001.  He left as a free agent following the 2002 campaign, returning in 2008, working mostly out of the pen for the eventual division champs in his final major league season.

2021 BBWAA Award Predictions

The Baseball Writers of America have announced the finalists for their awards for the just completed shortened baseball season, which will be announced next week.  It is a good bet that few of my original predictions for the winners will be accurate.  Hopefully, these new predictions will be slightly better, especially since I’ll have a 33% chance of being right.

American League

Most Valuable Player: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Marcus Semien

Well, one difference between my pre-season selection, Aaron Judge, and the three finalists is that Judge played in a post-season game.  I would assume Shohei Ohtani will walk away with this award.

Cy Young Award: Gerrit Cole, Lance Lynn, Robbie Ray

My initial guess was that Lucas Giolito would take home the prize, but my guess is Robbie Ray, who won the ERA title and led the major leagues in strikeouts, will take home the award.

Manager of the Year: Dusty Baker, Kevin Cash, Scott Servais

As usual, I didn’t make any predictions for this award prior to the season.  I assume Mariners manager Scott Servais will win for keeping his team in contention until the final day of the season, despite his GM selling off his closer at the trade deadline.

Rookie of the Year: Randy Arozarena, Wander Franco, Luis Garcia

Another award I didn’t predict prior to the season.  Assuming Arozarena and Franco don’t split the Tampa vote, I’m going to go with Franco.

National League

Continue reading →