Tag Archives: Bagwell

3 make Hall of Fame. Posada one and done.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

A few days ago, I wrote about how it was appearing that Jorge Posada would be one and done in the Hall of Fame balloting. Unfortunately, that came to pass as Posada only got 3.8% of the vote, short of the 5% needed to stay on the ballot for another year.

It amazes me how people like Posada, Bernie, Cone, Tino, Wells and O’Neill could fall off the ballot after only a year or two. I’m not saying they are Hall of Famers. I’m saying that I’m surprised they didn’t last longer on the ballot.

Here are the vote totals. 75% was needed for induction.

Some notes on some.

Jeff Bagwell, 381 votes, 86.2%
Tim Raines, 380 votes, 86.0%
Ivan Rodriguez, 336 votes, 76.0%
Trevor Hoffman, 327 votes, 74.0% Missed by 5 votes.
Vladimir Guerrero, 317 votes, 71.7% Just missed by 15 votes.
Edgar Martinez, 259 votes, 58.6%
Roger Clemens, 239 votes, 54.1% Picking up steam despite the PED allegations.
Barry Bonds, 238 votes, 53.8% See Clemens.
Mike Mussina, 229 votes, 51.8% Nice pickup in voting.
Curt Schilling, 199 votes, 45.0% Recent comments hurt him.
Lee Smith, 151 votes, 34.2%
Manny Ramirez, 105 votes, 23.8%
Larry Walker, 97 votes, 21.9%
Fred McGriff, 96 votes, 21.7% 493 HR, no steroids, no respect.
Jeff Kent, 74 votes, 16.7% One of best hitting 2B ever. 377 HR
Gary Sheffield, 59 votes, 13.3% 509 HR and ….
Billy Wagner, 45 votes, 10.2% Probably better stats than Hoffman
Sammy Sosa, 38 votes, 8.6%

Jorge Posada, 17 votes, 3.8% Too bad off ballot so soon.
Magglio Ordonez, 3 votes, 0.7%
Edgar Renteria, 2 votes, 0.5%
Jason Varitek, 2 votes, 0.5%
Tim Wakefield, 1 vote,0.2%
Casey Blake, 0 votes, 0.0%
Pat Burrell, 0 votes, 0.0%
Orlando Cabrera, 0 votes, 0.0%
Mike Cameron, 0 votes, 0.0%
J.D. Drew, 0 votes, 0.0%
Carlos Guillen, 0 votes, 0.0%
Derrek Lee, 0 votes, 0.0%
Melvin Mora, 0 votes, 0.0%
Arthur Rhodes, 0 votes, 0.0%
Freddy Sanchez, 0 votes, 0.0%
Matt Stairs, 0 votes, 0.0%

So Raines gets in. Long overdue in my opinion. 2605 hits. 808 SB. .294. OPS+ 123. One of the best leadoff hitters ever. 1979-2002. Expos, White Sox, Yankees, A’s, Expos again, Orioles and Marlins. Member of 1996 and 1998 Yankees, albeit as a part-timer then. 7x all star. 3x top 10 in MVP voting. Runnerup for 1981 ROY. Led league in runs scored 2x, batting average once, SB 4x. Doubles once. 162 g. average .294-11-63 with 52 SB.

Bagwell 1991-2005, all with Houston. 449 HR. .297. OPS+ 149 which is outstanding. ROY 1991. MVP 1994. Top 10 in MVP 5x, runnerup in 1999. 4x All Star. Led league in runs scored 3x, doubles once, RBI once. 100 or more RBI 8x, led league once, averaged 106 walks/yr. For a 1B, 202 steals, did 30/30 twice. Led league in walks once. Avg. `162 g. .297-34-115, 15 SB.

Rodriguez 1991-2011. Rangers, Tigers, Yankees (where he was lousy, just 3 RBI in 33 games) Astros, Rangers again, Nationals. 1999 MVP. 2844 hits. 14x All star. 13 Gold Gloves. 4x Top 10 MVP voting. For a catcher, 17 x had 100 or more games in a season. OPS+ 106. 162 g. ave: .296-20-85.

Ok. There are rumors about Bagwell and Rodriguez’ PED usage. Sosa didn’t pick up ground, but Bonds and Clemens did. Manny Ramirez came in low despite his 555 HR because of his two suspensions for PED usage. Where these voters stand on PED usage is anyone’s guess.

As for next year’s newcomers to the ballot, I expect Chipper Jones and Jim Thome to get in, and Andruw Jones to miss out.

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The minors, and trade deadline risks.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

With the Yankees off yesterday, a look at the minors and a look at risks at the trade deadline.

AAA: SWB won 2-1 on a walkoff inside-the-park HR by CF Ben Gamel. Kyle Davies 7 IP, 1 unearned run. 3 h, 1 walk and 8 K.  Caleb Cotham two scoreless IP of relief. (W, 2–0, 1.07). Gamel also had a double. Besides Gamel, 1B Greg Bird and 3B Jose Pirela each had two hits.

AA: Trenton off.

High A: Tampa won 4-2. LF Ericson Leonora a 2-run HR. Five others with two hits each. Jordan Montgomery 6 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 walks, 7 K.

A: Charleston off.

Funny how people are still complaining that the Yanks didn’t do a major splash at the trade deadline. I have a few thoughts on that.

For those who say that “the Boss” would have done something, face facts. The Boss, George Steinbrenner, has been dead for five years now. Accept that fact and accept that it is a new regime with his son Hal who isn’t his father. He will run things differently. Also, things weren’t always peaches and cream with George. Remember him trading away talents like Jay Buhner, Bob Tewksbury and Doug Drabek?

So for those who wanted a big deal, were you really going to trade away Luis Severino for what may turn out to be a two-month rental? As much as I would like the Yankees to win every year, you don’t want to sacrifice the future for a one-year quick fix. And don’t kid yourself. You can’t get something for nothing. The Yanks would have had to give up top talent like Severino to get something. You weren’t getting a David Price type talent for lower tier talent.

Here are examples of teams that went for it and paid for it.

8-12-87. The Tigers trade John Smoltz to the Braves for Doyle Alexander. Alexander goes 9-0 down the stretch for the Tigers. The Tigers make the playoffs as the AL East champ and lose the ALCS to the Twins. Alexander goes 14-11 in 1988 and 6-18 (leading the majors in losses) in 1989 then retires. The Tigers don’t make it back to the playoffs until 2006. Smoltz goes to the Braves, is in the playoffs every year from 1991-2005 (except for the 1994 strike) and goes to be a Hall of Famer.

8/30/1990: The Red Sox trade Jeff Bagwell to Houston for Larry Andersen. Andersen goes 0-0, 1.23 as a two-month rental. Boston wins the division but loses the ALCS to Oakland. Bagwell goes on to hit 449 HR for the Astros. He played a lot in the cavernous Astrodome. Imagine him with the Green Monster at Fenway.

Is that what these people want?

Also, some people, upset with Stephen Drew, are wondering if the Yanks should pursue Chase Utley. I wonder if these people realize that Utley, although the greatest Phillie 2B ever (and JAWS has him ranked 12th best 2B all-time), has been worse than Drew this year.

Drew: 32, $5MM, free agent after this year. 94 g. .194-13-32, OPS+ 77.

Utley: 36, $15MM, 69 games, .190-4-28. OPS+ 55. Utley has had a far better career than Drew, and is a borderline Hall of Famer.  His vesting option ($15MM each of the next three years) will not kick in because he won’t make 500 plate appearances this year. But a lot of money for someone four years older who is having a WORSE year for even Drew. Utley WAS great. He no longer IS.

Really, do you want that?

McGwire, the Rooney Rule, and more…

I think I wrote and stated most about McGwire yesterday. The steroids may have helped him extend his career and put up the numbers he did. Which is unfair to anyone whose career was shortened but who did it the right way.

Put it this way. Say steroids would have helped Mickey Mantle (and considering some of Mickey’s tape measure shots, could you imagine Mickey on steroids?). Say Mickey is healthier in those last four years, 1965-1968. Say they add a few more years to his career and that instead of 1968 being his last year, it’s 1971 instead. Say Mickey winds up with 600+ HR instead of 536. Who knows? Would Mickey have taken steroids had they been around in 1962? Who knows. McGwire says he did it to get back on the field. Given Mickey’s injuries that he played through, we just don’t know, do we? I wrote a few years ago about the shot Mickey got from a quack at the end of the 1961 season. That shot was supposed to cure a cold that Mickey had. Who knows what was in the needle that infected Mickey and caused him to miss the end of the season and most of the World Series?

Can you imagine if steroids could have helped Don Mattingly? If they could have cured his back problems and restored him to the 1984-1989 Donnie Baseball? McGwire may have had his career saved. Could they have done the same for Donnie?

Kevin Kernan’s column in the Post today (1-12-10) was worth reading. It’s Title says it all…”Truth remains he’s a cheat.” I wouldn’t vote for McGwire for the HOF. My stance is that if he, or for that matter, Rose or a Joe Jackson ever get in, that the last line on the plaque should read gambling, steroids or whatever to let the fan visiting the hall…many years later…know exactly the controversy that surrounded the individual.

This doesn’t only go for McGwire. You wonder how Commissioner Landis would have handled this vs. the spineless, gutless Bud Selig. I’ll tell you this. Landis, if getting a sniff of this, would have barred them all. Clemens,  Bonds, A-Rod, all of them. Granted I’m a Yankees fan and hope that A-Rod helps lead the Yanks to a WS title in 2010 as he did in 2009, but if he were barred, I’d accept it.

It’s one thing for a Pettitte to do it once or twice (50 game suspension in my eyes). But Alex admitted to three years of it. McGwire admits to years of doing it. Different scenario. Bar for good? I’d go with it, even if it is Alex and it hurts the Yankees. The problem here, of course is that Alex did it while with Texas. Who should then get punished, Texas or New York? Alex, definitely. But which team?

Sad music news. Knack frontman Doug Fieger has cancer. It looks pretty bad. They may have been one-hit (or one-album) wonders, but in 1979, they were a refreshing sound to those who were tired of the disco sound that permeated that year.

The Knack
The summer of 1979. I’d still rather hear My Sharona
or Good Girls Don’t than We Are Family.

Good article also in the Post regarding the Rooney Rule. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reason and concept of the rule. Good intentions. But when there are obvious candidates out there like Shanahan (2 Super Bowl wins) or Carroll (a pair of national championships), then bringing in a minority candidate to interview for a job they have no chance of getting—when we all know it’s a sham interview to satisfy the Rooney Rule—makes no sense. If there is no clear cut candidate, enforce the Rooney Rule. When there is an obvious candidate, waive the rule. Don’t make a joke out of the process.

Put it this way. In 1969, the Redskins let Otto Graham go. The replacement? Some guy named Vince Lombardi (who only coached the Redskins for one year before colon cancer took his life). Would you have enforced the Rooney Rule back then? I mean, if the ‘Skins could get the best candidate available…Lombardi…would you really want to…or need to…interview anyone else? I mean, come on.

Lane Kifflin, former Raiders coach and then Tennessee, is going to replace Carroll at USC. 

Forget some of the celebrity weddings. Jolie/Pitt. Streisand/Brolin. Can you imagine what the circus of paparazzi will be like, all (like the National Enquirer) trying to get shots of Jeter’s wedding?

Joel Sherman in the Post is reporting that apparently the Yanks are budgeting $2M for their LF situation this year. Hairston? Nady? Reed Johnson? But if that is the truth, certainly not JD. No way he goes from $13M to $2M.

For what it’s worth, compare Greg Maddux to Roger Clemens. Compare Ken Griffey Jr. to McGwire. For what we know, Maddux and Griffey’s numbers are clean…and better than Clemens’ and McGwire’s. Just saying…and why the respect (and first ballot votes) should be so much greater for Maddux and Griffey.

The worst part about the steroid era is that we suspect. Our suspicions about McGwire have proved true. But for others, we just don’t know…Peter Gammons writes,

Last spring, Mike Piazza talked to me about the accusations of steroid use and seemed legitimately shaken. Piazza is a smart, good man — one we all hope was clean — but he is going to have to deal with rumors and innuendo.

Sammy Sosa will have to answer the assumptions. So will Clemens and Barry Bonds and many others.

So will Jeff Bagwell when his name appears on the ballot next winter. Bagwell’s name has never turned up on any report. He lost bulk his last few seasons, but he couldn’t lift a weight for five years because of congenital arthritis in his shoulder. This summer, two of his closest friends in the game adamantly maintained there is no chance he cheated.

Bagwell, according to Elias Sports Bureau, is one of nine players with 1,500 runs, 1,500 RBIs and 200 steals — the other eight are in the Hall of Fame. Compare him to Jim Rice, and you’ll see that Bagwell had 67 more homers, 78 more RBIs, 268 more runs, 135 more extra-base hits, 84 more total bases and one more Gold Glove. His on-base percentage was 56 points higher than Rice, his slugging 38 points higher, his OPS 94 points higher and his OPS-plus 21 points higher. No doubt, no question a Hall of Famer.

I wrote the other day about Bagwell and the suspicions. If I definitely, positively KNEW he was clean, then I would consider him a HOF worthy player. But we don’t know, and that is the problem. We’d like to believe Clemens, a sure-shot 1st ballot HOF if clean, but the suspicions are too great.

God forbid someone like Jeter or Rivera be guilty. I can’t think of two cleaner players in the game.