HOF, a minor move, free agency, and a passing.

A minor move the Yanks made before we get to more major things. They got Kirby Yates, who was DFA’d by Cleveland, for cash considerations.

In 2014, Yates’ rookie year, he went 0-2, 3.75 for Tampa Bay. Last year, he was downright awful. 1-0, 7.97 for Tampa Bay, and he gave up 10 HR in 20 1/3 IP.

For his career, 1-2, 5.27 in 57 games. An extreme fly ball pitcher, 30%+ of his balls were fly balls last year, and you can see the HR ratio. Not good. 63K in 56 1/3. A flyer. The Yanks gave up no players for him and I am sure the cash considerations are minimal. Cleveland purchased him off the Rays in November, and the Yanks purchased him off of Cleveland now.

Vern Rapp, who managed the Cardinals in 1977 and part of 1978, died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 87. He went 83-79 for the 1977 Cards, and was fired after starting 1978 6-11.

Denard Span signed with the Giants.

The HOF voting was announced on Wednesday, and Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza werer elected.

Griffey broke the record for highest percentage. Only three voters (Moe, Larry and Curly? Were these the three idiots who voted for Mike Sweeney?) didn’t vote for Griffey. Why, who knows. Egotistical assholes? Perhaps. Griffey, while young and in his prime, was as close to Willie Mays as you would want. Power (630 HR), Speed (he didn’t steal often, but he had speed), Defense and throwing (10 GG), hit for average, .284. Not .300, but….               a 13x All-Star. 1997 MVP (Tino finished 2nd).    The only thing he didn’t get was a ring.

I saw one of his last HR’s at the Stadium. I think it was #601.

He was a joy to watch, but you hated it when he beat your team. Seattle, Cincy and the Chisox. OPS+ of 136.

4x HR champ. 56 in 1997 and 1998. Topped 140 RBI in three consecutive seasons, 1996-1998.

JAWS ranks him as the 5th best CF of all-time. Behind Mays, Cobb, Speaker and Mantle, and ahead of Dimaggio and Snider. Do you who rounds out the top 10? Beltran, Lofton and Andruw Jones. (Ashburn is 11th).

Piazza’s defense wasn’t that great, but a catcher with a .308 BA and 427 HR made up for it. OPS+ 142, even higher than Griffey’s, and this was a catcher. Higher OPS+ than Griffey, and higher BA.

I hope the rumors that kept him out until now are not true. Steroids. Rumors, but not confirmed. I’d hate for those rumors to be confirmed years down the road. What then, remove him?

He and Bill Dickey, another HOF catcher, hit .362 in a season.

The 1993 ROY, Piazza finished top 10 for MVP 7X, including back-to-back runnerup finishes in 1996 and 1997 with the Dodgers.

While Griffey is going in as the first Mariner in their history, Piazza is going in as the second Met (Tom Seaver).

Close but no cigar goes to Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines.

Significant improvement for Mike Mussina & Curt Schilling.

Even for Bonds and Clemens.

Next year, Jorge Posada is on the ballot. I’d expect a nice vote, maybe 25% but nowhere near the 75% to get in.

Vlad Guerrero comes on. I believe he will make it but on the first year may get only 63% or so.

Ivan Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez, while they certainly have the stats and credentials, are linked to steroids and I don’t believe they will get in. While Pudge (Rodriguez) wasn’t convicted, Manny as suspended twice.

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