Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

I decided to profile Hall of Famer Rube Marquard, who was enshrined by the Veteran’s Committee in 1971.

The Numbers
Played 1908-1925 (18 seasons)
403 Starts
3306-2/3 Innings
201 Wins – 177 Losses
.532 Winning %
3.08 ERA (3.17 League Average)
1.237 WHIP
1593 Strikeouts
197 Complete Games
30 Shutouts
19 Saves
No-hitter

Three 20 Win Seasons
Seven Sub-3.00 ERA Seasons
One 200 Strikeout Season

World Series:  11 Games, 8 Starts, 58-1/3 Innings, 2-5, 3.07 ERA, 35 Ks, 2 Complete Games

Awards
MVP Votes in 2 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Games – 4 Times
Starts – 5 Times
Innings – 5 Times
Wins – 5 Times (Led league in 1912)
ERA – 4 Times
WHIP – 5 Times
Winning % – 5 Times (Led league in 1911)
Strikeouts - 6 Times (Led league in 1911)
Complete Games – 5 Times
Shutouts – 6 Times
Saves – 5 Times

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:

Black Ink: Pitching – 11 (202) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)
Gray Ink: Pitching – 150 (95) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
HOF Standards: Pitching – 31.0 (133) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Pitching – 84.0 (135) (Likely HOFer > 100)

I’m not following this one.  Yeah, he had some great seasons, but his career doesn’t appear Hall of Fame worthy in my book.  Perhaps some of the five World Series trips ended with a ring I would be more persuaded.  Aside from his 19 consecutive winning decisions and five fantastic seasons (1911-13 & 16-17) he was pretty average.  His winning percentage and Adjusted ERA are very far from Hall of Fame worthy.  He didn’t accumulate an impressive number of Wins or Strikeouts.  His HOF yardsticks are all off.  I don’t know how anyone could justify his inclusion in the HOF while keeping out others like Bert Byleven.  I just don’t get it.

References
Baseball-reference.com

Past Chronicles
Roberto Alomar
Richie Ashburn*
Earl Averill*
Harold Baines

Dan Bancroft*
Jake Beckley*

Albert Belle
Jim Bottomley*
Pete Browning

Jim Bunning *
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Roger Connor*
Larry Corcoran

Mike Cuellar
George Davis*
Andre Dawson
Larry Doby*
Bobby Doerr*
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Rick Ferrell*
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
Nellie Fox*
John Franco

Gary Gaetti
Steve Garvey
Lefty Gomez*
Luis Gonzalez
Dwight Gooden
Mark Grace
Bobby Grich
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Ron Guidry
Chick Hafey*

Billy Herman*
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Travis Jackson*
Tommy John
Bob Johnson
Addie Joss*
Jim Kaat
George Kell*
Joe Kelley*
George Kelly*
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Chuck Klein*
Jerry Koosman
Bill James & Pete Palmer
Barry Larkin
Tony Lazzeri*
Freddie Lindstrom*
Mickey Lolich
Ernie Lombardi*
Fred Lynn
Sherry Magee

Roger Maris
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Bill Mazeroski*
Fred McGriff

Mark McGwire
Bid McPhee
Johnny Mize*
Paul Molitor*
Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Hal Newhouser*
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Vada Pinson
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Pee Wee Reese*
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Amos Rusie*
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Curt Schilling
Red Schoendienst* (Player/Manager)
Ted Simmons
Enos Slaughter*
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Alan Trammell
George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Frank Viola
Mickey Welch*
Lou Whitaker
Bernie Williams
Vic Willis*
Maury Wills 
Hack Wilson*
Ross Youngs*

 
* Signifies actual Hall of Famer

The Saints saw their window as Now so they made some moves in the offseason that suggest they are going for it.  The added Jeremy Shockey to an already potent Offense.  On Defense the brought in new faces like Jonathan Vilma, Sedrick Ellis, and Randall Gay.   We’ll see how these moves work for them.

On offense they stacked. Drew Brees is a Top 5 QB in this league.  He consistently tops 4000 yards.  Adding Shockey at Tight End gives him another threat, and the best one at that position since Antonio Gates in his San Diego days.  He has some solid wideout to get ball to as well.  Marques Colston showed last year wasn’t a Sophomore Slump.  I look for a monster season out of him this year.  David Patten had a nice, quiet season.  Many feel that Robert Meachem will have a breakout season, myself included.  Brees will also have threats out of the backfield in Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, both have proved to be capable receivers.  If Deuce McAllister can return to form and give them the tough running between the tackles, this could prove to be the league’s best offense.

You know what you are getting from the Offense.  It’s the Defense that will let us know if they are pretenders or contenders.   The Defense is anchored by Will Smith.    Rookie Sedrick Ellis will look to compliment Smith and put pressure on the QB.  They need more production out of Charles Grant.  Their Linebackers are led by Scott Fujita, Mark Simoneau, and Scott Shanle who all had 68+ tackles last year, along with Vilma, who is looking to rebound from a down 2007 season.  They have some decent Safeties in Roman Harper and Josh Bullocks, who were their second and third leading tacklers last year.  Randall Gay and Bobby McCray were brought in to mix at Cornerback with Mike McKenzie and Jason David.

If you ask me, the Saints will benefit from their roster moves.  It may take a little while to gel, but I see them winning their division, getting hot in the playoffs, and losing in the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots.  They’ll go 12-4 in the regular season.

Fantasy-wise the Saints are stacked.  Brees is a Top 5 QB.  Colston is a Top 10 RB.  Shockey could be a Top 5 Tight End if he stays healthy and doesn’t become a distraction.  Reggie Bush could be poised for a breakout year.  Deuce McAllister and Pierre Thomas are worth roster spots or in the very least worth keeping an eye on.  Robert Meachem is a nice sleeper to stash on your bench.  David Patten is someone to keep in mind during bye weeks.  Martin Gramatica should have plenty of opportunties to score some points.  The Defense may prove themselves worthy of a bye week/matchup fill-in.

Cleveland Browns Preview

31 August 2008

The Browns were the surprise team last year.  Now that they can’t sneak up on anybody, I’m interested to see how they will do.

Offensivley they were one of the best units last year.  Derek Anderson was an unbelievable find racking up nearly 3800 yards and 29 TDs.  He suffered a concussion this preseason, which hopefully won’t carry with him into the seasons.  If it does, Brady Quinn will be waiting in the wings.  From what he’s shown this preseason, he needs a little more time learning the position.  At Running Back Jamal Lewis had a surprising year as well.  He tallied over 1550 total yards and 11 TDs.  He was particularly effective down the stretch.  At Wide Receiver the Browns added Donte Stallworth to compliment Braylon Edwards.  At Tight End Kellen Winslow is one of the game’s best. Their Offensive Line is great, anchored by second-year Left Tackle Joe Thomas.   They are even well-stocked in their return game with Joshua Cribbs.

Defense is, and will continue to be, their weekness.  They did add Shaun Rogers, which should help.  LB D’Qwell Jackson (101 Tackles) and FS Sean Jones (96 Tackles, 5 INTs) are their biggest playmakers.  They had a few guys with 4 or 5 Sacks, but nobody who put real pressure on the Defense.  Hopefully Rogers can either provide that pressure or draw enough attention that somebody else will be able to.

I think they will be decent this year, but I don’t see a playoff berth in their cards.  The AFC is just too loaded.  8 or 9 Wins is what I expect.

Fantasy-wise the Browns are stacked.  I’m not a huge DA guy, but he did produce monster numbers at QB.  I cant’ justify taking him early, so he’d only make it to my team if he fell into my lap.  Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow are beasts in their respective positions.  Jamal Lewis should be productive again, and as long as he seems to be associated with a decline like the Edge, he’ll be a great value.  Donte Stallworth is worth snagging as a 4th or 5th WR.  Phil Dawson is a solid Kicker.  I wouldn’t reach for him, but if he’s there on your last pick, he’s worthy of a roster spot.

 

David Campanelli, one of my best friends and a Steelers fanatic, was kind enough to review his Steelers for me. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a moderately successful year, especially considering it was Mike Tomlin’s first season as coach, replacing long-time coach Bill Cowher. But what will happen in his second season? The team, more and more, is taking on his personality, where many of the mainstays from the Cowher years (Joey Porter, Alan Faneca, Clark Hagans, etc.) are gone. but as Tomlin molds the franchise to “his team” rather than the team he inherited, he has a tough challenge in 2008.

The challenge begins with the schedule. The Steelers have the toughest schedule in the league this year (based on opponents winning % from 07), and play in an increasingly tough division. The Browns are the “it” team of the moment, the Ravens are always dangerous, and even though the Bengals seem to be in some disarray they always play the Steelers tough. The Steelers also play the Eagles, Giants, Cowboys, Colts, Titans and Patriots. Ouch. They should win the division, but it will be a tough battle.

The second challenge is rebuilding the offensive line. The Steelers biggest offseason move was letting Alan Faneca walk in free agency. Now Alan Faneca is an all-time great Steeler , go back to Week 14 in 2005 when the Steelers beat the eventual NFC North Champ Chicago Bears. That win set off a string of 8 straight wins, culminating in a Super Bowl victory. Alan Faneca starred in that game, dominating more than i have ever seen an offensive lineman (particularly a guard) dominate a football game. Without that performance they do not make the playoffs and do not win the Superbowl. You always hate to see a franchise guy and future Hall of Famer leave the team, but the contract the Jets gave him was ridiculous. He’s turning 31, and he’s not the dominate force he once was. The Steelers line, particularly in pass protection was terrible last year. This unit, minus Faneca will be the key to what the Steelers are able to accomplish this season. But Left tackle Marvel Smith is reportedly back to full strength after off-season surgery finally fixed a lingering neck problem. Faneca’s replacement Chris Keomeatu is their secret weapon. He’s nasty and will show it on the field this year.

The reason why the offensive line development is so key is because the Steelers have as much talent at the skill positions as they have in ages. Ben Roethlisberger is turning into an elite QB. Hines Ward is still Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes is poised for a huge breakout year. Newly drafted wide out Limas Sweed is the big target Big Ben was looking for, although he might be a year away from being a contributor. Heath Miller is the best pass catching TE the Steelers have had since the days of Eric Greene. The RB corps should be good again this year. Fast Willie Parker is coming off a broken leg, but he seems fine. He’s been overused the last couple of years so having Rashard Medenhall spell him and work the goal line should be great for both backs. Mendenhall could be the steal of the draft at the 23rd pick. Also, for the first time in ages the Steelers have a legit pass catching 3rd down back in Mewelde Moore.

Defensively the Steelers will be solid, if not outstanding. They need to develop a pass rusher, other than James Harrison who can get to the QB without too many “gimmicky” blitzes to help them get there. That man should be LaMar Woodley, their 2nd round pick from last year. If the two OLBs can apply pressure on their own, this D gets immensely better. Also, watch out for Lawrence Timmons, their 1st round pick from last year, who has been flying around camp hitting anything that moves. The Steelers moved him inside and he should challenge Larry Foote for the starting spot at some point this season.

Fantasy Focus: From a fantasy perspective the two guys to go after are Big Ben and Santonio Holmes. Roethlisberger is the best of the 2nd tier of QBs, and should really be the 5th QB off the board. His only drawbacks are the numbers of picks he throws and sacks he takes. But both of those should improve this year. Santonio Holmes is going to be the breakout WR in fantasy this year. I’ve been taking him just after the top 10 WRs are off the board, right after a guy like Plaxico Burress. The RB situation is one I’d stay away from. Willie Parker was a yards horse, but has never scored a lot of TDs. With Mendenhall stealing carries, and yards, Parker’s value drops. Mendenhall will get the goal line carries, but i don’t know that he’ll get enough touches in between the 20′s to be a huge fantasy factor. Finally, Jeff Reed remains one of the most overlooked kickers in fantasy football. The Steelers will score a lot of points this year, and he’s always been consistent, despite kicking at unfriendly Heinz Field. Let everyone else draft a kicker and then take Reed with your last pick in the draft.

Saturday, August 30th
Billy Butler
went 3 for 5 with 2 Runs, 2 HRs, and 4 RBI.  Jayson Werth went 3 for 4 with 2 Runs, 2 HRs, and 4 RBI.  Nick Markakis went 4 for 5 with 2 Runs, a Double, a HR, and an RBI.  Dustin Pedroia went 4 for 4 with 2 Runs, a Double, and a Walk.  Mike Cameron went 2 for 4 with 2 Runs, a Double, a HR, and 4 RBI.  Albert Pujols went 4 for 4 with 2 Runs, a Double, a HR, and 2 RBI.  Manny Ramirez went 4 for 4 with 3 Runs, a Double, 2  HRs, and 2 RBI.  Akinori Iwamura (3 RBI), Derrek Lee, Ichiro, Raul Ibanez, Jimmy Rollins, Jason Kendall, J.J. Hardy, Jacoby Ellsbury (3 Runs), Mark Kotsay (3RBI), Curtis Granderson, Ryan Gload, Corey Hart (3 Runs), Clint Barmes (3 RBI), Luis Rodriguez, Martin Prado, Ryan Zimmerman, Anderson Hernandez (3 RBI), Cristian Guzman, Mike Jacobs, Delmon Young, and Chris Young each had 3 Hits.  Aubrey Huff, Geoff Blum, Jesus Flores, Hunter Pence, and Rick Ankiel each had 3 RBI.  Carlos Pena scored 3 Runs.

Brett Myers gave up 2 Runs in 7 Innings with 8 Ks to improve to 8-10.  Jeff Suppan gave up 2 Runs on 3 Hits in 7 Innings to improve to 10-7.  Chad Billingsley gave up 2 Runs in 7 Innings with 6 Ks to improve to 13-10 with a 3.13 ERA.  Dallas Braden (6 Innings, 1 Earned Run), Francisco Liriano (7 Innings, 1 Run, 5 Hits, 6 Ks), Mike Pelfrey (6-2/3 Innings, 2 Runs, 5 Ks), Anthony Reyes (7 Innings, 1 Run) and Jarrod Washburn (6-2/3 scoreless Innings, 3 Hits, 8 Ks) pitched well, but got no-decisions.

 | Posted by | Categories: fantasy baseball, MLB | Tagged: , |

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

I decided to profile Hall of Famer Joe Kelley, who was enshrined by the Veteran’s Committee in 1971.

Played 1891-1908 (17 Seasons)
1853 Games
7006 At Bats
.317 Batting Average (64th All-time)
.402 On-base % (55th All-time)
1421 Runs
2220 Hits
358 Doubles
194 Triples (9th All-time)
65 HRs
1194 RBI
911 Walks
443 SBs (51st All-time)

Eleven consecutive .300+ Seasons
Six 100+ Run Seasons
Three 30+ Double Seasons
Ten 10+ Triple Seasons
Five 100+ RBI Seasons
Six 30+ Stolen Base Seasons

Awards

Top Ten Finishes

Games – Once
Batting Average – 3 Times
On-Base % - 6 Times
Slugging % – 7 Times
OPS - 7 Times
Runs - 3 Times
Hits – Twice
Doubles - 3 Times
Triples - 9 Times
HRs - 5 Times
Total Bases - 4 Times
Extra-Base Hits - 6 Times
RBI – 6 Times
Walks - 5 Times
Hit by Pitch - Twice
Stolen Bases – Twice (Led league in 1896)

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:

Black Ink: Batting – 2 (587) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 122 (153) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 51.8 (67) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 94.5 (164) (Likely HOFer > 100)

This one is also close.  If he had 79 more Runs he would have had the 1500 mark that virtually assures you induction.  He did hit for a high average, had a ton of Triples and SBs.  His slugging stats were decent for the era.  He added to his legacy by going 338-321 (.513) as a Player/Manager.  His HOF yardsticks put him right on the brink of Hall of Fame induction.  He’s not a slam dunk by any means, but I see no reason to disagree with the VC here.  Joe Kelley is a Hall of Famer. 

Baseball-reference.com
BR Bullpen

Past Chronicles
Roberto Alomar
Richie Ashburn*
Earl Averill*
Harold Baines

Dan Bancroft*
Jake Beckley*

Albert Belle
Jim Bottomley*
Pete Browning

Jim Bunning *
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Roger Connor*
Larry Corcoran

Mike Cuellar
George Davis*
Andre Dawson
Larry Doby*
Bobby Doerr*
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Rick Ferrell*
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
Nellie Fox*
John Franco

Gary Gaetti
Steve Garvey
Lefty Gomez*
Luis Gonzalez
Dwight Gooden
Mark Grace
Bobby Grich
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Ron Guidry
Chick Hafey*

Billy Herman*
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Travis Jackson*
Tommy John
Bob Johnson
Addie Joss*
Jim Kaat
George Kell*
George Kelly*
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Chuck Klein*
Jerry Koosman
Bill James & Pete Palmer
Barry Larkin
Tony Lazzeri*
Freddie Lindstrom*
Mickey Lolich
Ernie Lombardi*
Fred Lynn
Sherry Magee

Roger Maris
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Bill Mazeroski*
Fred McGriff

Mark McGwire
Bid McPhee
Johnny Mize*
Paul Molitor*
Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Hal Newhouser*
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Pee Wee Reese*
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Amos Rusie*
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Curt Schilling
Red Schoendienst* (Player/Manager)
Ted Simmons
Enos Slaughter*
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Alan Trammell
George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Frank Viola
Mickey Welch*
Lou Whitaker
Bernie Williams
Vic Willis*
Maury Wills 
Hack Wilson*
Ross Youngs*

 
* Signifies actual Hall of Famer

 

The Benglas are such a mess.  Chad Ocho Cinco wants to get paid and then he gets hurt.  Carson Palmer gets his nose broken for him.  Rudi Johnson can’t play and expects to be traded.  Housh has been slowed by a hamstring injury.  Marvin Lewis, a great defensive mind, can’t field a strong defensive unit.  He tried to rid the team of Chris Henry and his distractions, but was forced to welcome him back.  What a mess.

Offensively, if they can put together a healthy unit, they should be fine.  Carson Palmer is still a Top Ten QB in this league.  He’s big and strong and can make all of the throws.  They have a trio of capable backs in Chris Perry, Rudi Johnson, and Kenny Watson.  If Chad Johnson can deal with his partially torn labrum, he’s still one of the top receivers in the game.  T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a big-play threat and a TD machine. Chris Henry is a very talented receiver, but is far too often finding himself on the wrong side of the law.

Defensively, they are a mess.  They will miss Justin Smith and Madieu Williams, who have moved on to the 49ers and Vikings respectively.  Sure, Rookie LB Keith Rivers should help matters, but he can only do so much.  Landon Johnson and Dhani Jones will help at Linebacker.  Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph give them a pair of young, talented Cornerbacks.  Deltha O’Neal and Dexter Jackson provide some experience and leadership.  They just aren’t equipped to put pressure on the Quarterback, which makes life hard for everybody. 

So where do I see the Bengals finishing?  In a battle with Baltimore to avoid the basement of the AFC North.  Six maybe seven Wins.   Marvin Lewis will be shown the door after the season.  The roster blown up.  Yeah, it’s not going to be pretty.

Fantasy-wise the Bengals still have the goods.  Carson Palmer is a top-end starting QB.  Chad Ocho Cinco and Housh are top-end WRs.  Chris Henry will likely be a solid #3 or #4 WR when all is said and done (assuming he doesn’t get arrested).  Rudi Johnson, Chris Perry, and Kenny Watson are all capable of getting it done.  It’s just a matter of who will get the touches.  Ben Utecht is a sleeper candidate at Tight End.  Shayne Graham should be a solid Kicker.  I wouldn’t touch that Defense.


Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties