Image from Sports Illustrated


While the NFL is dealing with Lawrence Taylor’s legal issues and Minnesota courts ruling that the Williams wall will have to serve four games in the StarCaps fiasco, Major League Baseball lost another Hall of Famer. At 83 Robin Roberts was a far cry from a Whiz Kid, but still owned the hearts of Phillies fans.


Roberts was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976. He was named to seven consecutive All-Star games and won the 1952 Major League Player of the Year, the 1952 & 1955 TSN NL Pitcher of the Year, and the 1962 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award.


He ranked 28th on the all-time wins list with 286. The workhorse pitcher ranked 21st on the all-time innings pitched list with 4688-2/3 innings, including leading the league five consecutive years (’51-’56). He also ranked 40th in strikeouts (2357), 20th in starts (609), 38th in complete games (305), 29th in shutouts (45), and the dubious distinction of allowing more HRs (505) than any other pitcher.


Even after his retirement he remained one of the most beloved sports figures in Philadelphia. My condolences go out to his family and friends, the Phillies, and all of his fans.


Stats from

Fantasy Pros 911 is doing a series on Facebook (click to join the group) where they ask a question on their discussion board. Then they invite group members to weigh in.

The question at hand is “in almost every rookie class you have one or two Hall of Famers. 2009 will probably be no different. So what rookies from last year do you think can be Hall of Famers”?

My response:
I’m going to have to go with Matt Wieters. Not only is he a talented catcher, but the position is ripe for the picking. Obviously Joe Mauer is going to be a top catcher for the next few years barring injury, but there are already rumblings of him moving the first base. Victor Martinez won’t be catching much longer.

Wieters had a nice rookie season, and should blow up this year. Anyone who has been described as Mauer with power raises eyebrows. By season’s end he could be a top two or three offensive catcher, a reign that could last for a decade or more. He will then transition to first base or DH and continue his pursuit.

Tommy Hanson or Rick Porcello are nice options, but take a look at the list of Hall of Famers ( Nolan Ryan was the last full-time starter to make it to Cooperstown.

Andrew McCutchen was nice, but I don’t see him sustaining it over the long haul.

I’m not sure last year’s rookie class has a HOFer, but if there is one, my guess is it’s Wieters. 

What are your thoughts?


It seems like everyone is lining up to take their turn bashing Mark McGwire. The latest is Fergie Jenkins. It seems he wants Big Mac to apologize to the pitchers McGwire faced en route to his then record-breaking 70 HRs.

Fergie is quoted as saying “You have yet to apologize to all the pitchers you faced while juiced. You altered pitchers’ lives. You may have shortened pitchers careers because of the advantage you forced over them while juiced. Have you thought about what happened when they couldn’t get you out and lost the confidence of their managers and general managers? You even managed to alter the place some athletes have achieved in record books by making your steroid-fueled run to the season home run record.”

Is he serious? Surely he can’t think that McGwire and the select group of sluggers that have been exposed were the only ones using steroids. Surely he must know that a large portion of those pitchers he feels were victimized were using as well. The problem with this witch hunt is the blame that’s being distributed to such a small percentage of the guilty parties.

While the steroid era is a black eye for the sport, it’s not the only time players used illegal substances to gain an edge. For years amphetamines have ran rampant in MLB clubhouses. These greenies were taken as a pick-me-up to help endure the marathon season that baseball is.

Now I don’t like some of McGwire’s responses, especially when he said he wished he never played in the steroid era. Not exactly taking responsibility. However, if you read between the lines, he’s subtly letting on just how big of a problem this was. You just don’t know who used and who didn’t. So please spare us with the notion that Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken, Ken Griffey Jr., and whoever else had a squeaky clean image never used because you just don’t know. Once upon a time they said the same thing about A-Rod.

Andre Dawson finally got the call he’s been waiting for. The Hawk will soon be a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame. He had 1373 runs, 2774 hits, 438 HRs, and 1591 RBIs. He also won the Rookie of the Year, an MVP, eight gold gloves, four silver sluggers, and was named to eigth All-Star teams.

Roberto Alomar and Bert Byleven came up just short.

Dawson received 420 of the 539 votes.

Big Unit Walks Away

5 January 2010

On the eve of the 2010 Hall of Fame class announcement,the Big Unit made big news of his own.

After dominating hitters for 22 seasons, Randy Johnson has retired. After becoming a member of the 300-win club, this was to be expected. Randy was easily one of the best pitchers of his era, and one of the finest lefties in baseball history.

He won 303 games, struck out 4875 batters, three a pair of no-hitters  and won five Cy Young Awards. The list of accolades is a mile long.

Whoever gets named to the Hall of Fame tomorrow will welcome Randy as a first ballot Hall of Famer in a few years.

The 2010 Hall of Fame Ballots have been released. I am admittedly more lenient than most in terms of who I think is worthy of enshrinement. That said here is how I break down this year’s crop.

Slam Dunk
Roberto Alomar

Let them In Already
Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
Jack Morris
Mark McGwire
Lee Smith

In a Couple Years
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Dale Murphy
Dave Parker
Tim Raines
Don Mattingly
Alan Trammell

Kevin Appier
Harold Baines
Ellis Burks
Andres Galarraga
Pat Hentgen
Mike Jackson
Erik Karros
Ray Lankford
Fred McGriff
Shane Reynolds
David Segui
Robin Ventura
Todd Zeile
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Bobby Cox: One More Year

24 September 2009

Bobby Cox
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Atlanta Braves will have one more year with skipper Bobby Cox after he announced that he will retire following the 2010 season.  Cox made the postseason 14 consecutive seasons and won the World Series in 1995.  He earned four Manager of the Year Awards (’85, ’91, ’04, ’05) and is 4th in MLB history in Wins trailing Tony LaRussa, John McGraw, and Connie Mack.  His playoff appearances are a record, which will likely be tied by Joe Torre as the season wraps up.  Currently he has a 2409-1924 (.556) lifetime record.  He’s 2054-1632 (.557) with the Braves.

He will easily be inducted into the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.

Sammy Sosa White Sox Sosa Cubs
Images courtesy of Icon SMI

The New York Times is reporting that Sammy Sosa failed a drug test in 2003.  The New York Times cites “lawyers with knowledge of the drug-testing results from that year” as their source.  This is the latest black eye for baseball as yet another star is linked to performance-enhancing drugs.  Unlike Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez, Sosa’s failed test does not come as a shock to most baseball fans.  He has been presumed guilty for years, and this “new” knowledge won’t have the ripple effect among baseball fans.  Instead of outrage, I imagine most people’s reactions will be in the neighborhood of “I thought so”.  Although you may be disgusted when looking at the top ten HR list.

1.  Barry Bonds, 762 – steroids
2.  Hank Aaron, 755
3.  Babe Ruth, 714
4.  Willie Mays, 660
5.  Ken Griffey, Jr., 617 – PLEASE BE CLEAN
6.  Sammy Sosa, 609 – steroids
7.  Frank Robinson, 586
8.  Mark McGwire, 583 – steroids
9.  Harmon Killebrew, 573
10.  Rafael Palmeiro, 569 – steroids

With four of the top ten (A-Rod at 12, ManRam at 17) being steroid users does a lot to damage the history of the game.  Sosa can kiss the HOF goodbye.  He was already on thin ice because of the corked bat and the speculation.  It gives a whole new meaning to his nickmame “Say it Ain’t Sosa”.  I wish I could.  I wish I could.

A discussion I’ve been having with a great baseball mind has led me to profile Jim Edmonds. 

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

The Numbers
1925 Games
7708 At Bats
.284 Batting Average
.528 Slugging %
.905 OPS
132 OPS+
1881 Hits
1207 Runs
414 Doubles
25 Triples
382 HRs
1176 RBIs
974 Walks
65 SBs

Five .300 Seasons
Four 100+ Run Seasons
Seven 30+ Double Seasons
Five 30+ HR Seasons
Four 100+ RBI Seasons

World Series:  2 World Series, 1 Ring, 64 Games, 230 At Bats, 63 Hits (.274), 33 Runs, 16 Doubles, 13 HRs, 43 RBIs, 30 Walks  

4-time All-Star
8 Gold Gloves
1 Silver Slugger
MVP Votes in 6 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Once
On-Base % – 3 Times
Slugging % - 3 Times
OPS – 3 Times
At Bats – Once
Runs – 3 Times
Hits – Once
Doubles – Once
Home Runs – 4 Times
RBIs – Twice
Walks – 4 Times
Extra-Base Hits – Twice
Intentional Walks – Twice

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:

Gray Ink Batting - 60 (407), Average HOFer ≈ 144
Hall of Fame Monitor Batting - 88 (183), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
Hall of Fame Standards Batting - 40 (144), Average HOFer ≈ 50
He certainly belongs in the Rawlings Gold Glove Hall of Fame because of his defensive prowess, but I’m on the fence for Cooperstown.  He did have a stretch of greatness from 1995-2005 (throwing out 1999 when he was limited to 55 games), where he averaged 99 Runs, 32 HRs, and 93 RBIs.  He collected all eight of his Gold Gloves during that stretch meaning he was one of the most complete players in the league for a decade.  He also had his share of postseason success in the second half of his career.  It would be easier to induct him if he reached 2000 Hits, but he had 1200 Runs and nearly 1200 RBIs.  He may have won even more Gold Gloves if it weren’t for Ken Griffey, Jr.  He doesn’t pass the name test for induction, but if you look into the numbers, I think he did just enough to get in.


Past Chronicles
Dick Allen
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
Earle Combs*
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Roger Connor*
Larry Corcoran

Stan Coveleski* 

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

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

Billy Herman*
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Waite Hoyt*
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
Rube Marquard*
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Carl Mays
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*
Allie Reynolds
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
Vern Stephens
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Luís Tiant
Joe Torre
Alan Trammell

George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Mickey Vernon
Frank Viola
Bucky Walters
Mickey Welch*
Lou Whitaker
Deacon White
Bernie Williams
Vic Willis*
Maury Wills 
Hack Wilson*
Ross Youngs*
Veterans Committee Ballot

* Signifies actual Hall of Famers

Image Courtesy of Icon SMI

As if Randy Johnson needed any more ammunition to support his case for the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Well, he got another notch on his belt tonight as he became the 24th pitcher in Major League history to join the 300 Win Club.  Ironically, the last member of the club (Tom Glavine) was released yesterday by the Atlanta Braves.

Just how good was Randy?  Let’s take a look at the numbers.

300-164 Record
.647 Winning Percentage
3.28 ERA
4845 Strikeouts
100 Complete Games
37 Shutouts
Three 20+ Win Seasons
Fourteen 200+ Strikeout Seasons
Six 300+ Strikeout Seasons
4097-1/3 IP
597 Starts
5 Cy Young Awards
10 All-Star Appearances

Hall of Fame Yardsticks

Black Ink Pitching – 96 (7), Average HOFer ≈ 40
Gray Ink Pitching – 277 (16), Average HOFer ≈ 185
Hall of Fame Monitor Pitching – 320 (4), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
Hall of Fame Standards Pitching – 64 (13), Average HOFer ≈ 50

As long as Randy Johnson’s name doesn’t come up in steroid talk, he is a first ballot Hall of Famer.  He is one of the best Lefthanded Pitchers in baseball history.

Here’s the list of 300 Game Winners:

Rank Player (age) Wins Throws
1. Cy Young+  511 R
2. Walter Johnson+  417 R
3. Pete Alexander+  373 R
  Christy Mathewson+  373 R
5. Pud Galvin+  364 R
6. Warren Spahn+  363 L
7. Kid Nichols+  361 R
8. Greg Maddux  355 R
9. Roger Clemens  354 R
10. Tim Keefe+  342 R
11. Steve Carlton+  329 L
12. John Clarkson+  328 R
13. Eddie Plank+  326 L
14. Nolan Ryan+  324 R
  Don Sutton+  324 R
16. Phil Niekro+  318 R
17. Gaylord Perry+  314 R
18. Tom Seaver+  311 R
19. Charley Radbourn+  309 R
20. Mickey Welch+  307 R
21. Tom Glavine (43) 305 L
22. Lefty Grove+  300 L
  Early Wynn+  300 R
24. Randy Johnson (45) 300 L

Congratulations Randy.  Cooperstown awaits.

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