Friday, June 27, 2008

Current HOFers

As much as I and other bloggers like rdaam would like Joe McEwing to somehow make the Hall of Fame in 2012, it's not going to happen. But it got me thinking about all the people in MLB right now who are either locks for the Hall or will have very strong cases. Here's the list (let me know if I forget anybody):

-Mike Piazza (retired earlier this year) (LOCK)
-Ivan Rodriguez (LOCK)

First Basemen:
-Frank Thomas (Near-LOCK)
-Jim Thome (Near-LOCK)
-Albert Pujols (if he stays healthy, his numbers rival those of several of history's greatest hitters) (TBD: Health)
-Jason Giambi (impressive numbers, but will likely be hurt by the steroids problem) (TBD: Mitchell Report)

Second Basemen:
-Jeff Kent (I hate having to say this, remembering his pre-All Star days with the Mets) (LOCK)

-Derek Jeter (LOCK)
-Omar Vizquel (Near-LOCK)

Third Basemen:
-Alex Rodriguez (LOCK)
-Larry "Chipper" Jones (Near-LOCK)

-Barry Bonds (hasn't officially retired) (TBD: Steroids and generally an @$$****)
-Ken Griffey Jr. (LOCK)
-Manny Ramirez (Near-LOCK)
-Gary Sheffield (Strong Case, but is hurt by the fact that he was never the most feared hitter in a lineup)
-Ichiro Suzuki (will be the first Japanese import inducted into the HOF) (LOCK)
-Vlad Guerrero (Near-LOCK)

-Mariano Rivera (LOCK)
-Trevor Hoffman (Hoffman has the advantage over Lee Smith in that Hoffman played for top quality teams) (LOCK)
-Greg Maddux (LOCK)
-Tom Glavine (LOCK)
-John Smoltz (I've heard people argue against John Smoltz, but with 200 career wins and 150 saves, I don't have a doubt about him. At different times in his career he stood as one of the best starters and best closers in the league) (LOCK)
-Roger Clemens (still has not officially retired) (TBD: Steroids and Character controversies)
-Randy Johnson (LOCK)
-Pedro Martinez (LOCK)
-Mike Mussina (Strong Case, hurt by the fact that he never won a Cy Young or led the league in ERA)

Designated Hitter:
-David Ortiz (TBD: If Edgar Martinez is elected to the HOF, then Ortiz has a good chance. If Edgar Martinez is not elected to the HOF, then I don't believe Ortiz has a chance at all, because that will be a strong statement by the BBWAA concerning DHs)

I feel like I've forgotten people since I came up with this post last night. Let me know if I did. Feel free to tell me what you think of the people I have listed here, also.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Unfair League Justice

Major League Baseball Umpire Brian Runge was suspended 1 game by the league for his conduct in the Mets-Mariners game on Tuesday night. After attempting to bait Carlos Beltran into arguing a call, Runge engaged in an argument with Mets manager Jerry Manuel. During this debate, Runge clearly bumped Manuel, at which point Jerry went berserk and was ejected (Beltran followed suit as Manuel reached the dugout on his way to the clubhouse).

Here is my problem with this: Runge should have been suspended for more than 1 game. If Jerry Manuel had bumped him during the argument, Manuel would be suspended for at least 4 games. Why should Runge be let off so easily? I've been umpiring little league games for 4 years, and last year even I was suspended for a week because the general opinion was that I was seeking out confrontations with coaches and players. So recreation little league umpirers in small-town north Jersey are held to a higher standard of conduct than Major League umpirers? Outrageous. I was surprised to see that Major League Baseball gave Runge any punishment, but seeing that they did, they were too lenient. I also wonder whether they would have done anything at all if the incident had happened in Seattle rather than in New York...

We've all seen suspensions doled out after brawls that don't seem proportional. But this suspension of Runge for only one game clearly shows that the league is more interested in protecting its direct employees than in promoting equal justice for wrongdoing.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Heilman gets a one day reprieve; Down With Oliver Perez!

Here's an idea: With Pedro Martinez returning to the Mets tomorrow, the team should keep both Mike Pelfrey and Claudio Vargas and remove Oliver Perez from the rotation. This whole season has been brutal to watch, and tonight has just ended with 1/3 of an inning giving up 6 runs including two homeruns (one of which was by a hitter who never had more than 2 long balls even in a minor league season) and leaving one runner on base who is his responsibility. How did this guy win an arbitration case this past offseason?!

It's good to look to Church on Sunday

Ryan Church returned to the Mets line-up in right field Sunday night for the first time since suffering his second concussion of the season against the Braves. The result? The Mets offense actually looked alive for once. Church made me jump out of my seat in his first at-bat when he hit a low-inside pitch deep to right, but it was caught a few steps short of the wall. The Dodgers weren't so fortunate later in the game. After Carlos Beltran homered (his second in two days... amazing), Delgado walked (I guess that's something...). Church stepped up and hit a two run shot to right on a high-inside fastball. It's great to have Church back. Maybe we can actually get over .500 again now. The Mets face the Giants and Padres next -- the bottom dwellers of the bad (with the exception of Arizona) NL West. If there's a time to gain ground on the Phillies and Marlins, this is it.

By the way, after Church homered, ESPN continually showed the replay and viewers were forced to listen to Joe Morgan talk about what a poor scouting report the Dodgers obviously had on Ryan Church since they threw him up and in and he turned on it for a homer. So let me see if I understand this, Joe Morgan. Any time a batter hits a homerun, is it because of a bad scouting report used by the pitcher and catcher? Or does that just apply to Mets players who had hit a low and inside pitch to the warning track in their previous at-bat? Ever stop to consider that maybe Ryan Church just guessed right? Or -- and here's a wild idea -- maybe Ryan Church is just a good Major League hitter? Thank God Steve Phillips wasn't up there in the booth. Who knows what he and his hatred for the team he worked hard to destroy would've concocted as the excuse for why the Mets suddenly looked like a Major League baseball team!