Category Archives: Awards

Tarpley wins Dawson Award. 4 sent down.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Stephen Tarpley was named the 2019 winner of the James P. Dawson Award, presented to the best rookie in camp.

3 more cuts: Estevan Florial (who, with his fractured wrist, is on the DL anyway), David Hale and Nestor Cortes.

UPDATE:OF Mike Tauchman, for whom the Yanks traded Philip Diehl to Colorado for, has made the 25 man Opening Day Roster. Tyler Wade has been sent down.

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So what constitutes a HOF starter today?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

You can’t compare eras.

You cannot compare a starter today who pitches 215 innings a year to someone from 50 years ago who pitched 300 or more.

You can’t compare a 280 game winner from 50 years ago to a 220 game winner today.

So what does constitute a HOF starter today?

Let’s look at eras. Let’s go back 50 years to 1969 and compare things to 2018.

In 1969, these ballparks were still in play.

Yankee Stadium (original, with a 457′ LCF and 463′ CF).
Tiger Stadium, 440 to CF
Forbes Field, 457 to LCF and 435 to CF
St. Louis was 414 to CF (before fences were brought in a bit)
Jarry Park Montreal was 420 to CF
Before they brought the CF fence in in Minnesota, CF was 425
KC 421 to CF
Connie Mack Stadium still had that spite fence in RF.

So you can see bigger distances in 1969 as opposed to today. Maybe smaller down the lines in some places, but you don’t see too many 420 or more signs on outfield fences today.

In 1969, a 4-man rotation. Today, a 5-man. Instead of 40 starts a year, you may get 32 or 33.

1969 no DH in AL, now there is.

Much better bullpens today with much greater bullpen utilization.

Let’s look at leaders.

1969: IP  leader (majors) Gaylord Perry 325 1/3 IP
2018: Scherzer 220 2/3 OVER 100 IP LESS

Complete Games
1969:        Bob Gibson 28
2018: 8 pitchers tied with TWO each,

TWO

Shutouts
1969: McLain 9
2018: NINETEEN pitchers tied at ONE each.

Wins: 25 for Seaver, 24 for McLain in 1969.

2018: Snell had 21, but in the NL three tied at 18 for the NL lead.

It is impossible to compare today’s pitchers, as far as worthiness for the HOF, to the Gibsons, Koufaxs, Carltons, Seavers, Marichals of 50 years ago.

You now have to grade according to a different standard.

But, what exactly is that new standard?

How far must that bar be lowered now?

 

 

CC Officially Announces 2019 is it.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

CC Sabathia officially announced Saturday what was known for a while (since he signed his 2019 contract)—that 2019 will be his last season. CC turns 39 in July.

Here are the highlights of his career so far:

246 wins. Needs 4 for 250, 10 to tie Andy Pettitte on the all-time list.
2986 strikeouts. Needs 14 for 3000.

Cleveland 2001-2008, Milwaukee 2008, Yankees 2009-2019. If a Hall of Famer, it may be difficult to distinguish between Cleveland and the Yankees for the cap for the Hall of Fame Plaque (much like Mussina couldn’t decide between Baltimore and the Yankees).

6X All-Star. 2009 ALCS MVP. Won 1 WS (2009 Yankees). 2nd in ROY in 2001. Twice led the majors in wins (2009 and 2010). 21 game winner in 2010.

Led league in starts 2x, CG once, shutouts once. IP once. 2007 CYA winner.

Got MVP consideration 5x, finishing 6th in 2008. In 2008 he led the majors in GS, CG and IP (didn’t lead league because he split time between the AL and NL). CYA consideration 5X.

15 or more wins in a season 8X.

162 game average 16-10, 3.70, ERA+ 117.

10-7, 4.31 in the postseason.

.212-3-15 as a hitter.

With the Yankees, he’s had three careers.

The first of staff ace, 2009-2012, when he averaged 18-7, 3.22 in those four years.

The second of struggling, aging pitcher who appeared finished. From 2013-2015, he went 23-27, 4.81. An average of 8-9, 4.81 per season. He missed most of 2014.

He kicked alcohol addiction and reinvented himself from 2016-2018 to be a serviceable backend-of-the-rotation pitcher, going 32-24, 3.76 over the past three seasons. If he can maintain that average and go 11-8, 3.76 in 2019 as the #5 starter, I think we’ll take it.

Hall-of-Fame? We’ll see. Some votes have me confused.

For example

CC 16-10, 3.70 162 game average. ERA+ 117. 10-7, 4.31 postseason. 1 CYA, 5x MVP consideration.
Black ink 22/40 (2nd # average HOF); Gray ink 174/185; HOF standards 113/100, HOF monitor 46/50. He is ranked 71st in JAWS for Starting pitcher, and his WAR numbers are about 80% of the average Hall-of Famer. WAR numbers:  62.7/39.4/51 (HOF are 73.4/50/61.7 average). With 10 wins he matches Pettitte’s 256.

Andy Pettitte, meanwhile, averaged 17-10, 3.85, ERA+ 117. 19-11, 3.81 postseason. 5x WS Champ as opposed to CC’s once. Never won the CYA, finished 2nd once, considered for it 5x, same as CC. 3rd in ROY 1995. MVP consideration 2x (CC was 5). Pettitte won 20 games in a season twice (CC once). 8x 15 or more wins in a season (same as CC). But black ink 7/40; Gray ink 103/185 (both less than CC). HOF standards 128/100 (better); HOF monitor 44/50.   JAWS 90th. War numbers 60.2/34.1/47.2.

Andy is slightly below CC, but Andy only got 9.9% of the vote this year from the writers. The HGH usage hurt him. There is no HGH hints with CC, but if Andy got only 9.9% of the vote, how is CC THAT much better than Andy where CC gets the 75% or more to get in (he won’t be eligible until 2025).

This isn’t a knock on CC’s HOF credentials, but a puzzlement on Andy only getting 9.9%. Andy wasn’t a strikeout pitcher (didn’t get 2500 K, while CC is almost at 3000) but to me, there isn’t THAT much difference between the two ….

But then, you wonder …. CC at 246 wins … HOF or not? Andy 256 has a long way to go to get 75% of the writer’s vote. Mike Mussina with 270 wins finally got in on his sixth year on the ballot.

We’ll forget about Clemens and his 354 wins (Steroid allegations), but just note two others not in the Hall: Jim Kaat (283 wins) and Tommy John (288). In the cases of Kaat and John, maybe they hung on too long. Both pitched into their 40s and maybe that is what people remember the most—them hanging on possibly a bit too long. As for John, only two pitchers (Clemens with the steroid issue and Bobby Mathews, a pitcher from the 1870s and 1880s) have more wins but are not in the Hall. Only one more (Tony Mullane 1880s and 1890s) isn’t in the Hall before you get to Kaat.

Those pre-1900 pitchers are a far different breed and ballgame.

But still, I’m scratching my head over who is HOF material and who isn’t from those guys I listed.  It’s a fine line between them getting in or not.

 

 

No logo for Mussina; Umpire McKean dies.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As what could be expected for someone who spent his HOF career almost even split between two franchises (10 years with Baltimore, 8 with the Yankees), Mike Mussina has decided to not have a logo on his cap on his HOF plaque.

The late Roy Halladay won’t either. In a somewhat surprising decision, his family decided no logo either. It was expected that Halladay may have a Blue Jay logo on his cap since he spent 12 years in Toronto, and 4 with the Phillies.

Mariano Rivera and Edgar Martinez only played for the Yankees and Mariners, respectively.

It was mentioned that Rivera will be the eighth HOF whose playing career was solely with the Yankees (Derek Jeter will be #9 next year). The others are Whitey Ford, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Phil Rizzuto, Earle Combs, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.

Veterans’ Committee choices Harold Baines and Lee Smith, both of whom played for various teams, will both be representing Chicago: Baines the White Sox, Smith the Cubs.

Former MLB umpire Jim McKean passed away at the age of 73. He umpired in 3 WS, 1979, 1985 and 1995.

Mariano is unanimous! Joins Halladay, Edgar and Mussina in HOF class

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Mariano Rivera made history by becoming the first player unanimously elected by the writers to the baseball Hall of Fame.

Should others have been unanimous before? Sure. But what an honor.

The writers also elected the late Roy Halladay, along with Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina.

The vote: You needed 75.0% or more. Mussina barely snuck in by seven votes. Under 5% and you are off the ballot. Fortunately, Andy Pettitte stays on.

Mariano Rivera: 425 votes (100%) — 1st year on ballot
Roy Halladay: 363 (85.4%) — 1st
Edgar Martinez: 363 (85.4%) — 10th
Mike Mussina: 326 (76.7%) — 6th
Curt Schilling: 259 (60.9%) — 6th
Roger Clemens: 253 (59.5%) — 7th
Barry Bonds: 251 (59.1%) — 7th
Larry Walker: 232 (54.6%) — 9th
Omar Vizquel: 182 (42.8%) — 2nd
Fred McGriff: 169 (39.8%) — 10th
Manny Ramirez: 97 (22.8%) — 3rd
Jeff Kent: 77 (18.1%) — 6th
Billy Wagner: 71 (16.7%) — 4th
Todd Helton: 70 (16.5%) — 1st
Scott Rolen: 73 (17.2%) — 2nd
Gary Sheffield: 58 (13.6%) — 5th
Andy Pettitte: 42 (9.9%) — 1st
Sammy Sosa: 36 (8.5%) — 7th
Andruw Jones: 32 (7.5%) — 2nd

——————— Falling off the ballot are:

Michael Young: 9 (2.1%) — 1st
Lance Berkman: 5 (1.2%) — 1st
Miguel Tejada: 5 (1.2%) — 1st
Roy Oswalt: 4 (0.9) — 1st
Placido Polanco: 2 (0.5) — 1st
Rick Ankiel: 0 –1st
Jason Bay: 0 –1st
Freddy Garcia: 0 –1st
Jon Garland: 0 –1st
Travis Hafner: 0 –1st
Ted Lilly: 0 –1st
Derek Lowe: 0 –1st
Darren Oliver: 0 –1st
Juan Pierre: 0 –1st
Vernon Wells: 0 –1st

I’d like to know who the hell voted for Placido Polanco. Really? Turn in your credentials, please.

A brief summary of the four new Hall of Famers.

Rivera. A record 652 saves. 13x All Star. 5x WS Champ. 1999 WS MVP. 2003 ALCS MVP. Led the majors in saves 3x. 2.21 career ERA. Record 205 ERA+. Record 42 postseason saves. 8-1, with an amazing 0.70 ERA in the postseason, and that too, is a record for someone who threw an x amount (I believe it’s 30 or more) postseason innings. 1995-2013 NY Yankees. 6x CYA consideration, runnerup once. MVP consideration 9x, including two top-10 finishes.

Edgar Martinez. Probably the toughest batter Mariano ever faced. 1987-2004 Seattle Mariners. 7x All Star. 5x Silver Slugger. 2 batting titles. Mostly a DH. .312 career batting average. Led league in runs scored once, doubles twice. RBI once. 100 or more RBI in a season 6x. Hit .300 or better 10x. 309 career HR. 147 career OPS+. 5x MVP consideration, twice in the top 10. .266 in the postseason with 8 HR.

Halladay. 203 career wins. CYA in each league. 2x CYA winner, 2 more runnerup finishes. 8x All Star. Perfect game. Postseason no-hitter. 3x 20-game winner. 3.38 ERA. ERA+ 131. Led league in wins 2x, games started once. Complete games 7x. Shutouts 4x. Innings pitched 4x.  7x CYA consideration, 2x top-10 MVP. 3-2, 2.37 in the postseason. 1998-2009 Blue Jays, 2010-2013 Phillies. Killed piloting his plane at the age of 40 in November 2017. I would think he would enter the HOF as a Blue Jay, since he had much more time with them.

Mussina. 270 career wins. Orioles 1991-2000, Yankees 2001-2008. 20 game winner once, in his final season, when he also led the league in games started (He did that twice). 5x All Star. 7 Gold Gloves. Led league in wins once, winning % once. Shutouts once, innings pitched once. ERA+ of 123, ERA 3.68 pitching in the AL East in home parks that were home run havens. 9x CYA consideration, runnerup once. MVP consideration 3x. 7-8, 3.42 in the postseason. He has said that he can’t decide between the Orioles and Yankees and may go in with a blank cap out of respect for both franchises.

If I missed something on the four above, forgive me. Just a brief thumbnail highlight for each. Can’t write forever!

The HOF tracker got about 55% of the vote that was publicized. Of the 45% not publicized, those writers were tougher and numbers went down. They also weren’t as kind to the steroid guys like Clemens, Bonds and Manny Ramirez. The 55% publicized had Schilling, Clemens and Bonds around 72%. You can see they all wound up with about 59-60%. Larry Walker was around 65%, wound up with 54.6%. Numbers are usually lower than what the tracker shows, steroids or no steroids. Halladay and Martinez were running on the tracker at 94 and 90%, both got 85%. Mussina was running at 81% and made it by seven votes at the 76.7%.

Of course, Mo stayed consistent, getting every vote.

With Bonds and Clemens gaining little from last year, it appears that neither will get in via the writers, and the veterans committee of former players years down the road may be a tougher row to hoe because those players may have an even bigger axe to grind against players who cheated against them.

Now will Derek Jeter next year be the SECOND unanimously elected player?

In other news…. Al Leiter is leaving the YES network to spend more time with his family. He will still do work for the MLB network.

HOF ballots announced tomorrow.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Just a reminder. The new HOF class selected by the writers will be announced tomorrow night at 6 PM.

 

 We know Mo is a certainty, Fingers crossed for Mussina, and also for Pettitte to stay on the ballot.

With 52.7% of the vote known (you need 75.0 or better to get in, and need 5% to stay on the ballot)

Mo 100%
Halladay 92.6%
Edgar Martinez 90.8%
Mussina 81.6%

Clemens 71%
Schilling and Bonds 70.5%
Walker 65.4$

Pettitte 6.9%

 

UPDATE: Wow. Just found out Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy only voted for ONE person.   Mo.

Mo still at 100% but why no love for Andy?

With the baseball HOF votes from writers that are known, Mariano Rivera is still tracking at 100%, meaning he COULD become the first unanimous selection ever. About 45% of the vote is known, and so far Mo is a unanimous choice.

But…. Andy Pettitte is only tracking at 6.5%. To stay ON the ballot, a player must receive 5%.

Why no love for Andy?

256 wins. Granted the ERA is high at 3.85 but being the steroids era and the ballpark he pitched in, his ERA+  is 117, 17% above league average.

He was 19-11 in the postseason. No one pitched more postseason innings (granted it is a different era, Whitey Ford never had wild card games, Division Series, ALCS to go through) but Andy Pettitte was a big game pitcher, going 19-11, 3.81 in the postseason, and was the ALCS MVP in 2001.

He started 44 postseason games. In half of them, he was still pitching in the seventh inning, and allowed 2 runs or less in those games. Half of his starts. In about 1/3 of those postseason starts, he allowed 1 run of fewer. Think about that.

Never-mind Grahame Lloyd, Ramiro Mendoza, Flash Gordon, Mike Stanton or Mariano Rivera or others. Pettitte was still on the mound in that seventh inning.

Clutch.

Per MLB’s Brian Kenny:

 

A 3x All-Star, 5x WS Champ. Pettitte also pitched in 3 WS that his teams lost (2001 and 2003 Yankees, 2005 Astros).

Yes, there is the allegations of HGH usage which Andy didn’t use all the time, but he admitted to using to get over an injury. A mistake, but if he only used it that once ….

As opposed to people (like Clemens) who it is said, used it ALL the time late in their careers. But Clemens, along with Barry Bonds  (another steroids cheat), is running at over 70%. Both Clemens and Bonds are close to that 75% threshold, and Manny Ramirez, who was suspended 2x and caught 3x (he retired after being caught the third time) is also running far above Pettitte, who, as we know was NOT a constant abuser as Clemens, Bonds and Manny appear to be.

One writer and MLB member, who I despise, voted for Bonds, Clemens and Manny, but not for Pettitte.

Sigh. I wonder if he cheated to get HIS job.

Pettitte’s character isn’t a question. Unlike some other guys, Andy is one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet.

A staple of 5 WS Championship teams. Appeared in 8 WS. It seemed like every time you looked up, you saw Andy pitching a postseason game (and don’t get me started on the HOF qualifications of the Big 3—-Reynolds, Raschi and Lopat who are also overlooked).

If Andy is being given the shaft because of PED and his association with Clemens, then why is he at 6.5% and Clemens at 73.1% (75.00 or over gets you in, no rounding off).

I do want to make a very important point. This isn’t to say that I think Pettitte is or is not a Hall of Famer, just that he should be getting far more consideration than (at present) 6.5% of the vote (under 5% kicks him off the ballot).

But let’s compare Pettitte to some other pitchers. (Names at the end)

  1. MVP. 7 x CYA. 2 X Pitching Triple Crown. 11x All Star. 7x ERA title. 354 wins. 2x WS Champ. Average 162 g. season 17-9 3.12, ERA+ 143. JAWS has 3rd greatest starting pitcher ever. Postseason record 12-8, 3.75. 6x 20 game winner.   CLEMENS
    Accused of Steroid abuse.
  2. 216 wins. 6x All-star, 3X WS champ.  WS MVP, NLCS MVP. 162 game ave. 15-10, 3.46, ERA+ 127. 3x CYA runnerup. 11-2, 2.23 in the postseason. Won 20 games 3x. Considered 27th best starting pitcher ever.  SCHILLING, whose politics tick off some people.
  3. 270 wins. Average year 17-10, 3.68, ERA+ 123. 5x All Star, never won a WS title. 1x 20 game winner. Postseason record of 7-8, 3.42.  MUSSINA 29th JAWS
  4. 3x All-star, 5x WS champ. 256 wins. Average 162 game yr. 17-10, 3.85, ERA+ 117.  Postseason record 19-11, 3.81. 2x 20 game winner. Jaws ranking #90.  PETTITTE.
  5. ACTIVE. CC   162 g average 16-10, 3.70, ERA+ 117. CYA,. 6x AS, 1x WS champ. 246 wins. Jaws has at #71 all time. CC.  Postseason 10-7, 4.31, JAWS #71
  6. 243 wins. 10 x all star, 1 ERA Title. 6x  20 game winner. 162 g. ave. 18-10, 2.89, ERA+ 123. Jaws ranking #42 MARICHAL. Postseason 0-1, 1.50 (just two games).
  7. 254 wins. Average year 16-12, 3.90. 5x AS, 3x WS champ. WS MVP. Average year 16-12, 3.90, ERA+ 105. Postseason 7-4, 3.80. Jaws #163. Yup, you read that right. 163. Jack Morris.

#4 above is Pettitte.

I am not saying Andy deserves the HOF. I am saying that the 6.5% he is getting right now, which leaves him in danger of being left off the ballot, is far too low. He has numbers comparable to people already in the HOF, or those seriously being considered.

If it is the admission to limited usage of PEDS, then why the support for Clemens, who is rumored to be a constant user late in his career?

I don’t get it.

Now there is no I in TEAM, but … the greatest team I ever saw in my lifetime was the 1998 Yankees, who it seems will have only 3 HOF from that team and one is manager Joe Torre. The others, Mo and Jeter. (Yes, Tim Raines is in, but for deeds he did other than with the Yankees, for he was at the end of his career as a platoon OF in 1998 with the Yanks and I am not considering him since he was a part-timer in 1998.)

But other than Mo, Jeter (next yr. first year on ballot) and Torre:

Posada 3.8% first yr., off the ballot.
Tino 1.0% first yr., off the ballot.
Pettitte currently running at 6.5%
Bernie Williams 9.6 then 3.3%. Only on ballot 2 years.
O’Neill 2.2% One and done.
Wells 0.9% (239 career wins, 10-5, 3.17 postseason) 3x AS, 2X WS. ERA+ 108. One and done.
Cone 5x AS, 5 WS champs, 8-3. 3.80 postseason, 194 career wins, ERA+ 121. 3.9% one and done

So one of the greatest teams EVER has Posada, Tino, Bernie, O’Neill, David Wells, David Cone and now possibly Andy Pettitte where EACH of them may be off the HOF ballot in two years or less. This from a team that is one of only four teams ever to win three consecutive WS titles.

The only HOF are RIvera, Jeter, and the manager, Torre? (see what I said about Raines above).

Ok. This team won 3 in a row, 1998-2000.

The 1936-1939 Yankees have DiMaggio, Gehrig, Gomez, Ruffing, Lazzeri/Gordon (Gordon replaced Lazzeri in 1938). Dickey and McCarthy.

The 1949-1953 Yankees have Stengel, Yogi, Ford, Mantle, DiMaggio, Berra, Rizzuto, Mize (at the end of his career, part-timer). See above about Reynolds, Raschi and Lopat.

The 1972-1974 A’s have Hunter, Jackson, manager Dick Williams, Rollie Fingers. Guys like Bando, Campaneris, Rudi, Blue and Holtzman in the good but not HOF camp.

The 1927-1928 Yanks only won two in a row, but have Gehrig, Lazzeri, Hoyt, Pennock, Huggins, Combs and Ruth.

But the 1998 Yanks only have Mo, Jeter and Torre?  Really?

Ok, on to the current…

Bill Madden of the NY Daily News states that along with Robertson, Gray was the one who screwed many Yankees’ employees out of postseason shares, another reason they would like him gone.

Rumors are that the Yanks could be more enamored with Nolan Arenado than with Manny Machado. Arenado is a free agent after 2019, and appears to be going to arbitration. He wants $30MM, the Rox offer is $24MM. Now say the Rox will move him b/c they fear getting nothing for him.

If the Yanks agree with Arenado (who has won the Gold Glove each of his six years in the majors, along with a doubles title, 2 RBI titles, 3 HR titles, 2 total bases titles) to a contract extension and Arenado then does NOT hit the free agent market after 2019, could he then join ex-Rockies teammates LeMahieu, Tulo and Ottavino? Let’s say the Yanks give up Andujar, a minor league pitching prospect (Cessa or Adams, I want to keep Loaisiga and King) and Ellsbury.

You give up Ellsbury in order to have the Rox p/u a little of his salary in return for how much you have to pay Arenado.

Even if that little is 1/3 ($7MM) that helps.

Also, by getting rid of Ellsbury, you clear Clint Frazier to platoon with Brett Gardner in LF.

Just a thought.